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Rainforests around the world are being destroyed at an alarming rate. Similarly in Australia, over half of the rainforest has been logged or cleared for development. Thankfully there is a more concerted effort these days to preserve these forests.
Australia is a continent that has examples of every type of rainforest found on the planet. Rainforests are sometimes grouped by climate resulting in five major rainforest types - tropical, subtropical, dry, warm temperate, and cool temperate. Most rainforests remaining in Australia are tropical.
Tropical rainforest are found in patches along northeastern coastal Queensland and inland as far as the tablelands and mountains behind the coast. The most notable forest in this area is called the 'Wet Tropics' which contains a large proportion of Australia's biodiversity within in its boundaries. The Daintree rainforest is located in the 'Wet Tropics'. It is the oldest rainforest on Earth, approximately 10 times older than the Amazon.
Subtropical rainforest is found in Queensland. Like tropical rainforest, these forests are lush and attractive, containing palms, strangler figs, buttressed trees, large vines and epiphytes.
Dry rainforest seems like an oxymoron, but it is called this because these forests have a wet and dry season. Wet season conditions provide enough rainfall for a rainforest to exist, but species that grow here can and must handle a dry season and even periods of drought. These forests exist in parts of northern Australia and is reasonably widespread in eastern Queensland. These forests lack lushness of a tropical rainforest, but can grow where rainfall is less reliable.
Warm temperate rainforests are found on coastal ranges in south-east Queensland and in New South Wales. They usually grow at higher altitudes on less fertile soils, above areas where subtropical rainforests grow in lower altitudes.
Cool temperate rainforests are found on cool mountain tops along the McPherson Range in South Queensland through New South Wales coastal and mountain areas into Victoria and through Tasmania. Tasmania's west coast has the biggest tract of temperate rainforest in the world. Temperate rainforest also occurs in Victoria's East Gippsland, the Otway Ranges, Strzelecki Ranges, and Dandenong Ranges. Large areas of temperate rainforest occur on the Great Dividing Range in southern New South Wales. Many smaller pockets of temperate rainforest can be found within larger Eucalyptus forests.