The Wet Tropics is a name
given to a region that encompasses a number of national parks and protected
areas that include Daintree
National Park, Cedar Bay
National Park, Endeavour
River National Park and
Park. It is a region that
stretches over 450 km along the north east coast from
the north. It is also a term that includes another World Heritage site, the
Great Barrier Reef.
Wet Tropics - People of the Rainforest
Connection to Country
Since time immemorial, the Aboriginal Rainforest people have been the original
owners of the Wet Tropics rainforest. There are
more than 20 Aboriginal tribal groups with ongoing traditional
connections to land in and near the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area.
These traditional estate boundaries are different to the boundaries of
the World Heritage Area, with each group having customary obligations for
management of their country under Aboriginal law.
For the Rainforest Aboriginal people, the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area
is a series of complex living cultural landscapes. This means that
natural features are interwoven with religion, spirituality, economic use
(including food, medicines, tools) and social and moral organisation that make
up the fabric and culture of the Rainforest Aboriginal people.
The cultural landscape is more than dots on a map representing isolated
heritage sites. The landscape identifies
Rainforest Aboriginal peoples' place within their country and
reinforces their ongoing customary laws and connection to the country.
The country is therefore embedded with enormous meaning and
significance to its traditional owners.
Story places (natural features such as mountains, rivers,
waterfalls, swimming holes, trees) are parts of the Wet Tropics
landscape that are important to Rainforest Aboriginal people as they
symbolise features that were created during the ancestral creation
period (sometimes called the Dreaming or the Dreamtime). These
places have powerful meaning and properties. They may be considered
dangerous to approach or take resources from, except in prescribed
ways or by the right person. These places must be respected. They must not
be damaged and must be managed carefully by the expert guidance of the
relevant Traditional Owners.
Attractions and Cultural Centres
There are a variety of ways to experience the Wet Tropics and the local
Aboriginal culture first hand. A number of communities have developed their own
enterprises that showcase their culture. Ask at the local visitor centre or tour
desk about the range of award winning indigenous owned and operated cultural
Source: Wet Tropic Management Authority -
Rainforest Aboriginal Heritage
Check out our listing of
accommodation. In addition to our listed online travel guide information,
contact the local tourism visitor centre for your destination for more
attractions, tours, local maps and other information.