The Gondwana Rainforests of Australia include the most extensive areas of subtropical rainforest in the world, large areas of warm temperate rainforest and nearly all of the Antarctic beech cool temperate rainforest. Rainforest once covered most of the ancient southern supercontinent Gondwana and remains the most ancient type of vegetation in Australia.
The Gondwana Rainforests provide an interesting living link with the evolution of Australia. Few places on earth contain so many plants and animals which remain relatively unchanged from their ancestors in the fossil record. Some of the oldest elements of the world's ferns and conifers are found here and there is a concentration of primitive plant families that are direct links with the birth and spread of flowering plants over 100 million years ago. A range of geological and environmental influences in the Gondwana Rainforests determine where forest communities grow. This process has occurred over millions of years and will continue to change the forest mosaic into the future.
The Gondwana Rainforests of Australia were inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1986 (extended in 1994). Although rainforests cover only about 0.3 per cent of Australia, they contain about half of all Australian plant families and about a third of Australia's mammal and bird species. The Gondwana Rainforests have an extremely high conservation value and provide habitat for more than 200 rare or threatened plant and animal species. The distributional limits of several species and many centres of species diversity occur in the property.
Queensland National Parks that belong to the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia include: