2020. Atherton Tablelands: Post 14. Fig Tree

From Curtain Fig, Yungaburra

View a spectacular curtain fig tree from different vantage points along a boardwalk in this small but popular national park.

This large fig tree in Curtain Fig Tree National Park is unique because the extensive aerial roots, that drop 15 metres to the forest floor, have formed a ‘curtain’. Starting from a seed dropped high in the canopy, this strangler fig grew vertical roots, which gradually became thicker and interwoven. Over hundreds of years, these roots have strangled the host causing it to fall into a neighbouring tree-a stage unique to the development of this fig. Vertical fig roots then formed a curtain-like appearance and the host trees rotted away, leaving the freestanding fig tree. The tree is thought to be nearly 50 metres tall, with a trunk circumference of 39 metres, and is estimated to be over 500 years old.

Explore the elevated 180 metre return boardwalk (10 minutes) that encircles the curtain fig, protecting the roots while allowing for uninterrupted views from all angles.

Return at night to spotlight for glimpses of the elusive Lumholtz’s tree-kangaroo and other nocturnal animals.

This park protects a small area of an endangered type of forest, called mabi forest, the local Aboriginal (Ngadjon) word for the Lumholtz’s tree-kangaroo.

Location: From Yungaburra, drive 2 klms. west along Gillies Highway to Fig Tree Road


To see the next activity we were involved with over the week we were up on the Atherton Tablelands, see this post:

Post 15. Rotary Park …. Atherton Tablelands