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Wet forests and rainforest

Powerful Owl (Photo: J. Tscharke)

Powerful Owl (Photo: J. Tscharke)

Photo by: Parks Victoria

Location: Wet forests and rainforest

Bracket Fungus (Photo: Mark Antos)

Bracket Fungus (Photo: Mark Antos)

Photo by: Parks Victoria

Location: Wet forests and rainforest

Central Highlands Spiny Crayfish (photo: M. Antos)

Central Highlands Spiny Crayfish (photo: M. Antos)

Photo by: Parks Victoria

Location: Wet forests and rainforest

The cool mountains and gullies of ranges in southern, central and north-eastern Victoria as well as areas at lower elevations are dominated by wet eucalypt forests and rainforests.

The wet eucalypt forests have Victoria’s tallest trees including the world’s largest flowering plant, the Mountain Ash which reaches up to 100 metres in height and 15 metres in circumference. This often grows in single species stands, but Messmate and Mountain Grey Gum, or Shining Gum and Alpine Ash at higher altitudes, and other eucalypts share the sky.

In rainforests and sheltered gullies a dense canopy of non-eucalypt tree species, climbers, broad-leafed shrubs and tree ferns provide umbrellas of shade for a variety of ferns, shrubs, mosses and myriad of other life-forms.

More about wet forests and rainforests

  • Generally Myrtle Beech rainforests only form once a wet eucalypt forest reaches maturity, which takes several hundred years to do so.
  • Trees in wet forests begin to develop hollows in trunks and larger branches after they are about 150 years old.
  • Possums (such as the rare Leadbeater’s Possum), gliders, bats, owls and many bird species require tree hollows or standing dead trees for nesting or roosting or both.

Key Threats

  • In young forests hollows are scarce resulting in less diverse and smaller populations of forest animals.
  • Many understorey plants flourish after fires and are often older than the dominant eucalypts which may be killed in an intense fire.
  • Weed infestation.
  • Predation of native animals by introduced species.
  • Phytophthora cinnamomi (fungal dieback).

Where to see wet forests and rainforests

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NAIDOC week: ranger Greg Shelton talks Country

17 Jul 2017

2-9 July is NAIDOC Week, when Australia celebrates the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.The stunning south west of Victoria is a great place to experience rich Aboriginal Cultural History throughout the World Heritage listed Budj Bim region, home to the Gundtjmara people for many…

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National Tree Day

30 Jul 2017 10:00am-2:30pm

To celebrate National Tree Day, help Friends of the Prom plant trees at Tidal River, Wilsons Promontory National Park. There will be a barbecue lunch provided.

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Koala Conservation Day

6 Aug 2017 9:00am-3:00pm

Enjoy a day in the outdoors, connecting with nature and helping koalas in the You Yangs Regional Park and the Western Plains near Melbourne. You will search for koalas, take walks through bushland with naturalists and remove weeds and plant trees for koala habitat, in the company of a highly…

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Koala Conservation Day

20 Aug 2017 9:00am-3:00pm

Enjoy a day in the outdoors, connecting with nature and helping koalas in the You Yangs Regional Park and the Western Plains near Melbourne. You will search for koalas, take walks through bushland with naturalists and remove weeds and plant trees for koala habitat, in the company of a highly…

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Peak Adventure Winter Series Race 3

27 Aug 2017 7:30am-12:30pm

Peak Adventure is excited to bring you PAWS, the Peak Adventure Winter Series at Lysterfield Park. Keep motivated, fit and healthy this winter by joining us for either an off-road triathlon, or an off-road duathlon. The triathlon includes a 7km paddle, a 20km MTB, and an 8km trail run. The…