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frutbatWildlife of the Scenic Rim, south-east Queensland


The Scenic Rim is in one of Australia's 15 hotspots of biodiversity (and part of the third most species-rich regions in Australia) - an arc of high country south and west of Brisbane, largely adjoining the New South Wales border.

High summer rainfall, varied landscapes and soils, creeks and rivers all contribute to a variety of vegetation: lush rainforests, eucalypt forests, mountain shrublands and heaths, riparian sheoak forest etc.

This in turn provides a great variety of habitats for a marvelous diversity of animals.

We have many of Australia's iconic species: kangaroos, koalas, platypus, echidna, kookaburra, lyrebird, wedgetailed eagle, cockatoos, goanna, carpet python ...

...and many lesser-known creatures

Some southern species (e.g. eastern pygmy possum, dusky antechinus, many others) reach their northern limits in south-east Queensland.
Similarly, various northern species of animal (e.g. northern brown bandicoot, striped burrowing frog, major skink, many others) reach their southern limits in south-east Queensland or northeast NSW

Other species or subspecies (e.g. Albert's lyrebird, Coxen's figparrot, Loveridge's frog,  pouched frog, Fleay's barred frog) are found only in the south-eastern Qld - north-eastern NSW border regions.
Some plants have very limited distributions - some species being found on just a few, or even one, mountaintop.

The diversity is added to in some seasons, as Some migrate here regularly for breeding (e.g. common koel, channel-billed cuckoo, dollarbird),  or visit nomadically, following food or water (e.g. zebra finches, corella cockatoos, mistletoebirds, various waterbirds)

Click below for information on:

Mammals      Birds       Reptiles      Amphibians      Fish    Invertebrates      Plants



There are 28 families of native mammals in Australia, some with just one species (e.g. platypus, koala), others with many species (e.g. kangaroos and waalabies, and some micorbat families)
18 of these families are found within the Scenic Rim

Highlights include:
  • both of the world's egg-laying mammals - platypus and echidna
  • some of Australia's best-known and best-loved creatures - koala, kangaroo and platypus
  • five of Australia's six species of gliding possum
  • nine members of the kangaroo family
  • The world's second largest carnivorous marsupial (spotted-tailed quoll)

eastern grey kangaroo
Some  are  easy to see if you come at the right time of day (e.g. kangaroos and wallabies at dawn or dusk, brushtail possums after dark), others take a bit more time and patience, and some are quite difficult to find without a lot of patience, specialized knowledge or luck.

koalaNative mammals of the Scenic Rim include:

  • Monotremes  (egg-layers)
    •  platypus, that oddest of all mammals (common in our creeks) 
    • echidna  (fairly common in places)
  • Marsupials  (pouched mammals)
    • Carnivorous (from large-cat-size down to smaller than mice) - spotted-tailed quoll (rare), brush-tailed phascogale (uncommon), antechinus (3 species: the very commonn yellow-footed antechinus of more open forests and drier rainforests, subtropical antechinus of wetter rainforests and the much rarer dusky antechinus, also of rainforests), common dunnart (not so very common, mostly open habitats with grass and trees, planigale (tiny, not often seen, open habitats)
    • Omnivorous - bandicoots (two species: northern brown and long-nosed)
    • Herbivorous - koala, several species of possums (brush-tailed, ringtail, eastern pigmy) and gliders (greater, yellow-bellied, sugar, squirrel, feathertail - i.e. 5 of Australia's six species of gliding possum), long-nosed potoroos, rufous bettong, kangaroos (eastern grey) and several species of wallabies (red-necked, whiptail, black-striped, swamp, brush-tailed rock-wallaby, red-necked pademelon, red-legged pademelon
  • Placentals (young born at more advanced stage, as for most of the world's mammals)
    • Bats - fruitbats (flying foxes - grey-headed, black and little red) and their relatives the blossom bats and tube-nosed bats, many species of microbats (the small, insectivorous bats that navigate by echolocation) in several families
    • Rodents - bush rat, swamp rat, Melomys (2 species - fawn-footed and grassland), water rat, and the rare Hastings River mouse, others (also three species of introduced rodents)
    • (the dingo is not truly native, but it has been here a long time - probably for 3000-4000 years).


Rare and threatened mammals of the Scenic Rim:

  • brushtaied rock-wallabyPteropus poliocephalus   grey-headed flying fox  is considered common in Queensland, Vulnerable nationally
  • Kerivoula papuensis    golden-tipped bat    Rare
  • Chalinolobus dwyeri    large-eared pied bat    Vulnerable
  • Pseudomys oralis    Hastings River mouse is considered vulnerable in Queensland, Endangered nationally
  • Phascolarctos cinereus (south-east Queensland bioregion race)     koala     This race (not the koala species as a whole) is considered Vulnerable in Queensland, Endangered nationally
  • Petrogale penicillata brush-tailed rockwallaby    (pictured to right) Vulnerable
  • Potorous tridactylus tridactylus    long-nosed potoroo    Vulnerable
  • Dasyurus maculatus maculatus     spotted-tailed quoll  is considered Vulnerable in Queensland, Endangered nationally
See also: Australian mammals

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At least 60 of the 79 families of native Australian birds are found within the Scenic Rim (many of the families we don't have consist of marine birds, some of which are found in neighbouring coastal areas)

Birds of the Scenic Rim include:

            • every diurnal Australian raptor (kites, eagles, hawks etc.) - many live here, others (e.g. the endangered red goshawk) are occasional sightings
            • the uniquely Australian lyrebirds, arguably the world's best mimics, and the related rufous scrub bird
            • birds with unusual courtship or parenting such as lyrebirds, bowerbirds button-quail and  brush turkeys
            • the world's only bird of Paradise south of the tropics
            • some of Australia's largest birds - wedgetailed eagle, white-bellied sea-eagle, black-necked stork, magpie goose, pelican, black swan

Some National Parks (the most famous being Lamington National Park) have wonderful networks of accessible walking trails which provide great birding. Various creeks and large dams  attract waterbirds, either residential or nomadic.

Birds commonly seen in the Scenic Rim:

Birds of eucalypt  forests and woodlands: 

Wedge-tailed eagle, pale-headed rosella, laughing kookaburra, sacred kingfisher, forest kingfisher, noisy miner, yellow-faced honeyeater, eastern spinebill, silvereye, Australian magpie, pied currawong, grey butcherbird, pied butcherbird,  magpie lark, Torresian crow, variegated fair-wren, red-backed fairy-wren, willy wagtail, red-browed finch


Birds of rainforests:

Crimson rosella, brown cuckoodove, wompoo fruitdove, wonga pigeon (pictured), brush turkey, Lewin's honeyeater, brown thornbill, brown gerygone, white-browed scrubwren, yellow-throated scrubwren, pied currawong, satin bowerbird, green catbirds, eastern whipbird, eastern yellow robin

Birds of grassy areas:

Masked lapwing, black-shouldered kite, nankeen kestrel, Crested pigeon, Richard's pipit

Birds  of wetlands:

Ausralasian grebe, black duck, Wood duck, grey teal, black swan, little pied cormorant, little black cormorant, darter, Australian pelican, great egret, intermediate egret, cattle egret, white-faced heron, black-winged stilt, white ibis, straw-necked ibis, royal spoonbill

black-necked storkRare and threatened birds of the Scenic Rim include:

  • Accipiter novaehollandiae    grey goshawk    Rare
  • Erythrotriorchis radiatus    red goshawk    Endangered in Queensland, Vulnerable nationally
  • Falco hypoleucos    grey falcon    Rare
  • Lophoictinia isura    square-tailed kite   Rare
  • Numenius madagascariensis    eastern curlew    Rare
  • Lewinia pectoralis    Lewin's rail    Rare
  • Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus    black-necked stork   (pictured on right)  Rare in Queensland (and not found in southern states, apart from far north-eastern NSW)
  • Nettapus coromandelianus    common pygmy goose   Rare
  • Stictonetta naevosa    freckled duck    Rare
  • Calyptorhynchus lathami    glossy black-cockatoo    Vulnerable
  • Neophema pulchella    turquoise parrot  Rare
  • Cyclopsitta diophthalma coxeni    Coxen's figparrot     Endangered
  • Turnix melanogaster    black-breasted button-quail   Vulnerable
  • Ninox strenua    powerful owl   Vulnerable in Queensland
  • glossy black
                        cockatooTyto tenebricosa tenebricosa    sooty owl    Rare
  • Podargus ocellatus plumiferus    plumed frogmouth    Vulnerable
  • Menura alberti    Albert's lyrebird    Rare  (and found nowhere other than the Qld/NSW border areas)
  • Menura novaehollandiae    superb lyrebird    Rare in Queensland (also found in more southerly forests)
  • Atrichornis rufescens    rufous scrub bird   Vulnerable
  • Melithreptus gularis    black-chinned honeyeater    Rare
  • Anthochaera phrygia    regent honeyeater    Endangered
  • Grantiella picta    painted honeyeater    Rare
  • Climacteris erythrops    red-browed treecreeper    Rare
  • Dasyornis brachypterus    eastern bristlebird    Endangered
  • Stipiturus malachurus    southern emu-wren    Vulnerable
  • Pachycephala olivacea    olive whistler    Rare

    See also: Australian birds

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goanna at
                Binna BurraReptiles

                  python10 of the 17 families of native Australian reptiles are found within the Scenic Rim  - basically everything except crocodiles, marine turtles and sea-snakes .

Our largest snake is the (non-venomous) carpet python and our largest lizard is the lace monitor (goanna) - both are quite frequently encountered in warm months in rainforest, eucalypt forest and wooded farmland.

Reptiles in the Scenic Rim include:
  • snakes:
    • front-fanged snakes (elapids) -  roughscale snake, eastern brown, taipan, red-bellied black snake, tiger snake, whip snakes, bandy bandy and others
    • rear-fanged snaks (colubrids) - green treesnake, brown treesnake, keelback
    • pythons - carpet python (pictured), children's python
    • blind snakes
  • lizards:
    • monitors ("goannas", like the one pictured)
    • skinks - many, including Australia's largest sking, the land mullet, also major skink, pink-tongued, blue-tongued, and many smaller species
    • dragons - including bearded dragon, eastern water dragon and a few others
    • geckos and flap-footed lizards
  • turtleturtles:
    • long-necked, short-necked (pictured) and saw-shelled freshwater turtles

Rare and threatened reptiles of the Scenic Rim (the last four are skinks)  include:
  • Acanthophis antarcticus    death adder    Rare
  • Coeranoscincus reticulatus       three-toed snake-tooth skink    Vulnerable
  • Saproscincus rosei      Rare
  • Harrisoniascincus zia   Rare
  • Ophioscincus truncatus        Rare

See also: Australian reptiles



Frogs are the only amphibians native to Australia.  (We have no native toads, newts or salamanders)

Two families - Hylidae and Myobatrachidae - dominate most of Australia. Both are related to South American families (through a shared Gondwana heritage), and both of these are well-represented in the Scenic Rim . Three other families are found in far northern Australia, but not in this region.



Tree frogs (Hylidae).

Green tree frogs (photo on left) are common in the Scenic Rim, sometimes appearing in toilets and laundries - anywhere nice and wet. They also like gutters, drainpipes, even hollow fence posts where their calls can resonate effectively (sounding a bit like . They're big enough to fit across the palm of an adult human hand (but please don't handle them unnecessarily - like all frogs their skin is very sensitive, and can absorb salt and other substances which may be damaging to them).
Sedge frogs are common also - small green or brown frogs that call around dams and other still or slow-moving water, often sitting on waterlily leaves or on sedges and other vegetation above or near the water.
There are various small brown treefrogs - the most common being Litoria rubella  and Litoria dentata - often seen climbing walls or posts on a warm wet evening.
orange-eyed treefrogOrange-eyed green treefrogs (photo to right) can be heard on a very wet summer evening in or near the rainforest, with a series of rising calls followed by an anticlimax of little noises as the skin of the throat deflates.
Emerald-spotted treefrogs are heard more often than seen, again most commonly near rainforests, with a distinctive 'machine-gun' call.
Rocket frogs (two species: striped and broad-palmed) have pointed noses, and use their strong legs to launch themselves impressively into the air.  They are officially treefrogs but don't seem to do much climbing.
The stony-creek frog, which cam look very similar to the broad-palmed rocket frog, doesn't climb much either. In early spring the males develop bright yellow sides, and sit on rocks in the creek, calling to females.
Whistling treefrogs are one of the few frogs heard regularly in our creeks and dams throughout winter.
The striped burrowing frog (or green-striped frog) is in the same family as the treefrogs, but a different genus (Cyclorama) and not often seen,  emerging mostly on warm very wet nights in some regions of open habitat, giving a distinctive 'quacking' call for several nights, then 'disappearing' again for months.
There are also a couple of rare and threatened treefrogs, plus a few other species in the region

                    barred frog

'Southern frogs' (Myobatrachidae)

Some of this family have bizarre breeding habitats. The female hip pocket (or pouched) frog of cool-temperate rainforests lays eggs on the ground, not in water. The male wallows in the jelly as the tadpoles hatch, and they wriggle into little 'pockets' of skin on his hips, where they stay until they develop into frogs.

Eggs of broodfrogs ('toadlets') are laid not in water but in small burrows in more open habitats.

The male tusked frog - another rainforest species - uses its small tusks to fight male rivals.

Great barred frogs (pictured) are often heard on wet nights, and sometimes during the day, mostly in and near rainforests: their deep-throated 'walk.... walk-walk' being quite unmistakable after you've heard it a couple of times. Its relatives, the giant barred frog and Fleay's barred frog, are far less common.
The most commonly-encountered frogs of this family are the marsh frogs - both striped and spotted - often heard calling around dams and swamps, and quite frequently seen on wet nights.

Pobblebonks - individually say 'bonk', different individuals varying slightly in pitch, and a chorus on a wet night sounds great.

Ornate burrowing frogs are often found by gardeners while digging - unfortunately they are sometimes mistaken for young cane toads (which never burrow).

There are also various small brown frogs not easily seen but often heard on warm wet evenings.

Brown frogs of all size, especially 'bumpy' ones, tend to get mistake for the introduced cane toads. Please never kill any unless you are VERY sure of your identification.  We have a lot of native species of brown frogs around here.

Rare and threatened frogs in the Scenic Rim

Tree frogs

  • Litoria revelata    whirring treefrog    Rare
  • Litoria pearsoniana    cascade treefrog   Vulnerable

'Southern frogs'

  • Adelotus brevis    tusked frog    Vulnerable
  • Kyarranus loveridgei    masked mountainfrog    Rare (and confined to cool-temperate rainforests of high altitude in the Queensland - NSW border regions)
  • Lechriodus fletcheri    black-soled frog   Rare
  • Assa darlingtoni    pouched frog (hip-pocket frog)    Rare (and confined to cool-temperate rainforests of high altitude in the Queensland - NSW border regions)
  • Mixophyes iteratus    giant barred frog    Endangered
  • Mixophyes fleayi    Fleays frog    Endangered

An introduced amphibian causing trouble

The cane toad (Bufo marinus) was regrettably introduced to Central Queensland in 1955, to control cane beetle (which it isn't very good at anyway) and has been spreading out from there ever since, to the detriment of our wildlife. It reached the Scenic Rim in the 70's or 80's, and is now very common (one female can lay over 30,000 eggs). Quolls, snakes, goannas, birds, fish (the eggs and tadpoles are poisonous also) and other wildlife (as well as pet dogs) have died after eating them, and some species have diminished alarmingly in numbers after cane toads move into a district. Here at Running Creek (south-eastern Scenic Rim) we have not seen red-bellied black snakes since the toads appeared in the late 80's, and although we are not certain of the connection we have seen far fewer tawny frogmouths in recent years (and we have heard of one frogmouth across the border found dead with a toad in its mouth). After their arrival in Northern Territory, rangers have reported a dramatic decline in quolls, and it seems likely that quolls and phascogales in the Scenic Rim have been affected also.

One research program in Sydney University is trialling the provision of cane toad meat minced with a toxin that is not lethal but makes animals  feel very ill, to train wild quolls not to eat them.

Driving at night along the country roads of the Scenic Rim you are almost certain to see cane toads except in mid-winter or very dry weather.

Please do NOT kill any large bumpy brown frog unless QUITE CERTAIN it is a cane toad, and don't kill ANY large tadpoles!  Although toads grow larger than any of our native frogs, the tadpoles of the toads are NOT large - they are tiny, sharp-snouted, and black both on their backs and their bellies.  They metamorphose into toads when still very small, so any large tadpoles are definitely natives.  Frogs are very diverse in the Scenic Rim and include a number of  brown ones, some with lumpy skin, and many are mistaken for young cane toads.  If you do kill a cane toad (when certain of its identification) please do it swiftly and humanely
- there are many inhumane methods used by people who are angry at the invasion, but it really wasn't the toad's idea to come here.

See also: Australian frogs

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long-finned eelSome of the fish of the Scenic Rim include:
  • Long-finned eel (pictured) - these hatch from eggs near  New Caledonia and have to head west to Australia, where they spend 12 or more years in rivers and streams  of the east coast, including the high country of the Scenic Rim. They then have the much more difficult navigation feat of finding their way back to their birthplace to breed.
  • Eel-tailed catfish - these can be large, up to about 90 centimetres long, but more typically 30 - 40cm.  In spring and summer their circular stone nests are often seen in mountain streams.  Better parents than most fish, the parents guard the eggs and hatchlings from predators. They occur in some mountain streams as well as further down in the valleys.
  • Freshwater mullet - small schools of these fish can often be seen in mountain streams and valleys, sometimes swimming slowly just below the surface with mouths open.
  • Australian smelt - tiny fish that swim in schools and are useful in mosquito control. They are native to much of south-east Australia, including the Scenic rim, which is almost the northernmost part of their distribution. Groups of them will sometimes nibble gently at people swimming in the creeks and rivers of the region
  • Mountain galaxias - small carnivorous fish of south-eastern Australia
  • Crimson-spotted rainbowfish - small carnivorous fish of south-eastern Queensland and north-eastern New South Wales
  • Bony bream - a member of the herring family
  • Fire-tail gudgeon - small carnivorous fish from subtropical Queensland. Males take on a red-orange colour in breeding season.
  • Cox's gudgeon - near the northern limit of its range here, mountain and alley streams
  • Southern purple-spotted gudgeon - a small carnivorous fish whose former range has been severely reduced, but still present in some creeks of southern Queensland and northern New South Wales, including those of the Scenic Rim

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caper white butterflyThe Scenic Rim harbours some wonderful insects here, including some of Australia's largest butterflies and a gnat that produces very efficient light now used in cancer research and Japanese Christmas trees, also some giant (but not dangerous) spiders, bright blue crayfish, large ridiculously pink slugs and many, many more fascinating invertebrates.

A small sample of insects of the Scenic Rim:

Glow worms are not worms but a kind of fungus gnat, related to flies and mosquitoes.  It is in their larval stage that they produce light to attract small insects which they then eat.  They live in moist rocky overhangs, shallow caves and creek banks in Lamington National Park and other suitable habitat within the Scenic Rim.  They are also breeding prolifically in a well-designed artificial cave at the Cedar Creek Estate on Tamborine Mountain. As a group. the true glow worms are found only in Australia and New Zealand. Their efficient light production (very little is lost as heat) is being studied and used in cancer research, and in Japan to grow genetically-modified self-lighting Christmas trees.

Butterflies are numerous, with Australia's five major families represented. A small sample:
  • Pieridae: e.g.
    • the highly social and migratory caper white (pictured above),
    • common grass yellow, pollinator of many low-growing flowers including the arrow-head violet so crucial for the fritillary
  • Nymphalidae: e.g.
    • the highly-endangered fritillary, the only known foodplant being the arrow-head violet which itself is far more restricted in range than it once was.
    • lesser wanderer (a bit smaller than the introduced monarch (the latter is also known as the wanderer)
    • blue tiger ) a bit like a blue version of the wanderer, sometimes in large groups)
    • common brown
    • common crow
    • painted lady
    • evening brown (flutters close to the ground and drops, looking like a dead leaf when it closes its wings)
  • Lycaenidae
    • long-tailed pea-blue - a common small butterfly, the larvae of which feed on buds and flowers of legumes
    • common grass-blue (Australian subspecies) - a very common little butterfly that darts amongst grasses to lay eggs on legumes
    • copper ant-blue and bronze ant-blue - as in various other members of this family, they appear to have an association with ants
    • moonlight jewel (eastern subspecies)
  • Papillionidae
    • Richmond birdwing butterfly - one of Australia's largest and most attractive butterflies, rare and considered vulnerable nowadays, dependent on a native vine which in turn is dependent on a small pollinating gnat, which in turn is itself dependent on clear mountain streams for its larval stage
    • Orchard butterfly - another of Australia's largest butterflies, almost as big as the birdwing and far more common
    • blue triangle - beautiful turquoise blue butterfly
  • Hesperidae
    • regent skipper - one of the most attractive skippers, mostly black with white markings and a bold scarlet end to its abdomen
  Many many others  -  for instance, every time researchers collect large samples from the local rainforest canopies they come across new species that haven't yet been described or catalogued. Just think about how much we as yet don't know about their ecological relationships!

Spiders of the Scenic Rim

We have the two most infamous Australian spiders here - the funnel-web and the redback, but there have been less than 30 recorded deaths by spiders in all of white settlement (and none from the redback since the 1950's). Both spiders are easily avoided, so there is no need to be fearful if you just check what might be lurking in dark corners before sitting down, reaching into sacks, or putting on old gloves or boots etc.

Many of our spiders are really quite beautiful and have fascinating behaviours, and most are not at all dangerous (although some are capable of a painful bite)

Other spiders - a small sample once again:

'Primitive spiders' (their most conspicuous difference from 'true spiders' is that their jaws point downwards, so they rear up and strike downwards when attacking)
  • Funnel-web spiders
  • Trapdoor spiders - related to funnel-webs, but no fatalities recorded
'True spiders'
  • Leaf-curl spider - they come down to the ground at night to find a suitable leaf which they curl up and secure in the web, and hide inside from birds
  • Golden orb-weaver - these build large strong webs that reflect golden light in the sunlight. The spiders themselves are large but not dangerous to humans
  • St Andrew's Cross spider - an attractive spider that sits in its web with four pairs of legs arranged in a 'X' like the St Andrews Cross which forms part of the Union Jack. A zigzag pattern of web extending from each pair of legs accentuates the 'X' shape.
  • Wolf spiders - these don;t build webs but typically sit on the ground at night waiting for prey they can ambush or chase - their eyes brightly  reflect light when torches (flashlights) are shone towards them.
  • Huntsman spiders - another spider which does now build webs.  These are large spiders and some species readily enter houses, where they can provide a service controlling insects.
  • Jumping spiders - active, alert-looking little spiders, that do actually jump.  The males of each species have their own courtship dances to attract females.

Crustaceans of the Scenic Rim

  • Lamington Cray - a blue freshwater crayfish of mountain streams in the rainforests of Lamington National Park (a similar species is found in the same kind of habitat just below the border, but red and white rather than blue). Sometimes they are out on the walking tracks, raising their pincers and hissing at walkers, rotating to keep facing them as they edge around the agitated crustaceans in a semicircle to continue their journeys.
  • Macrobranchia - a small shrimp with one long arm, and eyes that glow red in the light of a torch (flashlight) at night.
  • Land crustaceans - amphipods (small creatures that jump around actively if their leaf litter home on the forest floor is disturbed) and isopods (slaters, often living in small groups under rocks or logs

Molluscs of the Scenic Rim

  • We have one of the highest diversities of Gondwana-related land snails in Australia, and also of have a number snails and slugs descended from northern hemisphere ancestors, including some quite large ones in the rainforest, sometimes seen at night feeding on luminous fungi.
  • Various freshwater snails live here also.
  • Freshwater mussels and other bivalves live in some creeks and dams
  • Triangle slugs live under leaf litter and on moist evenings climb eucalypts leaving distinctive markings on the trunks as they browse. One species on Mt French can grow to 7 cm, and is bright pink.

palm lilyPlants

The Scenic Rim  is home to a wonderful diversity of plant life - one of the highest in Australia.

Vegetation includes several kinds of rainforest (warm subtropical, as well as other forest and woodland types, heaths and wetlands.

Just a few of the local plant families include:

Moraceae -  figs and their relatives

Figs are a very important source of food for frugivores (fruit-eating animals), here as in other warm regions of the world, and as for figs everywhere are dependent on tiny fig-wasps for pollination. Here they are mostly eaten by birds and fruitbats (which help to distribute seeds, except for some birds that digest the seeds with the fruit) and insects, but also by some possums, wallabies and other creatures. We have several species in the Scenic Rim including the Moreton Bay fig (Ficus macrophylla), a large species used for street-planting and parks throughout Australia. Figs are primarily rainforest species, but some, such as the creek sandpaper fig (Ficus coronata), are common along creeks emanating from the rainforests.

Myrtaceae  - eucalypts and lillypillies

                  lossomSome are fleshy-fruited (as are the related guavas of South America), others are dry-fruited with small seeds, an adaptation that arose as Australia's climate was drying out.

  • Lillipillies - Syzygium and Acmena species - are the main fleshy-fruited members in Australia, with numerous species in the Scenic Rim
  • Various other fleshy-fruited members
  • Eucalyptus -  numerous species in the Scenic Rim, including forest red or Queensland blue gum (Eucalyptus tereticornis) which is a favourite of koalas, flooded gum (E. grandis) which grows tall and straight on good soils near rainforests, many others
  • Close relatives of eucalypts - Corymbia (bloodwoods, spotted gums, tesselated gum), apple gums (Angophora spp), brushboxes (Lophostemon) and water gum (Tristaniopsis)
  • Other dry-fruited members  - including bottlebrushes (formerly Callistemon, now Melaleuca), tea-trees (Melaleuca and Leptospermum)


Avocado family (no avocados native here, but plenty of their smaller relatives in the rainforests, popular with fruitpigeons, not so much with fruitbats)

                  beech tree in cool temperate rainforestFagaceae

Nothofagus moorei, the Antarctic beech, reaches its northern limit here on some of our highest peaks, both in Lamington National Park and the more sheltered parts of Mt Barney.

They are the dominant tree in the cool temperate rainforest, and have a strange, Tolkien-like appearance, usually with several stems coming from the same rootstock, and plenty of moss growing on the lower trunk.



Acacia species are generally known as 'wattles' in Australia, and most do not keep their true leaves but photosynthesize instead with a modified petiole known as a phyllode. All have fluffy clusters of flowers ranging from a creamy pale yellow to a rich golden yellow. A few of the local species do keep their true leaves.  Most are plants of the open forest, and most live only about 10 - 15 years, but the blackwood, Acacia melanoxylon, is a long-lived rainforest inhabitant.


orchid -
                  Lamington NPThe Scenic Rim is home to many orchids, both epiphytic (growing on trunks or branches of trees ) and ground-dwelling.  A very few examples are:
  • Christmas orchid (Calanthe triplicata) - a ground-dwelling orchid with a large spray of white flowers around Christmas time.
  • King orchid Dendrobium tarberi - a fairly common epiphyte with large leaves and a showy cascade of yellow flowers
  • Hoop Pine Orchid Bulbophyllum globuliforme - a tiny orchid growing on the bark of hoop pines in high altitudes of the McPherson Range, considered vulnerable, and not readily seen as it grows in the upper branches and trunk
  • Beech orchid (Dendrobium falcorostrum) - epiphytic on Antarctic beech trees of the cool temperate rainforest in high altitudes
  • Many others


Grass trees -
Xanthorrhoea spp.  These give a very distinctive, Australian feel to any landscape, and their flower spikes produce myriads of nectar-rich flowers attracting many birds, butterflies and native bees (photo left)

Mat rushes - Lomandra spp- common along creeks, and can hold often onto their roots and soil better than the surrounding trees during a severe flood, so are recommended for planting along banks in flood-prone areas (photo right)

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