Rainforestation turns 40!

Rainforestation

When you join us for any of our Kuranda day tours, you will visit Rainforestation Nature Park. It’s located just outside Kuranda and has three iconic Australian experiences to enjoy.

So without further adieu, we wanted to wish the park a VERY Happy Birthday!

That’s right, this year Rainforestation turns 40! Can you believe it?

It’s been a pretty crazy 40 years …

  • In 1974, the property was purchased by Charles and Pip Woodward – it was originally an orange grove!
  • It was officially opened in 1976 as a tourist attraction by Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen, the premier of Queensland at the time.
  • The attraction consisted of Army Duck rides and Devonshire tea in the Colonial Restaurant.
  • Blue Wings Coach Tours was purchased in 1982 and became Tropic Wings Coach Tours in 1983 – does that name sound familiar?!
  • In 1987, Mountain Groves was renamed to Rainforestation Nature Park.
  • The Pamagirri Aboriginal Experience opened in 1993 due to increased interest in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island culture.
  • The Koala & Wildlife Park opened in 1996, bringing native Australian wildlife to the park including koalas, kangaroos, dingoes, cassowaries, snakes and crocodiles. Jack the Ripper, a 5.2m estuarine crocodile, also took up residence in the park.
  • The Tropical Treats café was opened in 2002, offering exotic fruits to guests as well as fresh juice and other treats.
  • In 2003, a eucalyptus plantation was planted at Lotus Glen Correctional Facility to sustain the koalas needs. This still operates today.
  • The CaPTA Group rapidly expanded in the 2000s:
    • Australian Butterfly Sanctuary was purchased in 2004
    • Raft ‘n’ Rainforest White Water Rafting was purchased in 2004 (later sold to Raging Thunder)
    • The Rainforest Habitat in Port Douglas was purchased in 2005 and renamed to Wildlife Habitat in 2010
    • Cairns Wildlife Dome was purchased in 2005
    • CaPTA Group (Cairns and Port Douglas Tours and Attractions) was officially launched in 2005
    • Jungle Tours & Trekking was purchased in 2006
    • Blue Sky Brewery was opened in 2008 as a joint venture with the Newman family, who bought out the Woodward family share in 2010
    • Cairns ZOOM was added to the Cairns Wildlife Dome in 2011, forming Cairns ZOOM & Wildlife Dome
    • Careers Training Centre, a Registered Training Organisation, was founded in 2012
    • ABC Sales & Maintenance opened in 2014, including the Yutong dealership
    • The Tropic Wings and Jungle Tours fleets were upgraded to all-new Yutong buses in 2015
    • Rainforestation Nature Park launched the Bush Tucka Walk in 2016

As you can see, it’s been a wild ride and we’re so proud to be part of the amazing group that is CaPTA!

Caitlin Williams