A federally imposed international scheme, is bound to have repercussions in a country like Australia, where sovereignty of the land has been retained with individual States. Queensland accepted the funds allocated for management of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, but governance did not change to embrace the broader scope of protective responsibility, which now includes freehold lands.
This is the kernel of our dilemma: Daintree Rainforest Pty.Ltd., trading as Daintree Rainforest and Cooper Creek Wilderness, is responsible, through World Heritage legislation, for the conservation and protection of Lot 52 on SR357, 66.74-hectares (160-acres) in the heart of the world’s oldest rainforest. Research indicates that the land situated on the eastern flank of Thornton Peak (Wundungu) has a higher concentration of primitive angiosperms, than anywhere else in the Wet Tropics. Indeed, this wealth of perseverance and a phenomenal biological diversity in the Cooper and Noah Creek catchments, is obviously the reason for including freehold land in the World Heritage Area and is pertinent to the successful nomination. However, the freehold land is not included in Queensland’s managerial jurisdiction.
There is a cost to conservation and Cooper Creek Wilderness was established as a commercial enterprise to support the achievement of the primary goal, which is the protection, conservation, rehabilitation, presentation and transmission of the World Heritage values and integrity of the Area to future generations.
Our Protective Partnership has been forged through our presentation of the rainforest to travellers from around the world. We have entered our twenty-fifth-year of operations and have been humbly sustained by the support of a special sub-set of tourism called eco-tourism.
We have had to separate ourselves from mass-tourism by keeping numbers small, tours exclusive and presenting the forest in greater detail and with a passion engendered by the forest itself. We offer 2-hour and 4-hour guided interpreted tours. Our beautiful forest is fan-palm-dominated and our guides are local experts.