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All of the Cairns Coast is situated within the World Heritage listed Wet Tropics of Queensland.

The Wet Tropics of Queensland meets all four of the criteria for natural heritage for selection as a World Heritage Site. World Heritage status was declared in 1988, and on 21 May 2007 the Wet Tropics were added to the Australian National Heritage List.

The tropical forests have the highest concentration of primitive flowering plant families in the world. Only Madagascar and New Caledonia, due to their historical isolation, have humid, tropical regions with a comparable level of endemism.

The Wet Tropics rainforests are recognised internationally for their ancient ancestry and many unique plants and animals. Many plant and animal species in the Wet Tropics are found nowhere else in the world. The Wet Tropics has the oldest continuously surviving tropical rainforests on earth.

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