Severe cyclones are a natural part of living in the Wet Tropics and they can have a huge impact, not just on local residents and infrastructure, but on the rainforests and wildlife. Recent cyclones in the Wet Tropics include:


Cyclone Ita April 2014
Cyclone Yasi February 2011
Cyclone Larry March 2006
Cyclone Rona February 1999
Cyclone Winifred February 1986


The Bureau of Meteorology site also reports on other large cyclones in the Wet Tropics such as one at Cape Tribulation in 1934 with a 9.1m storm surge, another in 1927 just north of Cairns and one at Innisfail in 1918, regarded as the worst to hit a populated area of Queensland. It destroyed all but 12 houses there and Mission Beach was covered by 3.6m of water. See the Bureau's website for previous cyclone information and some history of major cyclones in the past.


Cassowary feeding program

In Mission Beach and other badly affected areas after cyclones Larry and Yasi, local residents and the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service set up feeding stations for hungry cassowaries.These were placed in remote bush areas so that cassowaries did not get used to be fed by people.

At the height of the program after Cyclone Yasi, there were over 100 feeding stations requiring over 400kg of fruit every few days -  and a lot of volunteers to cut it all up into bite size chunks and remove the seeds so they didn't become weedy! Fruit was supllied by local farmers, businesses and residents. The cassowaries were fed for months and weaned off the feeding stations when there was enough food available in the recovering rainforest.


Cyclone clean-up

Immediately after a cyclone, park rangers, local councils and other land managers have to check people are safe and start to clean up. This includes clearing debris, repairing roads, tourism sites and walks, and looking after injured, homeless or starving wildlife. You can download a brochure here on repairing roads and roadside vegetation in the World Heritage Area.

Cyclone research and monitoring

You can read more about the impacts of cyclones on Wet Tropics vegetation and wildlife on our cyclone research page.


News and Events

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News and Events

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Wet Tropics Indigenous ranger network creates new connections

Wet Tropics Indigenous ranger network creates new connections

Indigenous rangers have led a series of workshops in far north Queensland aimed at creating stronger ties between Rainforest Aboriginal peoples c... READ MORE

Corridor opens new avenues for Wet Tropics wildlife

Corridor opens new avenues for Wet Tropics wildlife

A vigorous tree planting session held in March is set to create a critical ecological corridor for Wet Tropics wildlife, linking the tropical coa... READ MORE

Research grants fund further study into Wet Tropics

Research grants fund further study into Wet Tropics

The plight of some of Australia's rarest marsupials headline the latest funding splash into the world's oldest rainforest.... READ MORE