Mt Warning Gallery
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Rainforest Way, New South Wales and Queensland
About 23 million years ago, the volcanoes that lie along what is now the border between Queensland and New South Wales began bubbling lava. When they had finished three million years later, layers of lava and ash had spewed over a huge area. What remains today is a rippling landscape of high peaks and green valleys, and a biological wonderland. Over the eons, the lava laid down by the volcano has broken down to a lush, red soil colonised by subtropical rainforests so rich with life that the region is home to 14 national parks with World Heritage listing. The Rainforest Way is a 650-kilometre circuit drive that showcases the best of the region. The drive is broken down into a series of seven touring routes that fit neatly into a one-day format. Centrepiece of the Rainforest Way is the rhino-horn spike of Mt Warning, a plug of solidified lava that towers above a landscape of surreal beauty. Pillars of bare rock rise from subtropical forests, and in the mornings, the peaks float on cloud pillows. Where the forest has been cleared there are dairy farms, banana and macadamia plantations and sugar cane farms, and sleepy country towns under siege from the surrounding vegetation. Larger towns along the route such as Murwillumbah, Kyogle, Lismore and Beaudesert offer accommodation, but there are also many rainforest lodges where guests wake to the sound of birds and the smells of the forest.