National parks, rainforests and tourism in Australia: An historical perspective Chapter uri icon

Book Title

  • Rainforest Tourism, Conservation and Management: Challenges for Sustainable Development


  • Today, we see rainforest tourism and national parks as closely entwined. In Australia, major national parks featuring rainforests include Daintree, Fraser Island, Lamington (Queensland), Nightcap, Dorrigo, Barrington Tops (NSW), Errinundra, Tarra Bulga, Otway (Victoria), Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers and Mount Field (Tasmania). Much of what remains of Australia’s rainforests are in national parks and, with increasing pressure from climate change, logging and housing, in the future what remains might only exist in national parks. National parks are the main public policy instrument for protecting rainforests and they function as major tourist attractions, managing visitors and providing them with interpretation and ‘meaningful experiences’. This dual role, common in most protected areas for natural and cultural heritage, contains an inherent paradox in the balancing of two competing objectives. For national park and tourism managers, there is an unending struggle to find and sustain the right mix of preservation and tourism.

publication date

  • 2014