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The Curtain Fig Tree, Yungaburra

Home > Far North Queensland > Outdoor | National Parks | Free
by Lisa Morgan (subscribe) life as it is meant to be experienced - outside the rat race, barefooted and content in one's own skin.
Published February 17th 2013
A 500 year old living icon of ancient history
Curtain Fig Tree
The curtain of roots giving rise to the name - Curtain Fig Tree.
One of the Tablelands popular attractions is the Curtain Fig Tree, located along the Fig Tree Road. This road can be reached via the Malanda-Atherton Road, or by way of Gillies Highway right outside of Yungaburra.

This ancient strangler fig tree is over 500 years old and an icon of history. Most strangler figs are formed by seeds sprouting high up in a crook of a host tree. The roots grow down the host tree and into the ground. Eventually the host tree dies, leaving a hollow strangler fig in place. The Clohesy River Curtain Fig is an example of this.

However with this particular strangler fig just outside Yungaburra, the host tree fell into another tree at a 45 degree angle. As the roots grew down to the ground, they formed an impressive 15m high curtain.

Photos cannot do the tree justice, this is why you need to visit the site yourself to experience the tree. It is huge and awe inspiring. During the day, the sunlight filters down through the forest canopy and plays across the Curtain Fig. Birds and small wildlife can be spotted if you tread quietly down the boardwalk an impossible task if you are accompanied by boisterous kids.

Yungaburra Curtain Fig Tree
Getting up close to the Curtain Fig
Day trips aside, if you're in the area at night time, it is worth a trip out to the site to see if you can spot wildlife or fluoroscent glow-in-the-dark fungii around the base of the curtain fig.

Keep your torch off or covered by your hand until you reach the tree. Stand in the dark and listen. If you're quick enough you'll catch the occasional noncturnal animal with the torch before it disappears into the scrub. We saw a ring-tailed possum one night, but have yet to catch a glimpse of the rare Lumholtz Tree Kangaroo.

Treetops of the Curtain Fig
Looking up at the treetops of the Curtain Fig

Curtain Fig Tree Information
The information display at the Curtain Fig

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Why? It is huuuuuge (for a tree that is)
When: Day and Night
Where: Just outside Yungaburra in FNQ
Cost: Free
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