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Far north Queensland's 500-year-old Cathedral Fig sheds massive limbs

The Cathedral Fig Tree site in Danbulla National Park, 76 kilometres south-west of Cairns, has been temporarily closed after several large branches fell from the giant tree, damaging the boardwalk below.

Queensland Parks & Wildlife Services Principal Ranger for Tablelands and Dry Tropics, Andrew Millerd, said limbs the size of substantial trees had fallen from the 500-year-old strangler tree on Monday and it was fortunate no-one had been injured.

It's understood one particularly large branch along with several smaller limbs fell onto the boardwalk.

While the cause couldn't be confirmed, it's believed the weight of the plants on the branches, combined with the wet weather and rotting limbs of the fig tree were all contributing factors.

"Rangers are cleaning up and we need to check the health of the tree and assess further risks," said Mr Millerd.

One-third of the boardwalk was damaged beyond repair, but rangers hope to have a reduced section of the boardwalk open within two to three weeks.


The Tableland's second tourist drawcard, the Curtain Fig Tree, located about 25 kilometres away, was also checked for damage, but remains open to tourists.

While one of the national park's main attractions will be out-of-action for an extended period of time, Mr Millerd emphasised that "many other spectacular natural features are also available for our visitors".

The Danbulla National Park and neighbouring Danbulla State Forest are among the top five national park and state forest camping destinations in Queensland, welcoming about 25,000 people annually.

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