Fantastic Forests and Where to Find Them

Go on a journey of leafy discovery

By Google Arts & Culture

Daintree Forest, Australia

Hugging the eastern coast of the Australian continent, the Daintree Rainforest is part of the oldest continually surviving rainforest on the planet. The exceptional scenery of the rugged mountains and wide beaches make this one of the most beautiful areas on Earth.

Thin, winding tracks snake through lush, undisturbed forest, which is home to dozens of species of ancient plants and trees, rare birds, and unique marsupials.

Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park, USA

Through sun-baked summers where thermometers hit 80°F, and freezing winters where snow can reach up to 3ft deep, the Giant Sequoias of the Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks stand tall. These towering redwoods are one of the most majestic sights in the state of California.

Take a walk along one of the many trails that hug the trunks of these enormous trees. Keep your eyes open for mule deer, Douglas squirrels, and American black bears, that live comfortably at these high altitudes.

Inyo National Forest, USA

Covering parts of the eastern Sierra Nevada of California, Inyo National Forest is actually one of the least wooded forests in the United States. Despite that, it's a marvellous sight. Ancient pines cling to sheer cliff faces, while placid lakes fill the valley floors.

The name 'Inyo' comes from a Native American word meaning 'dwelling place of the great spirit'. An apt name, given the park is the home of the oldest living tree ever discovered: a bristlecone pine named Methuselah, which first seeded in 2833 BCE.

Monteverde Cloud Forest, Costa Rica

Along the rocky ridge of the Cordillera de Tilarán in Costa Rica, is the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. This virgin forest is one of the most biodiverse places on the planet. Since the 1980s, this rainforest has been one of the major sights for tourists to the country.

Well-maintained trails, rope bridges, and even ziplines and buses allow you to explore the forest at your own pace, while preserving pockets of untouched plantlife for the abundant wildlife.

Waipoua Forest, New Zealand

On the west coast of New Zealand's northern island is one of the nation's most precious forest. Waipoua is the largest tract of native forest that remains on the islands, filled with colourful ferns, Kauri trees, and a number of endangered Kiwi birds.

Tāne Mahuta, or The Lord of the Forest, is the name of the largest Kauri tree in the country. It's around 2000 years old, 18 metres tall, and still growing. Maori guides accompany visitors, and explain the traditional myths and stories of the forest.

Great Trossachs Forest

Centred on the icy waters of Scotland's Loch Lomond, the Great Trossachs Forest is a national nature reserve, that gives us a glimpse of how the highlands and islands of Scotland appeared before the mountains were stripped of their trees.

Over 200 species of birds and over 25% of all the species of plants known to occur in Britain have been recorded in the national park, including the rare capercaillie and the endangered red squirrel. In recent years, beavers have been reintroduced to the River Tay.

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