Paluma, Mt Zero, Hidden Valley
This area northwest of Townsville is popular for student excursions because of the rich diversity of habitats. At the top of the range at about 980 m is the village of Paluma which is surrounded by rainforest. The soils here are basically deep to moderately deep earths but on the escarpment they are shallow. The soils change on the drier western side of the rainforest as the road passes through the ecotone dominated by Eucalyptus grandis to the drier country, where there are deep leached sands and other generally nutrient poor soils to the alluvium on the floor of the valley at Hidden Valley, 24 km west of Paluma. As the soil, rainfall and altitude change so does the vegetation. These changes provide a rich diversity of habitats and this is reflected in the number of rare plants as well as some rare animals being recorded from this small area. To help conserve these plants and animals the Australian Wildlife Conservancy has purchased two adjacent properties “Mt Zero” and “Taravale”, and researchers are encouraged.