The Mamu Rainforest Canopy Walkway is a stunning, elevated tree-top trail through the lush rainforest of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area of North Queensland. A significant tourist attraction, it offers spectacular views of highland rainforest, wild rivers, mountains, gorges and rapids. As they wind their way through the verdant canopy, visitors glimpse a mysterious world inhabited by multi-coloured birds, insects, small marsupials and other creatures.
Essential to the spirit of this venture was the preservation of both the delicate rainforest and the cultural heritage it sustains. Fortunately, innovative engineering was paired with sensitive concern for this sublime wilderness. This averted environmental damage during construction, while the design also minimises any risk of future harm should the facility require maintenance or repair work.
Arup's structural, civil and environmental design engineers were involved from the earliest concept design stage. A major aspect of their work was the design of the walkway and its steel supporting towers.
In 2006, a devastating windstorm, Cyclone Larry, tore open clearings in the canopy. These new natural clearings were cleverly designed into the route of the walkway.
Other environmental features are the use of recycled plastic decking and solar panels to augment the energy supply.
The area's traditional owners, the Ma:Mu people, were consulted at every turn so that the walkway development would remain in keeping with their spiritual affinity to the rainforest.
The project was first conceived in the late 1990s. Following a lengthy gestation and design period, construction commenced in June 2007 and the walkway was formally opened in August 2008.