Australia has the most dangerous snakes, spiders and also trees, Yes thats right the worlds most poisionous Tree. Well I found it, the worlds most poisionous tree and I can tell you, my foot is still stinging after 36 hours and I may have months to go before it stops... YAY.
The Stinging Tree, or the Dendrocnide Moroides as it's known to the Professionals, has up to 15000 hollow silica - tipped hairs
(on each side of the left and stems) that when they make contact with the human skin, the hairs enter the skin causing a painful stinging sensation which can last for days or even months, and the sting area becomes covered with small red spots joining together to form a red, swollen mass.
The sting is known to have killed one human, and it can also kill dogs and horses. There are 4 different types of stinging trees but the most common that live in the Atherton tablelands and Cape Tribulation area in Cairns have love heart shaped leaves. (Very funny Mother Nature!)
There is no antidote for the stinging tree and you should be very aware of them while walking in the Jungle of Cape Tribulation and Atherton tablelands. The thing I have experienced from it, even though I was stung on the top of my foot, I felt it all over my right leg. The only way to reduce the pain is to wax .... Thats right boys you will get a taste of what the ladies do for us to look good. And I can tell you it's true it hurts waxing :) . After waxing the pain may become slighty less but if you enter cold water or touch it .... the pain does come back but just not as bad as the first 24 - 48 hours.
So beside my experience of this tree I can say the Atherton tablelands is one of the most beautiful places I've seen up here in the area of Cairns. From Rainforests to outback and all within a 1 hour drive of the sunny Cairns.
Remember wear good walking shoes NOT FLIP FLOPS when exploring the rainforests in Northern Queensland.
About the Author: The Author has been working at Nomads Esplanade backpackers hostel, Cairns for the last few months.