Tropical North Queensland has more than its fair share of photogenic sides, boasting not one but two World Heritage sites. And should you tire of the Daintree Rainforest or the Great Barrier Reef, you can hit the road to the Outback, or indulge in the city lifestyle of the region’s popular centres. Here are four ways to capture Tropical North Queensland’s best sides.
You know it – I know it – the reef is the scene stealer here, from tropical fish to turtles; giant groupers to giant clams; and oh, the coral! Get out there any way you can – a cruise from Cairns to Green Island to swim, snorkel or dive; a sail in a luxury yacht from Port Douglas to the Low Isles’ tranquil lagoons. Why not take a scenic helicopter flight over the reef or skydive over Mission Beach for a whole new point of view?
And then there are the islands. Be cast away in luxury on Lizard, Green and Bedarra islands, or hire the exclusive Haggerstone Island all for yourself. Indulge in gourmet picnics on the sand, and stay in hidden villas among the trees. And they’re all surrounded by powdery sand, fringing reef and greens and blues as far as the eye can see.
Welcome to paradise: Escape To Tropical North Queensland
Vast and beautiful: Discover David Attenborough's Great Barrier Reef
The Daintree takes the rainforest cake in these parts but there are plenty of treescapes to explore. Go jungle surfing in the Daintree or gallop through the forest at Cape Tribulation. Take a walk with an Indigenous expert through Mossman Gorge or raft the white water of the Tully River.
Take the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway above the canopy from Cairns up to Kuranda on the Atherton Tableland, and don’t forget to browse Kuranda’s extensive markets. Further south, spot the southern cassowary at Djiru National Park.
Away from the jungle and the beach is a golden-hued landscape with a beauty all of its own. Jump on your bike and cycle through part of the Great Tropical Drive; or motor down the Matilda Way, which stretches to the Gulf of Carpentaria.
Explore Chillagoe’s limestone caves; head into Savannah Gulf country to visit Cobbold Gorge; or witness the lava tubes at Undara. View ancient rock art sites near Cooktown; and the Laura Aboriginal Dance Festival in Cape York Peninsula.
When all that adventuring is done, turn your attention to the cities and towns along the coast. In Cairns you can see nocturnal natives at Cairns Night Zoo or zipline your heart out at Cairns ZOOm and Wildlife Dome; taste croc and roo at Ochre, or sample the fare at Rusty’s Markets. Further north in Palm Cove, you can feast on fresh seafood at Apres Beach Bar; and further still in Port Douglas, Balinese-style Niramaya Villas and Spas awaits.
So whether its treescapes or seascapes, red earth or city sounds, Tropical North Queensland will have your jaw dropping and camera clicking.