Tropical North Queensland is the perfect place to escape the crowds and hide yourself away in luxury. Delve deep into the rainforest to wake up with birdsong, or deposit yourself on a private island for ocean views and lazy days. Here are six ways to get off the grid in Tropical North Queensland.
If you’re after pure escapism, step into the oldest tropical rainforest on Earth – the Daintree, north of Cairns. Here you will find Daintree EcoLodge & Spa, where you can sleep among the treetops in a canopy bayan, walls of green upon green outside your window. Discover the ancestral lands of the Kuku Yalanji people on a guided rainforest walk with a local guide as you listen to coos of rainforest birds. Nurture yourself at the Daintree Spa, with treatments that use indigenous techniques and ingredients. Take time out for quiet contemplation at the sacred waterfall, visited by generations of Aboriginal women over thousands of years.
When night falls the rainforest calls with a feast for the senses. At Flames of the Forest, you can also feast on sumptuous Australian flavours, like seared kangaroo loin, smoked crocodile rillette and coral trout with lemon myrtle beurre blanc. Follow it up with black sapote pave with orange blossom cream. This open-air dining experience takes place in the rainforest 10 minutes from Port Douglas, in a beautiful pavilion surrounded by burning braziers and lit by hundreds of candles. Its secluded dining at its best.
For more rainforest indulgence, Silky Oaks Lodge and Healing Waters Spa by the Mossman River is a luxury wellness spa retreat. Feel your worries melt away with a massage as the river babbles beside you. Why not hit the steam room, have a marine mineral mask, a scalp massage or facial? Stay in a treehouse, relax in the hammock on your deck, or just lie in bed and gaze at the trees. It’s the perfect place to relax, recharge and rejuvenate.
To really get away from it all, charter a chopper to your very own waterfall or sand cay. Several operators from Cairns will fly over the rainforest or the reef, and seeing these two World Heritage wonders from above is a must. But being deposited for a private picnic is an experience like no other. Bring out the hamper, break out the Champagne, and – who knows? – maybe even pop the question.
Bedarra Island is the place for those who want to escape and never be found. This exclusive private island off Mission Beach is the ultimate in barefoot luxury. It boasts 100 hectares of tropical rainforest and sits in the middle of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. With a maximum of 18 guests at the resort at any one time, you will find the solitude you seek. Stay in one of the nine private villas, have a candlelit dinner for two on the beach, or dine at the open terrace restaurant, where the menu changes daily.
More luxurious isolation awaits on the slopes of an extinct volcano at couples-only Mount Quincan Crater Retreat. Relax in the double spa of your timber pole cabin or tree house (with outdoor rain shower) and warm yourself by the wood fire in winter. The views of the Seven Sisters – volcanic mounds on the Atherton Tablelands – are exquisite, especially on a misty morning. Spot rare tree kangaroos from your deck, stroll around the crater basin or visit the massive Leslie Creek Curtain Fig. It’s
*Featured image: Where the Daintree Rainforest meets the Great Barrier Reef. Image: Getty