Places to go in Tropical North Queensland

Tropical North Queensland mixes the excitement of new discoveries with the enchantment of exotic experiences.

“Where Rainforest Meets the Reef”, Tropical North Queensland is the only place where two World Heritage-listed areas lay side by side. Here you can dive the depths of the Great Barrier Reef or soar above the world’s oldest tropical rainforest.

The Great Barrier Reef

Take the plunge into one of the Seven Wonders of the World and discover why the Great Barrier Reef is the largest, most spectacular coral reef system on earth.

Diving, snorkelling, sailing, cruising and island hopping are all part of everyday life in Cairns, the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. Fly in a helicopter to a deserted sand cay to marvel at an aerial view of the Reef, dive with minke whales for a really big adventure, parasail from an island for an adrenalin rush or spy on baby turtles making their first dash for the freedom of the Coral Sea.


Departing daily from Cairns, Port Douglas, Cape Tribulation and Mission Beach, a variety of tours offer snorkelling, introductory or certified scuba diving and live-aboard dive courses. See the Great Barrier Reef the easy way without getting your hair wet from a glass-bottom vessel, motorised underwater scooter or on a helmet dive.

Wet Tropics Rainforest

Immerse yourself in the living museum of Australia’s Wet Tropics where ancient, evergreen rainforests are parted by waterfalls tumbling into cool waterholes and giant kauri pines reach for the heavens.

Nowhere is the sheer majesty of nature more evident than in Tropical Far North Queensland’s World Heritage-listed rainforest which is home to a third of Australia’s mammal species, a quarter of its frogs, a third of the freshwater fish and nearly half of Australia’s birds.

There are three key areas where the tropical beauty of the rainforest is revealed. The iconic Daintree and Cape Tribulation region is where the World Heritage rainforest meets the World Heritage Great Barrier Reef.


Mission Beach is as famous for its rainforest-clad, secluded beaches and offshore islands as it is for adrenalin activities such as skydiving and white water rafting. Kuranda, the Village in the Rainforest, is the gateway to the Atherton Tablelands where serene volcanic lakes, spectacular waterfalls and tropical food trails are among the diverse experiences.

Beaches

Beach experiences in Tropical North Queensland are about escaping the crowds and with 26km of sandy beaches to the north of Cairns you are sure to find your own stretch of sand. Enjoy a beachside barbecue at Trinity Beach with your family or indulge in a romantic escape at Palm Cove where resorts and day spas line the quiet beachfront.

Famous Four Mile Beach at Port Douglas has hosted presidents and movie stars who are also fond of its exceptional restaurants, fabulous shopping and proximity to both the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree rainforest.

Outback

Only a few hours from Cairns, you can escape to the vast landscape of the Gulf Savannah and uncover the quintessential spirit of Outback Australia. Hidden gorges, rodeos and country races, mining relics, hot springs, limestone caves, World Heritage fossil fields, lava tubes and wetlands abounding with birdlife are all part of the region’s enormous diversity.


Whether you want to rough it and follow in the footsteps of explorers in a four-wheel-drive vehicle, join a luxury coach tour to explore underground marvels, hop aboard a rail adventure through cattle lands and country towns or swoop in from the air to remote eco-resorts, there’s an Outback adventure sure to appeal.

Australia’s last wild frontier is Cape York Peninsula where adventure abounds with unique Indigenous experiences, exciting fishing, challenging four-wheel-drive tracks and the amazing history of Cooktown among the highlights. From red Outback roads to wetlands brimming with birds and fish or from gold town ruins to camping spots beside pristine waterfalls, Cape York Peninsula promises a mighty slice of Australian history and an insight into modern life in remote areas.

At the very tip of Cape York where the South Pacific Ocean and the Arafura Sea mix their currents are the 274 islands of the Torres Strait, including Thursday and Horn Islands. This unique tropical region is home to the indigenous Torres Strait Islanders whose culture is rich in the arts and whose lifestyle has evolved from the sea and its abundance of wildlife.


Tropical North Queensland’s spectacular landscapes are matched with superior natural encounters where you can step out of your comfort zone, or retreat to indulge in modern luxuries. Discover the warmth of the tropics with engaging activities that deliver exhilarating experiences and peaceful escapes and uncover the adventurer within.

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Wet Tropics Rainforest

Atherton Tablelands

The World Heritage-listed rainforests surrounds Cairns in all directions and can be easily accessed and experienced in many ways. Join one of the many

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Torres Strait Islands

Atherton Tablelands

At the very tip of Cape York where the South Pacific Ocean and the Arafura Sea mix their currents are the 274 islands of the Torres Strait, including

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Port Douglas

Atherton Tablelands

Port Douglas is the gateway to the World Heritage wonders of Tropical North Queensland. It is the closest mainland port to the Great Barrier Reef and

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Palm Cove

Atherton Tablelands

Relax under a coconut palm, paddle around a Great Barrier Reef island, enjoy a spa treatment or delight in a fusion of tropical delicacies. It is all

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Outback Region

Mission Beach

Atherton Tablelands

Nature takes centre stage at Mission Beach with its long unspoilt beaches, deserted islands and white-water rivers fringed by rainforest. There are no

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Kuranda

Atherton Tablelands

Colourful, quirky Kuranda in the World Heritage-listed Wet Tropics rainforest has daily markets and a quaint main street lined with shops and gallerie

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Gulf Savannah

Atherton Tablelands

The Gulf Savannah is a vast, rugged land where natural attractions of extraordinary beauty including spectacular gorges and lava tubes are in stark co

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Great Barrier Reef

Atherton Tablelands

With more than 100 ways to experience the Great Barrier Reef, Tropical North Queensland offers the ultimate personalised adventure on the world's larg

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Daintree

Atherton Tablelands

Stretching from Daintree Village across the river, the Daintree encompasses Cape Kimberley, Cow Bay, Thornton's Peak, Cooper Creek, Thornton Beach, No

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Cooktown

Atherton Tablelands

With bitumen all the way along the 330 kilometre inland Mulligan Highway from Cairns, Cooktown is easy to get to. If you want a more adventurous route

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Cape York

Atherton Tablelands

Rich with Aboriginal culture and Australian pioneering history, Cape York is an untamed wilderness area waiting to be explored. The journey through Ca

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Cape Tribulation

Atherton Tablelands

Stepping straight on to the beach from the rainforest is a very special experience at Cape Tribulation. This extraordinarily pretty stretch of the Dai

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Atherton

Atherton Tablelands

The Atherton Tablelands is an uplifting destination of timeless villages, exotic tropical foods, country markets and diverse wildlife. A network of sc

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Cairns

Atherton Tablelands

As the heart of the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef and Wet Tropics rainforest, Cairns pulses with energy. More than 600 tours a day make the

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