Tropical North Queensland Destination Guide
Tropical North Queensland Holidays
Tropical North Queensland fits in more untouched beauty, ancient culture and adventure within its borders than some entire countries manage to. Tropical North Queensland is the only place on the planet where two World Heritage Wonders sit side by side.
Here, the world’s largest reef – the Great Barrier Reef – meets the world’s oldest rainforest – the Daintree National Park.
While Palm Cove, Cairns and Port Douglas are the main ports of call, your holiday here among the palm trees is just the beginning. Discover the real meaning of untouched in the Torres Strait Islands, taste the tropics on a road trip through the Atherton Tablelands, become an Outback adventurer on the Savannah Way, or take the great 4WD pilgrimage to Cape York.
Visitors to this tropical paradise can engage in a range of activities from diving and snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef to white-water rafting, beach combing, kayaking, rainforest walks, jungle surfing, bungy jumping and sky diving.
A day trip out to the reef is a must, whether you venture out to Low Isles off Port Douglas, or Green or Fitzroy Islands off Cairns.
Take a 4WD north to explore the untouched Cape York Peninsula, where Indigenous culture meets wilderness, and explore the last outpost of the Australian continent. You can kayak, walk or gallop your way along Cape Tribulation beach – where you may not see another soul.
Eat & Drink
Discover the abundant flavours of the tropics in the Atherton Tablelands at coffee and tea plantations, chocolate makers, tropical fruits, organic dairies, cheeses and fruit wine distilleries. The Tablelands are just an hour's drive up the Kuranda Range from Cairns and make for a delicious day trip.
Sample the freshest seafood straight from the ocean where the trawlers dock daily at local marinas in both Cairns and Port Douglas, and experience waterfront dining at its finest at Palm Cove, with the seasonal fare of Nu Nu Restaurant and the cocktails on offer at Vivo highly recommended.
Where to Stay
Whether you prefer an international hotel in the heart of Cairns, a beachside resort, or a retreat in the rainforest, Tropical North Queensland has the accommodation to suit. Cairns city is home to 5-star international hotels and cheerful youth hostels alike, all within walking distance of dining, shopping and night life.
Cairns Northern Beaches abound with apartments, especially popular at family-friendly Trinity Beach, and luxury resorts at Palm Cove. There's no shortage of rooms at the seaside resort town of Port Douglas, while the Daintree and Cape Tribulation are home to peaceful eco-lodges and rainforest retreats.
Cairns is a lively tourist town with plenty of places for you to splash some cash. The Cairns Night Markets are something of a local institution, filled with quirky Australiana souvenirs, while the Esplanade Markets by the Lagoon showcase a great range of regional arts and crafts.
The hippie hub of Kuranda is a great place to browse and buy local handicrafts, but the best part of visiting is getting there: your choices extend from road via the Kuranda Range, to the scenic railway and Skyrail Cableway, which takes you high above the rainforest canopy.
In Port Douglas, the main drag of Macrossan Street is lined with chic boutiques for you to pick up some last-minute resort-wear or a stunning piece of artwork.
Tropical North Queensland Like a Local
Tropical North Queensland is a world-championship venue for mountain biking. Hard-core adventurers as well as recreational mountain bikers and families can experience the beauty of riding through the spectacular region, with trails to match your ability.
The events calendar in Tropical North Queensland is bursting full of exciting activities, from Port Douglas Carnivale in May to Palm Cove's Reef Feast in October, and the Cairns Triathlon in June.