Far North Tropical Queensland

Far north tropical Queensland is a beautiful place to visit.

The road between Cairns and Cape Tribulation is beautiful. In its southern half is the stretch between Cairns Northern Beaches and Port Douglas, which on a sunny day is one of the prettiest drives in Australia.

Its northern half goes through Daintree National Park and the world's oldest rainforest. It goes past some great towns, rainforest gorges, crocodile-infested rivers, and some of the healthiest parts of the Great Barrier Reef.
The Coast Between Cairns and Port Douglas on the Cook Highway, Queensland, Australia
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Far North Tropical Queensland - Cairns Travel Information
Cairns is a beautiful tropical city. It's vibrant and colourful, and it is surrounded by rainforest-covered mountains, so wherever you watch, you know that you are in the tropics. One museum is all it has got, but it's not about museums up here! It's about tropical lifestyle with a lot of things that can be done outdoors.

Cairns' Esplanade has a beachfront swimming pool, a great walking/jogging track, and a lot of outdoors bars and restaurants. Right next door is the city centre with Cairns Night Markets, Casino (with the famous Cairns Wildlife Dome), the Pier Marketplace and Cairns Marina (crocodile watching tours and croc farm trips, as well as a heap of great trips to the Great Barrier Reef). Other outdoors adventures include skydiving and white water rafting (Barron River as well as the famous Tully River). It's so easy to have a lot of fun in Cairns :-)

Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Cairns. Poster by AllPosters. Click on thumbnail to buy

Cairns accommodation includes a good vaiety of hotels like hotels like All Seasons Hotel, Best New Chalon Hotel, Coral Tree Inn, Discovery Hotel, Great Northern Hotel, Hilton Hotel, Holiday Inn, Mantra Esplanade Hotel, Mercure Hotel Harbourside, Oasis Inn, Pacific International Hotel, Pullman Reef Hotel, Shangri La Hotel, and holiday apartments such as Alassio on the Beach Apartments, Cairns City Apartments, Cairns Luxury Apartments, Marlin Waters Beachfront Apartments, Reef Palms Apartments, Roydon Beachfront Apartments, Villa Paradiso Beachfront Apartments, Waters Edge Apartments.

There are also motels such as All Round Motel Inn the Pink, Cannon Park Motel, Heritage Motel, High Chaparral Motel, Rainbow Inn, and Tropicana Lodge Motel; resorts such as Angsana Resort, Blue Lagoon Resort, Bohemia Resort, Coral Reef Resort, Koala Beach Resort, Mango Lagoon Resort, Reef House Resort, Rydges Esplanade Resort, Skinny Dips Resort & Spa, and Turtle Cove Resort. and backpacker hostels such as Cairns Beach House, Cairns City Backpackers, Cairns Holiday Lodge, Waterfront Backpackers, Calypso Backpacker Inn, Caravella Backpackers Hostel, Figtree Lodge, Gilligans Backpackers, Global Backpackers, Global Backpackers Waterfront Hostel, Nomads Backpackers, Nomads Esplanade Backpackers, Reef Backpackers Resort. See the full list of Cairns accommodation.

Evening in Cairns, Queensland, Australia
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Far North Tropical Queensland: Great Barrier Reef Cruises
Thanks to the fact that the Great Barrier Reef is closest to the mainland up north, Cairns is also one of the best places in Australia to take a tour to the Great Barrier Reef. You can take a Great Barrier Reef Diving and Snorkelling Day Cruise, a sunset cruise with an optional dinner, or an ultimate three day Great Barrier Reef cruise pass. There are dive and snorkelling cruises to the Great Barrier Reef, dive and snorkel cruises to the beautiful Michaelmas Cay, outer Great Barrier Reef snorkelling cruises and outer Great Barrier Reef diving and snorkelling cruises. You can even cruise to Low Isles outside Port Douglas from Cairns. Or you can combine the Great Barrier Reef with other places and activities. There are the two day best of Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef tours, the Great Barrier Reef and Kuranda in one day tours, the Reef and Rainforest Tandem Skydive, and Cairns skydive and Great Barrier Reef in one day

Green Island, Great Barrier Reef, Cairns, Queensland, Australia, Pacific
Coral reef trip. Poster by AllPosters. Click on thumbnail to buy.

Far North Tropical Queensland: Cairns Great Barrier Reef Flights
Great Barrier Reef also looks great from the air. There are thirty minute scenic helicopter flights over the Great Barrier Reef, and private helicopter tours with island snorkelling and gourmet picnic lunch. You can also combine a Great Barrier Reef Helicopter Tour and Cruise, and you can combine the GBR with another destination on the same flight, sich as on a Barron Gorge, Kuranda and Beaches Scenic Helicopter Flight, or a Barron River National Park rainforest and the GBR on a combined one hour flight. And finally - You fly - with the Cairns Helicopter School!

Aerial View of Moore Reef, The Great Barrier Reef, Cairns Area, North Coast, Queensland
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Far North Tropical Queensland - Green Island Queensland
Just off the coast of Cairns are a few great islands. Green Island is a beautiful coral cay - small and flat, quick to walk around, and has some great snorkelling around it. There is the Green Island Resort with a swimming pool and outdoors bars and restaurants. And there is the Marineland Melanesia, home for the largest captive crocodile in Australia. The cheapest way to get to the island is the day trip from Cairns (there are half day trips too but they are not a lot cheaper). Other ways are a scenic helicopter flight, a sailing cruise, and a three day trip from Cairns.

Aerial View of Green Island, The Great Barrier Reef, Cairns Area, North Coast, Queensland
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Far North Tropical Queensland - Fitzroy Island Queensland
Fitzroy Island is not a coral cay but a continental island, which means it is larger, more montainous, and has more bushwalking tracks, including the one to the island's highest point.

But it doesn't mean that it hasn't got coral reef around it - snorkelling is just off shore, and snorkelling gear can be hired. There is the Fitzroy Island Resort that has a swimming pool, bars and restaurants. The cheapest way to get to the island is a day trip from Cairns.

Nudey Beach, Fitzroy Island National Park
Fitzroy Island. Poster by AllPosters. Click on thumbnail to buy

Far North Tropical Queensland - Machans Beach and Wangetti Beach
North of Cairns are Cairns Northern Beaches - Machans, Holloways, Yorkey's Knob, Trinity Beach, Kewarra Beach, Clifton Beach and Palm Cove.

They are local communities whose beachfronts have started to get developed with holiday accommodation, and a few attractions such as the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park (there is also a night tour that includes a buffet dinner) and Cairns Bungee Jumping (single jump, Jungle Swing, both, unlimited) near Smithfield; the Cairns Tropical Zoo and Cairns Night Zoo at Clifton Beach, and the Hartleys Crocodile Adventure north of Palm Cove, at Wangetti. And there is also the Flames of the Forest dining experience.

Palm Cove with Double Island Beyond, North of Cairns, Queensland, Australia, Pacific
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Far North Tropical Queensland - Port Douglas Queensland
Port Douglas is another great tropical town, even though it's a bit touristy. There is the Old Courthouse, St Mary's by the Sea, the Flagstaff Hill Lookout, Sunday Markets, and some good shops, bars and restaurants. Wildlife Habitat has the usual Australian animals such as koalas and kangaroos, as well as tree kangaroos and crocodiles. There are plenty of tours from Port Douglas to tropical rainforests and Great Barrier Reef. (you can also do white water rafting, hot air ballooning, Tjapukai, Cairns Night Zoo with Dinner, and Flames of the Forest Dinner departing from Port Douglas).

And the places to stay include hotels and motels such as Mantra Heritage Hotel, Palm Villas Hotel, Peninsula Botique Hotel, Reflections Hotel, Sheraton Mirage Hotel, Tropical Nites Holiday Townhouse Hotel and Port Douglas Motel.

There are also a lot of resorts such as Bay Villas, Beachside Resort, Club Tropical, Freestyle Resort, Hibiscus Resort and Spa, Mantra Aquerous on Port Resort, Mantra on the Inlet Resort, Mantra Portsea Resort, Peppers Beach Club Resort, Port Douglas Sands Resort, Reef Club Resort, Rydges Sabaya Resort, Sea Temple Resort, and Shantara Resort; and holiday apartments such as At the Mango Tree, Balboa Apartments, Beach Terraces, Boathouse Apartments, Le Cher du Monde Apartments, Martinique on Macrossan Apartments, Queenslander Apartments, Saltwater Luxury Apartments, The Pavilions Apartments, Verandahs Botique Apartments, and Whitehouse Holiday Apartments.

Marina at Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia, Pacific
Port Douglas, Far North Tropical Queensland. Poster by AllPosters.

Far North Tropical Queensland - Mossman Queensland
North of Port Douglas is the small town Mossman, and just outside the town is the beautiful Mossman Gorge in the Mossman Gorge section of Daintree National Park. It’s a beautiful gorge with cool water surrounded by lush tropical rainforests.

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There is a great walk through the rainforest, past some massive butress roots and strangler fig trees. And there is a great swimming hole even though it can get crowded. A place to stay is the Mossman Motel Holiday Villas.

Rainforest, Daintree National Park, Queensland, Australia
Mossman Gorge, Far North Tropical Queensland. Poster by AllPosters

Far North Tropical Queensland - Daintree Rainforests
Further north is the northern section of Daintree National Park. Daintree River is a great place to watch the deadly saltwater crocodiles. The tours are not expensive and the sightings can be almost guaranteed. Some tours also depart from Daintree Village just south of the river.

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There are also full day four wheel drive trips from Cairns; some include an Aboriginal walk, river cruise and a tropical fruit farm visit; some include Wildlife Habitat; and Aboriginal cultural tours. A fantastic place to stay is Daintree Eco Lodge and Spa.

Daintree Rainforest in Cape Tribulation National Park, Queensland, Australia, Pacific
Daintree, Far North Tropical Queensland. Poster by AllPosters.

Far North Tropical Queensland - Cape Tribulation Australia
North of Daintree River is the Cape Tribulation section of Daintree National Park. It is a beautiful section of rainforest, but it is also quite commercialised. In the southern end, there is the Daintree Discovery Centre where you can learn all about Daintree rainforest. There are also some boardwalks through the rainforests and mangrove habitat, as well as a Bat House, an Insect Museum and a lookout point with views over the coast. There are also some fruit, tea and coffee farms as well as ice cream factories. There is one pub, a few shops, some camping grounds and plenty of accommodation, such as Jungle Lodge, Ferntree Hostel, Cape Tribulation Resort & Spa, Wait a While Retreat, Daintree Heritage Lodge and Bloomfield Lodge.

And there are tours you can join if you want to save time. This is as far as you are meant to go in a two wheel drive - any further north from here is the famous Bloomfield Road to Cooktown and the rest of Cape York Peninsula. If you don't want to drive yourself, there are handy trips to Bloomfield Track, as well as one day and two day trips to Cooktown!

Cape Tribulation, Queensland, Australia, Pacific
Cape Tribulation, Far North Tropical Queensland. Poster by AllPosters.

Here's a far north tropical Queensland map, where I have tagged the places that I mentioned on this web page. You can click on the tags to see what places they are, and double-click anywhere on the map to zoom it in and see the places closer. Drag the map to move around, and if you want to see the satellite image with Google Earth, click on "Sat" in the top right hand corner.

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