It can be hard trying to make sure you see as much of Australia as possible during your working holiday or roadtrip, so take some pointers from BBMLive’s Gemma Glover on how to make the most of your time in her 72 hours in Tropical North Queensland guide.
Tropical North Queensland is home to two of the most renowned World Heritage listed sites on earth, the Great Barrier Reef and Wet Tropics Rainforest. Where rainforest meets reef, travellers can discover the region through an awesome array of activities. With so much to experience we’ve put together an action packed, 3-day itinerary. Explore north of Cairns, Port Douglas and Cape Tribulation, from the depths of the oceans to over the treetops!
Check out our ultimate 2017 Tropical North Queensland Itinerary
Departing from Smithfield Station embrace Australia’s World Heritage listed Tropical Rainforest canopy from the comfort of a gondola. With two rainforest mid stations you can jump off and discover Red Peak and Barron Falls’ guided walks, lookouts and historical displays.
Kuranda “Village in the Rainforest”
With a diverse range of markets, shops, restaurants and cafes, Kuranda is a perfect location to explore and grab a bite to eat. You may also want to check out one of its many attractions from the butterfly sanctuary to colourful bird aviary, Koala Park or walking tracks.
Kuranda Scenic Railway
‘All aboard’ the scenic railway and snake your way back down the Macalister Ranges to Freshwater Station where you can jump on an inclusive transfer and return to your car at Smithfield.
An hour drive north and you’ll arrive in Port Douglas. Check into the recently renovated, Coral Beach Lodge, which is in the perfect location to explore the town from. Why not take an evening stroll and catch a stunning sunset at Four-Mile Beach, voted in Australia’s ‘Best Beach’ lists every year.
River Drift Snorkelling
Spend your dreamy morning drifting down the crystal clear Mossman River. Keep your eyes peeled for the elusive platypus, turtles and river fish, while electric blue Butterflies flutter above.
Refuel at lunchtime in Port Douglas before taking a 20-minute drive to the Mossman Gorge Centre.
Mossman Gorge Centre: Rainforest Circuit Track
Enjoy a 2.4km (45 minutes) round walk through luscious green rainforest. Gaze at the stunning Mount Demi from the lookout. Once back at the centre check out the indigenous art gallery and relax with a cool drink in the Mayi Café.
Hit the road and drive 1½ hours north to Cape Tribulation. Check in at the tropical getaway, Ferntree Rainforest Lodge. With a range of accommodation options from as little as $30 per night it is the perfect place for you to relax before tomorrow’s adventures. Enjoy an evening meal at the onsite Cassowary Café.
No visit to TNQ is complete without a trip on the infamous Great Barrier Reef. Ocean Safari’s eco tour offers the perfect solution! This half-day tour takes you to two fabulous snorkel destinations (Mackay and Undine), each with an extraordinary array of marine life and coral species. Want to travel further afield, hop on one of Ocean Rafting’s tours out to Whitehaven Beach where you’ll be immersed in beauty.
On your return grab a bite to eat in the relaxed environment of Turtle Rock Café. With dishes made from wholesome, local, fresh produce get your energy levels back up for an exhilarating afternoon among the trees!
Jungle Surfing Canopy Tour
Experience the rainforest on another level and spend your afternoon soaring through the trees 20m high above the jungle floor. Standing heart-to-heart with the world’s oldest rainforest on this fully-guided ziplining tour you can marvel at the spectacular bird’s eye views over the trees and out to the reef. (Jungle Surfing Review)
Travelling to and Around Cairns
Fly one-way to Cairns from Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and more for as little as $59.
By Gemma Glover