Head north from Hamilton Island and you’ll reach North Queensland.
Many tourists to Australia have heard of Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef, but there are plenty of Australians who love a trip up north to thaw out in the winter. With warm weather all year round, this is the place where the rainforest meets the reef. Amazing marine life, unspoilt World Heritage rainforests, incredible waterfalls, hundreds of kilometres of white sand beaches, palm trees aplenty and an array of flora and fauna – these are just some of the things that this beautiful part of Australia has to offer.
Atherton, Cairns, Cape Tribulation, The Daintree, Dunk Island, Innisfail, Mareeba, Mission Beach, Mossman Gorge, Palm Cove, Port Douglas, Trinity Beach – all wonderful destinations offering the tourist a range of experiences. Finding Nemo on outer reef snorkelling trips; hot air balloon riding over the tablelands; crocodile-spotting in the Daintree; cablecar rides over the rainforest canopy at Kuranda; swimming in crystal clear swimming holes at Mossman Gorge; trying your hand at boomerang throwing at the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park – North Queensland is a great destination for active travellers and families, as well as for those simply looking to unwind. Do everything or nothing, the choice is yours!
I’ve been lucky enough to visit North Queensland a few times over the years and the place that I love returning to the most in this region is Port Douglas. It’s about an hour’s drive north of Cairns along one of the prettiest stretches of coast you’ll find anywhere in the world. Aside from being a great place to base yourself if you do want to take a trip to the reef or retreat to the rainforest, it’s also a pretty little town that sits beside the stunning Four Mile Beach. It boasts an array of great restaurants, bars, shops, pubs, day spas and art galleries. There’s a weekly market held each Sunday along the waterfront where you can see a great mix of fresh fruit and vegetables, local art, pottery, teas, craft and unique souvenirs.
Some images from Port Douglas and surrounds:
There are also some wonderful local tour operators based in Cairns and Port Douglas who can give you a really authentic, local experience up north. Check out the fabulous Billy Tea Safaris for 4WD and charter tours through the Daintree, Cape Tribulation, Bloomfield Track, Cape York and Chillagoe Caves.
If you have any North Queensland tips, please feel free to post them here or over on my Facebook page!
x Sonia x
P.S. In case you haven’t quite worked it out, I’m actually taking you on Sonia’s Snapshot Tour around Australia. We began with my hometown in Brisbane, then headed north to Hamilton Island and now up to North Queensland. Where will we go next?