Cairns & North Queensland

Queensland’s northern tip is a tropical paradise and a superb holiday destination. Along its coastline, stunning, sheltered beaches of pristine white sands fringe a verdant interior of ancient rainforest.

The holiday town of Cairns is the gateway to North Queensland and the Reef, and is a great place to stay. Just north of the town are the quieter beach resorts of Trinity Beach and Palm Cove as well as the fashionable resort town of Port Douglas.

Accessible from Cairns are the lush rainforests of the Daintree National Park and further south you’ll find the beautiful Whitsunday Islands.

Running the length of North Queensland’s coast is the Great Barrier Reef, the largest living coral reef in the world and a protected World Heritage Area.

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Things to do in North Queensland

Cairns is the hub of many North Queensland activities, as well as a great place to stay in its own right. Most of the tours and Reef excursions go out from here, although there are pickups from nearby beach resorts as well.

  • Chill out beside Cairns Lagoon or Marina
  • Cruise, snorkel and swim over the Great Barrier Reef
  • Discover the lakes and waterfalls of the Atherton Tablelands
  • Learn about Aboriginal culture at Tjapukai
  • Browse the boutiques and galleries of fashionable Port Douglas
  • Explore the ancient rainforest of the Mossman Gorge
  • Enjoy a good Aussie breakfast at a Cairns Esplanade eatery
  • Cast yourself adrift on an a Great Barrier Reef resort
  • Cross the Daintree River to historic Cooktown
  • Learn to dive amongst the Great Barrier Reef
  • Spot wildlife and more from a helicopter or hot air balloon
  • Zipline through the Daintree Rainforest
  • Experience the thrill of white water rafting
  • Head to Kuranda village on the Skyrail rainforest cableway

Getting Around

There are day tours to nearly all the must-see attractions but, for longer stays in North Queensland, consider a hire car.

By Road – Cairns is 400 miles from the Whitsunday Islands and 1050 miles from Queensland’s capital Brisbane.

By Rail – aboard the Spirit of Queensland from Brisbane.

By Air – Some direct flights from the UK and regional flights from most major cities.

North Queensland Choices

Accommodation and holiday options around North Queensland

Exploring Options from North Queensland

With Freedom Australia you can choose what you want to do and how you want to travel. Choose from the freedom of a self drive holiday or combine tours and city stays from multiple regions to create the perfect Australia holiday.

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