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.
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.
The holiday town of Cairns is 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 and the fashionable resort town of Port Douglas.
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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.
- 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
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.
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