Tropical North Queensland

Tropical North Queensland fits in more untouched beauty, ancient culture and adventure within its borders than some entire countries manage to do, with the World Heritage List double-act of the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest its most prized stars.

World Heritage Listed. Life changing.

Cairns & the Great Barrier Reef is total bucket list material.

  • Snorkel, dive or join a live-aboard to and share the water with curious minke whales and sea turtles.
  • Zipline through the ancient beauty of the Daintree Rainforest and meet the local tree kangaroos or elusive cassowary.
  • Tackle world-class mountain bike trails weaving through World Heritage Listed rainforest.
  • Kayak, walk or gallop your way along Cape Tribulation beach – where you may not see another soul.

Thousands of years in the making

If you’re seeking a real connection to the land, you’ll find it in the stories, the smiles and the history of the Indigenous Australians who share their culture with you.

  • Stand in the world’s oldest open-air gallery at an Indigenous rock art site.
  • Learn traditional painting and hunting skills.
  • Experience a spa treatment in a sacred rainforest cultural site.

Launchpad to (even more) paradise

While Cairns, Palm Cove and Port Douglas are the main ports of call, your holiday here among the palm trees is just the beginning.

  • Discover the real meaning of untouched in the Torres Strait Islands.
  • Taste the tropics on a road trip through the Atherton Tablelands, sampling locally-made coffee, cheese, chocolate, liqueur and more. 
  • Become an outback adventurer on the Savannah Way and take the great 4WD pilgrimage to Cape York.
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Cathedral Fig Tree

Yungaburra, Tablelands Area
Free Entry
The Cathedral Fig Tree, like the Curtain Fig Tree, is a gigantic 500 year old strangler tree. Located in the Danbulla State Forest, the Cathedral Fig has the reputation of being the best place to hear an early morning bird 'singing' in the Atherton Tablelands. Circumnavigate the base of the tree and giant buttress roots on the easily accessible boardwalk.

Curtain Fig Tree

Yungaburra, Tablelands Area
Free Entry
The Curtain Fig National Park contains the renowned Curtain Fig Tree, an enormous strangler fig tree. Located a short drive out of Yungaburra, a small town in the Atherton Tableland, the giant tree has several aerial roots hanging down from its branches that look like curtains. It's over 500 years old and definitely worth a look! There’s a short boardwalk around the base of the tree that is wheelchair accessible.

Mount Lewis National Park

Julatten, Mareeba Area
Free Entry
Mount Lewis, one high rainforest-clad mountains of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, is a treasure trove of unique and endemic wildlife. The area between the Mount Lewis and Atherton Tableland is especially diverse. The beautiful upland rainforest dates back to the evolution of flowering plants on earth. Some flowers are indicative of Australia's link with the ancient landmass of Gondwana Drive a four-wheel-drive or ride a mountain bike on the 56 kilometre (return) Mount Lewis Road. Starting at the entrance to the park, the rainforest drive climbs to over 1200 metres before following the contours around the chain of peaks that form the watershed of the Mossman and Mitchell rivers. Picnic at one of the creek crossings. Look for the Mount Lewis spiny crayfish in the creeks and blue-faced parrot-finches in grassy clearings and glades. Spot red-bellied black snakes basking on the road and huge blue earthworms coming to the ground's surface during wet weather.
Free Entry
Josephine Falls, a scenic section of Wooroonooran National Park, features a scenic waterfall fed by rains falling on Queensland's highest peak, Bartle Frere, which looms above this popular picnic area. Josephine Creek starts as a trickle high on the south-east side of the summit of Bartle Frere and ends as a substantial creek flowing into the Russell River. Approximately 7.5 kilometres from the summit of Bartle Frere, the waters of Josephine Creek tumble over granite boulders, forming the picturesque Josephine Falls. Wander along the walking track through lush tropical rainforest to viewing decks overlooking Josephine Creek and falls. From here, enjoy excellent views and opportunities for photography. Do not enter the restricted access area around the top of the falls. Serious injuries and deaths have occurred here. Penalties apply. Flash flooding (rapidly rising water) is common during wetter months. Rapid and unpredictable water level rises have isolated people on the far bank requiring their rescue. The rocks are also exceptionally slippery, the water cold and submerged objects may be in the creek. Never jump or dive into the water and take care around steep slopes and rock faces along the track and at the lookout.

Hallorans Hill Conservation Park

Atherton, Tablelands Area
Free Entry
This park, in the middle of the township of Atherton, protects eucalypt forest and a remnant of the endangered mabi forest on an extinct volcanic cone. The cone is part of the legacy of the Atherton Tableland's fiery geological past. Enjoy the 1.4 kilometres walk to the top of Hallorans Hill or drive through the residential area of Atherton to the car park at the top of the hill. Enjoy the expansive views from the summit that showcase the tableland's mosaic of different land uses and geological formations. A council park adjoins the conservation park and provides barbecues, toilets, tables, play equipment, walking track and interpretive signs.

Fitzroy Island National Park

Fitzroy Island, Cairns Area
Free Entry
This island national park, located close to the mainland, is rugged with diverse landscapes featuring granite outcrops, open woodlands, rainforest, mangroves and coral beaches. The island and its surrounding waters form part of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. Fitzroy Island, named by Lieutenant James Cook, has an interesting history as a quarantine station for the Palmer River Goldfields in the late 1800s, and later as part of an Aboriginal mission growing fruit and vegetables. Explore the rainforested Secret Garden track (one kilometre return) or walk to Nudey Beach (1.2 kilometres return) to relax in the shade, swim and snorkel. Tackle the 3.6 kilometre return Lighthouse track to the lighthouse, which offers spectacular views of the ocean and, in winter, migrating humpback whales. Look for birds such as rose-crowned fruit-doves and metallic starlings and large goannas. Challenge yourself on the 3.6 kilometre return boulder-strewn Summit track which climbs through woodland to the island's summit (269 metres) where slabs of granite and windswept casuarina trees frame magnificent views over the island, surrounding reefs and mainland.

Chillagoe-Mungana Caves National Park

Chillagoe, Mareeba Area
Featuring spectacular limestone caves, small galleries of Aboriginal rock art, jagged limestone outcrops and an historically significant mining site, this park is rich in natural and cultural heritage. The Chillagoe landscape began to form about 400 million years ago, when the area was covered by a shallow sea. Today that limestone towers over the surrounding plains as outcrops while underground, caves and caverns created by dissolving of the limestone are decorated by stalactites, stalagmites and flowstones. Join a ranger on a guided cave tour to view splendid limestone formations. Ranger-guided tours to Donna, Trezkinn and Royal Arch caves operate daily, except Christmas Day. If you are adventurous and well-prepared you can explore other caves and Aboriginal art sites on your own. Walk the nine kilometre return track to Royal Arch Bluff or the short 440 metre return track to Balancing Rock. Visit the viewing area at the Chillagoe Smelters and learn about the State's mining and industrial heritage dating back to the 1890s.

Forty Mile Scrub National Park

Mount Garnet, Tablelands Area
Free Entry
This park features ancient and recent volcanic flows, open grassy woodland, the headwaters of several creeks, and an island of dry rainforest remnant in a sea of eucalypt woodland. Large bottle trees, along with fig, Burdekin plum and white cedar trees drop their leaves in the dry season but spring to life with summer rain. Break your journey along the Kennedy Highway and have a picnic at the sheltered tables at Forty Mile Scrub. Learn about the plants and animals found in this park on the short, self-guided walk through this unique forest. Listen for the ringing calls of pied currawongs and look for lemon-bellied flycatchers, rufous fantails and other birds in the trees.
Free Entry
In this park, an imposing mountain range of massive granite boulders is home to unique wildlife and rich in Aboriginal culture. Located near Cooktown at the northern end of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, Black Mountain is imposing mountain range of black granite boulders, some the size of houses, stacked seemingly precariously on one another. The wet tropics and drier savanna woodland regions meet in this park, and an unusual range of wildlife finds refuge here, including species that are found nowhere else. Known as Kalkajaka (meaning 'place of spear'), Black Mountain is an important meeting place for the Eastern Kuku Yalanji Aboriginal people and is the source of many Dreaming stories. Stop at the Black Mountain lookout on the Mulligan Highway on the eastern side of the crest of the Black Mountain boulder field. Signs at the lookout tell of the geology, natural environment, culture and history of the area. There is no other access to the park. Do not risk injury by venturing onto the boulder field. People have been injured and have died trying to climb Black Mountain.
Free Entry
Formerly known as Mungkan Kandju National Park, this large park stretches from the McIlwraith Range foothills, between the Archer and Coen rivers, and features open eucalypt woodlands, melaleuca swamps and a variety of rainforest types. This park is a living cultural landscape, rich in significance for the Aboriginal Traditional Owners. Bush camp at one of several secluded camp sites. Go birdwatching around waterlily-covered lagoons and forest-fringed riverbanks. Go spotlighting in the rainforest to see the common spotted cuscus. Drive to the Old Archer Crossing, the historical site of the main access to northern Cape York Peninsula. Ride mountain bikes or trail bikes or drive your 4WD through the park's network of internal roads. Try your luck fishing in the park's many creeks and lagoons. Remember to always be croc wise.
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