2
2

Ayton

Ayton is a good spot to revive your spirits. Strategically placed on the Cooktown to Cape Tribulation road known as The Bloomfield Track there's a store, cafe, takeaway, campground and accommodation.

Head down to the beautiful hidden treasure of Weary Bay beach your worries will be washed away. Hire a dinghy or use a boatman to take you to secluded Cedar Bay National Park for isolated camping.

Yachts anchor on the wide river, an irregular air service flies to Pepper Bloomfield Lodge across the Bay. Ayton was originally established as a service centre for a burgeoning sugar plantation in 1882.

Northern Queensland's first sugar mill was built and a narrow gauged rail line linked old Ayton wharf. Provisions were transported by far north Queensland's first locomotive for export by sea.

At one time hundreds of workers were employed English, Chinese, Italian and Japanese and local Kuku Yalanji people. Ayton thrived, selections were taken up by entrepreneurial families and Torres Strait trepang and trochus hunters settled here. But by 1897 it came crashing down because of high costs. Operations were sold and moved to Bundaberg.

Determined to squeeze money from the land, 'red gold' or Red Cedar was the next industry. Cutting began in 1890 with horse teams dragging logs to a riverbank chute. Rafts were floated downstream and taken by vessel to Townsville. The wood ended up at the gold rich city of Charters Towers, lining the floors of wealthy miner mansions.

Ayton
Ayton, Cook Area
Queensland
Australia

Find What's Nearby

Choose a category:
Places to Visit
Displaying 1-10 of 27
Sort by:
Show:

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.

Hope Islands National Park

Cooktown, Cook Area
Free Entry
This island national park includes East and West Hope islands as well as Struck Island and Snapper Island. East and West Hope islands are low-lying cays. West Hope Island is a shingle cay formed from piles of loose shingle (coral debris) on which only the most hardy plants such as mangroves survive. East Hope is a typical sand cay, forested with tall coastal trees such as beach almonds. These islands are among the most important bird-nesting sites in the northern Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Thousands of pied imperial-pigeons visit the islands to breed each summer. A delight for birdwatchers and fishers, these tropical islands provide a haven for nature lovers. Relax and enjoy the natural beauty. Bush camp at one of four camp sites on East Hope Island. Watch the birdlife along the shore. Listen to the calls of the pied-imperial pigeons in the trees during summer months. Go snorkelling or diving to discover amazing reef life. Make use of public moorings and throw in a fishing line.
Free Entry
Michaelmas Cay, part of Michaelmas and Upolo Cays National Park, is one of the most important seabird breeding sites in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. Michaelmas Cay is a small, low sand cay, covered by grasses and low-growing plants. Upolu Cay is a low, unvegetated sand cay. From the fenced beach access area on Michaelmas Cay, watch seabirds nesting and tending their young without disturbing them. Marvel at the sight of up to 30,000 seabirds occupying the cay at peak nesting periods during summer. Look for sooty terns, common noddies and crested terns. Admire huge flocks of seabirds filling the sky. Go snorkelling to explore the diverse surrounding reefs. Public moorings are provided for private boats.

Green Island National Park

Green Island, Cairns Area
Free Entry
This small rainforest-clad coral cay is surrounded by coral reefs and is one of the Great Barrier Reef's most popular destinations. A true coral cay, it was formed over thousands of years by the build-up of sand and coral rubble deposited on the calm side of a platform reef. Tropical vine forest covers the island. Palm-fringed sandy beaches slope gently to the clear, blue-green waters of the surrounding reef, which is within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. Stroll around the island's boardwalks to explore the rainforest and birdlife and find out about the island's history. Walk around the island's beaches to view seabirds and enjoy views over the reef. Relax on the beach and listen to the birds in the forest behind you. Take a break from the beach and picnic on tables placed in the cool shade of the forest. Swim or snorkel or paddle a kayak in the clear reef waters. Go for a ride in a glass-bottomed boat or join a guided nature walk. Visit Marineland Melanesia Crocodile Habitat.

Michaelmas Cay Dive Site

Cairns, Cairns Area
Free Entry
Michaelmas Cay, on the Great Barrier Reef off Cairns, is 10 kilometres long reef with a sand cay. Explore the bommies, walls, swim-throughs, gullies, small caves and overhangs. Michaelmas Cay is rich with a myriad of sea life including green turtles, blue-spotted Rays molluscs and hundreds of species of tropical reef fish including Humphead Maori Wrasse. The reef surrounding the cay is renowned for an abundance of giant clams. Standing on the beach you may experience fish "biting" at your heels - they're only trying to catch shrimp and other small animals.

Turtle Bay Dive Site

Cairns, Cairns Area
Free Entry
At Turtle Bay, off cairns on the Great Barrier Reef, you can come face to face with 'Killer' a giant 35 kilogram Maori Wrasse who expects the Divemaster to feed him. See 'Dopey' the resident turtle, a giant clam and several species of sea cucumbers. Staghorn thickets hide many smaller reef fish. A good mix of soft and hard coral - check under plate coral for hovering trout, sweetlip and occasional barramundi cod.

Osprey Reef

Cairns, Cairns Area
Free Entry
Osprey Reef is one of the most spectacular dive sites in the world, located off Cairns in the Coral Sea. The North Horn site on the reef is a remote sea mount rising 1000 m from the ocean floor. There are spectacular wall drop-offs, amazing visibility and a popular shark-feeding location!!! The northern most point attracts many reef fish and many pelagic species including barracuda, dogtooth tuna and mackerel. White-tips and Grey Whalers cruise off the wall and Hammerheads and Oceanic Silver tips often come in from deep water to check out the action.

Nursery Bommie Dive Site

Port Douglas, Douglas Area
Free Entry
One of the most impressive dive sites on the Agincourt Reefs, off Port Douglas, is a large pinnacle called Nursery Bommie. This column of coral rises from 2 metres to 25 metres and is decorated with sea whips, soft corals and gorgonians, but it is the fish life that will be most remembered. At the base of the bommie is always a school of colourful blue-striped snapper, but also common are barracuda, trevally, surgeonfish and fusiliers. Cut by numerous ledges, make sure you check these out as you are likely to see rock cod, lionfish, coral cod, nudibranchs and maybe a lovely leaf scorpionfish. The top of Nursery Bommie is home to hundreds of fairy basslets and also a massive school of snubnose drummer, making for a very memorable dive.

Castle Rock Dive Site

Port Douglas, Douglas Area
Free Entry
Castle Rock is a tower of coral at the Agincourt Reefs, accessible from Port Douglas on a day trip. Rising from 25 metres to almost break the surface, Castle Rock is home to trevally, snappers, sweetlips, goatfish, fusiliers, surgeonfish and a very friendly Malabar groper called Colin. One of the features of this site is the wonderful healthy hard coral gardens found in the shallows, which are some of the best on the Great Barrier Reef. Exploring these coral gardens divers and snorkellers will find whitetip reef sharks, turtles, lionfish, giant clams and all the typical reef fish you would expect to find on the Great Barrier Reef.

Barracuda Bommie Dive Site

Port Douglas, Douglas Area
Free Entry
With a name like Barracuda Bommie you would expect to see barracuda at this dive site, and fortunately it rarely disappoints. Located on the Agincourt Reefs, off Port Douglas, Barracuda Bommie is a giant pinnacle of coral that rises from the sandy sea floor at 26 metres. This wonderful bommie is home to turtles, sweetlips, coral trout, trevally, fusiliers and schools of yellow-finned goatfish, snubnose drummer and blue-lined snapper. A smaller bommie, about 60 metres away, is worth a look as it is always covered in cardinalfish, sweetlips, coral trout and many other species. Also have a close look at the sand as blue spotted stingrays and colonies of garden eels are found at this brilliant dive site.
No Results Message
Displaying 1-10 of 27
Sort by:
Show:

Explore the Region

Note: Information on listed products and services are provided by the operator and were correct at the time of publishing. Rates are indicative based on the minimum and maximum available prices of products and services. Please visit the operator’s website for further information. All prices quoted are in Australian dollars (AUD).