Cairns

As the heart of the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef and Wet Tropics rainforest, Cairns pulses with energy. More than 600 tours a day make the most of the year-round outdoor lifestyle while world-class sporting events and festivals embrace the cosmopolitan city's vibrant tropical culture.

Energised by nature, Cairns is the place to soak up the tropical lifestyle. Discover an exciting city that takes pride in its cultural heritage and where time seems to last a little longer. Swim at the Esplanade lagoon, sample local produce at a farmer's market, enjoy free entertainment, shop for a summer wardrobe or cruise around the marina.

Take a tip from the locals for a cool dip at a secluded freshwater swimming hole, jump on a bike for a sightseeing tour along the city's network of cycle paths, marvel at tropical plants in the Botanic Gardens, browse the galleries or catch an act in a unique rainforest venue.

After dark choose a lively bar for drinks, taste local seafood at an award-winning restaurant, party on a dance floor, discover treasures at the markets or watch a local cultural show.

Choose from a wide range of accommodation including five-star international hotels, luxurious resorts, waterfront apartments, family-friendly motels and fun backpacker hostels.

The compact city is easy to get around and has the reef, rainforest and outback on its doorstep. With the Cairns International and Domestic airports only 10 minutes from the Central Business District, Cairns is the ideal entry point for a Tropical North Queensland adventure.

Travel from the city's Reef Fleet Terminal to the Great Barrier Reef and its islands, raft the white water rapids in the rainforest, step back in time with a train ride to Kuranda or treat your tastebuds to one of the many food and wine trails on the Atherton Tablelands.

Whether you want to flirt with adventure or be enchanted by exotic experiences, Cairns has it all.

Cairns
Cairns, Cairns Area
Queensland
Australia

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Mothar Mountain Rockpools

Gympie, Gympie Area
Free Entry
Looking for a relaxing, sheltered place to while away some hours, you can't go past the Mothar Mountain Rock Pools. Located in the Woondum National Park, about a 20 minutes, 16 kilometres drive from Gympie's Central Business District, the Mothar Mountain Rock Pools day area provides the perfect family friendly location for a barbecue or picnic. Tables, wood fire barbecue, water and public amenities are all provided for your use on site. On a hot day immerse yourself into the pools to cool off. Set amongst a mixture of tall Eucalypts and rainforest you can take the opportunity to relax and unwind to the sound of water gently flowing over ancient granite outcrops. Or if you are feeling more energetic, enjoy one of the nature walks. There is a short 500 metre (20 minute) forest walk or a rather more serious 3.5 kilometre (2 hour) walk to explore.

Dugong Sanctuary - Clairview

Clairview, Isaac Area
Free Entry
In 1997, the Great Barrier Reef Ministerial Council established Clairview (a small beach town approximately 1.5 hours south of Mackay) as a dugong sanctuary. Often dugongs can be spotted when they surface to breathe from the shore, or in the water, when in a kayak, boat or other recreational vessel - so keep an eye out for these majestic creatures! Be sure to slow down your vessel in areas dugongs are known to inhabit, don't litter and help us protect these magnificent animals. The fully protected dugong is a large herbivorous mammal which spends its entire life at sea. It has paddle-like forelimbs, no hind limbs or dorsal fin, and its tail is broad and horizontally flattened. Adults grow between 2.5-3.5 metres long and weight about 230-240 kilograms. For more information, visit Isaac Regional Council's web site.

Condamine Gorge '14 River Crossing'

Killarney, Southern Downs Area
Free Entry
Accessible by four-wheel-drive vehicles only, the Condamine Gorge's '14 River Crossings' track is appropriately named after the 14 river crossings you have to make exploring this beautiful part of the Gorge. During normal conditions the crossings of the Condamine River are relatively shallow. However, during wet weather the river will rise rapidly making it impassable. It is advisable to check conditions with the Warwick Visitor Information Centre or Bureau of Meteorology prior to visiting. The Condamine Gorge is home to a number of endangered species, please respect this precious environment. Note that private properties either side of the track may not be fenced, so please keep to the road and creek area and observe the 'no trespassing' signs. To commence the track from Boonah, start opposite the Police Station, travel out from Boonah along Rathdowny Road and turn right at Carney's Creek Road. Travel out approximately 12 kilometres to cross Teviot Brook floodway and then turn right to The Head. The low road is Condamine Gorge. This track is only accessible when the weather is dry, take the high road when river is flowing. From Killarney, turn left into Condamine Gorge just after the abattoir.

Heart Reef

Airlie Beach, Whitsunday Area
Free Entry
Heart Reef, in the Great Barrier Reef of the Whitsundays, is a stunning composition of coral that has naturally formed into the shape of a heart. Located in Hardy Reef, Heart Reef is best experienced from the air by helicopter or seaplane, as visitors are unable to snorkel or dive there due it's protected status. Many tour companies will combine a scenic flight over Heart Reef with other breathtaking spots in the Whitsundays, including Whitehaven Beach and Hill Inlet. A certain highlight of any visit to the Whitsundays. Heart Reef was discovered in 1975 by one of Air Whitsunday's pilots and is now an internationally-recognised attraction of the Whitsundays and features on many postcards and brochures promoting the Whitsunday region and the Great Barrier Reef. Many an amateur photographer has been amazed by the fact that their own photos look just like the brochures! Heart Reef has been the site of many proposals and declarations of love over the years. If planning on making the ultimate romantic gesture, let your pilot know your plans and they'll be able to help you with some extra flight time over the famous icon.

Mount Fox

Ingham, Hinchinbrook Area
Free Entry
Located south-west of Ingham, Mount Fox was created by a violent volcanic explosion about 100000 years ago. In the explosion, a lava flow 10 metres thick spewed from the southern end of the crater and chunks of molten magma were thrown out of the volcano's vent. Today, the well formed crater, about 10 metres deep, is covered with sparse grasses and stunted trees amongst the eucalypt woodland environment. The pink and long-fruited bloodwoods are common in this area and vine thicket is found in a steep gully on the southern slopes. Mount Fox's tussock grass slopes shelter a number of small animals. On a cool day in the winter months, skinks and other reptiles can be seen basking on the volcanic bombs. During the hot summer months, the grasses provide protection from the sun and are ideal nesting places for ground-dwelling birds like the little button quail. After sunset, rufous bettongs (small wallaby-type mammals) emerge to feed on herbs and grasses. The large wing span of a wedge-tailed eagle can also be seen, as this bird of prey soars above the Mount Fox crater.
Free Entry
Approximately ten kilometres from the Kennedy Highway on Tully Falls Road, Ravenshoe the upper car park is a shaded spot to leave your vehicle. You will need personal insect repellent for the walk to the waterfalls then return to your vehicle - the most rewarding way to complete your walk. Then proceed further south to Tully Gorge Lookout over the 275 metre gorge, your best chance for falling water is just after a storm in the "Green Season".

Wallabies on the Beach at Cape Hillsborough

Cape Hillsborough, Mackay Area
Free Entry
Cape Hillsborough National Park, approximately 45 minutes north of Mackay, is where you'll find rainforest meets the shoreline, volcanic headlands, eucalypt forests home to koalas and kookaburras and prehistoric rock formations. Cape Hillsborough Beach, also know as Casuarina Beach, provides one of the most iconic Australian photo backdrops, the 'Roo on the beach' at sunrise. Wallabies and kangaroos scour the morning tide for mangrove seed pods, seaweed and coral sand dollars. Enjoy the sunrise as wild marsupials bound up and down the beach. Remember however, that these are wild animals and should be treated as such. Please do not feed the kangaroos and wallabies and ensure to keep a safe distance at all times.

Kinkuna Section

Bundaberg, Bundaberg Area
Kinkuna section of Burrum Coast National Park preserves a wilderness area of coastal vegetation and wide, unspoilt beaches, just 30 kilometres south of Bundaberg. The Burrum Coast National Park which also incorporates both Woodgate and Burrum River sections is part of the Great Sandy Region, of which Fraser Island is best known. Kinkuna offers a true coastal wilderness experience for camping or hiking. Sand tracks lead through the predominantly flat landscape dense with vegetation and along the oceanfront. Kinkuna section is renowned for its springtime wildflower displays. The vegetation of coastal heath and banksias grows in poor, sandy soils either swampy or very dry and as is often the case, these types of areas put on a spectacular wildflower show - where it seems every bush and tree is covered in pale blossoms of white, pink and yellow hues. August to October is the peak time to view these wildflowers here, in Woodgate section and also just to the north at the Coonarr Wildflower Reserve. Kangaroos and wallabies, emus and abundant birdlife are features of the park.
Free Entry
Located just 20 minutes from the Ipswich Central Business District and 35 minutes' from Brisbane Central Business District, White Rock - Spring Mountain Conservation Estate features the distinctive, sculptured, rocky outcrops of White Rock and Spring Mountain. Covering over 2,500ha of regionally significant bushland, the Estate also features extensive forested ridges, escarpments and valleys that are home to an amazing array of plant and wildlife species. Visitors can enjoy the full gamut of outdoor activities including hiking, bird-watching, horse riding (bring your own horses), mountain bike riding and nature study. For the bushwalker there's everything from a leisurely 200 metre walk to the more challenging 19 kilometre round trip trail with most of the trails are suitable for hiking and mountain bike riding. If you're on horseback, then the Yaddamun Trail is perfect. The entry to the Estate is the Paperbark Flats Picnic Area, at the end of School Road in Redbank Plains. Amenities on site include toilets, picnic facilities and horse float parking. Don't forget to take a hat, sunscreen and drinking water. Visit the website for trail updates and to download the trail guide.

Coongarra Rock

Biggenden, North Burnett Area
Free Entry
For Four Wheel Drive enthusiasts, Coongarra Rock and Falls provide an opportunity to explore rocky outcrops, caves, rock pools and natural vegetation. It is possible to climb the rock but should only be attempted by fit and experienced bushwalkers. It is situated 24 kilometres south of Biggenden and Coalstoun Lakes. Lords Road is the turn off to Coongarra Rock. The road goes to within a short distance of this spectacular outcrop in a dry scrubby State Forest. The road to the falls branches off the road to Coongarra Rock and goes within walking distance of the top of the falls. The roads should only be attempted by Four Wheel Drive vehicles. These roads can be dangerous after heavy rain and care should be taken at all times.
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