Take the road less travelled and you will end up in the peaceful Tara Region, as far from city life as you can imagine. Accessed off the main Moonie and Warrego Highways, Tara is literally 'off the beaten track' and that's just how the locals like it.

If you are hankering to totally escape the stress of the city, you'll find life in Tara happens at a relaxed pace and travellers are always welcome to stay a while. When you arrive in town, drop into the Tara Information Centre to chat to a local about what to see and do. Enjoy the Lagoon Parklands featuring Settlers Park and the Walk of Remembrance Garden. The Lagoon offers a cool respite and it serves as the local fitness precinct complete with outdoor gym. You can picnic by the water's edge, fish, cycle or take the interpretive walk to see an abundance of birdlife.

Native flora and fauna displays are abundant throughout the Shire, and among these you can spot some rare species. The eastern third of the Shire also supports Queensland's best examples of ironbark, spotted gum and cypress pine trees.

Tara Commercial Hotel is home to several paintings by framed artist Hugh Sawrey that he painted while passing through in the 60s. And don't miss the chance to meet and see the work of Barbara Geisel, an internationally acclaimed wool artist and local resident.

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Mount Cook National Park

Cooktown, Cook Area
Free Entry
This park features the rugged Mount Cook, which provides a scenic backdrop to the town of Cooktown. Rainforest and tropical woodlands with a heath understorey cover the upper slopes and sheltered gullies.
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.

Lizard Island Group National Park

Lizard Island, Cook Area
Free Entry
Set in a turquoise sea, the six high islands and islets of this park are surrounded by coral reefs, fringed by mangroves and sandy beaches, and cloaked in grasslands, woodlands and wind-sheared heaths.

Cobia Hole Dive Site

Lizard Island, Cook Area
Free Entry
Located just off the shore of Lizard Island north of Cairns, Cobia Hole features a jumble of rocks, no bigger than a tennis court, decorated with marine life. With a maximum depth of 18 metres, this rocky outcrop is home to hovering sweetlips, emperors, cobia, estuary cod and more.
Free Entry
Nature's Powerhouse Visitor Information Centre at the Cooktown Botanic Gardens provides all the information you need to explore this site. Established in 1878 as the Gallop Botanic Reserve, it comprises a formal botanic garden, and a substantial natural forest and ocean frontage.

Cooktown

Cooktown, Cook Area
With bitumen all the way along the 330 kilometre inland Mulligan Highway from Cairns, Cooktown is easy to get to. If you want a more adventurous route, go four wheel-driving along the coastal Bloomfield Track crossing rivers and creeks through World Heritage-listed rainforest and join the highway at the mysterious pile of rocks known as Black Mountain.

Lizard Island

Lizard Island, Cook Area
Lizard Island is truly secluded from the rest of the world. With 24 powdery-white beaches and 40 luxurious suites, it is the most northern resort in tropical Queensland and is located directly on the Great Barrier Reef.
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