Mission Beach

Nature takes centre stage at Mission Beach with its long unspoilt beaches, deserted islands and white-water rivers fringed by rainforest. There are no crowds at this seductive and easy going destination which is perfect for relaxation or discovering adrenalin pumping outdoor activities.

This is the birthplace of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, so exploring the reef is a must. Reef boats leave from the Clump Point jetty, join a kayaking tour or hire a dinghy and take a picnic to a deserted Great Barrier Reef island.

Mission Beach has 14 kilometres of sandy beaches, so it is easy to find a quiet place to relax with a book or indulge by checking into the couple's room at a day spa and relaxing with the fabulous beach views. There are four villages that are collectively known as Mission Beach: South Mission Beach, Wongaling Beach, North Mission Beach and Bingil Bay.

Lush rainforest touches the shores of Mission Beach, hiding the elusive southern cassowary. Look for these majestic creatures on an easy rainforest walks and keep an eye out for the brilliant blue Ulysses butterfly, another local icon.

Nearby is the spectacular Misty Mountains Trail, a series of long-distance walking tracks through high-altitude rainforest. Several follow the ridgelines used by the area's traditional owners, the Jirrbal and Mamu Aboriginal people.

The serene beauty of Mission Beach hides another side to this friendly beachside retreat - adrenalin-pumping adventure. Skydive from a plane on to the beach, head into the heart of the rainforest for white water rafting or explore the area on a jet ski or mountain bike.

Luxurious resorts, elegant hill-top apartments and beach houses are favourites for those wanting to escape from their busy lives, or choose from family-friendly motels, beach caravan parks and popular backpacker hostels. Mission Beach is about a two hour drive south of Cairns.

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Lake Barrine, Crater Lakes National Park

Lake Barrine, Tablelands Area
Free Entry
This popular park features a deep crater lake surrounded by cool lush rainforest. Lake Barrine, part of Crater Lakes National Park, is a maar—a crater lake formed by two massive volcanic explosions. Take the short stroll to the giant bull kauri trees or stretch your legs on the longer 5km track around the lake.

Tully

Tully, Cassowary Coast Area
Tully is a small town about 140 kilometres (or about two hours' drive) south of Cairns and has the reputation of being one of the wettest towns in Australia. With all that rain, the nearby Tully River is one of the best places in Australia to go white water rafting.

Malanda Falls Conservation Park

Malanda, Tablelands Area
Free Entry
Surrounded by dense rainforest, the North Johnstone River tumbles over basalt rock that was formed by an ancient lava flow at Malanda Falls. The much-photographed picturesque falls flow into an artificial swimming pool in this popular park near Malanda.

Paronella Park

Mena Creek, Cassowary Coast Area
From AU$45 - 45
Everyone has a dream. José Paronella's dream became a reality. On five hectares beside Mena Creek Falls he built his castle, a picnic area by the falls, tennis courts, bridges, a tunnel, and wrapped it up in an amazing range of 7,500 tropical plants and trees.

Ellinjaa Falls

Millaa Millaa, Tablelands Area
Free Entry
Ellinjaa Falls are picturesque falls that are part of the Waterfalls Circuit along with Millaa Millaa and Zilzie Falls. Enjoy the sound of the water rushing over a series of lava columns as you have a picnic lunch.

Millstream Falls National Park

Ravenshoe, Tablelands Area
Free Entry
Plunging over the edge of a columnar basalt lava flow, Big Millstream Falls is reputedly the widest single-drop waterfall in Australia. Lying in the rain shadow of the eastern dividing ranges, the dry open woodland here is in stark contrast with the rainforest which is only kilometres away.

Millaa Millaa Falls

Millaa Millaa, Tablelands Area
Free Entry
Millaa Millaa Falls are magnificent waterfalls surrounded by lush rainforest located on the Waterfalls Circuit, along with Zillie and Ellinjaa Falls. The falls cascade perfectly to a pristine waterhole below where you can enjoy a refreshing swim in the cool water.

Lake Eacham, Crater Lakes National Park

Lake Eacham,
Free Entry
A serene blue lake surrounded by lush rainforest, Lake Eacham in part of Crater Lakes National Park. Take a refreshing dip and then relax in the shade, or wander along the viewing decks for uninterrupted water views.

Russell River National Park

Bramston Beach, Cairns Area
Free Entry
Paperbarks and mangrove forests line the many creeks and rivers in tranquil, unspoiled Russell River National Park. In this area the meandering Russell River joins forces with the Mulgrave River before entering the sea in a shared estuary.

Mamu Tropical Skywalk

Innisfail, Cassowary Coast Area
From AU$20 - 24
The Mamu Rainforest Canopy Walkway is a spectacular walk through the canopy of World Heritage rainforest. It is an iconic tourist attraction in the heart of the Wet Tropics. With a 350 metre long elevated walkway through the canopy, a cantilever, a 37 metre observation tower and more than 1200 metres of walking tracks, this attraction is a must do for anyone visiting the region.
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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).