Great Barrier Reef Drive

Multiple Locations

The Great Barrier Reef Drive from Cairns to Cape Tribulation is along spectacular coastline hugging two World Heritage areas, the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics rainforest.

From Cairns you head north across the Barron River to the Cairns Northern Beaches including Trinity Beach, Palm Cove and Ellis Beach. The drive then winds along the edge of the Coral Sea past unspoiled tropical beaches to Port Douglas, the ideal place to cruise to the Great Barrier Reef. Intimate, relaxed Port Douglas is the gateway to the Daintree, the world’s oldest tropical rainforest. To the north is beautiful Mossman Gorge where you can discover the culture of the Kuku Yalanji people before driving through sugar cane fields to the township of Daintree. Take a crocodile spotting tour, fish for barramundi or marvel at the incredible birdlife.

Cross the Daintree River on the cable ferry for a leisurely drive through ancient rainforest, pausing at lookouts for a glimpse of the Coral Sea as you wind your way past pretty beaches to Cape Tribulation where the rainforest meets the reef. Turn your journey into a 4WD rainforest adventure, follow a food trail, or learn more about the Aboriginal people of the rainforest.

Journey Details

Duration
2.5 Hours
Distance
140 Kilometres

Activities

  • Birdwatching
  • Camping
  • Cycling
  • Hiking/Trekking
  • Horseriding
  • Off Road Driving
  • Sailing
  • Scuba-Diving
  • Snorkelling
  • Swimming

Full itinerary

Cairns to Port Douglas

Leaving Cairns behind, head north past the northern beaches of Clifton beach, Trinity beach and Palm Cove. With its long sandy beach lapped by the Coral Sea and a backdrop of rainforest-clad mountains, Palm Cove has the perfect setting for an intimate getaway.

Driving north you pass through pretty Ellis Beach before the road hugs the coastline as it winds between rainforest clad mountains and the waters of the Great Barrier Reef. Stop at a deserted beach along the way and linger at the Rex Lookout where an incredible 180-degree view of the Coral Sea and its coastline begs a photograph. The road leaves the blue of the ocean for the green of sugar cane fields just before the palm-lined entrance to Port Douglas.

Known as the place where A-list celebrities escape, Port Douglas has an incredible array of restaurants, great boutique shopping and the iconic Four Mile Beach. It is the closest mainland port to the Great Barrier Reef and only a short drive to the rainforest at Daintree and Cape Tribulation. Settle into your exclusive resort or spacious boutique apartment where everything is in close proximity.

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Route Details
Mode of Travel 4x4, Bus, Car, Four Wheel Drive, Motorcycle
Distance 140 kms
Route Type Return
Port Douglas to Mossman Gorge

The short drive from Port Douglas to Daintree Village offers the opportunity to learn about the Aboriginal people who have called the Daintree rainforest home for thousands of years. This is the traditional country of the Kuku Yalanji Aboriginal people who continue to have ongoing connections with the area and offer tours where you can experience their culture.

Mossman Gorge is the southern section of the Daintree National Park where steep mountains, thick with rainforest send the Mossman River tumbling over the Gorge’s massive granite boulders creating cool, clear freshwater swimming holes.

You can visit an Indigenous gallery in Mossman, experience traditional hunting at nearby Cooya Beach or relax with an Indigenous spa treatment at Daintree Village.

The quaint township of Daintree Village is perched on the southern side of the Daintree River and is famous for the resident saltwater crocodiles that live on its banks. The village has a number of crocodile, bird and wildlife spotting cruises that depart regularly.

Choose from a luxurious rainforest lodge, hidden holiday houses or cosy safari tents to immerse yourself in the rainforest.

Route Details
Mode of Travel 4x4, Bus, Car, Four Wheel Drive, Motorcycle
Distance 140 kms
Route Type Return
Mossman Gorge to Cape Tribulation

40 kilometres north of Mossman Gorge you will arrive at the Daintree River where the cable ferry transports you into the worlds oldest Rainforest. Continue the leisurely drive, pausing at lookouts for a glimpse of the Coral Sea as you wind your way past pretty beaches. Alexandra Lookout enjoys spectacular views of Snapper Island, Port Douglas and beyond and is located on the fringes of dense Daintree rainforest.

Journey through the world’s oldest surviving tropical rainforest to see an endangered cassowary, be dwarfed by an ancient king fern or swim in a clear freshwater creek. Spot turtles and dugongs as you kayak over the coastal reef, join a night tour to spotlight nocturnal animals or fly through the rainforest canopy on a flying fox.

The drive journey concludes at the only place in the world where dual World Heritage areas of the Daintree Rainforest and Great Barrier Reef collide and is nothing short of spectacular. It is indeed the perfect climax to the completing of the Great Barrier Reef Drive.

Route Details
Mode of Travel 4x4, Bus, Car, Four Wheel Drive, Minibus, Motorcycle
Distance 140 kms
Route Type Return

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19th and 20th Century Works

Ipswich Area
Free Entry
18 March 2017 – 14 October 2018
View some of the finest pieces from the Ipswich Art Gallery’s collection of 19th and early 20th century fine art and folk art, as well as contemporary works reflecting Ipswich’s heritage. Visit the upper level to see exceptional works such as the mid-19th century cedar sideboard crafted by George Dowden for the Cribb family’s historic Ipswich residence ‘Gooloowan’, Australian paintings such as Frosty morning by key Australian landscape painter Elioth Gruner, and the exquisite Australian wildflower tea service designed by renowned Australian botanical artist Ellis Rowan.

Mon Repos Turtle Season

Bargara, Bundaberg Area
From AU$2.70 - 28.75
2 November 2017 – 30 March 2018
The Mon Repos Conservation Park, within the Southern Great Barrier Reef, supports the largest concentration of nesting marine turtles on the Eastern Australian mainland and has the most significant Loggerhead turtle nesting population in the South Pacific.

Coming into Fashion: A Century of Photography at Condé Nast

Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast Area
From AU$0 - 12
25 November 2017 – 18 February 2018
The worlds biggest names in fashion photography are coming to Gold Coast City Gallery at The Arts Centre Gold Coast in Summer 2017 to 2018. Coming into Fashion: A Century of Photography at Condé Nast celebrates iconic images from the first fashion photographs of the early twentieth century through to the modern day.

The Kite Wishes Project

Brisbane City, Brisbane Area
Free Entry
1 December 2017 – 29 April 2018
Mao’s Last Dancer Li Cunxin has a life-long love of kites, creating and flying them as a child in rare and precious moments with his father. Kites became a metaphor for Li’s life, as his career soared beyond the impoverished commune of his childhood to the ballet stages of the world.

Mao's Last Dancer the exhibition: A Portrait of Li Cunxin

Brisbane City, Brisbane Area
From AU$9 - 12
1 December 2017 – 29 April 2018
Discover one man’s incredible journey from poverty to world-famous artist in this exclusive Museum of Brisbane exhibition. Features never-before-seen interviews, performance footage and personal artefacts in an intimate portrait of a contemporary Australian icon.

Da Vinci Machines

Toowoomba, Toowoomba Area
From AU$6.50 - 32
9 December 2017 – 27 May 2018
Leonardo’s Inventions Brought to Life This award-winning international touring exhibition showcases iconic machines and inventions inspired by Leonardo’s drawings. On loan from the Museum of Leonardo da Vinci in Florence, Italy, a vast array of machines created from original da Vinci drawings bringing the mechanical concepts of this curious mind to life.

Built For Speed

Ipswich Area
From AU$5 - 5
Weekly from 2 January – 18 February 2018
Start your engines Built for Speed is back! Thrills, spills and awesome crashes are guaranteed! Design, build and race your Lego hot rod, dragster or supercar down rad ramps and slick tracks. Modify your ride for extra speed then re-race your turbocharged wheels for ultimate victory!

This Is My Heritage

East Toowoomba, Toowoomba Area
From AU$6.50 - 32
12 January – 31 December 2018
Discover the profound connection that objects have to family, country and culture through the personal memories and experiences of 12 of Queensland’s Indigenous artists and educators. Through images and film, the exhibition reveals the surprising connections and strong spiritual links that can be explored when people engage with the collections from the Queensland Museum.

Every Day I Wait - Anne Scott Wilson

Brisbane City, Brisbane Area
Free Entry
23 January – 15 April 2018
Artist Anne Scott Wilson draws on 30 years of live performance and exhibitions to explore the relationship between movement and meaning. Her works meditate on the years of strenuous practice and endurance dancers undertake relative to their brief moments of glory as a performer.

Circus Rio

Helensvale, Gold Coast Area
From AU$29 - 59
2 – 18 February 2018
A new, never before seen International spectacular is about to explode on the Gold Coast. Running from the February 2 until February 18, Circus Rio is fit for families, teenagers singles and couples alike.
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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).