An insider’s getaway guide to Far North Queensland

An insider’s getaway guide to Far North Queensland

Four Mile Beach, Cairns
Photo: Marie-Flore Pirmez
Words by James Robertson

Want to escape the dreary cold of the south, but don’t want to leave the country?

Sounds like you need to take a trip up to the far north paradise of the Sunshine State. If it’s a nature-filled, idyllic getaway you’re craving, then look no further than tropical Queensland. Here are just a few of the vibrant local hotspots you can hit up.

Daintree Rainforest

The oldest continually surviving rainforest in the world, this natural beauty ensconces the Daintree River, spanning further northwards. Driving there is only accessible via a regular ferry, as no bridge has been built across the river. Once there, you’ll be enthralled by the abundance of flora and fauna; keep an eye out for the elusive cassowary. Be sure to check out the stunning beach views of Cape Tribulation, where Captain Cook first set foot on the continent. Seeking accommodation? Look no further than Crocodylus Village, a hotel spliced with a campsite, entrenched in the middle of the rainforest.


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Great Barrier Reef

You all know it. The Great Barrier Reef is one of the most incredible natural wonders of the world. And don’t be fooled: it truly lives up to its name. Boat trips can be taken from most big townships across Far North Queensland, such as Cairns and Port Douglas. You’ll be whisked away to a coral wonderland, populated with the most vibrant fish in the sea. A standard snorkelling trip is accessible for anyone of any skill level. Whether you choose to snorkel or scuba dive, either choice will reward you with stunning undersea views of the reef’s vivid patterns.


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Fitzroy Island

A 45-minute boat ride east of Cairns will find you on the idyllic tropical hideaway of Fitzroy Island. Make the most of a day trip by donning your mask and snorkel before diving off the shore into the tropical fish-filled shallows. You won’t need luck on your side to spot a sea turtle either, as they’re abundant around the island. If you plan on staying for longer than a day at the island’s only resort, then be sure to hike into Fitzroy Island’s wooded mountain area or visit the informative Turtle Rehabilitation Centre to learn about how sea turtles are nursed back to health. There’s no better way to end the day than by having a cocktail at Foxy’s Bar as you witness one of the most beautiful sunsets imaginable.


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Port Douglas

If islands aren’t your thing, Port Douglas may be the place for you. The epitome of a sunny beachside town, Port Douglas has a range of places to stay, from the cosiest of studios to the most luxurious of resorts. Eat out at any of the delectable restaurants that line the picturesque main street and lounge among the palm trees at Four Mile Beach. Known as the gateway to both the reef and the rainforest, make the most of the local surroundings by going for a walk through Mossman Gorge, a cornucopia of bubbling creeks and birdlife, as well as access to the Great Barrier Reef by boat.


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