Far North Queensland
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Bursting at the seams with both natural and man-made attractions, Far North Queensland is a holiday dream come true. A journey here guarantees magnificent World Heritage nature, first-class accommodation, friendly people, fine tropical cuisine, culture and a myriad of outdoor adventures. In this region the rainforest meets the reef, the wet tropics sit alongside the Great Barrier Reef, both are a haven for unique and beautiful flora and fauna. Cairns is the hub of the region and makes a perfect launching pad for a holiday of a lifetime. It is a friendly, lively and unique city with broad appeal for visitors of all kinds.
Scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef is essential and on must-do lists of divers from around the world. The reef can also be enjoyed from the sky in a scenic flight, as you plummet to the ground sky-diving or from the safety of a glass-bottomed boat.. the choices are endless. Sail between the islands of the region, select between exclusive or rustic accommodation, and have a once in a lifetime experience. And be sure to visit the northern beach communities of Palm Cove and Port Douglas for a relaxing retreat filled with spa treatments at luxurious resorts.
Just a little further north you'll enter into the Daintree National Park where you can experience the stunning Mossman Gorge and the beauty of Cape Tribulation. Further north still is the vast Cape York Peninsula, known as Australia's last frontier. Then there's the Outback and Gulf Savannah which covers the remote land to the west from the base of the Great Dividing Range to the Gulf of Carpentaria.
And not to be missed just inland from Cairns is Kuranda, where the highlands of Far North Queensland begin. This area encompasses rainforest to dry scrubland; it's an area that is as diverse as it is enchanting. Take the Kuranda Skyrail gondola ride at the rainforest treetops or take a historic train ride on Kuranda Scenic Railway with beautiful views of the Barron Gorge. Simply put, Tropical North Queensland offers unparalleled experiences that will forge lasting memories. It's time for you to come experience it for yourself.
Travelling around the North Queensland region is best accomplished by car. From Townsville heading North there are many picnic areas, swimming facilities, and national parks only accessible by car. An example of such places include Crystal Creek, Paluma, Mission Beach, as well as the northern beaches of Cairns. The Atherton Tablelands also becomes available for you to explore at your own rate.
Hire cars are readily available in both Townsville and Cairns, with one way hires available (sometimes with a substantial fee, so remember to make sure).
Roads are generally of good condition, with the Bruce Highway providing the primary link to North Queensland with access to the coastal towns. Some dirt roads do exist near particular attractions so checking your hire car insurance policy would be worth while.
Fuel is generally easy to come by along the highways. If driving between Townsville and Cairns and the many attractions in between, fuel is available at towns such as Ingham and Tully. Cash, credit card and bank cards are generally all accepted, and many of the fuel stations are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Saltwater Crocodiles are very common in certain portions of northern Queensland; the species general range extends from Rockhampton to the Torres Strait, along with the rest of northern Australia. Population sizes vary depending on the area, but it is wise to avoid swimming in any rivers or lagoons unless they are known to be safe (signposted for swimming). Read warning signs carefully.
In summer months (Oct-May) don't swim in the ocean or estuaries without a stinger suit. They especially inhabit in shallow water near beaches.
TRAVELER WARNING: Stay away from FNQ Travel. FNQ Travel falsely advertised on their website. They stated under trip inclusions a "free 10 minute reef scenic helicopter flight", clearly stated alongside other inclusions such as lunch, tea and coffee etc. We were only told it was not included after requesting more details about the flight and they denied it being an inclusion. We have still not received all our money back despite asking for a refund within a day of booking their fraudulent trip and being told we would receive a full refund. DO NOT TRUST THESE PEOPLE!