Things to do around the water
With so much rain falling on Tropical North Queensland during the summer wet season, it should be no surprise that the region is webbed with serene scenic waterways. Talk to the locals – perhaps over a cold one in one of our grand Queenslander-style pubs – if you want to find out about the best spots to stay a while, cast a line, go for a paddle or even fossick for gemstones.
Start with the Walsh River, where you can try to catch a few black bream for dinner. O’Briens Creek, south-west of Cairns, is an idyllic spot where you can fossick for topaz and aquamarine. In Goldsborough Valley in the Wooroonooran National Park south-west of Cairns, pitch a tent then canoe the scenic Mulgrave River. By day, look for the flashy colours of the buff-breasted paradise kingfisher. By night, listen for the distinctive whistle of the lesser sooty owl. The national park is also home to a rainforest-shaded campground next to pretty Henrietta Creek and a series of hikes leading to grand waterfalls like Nandroya Falls.