Tropical Lifestyle & Culture

Guide to Cairns & Port Douglas

A getaway is looming and you’re longing for a tropical escape – Cairns and Port Douglas are both popular holiday havens boasting a wealth of experiences. Read this guide to help plan your trip to these two seaside locales.

Discover

There’s No Place Like It On Earth

Connect with nature in a place unlike anywhere else – fringed by reef and enveloped by rainforest, the world’s warmest welcome is waiting for you.

On the Trail of Inspiration

Where to experience the best Tropical North Queensland has to offer… from wallowing under a waterfall to taking the plunge on the Great Barrier Reef.

accessible travel cairns palm cove
Cairns & Northern Beaches
Accessible Travel in Cairns & Palm Cove

As a region, Tropical North Queensland offers an array of experiences that will engage your senses and immerse you in its natural wonders. From the rainforest to the reef, you’re sure to find an abundance of accessible adventures for all tastes.

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devils thumb hike
Adventure
Incredible hikes you need to conquer near Cairns

Surrounded by national parks, World Heritage rainforest and the Great Dividing Range, find countless bush walks or hikes within a short distance of Cairns.

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Cairns Adventure Group white water rafting
Adventure
7 Rainforest Adventures in Tropical North Queensland

From mild to wild, there’s endless opportunities for rainforest adventures in Tropical North Queensland.

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Adventure
10 Great Barrier Reef Experiences for Adventure Seekers

While most people come to the Great Barrier Reef for postcard-perfect swimming, snorkelling or scuba diving in the real-life World Heritage-listed aquarium, there’s plenty of ways to experience the reef and not all involve getting wet. Choose your own Tropical North Queensland reef adventure with this adrenaline scale ranging from sunset sails to vistas served at speeds of up to 200km per hour.

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Wet Tropics Rainforest
10 relaxing ways to sleep in the rainforest

This summer, swap your inner city stresses for cool, rainforest rejuvenation, checking into one of these accommodation providers in the rainforest.

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Adventure
10 adventures to take you from coast to country in Tropical North Queensland

From exploring outback caves to diving deep into local Indigenous culture, there’s endless opportunities for adventure in Tropical North Queensland.

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River Drift Snorkel
Cairns & Great Barrier Reef
The Ultimate ‘Only in Tropical North Queensland’ guide

It might be a well-known fact that Tropical North Queensland is the only place in the world where two natural World Heritage sites collide, but there’s more first and only’s to this destination than its reef and rainforest.

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River Drift Snorkel
Cairns & Great Barrier Reef
The Ultimate ‘Only in Tropical North Queensland’ guide

It might be a well-known fact that Tropical North Queensland is the only place in the world where two natural World Heritage sites collide, but there’s more first and only’s to this destination than its reef and rainforest.

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Climbing at Fairy Falls Waterfall
Cairns & Northern Beaches
20 waterfalls near Cairns

Mighty mountain ranges and Wet Tropics Rainforest create the optimum environment for a myriad of extraordinary waterfalls. Fall in love with these 20 waterfall wonderlands only a short drive from Cairns.

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Wet Tropics Rainforest
Everything you need to know about cassowaries

There’s plenty of reasons to visit Cairns & Great Barrier Reef in summer – balmy weather, crystal clear reef visibility and pumping waterfalls – but what you might not know is it’s also the best time of year to spot Australia’s living dinosaurs and their chicks, cassowaries.

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Great Barrier Reef
Everything you need to know about Master Reef Guides

Anyone who’s ever done an organised tour will know the host or tour guide can make or break the experience. That’s why it pays to book a Great Barrier Reef tour with one of the Master Reef Guides, the official ambassadors of the world’s most famous reef.

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Master Reef Guides
Great Barrier Reef
Ways you can help the Great Barrier Reef

There’s a sense of responsibility that comes when you’re visiting one of the world’s seven wonders; a calling to nurture nature. If leaving only footprints (or fin waves in this case) is high on your priority list, here are some ways you can help the Great Barrier Reef during your next holiday.

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kid picking a mango
Seasons
Why you should visit the tropics in summer

From cosy rainforest retreats to once-in-a-lifetime Great Barrier Reef reef events, epic waterfalls to spectacular outback scenery, this is why you should put the green light on your summer holiday.

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Adventure
Choose your own Tropical North Queensland adventure

With the world’s oldest tropical rainforest and World-Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef on its doorstep, it’s easy to see why Cairns is dubbed the adventure capital of Australia.

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Mission Beach & Cassowary Coast
12 things you didn’t know about Paronella Park

Riddle us this – where can you find a tourism attraction that’s eco-certified, heritage-listed, completely carbon neutral and just one-and-a-half hours’ drive from Cairns CBD? The middle of Mena Creek, home to Paronella Park.

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Wet Tropics Rainforest
Unlock the secrets of the rainforest with Skyrail Rainforest Cableway

Discover the history of this ancient rainforest with Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, which glides across the top of this World Heritage-listed wonder, 364 days of the year.

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Rex Smeal Park
Port Douglas
Things to do in Port Douglas

Don’t let its flop and drop reputation fool you, there are many things to do in Port Douglas. From hunting with Traditional Owners & exploring the Great Barrier Reef, to river floats & wildlife parks. Here’s how to spend your time in Port Douglas.

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Russell Island aerial, Frankland Islands
Great Barrier Reef
Stop what you’re doing, there’s a group of islands you’ve never heard about: Frankland Islands

Looking for an eco-certified river, reef and rainforest adventure in Tropical North Queensland? Think Frankland Islands.

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Yagurli Tours
Gulf Savannah & Outback
Beneath the Milkyway with Aboriginal Traditional Custodians

Moungibi (Burketown), a small town in the Gulf of Carpentaria with a population of fewer than 300 people, may surprise you with its depth of experiences – Indigenous-owned & operated Yagurli Tours offers a collection of tours run by the Gangalidda-Garawa Traditional Custodians.

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Tropical Lifestyle & Culture
Luxury places to rest your head

Escape to luxe island hideaways, indulgent outback retreats or tranquil ancient rainforests. Kick off your shoes, take some much needed R&R and discover the unique landscape of Tropical North Queensland.

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Mandingalbay Ancient Indigenous Tours camping
Indigenous Culture
15 ways to connect with Indigenous culture

Tropical North Queensland is the only region in Australia with two distinct Indigenous cultures, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander. Connect with these ancient cultures 60,000 years in the making.

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Nu Nu Palm Cove
Palm Cove
Eat your way through these Palm Cove Restaurants

Taste the flavours of the north in the seaside village of Palm Cove, where restaurants take pride in local produce, fresh flavours and providing a warm tropical welcome served with an icy-cold drink.

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Vlasoff Cay article tile
Great Barrier Reef
Vlasoff Cay: the most incredible place to picnic

Feel grounded the moment you arrive at a private sand cay on the Great Barrier Reef.

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Explore the region

Where to stay, what to see and what to catch while you’re in Tropical North Queensland.

#exploreTNQ #explorecairnsGBR

You never know who you might see on a walk in @tropicalnorthqueensland ✨🌴 With this guy spotted in #Mission Beach, it’s clearly called the Cassowary Coast for a reason 😉🌿 

Our feathered friend here is actually one of the most important creatures found in the rainforest 🍃 Out of approximately 700 plant species endemic to the @wettropicsworldheritage area, almost 100 species heavily depend on the cassowary to distribute their seeds 🌺
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​📸 @iketitan #exploreTNQ #explorecairnsGBR #thisisqueensland #seeaustralia
#OakBeach really does have the whole package 🌿🐚 Tropical rainforest, white sandy beaches & crystal clear ocean views, check check & check ✅

Once you’re done exploring the beautiful beaches of @portdouglasdaintree, stop in at @thalabeach & go coco-nutty for the view 🌴🥥

We’ll see you there soon, right? 😉

📸 @steve_jl_photography #exploreTNQ #explorecairnsGBR #thisisqueensland #seeaustralia
We’re taking the scenic route to #Cooktown, care to join us? ✨ The #BloomfieldTrack is a coastal 4WD track linking Cape Tribulation to Wujal Wujal & Cooktown & is full of spectacular views, creek crossings, secluded beaches, a rainforest archway & incredible wildlife 🦋🍃 

In the wise words of @coastal_drifters … always take the dirt road 🚗
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​#exploreTNQ #explorecairnsGBR #thisisqueensland #seeaustralia
Your action packed weekend awaits 🙌 It’s been a rough ride lately, but don’t worry, @cairnsadventuregroup is here to help 🛶🌊 If your idea of a fun-filled day includes rushing rapids & getting wet & wild, then #TullyRiver rafting is just the thing to get the adrenaline pumping & liven up your time in @tropicalnorthqueensland 🌿☀️

📸 @phlipvids #exploreTNQ #explorecairnsGBR #thisisqueensland #seeaustralia
Dreaming of an island escape? ✨🐚 Then @tropicalcoastqueensland is the place for you 🏝 It’s not all about mainland beaches in #MissionBeach ☀️ Just off the coast you’ll find a bounty of breathtaking islands just waiting to be explored 😍 Discover quaint island getaways like this one in your own boat or climb aboard an island tour & discover some unmissable places like @franklandislands ⛵️ 

📸 @no.ninetofive #exploreTNQ #explorecairnsGBR #thisisqueensland #seeaustralia
Happy Tuesday from our adorable friend Rosie 🥺 Did you know that the red-legged pademelon is the only ground dwelling wallaby that lives in the @wettropicsworldheritage rainforests? 🦘🍃 
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Rosie was rescued in #CapeTribulation & is now having a great time at @daintreeicecream 🍦🌿 (we know we wouldn't mind spending our days with an ice cream company 😉)
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#exploreTNQ ​#explorecairnsGBR #thisisqueensland #seeaustralia
Nestled deep within a 180 million-year-old rainforest, @mossmangorge is the unbelievably beautiful home of the Kuku Yalanji people ✨🌿 Before you explore the pristine waters of the gorge itself, or head off on a cultural experience in the rainforest, take some time to peruse the gallery & sample the local food at Mossman Gorge Centre 🍃🦋
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​📸 @luciemadra #exploreTNQ #explorecairnsGBR #seeaustralia #thisisqueensland
Have you ever dreamed of waking up on a volcano crater?! 🌋 Didn't know it was a thing? Let us introduce @mtquincan on the @athertontablelands 😲☀️ This luxury hideaway is the perfect romantic escape, designed specifically for couples (read, no kids!) 🥰 Each pole cabin features stunning views, fireplaces for those cool hinterland evenings and a double spa. Ahhh, the ultimate romantic trifecta! 💖🔥
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​📹 @phlipvids #exploreTNQ #explorecairnsGBR #thisisqueensland #seeaustralia

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