Discover the World’s Oldest Rainforest
Tropical North Queensland is home to the world’s oldest living rainforest – the Wet Tropics. Step away from civilisation and immerse yourself in nature by discovering the 180 million-year-old rainforest during your trip to the tropics. Despite its rugged, untouched nature, the Daintree Rainforest is easily accessible on a day-trip, before or after Targa GBR. Need to stretch the legs? It’s all about the outdoors here – paddle down remote rivers, discover the timeless Indigenous connection to the land and hike through the ancient rainforest.
Dive into the Great Barrier Reef
No trip to Tropical North Queensland would be complete without a visit to the world’s largest coral reef. Start your adventure on the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef and forge unforgettable moments at sea, from snorkeling around coral to scuba-diving deep. Why not sail the seas with a cocktail in hand, or fly through the sky in a heli? Either way, you’ll be amazed at all the ways you see the unmatched beauty of the reef.
Residents of the Rainforest
Get to know the friendly faces of the rainforest and meet the local wildlife during your visit with Targa GBR. See waterbirds whilst walking down Cairns Esplanade or spot the most famous two Tropical North Queensland locals: the saltwater crocodile and cassowary, both direct descendants of dinosaurs. You can also head straight for one of the many wildlife parks to get a closer look at beautiful butterflies, furry koalas and baby roos.
The only region with two distinct Indigenous cultures (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander), Tropical North Queensland offers a dazzling array of opportunities to dive headfirst into cultural immersion. A hotbed of artistic talent, the region is a melting pot of Indigenous and contemporary art forms that represent the rich tapestry of cultures. Learn about the rainforest during a bush tucker walk, take a traditional fishing lesson or be “Welcomed to Country” in an ancient ritual.
Australia’s Adventure Capital
Australia’s undisputed capital of thrills attracts adrenaline junkies of all persuasions to its palm-fringed shores, intent on finding the ultimate adventure buzz … and no-one leaves disappointed. High-flyers can skydive over Mission Beach or Cairns, float above the Tablelands in a hot-air balloon, zipline over a crocodile in the Wildlife Dome or bungy jump from a 50m-high tower in Cairns.
Taste of the Tropical Lifestyle
Diversity and abundance make Tropical North Queensland unique as a food-producing region. In the Atherton Tablelands, you’ll find coffee and tea plantations and cattle farms, biodynamic dairies producing milk, cheese and yoghurt, aquaculture farms and distilleries. Grab a map and DIY a bespoke food trail, or join an organised food tour to talk and taste bush food with an Indigenous expert. A wander around the markets at Yungaburra or Rusty’s Market in Cairns also offers the opportunity to see, smell and taste the tropical north. With a profusion of experiences and produce, whatever your interests and appetite, you’re unlikely to ever go hungry up here.
Wonders of Mother Nature
To experience nature at its most powerful and awe-inspiring, explore Tropical North Queensland’s geological wonders. From dramatic gorges scoured from ancient rock to the world’s largest lava tube system and world-heritage listed fossil fields. Start your exploration of the spectacular at Cobbold Gorge in Gulf Savannah country. Another remnant of that past are underground caverns such as the Chillagoe Caves. Take a guided tour through a number of different caverns, including some filled with beautiful stalactites and stalagmites
While you’re in town…
When you’re not zipping around the tropics, why not slow down the pace with these side trips.
7 road trips you don’t want to miss
Nothing beats a good old-fashioned road trip. Whether it’s a leisurely Sunday drive or an extended journey, hitting the road offers unbridled freedom. So fasten your seatbelt, shuffle your favourite playlist and settle back as you journey through Tropical North Queensland.
One day wonders
Discover local specialties and hidden gems on a mini road trip through Tropical North Queensland. Here are six itineraries to get you out and about.
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.
Seafood lovers’ guide to Cairns
As the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, Cairns is teeming with an abundance of restaurants offering fresh, local catches and exceptional seafood. Find the stand-out seafood dishes in Cairns below.