Things to do
Great Barrier Reef
Think of any activity you can do on the water and Tropical North Queensland has it covered! You can swim, snorkel, dive, jump, fly and sail the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef, a living masterpiece so big it can be seen from outer space. It stretches more than 2,000 kilometres along the Queensland coastland and has an abundance of marine life that is sure to amaze. Find nemo, swim with the minke whales, dive with the massive potato cod or cruise the shallows with a sea turtle. Most activities can be organized and boarded from the Reef Fleet Terminal.
Wander your way up the smooth climb to Crystal Cascades waterfall, located only a short 30 minute drive from Central Cairns. If that isn’t enough and you have a little more time on your hands, venture to the Atherton Tablelands and immerse yourself in a series of stunning waterfalls, all unique in their beauty. The Tablelands is about a 90 minute drive from Central Cairns and encompasses the Waterfalls Circuit, a 17km driving loop featuring Millaa Millaa Falls – a favourite for any photographer!
Mossman Gorge, situated a 20 minute drive from Port Douglas, is a brilliant place for people of all ages to get off the beaten track and become enchanted under the canopy of the Daintree Rainforest. There are multiple trails ranging from 270m-2.4kms that you can easily navigate on your own. Feel the serenity as you edge far into the forest between the deep roots of trees that have been standing for hundreds of years. While you are there, take the chance to learn about the Indigenous History of the Kuku Yalanji people on a Dreamtime Walk Tour.
Skyrail and Kuranda Train Tour
Experience the rainforest from the tree tops with the relaxing Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. Board the gondola at Smithfield and enjoy the panoramic views of the coastline as it climbs its way up to Kuranda, spanning 7.5kms over pristine rainforest. Spend some time exploring the colourful quirky rainforest village of Kuranda before boarding the Kuranda Scenic Railway for a 90-minute ride winding through the Barron Falls National Park and back to Cairns. Kuranda village is an iconic tourism destination with markets, cafes, restaurants, river cruises and rainforest walks. Located between Smithfield (stage 1) and Davies Creek (stage 2) there's also accommodation options available too.
Indigenous Art & Culture
Tropical North Queensland is home to both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Indigenous peoples. There are many art galleries to visit both in Cairns and Port Douglas, but the experience of Indigenous dance and song is like no other. You can catch performances all year round at the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park near Cairns or the famous Pamigirri dancers each day at Rainforestation Nature Park in Kuranda.
Take a refreshing dip in the Esplanade Lagoon, on the Cairns foreshore, a huge saltwater swimming lagoon where kids can enjoy the sandy edges, build sand castles and play in shallow water. Take some time to check out the cool cafes and bars of the city or spend some time in the boutique shops and art galleries. You will meet people from all over the world.
On the cusp of the Queensland Outback, gateway to the wilds of Cape York and right at the doorstep of World Heritage listed rainforest, sunny Mareeba is the perfect base from which to explore the many experiences and stories of the region. Visit mareebaheritagecentre.com.au to find an adventure for the whole family!