Four Nights in Beautiful Far North Queensland

Tripoto
6th Nov 2015

Cow Bay Beach

Photo of Four Nights in Beautiful Far North Queensland by Taelum W

Ellis Beach, on the way to Port Douglas

Photo of Four Nights in Beautiful Far North Queensland by Taelum W

Rex Lookout, Captain Cook Highway

Photo of Four Nights in Beautiful Far North Queensland by Taelum W

Macrossan Street, Port Douglas

Photo of Four Nights in Beautiful Far North Queensland by Taelum W

Four Mile Beach, Port Douglas

Photo of Four Nights in Beautiful Far North Queensland by Taelum W

Mossman Gorge, which is more dramatic after rains

Photo of Four Nights in Beautiful Far North Queensland by Taelum W

Daintree River Cruise. Can you spot the crocodile?

Photo of Four Nights in Beautiful Far North Queensland by Taelum W

Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, near Kuranda

Photo of Four Nights in Beautiful Far North Queensland by Taelum W

Rainforest at Mossman Gorge

Photo of Four Nights in Beautiful Far North Queensland by Taelum W

Beautiful Ocean at Cow Bay Beach

Photo of Four Nights in Beautiful Far North Queensland by Taelum W

Stunning Vistas from Port Douglas Lookout

Photo of Four Nights in Beautiful Far North Queensland by Taelum W

Daintree River as seen on the Crocodile Cruise

Photo of Four Nights in Beautiful Far North Queensland by Taelum W

Kuranda Scenic Railway Locomotive

Photo of Four Nights in Beautiful Far North Queensland by Taelum W

Singposts In Kuranda

Photo of Four Nights in Beautiful Far North Queensland by Taelum W

An interestingly designed Indigenous Art Gallery

Photo of Four Nights in Beautiful Far North Queensland by Taelum W

The lovely old platform of Kuranda Station

Photo of Four Nights in Beautiful Far North Queensland by Taelum W

The train's size as seen when going around a bend

Photo of Four Nights in Beautiful Far North Queensland by Taelum W

Views From the Kuranda Scenic Railway

Photo of Four Nights in Beautiful Far North Queensland by Taelum W

Stoney Creek Falls, Kuranda Scenic Railway

Photo of Four Nights in Beautiful Far North Queensland by Taelum W

Marvellous view from our hotel in Cairns

Photo of Four Nights in Beautiful Far North Queensland by Taelum W

Cairns City Centre seen from the water

Photo of Four Nights in Beautiful Far North Queensland by Taelum W

Palm trees as seen from our hotel in Cairns

Photo of Four Nights in Beautiful Far North Queensland by Taelum W

Cairns Esplanade on a Sunday Evening

Photo of Four Nights in Beautiful Far North Queensland by Taelum W

The "Reef Rocket" which took us to Green Island

Photo of Four Nights in Beautiful Far North Queensland by Taelum W

Stunning view of Green Island's Reef

Photo of Four Nights in Beautiful Far North Queensland by Taelum W

Green Island Beach Realxation spots

Photo of Four Nights in Beautiful Far North Queensland by Taelum W

Green Island Glass Bottom Boat Cruise. Awesome!

Photo of Four Nights in Beautiful Far North Queensland by Taelum W

Far North Queensland, the northern part of the state of Queensland in Australia, is a tropical land of beauty, ecosystems and breathtaking nature. It is a paradise where you go to in order to travel around soaking up the beautiful and pristine nature rather than spending most of the time based around one area. Far North Queensland is home to the world famous Great Barrier Reef, the world' largest living thing at over 2000 km (1242 miles) , as well as the spectacular Wold Heritage Daintree Rainforest, which is the oldest surviving rainforest ecosystem in the world. FNQ is a great place for scenic driving and offers unforgettable drives. There are plenty of drives that take you through all sorts of different landscapes ranging from picturesque cane fields to Rainforests and drives that take you right along the coast.  Apart from driving, there are a plethora of other great things to do, which include reef activities, hiking, riding up to Kuranda on the cableway or scenic railway and crocodile cruises, just to name a few. On our four night trip to FNQ, we stayed at two places, Port Douglas and Cairns, for two nights each, and managed to do plenty of great things. If you stay longer, you can obviously do much more than what is on our itinerary. Our itinerary features the best things to do in this spectacular slice of paradise and is a great guide to use if short on time.

Day 1  (November 6th 2015)

We arrive at Cairns International Airport and then pick up our Toyota Corolla Hire car ( a reliable small car to hire even if fitting in luggage is a little difficult) and drive along the beautiful coastal Captain Cook Highway to the Rendezvous Reef Resort in Port Douglas. After checking in, we look around the relaxed and truly great town of Port Douglas.

Day 2 (November 7th 2015)

We drive to the stunning Mossman Gorge National Park north of Port Douglas and do some walking. After that, we drove through cane fields and along stretches of coastline to get to Bruce Belchers Crocodile cruises along the pristine Daintree River. Lastly,we drove up to Cow Bay, a small community nestled within the Daintree Rainforest right near the beach, before heading back to Port Douglas.

Day 3 (November 8th 2015)

We check out of our hotel and head back to Cairns to check in to the Doubletree by Hilton hotel there, before we drive up the road to the must do Cairns Scenic Rainforest Cableway, which takes you above the Barron Gorge National Park rainforest canopy to the village of Kuranda. After spending a few hours in Kuranda, we head back down trough the mountains to Cairns on the historic scenic railway. We rest for a little and hit the town.

Day 4 (November 9th 2015)

We head out with Big Cat Green Island Reef Tours to Green Island on the Great Barrier Reef, and take the 30 minute glass bottom boat departing from the island that shows you awe inspiring views of the coral reef. After spending  few hours on the small island, we catch the 45 minute high speed catamaran back to Cairns. We relax before hitting the town for our last night in Far North Queensland.

Day 5 (November 10th 2015)

After a scrumptious buffet breakfast at our hotel, the Doubletree by Hilton Cairns, we check out and return our hire car to the airport before checking in for our flight home after a fantastic adventure and nature filled four night getaway.

The Captain Cook Highway is a 75 km (46.6 mile) stretch of road from Cairns to Mossman that is the main road connecting Cairns with the communities of Port Douglas, Mossman as well as other locations further afield once the Captain Cook Highway end and forms into other roads. It is a stunning drive, wedged between pristine mountains and the vast open coral sea. At many stages of the 75 km (46 mile) journey, the road travels directly parallel to the crystal clear coral sea which is barely a stones throw away outside your window! You must visit the Rex lookout while driving on the highway, which is just located on the ocean side of the road, offering great views of the flat sea in front of you and surrounding mountains. If you are driving north and stop at the lookout, you have to cross the road itself to get from the parking area to the lookout, so be aware of traffic! The sealed road can be dangerous in wet weather and consists of many bends and turns, so drive carefully. This is the road we drove on to get to and from Cairns/Port Douglas on our holiday.
Photo of Captain Cook Highway, Wangetti, Queensland, Australia by Taelum W
Photo of Captain Cook Highway, Wangetti, Queensland, Australia by Taelum W
Port Douglas is a beautiful and chilled coastal community located off the Captain Cook Highway that includes a number of different accommodation options as well as the tranquil palm fringed four mile beach and the tropical style Macrossan Street, which offers a variety of stores, boutiques, cafés, upmarket restaurants and other establishments as well as a small village style shopping centre hosting a supermarket and small department store. Port Douglas also hosts a wildlife park, a stunning lookout offering great views of Four Mile Beach, palm trees and the mountains in the distance as well as numerous tours including tours to the Great Barrier Reef and the World Heritage listed Daintree Rainforest. We stayed here for two out of four nights on our Far North Queensland holiday, and even if you are not staying here, Port Douglas is definitely worth a visit!
Photo of Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia by Taelum W
Photo of Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia by Taelum W
Photo of Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia by Taelum W
Photo of Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia by Taelum W
The Mossman Gorge is a beautiful gorge located in the southern part of the Daintree Rainforest just outside of the little cane farming town of Mossman about a fifteen minute drive north of Port Douglas. The gorge and the surrounding rainforest and nearby mountain peaks are truly spectacular and a must do if in Far North Queensland. From the Mossman Gorge Information Centre, it is a quick bus shuttle to the start of the walking trail that traverses its way through ancient rainforest to the Gorge and beyond. The Mossman Gorge is also part of the traditional land of the local Kuku Yalanji people and you can take part in tours run by the locals that showcases the rainforest and their culture. We did not do any tours or did the full walk around the area, as we were short on time and wanted to do many things on our 1 day in the area north of Port Douglas.
Photo of Mossman Gorge Centre, Mossman Gorge Road, Mossman Gorge, Queensland, Australia by Taelum W
Photo of Mossman Gorge Centre, Mossman Gorge Road, Mossman Gorge, Queensland, Australia by Taelum W
Located north of Mossman a few minutes past the turnoff to go to Cape Tribulation and destinations beyond, is Bruce Belcher's Daintree River Cruises. The sign markings are clear and display the next crocodile river cruise times as you turn off the road. The 1 hour cruise along the lonely and peaceful Daintree River is memorising and we managed to spot three crocodiles and numerous bird species on the journey. Even if no crocodiles are out when you go on the cruise, the cruise itself is still very relaxing and offers breathtaking views of the scenic Daintree river and the flora residing along the banks. The staff are also very friendly too!
Photo of Bruce Belcher’s Daintree River Cruises, Mossman-Daintree Road, Lower Daintree, Queensland, Australia by Taelum W
Photo of Bruce Belcher’s Daintree River Cruises, Mossman-Daintree Road, Lower Daintree, Queensland, Australia by Taelum W
Cow Bay is a small isolated community set in a lovely rainforest environment located along the coast, just off the Cape Tribulation Road twenty minutes north of the Daintree River vehicle Ferry (costs 25 AUD for car both ways, more details on Douglas council website). The drive from the Ferry to Cow Bay involves traveling through the depths of the the ancient and simply beautiful Daintree Rainforest on the winding and narrow sealed road. Cow Bay includes its MUST visit Beach, a spectacular and vast lonely beach nestled between lush hills and definitely one of the greatest beaches I have ever visited. Cow Bay Beach is just a short drive down the sealed Buchannan Creek Road, a side road off the main Cape Tribulation Road.
Photo of Cow Bay, Queensland, Australia by Taelum W
Photo of Cow Bay, Queensland, Australia by Taelum W
Photo of Cow Bay, Queensland, Australia by Taelum W
The Skyrail Rainforest Cableway is a 7.5 kilometre (4.6 mile) cable car journey venturing above the canopy of the lush, hilly and sensational Barron Gorge National park, connecting Cairns with the historic and idyllic village of Kuranda. There are two stops along the way, Red Peak Station and Barron Falls Station. At Red Peak Station, you will stop there for around twenty to thirty minutes and will be able to explore some spectacular rainforest scenery on the boardwalk including some very large and ancient trees. There was a guided tour when we were there, which was very informative. The next stop, Barron Falls station, allows you a similar amount of time to savour in the environment there, which includes lush rainforest, historic displays and the views of the awe inspiring Barron Falls, which drops way down into the Barron Gorge. The trip up to Kuranda (including the two stops) is 1.5 hours while the trip back down to Cairns is 2-2.5 hours. A MUST DO while in Far North Queensland.
Photo of Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, Cairns, Queensland, Australia by Taelum W
Photo of Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, Cairns, Queensland, Australia by Taelum W
Kuranda, where the Skyrail cableway and the Scenic Railway either starts or ends, is a rainforest village bursting with relaxed charm, heritage and quite a bit of serenity too. Kuranda features a few markets selling a variety of different things ranging from local art to books and spicy sauces as well as souvenir stores and local art galleries. There are numerous cafes to eat from as well as well as your typical Queensland style Pub near the train station and Skyrail, set in peaceful and lush surroundings. If you are in Kuranda, why not visit some of the numerous wildlife attractions? Unfortunately, we did not get time to go to them.
Photo of Kuranda, Queensland, Australia by Taelum W
Photo of Kuranda, Queensland, Australia by Taelum W
Photo of Kuranda, Queensland, Australia by Taelum W
Photo of Kuranda, Queensland, Australia by Taelum W
Photo of Kuranda, Queensland, Australia by Taelum W
The Kuranda Scenic Railway is a unique and beautiful 1 hour and 55 minute train journey between Cairns and Kuranda with a stopover at Freshwater, that runs in both directions. While travelling in the nostalgic and elegant carriages, you will be treated with great views of the rainforest, mountains, Barron Gorge, the iconic postcard perfect Stoney Creek Falls and views down the ranges into the northern suburbs and green fields of Cairns. Not only are the trains and scenery beautiful, the historic Kuranda and Freshwater stations along the journey are truly stunning pieces of architecture. After taking the Skyrail up to Kuranda, we caught the scenic railway back down to Freshwater station and hopped onto the all included shuttle bus that took us to our car in the Skyrail parking lot. The Kuranda Scenic Railway is another MUST DO while in Far North Queensland.
Photo of Kuranda Scenic Railway, Cairns City, Queensland, Australia by Taelum W
Photo of Kuranda Scenic Railway, Cairns City, Queensland, Australia by Taelum W
Photo of Kuranda Scenic Railway, Cairns City, Queensland, Australia by Taelum W
Photo of Kuranda Scenic Railway, Cairns City, Queensland, Australia by Taelum W
Photo of Kuranda Scenic Railway, Cairns City, Queensland, Australia by Taelum W
Cairns, Queensland's 5th largest city, is one of the best places to set base for your holiday in Far North Queensland along with Port Douglas, where we stayed for two nights prior to spending another two in Cairns, where we used it as a base for Kuranda and the Great Barrier Reef. Cairns is a pretty small and relaxed urban centre and only has modest crowds. In the heart of Cairns, you will find the majority of hotels and accommodation options as well as departure points for tours. Apart from hotels, the quaint and nicely landscaped city centre is home to the Reef Hotel Casino, numerous restaurants, bars, shops, the Cairns Marina and the lovely Cairns Esplanade area, which includes tropical plants, waterfront views, footpaths and the famous Cairns lagoon.
Photo of Cairns, Queensland, Australia by Taelum W
Photo of Cairns, Queensland, Australia by Taelum W
If only two words could summarise Green Island, those two words would be; Incredibly Beautiful. Green Island is a coral cay on the Great Barrier Reef, not far off the coast of Cairns. Although there are quite a few tourists and people, that does not disturb the overall beauty, calmness and paradise feel of the place. There are plenty of attractions to fill your half day or full day visit, including snorkelling, paragliding, relaxing on the pristine beach and having a trip in the glass bottom boat or the semi-submarine, both offering unforgettable views of the spectacular and awe-inspiring coral reefs fringing the little island. Green island also features a few shops and eateries as well as a small resort and walking trail that circumnavigates the island, all hidden within island rainforest behind the white beach surrounding the island. We did the half day tour with the tour operator Big Cat Green Island Reef Tours, which allows you 2 hours to explore the island. We got to and from the island from Cairns on the 45 minute high speed catamaran journey and we did a 30 minute Glass Bottom Boat cruise which was truly special and memorising. Green Island is a must do when in Cairns!
Photo of Green Island, Queensland, Australia by Taelum W
Photo of Green Island, Queensland, Australia by Taelum W
Photo of Green Island, Queensland, Australia by Taelum W
Photo of Green Island, Queensland, Australia by Taelum W
Photo of Green Island, Queensland, Australia by Taelum W
Dundee's Restaurant on the waterfront is a bustling and modern restaurant along the Cairns marina serving up a large menu of high quality meals, including plenty of local seafood and great Aussie meals. The prices are a little on the high side, but the great food, service, atmosphere and energy more than make up for it. If you are adventurous, why not try their popular Seafood platter (2 or more people) or their bush tucker options, including the Kangaroo satay and the Crocodile Satay. We went there on our last night in Cairns for dinner (A Monday Night) before going home, and managed to walk straight in.
Be the first one to comment