Far North Queensland is an outdoor lovers paradise. The area is jam packed with boundless natural beauty, unique wildlife and thrilling adventures. Cairns is the Northern metropolis of choice to visit if you wish to see the best of tropical Australia. From hopping to and fro tropical islands across the Great Barrier Reef, to hiking the oldest forest in the world, here is the bucket list to adventure the very best of Cairns.
1. visit the Great Barrier Reef
The largest living eco system on planet Earth and one of the worlds’ most breathtaking phenomena, the Great Barrier Reef is an absolute must to experience with ones own senses. I have done snorkelling and scuba diving in this underwater wonderland and can confirm that this is truly an enchanting experience. The colossal breadth of wildlife and colour in all it’s untamed glory is something that everyone should prioritise while staying around Cairns. If you’re wanting to know how to experience this natural wonder, you can check out must have experiences out here.
2. Visit Palm Cove
A picturesque village of paradise is located just 20 minutes North of Cairns, it is called Palm Cove. This is where you will find the best local and international cuisine in the area as well as bustling tiki bars and romantic coastal strolling paths along the wondrous palm tress and mangrove swamps that encapsulate the village centre and coastline.
3. Hike the oldest forest in the world
The Daintree is the world’s oldest rainforest. It is filled with flora and fauna that time forgot; this forest once homed dinosaurs, and still boasts fluorescent plants that glow in the dark and an is an abode to some of the rarest species in the world. Year round, it is every hikers dream to trek due to the warm climate and abundant water sources – even if there is the chance of encountering one or two large reptiles and creepy crawlies! There are also options to take guided hikes with companies such as Daintree forest tours if you wish to travel in larger groups with a structure.
4. Admire the rare wildlife
From the giant and brightly coloured Cassowary to the adorable, rare Tree Kangaroo, Northern Queensland plays home to some of the most unique and rarest of wildlife in the world. If spotting them in the wild isn’t for you and you want to still see them up close, then a safe and personal experience is still possible visiting the Port Douglas Wildlife Habitat which is a 50 minute drive North of Cairns. This centre nurtures and protects endangered species in a safe and authentic environment for both human visitors and fauna residents.
5. Chase waterfalls
Cairns has twenty waterfalls within its region, all beautiful with their own character and personality. Some waterfalls such as Milla Milla are safe to swim in. However, be aware that some waterfalls, especially coastal may have crocs in them, which just isn’t worth that cheeky dip. The best times to visit are during the dry season when water still flows but at a much safer rate.
6. Visit a tropical island
As beautiful Cairns is, the swamp like beaches attract thousands of crocodiles. But not to worry! Out of 900 islands within the Great Barrier Reef, 5 can be found on the shores of Cairns. These islands are home to pristine waters that are croc free and filled with gorgeous corals and fish. Islands such as Fitzroy Island has its own resort and a plethora of out door actives which is the perfect place to stay if you’re wanting to escape the crowds. It is also home to a turtle sanctuary where you can swim with them in the shallow waters.
7. Visit Paronella Park
Paronella Park is located about an hour south of Cairns. The park was originally bought as a property over a century ago by spaniard, Jose Paronella. His dream was to build a ‘castle’ to live in and for his wife to move into as she still resided in Spain. After many years of hard graft, Jose built a magnificently unique castle on his land which is surrounded by a magnificent waterfall and tropical forest land. For $42 you can explore the whole property and tour the museum.
I’m an Australian blogger based in Central West NSW who has spent the last few years exploring the four corners of the globe, living as an expat and falling in love with the world just a little bit more everyday. Here you can find my tips, guides and experiences to help inspire you for your next trip!
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