Escape to Queensland’s Tropical North and discover a place of vast beauty and natural wonders. Being the only place on earth where two
World-Heritage areas meet, adventures are as diverse as trekking through an ancient rainforest one day, to diving on the world’s largest coral reef the next.
And it’s easy to get there, with Cairns as the main gateway and accessible from major cities – Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin and Wellington via Brisbane, or seasonal direct services in the New Zealand winter from Auckland with Air New Zealand.
As the name suggests, Tropical North Queensland is the perfect escape from the chill and damp of a New Zealand winter!
1. Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is the largest reef structure in the world and stretches over 2,000 kilometres. It is so vast it can even be seen from the Moon! The coloured coral expanses just below the surface of the warm, crystal clear tropical waters are home to an unbelievable array of
sea life, and so many ways to enjoy this natural wonder, there really is something for everyone.
Do a day tour and snorkel or dive. Or if you prefer to stay dry, view the coral and fish through underwater observatories or a semi-submersible. Take a sailing catamaran, a fast wavepiercer or a more intimate dive vessel.
Meet naturalist and marine biologists who can share their insights on this incredible natural place, or get a bird’s eye view as you fly above it. Of course you can join an extended dive trip or stay on an island as well.
2. Daintree Rainforest
The Daintree Rainforest is the oldest surviving tropical rainforest on earth, and is a site of exceptional beauty and significance as the region that
contains the most species of plants and animals in Australia.
Cruise down the Daintree River and take in the sights of jungle homes of birds, animals and reptiles including large crocodiles and pythons. The region is recognised for its superb wildlife, and eco-tourism operators provide itineraries offering fascinating insights into the creatures that inhabit this remote and beautiful river-system.
3. Islands and beaches
There are beaches, and then there are Queensland beaches. In a country that’s world-renowned for its stunning coastline, the pristine beaches and crystal clear water of the Great Barrier Reef provide the backdrop dreams are made of.
Lizard Island offers some of the world’s most beautiful reefs and private beaches, just a short skip from the world-famous dive site Cod Hole and the Ribbon Reefs, or how about renting a whole island for yourself at Haggerstone Island.
4. Food and Wine
Savour the salty tang of a tiger prawn, slurp the sweet juice of a mangosteen or inhale the aroma of freshly brewed coffee. Tropical North Queensland is where you can indulge in new tastes or revel in fresh, familiar flavours straight from the farm.
Five trails wind through diverse landscapes from the mountains to the coast taking in tropical fruit wineries, tea and coffee plantations, dairy producers, fruit, veg and aquaculture farms, ice creameries, chocolate manufacturers and enticing restaurants.
Whilst the Tropical North is an ideal place to “flop and drop” by the pool or beach, or both, it’s also perfect to explore and definitely worth hiring a car for a few days.
Discover the northern beaches from Cairns up to Port Douglas, stopping for lunch at Trinity Beach or Palm Cove, and spending
some time to explore the shops in Port Douglas.
Head northwards towards Cape Tribulation, and discover the rainforest, or drive southwards towards Mission Beach.
See if you can spot a Cassowary, or head inland to the Undara Lava tubes, or to the Atherton Tablelands to taste fresh grown foods.
Discover the many walking and cycling tracks, long or short …Tropical North Queensland has so much to be discovered.