Self Drive Tour Of Australia’s Tropical North

Filed under : Camping

The Reef & Rainforest Tour

This is a self drive tour that incorporates some of the most popular attractions of Queensland’s tropical far north. This is a region where rainforest meets Great Barrier Reef and is the location of some of Australia’s popular tourist attractions. A campervan rental provides the perfect means to enjoy this tour, whether you use the itinerary shown below or set your own.

The tour is centered around Cairns, the largest of Queensland’s tropical towns. The surrounding areas offer a wide range of holiday resorts and hotels, World Heritage listed rainforests, easy access to the Great Barrier Reef, cruising, sailing, diving, blue water sport fishing, hot-air ballooning, jet boating, kayaking , canoeing and white water rafting at several river sites . The region is home to some of Australia’s most popular tour activities.

Tour Highlights:

Enjoy a cruise to the Great Barrier Reef and islands for some world class diving, snorkelling over the coral reefs or just enjoy the sights from a glass bottomed boat.  Climb aboard a historic steam train and ride the 34 kms of Kuranda Scenic Rail between Cairns and Kuranda, one of the oldest railway lines in Queensland. Enjoy dense rainforests, cascading waterfalls , spectacular panoramas and testimony to the pioneering spirit. For a change of pace, climb aboard the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway for the trip back to Cairns.

Visit the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park, a unique attempt to explain the local Aboriginal culture and folklore .  Explore the lovely coves and inlets along Cairn’s northern beaches. Play a spot of golf on any of the several resort golf courses . Continue further north to the upmarket holiday resort town of Port Douglas and then on to the Greater Daintree and Cape Tribulation national parks. This is where Barrier Reef meets rainforest. Day trip tours galore , cruises on the Daintree river, mountain bike tours and lots of eco tours.

Explore the Atherton Tablelands with its rainforests, rich pastures, crater lakes and waterfalls. Check the dates for the rodeo at Mareeba, explore the limestone caves at Chillagoe, the crater lakes at Yungaburra and take a refreshing dip in the swimming holes at the Malanda and Milla Milla falls. Tour the Cassowary Coast south of Cairns. Pay a visit to the sugar town of Innisfail and prepare to be surprised at the rainfall figures at nearby Tully. Try white-water rafting in the Barron, North Johnstone and Tully rivers and visit  Dunk and Hinchinbrook Islands in Rockingham Bay. 

State:     Queensland
Tour Start: Cairns
Tour End: Cairns
Duration: 5 days
Distance: 500 kilometres (315 miles)
Vehicle Type: Suitable for 2WD sedans, campervans and 4WD


Day 1: Cairns to Port Douglas
Day 2: Port Douglas and the Daintree Rainforest
Day 3: Port Douglas to Innisfail via the Cairns Highlands
Day 4: Innisfail to Mission Beach
Day 5: Mission Beach to Cairns

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