Queensland Holidays - The Official Tourism Site for Queensland

Great Tropical Drive
12 Days  / 500 Kilometres



Description

The Great Tropical Drive is a self-drive route that will take you from Cairns and Townsville to some amazing places in Tropical Australia - less than a few hours away. It takes in palm-fringed beaches, ancient rainforests and the golden outback of North Queensland.

Follow the Great Tropical Drive for 12 days and 2079 kilometres to some of Australia's best known attractions - the Great Barrier Reef, Daintree rainforest, Hinchinbrook Island and Undara Lava Tubes - and be prepared for many unexpected discoveries along the way.

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You can choose from 13 Discovery Trails - each one a unique itinerary that will give you a taste of Tropical Australia - from overnight drives to the Atherton Tablelands, to week-long 4WD and campervan adventures into the goldfields.

Whether you want to experience nature, Indigenous culture, food and wine, wildlife, heritage or adventure, you can plan a journey to take in just one or as many experiences as you like.

The Great Tropical Drive passes through six unique regions of North Queensland: Cooktown, Port Douglas and Daintree, Cairns and Beaches, Mission Beach and the Cassowary Coast, Tropical Tablelands and Savannah Country, Townsville, Charters Towers and Hinchinbrook.

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Cairns to Port Douglas Captain Cook Highway Coral Sea Coast
Cairns to Port Douglas Captain Cook Highway Coral Sea CoastMilla Milla waterfall, Atherton Tablelands, Cairns Highlands
Milla Milla waterfall, Atherton Tablelands, Cairns HighlandsPalm Cove beach - Great Tropical Drive
Palm Cove beach - Great Tropical Drive


Journey Details

Duration12 Days Itinerary TypeLand
Distance500 KilometresItinerary RouteOne Way
Mode of Travel4x4
Bicycle
Car
Caravan
Motorcycle
Level of Difficulty Unrated

Facilities

  • BBQ Facilities
    BBQ Facilities
  • Cafe
    Cafe
  • Car park
    Car park
  • First Aid Equipment
    First Aid Equipment
  • Parents Room
    Parents Room
  • Parking for the Disabled
    Disabled Parking
  • Picnic Area
    Picnic Area
  • Public toilet
    Public toilet
  • Shaded Area
    Shaded Area
  • Sheltered Area
    Sheltered Area
  • Toilet facilities for the Disabled
    Disabled toilet
  • Viewing Platform
    Viewing Platform
  • Visitor Information Centre
    Visitor Information Centre
  • Walking Tracks
    Walking Tracks

Activities

  • Abseiling
    Abseiling
  • Animal Watching
    Animal Watching
  • Astronomy
    Astronomy
  • BBQ Facilities
    BBQ Facilities
  • Canoeing
    Canoeing
  • Cooking
    Cooking
  • Crabbing
    Crabbing
  • Cruising
    Cruising
  • Cycling
    Cycling
  • Fishing
    Fishing
  • Fossicking
    Fossicking
  • Fruit Picking
    Fruit Picking
  • Prospecting
    Prospecting
  • Golfing
    Golfing
  • Horseriding
    Horseriding
  • Kayaking
    Kayaking
  • Meditating
    Meditating
  • Mountain Biking
    Mountain Biking
  • Off Road Driving
    Off Road Driving
  • Rock Climbing
    Rock Climbing
  • Sailing
    Sailing
  • Scuba-Diving
    Scuba-Diving
  • Skydiving
    Skydiving
  • Snorkelling
    Snorkelling
  • Surfing
    Surfing
  • Swim with Sharks
    Swim with Sharks
  • Swim with Whales
    Swim with Whales
  • Swimming
    Swimming
  • Train Ride
    Train Ride
  • Walking
    Walking
  • Self-Guided
    Self-Guided
  • Whale Watching
    Whale Watching
  • Wine Tasting
    Wine Tasting


Great Tropical Drive Full Itinerary

Great Barrier Reef Drive

The Great Barrier Reef Drive from Cairns to Cape Tribulation is along spectacular coastline hugging two World Heritage areas, the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics rainforest. From Cairns you head north across the Barron River to the Cairns Northern Beaches including Trinity Beach, Palm Cove and Ellis Beach. The drive then winds along the edge of the Coral Sea past unspoiled tropical beaches to Port Douglas, the ideal place to cruise to the Great Barrier Reef.

Intimate, relaxed Port Douglas is the gateway to the Daintree, the world's oldest tropical rainforest. To the north is beautiful Mossman Gorge where you can discover the culture of the Kuku Yalanji people before driving through sugar cane fields to the township of Daintree. Take a crocodile spotting tour, fish for barramundi or marvel at the incredible birdlife.

Cross the Daintree River on the cable ferry for a leisurely drive through ancient rainforest, pausing at lookouts for a glimpse of the Coral Sea as you wind your way past pretty beaches to Cape Tribulation where the rainforest meets the reef. Turn your journey into a 4WD rainforest adventure, follow a food trail, or learn more about the Aboriginal people of the rainforest.


Great Barrier Reef Drive, Tropical North Queensland
Great Barrier Reef Drive, Tropical North Queensland
Palm Cove beach - Great Tropical Drive
Palm Cove beach - Great Tropical Drive
Mossman Gorge - Great Tropical Drive
Mossman Gorge - Great Tropical Drive


Route Details

Duration: 3 Hrs 
Distance: 132 Kilometres
Mode of Travel: Car
Route Type: One Way
Suggested Stops:
- Rex Lookout
- Daintree River Ferry
- Alexandra Range Lookout

Experiences
  • Beach
    Beach
  • Marine
    Marine
  • Reef
    Reef


Level of Difficulty
Unrated



Palm Cove to Port Douglas

Palm Cove and Port Douglas are cosmopolitan beachside villages linked by a spectacular section of the Great Barrier Reef Drive. With its long sandy beach lapped by the Coral Sea and a backdrop of rainforest-clad mountains, Palm Cove has the perfect setting for an intimate getaway. Everything is within walking distance in this friendly village where restaurants, shops and resorts overlook the beach.

Driving north you pass through pretty Ellis Beach before the road hugs the coastline as it winds between the dual World Heritage areas of the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics rainforest. Stop at a deserted beach along the way and linger at the Rex Lookout where an incredible 180-degree view of the Coral Sea and its coastline begs a photograph.

The road leaves the blue of the ocean for the green of sugar cane fields just before the palm-lined entrance to Port Douglas. Known as the place where A-list celebrities escape, this tropical village has an incredible array of restaurants, great boutique shopping and the iconic Four Mile Beach. It is the closest mainland port to the Great Barrier Reef and only a short drive to the Wet Tropics rainforest at Daintree and Cape Tribulation.


Palm Cove, Great Tropical Drive, Tropical North Queensland
Palm Cove, Great Tropical Drive, Tropical North Queensland
Four Mile Beach in Port Douglas, Tropical North Queensland
Four Mile Beach in Port Douglas, Tropical North Queensland
Dining in a restaurant in Port Douglas
Dining in a restaurant in Port Douglas


Route Details

Duration: 1 Hr 
Distance: 43 Kilometres
Mode of Travel: Car
Route Type: One Way
Suggested Stops:
- Four Mile Beach
- Ellis Beach
- Port Douglas Pioneer Cemetery

Experiences
  • Beach
    Beach
  • Food and Wine
    Food and Wine
  • Indulgence/Luxury
    Indulgence/Luxury


Level of Difficulty
Unrated



Port Douglas to Daintree Village

The short drive from Port Douglas to Daintree Village offers the opportunity to learn about the Aboriginal people who have called the Wet Tropics rainforest home for thousands of years. The Port Douglas and Daintree region is the traditional country of the Kuku Yalanji Aboriginal people who continue to have ongoing connections with the area and offer tours where you can experience their culture.

Mossman Gorge is the southern section of the Daintree National Park where steep mountains, thick with rainforest send the Mossman River tumbling over the Gorge's massive granite boulders creating cool, clear freshwater swimming holes. Take a picnic and discover the rainforest on one of the free walks around the Gorge or join a local Indigenous guide on their traditional land to learn how their ancestors trapped fish and safely prepared poisonous foods to eat.

In Mossman you can visit an Indigenous gallery where the resident artist will show you how to paint your own burnie bean. Experience traditional hunting at the coastal village of Cooya Beach where an Indigenous guide can show you how to hunt mud crab with a spear or relax with an Indigenous spa treatment at Daintree Village.


Mossman, Great Tropical Drive, Tropical North Queensland
Mossman, Great Tropical Drive, Tropical North Queensland
Mossman, Great Tropical Drive - Tropical North Queensland
Mossman, Great Tropical Drive - Tropical North Queensland


Route Details

Duration: 46 Mins
Distance: 54 Kilometres
Mode of Travel: Car
Route Type: One Way
Suggested Stops:
- St Davids Anglican Church Mossman
- Wonga Beach
- Island Point Lookout, Port Douglas

Experiences
  • Lakes/Rivers/Dams
    Waterways
  • Nature based
    Nature based
  • Rainforest
    Rainforest


Level of Difficulty
Unrated



Daintree Village to Cape Tribulation

Daintree Village is perched on the southern side of the Daintree River and is famous for the resident saltwater crocodiles that live on its banks. The village has a number of crocodile, bird and wildlife spotting cruises that depart regularly where you can attempt to find Scarface, Fat Albert or Gummy. If eating croc is more to your liking, try a croc burger or croc san choy bow at a cafe.

Venture over the river on the cable ferry and explore the Daintree region encompassing Cape Kimberley, Cow Bay, Cooper Creek, Thornton Beach, Noah Valley and Cape Tribulation, where the bitumen road ends. Journey through the world's oldest surviving tropical rainforest to see an endangered cassowary, be dwarfed by an ancient king fern or swim in a clear freshwater creek.

Stepping straight on to the beach from the rainforest is a very special experience at Cape Tribulation where the dual World Heritage areas of the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree rainforest meet. Spot turtles and dugongs as you kayak over the coastal reef, join a night tour to spotlight nocturnal animals, taste exotic fruits, explore the rainforest on horseback or fly through the rainforest canopy on a flying fox.


Daintree Rainforest - Great Tropical Drive
Daintree Rainforest - Great Tropical Drive
Daintree Rainforest
Daintree Rainforest


Route Details

Duration: 1 Hr 17 Mins
Distance: 49 Kilometres
Mode of Travel: Car
Route Type: One Way
Suggested Stops:
- Daintree Hall
- Cow Bay
- Thorntons Beach

Experiences
  • Adventure
    Adventure
  • Nature based
    Nature based
  • Rainforest
    Rainforest


Level of Difficulty
Unrated



Tully to Mission Beach

Chances are you will spot a cassowary on this drive. See the giant Golden Gumboot which stands 7.9 metres tall to mark Tully's record-breaking rainfall and climb inside for a view of the town, its sugar mill and Mount Tyson.

Tully is one of the best places to go white-water rafting with the mighty Tully River plunging through Tully Gorge National Park or kayak Banyan Creek at a more leisurely pace on an Aboriginal cultural tour.

Just 36 kilometres south-west of Tully is beautiful Murray Falls in Girramay National Park where the clear waters of the Murray River cascade over boulders into rock pools.

Head back to Tully to visit El Arish, a former World War 1 soldier settlement where the streets are named after generals and battles.

Next stop is laidback Mission Beach which has beautiful sandy beaches lined with coconut palms and tropical islands close enough to paddle to.

This picturesque 14 kilometres length of coastline comprises the four villages of South Mission Beach, Wongaling Beach, North Mission Beach and Bingil Bay. With a variety of accommodation and restaurants, Mission Beach is a popular base for exploring the surrounding Wet Tropics rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef.


Mission Beach - Great Tropical Drive
Mission Beach - Great Tropical Drive
Tully River - Great Tropical Drive
Tully River - Great Tropical Drive


Route Details

Duration: 27 Mins
Distance: 32 Kilometres
Mode of Travel: Car
Route Type: One Way
Suggested Stops:
- El Arish Train Station Historical Museum
- Cutten Bros Grave Site
- Hull Aboriginal Interpretive Centre

Experiences
  • Beach
    Beach
  • Family Friendly
    Family Friendly
  • Rainforest
    Rainforest


Level of Difficulty
Unrated



Canecutter's Way

Journey back to another era - one of romance, gardens and castles - on the scenic Canecutter Way between Innisfail and Kurrimine Beach.

From Kurrimine Beach where most homes have a tractor to launch their tinnie for a day of fishing on the nearby reef, follow the old highway through lush sugar cane paddocks, tropical rainforest and fruit farms.

The tiny town of Silkwood is the home of Australia's smallest National Australia Bank and largest religious festival, the Feast of the Three Saints.

Drive on to the perfect picnic area at Liverpool Creek, near Japoonvale, before reaching Mena Creek, the home of Paronella Park.

Built in 1929, the ruins of a Spanish castle are framed by magnificent gardens, lakeside tunnels and bridges, all built by a Spanish immigrant to show his love for his wife.

Cane trains operate down the main street of quaint South Johnstone while nearby farms have old cane barracks still standing.

Don't miss the bakery at Wangan, home of award-winning meat pies, which can be enjoyed relaxing at Innisfail just minutes away.

Innisfail is home to Australia's largest collection of Art Deco buildings and an historic Chinese Joss House still in use.


Paronella Park
Paronella Park


Route Details

Duration: 30 Mins
Distance: 37 Kilometres
Mode of Travel: Car
Route Type: One Way
Suggested Stops:
- Liverpool Creek
- Murdering Point Winery
- Stevos Fruit Stall

Experiences
  • Cultural
    Cultural
  • Food and Wine
    Food and Wine
  • Historic/Heritage
    Historic/Heritage


Level of Difficulty
Unrated



Cooktown Discovery

Explore deep into the past of our early colonial history and even further back to ancient Aboriginal culture - all from Cooktown, a beautiful, unspoilt, small coastal town surrounded by stunning countryside.

A life-size statue of explorer Captain James Cook stands at the very spot where he stepped ashore while much needed repairs were made to his ship the Endeavour, after hitting a reef in 1770. See the town's historic buildings, cemetery and museums to discover more about Captain Cook as well as Indigenous, European and Chinese history.

Head north on a four wheel-drive journey along Battle Camp Road to Rinyirru (Lakefield) National Park. Queensland's second-largest national park features spectacular wetlands and extensive river systems that are home to an array of wildlife, especially birds and crocodiles.

People travel from all over the world to view the largest known collection of prehistoric rock art near Laura, the next stop on the circuit route. This area is known as Quinkan country after the Aboriginal spirits depicted at the Split Rock and Gu Gu Yalangi rock-art sites.

Next stop is Lakeland, also known as Lakeland Downs, a small farming centre and ideal rest stop south of Laura, before you reach Cooktown.


Cooktown - Great Tropical Drive
Cooktown - Great Tropical Drive
Grassy Hill Lookout in Cooktown
Grassy Hill Lookout in Cooktown


Route Details

Duration: 7 Hrs 2 Mins
Distance: 206 Kilometres
Mode of Travel: Car
Route Type: Circuit
Suggested Stops:
- Isabella Falls
- Old Laura Homestead
- Annan River

Experiences
  • Educational Tourism
    Educational Tourism
  • Family Friendly
    Family Friendly
  • Historic/Heritage
    Historic/Heritage


Level of Difficulty
Unrated



Hinchinbrook

Explore the Hinchinbrook Heritage Trail to learn the history of Ingham and stock up on Italian fare at one of the town's many delicatessens before driving to a nearby beach for a picnic. Catch some waves at Forrest Beach or hook a fish at Taylors Beach further north.

Heading towards Lucinda, don't miss Halifax, a small community where historic building facades and heritage-listed mango trees line the main street.

You can access the Hinchinbrook Channel at Lucinda, a popular departure point for fishing charters and transfers to Australia's largest island national park, Hinchinbrook Island.

Nearby is Girringun National Park with the spectacular Wallaman Falls, Australia's longest permanent single-drop waterfall. Heading back towards Ingham, take the turn-off to Mt Fox, a well preserved dormant volcano, formed more than 100,000 years ago.

Wind through Paluma Range National Park on the historic Mount Spec Road to reach Hidden Valley where you may see platypus. The road continues to Paluma, a quaint village with historic bush walks to scenic lookouts.

Returning to Ingham, stop about 500m south of Ingham at the Tyto Wetlands, where you can explore lagoons and walking tracks which are home to more than 230 species of birds and wallabies.


Hinchinbrook Range - Great Tropical Drive
Hinchinbrook Range - Great Tropical Drive


Route Details

Duration: 10 Hrs 25 Mins
Distance: 462 Kilometres
Mode of Travel: Car
Route Type: Circuit
Suggested Stops:
- Halifax Tree of Knowledge
- Victoria Mill, Ingham
- Little Crystal Creek

Experiences
  • Flora/Fauna
    Flora/Fauna
  • Nature based
    Nature based
  • Wildlife
    Wildlife


Level of Difficulty
Unrated



Paluma

Many travellers start their journey along The Great Green Way from the major regional city of Townsville.

Setting off along the Bruce Highway you will pass Townsville's northern beaches. Bushland and Saunders beaches both have boat ramps and accommodation, while Toolakea and Toomulla beaches are popular with bird watchers and anglers.

At Rollingstone, don't miss the heritage walk and Railway Museum. Nearby is Balgal Beach, a popular fishing spot with easy access to the Palm Group of Islands.

Winding through Paluma Range National Park, the historic Mount Spec Road features beautiful stonework, especially the masonry arch bridge over Little Crystal Creek where you can enjoy a dip before driving through rainforest.

Further along Mount Spec Road, which was built by hand during the Great Depression, is Hidden Valley where you are sure to see platypus.

The road continues to Paluma, an historic village with cosy tea houses, arts and crafts and an historic walk.

Thornton's Gap crosses Herveys Range west of Townsville following the tracks that once led to the goldfields.

At the top, the oldest known building in North Queensland, the Eureka Hotel, has been restored and is now the Herveys Range Heritage Tea Rooms.


Paluma Bridge - Great Tropical Drive
Paluma Bridge - Great Tropical Drive


Route Details

Duration: 2 Hrs 41 Mins
Distance: 130 Kilometres
Mode of Travel: Car
Route Type: Circuit
Suggested Stops:
- The Strand, Townsville
- Bluewater Swimming Hole
- Big Crystal Creek

Experiences
  • Beach
    Beach
  • Caravan and Camping
    Caravan and Camping
  • Nightlife/Clubs/Pubs/Casinos
    Nightlife/Clubs/Pubs/Casinos


Level of Difficulty
Unrated



Chillagoe

With amazing underground limestone caves and volcanic lava tubes this true adventure drive starts just an hour's drive from the coast at Mareeba and heads to the vast savannah plains of the great Australian outback.

At Dimbulah, you can take a detour to the historic former mining towns of Thornborough and Kingsborough to explore old cemeteries and see the well preserved Tyrconnell Gold Mine.

Nearby is Mount Mulligan, a dramatic escarpment known as Queensland's Uluru and the scene of the State's worst mining disaster.

If you're a train buff, stop at Almaden and join one of North Queensland's most unusual rail journeys aboard the Savannahlander railmotor.

Exploring the famous limestone caves and surrounding Australian scrub at Chillagoe is a must. Fish the Walsh River and visit the historic copper smelter ruins while there.

This trail is also your link to the fascinating Undara Volcanic National Park - home of lava tubes and gem fossicking. The remote park contains the remains of the Earth's longest flow of lava originating from a single volcano, occurring more than 190,000 years ago.

On the way back via Ravenshoe and Atherton, take a welcome rest at Innot Hot Springs to enjoy the waters' healing powers.


Chillagoe Mine - Great Tropical Drive
Chillagoe Mine - Great Tropical Drive


Route Details

Duration: 9 Hrs 56 Mins
Distance: 635 Kilometres
Mode of Travel: Car
Route Type: Return
Suggested Stops:
- Mt Mulligan
- Espanol Hotel
- Historic copper smelters, Chillagoe

Experiences
  • Family Friendly
    Family Friendly
  • Industry/Mining/Agriculture
    Industry/Mining/Agriculture
  • Underground
    Underground


Level of Difficulty
Unrated



Western Heritage

This drive is aptly named Western Heritage with western rural experiences and remnants of the gold rush heyday.

Along the Flinders Highway, Mingela's population may be small (about ten), but it's still a popular stop for those on their way to Charters Towers.

There are few historic town hearts as beautifully preserved as Charters Towers' One Square Mile, still proudly displaying some of the magnificent buildings and homes built during the flourishing gold rush days of the 1800s.

At Pentland see the historic railway station, Norwood Lockup, Burra Range Lookout, birdlife and the dry inland salt lake of Lake Buchanan.

Visit Dalrymple National Park and experience the changing landscapes from ancient geological formations dating back to the volcanic period to the salt lakes and natural springs of Fletcher Creek.

See parts of the former Dalrymple township, one of the first inland settlements in northern Australia.

One original track over Hervey's Range to the remote gold mining camps is still accessible through Thornton's Gap.

Once the Eureka Hotel provided a welcome rest stop at the top and the split log cabin circa 1865, one of the oldest buildings in North Queensland, has been restored as the Hervey's Range Heritage Tea Rooms.


Outback Town - Great Tropical Drive
Outback Town - Great Tropical Drive


Route Details

Duration: 5 Hrs 30 Mins
Distance: 765 Kilometres
Mode of Travel: Car
Route Type: Circuit
Suggested Stops:
- Castle Rock, Townsville
- Lake Buchanan
- Thornton's Gap

Experiences
  • Historic/Heritage
    Historic/Heritage
  • Industry/Mining/Agriculture
    Industry/Mining/Agriculture
  • Outback
    Outback


Level of Difficulty
Unrated



Liquid Gold

Ghost stories and a giant carpet snake, coastal wonders and rugged mountains - you'll find it all on this drive from Townsville.

Bowling Green Bay National Park south of Townsville is almost 60,000 ha of such contrasts. In the park, Alligator Creek descends in a series of cascades, deep pools and waterfalls while Mount Elliot dominates the landscape at 1210 metres.

On the north side of the mighty Burdekin River, 85 kilometres south of Townsville, the prosperous community of Ayr is the Burdekin Shire's main town. This prime sugar country also contributes one-third of the nation's mango harvest. Don't miss, Gubulla Munda, the giant carpet snake sculpture at nearby Plantation Park.

Home Hill, at the delta of the Burdekin River, is also a major sugarcane growing area. Drive south-west to Ravenswood, a wonderful example of a true ghost town. Once boasting 48 hotels and 5000 residents after the discovery of gold in 1868, the township was deserted after an industrial strike in 1912, and subsequently World War 1 in 1915.

There are just two gold mines in operation in the area, several historic buildings and legendary ghost stories. Stop at another historic town, Mingela, on your return journey to Townsville.


Burdekin River Bridge - Great Tropical Drive
Burdekin River Bridge - Great Tropical Drive


Route Details

Duration: 5 Hrs 45 Mins
Distance: 350 Kilometres
Mode of Travel: Car
Route Type: Circuit
Suggested Stops:
- Townsville Town Common Conservation Park
- Alligator Creek
- Plantation Park

Experiences
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
  • Industry/Mining/Agriculture
    Industry/Mining/Agriculture
  • Underground
    Underground


Level of Difficulty
Unrated



Waterfalls

See nature at its very best on this waterfall trail.

Just before Innisfail turn off to the Palmerston Highway, a gateway to the Atherton Tablelands.

Wind through the mountain range with spectacular lookouts and walking tracks along the way.

The Mamu Rainforest Canopy Walkway gives you a close look at the World Heritage rainforest.

Beautiful Millaa Millaa nestles in emerald hills surrounded by dairy farms and a circuit of waterfalls including Millaa Millaa Falls where you may see a platypus.

Included in the circuit are Zillie Falls and Elinjaa Falls which both have picnic and barbecue facilities.

Picnic and swim at Malanda Falls, and spot fascinating wildlife including the elusive Lumholtz Tree-Kangaroo.

Yungaburra is a picturesque village with a streetscape largely unchanged since 1910, and the amazing Curtain Fig Tree only minutes away.

The remains of Atherton's Chinatown, dating back to the late 1800s, now feature at the community's restored place of worship, the Hou Wang Temple.

Enjoy great coffee and the mango wine at Mareeba and see the best of the region from a hot air balloon.

One of Kuranda's most treasured landmarks is the Barron River and its spectacular gorge which is home to the mighty Barron Falls.


Millaa Millaa Falls - Great Tropical Drive
Millaa Millaa Falls - Great Tropical Drive


Route Details

Duration: 4 Hrs 
Distance: 286 Kilometres
Mode of Travel: Car
Route Type: Circuit
Suggested Stops:
- McHugh Lookout
- Hastie's Swamp, Atherton
- Nardello's Lagoon, Walkamin

Experiences
  • Adventure
    Adventure
  • Caravan and Camping
    Caravan and Camping
  • Entertainment
    Entertainment
  • Family Friendly
    Family Friendly
  • Farm Stay
    Farm Stay
  • Flora/Fauna
    Flora/Fauna
  • Food and Wine
    Food and Wine
  • Health and Wellbeing
    Health and Wellbeing
  • Historic/Heritage
    Historic/Heritage
  • Industry/Mining/Agriculture
    Industry/Mining/Agriculture
  • Lakes/Rivers/Dams
    Waterways
  • Indulgence/Luxury
    Indulgence/Luxury
  • Market
    Market
  • Nature based
    Nature based
  • Nightlife/Clubs/Pubs/Casinos
    Nightlife/Clubs/Pubs/Casinos
  • Rainforest
    Rainforest
  • Shopping
    Shopping
  • Wildlife
    Wildlife


Level of Difficulty
Unrated



Great Green Way

Explore pretty beaches north of Townsville and drive the historic Mount Spec Road through Paluma Range National Park to Paluma to see arts and crafts.

Around Ingham you can see Mount Fox, a dormant volcano, Australia's longest permanent single-drop waterfall Wallaman Falls and the Tyto Wetlands with more than 230 species of birds.

Visit Cardwell's cultural precinct, take a trip to Australia's largest island national park, Hinchinbrook Island, and picnic at beautiful Murray Falls.

Go white water rafting at Tully and see the giant Golden Gumboot marking the town's record-breaking rainfall.

You are sure to see a cassowary in the rainforest at one of the many walks around Mission Beach or kayak to Dunk Island to see colourful fish and coral.

Walk to the Great Barrier Reef at Kurrimine Beach then learn about the region's sugar history at the Australian Sugar Industry Museum at Mourilyan.

Admire Art Deco buildings at Innisfail, take in the view from the Mamu Rainforest Canopy Walkway along the Palmerston Highway and take a dip at the Babinda Boulders.

Access the islands of the Frankland Group National Park from Deeral and see Walshs Pyramid, one of the highest freestanding natural pyramids in the world, at Gordonvale.


Babinda
Babinda
Ingham Farmhouse
Ingham Farmhouse
Jourama Falls
Jourama Falls


Route Details

Duration: 4 Hrs 20 Mins
Distance: 352 Kilometres
Mode of Travel: Car
Route Type: One Way
Suggested Stops:
- Forrest Beach stinger net
- Chinese Joss House
- Etty Bay

Experiences
  • Cultural
    Cultural
  • Historic/Heritage
    Historic/Heritage
  • Rainforest
    Rainforest


Level of Difficulty
Unrated



Heritage Trail

Visit the Australian Sugar Industry Museum at Mourilyan, then do The Innisfail Town Walk to discover the Art Deco capital of Australia.

From Cairns, travel on Kuranda Scenic Rail, an engineering feat of the 1880s involving up to 1500 men building the railway track, tunnels and bridges by hand.

The Atherton Tablelands became the largest military base in Australia hosting up to 300,000 troops during World War 2. Fly in an ex-military aircraft at Warbird Adventures at Mareeba Airport, pay your respects at the Rocky Creek War Memorial Park near Tolga and follow the memorial markers throughout the Tablelands.

Visit the century-old Hou Wang Temple at Atherton to discover the region's Chinese history.

Take the Heritage Walk though Herberton, the oldest town on the Tablelands, and visit Herberton Historical Village where restored shops, homes and businesses dating back to the 1870s have been filled with memorabilia.

Heritage-listed Irvinebank has architecture from the turn of the last century and Tyrconnell Mine features restored miners' cottages and a working 120-year-old gold ore stamper.

Explore what's left of the Mt Mulligan township where 75 miners died in a mining disaster under the shadow of the magnificent mountain known as Queensland's Uluru.


Kuranda Scenic Railway
Kuranda Scenic Railway
Hou Wang Temple at Atherton
Hou Wang Temple at Atherton


Route Details

Duration: 6 Days 
Distance: 344 Kilometres
Mode of Travel: Car
Route Type: One Way
Suggested Stops:
- Cairns Cenotaph
- Avenue of Honour, Yungaburra
- Old Lappa Pub, Petford

Experiences
  • Family Friendly
    Family Friendly
  • Historic/Heritage
    Historic/Heritage
  • Industry/Mining/Agriculture
    Industry/Mining/Agriculture


Level of Difficulty
Unrated



Wildlife Trail

Visit turtles being cared for at Reef HQ Aquarium's Turtle Hospital in Townsville and see a colony of koalas at Magnetic Island.

Watch platypus at Paluma, then venture out at night to see gliders, night spiders, possums, bettongs and owls come to life in the dark.

Stop at Cardwell jetty to see dugongs and watch for dolphins as you paddle a kayak from Mission Beach to Dunk Island.

Encounter a cassowary in the rainforest at Mission Beach and watch for the electric blue flash of the Ulysses butterfly.

On the new moon when the tides are low you can walk to the Great Barrier Reef from Kurrimine Beach to discover sea cucumbers and starfish.

Colourful king parrots and musky rat-kangaroos are often seen at Josephine Falls, while Eubenangee Swamp National Park has more than 190 bird species, as well as crocodiles in the Alice River. From Bramston Beach you can access the Russell River National Park with a 4WD to see spectacled flying-foxes roosting or canoe along Babinda Creek to spot fish, turtles and often platypus. Turn off at Deeral for a tour to the islands of Frankland Group National Park where you can snorkel with turtles and watch seabirds.


Crocodile in Tropical North Queensland
Crocodile in Tropical North Queensland


Route Details

Duration: 6 Days 
Distance: 452 Kilometres
Mode of Travel: Car
Route Type: One Way
Suggested Stops:
- Rollingstone Creek
- Cardwell Jetty
- Deeral Boat Ramp

Experiences
  • Family Friendly
    Family Friendly
  • Nature based
    Nature based
  • Wildlife
    Wildlife


Level of Difficulty
Unrated



Adventure Trail

See the reef and the rainforest in a day with Jungle Surfing Canopy Tours at Cape Tribulation and a high-speed trip aboard Jet Sprinter to snorkel at Low Isles Reef. Look for the glint of a crocodile's eye on a night spotting tour in the Daintree rainforest.

Hurtle downhill in a huge zorb ball and explore old rainforest logging tracks on a quad bike at Daintree Station before ending the day with a view of the Coral Sea bungy jumping at AJ Hackett at Smithfield.

Take a boat from Cairns for Fitzroy Island to explore the coral on AqaJet, a water toy that speeds you along under the water. Eyeball a 4m crocodile as you swoop over him on a flying fox in the heart of the city at Cairns ZOOm.

Head south to Tully to raft white water as it thunders through the rainforest, then take to the sky the next day for a tandem jump from 14,000 feet on to the sand of Mission Beach.

Hit the throttle on a jet ski to Dunk Island to explore its beaches and rainforest, and then back on the mainland ride like the wind on a BloKart along the ocean's edge.


Skydive
Skydive
Jungle Surfing in Cape Tribulation
Jungle Surfing in Cape Tribulation
RnR White Water Rafting
RnR White Water Rafting


Route Details

Duration: 5 Days 
Distance: 328 Kilometres
Mode of Travel: Car
Route Type: One Way
Suggested Stops:
- Smithfield Mountain Bike Park
- Behana Creek causeway
- Mount Tyson Walking Track

Experiences
  • Adventure
    Adventure
  • Beach
    Beach
  • Rainforest
    Rainforest


Level of Difficulty
Unrated



Nature Trail

Admire Australia's highest single-drop waterfall, Wallaman Falls, at Girringun National Park near Ingham before driving to Cardwell to access Hinchinbrook Island, Australia's largest island national park.

Discover swimming holes and waterfalls, especially beautiful Murray Falls in Girramay National Park, around Cardwell.

Camp beside the mighty Tully River or go on a butterfly walk at Tully Gorge National Park.

Mission Beach is surrounded by national parks with Djiru and Clump Mountain national parks on the mainland and Family Islands National park centring around Dunk Island. Walk through a forest of fan palms, swim in a cool creek or admire the views from the summit of Mount Kootaloo on Dunk Island.

Woroonooran National Park is accessed along the picturesque Palmerston Highway, near Innisfail, with highlights including the Mamu Rainforest Canopy Walkway.

On the Atherton Tablelands there is a waterfalls circuit including Millaa Millaa Falls. Take a short side trip to Bromfield Swamp to see a variety of birds including brolgas and marvel at the eerie, green stillness of Hypipamee Crater.

Swim in the Crater Lakes of Eacham and Barrine, stand in awe of rainforest giants like the 1000-year-old twin kauri pines and see the Curtain Fig Tree at Yungaburra.


Camping near Mt Bellenden Ker
Camping near Mt Bellenden Ker
Rainforest in Tropical North Queensland
Rainforest in Tropical North Queensland
Curtain Fig Tree in the Tablelands
Curtain Fig Tree in the Tablelands


Route Details

Duration: 5 Days 
Distance: 348 Kilometres
Mode of Travel: Car
Route Type: One Way
Suggested Stops:
- Cardwell Forest Drive
- Crawfords Lookout
- Curtain Fig Tree, near Yungaburra

Experiences
  • Lakes/Rivers/Dams
    Waterways
  • Nature based
    Nature based
  • Rainforest
    Rainforest





Indigenous Trail

Share a kupmurri meal with the Nywaigi people at Mungalla Station near Ingham and sit under the stars listening to the didgeridoo.

Next stop is Girringun Art Centre before doing the Yalgay Ginja Bulumi walk at Murray Falls in Girramay National Park.

Join Ingan Tours at Tully to make a rainforest fibre bracelet on a tour of traditional Jirrbal land.

Cool off at the Babinda Boulders where the spirit a Yidinji woman is said to cry out for her lost lover.

In Cairns watch artists making prints under the guidance of an Indigenous arts industry pioneer at Canopy Artspace, a gallery featuring Queensland Indigenous artists.

Travel on Skyrail Rainforest Cableway for a personalised walking tour with the Djabugay people at Barron Falls.

In Kuranda learn why Aboriginal people paint their body at Rainforestation's Pamagirri Cultural Centre, then journey into the Dreamtime at Tjapukai by Night at Caravonica.

Experience a smoking ceremony at Mossman Gorge Centre and paint a boomerang at Janbal Gallery in Mossman.

Hunt mud crab with a spear on a Kuku Yalanji Cultural Habitat Tour at Cooya Beach and enjoy an Indigenous performance and dinner in the rainforest at Flames of the Forest near Port Douglas.


Indigenous culture at Tjapukai in Cairns
Indigenous culture at Tjapukai in Cairns
Indigenous culture at Tjapukai in Cairns 2
Indigenous culture at Tjapukai in Cairns 2


Route Details

Duration: 5 Days 
Distance: 282 Kilometres
Mode of Travel: Car
Route Type: One Way
Suggested Stops:
- Cardwell Range Lookout
- Alligators Nest Swimming Hole
- Babinda Air Raid Shelter

Experiences
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
  • Adventure
    Adventure
  • The Arts
    The Arts
  • Beach
    Beach
  • Caravan and Camping
    Caravan and Camping
  • Cultural
    Cultural
  • Educational Tourism
    Educational Tourism
  • Family Friendly
    Family Friendly
  • Fishing
    Fishing
  • Flora/Fauna
    Flora/Fauna
  • Food and Wine
    Food and Wine
  • Historic/Heritage
    Historic/Heritage
  • Lakes/Rivers/Dams
    Waterways
  • Nature based
    Nature based
  • Rail
    Rail
  • Rainforest
    Rainforest
  • Wildlife
    Wildlife


Level of Difficulty
Unrated



Food Trail

Discover black sapote fruit on a tour of Cape Trib Exotic Fruit Farm, then try it made into ice cream at Floravilla Ice-Cream Factory at the Cow Bay turnoff.

Cross the Daintree River and travel to Port Douglas to buy fresh prawns from a trawler and sample the town's world-class restaurants.

Head to the Atherton Tablelands via Kennedy Highway to Kuranda and indulge in home-made fudge, rock candy or local honey.

Tour a coffee plantation in Mareeba and visit a boutique winery where tropical fruits like mango are the main ingredient.

Stop at roadside stalls or visit a farmer's market to sample and purchase tropical produce.

Pick strawberries at Shaylee Strawberry Farm at Atherton, visit Nerada Tea Plantation at Malanda, try smoked red claw at Tarzali Lakes Smokehouse Café, and taste yoghurt and cheeses at Mungalli Creek Dairy in Millaa Millaa.

Travel the Palmerston Highway to Innisfail for cheese and cured meats at Oliveri's Continental Deli and follow the Canecutter's Way where country pubs, a European butcher and an old fashioned bakery will tempt you.

Try bush tucker wines at Murdering Point Winery at Silkwood and end your journey with fish and chips at Kurrimine Beach.


Skybury Coffee Plantation, Tablelands
Skybury Coffee Plantation, Tablelands


Route Details

Duration: 5 Days 
Distance: 450 Kilometres
Mode of Travel: Car
Route Type: One Way
Suggested Stops:
- The Peanut Place, Tolga
- Shaylee Strawberry Farm, near Atherton
- Wangan Bakery, Wangan

Experiences
  • Family Friendly
    Family Friendly
  • Food and Wine
    Food and Wine
  • Shopping
    Shopping


Level of Difficulty
Unrated



Daintree Explorer

Combine Port Douglas and Cooktown with lush rainforest and adventure on this drive which includes a four-wheel drive adventure on the beautiful coastal Bloomfield Track.

From the fabulous restaurants and boutique shopping of Port Douglas it's only a short drive to Daintree Village where you can take a tour to spot crocodiles before catching the ferry over Daintree River.

Take time to stop at the many spectacular beaches and to explore the rainforest on your way to Cape Tribulation.

The Bloomfield Track crosses Bloomfield River to its spectacular falls, past the Aboriginal community of Wujal Wujal, the eclectic Lion's Den Hotel and mysterious Black Mountain on the way to Cooktown.

It is easy to spend days in historic Cooktown exploring its many museums and remnants of the gold rush days.

On the return journey you'll head inland to explore the diverse landscape along the Mulligan Highway to Lakeland.

Situated on the historic Palmer River, site of the original gold rush, the Palmer River Roadhouse boasts home cooked meals and a museum.

Turn into Mount Molloy to see the grave of explorer James Venture Mulligan before heading down the mountain range to Mossman and stunning Mossman Gorge.


Daintree Rainforest
Daintree Rainforest
Car Ferry - Daintree River
Car Ferry - Daintree River


Route Details

Duration: 10 Hrs 
Distance: 425 Kilometres
Mode of Travel: Car
Route Type: Circuit
Suggested Stops:
- Palmer River Roadhouse
- Cooktown Post Office

Experiences
  • Historic/Heritage
    Historic/Heritage
  • Industry/Mining/Agriculture
    Industry/Mining/Agriculture
  • Nature based
    Nature based


Level of Difficulty
Unrated



Ravenshoe to Georgetown Trail

You'll see natural wonders including Australia's widest waterfall and volcanic lava tubes on this drive from the high plateau of the Atherton Tablelands into the grasslands of the Gulf Savannah.

Start your journey at Ravenshoe, the highest town in Queensland where you will find the highest pub and railway station. Ravenshoe is also famous for Millstream Falls, the widest waterfall in Australia.

Stop at Innot Hot Springs to enjoy the thermal waters, then walk in the path of a volcano at the Undara Lava Tubes, formed by volcanic activity about 190,000 years ago.

Continue on to Georgetown with its restored historical buildings including the 1908 Shire Hall. Don't miss the magnificent mineral display at TerrEstrial.

Another mining relic is found 20 kilometres west of the town, the Cumberland Chimney, which is all that stands of the gold crushing plant.

Head south to Forsayth, one of the stops for the weekly tourist train The Savannahlander and see a serene hidden outback oasis, Cobbold Gorge, south of this township.

Visit Copperfield Gorge at Einasleigh before heading to The Lynd Junction. Stop at The Oasis Roadhouse and enjoy a drink at Queensland's smallest bar. From the Junction, head north to return to Ravenshoe.


Windy Hill near Ravenshoe
Windy Hill near Ravenshoe
Cumberland Chimney near Georgetown
Cumberland Chimney near Georgetown


Route Details

Duration: 5 Hrs 40 Mins
Distance: 413 Kilometres
Mode of Travel: Car
Route Type: Circuit
Suggested Stops:
- Mount Surprise Public Toilets
- Georgetown Public Swimming Pool
- Windy Hill Wind Farm

Experiences
  • Family Friendly
    Family Friendly
  • Historic/Heritage
    Historic/Heritage
  • Nature based
    Nature based


Level of Difficulty
Unrated



Atherton Forest Mountain Bike Park

The Atherton Tablelands is the ultimate one-stop destination for mountain biking with rainforest tracks, mountains and rolling fire roads to suit every rider level.

The Atherton Forest Mountain Bike Park has easy trails suited to beginners as well as the new six kilometre blue level trail, Ridgey Didge.

For the experienced, Baldy Loop is a 20-40 kilometre ride on dirt roads to the top of the Great Dividing Range with stunning views across the Tablelands.

The Inner Wallum Loop consists of some spectacular climbs and descents that form part of the 2013 National Cross Country Marathon course.

If you prefer a flatter ride on bitumen, try The Ariga Loop, an epic ride to the northern edge of the Atherton Tablelands and the fringe of the drier Savannah country.

The Crater Loop is another bitumen ride of 60 kilometres to the volcanic crater of Mount Hypipamee National Park, while the 40-60 kilometre East Barron/Kairi Loop boasts views across the Atherton Tableland to Queensland's highest mountain, Mount Bartle Frere.

Nearby at Tinaroo, serious riders can tackle the 40-60 kilometre Kauri Creek/Mount Edith Loop taking in the shores of Lake Tinaroo and an epic 1212 metre climb to the top of Mount Edith.


Atherton mountain bike trails
Atherton mountain bike trails


Route Details

Duration: 1 Hr 9 Mins
Distance: 21 Kilometres
Mode of Travel: Bicycle
Route Type: Return

Experiences
  • Adventure
    Adventure
  • Cycle
    Cycle
  • Flora/Fauna
    Flora/Fauna
  • Nature based
    Nature based





Smithfield and Davies Creek Mountain Biking Trails

Discover two contrasting mountain biking trails within an easy drive of each other, one in the rainforest on the coast, and the second on the Atherton Tableland.

Smithfield Trails has something for everyone with the rainforest trails ranging from the easy, designated by a green circle, to the double black diamond icon for experienced riders.

The downhill and cross-country trails wind through scrub, rainforest and pine forest in the foothills of the World Heritage-listed Wet Tropics rainforest.

This great site at Smithfield Conservation Park will host the 2017 UCI World Mountain Bike and Trials Championships and the UCI Mountain Bike World Cups in 2014 and 2016.

It is accessed at McGregor Road, Smithfield between James Cook University and the AJ Hackett bungy jumping site.

For some different terrain, head up the Kennedy Highway to Davies Creek National Park where you will find an easy trail through grasslands and intermediate trails taking in rocky creek crossings and eroded fire trails.

This 15 kilometre loop through open eucalypt woodland can be split into three smaller rides with the closer trails easier for inexperienced riders.

Stop at the Transfield Carpark just 2.5 kilometres along the Davies Creek Road to access the trails.


Smithfield Trail
Smithfield Trail
Mountain Biking in Tropical North Queensland
Mountain Biking in Tropical North Queensland


Route Details

Duration: 56 Mins
Distance: 49 Kilometres
Mode of Travel: Car
Route Type: One Way

Experiences
  • Cycle
    Cycle
  • Rainforest
    Rainforest
  • Sport
    Sport


Level of Difficulty
Unrated



Other Information


Visit our Driving Safety and Advice page for more information or the RACQ website for the latest road conditions.

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