|Trip Length: 6 days Total Distance: 629 km Road Conditions: Some unsealed roads|
This 6-day adventure will take you through Daintree - Cape Tribulation; the very heart of Tropical North Queensland. The Daintree Cape Tribulation coast is where the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree rainforest meet, the only place on earth where two World Heritage areas exist side by side. Other highlights include the Bloomfield Track, historic Cooktown and the villages on the Atherton Tablelands.
Important Note: The Bloomfield Track links Cape Tribulation and The Bloomfield River and is a true 4WD track. The track can be impassable during heavy rain periods - particularly in summer months (December to March).
|Cairns to Port Douglas||1 hr 50 mins||67 kms|
|Port Douglas to Cape Tribulation||1 hr 35 mins||85 kms|
|Cape Tribulation to Cooktown||2 hrs||75 kms|
|Cooktown to Atherton Tablelands||4 hrs||300 kms|
|Atherton to Cairns||1 hr 45 mins||102 kms|
Cairns is considered the hub of the Tropical North Queensland Region. From Cairns you can gain access to numerous areas and experiences that the region has to offer, by air, train, sea and driving. A short drive from the city are beautiful patches of rainforest and beaches with small and quiet village like towns, some with resorts and restaurants.
Cairns also prides itself on an amazing collection of attractions, including zoos, Aboriginal cultural parks, crocodile farms, go-kart racing, beaches, historical sites, the new lagoon and esplanade, museums and galleries and a variety of shopping and entertainment choices. Natural attractions include a Botanic Garden, conservation parks with bushwalking trails, a boardwalk through the melaleuca swamps of the Centenary Lakes area and mangrove walks.
A nice way to start off is a half-day Habitat Cruise on the calm water of Trinity Inlet before heading up the scenic Captain Cook Highway to Port Douglas.
Along the way you could stop off at the Rex Lookout which allows a glorious view out over the Coral Sea.
Port Douglas is less than an hour's drive north of Cairns and is known for its luxurious resorts, delightful restaurants and an abundance of shopping venues.
On arrival in Port Douglas you could visit the Wildlife Sanctuary or go for a leisurely stroll along Four Mile Beach or the Marina.
Just north of Port Douglas is a lovely old sugar town called Mossman. Mossman Gorge, located a short drive out of town, has beautiful walks, a waterfall and swimming holes. In Port Douglas you will find a couple of caravan parks and backpacker hostels. However the accommodation mainly consists of deluxe resorts and apartments.
There are a number of attractions in Port Douglas; a beach, marina, shopping, day spas, golf and some fantastic events. There is also a wildlife sanctuary and a wonderful lookout at the north end of the beach looking south down the coast and out to the Coral Sea.
A number of tours also depart the Port Douglas area for reef, sailing and island trips. Other nature-based experiences include bushwalking, swimming in gorges and Aboriginal tours.
You are now not far from the World Heritage-listed Daintree National Park. Once you reach the Daintree River it is a great idea to go crocodile spotting on a river cruise. These tours are available from the village and near the ferry crossing.
The Daintree National Park has a spectacular array of flora and fauna that meets the ocean. It takes approximately one hour from Port Douglas to the Daintree River along a very picturesque and scenic road.
Once across the river, an educational first stop is the Daintree Discovery Centre with a very large canopy tower, boardwalks and an environmental centre.
Continuing on to the various boardwalks there is also an ice-creamery where you can stop and taste ice-cream made from the exotic fruits of Tropical North Queensland.
Once you reach the Cape Tribulation section of the National Park you will find an array of guided walks and river cruises. Cape Tribulation Beach also provides a nice walk and view of where the rainforest meets the sea.
Visitors are attracted to the region for its abundance of nature-based experiences. There are numerous boardwalks, educational centres, river cruises, crocodile spotting, museums and adventure activities. The road continues on to give 4WD coastal access to Cooktown and beyond. There are a number of tours that encompass the nature-based activities throughout this pristine region.
Daintree and Cape Tribulation have many resorts, lodges and backpacker hostels, both tucked away in the rainforest and close to the beach.
From Cape Tribulation you will be travelling along the coastal road to Cooktown. 4WD vehicles are required for this road.
The Bloomfield Track provides 4WD thoroughfare from Cape Tribulation to just south of the Bloomfield River where it connects with an existing road to the township of Ayton and onto the Cape York Peninsula Developmental Road leading to Cooktown.
On the way to Cooktown you will encounter the Bloomfield Falls which, if there has been large amounts of rain, will be plummeting from the escarpment.
For a touch of authentic Australiana stop off at the Lions Den, an old Australian pub, for lunch, and then continue through the picturesque area known as Black Mountain.
On arrival in Cooktown go straight to Grassy Hill to get a feel for the area and see the magnificent views. Try to get around to the town's many historic attractions and the botanic gardens. A must-see is the James Cook Historical Museum. Recently renovated, this building was used as a U.S. command post during the Second World War. In the late afternoon watch the sunset over the Endeavour River.
Spend a full day in Cooktown. Local tours incorporate the incredible nature-based and Aboriginal cultural attractions, there are also fishing and adventure trips.
Cooktown offers a range of budget accommodation, including some very quaint lodges, B & B's, caravan parks and a hotel.
The Atherton Tablelands, also known as the Cairns Highlands, offer a diverse array of landscapes along with their associated flora and fauna.
With the wide array of landscapes comes an equally wide range of attractions. The region offers a butterfly sanctuary, koala park, cultural attractions, opals and fossils, wine tasting, markets, arts & crafts, lakes, waterfalls, recreational water sports and much more.
A great place to visit just before you arrive at the township of Mareeba is the Mareeba Wetlands. It is a beautiful area with an abundance of birds and other wildlife. Once you have arrived in Mareeba why not visit the Coffee Works, taste Mango wine or go to the museum.
On the drive out make sure you don't miss Granite Gorge there is also amazing wildlife here. Then continue on to Atherton with endless arts and crafts, museums and a Chinese Temple. Atherton is probably a good base to overnight, however there are many options nearby.
You can just about find any type of accommodation on the Tablelands including budget accommodation, backpacker hostels, resorts, B & Bs etc.
From Atherton you can head towards the historic town of Yungaburra and the lakes area including Lake Tinaroo, Eacham and Barrine. There are some great walks and cruises in this area.
Don't miss the Curtain Fig Tree and Hasties Swamp for bird-watching on the way out of Yungaburra, then head towards Malanda to see the the falls and environmental centre.
The waterfalls circuit continues from here with numerous in the Mungalli area (just outside of Malanda). There is also an organic dairy centre here - a great place to stop for morning tea and cheese cake.
This road will continue to the Bruce Highway and back to Cairns.
* Please note: These rates are indicative based on the minimum and maximum costs only. To obtain a firm price from the provider, please use the contact the operator. All prices are quoted in Australian dollars.
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