If you follow me on Instagram, you would have seen a number of photos from my recent trip to Far North Queensland. It’s the perfect place to go if you’ve got a bad case of the winter blues. It’s warm, easy to reach, fairly affordable and there is lots to see and do! If you’ve got a week to spare (this includes two weekends, i.e. 9 days total), try this itinerary:
Cairns >> Mission Beach
Fly into Cairns and pick up a hire car at the airport (book in advance!). From there, you can either head into Cairns and spend a few hours looking around (or even spend the night), or head south straight away towards Mission Beach. We stayed in Mission Beach for 2 nights – if you’re going with a few people, the Nautilus B&B and Rainforest Apartments are fantastic.
Things to do in Mission Beach:
- Go for a walk along the beach (and a few swims!).
- Go sky diving.
- Do one of the rainforest walking/hiking trails – if you’re a keen hiker, then the Kennedy Trail is for you.
- The Charley’s chocolate tour is amazing, it’s really informative and not tacky at all. Plus you get to taste amazing chocolate :-).
- Don’t forget to keep an eye out for cassowaries!
Mission Beach >> Atherton Tablelands
From Mission Beach, head towards the Atherton Tablelands for 2 nights. We found it’s best to stay around the Malanda/Yungaburra area, and then go through Mareeba and Kuranda on the last day, before heading towards the Daintree.
Things to do in the Atherton Tablelands:
- Visit Josephine and Millaa Millaa falls – both waterfalls are amazing swimming spots.
- Visit Mungalli Creek Dairy – the drive there is absolutely beautiful and their cheeses and other dairy products are delicious.
- Check out the Australian Platypus Park (Tarzali Lakes) – it’s well worth the $8 entry fee!
- Go and see the Curtain Fig Tree near Yungaburra.
- Stretch your legs – the walk around Lake Eacham is stunning. Keep an eye out for turtles and fresh water crocodiles!
- Try some delicious local coffee and chocolate at Coffee Works in Mareeba.
- Visit the Barron River Falls (upper section) in Kuranda.
Atherton Tablelands >> Daintree National Park
Things to do in the Daintree National Park:
- Visit the Cape Tribulation and Cow Bay beaches – they are stunning!
- Check out the Mount Alexandra lookout.
- Do the Jindalba Boardwalk – it’s a great way to see the local flora.
- Try the ice cream at Daintree Ice Cream Co. – you won’t regret it!
- Have dinner at Whet; the food is great and the atmosphere is very friendly and relaxed.
- Go on a Daintree River cruise – it’s the best way to see salt water crocodiles in the Daintree. Most operators are outside the actual national park, so it’s best to do this before you cross over on the ferry, or after you’ve come back on the ferry.
Daintree National Park >> Port Douglas
Head to Port Douglas for 2-3 nights – this little town is the perfect place to relax for a couple of days at the end of your trip. There’s plenty of good accommodation to choose from.
Things to do in Port Douglas:
- Go for a stroll along Macrossan Street – there are quite a few lovely little boutiques to explore.
- This should be obvious: go to the beach! 4 Mile Beach is beautiful and, if you feel like being active, you can walk the whole length of it (and back!) in a couple of hours.
- Visit the Port Douglas market on Sunday.
- Have dinner at Watergate and work your way through their adventurous menu (crocodile spring roles anyone?).
- Relax with a good book at Whileaway Bookshop & Cafe.
- If the weather permits, go on a reef cruise (there are several operators; you can compare prices and choose the best tour for you at one of the many booking offices on Macrossan Street).
- Pamper yourself: Port Douglas boasts a whole range of luxury spas.
Port Douglas >> Cairns
Time to go home! Head back to Cairns and get ready to face reality 🙂