Far North Queensland is well known as the home of some of Australia’s most spectacular landscapes, tropical beaches, roaring waterfalls, colourful coral reefs, and lush rainforests. Discovering all of the hidden treasures this area has to offer would take a lifetime. To help you discover the abundance of natural wonders and plan your next trip here’s five attractions ready for you to explore in Far North Queensland.
Cape Hillsborough Driving into Cape Hillsborough the scenery begins to give off tantalizing hints of a rugged and scenic beachside wonderland. The trees become denser and the beautiful headline of volcanic rock comes into view. This little gem is a mere 50km north-west of Mackay. The scenic park is comprised of rainforests, beaches, rocky headlands, and stunning rock formations. In the early hours of the morning as the sun is rising over the beach, visitors are treated with a friendly visit from the local wallabies. These creatures have become the main attraction at Cape Hillsborough and are very used to large crowds of people taking their photo and interacting with h. After spending the morning hanging out with the wallabies it’s time to explore the rest of what Cape Hillsborough has to offer travellers. Andrews Point trail is a 5.2km track that winds up the hill and crosses five stunning lookouts. Up here you can see views of the coastline and even catch glimpses of the Whitsunday Islands. The trail winds through the eucalypt forest and volcanic rock outcrops which overhang the ocean. At low tide, you can walk back to the campgrounds and picnic area along the scenic beach. At low tide Wedge Island also becomes accessible. Located just off land from Cape Hillsborough this little island is home to a small beach, lots of rock pools, and scenic viewpoints. Make sure you give yourself 2 hours on either side of the tide to get across and back to Cape Hillsborough from Wedge Island, as once the tide rises over the causeway there’s no alternative track over. This is one place not to miss exploring on a visit to Cape Hillsborough.
Waterfall Circuit Tropical North Queensland is known for its wild wet season. All of this rain that falls throughout the season runs into the rivers and creeks and produces some of the most spectacular waterfalls in Australia. The waterfalls circuit in the Atherton Tablelands is a great day trip not to be missed if you love swimming in waterholes surrounded by magical rainforests. The star of this trio of waterfalls is Millaa Millaa Falls. This is the single most photographed waterfall in Australia and it’s not hard to understand why. The plunging waterfall is surrounded by native ferns and other greenery and has an inviting swimming hole at the base. This is the most popular waterfall in the Atherton Tablelands so expect crowds. A short drive along the circuit, the next stop is Zillie Falls. Once you find the carpark it’s a short walk to this roaring waterfall which creates a misty and magical scene and the stream of water smashes against the rock bottom. The rock pools are another great spot for a swim and you can often catch a rainbow reflecting off the water. Back in the car and another short drive to the last of the waterfall trio, you will come to Ellinjaa Falls. Once you get to the base of the falls you will be delighted by the serenity and peacefulness of this hidden gem.
Mission Beach If you’re looking for one of the most relaxed beachside towns in Australia then go no further than Mission Beach. This little beach town is located between Cairns and Townsville along the coast. The town is also a gateway to two of Australia’s biggest natural attractions and World Heritage sites, the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest. This beautiful beachside area is sure to put you into full holiday mode and makes you want to slow down to enjoy the simple things. Walking along the 14km stretch of beach you’ll meet many friendly locals and tourists and be greeted with an endless stretch of palm trees.
Palm Cove Palm Cove is an upmarket beachside town 40-minute drive outside of Cairns. This tropical paradise is home to stylish hotels, boutique shopping and divine dining. The towns main esplanade and long strip of white sandy beach are both fringed with hundreds of huge towering palm trees, giving the town a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere. With the beach right on your doorstep, days here are spent relaxing beachside and admiring the quaint beauty and culture of the town. Just 20 minutes down the road from Palm Cove you’ll find Thala Beach Nature Reserve, a resort which attracts thousands of travellers with its palm-filled grand entrance. If you’re driving through be sure to stop and explore this picturesque spot.
Babinda Boulders Just south of Cairns you’ll find the Babinda Boulders – a tropical rainforest wonderland for day trippers looking to relax and dip into natural mountain water swimming holes. With crystal clear water surrounded by lush rainforest and tropical ferns, it’s easy to see why this is one of the most popular swimming holes in Far North Queensland. The creek is dotted with huge granite boulders that stand out over the cool cascading water.
Tully Gorge Lookout This gem takes a little bit of exploring to find – but trust me, it’s well worth it. The trail starts at Tully Gorge Lookout, you’ll want to keep going until you see a signposted ‘River Walk’. This track is only 1.3km return and has some breathtaking views of the surrounding gorge. Scramble across the limestone rocks and across the running river and soon enough you’ll find yourself at the most amazing natural infinity pool. The pool is cratered in a rock plateau that overlooks the most spectacular views of Tully Gorge National Park.
While you are exploring the abundance of natural wonders that Far North Queensland is so famously known for, remember to look after mother nature. Pick up any rubbish you see on your travels, limit your single-use plastics, only use eco-friendly tour companies, respect the earth and the animals you come across on your journey so that everyone can enjoy this magical place. Happy adventuring!