Introducing North of Townsville
As you leave Townsville, you also leave the Dry Tropics. The scorched-brown landscape slowly gives way to sugarcane plantations lining the highway and tropical rainforest shrouding the hillsides.
Waterfalls, national parks and small villages hide up in the hinterland, including Paluma Range National Park (part of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area); DERM offices and visitor centres in the area have leaflets outlining walking trails, swimming holes and camping grounds.
The area north of Townsville was hardest hit by Cyclone Yasi in February 2011 (and by Cyclone Larry in 2006), with damage to the coastline, islands, national parks and farmland.