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Cairns & Far North Queensland

Far North Queensland is a remote tropical adventure where the Great Barrier Reef is tantalisingly close. It's a cliché, but the rainforest really does meet the reef up here. Steamy Cairns is the main traveller base and an obligatory stop on any east-coast itinerary. Divers and snorkellers swarm here – and to more upmarket Port Douglas – for easy access to the Great Barrier Reef. The cooler Atherton Tablelands – with volcanic craters, jungly waterfalls and gourmet food producers – is a short, scenic drive inland.

Beyond Port Douglas is the mighty Daintree River, crossed by the charming cable ferry to Cape Tribulation – one of the world's last great wilderness areas. The road beyond heads to Cooktown and Cape York, a remote land where authentic Aboriginal culture can readily be experienced.

This region is the traditional home of numerous Aboriginal groups, including the Yirrganydji, Yidinji, Djabugay, Kuku Yalanji, Guugu Yimithirr and Djirrbal.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Cairns & Far North Queensland.