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Port Douglas

High up in the tropics, the land of north Queensland feels very different to the rest of Australia. With rainforest coming down to the meet the Great Barrier Reef, coconut palm lined beaches and an even more relaxed attitude to life, this area makes the perfect holiday destination. So to spark your wanderlust and to give you some ideas about the best places to go when you’re up there, here are my top 5 places to visit in north Queensland.

5. Cairns

The capital of tropical north Queensland, Cairns sits at the edge of the Great Barrier Reef and is most famous for the many snorkelling and diving trips that leave its shores and head for this amazing marine masterpiece. If you’re not ready qualified to dive yet, then Cairns is also the perfect place to get yourself qualified, with tons of schools offering PADI courses to the novice. Failing that, there’s always a good party to enjoy at night in Cairns and The Esplanade to relax by during the day.

4. Kuranda

Tucked behind Cairns in the Atherton Tablelands, the rainforest town of Kuranda is accessed via a steep windy road that takes you high into the hills above the beach. It’s a fantastic location, with tons of great lookouts to enjoy from beneath the rainforest canopy. Famous attractions include the magnificent Baron Falls, as well as the other lovely towns of the Tablelands area including Mareeba and Ravenshoe – Queensland’s highest town. Something of an alternative place, Kuranda also has a fantastic market open every day with plenty of colourful characters to keep you entertained!


3. Cape Tribulation

This town is little more than a hamlet of hotels and hostels stretched along a beach – but with the rainforest as green as it is and the beach every bit as beautiful as you’d expect from this remote location, Cape Tribulation is well worth enjoying for a day or two. You have to catch the Daintree Car Ferry to get to Cape Tribulation, but put in the effort to come this far north and you’ll be rewarded with a famously remote and idyllic destination.

2. Cooktown

Even further north still than Cape Tribulation is the community of Cooktown, which is the main access point and service area for Cape York. You’re getting really into the wild out here, but nevertheless, there’s an amazing amount to see and do around the place – from incredible 4wd tracks to awesome lookouts, even the museum here is brilliant. All in all, definitely one the best places to visit in north Queensland.

1. Port Douglas

And last, but not least, probably my favourite place in tropical north Queensland is the beachside resort town of Port Douglas. Loved by almost anyone that goes there, the great swimming beach, loads of lovely cafes and awesome market make Port Douglas the perfect place to relax and enjoy yourself. Days are spent on the beach, with yoga in the morning, before a reef snorkelling trip in the afternoon. Oh and don’t miss a walk up to the lookout either, this is the best spot in town for your awesome photos.

So there you have it, my list of the top 5 places to visit in north Queensland. Have you been to any of these destinations? What did you like about them? Let me know in the comments box below.

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Stephanie Parker / Big World Small Pockets

Stephanie Parker is a travel addict and creator of Big World Small Pockets. Originally from Jersey, Channel Islands, but currently based in Australia, she backpacks the world on a shoestring collecting tips, advice and stories, to share with a smile.

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