We found paradise in far north Queensland. Here, the rainforest meets the reef and multi-coloured tropical fish swim beneath turquoise waters lapping the shores of sun-drenched, white beaches.
We spent four amazing days exploring the ancient Daintree Rainforest, snorkelling in the reef and sampling fresh, local produce.
Tropical climates ensure an abundance of sugar cane, lychees and reef fish and the sweetest, juiciest, pineapple I’ve ever tasted.
The Great Barrier Reef – an underwater paradise
Cairns is the centre of all the action, not the nicest of Aussie towns, but a good base to get out to the Great Barrier Reef.
The reef is one of the seven natural wonders of the world and will not disappoint. We chose a half-day snorkelling expedition to kick some major bucket list goals!
The boat powered us out the Hastings Reef in about 50 minutes allowing us to spend a glorious two hours in shallow lagoons filled with sea turtles, angel fish and coral trout.
My very own Finding Nemo moment, and truly breathtaking!
Chasing waterfalls in the Atherton Tablelands
On our second day, we took a road trip into the Tablelands. Hiring a car is a great way to get the most out of the stunning scenery in this region.
The countryside is phenomenal – rolling green pastures and misty little villages hidden high up in the heart of the mountains.
A dizzying array of cascading pristine waterfalls created by ancient volcanic lava flows, lookout points, wineries and dairy farms mean you can stop off as many, or as few, times as you fancy.
Tropical Port Douglas
By day three, I thought there couldn’t possibly be anything left about this beautiful region to blow my mind.
I soon discovered I was wrong as we drove north one hour up the Bruce Highway (beauty mate!) to Port Douglas.
Port Douglas is darling – a delightful little Aussie town of gleaming white ‘Queenslander’ houses nestled amidst tropical plants and palm trees.
This former fishing town has a laid back vibe and loads of great dining options and cute pubs. If you’re looking for swimming pools, cold Aussie beer, fresh seafood and even cane toad racing – it’s all here.
The ancient Daintree Rainforest
Port Douglas is also the gateway to the ancient Daintree Rainforest. The ferry river crossing will take you, and your car, across the croc-infested waters in a jiffy
We couldn’t help singing the Jurassic park theme tune (Buh-nuh nuh-nuh-nuh. Buh-nuh nuh-nuh-nuh. Buh-nuh nuh. Buh NUH NUH!) as we entered the spectacular forest.
Around 135 million years old, the Daintree Rainforest is magical, and one of the most complex eco-systems on earth.
Allow your sense to be assaulted by the mysterious rainforest sounds as golden, dappled sunlight falls through its dense canopy.
If you’re lucky you might spot a Cassowary – these crazy pre-historic looking birds are brightly coloured and about the size of an emu! We missed out, but warning signs for them are everywhere.
Cape Tribulation – rainforest meets reef
We stopped off for rainforest refreshment at The Daintree Ice-cream Company specialising in exotic tropical flavours to sample flavour-busting passionfruit and mango ice blocks. Truly delicious!
Further north, you’ll hit Cape Tribulation – amazing white beaches where the only footprints in the sand will be your own.
Have you been to far north Queensland? Tell me, did you love it as much as I did?