Things to do in
Far North Queensland

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Our most recommended things to do in Far North Queensland

Cairns: Self-Guided Kuranda Day Trip, Scenic Rail & Skyrail

1. Cairns: Self-Guided Kuranda Day Trip, Scenic Rail & Skyrail

Explore the village of Kuranda in a pristine World Heritage-listed rainforest. Be picked up from your hotel and travel to the train station. Take the Kuranda Scenic Railway and marvel at mountains on the way. Soar over waterfalls and over Barron Gorge on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. Explore the markets, shops, and walking trails, or take a river cruise (seasonal) for 2.5 hours. Discover the food stalls and cafés, or dine with the water dragons at Frog’s Restaurant famous for its sauces and dressings. Take the famous Skyrail down, spanning 7.5km over the rainforest canopy. Spot native wildlife, including the cassowary, the world's 3rd-largest flightless bird. Next, take the 2:00 PM Skyrail back to the bottom (Skyrail Smithfield station). Embark on a fascinating journey of discovery over and deep into the world’s oldest, continually-surviving tropical rainforest. The iconic Skyrail experience is a must-do Cairns attraction of Australia’s World-Heritage listed tropical rainforest, immersing you in one of the most botanically fascinating areas on earth. At the end of your Skyrail experience, be picked up again by bus at 3:30 PM to be brought back to the hotel.

Cairns: Skyrail Cableway to Kuranda and Rail tickets

2. Cairns: Skyrail Cableway to Kuranda and Rail tickets

Drive to the Skyrail Smithfield Terminal, where a representative will check you in and issue you with the Kuranda Boarding Pass. This includes a detailed itinerary with a time schedule, as well as your Kuranda Scenic Railway and Skyrail Cableway tickets. Board the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway and enjoy an unforgettable journey through the world’s oldest continually surviving tropical rainforest, stopping along the way to explore. Once you arrive in Kuranda, you'll have free time to see this unique village. Use the discount vouchers on your Kuranda Boarding Pass, or visit the heritage markets. There are plenty of cafes and restaurants where you can purchase refreshments.  Return to Cairns on the Kuranda Scenic Railway. Admire the views as the train winds its way from Kuranda to Freshwater Station, passing spectacular waterfalls and through Barron Gorge. Disembark at Freshwater Station to board the bus back to your car at the Skyrail terminal.

Airlie Beach: Whitsundays and Whitehaven Half-Day Cruise

3. Airlie Beach: Whitsundays and Whitehaven Half-Day Cruise

Cruise to Whitehaven Beach on this 6-hour cruise. Depart early in the morning on a high-speed vessel for a cruise through the Whitsunday Islands and be the first on the beach. Alternatively, depart later in the day and enjoy a sunset cruise home. Enjoy morning or afternoon tea. Board the Whitehaven vessel for the scenic cruise to the magnificent beach. Your cruise vessel has expansive seating areas inside and out and your skipper will provide an informative commentary on the history and natural wonders of the area. Sit back, breathe in the sea air, sip a wine or beer, and marvel at the 74 Island Wonders of the Whitsundays, starting with views of Passage Peak and the Pentecost Island. The waters of Solway Passage lead you to Whitehaven Beach, a must-see in the Whitsundays. Prepare to be dazzled by the breathtaking beauty and vivid white sand of Whitehaven Beach on Whitsunday Island. This uninhabited island is one of Australia's true gems. Wander along the beach to your own secluded stretch, laze on the sand or cool off in the azure waters. After spending some time at the Southern end of Whitehaven Beach, make the beautiful journey back to Airlie Beach.

Airlie Beach: Jet Ski Safari

4. Airlie Beach: Jet Ski Safari

Hop on a jet ski and glide through the turquoise waters and beautiful bays of Airlie Beach at high speed. Enjoy the opportunity to feed fish and encounter marine life, such as turtles and dugongs. Upon arrival, receive a safety briefing and life jacket from your qualified guide. Then, set off on your jet ski safari aboard modern Sea-Doo skis, which are extremely fun to ride and suitable for both experienced and novice riders. During the safari, enjoy the informative commentary of your guides as you soak up the scenic surroundings of Airlie Beach in a unique way. Take home memories of your experience with plenty of photo opportunities along the way.

Port Douglas: Low Isles Snorkel Tour

5. Port Douglas: Low Isles Snorkel Tour

Join a snorkelling experience in the water around a beautiful, secluded island. Enjoy some time aboard a comfortable and spacious vessel as you travel to the Low Isles with only 23 guests. Relax with plenty of space onboard during the journey and enjoy a light refreshment as you spot the Low Isles in the distance. Spend a few hours snorkelling and exploring a picturesque coral bay. Snorkel in the calm lagoon or view the reef from the glass bottom boat. The crew will provide tours for guests to learn and appreciate the incredible Great Barrier Reef. Access to the reef is very easy, either from the back of the vessel or from the beach as the reef hugs close to the island. Explore the coral reef and its inhabitants without the crowds. Walk through the sandy paths and through the vegetation. See first hand the historical lighthouse, the lighthouse keeper's home and the Weather Station where local weather data is collected. 

Cairns: Daintree, Mossman Gorge & Cape Trib Tour & Cruise

6. Cairns: Daintree, Mossman Gorge & Cape Trib Tour & Cruise

Embark on a day trip where the rainforest meets the reef. See natural sights including the Great Barrier Reef, experience a wildlife cruise, and participate in a smoke ceremony as you go. Start your adventure with a scenic coastal drive from Cairns to Port Douglas, the far north’s very own great ocean road with panoramic views of the sparkling Coral Sea. The first stop is Mossman Gorge, which is in the southern sector of the world-famous Daintree National Park. The gorge has been carved out by the cold mountain waters of the Mossman River, which winds through large granite boulders, bordered by lush green rainforest. It’s a magical place and you’ll be welcomed by the traditional owners, the Kuku Yalanji people, who will also cleanse you of evil spirits during a smoke ceremony. Also, enjoy a refreshing swim in the cascading waters. Cross the mighty Daintree River and head to the beach for lunch. Experience waterfront dining and enjoy the sand between your toes. After lunch, it’s time to explore the ancient rainforest environment on an interesting guided tour of the Marrdja Botanical Boardwalk. Highly trained guides will give expert rainforest interpretation, which will inform and impress. Be amazed at the huge diversity you will encounter, you will discover everything from low-lying ferns and shrubs, to the massive rainforest canopy and even mangrove ecosystems - all in one short easy walk. You can choose to taste locally made ice cream, at your own cost, and prepare for a photo opportunity at the Alexandra Range Lookout, which provides sweeping views over the Daintree River, its rainforest delta, and out to the Coral Sea. In the afternoon, experience a wildlife cruise on the river. During the cruise, you may see a crocodile, while learning about the fragile ecosystem of this impressive serpent-like river system. On the return journey to Cairns, drive through Port Douglas, a picturesque beachside village with a laid-back vibe and loads of bars and cafes.

From Cairns: Great Barrier Reef Cruise by Premium Catamaran

7. From Cairns: Great Barrier Reef Cruise by Premium Catamaran

Hope aboard a catamaran for a day trip to remember to the Great Barrier Reef. Snorkel, dive, or swim in the water, enjoy a delicious buffet lunch, and take in the marine wildlife. Meet your crew at the Cairns Reef Fleet Terminal, pay the reef levy, and hop aboard the luxury catamaran. The crew will select reef locations depending on the day's conditions from Flynn and Milne reef or further north at Norman and Hastings reefs. All offer diverse reef structures teeming with exotic marine life. Feel the wind in your hair as you set sail for the outer Great Barrier Reef. Relax with morning tea on the way, get to know the crew and learn all about the marine eco-system from a marine expert. Review snorkeling techniques with the crew during the journey. Arrive at the first outer reef location, where you can snorkel, dive or swim in the water. You may also choose to sunbathe, or chill on the boat on the upper sun deck or the netted deck trampoline at the bow of the boat. You can avail complimentary guided tours from the staff. A dedicated dive tender is available for experienced certified divers who want to explore deeper waters. All certified divers receive a complimentary dive guide. First-time divers will receive a free 10-minute scuba instruction in the water from qualified PADI professionals. Savor a fresh tropical buffet lunch prepared by the onboard chef. Treat yourself to a selection of hot and cold dishes including buffet meats, salads, and tropical fruit. Travel to the second outer reef location for the day for your choice of activity. Look out for corals, exotic marine life such as parrotfish, reef turtles and 'nemo' fish. End the day as the captain hoists the sails, and cruise back to Cairns. Enjoy a cold drink from the bar (own expense) and relax on the boom netting. Alternatively, watch presentations about the marine life from the passionate eco-certified staff.

Cairns Aquarium General Admission Ticket

8. Cairns Aquarium General Admission Ticket

Cairns Aquarium is Australia’s newest and most spectacular aquarium. It is the only aquarium in the world to exclusively showcase the stunning aquatic wildlife from tropical North Queensland’s two World Heritage-listed areas – the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics Rainforest. Experience the spectacular diversity of the region without the need to get wet or even leave the city. Travel through ten amazing North Queensland ecosystems from the world’s most ancient rainforest to the world’s largest coral reef to discover 71 different exhibits showcasing the extremely rare and incredibly unique species of this region. See a panorama of wildlife and marine fish that create an underwater world filled with a kaleidoscope of colour. Enjoy daily talks and presentations by knowledgeable and entertaining educators, marvel at the animal feeding sessions and get a hands-on experience at the marine and reptile touch tanks. Complete your day at Cairns Aquarium with breakfast, lunch or dinner at Aqualuna restaurant.

Airlie Beach: Sunset Sail to Whitsundays

9. Airlie Beach: Sunset Sail to Whitsundays

Embark on an adventure and set sail on a 2-hour sunset sail across the bay. Be welcomed on board with a glass of bubbles.  Relax on the green cushioned seats on deck. Help pull up a sail, or two if you feel like it or just chill on deck and take in the tropical sunset.  Enjoy some snacks on the platter consisting of crusty bread, cheeses, fruit, and dips. This experience is perfect for a romantic evening and a journey to remember. Experience the boat Providence V that was in a Hollywood movie called Survive the Savage Seas and is one of the most picturesque sailing boats in the Whitsundays. The boat is built from North Queensland timber and is a replica of the old Grand Banks fishing boats,  a Bluenose or Gloucester schooner.

Port Douglas: River Drift Snorkelling Tour in the Daintree

10. Port Douglas: River Drift Snorkelling Tour in the Daintree

Benefit from a complimentary pickup from your Port Douglas or Mossman accommodation. Arrive at the Daintree Rainforest's Mossman River after a short drive north through historic sugar cane fields. Get fitted out with a wetsuit, boots, and a snorkel mask with the help of your river-trained guide. Step into the cool, crystal clear water and drift with the current as you explore life under the water’s surface. Watch fish dart in and around the river stones and keep your eyes out for the occasional turtle. Try to spot the elusive platypus that calls this river home. Try to spot lizards, butterflies, and rainforest birds on this river adventure. Enjoy an unforgettable time drifting under the rainforest canopy. Arrive back at your accommodation after a short drive back south.

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What people are saying about Far North Queensland

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 9,619 reviews

Exhilarating ride in the gondola viewing the stunning rainforest below. The train ride was relaxed and the train crossed a number of gorges giving us a few stops to appreciate the magnificent Barron Falls.

Nice day out on the water plenty of time to snorkel (1hr) and plenty of time to enjoy Whitehaven (2hrs). Crew were very accommodating and informative. You can tell they love what they do.

Well organised and timed tour. Bus drivers were excellent specially the one armed driver who needs his own comedy show. Rail and skyline well worth doing. We loved it

Sailing was such a lovely way to see the area. Smaller group size was also fantastic. Crew super knowledgeable. A wonderful day definitely worth the money!

Staff are brilliant!! Lots to see and do, lunch is ample and tasty and the amenities are clean and maintianed