10 sights that will make it the best road trip from Cairns ever
Posted on 21/09/2019 by Lindsay | guest post
If there is one region made for road tripping, it is Tropical North Queensland for sure. Famously known as the place where the rainforest meets the reef, it's the kind of place you can revisit and see completely different things than you saw on your previous trip there.
Whether you’re a beach bum, hiker, or waterfall chaser, Tropical North Queensland got more than enough attractions to fill a 5-day road trip. Here are our picks for the Top 10 stops to make around the Cairns area with your campervan.
1. Fairy Falls
Fancy enjoying your own personal waterfall and swimming hole? Nearly everyone who parks at the Crystal Cascades car park visits the cascades, but if you take the path on the far end of the lot and follow it along the left side of the creek, you’ll be rewarded with this other gem of a spot. Odds are pretty good you’ll have Fairy Falls all to yourself.
2. Mossman Gorge
Mossman is probably the most touristy spot on the list, but it must be done - ideally first thing in the morning before the crowds swell. It’ll be some of the clearest water you’ve ever seen in your life!
3. Masons Swimming Hole
Making your way up to Cape Tribulation, you won’t want to miss this secluded swimming hole behind Masons Cafe. They do ask for a $1 donation to access it, but it’s well worth the price to enjoy this croc-free swimming spot.
4. Cow Bay
Take your pick of beaches on Cape Tribulation to lap up the sunshine, just be sure not to go in the water - there are crocs and/or jellyfish in the sea, depending on the time of year.
Still, don’t let the dangerous creatures dissuade you from enjoying the beaches of Cape Trib. They are absolutely gorgeous and make you feel as if you’re on a tropical island. Cow Bay is our favourite.
5. Babinda Boulders
Heading back south of Cairns is the town of Babinda, which is worth a stop for its creek full of big, smooth boulders. It’s a top spot for relaxing on your floatie or sprawling out on one of the boulders. There are barbecues and picnic tables at the car park, which makes it a convenient place to break for lunch or dinner after your swim.
6. Windin Falls
This one’s for the avid hiker. Deep in the Atherton Tablelands and accessible via a bumpy dirt road and then a 1.5 hour hike, Windin Falls is very worth the effort. The views from the top are astonishing, but what truly makes this a must-do is the natural infinity pool. See this site for detailed directions on how to get there.
7. Nandroya Falls
Continuing the quest for natural wonders less frequented, Nandroya fits the bill perfectly. An easy half-hour walk deposits you in front of this beautiful waterfall.
8. Tully Gorge
Similar in look and feel to Windin, Tully Gorge offers million-dollar views without the tedious drive or hike in. There typically isn’t much water at the top where the lookout is unless you go after the heavy rains of the wet season. It’s still well worth a look though, especially given how accessible this spot is.
9. Emu Bay
If you want to get up close and personal with a cassowary, Emu Bay is your best bet near Cairns. A family of cassowaries can typically be spotted on this beach early in the morning and just before sunset.
10. Mission Beach
Mission Beach conjures up images of the typical laidback Aussie beach town. The best thing to do here is to hire a bike and ride the 14km of smooth flat sand whilst admiring the towering palms.
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