River Activities: 6 Ways to Enjoy the Rivers of FNQ

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Looking for a fun way to cool off in the freshwater creeks of FNQ? There are many awesome inland river activities in FNQ from riding the rapids to drifting along with the current.

There’s no better way to enjoy hot summer days in the tropics of North Queensland than by messing about and having fun in the freshwater creeks, rivers, lakes, waterfalls and swim holes.

So here’s our list of favourite river activities you can do in the area:

1. white water rafting

White Water Rafting has been one of the most popular river activities in FNQ for many years. It is a thrilling way to spend a day and definitely for the more adventurous traveller.

There are two operators offering rafting trips from Cairns.

  1. Raging Thunder do full day tours on the Tully River (grade 4)
  2. Foaming Fury do half day tours on the Barron River (grade 3).

2. stand up paddle boarding

windswell paddle boarding port douglasStand Up Paddle Boarding is easier than it looks so don’t worry if you’ve never done it before because its fairly easy to pick up and it’s great fun.

You can hire SUP’s off the beach at Palm Cove, Port Douglas or Mission Beach or at Copperlode Dam in Cairns.

Alternatively, Windswell in Port Douglas, do tours in various inland places.

One of the places he takes tour groups is to the Mossman River. The trip last for 2-3 hours depending on how hard you choose to paddle and it’s a fantastic ways to enjoy the rainforest.

3. river kayaking

babindakayaks1Kayaking is a very popular sport around FNQ and there are many places to do it.

If you haven’t got your own kayak, try the self tour with Babinda Kayaks – this is a beautiful creek with fantastic views south of Cairns.

A bit further afield, Ingan Tours do a really good guided tour on the Bulgan River near Tully, which is a good daytrip if you’re staying in Mission Beach.

4. river tubing

river tube rapidsIf you don’t want to paddle too hard, river tubing is a good alternative, especially for families with younger children.

All you need is an inner tube and a sense of fun!

Foaming Fury do half-day tours on the Mulgrave River just south of Cairns in the picturesque Goldsborough Valley.

5. river drift snorkelling

The clear pristine waters of the Mossman River make it ideal for drift snorkelling and it is a safe and fun activity. Back Country Bliss Adventures offer three-hour tours twice a day.

6. canyoning

Adventure tour with Behana DaysCanyoning is the newest activity to become available in the creeks of North Queensland.

It is heaps of fun and a fantastic way to enjoy our local environment but its definitely not for the feint-hearted.

There are two operators offering canyoning tours: Behana Canyoning offer tours on at Behana Gorge and Cairns Canyoning (Raging Thunder) operate at Crystal Cascades.

travel nq fast facts:

  • These activities are safe from crocs since they are all done upstream well away from estuaries.
  • Most of these river activities are available all year round but the optimal time is March-May just after the wet season when the weather is still hot.
  • If you want a cheap alternative, find yourself a beautiful freshwater swim hole and just go swimming.

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