North Queensland

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Want to find out where to go and what to do beyond the usual tourist trail in North Queensland?

Australia’s tropical north east is a tourist mecca thanks to the Great Barrier Reef, tropical rainforests and unique Aboriginal culture, but most people who travel here barely scratch the surface of what North Queensland has to offer.

quote about tourists and travellers

And it is one of those places where you really do need to dig below the surface to experience its unique environment and culture.

We know from personal experience how easy it is to drive right past some absolute gems and not even realise they’re there.

starfish at elim beach

So we started Travel NQ to provide information by locals on all that North Queensland has to offer and why so many people love living here.

We’re local travel writers so we’ve been lucky enough to personally experience many of the trips, attractions and accommodations available in this region.

daintree rainforest treehouse

But more importantly than that, we’ve delved into areas and tours far off the beaten track, interviewed some fascinating local people and joined scientists on research trips.

Whatever you’re looking for, whether its tropical food tasting, self drive tours, wildlife spotting, tranquil freshwater swim holes, spectacular caves, amazing eco retreats, beautiful reef-fringed islands or rainforest treehouses, these are just some of the magical things we’re sharing here with you.

Geography

North Queensland may look small on the map but this place is huge!

Australia is a country of vast open spaces and North Queensland is no different. To give you a sense of the scale of North Queensland, it takes approximately 9 hours to drive from Mackay to Cairns, then another 4 hours to Cooktown.

Cooktown is a small town and it’s kind of like the final frontier before entering the wild and remote Cape York.

bama way aboriginal cave paintings

If you want to travel further north beyond Cooktown you will need a 4WD, camping equipment and lots of planning and preparation.

Cape York is stunning country, peppered with remote Aboriginal communities, but the infrastructure is very limited.

mount mulligan billabong

So, you could travel the length of North Queensland in 2-3 days but to really understand this country, you need to take your time and explore away from the roads.

The natural environment should be on your sightseeing itinerary but with such a vast country, it takes time.

Environment

The environment in North Queensland is spectacular.

piicture of pontoon on the great barrier reef

The Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest reef system, is the major drawcard for tourists coming to North Queensland.

But the Daintree Rainforest is also of major environmental significance. It is the world’s oldest continuously surviving rainforest with unique flora and fauna you won’t find anywhere else.

aerial view of the daintree river

Perhaps not surprisingly then, there are many scientists and researchers based here, some of whom are studying the impact of climate change and other factors on this precious environment.

cairns sea turtles being released

We’ve spent time with some of these people and we’re proud to give a voice to their stories and provide coverage of the great work they’re doing because its worth talking about.

They are involved in preserving this unique environment for future generations.

picture of Vlassof Cay

We hope you enjoy learning more about North Queensland and please get in contact if there’s anything we haven’t covered yet that you would like to know about.

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Some of these photos thanks to Tourism & Events Queensland