Photographer and author Paul Curtis has been exploring North Queensland since 1978. He has camped, bushwalked and 4WDed his way through most of the region and even photographed ‘lost worlds’ that are no longer accessible.
Over time, and with many adventures into the remote wilderness under his belt, other people began to seek Paul’s advice about places to visit.
This prompted him to start making a list of everywhere he had visited, which eventually turned into his book called ‘A Travellers Guide to North Queensland’.
Now on to its fourth edition, the book is a reminder of all the wonderful places Paul has discovered and an invaluable resource for other people wanting to get off the beaten track by foot, car, boat or canoe in North Queensland.
[headline size=”small” align=”left”]5 favourite places[/headline]
We recently caught up with Paul to look through some of his fabulous photographic collection and we asked him his favourite places to take visitors and these were his top 5 picks:
“The north end of Bramston Beach within Russell River National Park is some of the most spectacular coastline between Townsville and Cape York.”
2. Mount Lewis
“At the back of Julatten, in the northern Tablelands, this area has beautiful high altitude rainforest, crystal clear streams, birds and wildlife and hardly any people.”
3. Mt Edith Road
“A rainforest circuit drive at the back of Lake Tinaroo with stunning rainforest, waterfalls and mountain look outs.”
“The creek and limestone landscapes around Chillagoe are a great contrast to the lush tropical scenery near the coast. People are always amazed when I take them to this area, it’s not what they expect. It is a photographers dream.”
5. Mackenzie Falls
“There are many waterfalls around the Cairns Tablelands and many of them on the usual tourist trail are worth seeing but there are others that many people don’t know about that I include on my ‘Mysterious Waterfalls Tour’. The highlight of this tour is Mackenzie Falls, a stunning waterfall that you can only access via 4WD.”
[headline size=”small” align=”left”]NQ Wildscapes[/headline]
Through his business NQ Wildscapes, Paul now takes other travellers to many of these secret places on selective, customised tours for 2-4 people at a time. It began as a business offering nature photo tours but more often than not, he personalises each tour according to the interests of his guests, which may or may not involve the use of a camera.
The one thing they all have in common is that they want to get off the beaten track and experience something unique.
With such a wealth of great knowledge on the area, Paul is uniquely qualified to cater to this market.
[headline size=”small” align=”left”]unusual requests[/headline]
Paul says that he has had many different requests for individualised tours including one customer who wanted to be taken to places where he could do ‘astro photography’.
Paul knew just the place and took him to the outback around Chillagoe where he could takes photos of the wide open night skies without light pollution from the cities.
Other unusual requests have led to him throwing his car around on a post-wet season ‘4WD Adventure’ and hunting down a “David Attenborough unique wildlife experience”.
[headline size=”small” align=”left”]paul’s favourite place[/headline]
With such a vast knowledge of the area around North Queensland we had to ask Paul where he would choose to go if he just wanted a holiday all by himself?
“That’s pretty easy to answer” he replies. “Gregory Falls, near Emu Creek. It’s an adventurous drive to get there and only accessible by 4WD, but you can camp right next to the waterfall. It’s just magical”
To find out more about NQ Wildscapes and Paul’s off-the-beaten track photo tours of North Queensland or to order a copy of his book, go to his website at www.nqwildscapes.com.
All of the photos featured on this page are thanks to Paul Curtis.