With the warm season in full swing, plan your summer trip to Tropical North Queensland with these local secrets to add memorable experiences to your stay.
Enjoy a private swimming hole
Are you feeling peckish and want to swim in a private pool? Mason’s cafe at Cape Tribulation is renowned for its private freshwater swimming hole. Look for the signs in the rainforest a few hundred yards behind the cafe and cross to discover the clear water surrounded by mossy rocks and tropical vines. This is the perfect stop on your road trip to stock up on food and cool off on a hot day. The waterhole is crocodile free and if you are lucky you may spot turtles and native freshwater fish.
Dive alongside turtles
Snorkel with green sea turtles as they munch on breakfast when you join the 7:30 am Calypso Reef Cruises half-day trip to the Low Isles. Calypso takes you to the carbon neutral island as the sleepy turtles start their day in the calm lagoon. Spend 2.5 hours snorkeling above the colorful corals with the fish and visit the island’s lighthouse to learn about its maritime legends.
Nudey Beach on Fitzroy Island.
Enjoy the beaches without the crowds
Once you get off the ferry from Cairns at Fitzroy Island, it’s a lovely walk through rainforest to Nudey Beach – a lovely stretch of white sand where you’ll rarely find more than a handful of people. Remember, he’s naked by name, not by nature, so save that bathing suit. Ellis Beach is a 35-minute drive north of Cairns and offers the peace and quiet you’d expect to find on a desert island. The long stretch of beach has over a kilometer of sand between rocky headlands perfect for leisurely walks.
Best places for cold drinks
Guyala Cafe serves up the perfect summer drink with their homemade tepache – a traditional Mexican drink made by fermenting pineapple for three days with cinnamon, star anise and cloves. Try The bedroom room tonic infusion – a combination of cold seasonal coffee, Fever Tree tonic water and ice or sip iced teas made from the finest organic and natural ingredients at the teahouse, The Secret Jungle. For matcha lovers, go to VT Espresso located just outside Cairns night markets.
Daintree Ice Cream Company.
Taste exotic flavors of ice cream and gelato
Classic vanilla and chocolate will seem like rather dull flavors when you stop for an ice cream on a road trip through tropical North Queensland. On the Great Barrier Reef Drive in Cape Tribulation, you’ll find the Daintree Ice Cream Company, which has been making premium ice cream from the organic fruits of its orchard since 1993. Think mangosteen, Davidson plum, black sapote, jackfruit and many more. Order their Signature Cup to try four exotic flavors that change with seasonal fruits. On the way to the Atherton Tablelands via Kuranda stop at Emerald Creek Ice Cream for mango ice cream and continue your journey past trees laden with succulent summer fruit.
Eat on a Port Douglas favorite
A pie is the perfect quick lunch on a summer road trip, so if you’re on the Great Barrier Reef Drive, call Port Douglas for the famous Mocka pies. Mocka’s Pies has been synonymous with visiting Port Douglas since its inception in 1969. Exotic flavors include laksa crocodile and bush kangaroo. Chef Nigel Quinn used to eat Mocka’s Pies as a child on the back of his father’s ute and several years later in 2009 bought the company to continue the tradition of the pie. Port Douglas.
Eat like a Cairns local
It’s easy to find a good restaurant along the Esplanade, but you might need a local to discover some unexpected gems in the suburbs. Just 4km from the center of Cairns is Edge Hill – home to some of the best suburban restaurants of modern Mexican cuisine with a jaw-dropping cocktail list at Guerrilla to authentic Northern Thai cuisine at Samgasat. Reservations are needed for these local haunts if you want to enjoy a pulled brisket empanada or whole fried fish with tamarind, chili and herbs. In the quiet suburb of Holloways Beach, sample wines and dine with modern European-inspired sharing plates and carefully crafted cocktails at the Coded. Brunch is their specialty next door at Two block cafe where the ever-changing menu teases with tastes of sticky date fritters with miso caramel and burnt milk ice cream or fried chicken eggs with karaage benedict.
Tubing on the Little Mulgrave River.
Cool ways to beat the heat
Explore rainforest rivers on tours that take you to some of the best-known local swimming holes. Bounce over small whitewater rapids on a tubing tour of the Mulgrave River with Cairns Adventure Group. If you’d rather relax than rush, set your own pace and glide along crystal clear Babinda Cove, one of Australia’s wettest towns with Babinda Kayak. Hire a kayak or stand-up paddleboard and weave your way between Queensland’s two tallest mountains alongside fish, turtles and the occasional platypus before stopping on the shores for a picnic lunch at the former Babinda Bakery. Go Drift Snorkeling with Back Country Bliss – it’s swimming, snorkeling, flotation and a rainforest walk, all combined. Plunge into the cool, crystal-clear river water in the Daintree Rainforest and drift with the current as you explore life below the water’s surface and descend gentle rapids under the canopy of the oldest rainforest in the world. world.
Mountain biking to a waterfall
Hop on a bike and immerse yourself in nature with trails and tracks leading to the refreshing reward of a rainforest waterfall. Bike offers half a day Wangetti and Hartley Falls mountain bike tour that is perfect for all abilities. The single track takes you through scenic rainforest trails, before opening up to reveal eucalyptus and oak trees, and ending at Hartley’s Creek Waterfall.
Photos Tourism Tropical North Queensland