Things to do in
Far North Queensland

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Our most recommended things to do in Far North Queensland

Airlie Beach: Whitsundays and Whitehaven Half-Day Cruise

1. Airlie Beach: Whitsundays and Whitehaven Half-Day Cruise

Cruise to Whitehaven Beach on this 6-hour cruise. Depart early in the morning on a high-speed vessel for a cruise through the Whitsunday Islands and be the first on the beach. Alternatively, depart later in the day and enjoy a sunset cruise home. Enjoy morning or afternoon tea. Board the Whitehaven vessel for the scenic cruise to the magnificent beach. Your cruise vessel has expansive seating areas inside and out and your skipper will provide an informative commentary on the history and natural wonders of the area. Sit back, breathe in the sea air, sip a wine or beer, and marvel at the 74 Island Wonders of the Whitsundays, starting with views of Passage Peak and the Pentecost Island. The waters of Solway Passage lead you to Whitehaven Beach, a must-see in the Whitsundays. Prepare to be dazzled by the breathtaking beauty and vivid white sand of Whitehaven Beach on Whitsunday Island. This uninhabited island is one of Australia's true gems. Wander along the beach to your own secluded stretch, laze on the sand or cool off in the azure waters. After spending 1.5 to 2 hours at the Southern end of Whitehaven Beach, make the beautiful journey back to Airlie Beach.

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Cairns: Self-Guided Kuranda Day Trip, Scenic Rail & Skyrail

2. Cairns: Self-Guided Kuranda Day Trip, Scenic Rail & Skyrail

On this 7-hour excursion, visit Kuranda village in pristine World Heritage-listed rainforest. Be picked up from your hotel and travel to the train station. Take the Kuranda Scenic Railway and marvel at mountains on the way. Rising from sea level to 328 meters, pass waterfalls into the Barron Gorge. Explore the markets, shops, and walking trails, or take a river cruise (seasonal) for 2.5 hours. Discover the food stalls and cafés, or dine with the water dragons at Frog’s Restaurant famous for its sauces and dressings. Take the famous Skyrail down, spanning 7.5km over the rainforest canopy. Spot native wildlife, including the cassowary, the world's 3rd-largest flightless bird. Next, take the 2:00 PM Skyrail back to the bottom (Skyrail Smithfield station). Embark on a fascinating journey of discovery over and deep into the world’s oldest, continually-surviving tropical rainforest. The iconic Skyrail experience is a must-do Cairns attraction of Australia’s World-Heritage listed tropical rainforest, immersing you in one of the most botanically fascinating areas on earth. At the end of your Skyrail experience, be picked up again by bus at 3:30 PM to be brought back to the hotel.

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Airlie Beach: Jet Ski Safari

3. Airlie Beach: Jet Ski Safari

Hop on a jet ski and glide through the turquoise waters and beautiful bays of Airlie Beach at high speed. Enjoy the opportunity to feed fish and encounter marine life, such as turtles and dugongs. Upon arrival, receive a safety briefing and life jacket from your qualified guide. Then, set off on your jet ski safari aboard modern Sea-Doo skis, which are extremely fun to ride and suitable for both experienced and novice riders. During the safari, enjoy the informative commentary of your guides as you soak up the scenic surroundings of Airlie Beach in a unique way. Take home memories of your experience with plenty of photo opportunities along the way.

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Hartley's Crocodile Adventures: Entrance Ticket

4. Hartley's Crocodile Adventures: Entrance Ticket

Get up close and personal with Australia's native and exotic wildlife at Hartley's Crocodile Adventures, a wildlife sanctuary and ecotourism park located between Cairns and Port Douglas at Wangetti. Upon arrival at the park, you will be allocated a time for a boat tour during which you will be able to see crocodiles being pole fed. During your visit to the park, learn more about crocodiles and snakes with daily talks and shows, including a tour of the crocodile farm, a crocodile attack show, and a venomous snake demonstration. In between shows, feel free to explore the 2500 meters of boardwalks and pathways winding through melaleuca wetlands, eucalypt woodland, and riverine rainforest, enjoying a wide variety of native and exotic animals. No doubt after all the walking you'll be hungry for the range of snacks and meals available at the onsite bistro. After the shows, explore the wildlife exhibits at your own pace. See Komodo dragons, alligators, cassowaries, wombats, koalas, emus, lizards, quolls, kangaroos, and wallabies. In the Gallery of Living Art, meet tropical and predatory birds in a walk-through aviary, then enter the reptile room to admire exotic reptiles. Finish the day with a selfie with the koalas, crocs, or pythons for a memorable souvenir of your day out.

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Daintree, Mossman Gorge & Cape Trib Tour with Cruise & Lunch

5. Daintree, Mossman Gorge & Cape Trib Tour with Cruise & Lunch

Start your adventure with a scenic coastal drive from Cairns to Port Douglas, the far north’s very own great ocean road with panoramic views of the sparkling Coral Sea. The first stop is Mossman Gorge, which is in the southern sector of the world-famous Daintree National Park. The gorge has been carved out by the cold mountain waters of the Mossman River, which winds through large granite boulders, bordered by lush green rainforest. It’s a magical place and you’ll be welcomed by the traditional owners, the Kuku Yalanji people, who will also cleanse you of evil spirits during a smoke ceremony. Also, enjoy a refreshing swim in the cascading waters. Cross the mighty Daintree River and head to the beach for lunch. Experience waterfront dining and enjoy the sand between your toes. After lunch, it’s time to explore the ancient rainforest environment on an interesting guided tour of the Marrdja Botanical Boardwalk. Highly trained guides will give expert rainforest interpretation, which will inform and impress. Be amazed at the huge diversity you will encounter, you will discover everything from low-lying ferns and shrubs, to the massive rainforest canopy and even mangrove ecosystems - all in one short easy walk. You can choose to taste locally made ice cream, at your own cost, and prepare for a photo opportunity at the Alexandra Range Lookout, which provides sweeping views over the Daintree River, its rainforest delta, and out to the Coral Sea. In the afternoon, experience a wildlife cruise on the river. During the cruise, you may see a crocodile, while learning about the fragile ecosystem of this impressive serpent-like river system. On the return journey to Cairns, drive through Port Douglas, a picturesque beachside village with a laid-back vibe and loads of bars and cafes.

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Airlie Beach: 2-Hour Sunset Cruise with Sparkling Wine

6. Airlie Beach: 2-Hour Sunset Cruise with Sparkling Wine

Depart from the Coral Sea Marina in the Northern Village, which is only a short walk from the main street of Airlie Beach. You will cruise around Pioneer Bay and then get up close to many of the points of interest along the Airlie Beach coastline. If you are lucky, you will be able to spot turtles on the way, and on Wednesdays you can see the locals on their weekly yacht race. Watch a picture-perfect sunset and observe Airlie start to light up at dusk, whilst enjoying a glass of bubbly.  The Sundowner is a fully covered purpose-built catamaran designed for socializing. Unlike a yacht, it has a flat surface and no trip hazards. There is ample room to move, and high heels are welcome. Plenty of seating is available on board, and every seat has a great view of the Ocean.

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From Cairns: Fitzroy Island Full-Day Adventure Tour

7. From Cairns: Fitzroy Island Full-Day Adventure Tour

Fitzroy Island was once part of mainland Australia, before being separated by rising waters. Over time a fringing coral reef surrounded the island, providing a sheltered home to a variety of fish and coral species. Explore this marine wonderland on a day tour from Cairns, crossing by ferry to enjoy wilderness hiking trails and snorkeling adventures. Choose from a range of packages, including transfers for you to explore on your own, or a package including snorkel or glass-bottom boat activities. Explore the Island's 339 hectares of lush rainforest that covers 94 percent of the island and is protected and managed as a National Park. Walking trails are suitable for all levels of fitness, allowing you to explore areas of the island at your leisure. The fast catamaran departs from the Marlin Marina, with check-in directly on the vessel. Cruise south along the calm waters of the coastline to reach Fitzroy Island in just 45 minutes, giving you up to 7 hours to explore the tropical island.

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From Cairns: Fitzroy Island Return Catamaran Transfer

8. From Cairns: Fitzroy Island Return Catamaran Transfer

Depart from Cairns Marina and visit Fitzroy Island, a national park covered in lush tropical rainforest and boasting granite outcrops, open woodlands, mangroves, coral beaches. Walk to the lighthouse, dine at the restaurant, or relax at the famous Nudey Beach, voted the best beach in Australia. This return catamaran transfer gives you 6 hours to explore paradise at your own pace. During your time on the island, you will be able to explore with self-guided rainforest walks to the summit, lighthouse, secret garden, and Nudey Beach or, soak in the magic of the island by snorkeling, diving, and kayaking. With up to 6 hours of free time, you will be able to explore the island through self-guided rainforest walks to the summit, lighthouse, secret garden, and Nudey Beach or, soak in the magic of the Great Barrier Reef by snorkeling, diving, and kayaking. At Fitzroy Island, you can snorkel the fringing reef only meters from the beach. You also have the option to bring a picnic lunch or purchase a casual lunch from the Fitzroy Island cafe. Extra activities include Foxy's Bar & Café, Pacific Island Store, snorkel hire, dive, and activities center - all available on the island at an extra cost. Depart Fitzroy Island at 4:15 PM for the leisurely, relaxing cruise home. By 5:30 PM, arrive back at Cairns Marina. 

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Cairns: Full-Day Glass Bottom Boat Snorkel Tour

9. Cairns: Full-Day Glass Bottom Boat Snorkel Tour

Discover the lush rainforest of Green Island on this full-day snorkel tour and encounter some of the many marine animals that call the island home. Climb aboard the modern, air-conditioned catamaran "Reef Rocket" to cruise over to this idyllic part of the Great Barrier Reef, and enjoy a full-day reef tour just 45-minutes from Cairns. Snorkel and dive among the reef fish and coral gardens, or stay dry on a spectacular semi-submersible submarine or glass-bottom boat to discover the underwater life in comfort. Alternatively, simply laze on the white sandy beach and soak up the sun.

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From Cairns: Green Island Eco Adventure

10. From Cairns: Green Island Eco Adventure

Boasting a lush rainforest that is home to over 120 native plant species and colorful bird life, Green Island is surrounded by coral gardens and abundant marine life. The tropical island, just 45 minutes from Cairns offers the unique opportunity for a combined reef and rainforest tour. And with the choice of 3 daily departures, the Green Island eco adventure is perfect for a half or full-day experience with up to 7 hours on the beautiful Great Barrier Reef island. Your cruise includes the choice of an informative glass bottom boat coral viewing tour, or use of snorkeling equipment to snorkel directly off the sandy white beaches. Whether you’re up for adventurous activities or island relaxation, you’ll be spoilt for choice. You can explore the island’s lush rainforest with a leisurely self guided walk, see the reef from the glass bottom boat coral viewing tour, snorkel from the beach, or take a refreshing dip in the island swimming pool. With an abundance of optional activities, you can scuba dive, take an offshore snorkel excursion, walk underwater with Seawalker helmet diving, kayak, or even take to the sky in a scenic helicopter flight. There's even the Marineland Melanesia crocodile habitat on the island! The island’s well appointed day visitor facilities include a pool bar, dive shop, plus restaurant and food outlets, where a delicious range of lunch, snacks and refreshments can be purchased.

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Frequently asked questions about Far North Queensland

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What people are saying about Far North Queensland

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 8,971 reviews

Great travel time to/from the Island & snorkelling straight off the beach is perfect for families with young kids

We had a great time. The places we went were stunning and the boat and the crew where very friendly and fun.

OUR 1st time on a Segway and in the rain - my brother and I had an AMAZING time

The crocodile attack show was amazing. A must go to place when in Cairns.

It was an amazing day and the tour guides were lovely!