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Things to do in

Far North Queensland

Our most recommended things to do in Far North Queensland

Airlie Beach: Whitehaven Full-Day Eco-Cruise with Lunch

1. Airlie Beach: Whitehaven Full-Day Eco-Cruise with Lunch

After pickup from your accommodation, head to the marina in Airlie Beach by bus. Board the custom-built catamaran and enjoy fresh, homemade, gluten-free brownies as a morning snack. The first stop is at one of the area's many beautiful reefs to go snorkeling. Be blown away by the vivid colors, bountiful fish, and coral formations of the Great Barrier Reef's outer fringes. This spot offers a quieter way to experience the UNESCO-protected reef. Then, head to the second snorkeling spot on the northern tip of Hook Island. With your guide, discover the area's underwater valleys, caves, and a variety of marine life. Continue to Whitehaven Beach for a buffet lunch of zucchini frittatas and quiche lorraine served with cold sliced meats, cheeses, salad, and fresh bread. After lunch, join a guided bush walk and history talk to Hill Inlet Lookout, located at the northern end of the beach. Admire the world-famous spot where white sands and turquoise waters blend in a unique swirling effect. Enjoy some free time to relax on the beach and soak up the scenery. An afternoon snack of fresh fruit will be provided before the scenic journey back to Airlie Beach by boat. Be dropped back at your accommodation at approximately 5:00 PM.

Airlie Beach: Whitsundays and Whitehaven Half-Day Cruise

2. 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 some time at the Southern end of Whitehaven Beach, make the beautiful journey back to Airlie Beach.

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

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

Explore the village of Kuranda in a 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. Soar over waterfalls and over Barron Gorge on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. 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.

Port Douglas: Quicksilver Outer Barrier Reef Full-Day Cruise

4. Port Douglas: Quicksilver Outer Barrier Reef Full-Day Cruise

Climb aboard a Quicksilver catamaran for a full-day cruise to Australia’s renowned Agincourt Reef, a jewel-like ribbon reef on the edge of the Continental Shelf. Showcasing unsurpassed coral formations, colorful marine life and exceptional underwater visibility, you can snorkel or view the sights from the comfort of a semi-submersible. The Quicksilver's stylish wave-piercing catamaran transports you in air-conditioned comfort. From the spacious activity platform, moored in a protected lagoon, enjoy the widest range of activities for swimmers and non-swimmers alike. A friendly and attentive crew, including professional marine biologists, are on hand to ensure you gain the most from your day. Snorkel among the coral gardens, or stay dry and explore the reef from the comfort of a semi-submersible. Enjoy an informative reef commentary and see the reef from an underwater observatory. Add on exciting optional activities for a complete adventure. Get an introductory dive of the reef, or enjoy certified diving, helmet diving and marine biologist-guided snorkel tours. You can even take a scenic helicopter flight and fly over the reef to see it from another perspective.

Cairns: Daintree and Mossman Gorge Tour with Cruise Option

5. Cairns: Daintree and Mossman Gorge Tour with Cruise Option

Embark on a day trip where the rainforest meets the reef. See natural sights including the Great Barrier Reef, experience a wildlife cruise, and participate in a smoke ceremony as you go. 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. After crossing the mighty Daintree River and a lunch break, 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 (if option selected). 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.

Whitsundays Ocean Rafting Tour: Snorkel, Walk & Whitehaven

6. Whitsundays Ocean Rafting Tour: Snorkel, Walk & Whitehaven

Take off on the ride of your life in the beautiful Whitsunday Islands. Ride, beach, snorkel, and bushwalk as you embark on the perfect Whitehaven Beach tour, visiting both ends of the world-famous beach. Climb aboard the fastest day boat in the Whitsundays as you depart from Airlie Beach. Experience a fun ride, adventure, and education on super fast semi-rigid inflatable vessels capable of speeds of up to 35 knots (65 kilometers per hour). Select the North Whitehaven option for an eco-adventure popular amongst avid snorkellers. This includes two different snorkel destinations, a visit to the stunning beach at Hill Inlet, and a guided National Park walk to the lookout above the silica sand of Whitehaven. Select the South Whitehaven option for more beach time. Enjoy at least two hours relaxing on the white silica sand, and a guided walk to Hill Inlet for breathtaking views of the tropical waters. Snorkel for over an hour amid corals and fringing reefs. Either way, enjoy the only tour in the Whitsundays to have direct access to Hill Inlet beaches at Whitehaven. And have peace of mind by traveling with an advanced ecotourism-certified, climate change business and green travel leader.

Return Ferry Transfer Townsville to Magnetic Island

7. Return Ferry Transfer Townsville to Magnetic Island

With this return ferry transfer, you can make the most of a trip to Magnetic Island, located just 8km off the coast of Townsville. It is a charming holiday destination that truly has a magnetic attraction for visitors. From nature encounters, on-water adventures to relaxation, Magnetic Island has something for everyone. Nature enthusiast should visit the island’s koala sanctuary, explore the 25km of hiking trails and discover the snorkel trails at Nelly Bay and Geoffrey Bay. Head to Nelly or Horseshoe Bay for a water adventure with amazing jet-ski, sea kayaking or a snorkeling or fishing charter. The best way to experience North Queensland is on the water. If you’re after relaxation, Magnetic Island is the perfect destination. Just a 20-minute ferry ride from Townsville, it feels a world away once you step onto this island. Dine at one of the many island restaurants overlooking the tropical waters of North Queensland. Relax at a day spa and enjoy beachfront accommodation.

Port Douglas: Outer Barrier Reef Snorkel Cruise & Transfer

8. Port Douglas: Outer Barrier Reef Snorkel Cruise & Transfer

Experience snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef, a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Snorkel at 3 incredible reefs sites and enjoy relaxing breaks in between. Your experience begins with a pickup from your hotel from where you will be transported to the Crystalbrook Marina. Arrive at the marina and be welcomed on board from 8:20 AM. Receive an outline of the day along with a safety briefing conducted by the crew. Depart the marina and venture to the World Heritage Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and at 10:15 AM arrive at the first reef site. Divers will be briefed while traveling to the reef. Once moored, divers are ready to go while all other guests are joined together for a snorkel briefing. See much of the reef’s colors and marine life, visible within just a couple of meters of the water’s surface. Snorkelling offers all swimmers, regardless of their skill level, the opportunity to see this diverse eco-system up close. Morning tea is served before moving to the second reef site. A delicious buffet lunch will be served and you may choose to join the interpretive reef talk and or a guided snorkel tour. Float effortlessly over rich, colorful coral gardens teeming with life from the cute and playful clownfish to the graceful beauty of the green turtle. Giant clams, stingrays, Maori wrasse, codfishes, and colorful parrotfish, are just some of the hundreds of species you may encounter. At 1:40 PM Arrive at the third and last reef site for the day to snorkel, dive, relax, or spend the time as you wish. Afternoon tea is served before commencing the journey back to Port Douglas. Arrive back at the Crystalbrook Marina at 4:15 PM for the transfer back to your accommodation if required.

Port Douglas: Sunset Sailing Cruise on Luxury Catamaran

9. Port Douglas: Sunset Sailing Cruise on Luxury Catamaran

Check-in at the Sailaway office at the marina at 4:30 PM for a 5:00 PM departure. Climb aboard a luxury catamaran for a 1.5-hour evening cruise. Depart from the marina and feel the wind in your hair as the spectacular vessel moves smoothly and comfortably across the ocean. Receive a complimentary glass of beer, wine, or champagne. Savor a delicious selection of freshly prepared hot and cold canapes. Relax and unwind whilst enjoying the fantastic views of the coral sea and Daintree coastline. Enjoy pure sailing, great music, ambiance, and first-class service. After the sunset cruise, return to the marina at 6:30 PM.

Port Douglas: Low Isles Snorkel Tour

10. Port Douglas: Low Isles Snorkel Tour

Join a snorkelling experience in the water around a beautiful, secluded island. Enjoy some time aboard a comfortable and spacious vessel as you travel to the Low Isles with only 23 guests. Relax with plenty of space onboard during the journey and enjoy a light refreshment as you spot the Low Isles in the distance. Spend a few hours snorkelling and exploring a picturesque coral bay. Snorkel in the calm lagoon or view the reef from the glass bottom boat. The crew will provide tours for guests to learn and appreciate the incredible Great Barrier Reef. Access to the reef is very easy, either from the back of the vessel or from the beach as the reef hugs close to the island. Explore the coral reef and its inhabitants without the crowds. Walk through the sandy paths and through the vegetation. See first hand the historical lighthouse, the lighthouse keeper's home and the Weather Station where local weather data is collected. 

Other Sightseeing Options in Far North Queensland

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What people are saying about Far North Queensland

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 10,976 reviews

It is really difficult to find a decent trip but this one was truly a great experience! Very knowledgeable and friendly guide Sebastian will make sure you really make the most of this trip. He really made it special. We stopped at all the good palces and had enough time to explore and enjoy the nature. The lunch wasn't so great but I guess it's difficult to find something decent in rural area and I guess they just want you to have that experience in this very outback Pub, situated in 100 years old, timber building. So over all I will definitely recommend buying this trip.

Really amazing trip! The boat from Port Douglas to Agincourt Reef was a little bit choppy but the staff on board were excellent in helping anyone who was feeling unwell. The reef itself was incredible and all the necessary equipment was provided to make everyones snorkelling experience as good as each others! The lunch on board was also very nice and good quality food!

The boat man funny, happy. But the pictures not so great.

Very enjoyable day, great guide, liked the small group

Thoroughly enjoyable day trip, very well organised