Get Inspired / Tropical North Queensland Queensland Self Drive: Cairns and Highlands Loop (Cairns - Cairns) Australia Share on email Print this article Share on Facebook Get Inspired / Tropical North Queensland Queensland Self Drive: Cairns and Highlands Loop (Cairns - Cairns) Australia story by: Mike Williams Few places on earth can match the beauty and sophistication of Tropical North Queensland – where the rainforest meets the reef. Take to the water and explore the Great Barrier Reef, head north to the seaside village of Port Douglas and visit the superb tropical rainforest of the Daintree & Cape Tribulation, where two World Heritage areas exist side by side. Day 1: Cairns – Cape Tribulation After taking time to explore Cairns and its surrounds, start your journey north on the scenic coastal road. Port Douglas is the perfect spot to stop for lunch before you continue north to the Daintree National Park. It takes less than five minutes to cross the Daintree River by ferry, but on the other side you enter an entirely new tropical world. Day 2-3:Cape Tribulation – Atherton To get a true perspective of the magnificent rainforest a visit to the Daintree Rainforest Environmental Centre is a must. If time allows a Daintree River Cruise gives you a different vantage point of the forest, you might even see some crocs. Next stop is Mareeba, via Mount Molloy, sitting atop a plateau 1000 metres above sea level. Day 4: Atherton – Mission Beach Head off early down the Range towards Innisfail (one of Australia’s largest sugar-producing towns) before arriving in Mission Beach, you can stretch your legs on the 1.5km Ulysses Link Walking Track, which winds its way along the beach foreshore. Day 5: Mission Beach Spend a day relaxing in Mission Beach or if sightseeing is more your thing, take a drive to Paronella Park (47kms from Mission Beach) a crumbling Spanish castle at Mena Creek. Paronella Park appears to be hundreds of years older than its true age creating the image of a lost paradise and fantasy garden hidden in the depths of the rainforest. Day 6: Mission Beach – Cairns Leisurely make your way back to Cairns. Highlights worth seeing along the way GREAT BARRIER REEF– Get out on the reef on a day tour from Cairns, you won’t be disappointed! ATHERTON TABLELANDS – Tucked away in the folds of the hills are lovely waterfalls surrounded by lush rainforest, some popular ones are Millaa Millaa, Malanda and Mungalli. MAREBA WETLANDS – See the amazing array of wetland birdlife in the wild. Enquire Now First name* Last name* Email* Phone How can we help? My preferred House of Travel Store* Select Outlet Auckland Albany: Auckland North Botany Junction: Auckland South Browns Bay: Auckland North Devonport: Auckland North Ellerslie: Auckland Central Hobsonville: Auckland West Howick: Auckland East Milford: Auckland North New Lynn: LynnMall Auckland West Newmarket: Auckland Central Orewa: Auckland North Parnell: Auckland Central Ponsonby: Auckland Central Remuera: Auckland Central St Heliers: Auckland East Takanini: Auckland South Takapuna: Auckland North Whangaparaoa: Auckland North Bay of Plenty Mt Maunganui Papamoa Rotorua Taupo Tauranga CBD the Crossing Canterbury Ashburton Barrington: Christchurch South Christchurch City: Christchurch Central Ferrymead: Christchurch East High Street Lanes: Christchurch Central Hornby: Christchurch West Merivale: Christchurch Central Northlands: Papanui Christchurch North Rangiora Riccarton: Christchurch Central Shirley: Christchurch North Timaru Upper Riccarton: Christchurch West Hawke's Bay / Gisborne Havelock North Jenny Nilsson: Hastings Nelson / Marlborough Blenheim Motueka Nelson Richmond Northland Kerikeri: Northland Whangarei: Northland Otago / Southland Alexandra Balclutha Dunedin Lakers Gore Lakers Invercargill Oamaru Wakatipu: Queenstown Wanaka Taranaki / Manawatu Broadway: Palmerston North New Plymouth Stephen Parsons: Palmerston North Wanganui Waikato Calder & Lawson: Hamilton East Cambridge Coromandel: Whangamata Hamilton: Hamilton Central Matamata Morrinsville Taupo Te Awamutu Wellington / Wairarapa Featherston Street: Wellington City Hunter St CBD: Wellington City Johnsonville: Wellington North Kapiti Coast: Paraparaumu Lower Hutt: Wellington North Masterton West Coast Greymouth Hokitika Westport I would like to receive email updates on the latest HOT holiday deals HOT Privacy Statement * required fields Similar Journeys Add or remove from Wishlist 8 glorious Queensland pool bars Read more Add or remove from Wishlist Discovering the world’s oldest rainforest Read more Done this? Tell your friends about it.