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The Great Barrier Reef Drive from Cairns to Port Douglas is one of Australia’s most spectacular coastline and scenic drives, along secluded beaches and stunning rainforest clad mountains. 

Oysters Family at the beach Salad

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From Cairns you head north across the Barron River along the edge of the Coral Sea past unspoiled tropical beac​hes to Port Douglas, the ideal place to cruise to the Great Barrier Reef and immerse yourself in the laid back tropical village atmosphere. Travel on north of Port Douglas towards the sugar town of Mossman and up the Rex Range to Mt.Molloy joining the inland route Cooktown, driving through Black Mountain National Park.

Once you arrive in Cooktown visit the Museum and Botanical Gardens, enjoy sunset on Grassy Hill Look Out and throw a line for a spot of fishing on the jetty.

From Cooktown travel along Battlecamp Road (4W), into Lakefield (Rinyirru) National Park. Camp along the Normanby River, great for fishing. Remember all camping must be booked prior to arrival.

Travel north through Kalpowar Crossing to Cape Melville through Cape Melville National Park featuring impressive granite boulders of the Melvillee range and sandy beaches of Bathurst Bay.

The next day drive back through Rinyrru National Park and stop at the beautiful White Lilly and Red Lilly Lagoons, Nifold Plain a bird watchers and photographers paradise before heading to the Hann River Crossing. Head North through Lilly Vale / Running Creek access road to Port Stewart, a small community at the northern end of Princess Charlotte Bay. Stay at Silver Plains Station a historical outstation.

Return to Cairns along the Mulligan Highway via Mount Molloy and Mareeba, stopping by the beautiful Mareeba wetlands and travelling down the Kuranda Range.

Insider in​fo:

Have breakfast or coffee at Chill Café Palm Cove or Ellis Beach Café
Visit the Port Douglas Markets every Sunday 8-1pm
Go for a swim at Mossman Gorge
Have a beer at the Lions Den Hotel
Visit the Cooktown Museum
Check out sunset or sunrise on Cooktown’s Grassy Hill Lookout
Book Willie Gordon’s Aboriginal Rock Art Tour out of Cooktown
Have a coffee at Mareeba Coffee Works
Events: Cooktown Discovery Festival 7-9 June
Laura Dance Festival 19th June
Cairns Indigenous Art Fair July 2015
Cairns – Cooktown Bikeride (Cardiac Challenge) 2015 – date tba.

Things to do:

Willie Gordon Aboriginal Rock Art Tour
Wavedancer Sailing Cruise to Reef & Low Isles (out of Port Douglas)
Mossman Gorge Dreamtime Walk
AJ Hackett Bungy Jump
Barron River Half Day Rafting Trip
Cairns Tropical Zoom, Zip line Tour