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Great Tropical Drive (South)

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Travel south from Cairns and up the Gillies Range to the quaint heritage Village of Yungaburra, where you can stop for a rest, lunch or stay overnight to explore the beautiful Atherton Tablelands – known as “Tropical North Queensland’s food bowl”. 

Oysters Family at the beach Salad

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Visit Lake Tinnaroo for a swim or water ski, or cool off in the volcanic crater lakes of Lake Eacham and Lake Barrine where rainforest walks are also available.

Travel along the Milla Milla waterfall circuit including 5 fabulous falls and opportunities for a swim, before heading down the Palmerston Highway through the Wooroonooran National Park. Visit the MaMu Tropical Skywalk Canopy Walkway taking a walk in the clouds, high in the rainforest canopy. Once in Innisfail, the road takes your further south through Sugar Cane fields, Banana plantations, picturesque towns and rainforest mountains, before you arrive at beautiful Mission Beach, a beautiful beachside village, famous for it’s cassowaries and endless beaches.

Spend a night or two at any of the four villages along Mission Beach, enjoying the regions attractions, adventures and local produce. Have time to just laze on the beach, take a Watertaxi to Dunk Island, or an early morning kayak along the beach.

Travel from Mission Beach to Tully, arguably the wettest town in Australia proudly portrayed via the “Golden Gumboot” monument.

(Here you can continue travelling south to Townsville or turn around and head back to Cairns)
Heading back north along the picturesque Canecutter Way to visit Paronella Park a heritage listed tourist park inspired by the dream of Spanish immigrant Jose Paronella and his love of Spanish castles. Stop at the Mena Creek hotel for a drink or lunch and travel on through Innisfail back towards Cairns.
Along the way you can make a stop at the mystical Babinda Boulders, or walk through the Rainforest to Josephine Falls. Gordonvale is just before Cairns and the Walsh Pyramid makes for some great photographic opportunity, before arriving back in Cairns. 

Insider info:

· Visit the Yungaburra markets on the fourth Saturday of the month 7.30-12noon (excl. Dec.)
· Watch sunset over Lake Tinnaroo, great photographic opportunity
· Have scones and cream at Lake Barrine Tea house and watch the freshwater turtles
· Enjoy sunset drinks on Mission Beach.
· For the adventurous try sky diving or white water rafting on the Tully river
 

Events:

Mission Beach Banana Festival 15 August
Great Wheelbarrow Race – Tablelands 15-17 May
Feast of the Senses Innisfail 28 March – 5 April
 

Things to do:

Ocean Spirit Reef Trip to Michelmas Cay (from Cairns)
Full Day River Rafting on the Tully River
Jump the Beach, Mission Beach Skydive (Tandem Skydive)
Paronella Park Experience & Mamu Tropcal Skywalk
Spirit of the Rainforest Tour (Ingan Tours)
Charleys Chocolate Tour (Mission Beach)