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Hidden Gems of Tropical North Queensland

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From beautiful white sandy beaches and incredible wildlife to magical water holes and hidden lagoons, there is so much to see and do in the picturesque Tropical North Queensland. Of course, there are those must-see places we have all seen pictures of that are sure to make their way onto your Queensland road trip itinerary. However, there are also a few hidden gems that we think you’re going to want to add to your must-see list as well as some epic spots to camp.

Oysters Family at the beach Salad

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Now, we all have our favourite ways in which to travel, but on the road in a campervan truly is the best way to see and get to all of these incredible North Queensland spots. Plus, whether you’re on a budget or prefer travelling in style, we have a Britz campervan to suit every traveller in Australia. If you’re looking to hire a campervan for your travels to Tropical North Queensland, then ride in style with Britz.

We have a range of campervan rentals to choose from, depending on your budget and the number of people travelling. The Britz Frontier is perfect for those with up to six people travelling and has a large living space to relax in. Smaller families could look at the Britz Voyager, which promises the ultimate in compact comfort, and those with a small child may find the Britz Venturer perfect for them. If you have any questions or thoughts on renting a Britz Campervan, then head over to our other blog that answers it all!

This blog is going to cover it all, so you can be as prepared as possible for your next campervan getaway. We’ve compiled this list of some of our favourite places and some local secrets that we think you’ll love. Whether you’re an adventure seeker, nature lover or simply just want to see all the beauty that this part of the world offers, there are some incredible things to do in Queensland

Let’s dive right in!

Cairns Esplanade Lagoon - TEQ Visual Gallery.jpgImage Source: TEQ Visual Library

What is considered tropical North Queensland?

First off, you might be wondering, what is actually considered Tropical North Queensland? Well, it’s a vast and beautiful area that starts from Cardwell in the south, all the way up to the Torres Strait in the north, and out west to the Queensland border with the Northern Territory. This wonderful part of Australia experiences gorgeous sunny days all year round, with temperatures between 25 and 30 degrees and warm coastal waters. These conditions are perfect for those snorkelling or dining adventures and visits to beautiful North Queensland beaches.

What is Tropical North Queensland well known for?

Chances are, when you think of Tropical North Queensland, images of the vibrant corals of the Great Barrier Reef and lush green tropical rainforests of World Heritage-listed parks come to mind. While these may be awe-inspiring and breathtaking places to visit, there is so much more to this part of the world that we hope you get to discover.

Read on as we dive deeper into the hidden gems of Tropical North Queensland that may not be as talked about. But trust us when we say, they are a must-visit.

Esplanade Lagoon

The Esplanade Lagoon, along the Cairns Esplanade, is one of Cairns’ most iconic features and is nestled right in the heart of town. Ideal for those with kids, this 4800 sqm pool ensures that the whole family can swim safely in a beautiful setting. The Cairns Esplanade is also full of family-friendly activities such as fun-filled playgrounds, beach volleyball courts, fitness stations, BBQ and picnic areas and dog-friendly spaces. Plus, with popular cafes, drool-worthy restaurants and 2.5kms of pedestrian and shared pathways, this is a wonderful place to visit with the family on your trip up north. The Esplanade Lagoon is open Thursdays to Tuesdays from 6 am until 9 pm, and Wednesdays from 12 noon to 9 pm.

Waterholes

A trip to Tropical North Queensland wouldn’t be complete without a trip to at least one of the beautiful waterholes that are scattered around. We’re here to guide you on where they are and which ones are the must-see, so read on to find out:

  • Davies Creek Falls... Davies Creek Falls is a spectacular waterfall located in the Dinden National Park. This impressive waterfall spills over massive granite boulders and has a lovely swimming hole at the bottom that invites you to jump in!
  • Stoney Creek Falls... Stoney Creek Falls is a picturesque waterfall, surrounded by lush rainforests within the Stoney Creek Gorge. A 20-minute walk will bring you to several secluded swimming spots, a perfect way to cool off from the tropical heat after a scenic stroll.
  • Musgravea Trail... Musgravea Trail is next on our must-see waterhole list and it’s no surprise why. This easy-going 6km trail meanders through the Djiru National Park near mission beach and has two swimming options. On the southern side of the trail, there is an incredible freshwater swimming hole that has some of the bluest and clearest waters we have ever seen. To the northern end, you’ll find another beautiful spot to cool off called Lacey Creek.
  • Josephine Falls... Josephine Falls is located at the foothills of Queensland’s highest mountain range, Bartle Frere, is one of those places that truly encompasses the phrase ‘nature’s playground’. With its swimming holes, natural rockslides and raised platforms, this special part of the world is a must-see for all those visiting the area.

Davies Creek Falls - TEQ Visual Gallery.jpgImage Source: TEQ Visual Library

Wildlife spotting places

Tropical North Queensland is filled with an array of incredible wildlife. The trick is knowing the best places to go to get the best wildlife spotting experience. From wallabies, kangaroos and koalas to crocodiles, platypus and flocks of birds, we’ve detailed it all below, so you know exactly where to go.

Granite Gorge

If seeing wallabies and kangaroos is high on your wishlist, then Granite Gorge is the spot for you. Here you can get up close and personal with a cute colony of Mareeba Rock Wallabies as you hand feed them their favourite snacks. A selection of short and long trails invite you to wander through the stunning bush and rock landscape, and when you need to cool off you can swim or canoe in the lovely (and crocodile-free) Granite Creek Weir.

Granite Gorge Nature Park will be a wonderful space to retreat to after a day of exploring all that this area offers. This family-friendly holiday park has powered and unpowered campervan hire sites, perfect for your Britz campervan. As well as that you can enjoy hot showers, toilet blocks, BBQ areas, and cooking and laundry facilities.

Granite Gorge Nature Park - TEQ Visual Gallery.jpgImage Source: TEQ Visual Library

Eungella National Park

Eungella National Park is not only a hub for an array of wildlife, but also for a huge selection of fun activities. From easy strolls and long hikes to mountain biking and picnicking, there are sure to be endless adventures enjoyed in this stunning park.

If you’re here for the wildlife, then you are in luck. An amazing diversity of wildlife calls this park home, some of which are found nowhere else in the world. During daylight hours, you can step onto the platform at Broken River and peer into the water to spy on the shy platypus, slinky eels and peaceful turtles. Those who love to birdwatch are in for a treat with the area frequented by lorikeets, red-browed finches and blue-faced honeyeaters. At night the forest comes alive with greater gliders, tawny frogmouths, sugar gliders and brushtail possums that you can watch with spotlights at night as they play in the trees.

When it comes to wonderful places to park up your campervan after a day of exploring, Fern Flat and Broken River are two camping areas that offer a tranquil setting with simple amenities.

Hartley's Crocodile Adventures

Chances are that your Tropical North Queensland must-see list has crocodile watching on it… And if it doesn’t, it should!

Our go-to is Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures, and it’s no surprise why. Here you can not only safely watch crocodiles in their incredible enclosures, but you can also watch crocodile feeding and attack shows put on by the awesome staff. As well as that, you can take a cruise safely along the crocodiles’ waterways. This tourist park isn’t just all about crocodiles. They also have an array of other animals for you to see including cassowaries, snakes, birds, lizards and koalas. This family-friendly park has something for the whole family and is a must-visit on your Australia campervan holiday. The park is open from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm, seven days a week and is located on the Captain Cook Highway, between Cairns and Port Douglas at Wangetti.

Hartley's Crocodile Adventures - TEQ Visual Gallery.jpgImage Source: TEQ Visual Library

Port Douglas Markets

Your Queensland road trip itinerary wouldn't be complete without a stop at a local market, and we’ve got just the one to add to your list!

Those visiting the beautiful town of Port Douglas won’t want to miss the Port Douglas Sunday Markets. These markets are much-loved by the locals and it’s no surprise why. Located in a grassy park, right on the waterfront overlooking the Coral Sea, these wonderful markets are vibrant, fun and full of great stalls. From kids' crafts, books and jewellery, to produce, coffee and live music, there is so much to see and do at these markets. The markets are held every Sunday from 8:00 am to 1:30 pm at Market Park.

River Drift Snorkelling

If you love nature and you love the water, then River Drift Snorkelling is sure to capture your attention. This incredible eco-immersion is a perfect blend of swimming, snorkelling, floating and rainforest walking.

This incredible experience sees you floating through crystal-clear waters, drifting with the natural currents as you explore the vibrant life underwater. From darting fish to floating turtles and curious water dragons, this incredible experience will leave you in awe.

You have the choice of two tours;

  1. The first is the River Drift Snorkelling which goes for roughly two hours on the water.
  2. The second option is the Mossman Gorge Adventure Day which starts at 7:30 am and includes a morning of River Drift Snorkelling, followed by a delicious lunch and traditional Kuku Yalanji ceremony, before an afternoon exploring the picturesque Daintree National Park.

Swim with Dwarf Minke Whales

Not many people can say that they have swum with Dwarf Minke Whales, so this is an opportunity of a lifetime and a must-add to your North Queensland campervan itinerary.

These incredible mammals are only found in Tropical North Queensland for two months of the year, between June and July, and you have the chance to enjoy a dive expedition with them. The tour options are incredible. You can choose between a three-night expedition, a four-night expedition or a seven-night expedition which sees you enjoy multiple day and night dives with these awe-inspiring animals. Novice to advanced divers and snorkelers are welcome to join, so if you’re visiting the area on your Queensland road trip, then add this one to the list!

Dwarf Minke Whale - TEQ Visual Gallery.jpgImage Source: TEQ Visual Library

Ready to experience the best of Tropical North Queensland?

So there you have it, some of our must-do-and-see places and tours in Tropical North Queensland. Of course, there is so much more to see and do, but these are the perfect blend of popular to-dos and hidden gems.

If you can’t wait to hit the road and start exploring all that Tropical North Queensland has to offer, then make sure you book a campervan with Britz today!