Tropical North Queensland - Pure Exoticism
The Great Barrier Reef and the rainforest landscape of the Wet Tropics are two World Natural Heritage sites in Tropical North Queensland. Together with the numerous islands, the wonderful beaches and the diverse flora and fauna, the region is the perfect example of exoticism.
Geography - The tropical north
Tropical North Queensland is a region which has an area of almost 900,000 km² and extends from the city of Mackay to Cape York Peninsula. Except for the bigger cities of Cairns, Townsville and Mackay, the area of Tropical North Queensland is relatively untouched and sparsely populated. Altogether the region takes up about 54 percent of the state and contains geographically significant landscapes like the Torre Strait Islands, the Wet Tropics, the Atherthon Tablelands and the Great Barrier Reef. There is tropical climate all year, which creates humid, hot air and tropical hurricanes at times.
Nature - An exotic World Natural Heritage site
The landscape in the north of Queensland fascinates with its exotic atmosphere. Palm-lined dream beaches, raging rivers, deep gorges, breathtaking waterfalls, colourful coral reefs as well as tropical rainforests and islands characterise the region. The Wet Tropics of Queensland with the Daintree National Park, Cape York and the Cape Tribulation National Park are particularly impressive. The region's tropical rainforests are about 135 million years old, which makes them the world's oldest rainforests, and have been part of the World Natural Heritage of the UNESCO since 1988. Another World Natural Heritage site in Tropical North Queensland is the Great Barrier Reef. Like the regional primeval forests, the world's largest coral reef is indescribably diverse. Its colourful corals, the tropical island oases (e.g. Fitzroy Island, Green Island) and the wonderful beaches (e.g. Palm Cove, Mission Beach) create the perfect holiday atmosphere.
Culture - Discovering the culture of the aborigines
The area of Tropical North Queensland has been the home of the aborigines for over 15,000 years. You can learn about their culture and way of living during guided tours and performances in the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park near Cairns. Age-old cave paintings and the Museum of Tropical Queensland in Townsville introduce visitors to the world of Australia's native inhabitants. Other worthwhile sights, besides the many museums and art galleries, are the Flecker Botanic Gardens in Cairns, the Billabong Sanctuary and the Aquarium Reef HQ in Townsville.
Experience - Adventures in the rainforest
If you want to experience Tropical North Queensland and its unbelievable diversity at first hand, there is no way around a guided tour through the Australian jungle. The green thicket, the exotic plants, the tropical climate as well as the adventurous waterfalls and gorges create an atmosphere which you will not find in the local towns. In addition, several night walks, cross country vehicle and cable car rides (Kuranda Skyrail), overnight stays in a tree house and boat trips on the Daintree River take you into the exciting rainforest. A change from these impressive natural attractions is offered by the harbour cities of Cairns, Townsville and Port Douglas, which accommodate numerous restaurants, bars, cafes, boutiques, markets and wonderful beach promenades.
Activities - A diving and snorkelling paradise
It is hardly surprising that Tropical North Queensland is one of the top diving location on earth. The diverse and colourful Great Barrier Reef and the crystal clear sea water are a dream come true for every snorkeller and marine biologist. However, travellers cannot only have fun under water but also on it. Numerous types of water sports such as surfing, sailing, boating, canoeing or water skiing are possible on the region's waters. The fertile hinterland, on the other hand, invites you to go on hikes, cycling tours and cross country drives (Great Tropical Drive).
Due to the warm temperatures throughout the year, Tropical North Queensland can be visited in any season. Travellers should note, however, that there may be hurricanes from November to April. You best arrive at the international airport in Cairns.
Tropical North Queensland is a real highlight for adventurers and lovers of nature. The impenetrable world of the Australian rainforests and the diverse fauna of the Great Barrier Reef promise an unforgettable natural adventure, which is topped off by the culture and traditions of the aborigines.