Cairns and Central Coast

Crystal Cascades Falls
Photographer: WTMA

Clear cascades, flowing streams, water falls and gorges etch their way through thick lush rainforest surrounding the tropical city of Cairns, offering a variety of natural and cultural experiences. This tourism hub offers easy access to stunning beaches and spectacular dense rainforest mountains. The area can be easily toured by train, car, and bus as well as cable rail, bike and on foot.

Cairns is the gateway to the Wet Tropics which has direct international flights as well as connections from Brisbane and other major Australian capital cities. Local airlines offer flights to regional centres such as Cooktown.

The region is also home to rich Indigenous culture, indulgent tropical food trails to explore and accessible outback adventures.

Kuranda is a busy tourist village and a popular day trip from Cairns. Kuranda has several parks for wildlife, birds, and butterflies. Barron Falls and the sheer gorge are a highlight for most visitors, especially when the river is in flood after heavy rain in the wet season. Popular walks around Kuranda Village and Barron Falls include the Douglas Track Some which links to the coast.

There are also 13 discovery trails which link some of Australia’s best known attractions including the Great Barrier Reef and the rainforests of the Wet Tropics and ancient geological secrets of the Savannah country.

The Great Tropical Drive is a self-drive route departing Cairns or Townsville to some of the most amazing places in the Wet Tropics, passing through six unique regions:
Port Douglas and Daintree
Cairns and Beaches
Mission Beach and the Cassowary Coast
Tropical Tablelands and Savannah Country
Townsville, Charters Towers and Hinchinbrook

Rainforest Creek - Barron River
Photographer: Kerry TrapnellSpots of interest for your itinerary...

Mt Whitfield Conservation Park

Lake Morris 

Barron Gorge 

Crystal Cascades  

Stoney Creek Walk


For more information:

Tourism Kuranda

Tablelands Regional Council

Tourism Tropical North Queensland


Comprehensive regional park guides

QPWS Tropical Coast Journey Guide

Click the links to download brochure PDFs:

Atherton and Evelyn tablelands (3.6MB) 
Tropical coast (Cairns to Townsville) (8.2MB)
Cape York (4.2MB)

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