The Sunshine State shows off its good side in the Tropical North, where back-to-back World Heritage landscapes spill onto luxury eco resorts, flourishing farmland and wilderness primed for the intrepid traveller. This round trip will help guide you to some of TNQ's must-see sights.
Cairns to Port Douglas
Cairns, the humid and humble Capital of the North (don't tell Townsville) is the main gateway to the Tropics. Visit the weekend Esplanade markets and enjoy an al fresco lunch at the Lagoon before joining the party at one of the lively bars around the CBD. Leisurely Port Douglas is around an hour's drive north, a favourite hangout for locals and the occasional sneaky celebrity. If you're looking to dive into natural splendour, Port is the perfect launching pad for Great Barrier Reef trips and excursions to the ancient and alluring Daintree Rainforest.
Mossman to the Mareeba
From Port Douglas it's a short trip to Mossman, home to the spectacular Mossman Gorge. Stop by for a cultural journey with the indigenous Kuku Yalanji people before escaping the humidity in the sparkling freshwater river. Wind your way up the Rex Range and continue along the Mulligan Highway, watching the greenery fade to fiery outback hues as you enter Mareeba. Before the next leg of your journey, enjoy a tropical tipple at the Golden Drop Winery or a pick-me-up at the Jaques or Skybury coffee farms.
Atherton to Gordonvale
Rainforest replaces arid countryside in the blink of an eye along the Kennedy Highway from Mareeba to Atherton, the heart of the Tablelands. Waterfall circuits, crater lakes and gargantuan fig trees will hold your attention as you make your way through rolling pastures to picturesque B&B town Yungaburra and down the zigzagging Gillies Range. Once Walsh's Pyramid comes into view you've reached Gordonvale, then it's an easy trip back to Cairns city and farewell to your stay in paradise.