The Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, where natural wonders converge and take you on a journey of discovery. Nowhere else on earth do two World Heritage icons meet — the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics Rainforests.

Take a weekend, a week, or more. Get off the beaten track at your own leisure. Meet the locals and the wildlife. From Cardwell to Cape York, from Cairns to Karumba, to chasing waterfalls. Joyride north on the spectacular Great Barrier Reef Drive and cruise to the edge of the reef. Here, time slows down a notch, so set your own pace. With your own set of wheels, you’re set to find our region’s finest treasures and best-kept secrets.

Got three days?

DAY 1 Cairns to Cape Tribulation

The Great Barrier Reef Drive hugs world heritage areas of the Great Barrier Reef and Wet Tropics from Cairns to Cape Tribulation. Winding along the edge of the Coral Sea past unspoilt beaches via Port Douglas to Mossman Gorge.

The cable ferry takes you across the Daintree River to Cape Tribulation.

DAY 2 Atherton Tablelands

Have breakfast with the birds and hit the road to the cool high country of the Atherton Tablelands. Here you can enjoy immense taste experiences from tropical fruits to coffee and cheeses. The Mareeba Wetlands are nature sanctuary for Australian wildlife and on the way to the Waterfall Circuit. A must do!

DAY 3 Head to Mission Beach

Wake up with a swim in the Lake Eacham crater lake. Before checking out the trendy shops and cafés of Yungaburra. Head back towards the coast along the Palmerston Hwy and walk high in misty clouds on the Mamu Tropical Skywalk. As the day closes. enjoy a sunset cocktail in Mission Beach.

Things to do

  • Dip into the dreaming

    Our rich heritage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is one of the planet’s oldest cultures.

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  • Get grounded in outback landscapes

    Take the Savannah Way west into Gulf country, making Chillagoe limestone caves your first stop.

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  • Discover Kuranda & hang out in the hinterland

    Climb-up the historic Kuranda Scenic Rail and then glide just metres above the rainforest canopy on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway.

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  • Escape the city to the jungle

    No trip to Cairns and Port Douglas is complete without taking the Great Barrier Reef Drive from Cairns to Cape Tribulation for breath-stealing vistas over reef, rainforest and uncrowded beaches via ancient cultures at Mossman Gorge.

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  • Cruise to the outer reef from Cairns or Port Douglas

    Plunge into Nemo’s world equipped with a snorkel or a scuba tank. Spot a turtle off Green or Fitzroy Island, or swim with Dwarf Minke Whales (during season).

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  • Experience the Undara Volcanic National Park

    Acclaimed as the world’s longest and oldest lava tubes, Undara Lava Tubes lie in the northern parts of tropical Queensland. These tubes have withstood the test of time and is currently preserved to retain the history of being formed over 190,000 years ago. The Undara Experience offers the whole package from accommodation to a hands-on tour into the 160km long lava tubes. The Undara Volcanic National Park

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Places to stay

Googarra Beach Caravan Park

7 Tully Heads Rd, Hull Heads

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BIG4 Beachcomber Coconut Holiday Park

122-132 Kennedy Esplanade, Mission Beach Sth

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Dunk Island View Caravan Park

21-35 Webb Rd, Mission Beach (Wongaling Beach)

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