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Things to do in

Far North Queensland

Our most recommended things to do in Far North Queensland

Airlie Beach: Whitehaven Full-Day Eco-Cruise with Lunch

1. Airlie Beach: Whitehaven Full-Day Eco-Cruise with Lunch

After pickup from your accommodation, head to the marina in Airlie Beach by bus. Board the custom-built catamaran and enjoy fresh, homemade, gluten-free brownies as a morning snack. The first stop is at one of the area's many beautiful reefs to go snorkeling. Be blown away by the vivid colors, bountiful fish, and coral formations of the Great Barrier Reef's outer fringes. This spot offers a quieter way to experience the UNESCO-protected reef. Then, head to the second snorkeling spot on the northern tip of Hook Island. With your guide, discover the area's underwater valleys, caves, and a variety of marine life. Continue to Whitehaven Beach for a buffet lunch of zucchini frittatas and quiche lorraine served with cold sliced meats, cheeses, salad, and fresh bread. After lunch, join a guided bush walk and history talk to Hill Inlet Lookout, located at the northern end of the beach. Admire the world-famous spot where white sands and turquoise waters blend in a unique swirling effect. Enjoy some free time to relax on the beach and soak up the scenery. An afternoon snack of fresh fruit will be provided before the scenic journey back to Airlie Beach by boat. Be dropped back at your accommodation at approximately 5:00 PM.

Cairns: Self-Guided Kuranda Day Trip, Scenic Rail & Skyrail

2. Cairns: Self-Guided Kuranda Day Trip, Scenic Rail & Skyrail

Explore the village of Kuranda in a pristine World Heritage-listed rainforest. Be picked up from your hotel and travel to the train station. Take the Kuranda Scenic Railway and marvel at mountains on the way. Soar over waterfalls and over Barron Gorge on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. Explore the markets, shops, and walking trails, or take a river cruise (seasonal) for 2.5 hours. Discover the food stalls and cafés, or dine with the water dragons at Frog’s Restaurant famous for its sauces and dressings. Take the famous Skyrail down, spanning 7.5km over the rainforest canopy. Spot native wildlife, including the cassowary, the world's 3rd-largest flightless bird. Next, take the 2:00 PM Skyrail back to the bottom (Skyrail Smithfield station). Embark on a fascinating journey of discovery over and deep into the world’s oldest, continually-surviving tropical rainforest. The iconic Skyrail experience is a must-do Cairns attraction of Australia’s World-Heritage listed tropical rainforest, immersing you in one of the most botanically fascinating areas on earth. At the end of your Skyrail experience, be picked up again by bus at 3:30 PM to be brought back to the hotel.

Airlie Beach: Whitsundays and Whitehaven Half-Day Cruise

3. Airlie Beach: Whitsundays and Whitehaven Half-Day Cruise

Cruise to Whitehaven Beach on this 6-hour cruise. Depart early in the morning on a high-speed vessel for a cruise through the Whitsunday Islands and be the first on the beach. Alternatively, depart later in the day and enjoy a sunset cruise home. Enjoy morning or afternoon tea. Board the Whitehaven vessel for the scenic cruise to the magnificent beach. Your cruise vessel has expansive seating areas inside and out and your skipper will provide an informative commentary on the history and natural wonders of the area. Sit back, breathe in the sea air, sip a wine or beer, and marvel at the 74 Island Wonders of the Whitsundays, starting with views of Passage Peak and the Pentecost Island. The waters of Solway Passage lead you to Whitehaven Beach, a must-see in the Whitsundays. Prepare to be dazzled by the breathtaking beauty and vivid white sand of Whitehaven Beach on Whitsunday Island. This uninhabited island is one of Australia's true gems. Wander along the beach to your own secluded stretch, laze on the sand or cool off in the azure waters. After spending some time at the Southern end of Whitehaven Beach, make the beautiful journey back to Airlie Beach.

Cairns Aquarium General Admission Ticket

4. Cairns Aquarium General Admission Ticket

Cairns Aquarium is Australia’s newest and most spectacular aquarium. It is the only aquarium in the world to exclusively showcase the stunning aquatic wildlife from tropical North Queensland’s two World Heritage-listed areas – the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics Rainforest. Experience the spectacular diversity of the region without the need to get wet or even leave the city. Travel through ten amazing North Queensland ecosystems from the world’s most ancient rainforest to the world’s largest coral reef to discover 71 different exhibits showcasing the extremely rare and incredibly unique species of this region. See a panorama of wildlife and marine fish that create an underwater world filled with a kaleidoscope of colour. Enjoy daily talks and presentations by knowledgeable and entertaining educators, marvel at the animal feeding sessions and get a hands-on experience at the marine and reptile touch tanks. Complete your day at Cairns Aquarium with breakfast, lunch or dinner at Aqualuna restaurant.

Port Douglas: Low Isles Snorkel Tour

5. Port Douglas: Low Isles Snorkel Tour

Join a snorkelling experience in the water around a beautiful, secluded island. Enjoy some time aboard a comfortable and spacious vessel as you travel to the Low Isles with only 23 guests. Relax with plenty of space onboard during the journey and enjoy a light refreshment as you spot the Low Isles in the distance. Spend a few hours snorkelling and exploring a picturesque coral bay. Snorkel in the calm lagoon or view the reef from the glass bottom boat. The crew will provide tours for guests to learn and appreciate the incredible Great Barrier Reef. Access to the reef is very easy, either from the back of the vessel or from the beach as the reef hugs close to the island. Explore the coral reef and its inhabitants without the crowds. Walk through the sandy paths and through the vegetation. See first hand the historical lighthouse, the lighthouse keeper's home and the Weather Station where local weather data is collected. 

Cairns: Skyrail Cableway to Kuranda and Rail tickets

6. Cairns: Skyrail Cableway to Kuranda and Rail tickets

Drive to the Skyrail Smithfield Terminal, where a representative will check you in and issue you with the Kuranda Boarding Pass. This includes a detailed itinerary with a time schedule, as well as your Kuranda Scenic Railway and Skyrail Cableway tickets. Board the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway and enjoy an unforgettable journey through the world’s oldest continually surviving tropical rainforest, stopping along the way to explore. Once you arrive in Kuranda, you'll have free time to see this unique village. Use the discount vouchers on your Kuranda Boarding Pass, or visit the heritage markets. There are plenty of cafes and restaurants where you can purchase refreshments.  Return to Cairns on the Kuranda Scenic Railway. Admire the views as the train winds its way from Kuranda to Freshwater Station, passing spectacular waterfalls and through Barron Gorge. Disembark at Freshwater Station to board the bus back to your car at the Skyrail terminal.

Airlie Beach: Jet Ski Safari

7. Airlie Beach: Jet Ski Safari

Hop on a jet ski and glide through the turquoise waters and beautiful bays of Airlie Beach at high speed. Enjoy the opportunity to feed fish and encounter marine life, such as turtles and dugongs. Upon arrival, receive a safety briefing and life jacket from your qualified guide. Then, set off on your jet ski safari aboard modern Sea-Doo skis, which are extremely fun to ride and suitable for both experienced and novice riders. During the safari, enjoy the informative commentary of your guides as you soak up the scenic surroundings of Airlie Beach in a unique way. Take home memories of your experience with plenty of photo opportunities along the way.

Port Douglas: Quicksilver Outer Barrier Reef Full-Day Cruise

8. Port Douglas: Quicksilver Outer Barrier Reef Full-Day Cruise

Climb aboard a Quicksilver catamaran for a full-day cruise to Australia’s renowned Agincourt Reef, a jewel-like ribbon reef on the edge of the Continental Shelf. Showcasing unsurpassed coral formations, colorful marine life and exceptional underwater visibility, you can snorkel or view the sights from the comfort of a semi-submersible. The Quicksilver's stylish wave-piercing catamaran transports you in air-conditioned comfort. From the spacious activity platform, moored in a protected lagoon, enjoy the widest range of activities for swimmers and non-swimmers alike. A friendly and attentive crew, including professional marine biologists, are on hand to ensure you gain the most from your day. Snorkel among the coral gardens, or stay dry and explore the reef from the comfort of a semi-submersible. Enjoy an informative reef commentary and see the reef from an underwater observatory. Add on exciting optional activities for a complete adventure. Get an introductory dive of the reef, or enjoy certified diving, helmet diving and marine biologist-guided snorkel tours. You can even take a scenic helicopter flight and fly over the reef to see it from another perspective.

Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm Behind-the-Scenes Tour & Live Harvest

9. Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm Behind-the-Scenes Tour & Live Harvest

Join a guided tour for an insight into the fascinating history of pearling in Cygnet Bay. Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm is Australia’s oldest operating pearl farm. It is one of the very few operating pearl farms open to the public. The farm is located 2.5-hours out of Broome at the tip of the Dampier Peninsula and is surrounded by natural beauty. Your knowledgeable guide will demonstrate a live pearl harvest and give you a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the fully operational pearl farm. Your tour concludes with an in-depth pearl grading and appreciation session that will leave you feeling like a pearl expert. It’s with these exquisite gems that Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm is honored to share a unique and coveted treasure with seekers of true natural beauty. With turquoise blue water and white sand beaches largely untouched by human interference, the region around Cygnet Bay is considered one of the most beautiful locations in all of Australia. Extend your stay for a night or longer and experience life on the tip of the Dampier Peninsula with a million star view.

Cairns: Daintree, Mossman Gorge & Cape Trib Tour & Cruise

10. Cairns: Daintree, Mossman Gorge & Cape Trib Tour & Cruise

Embark on a day trip where the rainforest meets the reef. See natural sights including the Great Barrier Reef, experience a wildlife cruise, and participate in a smoke ceremony as you go. Start your adventure with a scenic coastal drive from Cairns to Port Douglas, the far north’s very own great ocean road with panoramic views of the sparkling Coral Sea. The first stop is Mossman Gorge, which is in the southern sector of the world-famous Daintree National Park. The gorge has been carved out by the cold mountain waters of the Mossman River, which winds through large granite boulders, bordered by lush green rainforest. It’s a magical place and you’ll be welcomed by the traditional owners, the Kuku Yalanji people, who will also cleanse you of evil spirits during a smoke ceremony. Also, enjoy a refreshing swim in the cascading waters. Cross the mighty Daintree River and head to the beach for lunch. Experience waterfront dining and enjoy the sand between your toes. After lunch, it’s time to explore the ancient rainforest environment on an interesting guided tour of the Marrdja Botanical Boardwalk. Highly trained guides will give expert rainforest interpretation, which will inform and impress. Be amazed at the huge diversity you will encounter, you will discover everything from low-lying ferns and shrubs, to the massive rainforest canopy and even mangrove ecosystems - all in one short easy walk. You can choose to taste locally made ice cream, at your own cost, and prepare for a photo opportunity at the Alexandra Range Lookout, which provides sweeping views over the Daintree River, its rainforest delta, and out to the Coral Sea. In the afternoon, experience a wildlife cruise on the river. During the cruise, you may see a crocodile, while learning about the fragile ecosystem of this impressive serpent-like river system. On the return journey to Cairns, drive through Port Douglas, a picturesque beachside village with a laid-back vibe and loads of bars and cafes.

Other Sightseeing Options in Far North Queensland

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What people are saying about Far North Queensland

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 10,976 reviews

UNREAL EXPERIENCE!! This tour exceeded my expectations of the Whitsunday Islands. From the scenic flight to the ocean rafting & snorkelling - everything ran seamlessly to perfection. Highly recommend doing this tour when visiting the Whitsunday Islands. To top off the beautiful scenery & magical underwater world… crew members Taylor & Declan were fantastic. They were both very humorous & kind characters. But also ensured everyone was safe & had a good time along the way!

An amazing day! Would have loved another hour in Kuranda but still great. Take your time on the skyrail and enjoy the breathtaking views and the AR app on your phone. The butterfly garden is for sure worth adding to your trip but we found the Duck Tour to be not worth the time as you just circle around a small lagoon. I definitely recommned upgrading the rail pass to the Gold Class on the train. The rail staff were awesome!

This is a great day out to the wonderful village of Kuranda! The train trip on the way up was wonderful but the trip back on the Skyrail was even better. Plenty of restaurants, shops and markets in Kuranda so take your time and enjoy them.

Well organized, few pictures from the tour, but as promised (because the Japanese guest had to be looked after intensively)

Exemplar provided an efficient, friendly and on time pickup/transfer service. We will happily use again