Far North Queensland (FNQ) is the ideal location to experience some much needed warmth during the winter. It is where the rainforest meets the reef and as such the holiday options are endless. FNQ is home to the Great Barrier Reef with the largest reef system in the world. It is in FNQ where you will also find the world heritage listed Daintree rainforest.
FNQ offers something for all types of travelers from the most discerning traveler who appreciates luxury, to the budget conscious backpacker. It is also where you will find the sweetest and best tasting fresh pineapples, mangoes and coconuts.
Start by taking a flight to Cairns as this is the gateway to FNQ and all of its offerings. Upon arriving in Cairns, you can either pick up a rental car and start heading north or spend a couple of days exploring Cairns itself or even Mission Beach which is a short drive South.
The drive North from Cairns is picturesque with beautiful and tranquil waters on one side and lush forest on the other. The road winds all the way through and your first stop is Palm Cove which is less than 20 minutes from Cairns. Palm Cove is host to a gorgeous strip of restaurants and cafes and has a quaint / boutique feel to it. The cafes and restaurants are mostly beach front, as is Peppers Beach Club and Spa which offers great accommodation for singles, couples and families.
If you continue the drive North for approximately 40 minutes of coastal winding road you will arrive at Port Douglas. On the drive you will love the deserted beaches that are scattered along the coast where there are the most magnificent views of the Coral Coast. Port Douglas is home to the magnificent 4 mile beach and started as a quaint fishing town many years ago. Port Douglas and its main strip Macrossan Street, has built itself a world-class reputation, which is forged on fine food, shopping, glorious beaches and tourist attractions. To experience Port Douglas like a local head to the Iron Bar for the famous cane toad racing.
Accommodation ranges from budget motels and apartments to the ever popular resorts and highly recommended spa resort, Thala Beach Lodge. A holiday in Port Douglas includes some of the best dining experiences such as at the Nautilus restaurant, which is nestled into Island Point Hill and has even been given the seal of approval from Bill and Hillary Clinton.
Whether you choose to base yourself in Cairns, Palm Cove, Port Douglas or even Mossman, which is only 20 minutes north of Port Douglas, you will be able to experience the best attractions of the region. On November 14 2012 there will be a Total Solar Eclipse. The only place on earth you will be able to witness this will be in FNQ.
The snorkeling and Scuba Diving opportunities on the reef are world class and for those who want to remain dry then a glass bottom boat ride is for you. Relax on the boat and still get to experience the amazing Barrier Reef as you look through the glass below.
A visit to the Daintree river and the lush Mossman Gorge is a real treat and definitely not to be missed. The township of Kuranda which lies near Cairns is also worth exploring. Here, you will find the beautiful Butterfly Sanctuary as well as various art and cultural experiences. You can enjoy a train ride through the mountains or even take a cable car over the tree tops. Hot Air Ballooning is also a favorite due to the amazing views from high above which includes the Atherton Tablelands.
Book your escape now as the best time to go is between June and October before the monsoonal weather hits the region.
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