Cairns: The gateway to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Getting to Tropical North Queensland will most likely involve a flight to Cairns and if you have a day or so spare, there are a few spots you can’t miss out on!

What to see in Cairns & Surrounds

Cairns Esplanade Lagoon

If you’re looking for somewhere to cool off whilst in Cairns, take a short walk over to the Cairns Esplanade Lagoon. Given it’s not recommended to swim in the open waters, this is the safest bet for a quick cool down!

The Esplanade

Enjoy a nice leisurely stroll along the esplanade and perhaps pick a few restaurant options for dinner.

Kuranda – Self Drive

We hired a car in Cairns and decided to drive up to Kuranda ourselves and check it all out.

We visited the two local markets – The Original Rainforest Market & Kuranda Heritage Markets.

Barron Gorge National Park & Barron Falls

When you’re in Kuranda, you should stop into Barron Gorge National Park and talk the short walk to view the waterfall from the lookout or walk 1.3km down to the lower platform. I’d recommend taking the short walk for the better view.

Although we visited in the wet season, there hadn’t yet been enough rain to make it as beautiful as the photos! It was still lovely but we left feeling disappointed after seeing the power of the waterfall in other visitors’ photos.

Wright’s Lookout

Further up from the Barron Gorge carpark you will see a sign to Wright’s Lookout. It will only take a few extra minutes and you will come across a lovely view. You will only need a couple of minutes here for a quick stop!

Kuranda Skyrail & Cableway

One of the most popular day-trips when spending time in Cairns! We chose not to do the Skyrail and cableway because we wanted to have more time in Port Douglas.  If you are, however, interested in doing this, click here for their website.

Waterfall Circuit

We drove from Kuranda down south towards the waterfall circuit and we stopped in at a few lovely swimming spots!

Malanda Falls

There were a few locals here enjoying a picnic lunch and the kids swimming in the swimming hole.

Millaa Millaa Waterfall

Probably one of our favourite stops for the day! Millaa Millaa waterfall offers a great swim spot with a beautiful waterfall as your backdrop!


You will see when you come out of Millaa Millaa Falls the waterfall circuit – just follow the signs to reach the others!

Zillie Falls

What was exciting about this stop was the walk you can do to get to the base of the waterfall! It is great for a different perspective. This is probably the prettiest walk in the area as well.

Ellinjaa Falls

The last waterfall on the circuit is also a lovely spot for a swim.



The Peanut Place

I know this isn’t a waterfall, but we passed this place and had to stop in! If you’re in need of a snack to keep you going, this place has heaps of different flavours. I got the chilli and lime peanuts!

Fitzroy Island Day Trip

Although we didn’t make the day trip, we have been told Fitzroy island is quite beautiful. If you have a spare day, maybe jump on a tour and check it out!

Photo Credit: traveller.com.au

Green Island Day Trip

Again, this is not something we had time to do. From what we have been told by other tourists and friends, if you’re deciding between Fitzroy and Green Islands, choose Fitzroy!

Photo Credit: greenislandresort.com.au

 Where to stay

We stayed at the Pullman Cairns International hotel. The location is perfect and walking distance to everything you need in Cairns. Watch this space for our full hotel review.

Where to eat

Coffee Works Mareeba: If you’re driving from Kuranda down to the waterfall circuit you will probably drive through Mareeba. Coffee Works has some good coffee and a place to grab a bite to eat if you’re needing a rest stop.

Pullman Cairns International: I would absolutely recommend coming here for dessert at the very least! It was absolutely delicious on both occasions. The stand out though was the sticky date pudding and as you can see from the photo, it is very different to the standard one! And, of course, if you have an Accor Plus card, you will get 50% off your meal!

Marina Paradiso: We stopped here purely because they had live music playing and it had a really lovely atmosphere!

The service was really quick and the food came out quickly.

Prawn Star: A catchy name isn’t it! This restaurant is on a boat and has the freshest seafood you can find in Cairns! They are always busy so if you can’t get yourself a table, you can order take away!

Dundee’s Restaurant on the Waterfront: With plenty on the menu and daily lunch specials, you will be sure to find something you like here! We loved it here, the casual dining experience with water views – what’s not to love? The food came out quickly and it was delicious.

Packing for Tropical North Queensland

You definitely need to be prepared for your trip to FNQ (Far North Queensland). There are a few essentials in my mind, one of which is, of course, mosquito repellent! Click here for a printable packing guide for your trip.

Getting around

We hired a car through Hertz. We found their pricing to be competitive and car are always new and clean.

Video Highlights

Check out our highlights video from our trip to Cairns and the surrounding waterfalls! Be sure to put up the video quality to 1080p!

Do you have travel insurance?

Before travelling, make sure you get a travel insurance policy – you never know when you might need it! Click here for information on travel insurance, what company we recommend and a link to get an instant quote.

Alternative accommodation

If you’re looking for alternative accommodation to either save some money or share with friends or family, click here for information on Air B&B ($50 discount on your first booking), hotel price comparison websites etc.

Barcelona is a city of endless possibilities, with a range of activities to explore from Michelin-starred restaurants to architecture to vibrant street festivals. But how do you fit everything into one weekend? The truth is you can’t. Barcelona is one of those places that you could visit a thousand times and still find something new and exciting to catch your eye. This guide will give you just a taste of what’s on offer. That way, you’ll know what to put on your “must-see” list and what can be postponed for next time…

The beach is one of Barcelona’s biggest attractions, as it’s easily accessible from the city and well-maintained year-round. The council put a lot of effort and manpower into making sure the coastline of Barcelona retains its clean sand and water and provides a high standard of facilities for visitors.

Being able to wander through the city, right down to the shoreline where you can dip your toes in the water or take up residence under one of the many beach umbrellas, is one of the best things.

Vying for a top spot on the list of Barcelona’s best features, however, is the food. Whatever your dietary requirements, the city has something for you. You can sample delicious local dishes such as the wide range of tapas: empanadas (kind of like small pasties with a variety of fillings), cured meats, cheeses and seafood. If you’re a vegetarian, try the simple but surprisingly delicious starter pa amb tomáquet, or if you have a sweet tooth, then you have to order a crema Catalana. This dessert is the Catalonian version of crème brûlèe, and it’s a little piece of heaven.

If it’s your mind that you want to feed, then you are spoiled for choice with cultural and artistic sites to visit. Perhaps Barcelona’s most famous architect is Gaudí, whose work you can spot throughout the city. From his first commissioned piece for Barcelona (the lamp posts in Plaça Reial) to his legacy in the ongoing work on the Sagrada Família, it’s well worth tracking down the most impressive Gaudí buildings for a visit. Make sure you look at the Park Güell as well, up Carmel Hill.

Depending on what time of year you are visiting, check out the festivals that may be happening in the city. April sees La Diada de Sant Jordi, a day celebrating both the region’s patron saint and two global literary heroes: local author Miguel de Cervantes and William Shakespeare. Both men died on this day in the year 1616. However, if you’re visiting later in the year, then you might catch the city’s most famous festival, Festa Major de Grácia. This week-long festival sees the whole of the Grácia district transformed into an enormous street party.

Of course, no trip to Barcelona would be complete without a nod to the city’s well-beloved and world-famous football team, FC Barcelona or Barça. Take a tour of their home stadium Camp Nou or catch a match if you’re lucky enough to be there when they’re playing! Either way, you’re in for a treat.

It’s no lie that Italy has to be up there as one of our favourite countries. We’ve spent so much time there and loved every minute.

These are our top 5 things that make Italy so special to us.

#1 The narrow streets

Ha, we have so many hilarious stories about the narrow streets.

Imagine cobblestone streets dividing beautiful architecture and houses, it is just beautiful. Now, the reason why we have to laugh is we have been in a few sticky situations where we have hired a car in Italy, one particular moment comes to mind when we drove around Lake Como up windy and narrow roads to get to one of the lookouts. We had to place full trust in Google Maps as Jenna was convinced we weren’t driving in actual streets given our car (which was a small hatchback) was about an inch away from the buildings on either side of the vehicle. Well, to cut a long story short, it was a street – a two-way street and when navigating the back streets one must be prepared to reverse all the way back down to let someone pass! First in, best dressed!

#2 Italian Vespas

You’re not really in Italy until you’ve seen a Vespa parked on the street outside some beautiful old building. *insert image here* We definitely have a number of photos of Vespas park outside these buildings, but for the life of me, I just can’t seem to find one at the moment!

#3 Villages built on cliff faces

Well, this is true Italy. Cinque Terre and the Amalfi Coast where villages are built on cliff faces must be some of the most photographed areas in Italy, with good reason.

This again, takes me back to our first point- have you driven along these coastal winding roads? We have and it was an experience!

#4 Why hurry?

Have you ever noticed that nearly no one in Italy is in a hurry? Isn’t it nice for a change to be relaxed and at ease? What’s the point in stressing!

#5 Coffee (aka Espresso)

When we very first visited Italy, I drank cappuccinos so I struggled with the Italian coffee. However, times changed and I realised the best way to drink coffee is in the form of an Espresso. So when we visited Italy on and off for two years, I was very impressed with how they make their coffee – strong!

What do you love most about visiting Italy? Let us know in the comments below.

“Adventure is worthwhile.” – Aesop

The Daintree Rainforest is estimated to be over 125 million years old which makes it the oldest tropical lowland rainforest in the world? It is even older than the Amazon by over tens of millions of years.

What makes this spot so special is that it is the only place in the WORLD where two UNESCO World Heritage Listed sites meet. It, of course, meets the Great Barrier Reef which is the world’s largest living organism. How special is that?

If after reading that you’re interested in planning a trip to Tropical North Queensland (who wouldn’t be!), then keep reading for some of our recommendations.

Here is a short highlights video. Remember to adjust the quality to 1080p 🙂

Packing for Tropical North Queensland

You definitely need to be prepared for your trip to FNQ (Far North Queensland). There are a few essentials in my mind, one of which is, of course, mosquito repellent! Click here for a printable packing guide for your trip.

Getting there

I would recommend hiring a car and driving yourself rather than jumping on tour buses. The drive is beautiful and the flexibility of having your own is absolutely worth it as it allows you to go at your own pace, stop where you want and take as many photos your memory card can hold!.

We stayed in Port Douglas and the drive up to the Daintree is around 1 hour and then another 45 minutes after the Daintree Ferry to Cape Tribulation.

Tip: The road is quite windy through the Daintree so if you’re someone who gets car sick, I’d recommend you drive!

You will need to cross the Daintree Ferry, the gateway to the beautiful Daintree Rainforest which only takes 5 minutes and operates between 6 am and midnight daily. If you’re planning to cross before 8 am or after 4.30 pm then you will need to pay cash, otherwise, Eftpos is available between 8 am and 4.30 pm.

Click here for more information on the Daintree Ferry.

If you’re planning on going up for two days or more, I would recommend buying a 5-day return pass as it is a similar cost to buying two separate return passes. This worked for us as we unexpectedly visited for a 3rd day!

You will also need to be cautious of the Cassowaries. They are native to Tropical North Queensland and you may see them crossing the road. These birds are extremely dangerous so it’s important not to approach them.

We were lucky enough to see some crossing the road! They really are beautiful!

Daintree & Cape Tribulation activities

There are a number of activities you can do while you’re in the Daintree and Cape Tribulation. In addition to the free walks and lookouts, we enjoyed two half-day tours, Jungle Surfing as well as an Ocean Safari.

Jungle Surfing

What a fun way to spend a morning. If you want to see the Rainforest and really be engrossed in the different layers, this certainly provided a different perspective. Click here to find out more.

Ocean Safari

Probably one of the best ways to spend an afternoon! Being able to snorkel over The Great Barrier Reef and swim with turtles really was an incredible experience. This is absolutely how you should spend your day! Click here to find out more about Ocean Safari.

Daintree Rainforest Walks

Jindalba Walk

As you drive up the main road, one of the first walks you can do is Jindalba. We did the 700m boardwalk walk, but there is also a 3km walk if you are feeling adventurous.

Marrdja Boardwalk

Further up towards Cape Trib you will come across Marrdja Boardwalk. This is a 1.2km boardwalk and also our favourite of the few walks we did. It’s nice walking over the mangroves and seeing the little fish swim about.

Dubuji Boardwalk

Another 1.2km boardwalk, this one is up towards Cape Trib and is a very similar walk to that of Jindalba. There is supposed to be mangrove boardwalks but it was a very dry wet season so it was all pretty much dry when we were there.

All three walks are lovely, but if you’re short on time, I’d recommend walking the Marrdja boardwalk.

Daintree Rainforest Lookouts

Waluwurrigga Alexandra Range Lookout

This was our first stop after getting off the ferry. The views are beautiful and worth a few minutes to check it out. It’s also worth noting that this is the last spot in the Daintree that we had any sort of mobile reception so if you need to do anything or make any calls – this is the spot to do so!

Lookout Point

Stunning views over Cape Tribulation and absolutely worth the walk up. If you’re there on a sunny day, you will be able to enjoy the spectacular views of the ocean.

Mount Sorrow Lookout

We didn’t have time to do this hike, nor did we want to do it in the middle of summer. The walk is around 6 hours and very steep. If you are planning on doing this walk, you need to make sure you leave early in the morning and prepared to carry a few litres of water with you to keep hydrated. We have been told the views are amazing on a clear day and certainly still on our list for our next visit.

Daintree Rainforest Beaches

Cow Bay

The first beach we stopped in at was Cow Bay. I don’t think you can really go wrong with any beaches along here, they are all beautiful. We do have a favourite though, but you’ll have to keep reading to find out which one!

South Noah Beach

South Noah Beach is also home to CJ’s Bar and Grill where you can pick up some drinks, coffee, breakfast or lunch. The service was great and you have a view of a beautiful beach!


Noah Beach

This was it – our favourite beach! The sand, the colour of the water, the trees – everything about Noah Beah was beautiful. Well, nearly everything. The fact that you can’t swim makes it so difficult in summer!

Coconut Beach

You probably guessed it, plenty of coconuts here! Another gorgeous beach worth stopping in to take a quick look.

Cape Tribulation Beach

Such a beautiful spot in the north of the Daintree Rainforest. This is where our Ocean Safari tour departed from!

Cape Tribulation and The Daintree

Myall Beach

After a short walk (uphill and then back down again!) you will find yourself at Myall Beach. It is a nice walk and what we loved about this beach were the hundreds of tiny crabs running around everywhere!

Where to eat

We ate at Turtle Rock Cafe for lunch one day prior to our Ocean Safari afternoon tour. The food came out quickly and was really tasty. The service is friendly as well.

You absolutely must stop in at Daintree Ice Cream Co.  They have their signature cup which has their daily sorbet specials. When we visited the flavours were Coconut, Mango, Soursop & Wattleseed. Soursop tasted like a lemonade icy pole and the Wattleseed was a Mocha flavour! We hadn’t heard of a Wattleseed before – see the picture below!

Tip: Eat quickly because it melts super fast!

We stopped in at CJ’s Bar & Grill for some coffee one morning. It is a lovely relaxed spot on the beach if you’re looking for some breakfast or lunch.

Some of the tourists we met said that Whet Cafe Bar Restaurant is really lovely with great food so might be worth checking out if you’re staying in the Daintree.

We stayed in Port Douglas and can recommend the Pullman Sea Temple hotel restaurant. The food was delicious and very fresh.

Where to stay

If you’re wanting to stay in Port Douglas, we can recommend the Pullman Sea Temple which is around 2 hours south of Cape Tribulation. Watch this space for our hotel review.

Do you have travel insurance?

Before travelling, make sure you get a travel insurance policy – you never know when you might need it! Click here for information on travel insurance, what company we recommend and a link to get an instant quote.

Alternative accommodation

If you’re looking for alternative accommodation to either save some money or share with friends or family, click here for information on Air B&B ($50 discount on your first booking), hotel price comparison websites etc.

“To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.” – Bill Bryson

We absolutely love Italy. If we had it our way, we’d visit at least once a year! There is something for everyone and the food… don’t get me started on the food!

Here are 8 practical tips for visiting Italy.

Practical Travel Tips for visiting Italy

#1 The locals don’t always speak English

Even though Italy welcomes millions of tourists each year, it doesn’t mean that the locals speak English! Sure, if you head to Milan as an example, English is commonly understood, but if you visit Sicily (as an example), you will find that hardly any, if any of the locals speak English. So, before you go, download Google Translate or make a note of some common phrases and make an effort to learn some bits and pieces – they will appreciate it I can promise you that.

#2 August may be one of the worst months to visit

Worst may be an exaggeration, but the locals often take their holidays in August so the roads can be busy, many places are closed and the beaches crowded.

#3 Buy your tickets in advance

When you often have limited time, the last thing you want to do is line up for a half a day, trust me, it can happen at world-famous attractions! You should definitely buy your tickets in advance – some attractions can book out months in advance too!

#4 Wear comfortable walking shoes

You will be doing a lot of walking!

Be practical and wear some comfortable shoes! Many of the streets can often be cobblestone so you don’t want to be wearing shoes that are uncomfortable or unsteady, high heels are not recommended. You also don’t want to be caught out doing an unexpected hike wearing sandals! It’s happened to me!

#5 Bring extra memory cards

I can promise you that you will be taking photos everywhere you go, so be sure to pack extra memory cards so you don’t have to go through and delete photos to make space! It is also worth noting that a spare battery for your camera won’t go astray either!

#5 Take note of the public transport timetables

You may find yourself a bit stuck on a Sunday if you’re needing to take a regional train. There can often be a local bus that will stop in each town but it isn’t always as convenient. I’d recommend hiring a car if you can for convenience, otherwise plan carefully!

#6 Some shops, supermarkets and restaurants close in the afternoon

In most towns, you will find that most shops close in the afternoon after lunch and reopen again for dinner. You may find that on a Sunday they are closed altogether.

#7 Enjoy a small, non-touristy town

Even if it’s just for one night of your trip, enjoy spending time in a small non-touristy town. The locals will welcome you and you will really feel like you’re in a different country.

#8 Staying a while longer? You may need a personal tax code!

If you love Italy so much that you decide to stay, you will need to get a personal tax code, which they call a codice fiscale which is similar to that of a Tax File Number (TFN) in Australia or a Social Security number in the USA. This code will help get you access to various services or the ability to rent an apartment.

Visiting Italy? Need Ideas?

Check out our Italy page for some ideas of where to visit in Italy.

“Remember that happiness is a way of travel – not a destination.” – Roy M. Goodman

Located around 240km south of the mainland of Australia, Tasmania is so very different to the rest of the country. The spectacular winding country roads, surrounded by snow-capped mountains or white sandy beaches with crystal clear water as well as rugged coastal cliffs. What’s not to like about this adventure-filled state? It doesn’t matter where you drive, you will find something to suit everyone whether it’s hiking, snorkelling, restaurant hopping or a history lesson.

We promised ourselves that we would start exploring more of our very own backyard, Australia, after returning from living in London. Having booked affordable return flights to Launceston, Tasmania, we started to plan our itinerary. We quickly realised that one week is not enough and we needed much longer! But, not wanting to change flights we thought we’d pack as much into our week as possible.

This is our 1-week itinerary for you to make the most out of this incredible part of Australia. We started and ended our trip in Launceston, but you could easily do it from Hobart as well.


8-day itinerary for Tasmania

Day 1: Arrive Launceston and Drive to Cradle Mountain

Day 2: Cradle Mountain

Day 3: Cradle Mountain to Hobart

Day 4: Hobart

Day 5: Hobart to Freycinet National Park

Day 6: Freycinet National Park

Day 7: Freycinet National Park to Bay of Fires

Day 8: Bay of Fires to Launceston


Tasmania is probably one of the most beautiful parts of Australia. As you drive through this island state, you are surrounded by incredible beauty whether it be nature or wildlife. For those who enjoy a nice meal, Tassie is home to some amazing restaurants and particularly for those who like a bit of outdoor adventure, you won’t be disappointed by the hikes on offer. Whatever you’re after, there is something for everyone.

Packing Guide for Tasmania

The thing to know about Tasmania is that you need to be prepared for any season. We started our trip off with plenty of warm and sunny days – a couple of days before it was snowing! When we got further south into Hobart, it was freezing! Click here for a complete packing guide and checklist for Tasmania.

Day 1 & 2 – Cradle Mountain

The drive from Launceston to Cradle Mountain is around 2 hours. We only had one full day in Cradle Mountain so were limited with the hikes that we chose to do. We hiked Marion’s Lookout, Dove Lake and a few smaller walks around our hotel, Cradle Mountain Lodge.

Click here for everything you need to know about hiking Marion’s Lookout and Dove Lake.

We also stopped by and visited Devils@Cradle for a Tasmanian Devil feeding tour. It was amazing to see these little devils up close and personal and to learn all about what makes them so unique. Click here to find out more.

Day 3 and 4 – Hobart

Followed by a few small walks around our hotel in Cradle Mountain, we were off to Hobart. Our first stop was Mount Wellington and it was absolutely spectacular! For ideas on how to spend a day in Hobart, click here.

Day 5 and 6 – Freycinet National Park

Even though we had some overcast weather, we still had an amazing time! This is of course home to the famous Wineglass Bay! We also jumped on a Scenic Flight over the national park and the views were to die for.

Day 7 and 8 – Bay of Fires

Probably some of the most beautiful beaches we’ve seen in Australia! Imagine seeing the bright orange rocks next to the crystal clear waters. It was breathtaking! Click here to find out more about the Bay of Fires and where to visit.

The Great Eastern Drive

If you end up doing a road trip like this, you will end up driving the Great Eastern Drive! Click here to read more about this incredible drive.

More on Tasmania?

We have written up heaps of things to do in Tasmania including some small walks, waterfalls, feeding a pig a beer and heaps more. Click here for our page on Tasmania which includes all of our posts. Remember to click through to page 2!

Do you have travel insurance?

Before travelling, make sure you get a travel insurance policy – you never know when you might need it! Click here for information on travel insurance, what company we recommend and a link to get an instant quote.

Alternative accommodation

If you’re looking for alternative accommodation to either save some money or share with friends or family, click here for information on Air B&B ($50 discount on your first booking), hotel price comparison websites etc.

What’s your favourite part of Tasmania? Let us know in the comments below!

“To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.” -Bill Bryson

 

 

Tropical North Queensland, home to some of the most dangerous creatures on the planet, yep that’s right – the planet!

When you’re walking on the pristine beaches up in Far North Queensland (FNQ) you will notice that no one is swimming in the water. There is a VERY good reason for this and something that should never be ignored.

Packing for Tropical North Queensland

You definitely need to be prepared for your trip to FNQ (Far North Queensland). There are a few essentials in my mind, one of which is, of course, mosquito repellent! Click here for a printable packing guide for your trip.

What are stingers?

Here in FNQ, you’re on the lookout for Irukandji and Box Jellyfish. The only problem is it is nearly impossible to spot an Irukandji because they are the size of your thumbnail at the most.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

These two stingers are not the same thing – they are two entirely different members of the box jellyfish family. The Irukandji is the most venomous but the box jellyfish kills faster. The Irukandji has venom 100 times more potent than a cobra and 1000 times more potent than a tarantula – this is why it is believed to be the most venomous creature in the world.

When is stinger season in Cairns & Port Douglas

As I said earlier, this is no joke and you must take this seriously. There is a reason why no one is swimming in the waters, at least without proper protection.

There are no set dates for stinger season but they are more prominent in the summertime / wet season.

Stingers North Queensland

What about the Crocodiles?

It’s not just the deadly jellyfish you have to worry about, FNQ is also home to the Crocodile. These guys can hang out near the beaches, but more often than not in creeks and streams. You’re best to stay clear of any waterways unless they are confirmed safe swimming holes.

Any other deadly animals?

Of course – it’s Australia! You can’t forget about the sharks, snakes, spiders and other insects. The mosquitos are the most annoying as they are everywhere! Oh, there is also a stinging tree – yep even a tree can hurt you!!

How safe are the areas at the beach with swimming nets?

I wouldn’t risk it. Locals told us that because the Irukandji is so small, they have been known to get through the nets. So I personally wouldn’t get in!

Where can you safely swim?

There are a number of swimming holes you can visit in the Port Douglas, Daintree and Cairns area. It is important to be 100% sure it is a swimming hole and crocodile free. We stopped in at Mossman Gorge which is around 25 minutes north of Port Douglas and some waterfalls near Millaa Millaa falls which is about 1.5 hours south-west of Cairns. There are also some swimming holes in the Daintree – just follow the signs!

Spending some time in Queensland?

If you’re spending time in Tropical North Queensland or even heading further down, check out our Queensland page.

Do you have travel insurance?

Before travelling, make sure you get a travel insurance policy – you never know when you might need it! Click here for information on travel insurance, what company we recommend and a link to get an instant quote.

Alternative accommodation

If you’re looking for alternative accommodation to either save some money or share with friends or family, click here for information on Air B&B ($50 discount on your first booking), hotel price comparison websites etc.

“Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and enjoy the journey.” – Babs Hoffman

 

Holidaying in Tropical North Queensland is beautiful yet frustrating because it is often hard to cool down given you can’t swim in the ocean (unless you’re brave enough to swim with Crocs, Sharks and deadly jellyfish!)

Mossman Gorge is, however, a safe swimming spot where you can cool off while enjoying some nice rainforest walks.

Packing for Tropical North Queensland

You definitely need to be prepared for your trip to FNQ (Far North Queensland). There are a few essentials in my mind, one of which is, of course, mosquito repellent! Click here for a printable packing guide for your trip.

Where is Mossman Gorge?

Mossman Gorge is about a 1 hour 15-minute drive north of Cairns or a 25-minute drive from Port Douglas.

Getting to Mossman Gorge

We would recommend hiring a car for your North Queensland trip as you will find it much easier to get around without relying on transport or tour operators. Driving to Mossman Gorge is easy, highways and main roads. You will drive along the Captain Cook Highway which in itself is a beautiful drive and one of the most famous drives in the Southern Hemisphere.

When you arrive at Mossman Gorge, you will notice plenty of parking so that’s not an issue. Parking is free.

For a map and tips on getting to the region and the Gorge itself, click here.

If you aren’t hiring a car, that’s ok – there are ways of getting to Mossman Gorge. There are daily transfers from Port Douglas at 9:00 am and 12:00 pm from 49 Macrossan Street which is the BTS Port Douglas Office. Departures from Mossman Gorge are at 12.45 pm and 2.45 pm to take you back. I’d recommend booking in advance to ensure your spot. You can do this by visiting this website or calling 07 4099 566.

If you’re looking for a guided tour, you can jump on the Indigenous half day tour that departs from Port Douglas and will take you on a 1.5 hour Dreamtime Gorge walk and give you access to Kuku Yalanji land.

If you’re travelling from Cairns, visit a local information centre or your hotel tour desk and they will be able to arrange a tour for you.

Mossman Gorge Shuttle Bus Service

When you arrive at the centre, you will notice that you will need to take a shuttle bus service to get to where the walks start. Prices for this service is $9.50 per person return. Prices are current as at January 2018. Click here for current prices. You can buy your tickets at the ticket counter at the centre.

I would not recommend walking – there is no walking path and it’s a long walk and in the heat of the day wouldn’t be very nice. It’s definitely worth sitting on the air-conditioned bus for the short journey.

Buses depart every 15 minutes between 8 am and 5.30 pm daily. No need to pre-book these

Mossman Gorge Walks

There are a few walks you can do from where the shuttle bus drops you off. We did two shorter walks because we were short on time.

Baral Marrjanga walk

This is a very short walk of only around 270m and takes only 5 – 10 minutes. This walk will take you through the rainforest to a beautiful lookout with views of the Mossman River and the mountain ranges.

There are two sections of elevated boardwalks and these take you through the lower canopy of the rainforest. This walk is wheelchair and stroller friendly.

Lower River track

Also a short walk at only 300m, also taking only 5 – 10 minutes. This walk will take you along the winding path of Mossman River and will join up to Baral Marrjanga. You will find a few lookouts along the way which all give great views of the river.

This track includes a few steps which, some of which are made from rocks. We were there during some rain so they were quite slippery so be careful.

Rex Creek bridge

Slightly longer at 460m, this 10-minute walk is pretty cool! This is the Rex Suspension Bridge and makes for some beautiful views. You will need to follow Baral Marrjanga to the lookout and then follow the signs to the left. Unless you want to do the longer 45-minute walk, you should turn around the way you came and head back to the shuttle. Otherwise, see below!

Rainforest Circuit Track

From Rex Creek Bridge, you can walk the 2.4km 45-minute walk around this track. It is a moderate to easy walk and you will get a few lookouts along the way where you will see Manjal Dimbi (Mount Demi). Further down from the lookout the track divides to form a circuit which winds you through the rainforest.

Swimming at Mossman Gorge

Because we went after a bit of rainfall, the water wasn’t as clear as it can be. However, you can enjoy a bit of relief from the heat by hopping into the river and enjoy the water rushing over the giant granite boulders which form some beautiful water holes. There is plenty of rainforest surrounding these waterholes to provide some nice shelter.

Swimming at the Gorge is your own responsibility. Please take note of the staff’s recommendation on the board near the shuttle bus. Depending on the weather and recent storm activity, it may not be safe to swim in the waters. We were there after a storm and some rain. As you can see the water is hardly crystal clear so it’s important to be extra careful if getting into the water and not go far. The stream runs pretty fast and can be very dangerous.

What to pack for your trip to Tropical North Queensland

We have put together a packing guide for Tropical North Queensland. The one thing you always need to remember to carry with you and use is some mosquito repellent. Those bad boys are disastrous and will just keep attacking you so remember to put some ‘Off’ on – buy the Tropical strength! Watch this space for our printable packing guide which is coming soon.

Visiting Queensland?

For more things to see and do in Queensland, check out this page!

Do you have travel insurance?

Before travelling, make sure you get a travel insurance policy – you never know when you might need it! Click here for information on travel insurance, what company we recommend and a link to get an instant quote.

Alternative accommodation

If you’re looking for alternative accommodation to either save some money or share with friends or family, click here for information on Air B&B ($50 discount on your first booking), hotel price comparison websites etc.

“To awaken alone in a strange town is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world.” – Freya Stark

 

Can you think of a better way to explore the World’s OLDEST rainforest than from above through the heart of the rainforest using seven zip lines and six tree platforms?

If you answered no, then Jungle Surfing is for you!

Packing for Tropical North Queensland

You definitely need to be prepared for your trip to FNQ (Far North Queensland). There are a few essentials in my mind, one of which is, of course, mosquito repellent! Click here for a printable packing guide for your trip.

What is Jungle Surfing?

Jungle Surfing is a very cool name for ziplining. We have been ziplining before at Australia’s highest zip line at Illawarra Fly and Jungle Surfing is similar but with a bit of a twist!

You are transported by seven zip lines over six tree platforms and what makes this place very different is you arrive at the first platform by the world’s FIRST Human Hamster Wheel cable lift.

Where is it located?

Jungle Surfing is located at Cape Tribulation in the Daintree National Park. It is about a 2-hour drive north of Port Douglas and 3 hours north of Cairns.

When you get to the Daintree Ferry, you will need to purchase a return ferry ticket. If you’re going for two or more days, you may as well purchase a 5-day return pass as it’s the same as buying two days return. We had only planned on heading up twice, but ended up in the area for 3 days so glad we purchased the 5 return pass pack!

When you cross the river, the drive is absolutely stunning but the road is quite bendy. Be careful and watch out for those Cassowaries!

About the Ziplining

The platforms range between 5 and 19.5m above the ground and each platform will show you a different level of the rainforest ecosystem and provide you with some incredible views into the canopy.

This is the tour circuit and as you can see there is a big variety of ziplines.

You will have around 3 guides with you throughout the two-hour experience and they will give you information on each of the platforms about the rainforest and also give you some interesting facts. One thing we learnt was that you can stick the green butt of a green-ant onto your tongue and you will get a dose of vitamin C – who knew!!!

The Human Hamster Wheel

This is pretty cool! If you’re wondering how you get to the first tree platform, it is powered by a human hamster wheel!

It is a 3m wheel which hoists you up to the platform by two people walking in the wheel. The wheel winds a cable onto a giant drum which hoists your fellow zipliners to the first platform!

How long is the tour

The tour lasts around 2 hours and absolutely flies by!

At the meeting point, you fill out some medical forms and get your jungle surfing helmet liner and wait for the minivan to take you to the location.

Out of that two hours, 1 hour is up in the canopy and the other hour is getting two and from the start of the tour, getting all set up in your harness and a briefing.

What if it’s raining?

Don’t worry!!! The tour runs in all weather conditions so you don’t need to worry about missing out.

Is there an age limit?

This tour caters to anyone from the age three to 103! So, no excuses!!

About the grounds

Completely disconnected from mainland supplies, the area operates on renewable energy from solar panels and micro-hydro turbines! Don’t expect any mobile phone reception when you’re in the Daintree!

How much does it cost?

As at January 2018, the price is $105 per adult and $95 per child. Click here for current prices.

Our experience

We had a really fun morning on the tour. What surprised us the most was the tandem zip lining – we had never seen anything like that before nor had we experienced it! It was a heap of fun. Jenna is scared of heights but has done ziplining before and was pretty good with it.

There were two spots she got a little nervous – the first was the first solo zip line which was the highest starting point and she was a little slow to get going and the other was the last tandem zip line which is managed by the guides and they lower you down slowly with a dead stop in the middle so you can enjoy the views and rainforest canopy. The slower we went the more nervous Jenna became. But, you are super safe in the harness so there is nothing to worry about!

One of the best bits was, of course, ziplining upside down and the very last one which was a dual race to the end. This particular zip line has an automatic stop and you get up to 50km/h on this one! It was super fun!!

Here is a short video of our experience (make sure to change the quality to 1080p!)

Do you have travel insurance?

Before travelling, make sure you get a travel insurance policy – you never know when you might need it! Click here for information on travel insurance, what company we recommend and a link to get an instant quote.

Alternative accommodation

If you’re looking for alternative accommodation to either save some money or share with friends or family, click here for information on Air B&B ($50 discount on your first booking), hotel price comparison websites etc.

“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” -Henry Miller

 

Imagine this, snorkelling in untouched Great Barrier Reef, a UNESCO World Heritage Site which also happens to be the LARGEST living thing on Earth and visible from outer space. This incredible ecosystem is filled with some impressive species such as fish, starfish, dolphins, sharks and our favourite, turtles. What makes this part of the world so special is the 600+ types of hard and soft coral – it is really breathtaking.

We joined an Ocean Safari ride to experience this for ourselves and we were not left disappointed.

Be sure to increase the quality to 1080p for a better quality video!

Packing for Tropical North Queensland

You definitely need to be prepared for your trip to FNQ (Far North Queensland). There are a few essentials in my mind, one of which is, of course, mosquito repellent! Click here for a printable packing guide for your trip.

What is an Ocean Safari?

This half day tour will take you out to the Great Barrier Reef by boat (and it’s a fun boat, driven by 700hp engines where you can sit on the sides and enjoy the ride!) and you snorkel at both Mackay Reef as well as Undine Reef.

The tour departs from Cape Tribulation Beach and the boat ride is around 25 minutes. The afternoon we went out was overcast and there was a bit of rain about, but you could still make out the rainforest in the background as you are swimming at the reefs. There is something spectacular about being where two UNESCO world heritage sites meet.

With a maximum of 25 passengers, you will have plenty of space to snorkel on the reef without being surrounded by heaps of other people.

Your skipper and Eco Host have heaps of information they share with you about the area and marine life.

Our experience

Jenna first read about this company on the back of our Cape Tribulation map we picked up from our hotel in Port Douglas. They had a picture of a turtle and she instantly said, I have always wanted to swim with a turtle – let’s do this! Next thing you know, we’re booked on a tour!

We arrived at the check-in area, had a bite to eat at the Turtle Rock Cafe and then completed the medical questionnaire and were given our stinger suits. Click here to find out why you need to wear a stinger suit.

Once we were all ready to go, we started the 500m walk down to the beachfront where we were greeted by Brett, our skipper and Georgia our eco host. They were our guides for the afternoon! As we headed out, Georgia made her way around speaking with everyone and getting to understand what we all want to achieve out of the afternoon.

When we got to the reef an were anchored up, Brett gave everyone a demonstration on how to use the snorkel and goggles and the different ways of getting out of the boat – you can either go down the ladder or off the side!

Then, the sun peered through the clouds and we were rewarded with this incredible turquoise coloured water!

This is Jenna concentrating on how best to not fill your goggles up with water!

Within seconds of getting into the water, we saw turtles – two of them! It was amazing. They are so beautiful and the experience was one we’ll never forget. It’s a huge bucket list item ticked off our list!

There were reef sharks and stingrays swimming about as well as a large number of beautiful marine life. Jenna also really liked the electric blue starfish that seemed to be everywhere.

After our two swim spots, it was time to head back to Cape Tribulation. It was a bumpy ride back in with pretty good swells. It made for an enjoyable fun ride back that’s for sure.

NB: There is a dry box for you to put towels, cameras or anything else you don’t want to get wet in which is handy.

The crew found this teddy bear out on the water, they rescued him and he is now their mascot!

Where is it located?

Ocean Safari Tours depart from Cape Tribulation. If you’re staying in Cape Trib, you can arrange for a pickup service with the company, otherwise, if you’re like us and staying in Port Douglas, you just meet at the Turtle Rock Cafe / Ocean Safari Office before the tour starts.

Cape Tribulation is about a 2-hour drive north from Port Douglas.

How long is the tour

In peak season they run two half-day tours, a morning and an afternoon one. The morning tour check-in is 8:00am and returns back to the cafe at around 12.30pm. The afternoon check-in is 12:00pm and departs at 12.30pm.

It is important to check in on-time. If you’re going in the summer months, you will need to wear a stinger suit which is provided. More on that further down!

What if it’s raining?

It doesn’t matter about the rain – you’re going to get wet anyway! We were booked on Friday afternoon, but our tour was cancelled as there was a lightning storm out over the reef so it was unsafe to go out there. We were put on the afternoon tour the next afternoon and it was a little rainy but otherwise good! A bit of rain doesn’t hurt anyone 🙂

How much does it cost?

As at January 2018, adults cost $145 and children $94. If you’re travelling as a family, they have a special rate of $436. Click here for a list of current prices.

What’s included

Included in the tour price is the following:

  • 2 hours of snorkelling at two reefs – Mackay and Undine
  • All snorkelling equipment (goggles and flippers)
  • Stinger suit in the summer months
  • Personalised snorkelling instructions – first timers welcome!
  • Unlimited information about the reef and marine life by your skipper and eco host
  • Complimentary bus transfers (if you’re staying at Cape Tribulation)

What about the stingers?

In the summer months, you will be provided with a stinger suit to avoid the Irukandji and Bx jellyfish. If you want to wear a suit during the winter months, you can hire these at check-in.

Do you have travel insurance?

Before travelling, make sure you get a travel insurance policy – you never know when you might need it! Click here for information on travel insurance, what company we recommend and a link to get an instant quote.

Alternative accommodation

If you’re looking for alternative accommodation to either save some money or share with friends or family, click here for information on Air B&B ($50 discount on your first booking), hotel price comparison websites etc.

“You don’t have to be rich to travel well.” – Eugene Fodor

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