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10 Day North Queensland Beach to Bush

From beaches to bush, discover North Queensland in this 10 day road trip itinerary taking you inland and back to the coast.

10
Days
892
Kms
6
Stops
130 million
year old rainforest

It’s not called Tropical North Queensland for nothing. The tropical climate makes for the perfect conditions to explore breathtaking waterfalls, ancient rainforest and world heritage listed Great Barrier Reef. You and your travel companions will appreciate the short drives between destinations, giving you freedom and flexibility to explore all that this region has to offer. With adventure, relaxation and plenty of nature, the 10 Day North Queensland Beach to Bush road trip itinerary has something for everyone.

Day 1: Cairns Apollo Branch to Josephine Falls and Paronella Park - 123km (1 hour 40 minutes) 

Pick up your vehicle at the Cairns Apollo Branch and head south. Today you will be exploring Josephine Falls in Woooroonooran National Park before arriving at the enchanting gardens of Paronella Park. Famous for its rainforest fringed swimming hole and waterfall 'water slide,' Josephine Falls is a popular waterfall with travellers and locals alike and is a great spot to jump right in to your Cairns adventure. 

Day 2: Paronella Park

While you might not expect castles and North Queensland in the same sentence, Paronella Park will pleasantly surprise you. Spend the second day of your North Queensland road trip exploring the incredible grounds of Paronella Park. Built in the 1930s by José Paronella, Paronella Park was once the go-to social location for residents of the Mena Creek area. Now, you can wander through the castle ruins and explore the captivating grounds. 

 

Castle ruins in the rainforest | Tourism and Events Queensland

 

Day 3: Paronella Park to Undara - 232km (2 hours 45 minutes) 

Say goodbye to Paronella Park, today's destination is a different type of magic. After just under 3 hours on the road today, you'll find yourself within Undara Volcanic National Park. 

Day 4: Undara 

One of the longest lava tube cave systems in the world, Undara Lava Tubes were created some 190, 000 years old from a volcanic eruption. Spend the day exploring this natural phenomenon on a guided tour before enjoying the sunset over the savannah grassland. 

 

Undara Experience people in ancient lava tubes | Tourism and Events Queensland

 

Day 5: Undara to Millaa Millaa - 171km (2 hours) 

Say goodbye to the outback and hello the rolling green hills of the Atherton Tablelands. Once you've arrived at the quaint township of Millaa Millaa, make your way stat to the famous Millaa Millaa Falls. Once you've taken in its beauty (and had a cheeky swim under the falls!), continue on to Zillie and Ellinjaa Falls, all within a short distance of one another.

 

Girl standing underneath Millaa Millaa Waterfall | Tourism and Events Queensland

 

Day 6: Millaa Millaa to Cape Tribulation - 218km (3 hours 30 minutes ) 

Enjoy the scenery on today's drive as you pass through green rolling hills, to the Australian bush before arriving in world heritage rainforest. 

Day 7: Cape Tribulation and the Daintree Rainforest 

Just how old is the world's oldest tropical rainforest? About 130 million (give or take a few years!). The Daintree Rainforest is a part of the larger Wet Tropics World Heritage Area and is one of nature's greatest triumphs. Surviving world-altering events (the dinosaur extinction and an ice-age just to name a few!), this rainforest is home to the world's first songbirds and flowering plants. Plus, it's incredibly beautiful. You don't even need to take our word on it - it's been scientifically recognised as a place of "exceptional natural beauty!"

Day 8: Cape Tribulation to Port Douglas - 85km (1 hour 45 minutes) 

Wind down from your time in the rainforest by visiting Port Douglas. On your way into Port Douglas be sure to stop by Mossman Gorge. 

 

Man swimming in clear water while woman sits on rocks above in the rainforest | Tourism and Events Queensland

 

Day 9: Port Douglas 

Spend your day in Port Douglas however you'd like. Relax at Four Mile Beach, interact with Australian animals at Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas, discover the Great Barrier Reef or, if you've arrived on a Sunday, wander through the Port Douglas Markets. 

Day 10: Port Douglas to Cairns - 67km (1 hour 10 minutes) 

We might have even saved the best to last. The Great Barrier Reef drive between Port Douglas and Cairns is one of the most scenic drives in Australia (if not the world!). Be sure to stop at Rex Lookout on your way back to Cairns for stunning views of the rainforest, beach and Coral Sea!

 

Where to Stay 

Paronella Park

Undara Experience

Cape Tribulation Camping

Big4 Port Douglas Glengarry Holiday Park

Ready to explore?

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