Cairns road trip planner for Northern Queensland
The sunshine state of Queensland is Australia’s most popular tourist destination. Below is our Cairns road trip planner exploring the northern parts of Queensland for you to help plan your trip.
The lively Pacific Coast captivates with its many kilometers of mesmerizing beaches that you can barely find in Europe. The surrounding areas around Cairns are world renown for its tropical rain forests.
Cairns road trip planner – 7-10 days itinerary & attractions
Cairns used to be a enchanted tropical town, and the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and many other tropical attractions. Travelwheels Campervan Hire Cairns staff have listed the most fun activities in the 10 day Cairns road trip planner listed below. You can do all those tours independently from each other or follow our guide step by step, just as you like and we assure you will have a memorable holiday!
Let us know how you enjoyed your trip? Have we missed anything out of our Cairns road trip planner? If you liked/didn’t like our suggestions or perhaps missed something out, then we want to hear from you. Simply email us at [email protected]. We are looking forward to hear from you! We will add your suggestions to our cairns road trip planner and post them on the travelwheels campervan hire facebook page.
Great Barrier Reef – Dive deep and be amazed!
DAY 1 Cairns road trip planner: Cairns is the gateway to the jaw-dropping underwater world of the Great Barrier Reef. It will only take a 90 minute boat tour to get you to this breathtaking natural wonder, the Great Barrier Reef. This phenomenal range is unique and the biggest coral system on earth! It extends from Papua New Guinea all the way down to the Lady-Elliot-Island (north of Bundaberg). That is about 2300 kilometers of reef to explore!
Great Barrier Reef tours are offered all year around, however May to October is the best time to attend one of these exciting trips. This is when the humidity is low and the ocean is quiet. The sun will give you a clear sight under water and a colourful view with many fish is guaranteed!
If money is tight or you are on a shoe string budget, we have another option for you in our cairns road trip planner! How about a mini adventure right from the Marina in Cairns instead? Have you ever heard of Fitzroy Island before?
Fitzroy Island – Something you won’t forget!
Day 2 Cairns road trip planner: Fitzroy Island should be on top of your bucket list when visiting Cairns! This pristine little island is only 29km off shore and you can get there by ferry in just 45 minutes. The high speed ferry gets you there everyday and scheduled adapted trips to allow you maximum time on that magnificent island. The untouched Fitzroy Island National Park trumps with beautiful wildlife, mangroves and corals. You can follow one of the great hiking trails or explore the island via paddle board. Why not hire a kayak or for a cheaper option grab your snorkel gear and explore under water! You can hire all equipment on the island(click here for more information). If that sounds not adventurous enough for you, how about a glass boat tour or a SEABOB underwater jet??
Travelwheels Campervan Hire Tip: We assume that this won’t be your only snorkel adventure, so why not buy your own gear instead? We recommend heading to Kmart in Cairns as the prices are low and won’t burn a big hole in your budget. This saves you money on hiring equipment and you can use it whenever you like across Australia.
After these two day trips from Cairns, it’s time to jump back in your campervan and make your way to the northern region of Cairns. You will find many attractions and cool stuff to do that you simply can not miss!
Palm Cove – Kayaking with sea turtles!
DAY 3 Cairns road trip planner: North of Cairns the Captain Cook Highway becomes one of the most beautiful coastal roads Australia has to offer. Close to eye-popping cliffs and surrounded by the tropical rainforest you will have the time of your life exploring North Queensland! We recommend visiting one of the following beaches as listed in our cairns road trip planner. Why not check out Machmans Beach, Holloways Beach, Yorkeys Knob Beach, Kewarra Beach and Clifton Beach, just to name a few along your way to Palm Cove! The region is called Malin Coast and very popular for relaxing spa holidays in peaceful and quiet cottages.
Only 27km north of Cairns you find Palm Cove, a smaller version of the Gold Coast. It is an amazing holiday destination if you are looking to relax. Named after those big palm trees that cover the beach. You can chill out as you will be protected from the sun when strolling down the esplanade.
There is a great campsite which has a beachfront view and great facilities. The best thing about the Palm Cove Holiday Park is that you can walk to the beach in the morning. From here you can start your kayak tour around Double Island which is a lot of fun! One of the highlight of our cairns road trip planner is to visit the sea turtles! Remember to also check out the many sting rays and an old stone cave as well. For more information and great deals we recommend this great site called bookme.com.au or click here for turtle tour.
Port Douglas – 4 Mile Beach: Travel tips in Cairns and area
DAY 4/5 Cairns road trip planner: After a great kayak tour Travelwheels Campervans Hire Cairns staff recommends driving to Port Douglas. A lot of people unfortunately rush this section of the trip! You can easily spend 1-2 days or more “chillaxing”. If you haven’t done a Great Barrier Reef trip yet, this is your chance! Port Douglas has great number of dive and snorkel tours on offer at the Marina. Make sure you check out 4 Mile Beach when exploring this area! This white sand beach runs along the southern end of the town and grants beach access to many fancy 5 star hotels.
You don’t need a fancy 5 star hotel as you have your travelwheels campervan! You can find parking for your camper at the northern part of the town. To see one of the most spectacular views this town has to offer you can climb the cliff right next to the beach. Alternately you can drive up Island Point Road to the beautiful Trinity Bay Lookout. Both lookouts will knock your socks off and let your Instagram account explode by thousands of likes! Don’t forget to hashtag #travelwheels! Please send us some photos for our travelwheels campervan hire facebook page.
ATV Quad Biking Mossmann – Daintree Station
DAY 6 Cairns road trip planner: After all this relaxation it is now time for more action! Park your campervan at the Daintree Station in Mossmann. Jump out of the van and go for an adventurous quad bike experience! Explore 30 hectar of mountains, fields, rivers and untouched rainforest! Be prepared to get dunked in mud from head to toe whilst having the most fun! The team is splendid and you can find some great deals on bookme.com.au (click here).
Cheap Campsite at Daintree River
EVENING OF DAY 6: Cheap Campsite Daintree Riverview
Daintree Riverview is a great and cheap campsite right next to the Daintree River and we recommend staying here in our cairns road trip planner guide. Hidden and hard to find you can surely enjoy a quiet evening with a real Ozzie BBQ! It has a dazzling outlook over the river and hinterland. ATTENTION: Please don’t go for a walk along the river – CROCODILES! Always watch for warning signs, and have fun, but be careful!
Crocodile watching Cairns
DAY 7 – IN THE MORNING: Before you continue your trip to Cape Tribulation we recommend in our cairns road trip planner to stop at Bruce Belcher’s Daintree River Crocodile Cruises. They will show you some of the intimidating and dangerous saltwater crocodiles of up to 7 meters in length! If you are lucky you might see some baby crocodiles! Check out Bookme as you might get a deal from just $14!
Cape Tribulation Ferry – Travel tips
DAY 7-9 Cairns road trip planner: It is time to discover the true gem of North Queensland – Cape Tribulation! This is a thrilling wonderland for all nature lovers and we recommend spending3-4 days to truly get the best out of the experience.
All the great things to see and do in Cape Tribulation are accessible by the Daintree River Ferry. You can take your van all the way up until a certain point along the well maintained road. After this point it clearly states that it becomes a 4×4 road only. To save some money Travelwheels Campervan Hire recommends buying a $25 return ticket instead of 2 single tickets which is more expensive.
Cape Tribulation – Cairns und Umgebung
Going to Cape Trib with our cairns road trip planner is easy! It is hard to get lost as there is only one narrow roadway you can follow! It will guide you along all those secluded kilometers of pristine beaches surrounded by the turquoise ocean and mangroves. This is where two world heritage listed sites, the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest join up. This is a magical place and has built a wonderful wildlife habitat to extraordinary animals like the cassowary.
Observe Rare Ratite Cassowaries
If you are lucky you might encounter a rare cassowary! These with the Ostrich and Emu make up the three biggest birds in the world! The Cassowary can grow up to 2 meters and generally weights about 60kg. It is said to be a very dangerous bird because of its 12 cm long dagger-like middle claw!
Usually cassowaries are very shy but when they feel threatened or want to protect their young they can lash out dangerously with their powerful legs! They can jump and kick with both legs at once, so watch out! Cassowaries can run up to 50kms, jump 1,5m high and are great swimmers! Make sure you always stay a good distance away to this dinosaur-like bird. It’s important to honour their habitat and keep your pets away as it has been reported that these birds are well capable of disemboweling dogs.
Camp sites in Cape Tribulation
If you are looking for a good campsite, then our cairns road trip planner guide recommends checking out Cape Trib Camping. Its beach front view and delicious pizza, what more do you need or want! They offer some great tours such as jungle safaris, a horse riding, kayak tours or how about a rainforest hike?
Ten minutes walk from the campsite, you can relax in a refreshing freshwater pool!
Another great campsite in the middle of the rainforest is Lync Haven’s Rainforest Caravan and Camping Ground. For just $14 you get good value for money. The campground is popular for its adventurous hikes where you can check out some great wildlife.
Daintree Ice Cream Company – Cairns und Umgebung
The next stop on our cairns road trip planner is to visit the Daintree Ice Cream Company and try their crazy ice cream! Everything is home made and made from tropical fruits that you won’t find in Europe! Whilst eating your ice cream why not stroll down to the farm and check out the plantation. From here you can watch out for those small animals like the green ant and their impressive home building art. Read a very interesting article about green ants in the far north here.
Kuranda Cableway – Tree tops from a birdsview
DAY 10 Cairns road trip planner: Now it is time to make your way back down south towards Cairns, however but before you rush off, we recommend stopping at Kuranda. Check out the versatile art and craft market or the zoo perhaps? If you haven’t seen enough of the rainforest yet, then don’t miss an excursion by cableway and swing above the tree tops of one of the oldest rainforests in the world.
The Skyrail Rainforest Cableway will guide you in cute little gondola 7,5km over this listed world heritage – an unforgettable experience.
Alternatively you can take the Kuranda Scenic Railway from Cairns. This is a trip to Kuranda along never-ending waterfalls, majestic bridges.
Cairns road trip planner – 7-10 days itinerary in North Queensland
This is the end of our cairns road trip planner starting and finishing in Cairns. Hopefully you found it helpful and we wish you a fantastic time in Australia!
For any questions feel free to email us at [email protected] or call us on 0412766616 and we will help you plan your holiday Down Under.