Self Drive Itineraries

QUINKAN TO KUKU YALANJI 4WD ROAD TRIP

Immerse yourself in the rich history of the world’s oldest living culture. From Outback to Rainforest, this 5-day journey will explore incredibly preserved prehistoric rock art and journey to the stunning natural beauty of ancient rainforests. Take the time to connect with the true spirituality of Far North Queensland.

Quinkan
Cairns to Cairns (Via Laura & Cape Tribulation) - Round Trip - 730km
DAY 1 CAIRNS TO MT CARBINE (135km – 1.5hrs driving time)

Starting your trip with a visit to Tjapukai Cultural Centre is the perfect way to gain a deeper understanding of Australia’s diverse Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage. Stay the night at Mt Carbine Caravan Park. If required – caravans can be left in storage here for the 4WD ahead.

DAY 2 MT CARBINE TO COOKTOWN (VIA LAURA) (340km – 4.5hrs driving time)

Discover the Unesco World Heritage Quinkan Rock Art Site, outstanding both in variety, quantity and quality and included as the top 10 of its type in the world. In the Laura River Valley taste coffee brewed from local plantations.

DAY 3 COOKTOWN TO CAPE TRIBULATION (112km – Allow 3hrs driving time)

Explore Cooktown! Meet Nugal-warra Elder, Willie Gordon for a half day Guurrbi Tour. Conquer the spectacular and challenging the Bloomfield Track as you make your way to Cape Tribulation. Along the way marvel at the mysterious Black Mountains; meet the locals at the Wujal Wujal Arts & Cultural Centre; refresh at the Wujal Wujal Falls. Check in and relax at Cape Trib Beach House with a Bonfire on the Beach that night to top off an awesome day.

DAY 4 CAPE TRIBULATION

You can do as little or as much as you want at Cape Trib, we recommend a journey along the mangroves in search of the estuarine crocodile in the morning and ending your day with a Guided Rainforest Walk through the breathtaking Cape Tribulation rainforest in the afternoon.

DAY 5 CAPE TRIBULATION TO CAIRNS (Via Cooya Beach) (142km – Allow 3hrs driving time)

Return to Cairns travelling through the magical Mossman Gorge in the Daintree National Park. The Janbal Indigenous Art Gallery in Mossman is well worth a visit.
Complete your road trip with a stop off at Cooya Beach for a Kuku Yalanji Cultural Habitat Tour: An experience not to be missed and a beautiful way to end this incredible journey.

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THE SUPER SIX ROAD TRIP

White Water Rafting; Skydiving; Bungy Jumping; Sea Kayaking; Snorkeling & Jungle Surfing. If these top six are in your bucket list – then its time to get ticking. From Mission Beach to Cape Trib – Four exhilarating days of non-stop action on a road trip that will be etched into your mind and body for a very very long time!!

Super Six Road Trip
Mission Beach to Cape Tribulation - One Way - 280km
DAY 1 MISSION BEACH – Tully River White Water Rafting

Lets jump right into the action day one, be prepared to tackle the white water rapids of the mighty Tully River like a boss! Get a good nights rest tonight at Scotty’s Beach House or Jackaroo Hostel, You’re gonna need it!

DAY 2 MISSION BEACH – Skydiving

Are you ready for to absorb the views of 14km of pristine white beaches, lush rainforest, the Great Barrier Reef and tropical islands from 14,000ft – This skydive will be etched into your memory forever. Share the best and the worst bits tonight with everyone at Scotty’s Beach House or Jackaroo Hostel.

DAY 3 CAPE TRIBULATION (via Cairns) (280km – 4.5hrs driving time) – Bungy

Get on the road early this morning & stop off along the way in Cairns for a sneaky little Bungy!! Launch yourself from a 50 metre high tower high in the canopies of the Cairns rainforest and dip your head into the cold stream at the bottom. Not a bad way to break up your trip north huh? Afterwards continue along Australia’s best coast road until you reach Cape Trib Beach House. A bonfire on the beach tonight is just the ticket to top off an awesome day.

DAY 4 CAPE TRIBULATION – Sea Kayaking

Glide over coral reefs, spot marine wildlife such as turtles, eagles, fish and more and learn some island history as you Sea Kayak 2km to Snapper Island. A delicious picnic lunch will be served on one of the island’s remote beaches. And, if the wind is right, you can pop up the sails and sail back to shore.

DAY 5 CAPE TRIBULATION – Great Barrier Reef Snorkel + Jungle Surfing

Its time for a bit of morning Great Barrier Reef Snorkelling – gee up for an exhilarating ride to the pristine untouched Great Barrier Reef just off the Daintree Coast at Cape Tribulation. The afternoon light is perfect surfing time – Jungle Canopy Surfing time!! Nothing can compare to seeing the world’s oldest rainforest from this angle.

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BEACHES & ISLANDS & REEFS. OH MY! ROAD TRIP

If you seek a few days worth of Turquoise Water and Champagne Shoreline, Emerald Green Islands bobbing up in the distance and a Glittering Magical Reef to take you far away from where you currently are then this 3-4 day road trip should be the tonic. Beach hop your way from Cairns to Cape Tribulation and surround yourself with Beaches and Islands and Reefs. Oh My!

Beaches & Islands
Cairns to Cape Tribulation - One Way - 160km
DAY 1 CAIRNS TO PALM COVE (30-40KM with beach hopping)

Explore the coastal communities that stretch from Cairns to Palm Cove including: Yorkeys Knob, Trinity Beach, Clifton Beach and Palm Cove. All are packed with restaurants, cafes and accommodation set alongside sweeping stretches of beachfront parkland.

DAY 2: PALM COVE TO CAPE TRIBULATION (VIA PORT DOUGLAS) (128KM – 2.5HRS)

Have you ever had the luxury of a beach all to yourself? Starting from Ellis Beach you start to get a taste; and it only gets better the further north you drive – bliss!! Take some stunning panoramic shots at Rex Lookout and drink in the views of the Great Barrier Reef, turquoise waters and coastline. Stop in at Port Douglas for some retail therapy before continuing on through the emerald green mountains & friendly town of Mossman. Get your bearings at the Alexandra Lookout and take a detour to Cow Bay for more secluded beaches right on the rainforest door. Thornton Beach, Noah Beach, Coconut Beach are all worth a wander for leisurely, solitary beachcombing.

As the bitumen road winds towards its end at Cape Tribulation it is here that your coastal adventure truly begins. Check into Cape Trib Beach House, and savour some beachfront bliss.

DAY 3: CAPE TRIBULATION

Take a guided kayak tour to Snapper Island or join an Ocean Safari to a coral cay on the Great Barrier Reef to swim with turtles. Enjoy the exhilaration of a beach horse ride, or just sit and contemplate life surrounded by beautiful beaches, untouched islands and the Great Barrier Reef right on your doorstep.
*Take note of signs warning of crocodile hazards and seasonal marine stingers.

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I LIKE MY WILDLIFE ON THE WILDSIDE ROAD TRIP

If you like your wildlife on the wildside than this road trip is guaranteed to bring the David Attenborough out in you! Five days road-tripping trying to find the best of Far North Queensland’s Wild and sometimes shy locals. From Yungaburra to Cape Tribulation see if you can spot the big 5: Platypus, Estuarine Crocodile, Cassowary, Golden Orb Spider and Eagle Ray!

Wildside
Cairns to Cairns (via Yungaburra, Mareeba Wetlands & Cape Tribulation) - Round Trip - 415km
DAY 1: CAIRNS TO YUNGABURRA 68KM

When you arrive in Yungaburra take a walk to Peterson Creek – In the heart of Yungaburra – where you may be able to view platypus and a rare Lumholtz Tree-Kangaroo. During the day explore Lake Eacham – a stunningly beautiful volcanic crater lake – go for a swim, or a 3km walk. Tonight you could take your torch and do some nighttime spotting around the Curtain Fig Tree or you could go for a paddle and do the Night Wildlife Canoeing Tour. Stay tonight at On The Wallaby – 34 Eacham Rd, Yungaburra, QLD, 4884

DAY 2: MAREEBA WETLANDS JABIRU SAFARI LODGE 60KM

One more chance to spot the platypus at the Yungaburra Platypus Viewing Area on the Gillies Highway, remember the best viewing times are morning and dusk and Ssssh!! Arrive at the Mareeba Tropical Savanna And Wetland Reserve, a series of 12 inter-connected lagoons, creeks and channels weaving their way across 5,000 acres and sprawling with birdlife; reptiles, frogs, fish and of course the freshwater crocodile. The open tropical savanna woodlands are home to much of Australia’s savanna fauna including eastern grey kangaroos, agile and whiptail wallabies, wallaroos, possums and gliders. Stay the night tonight at Jabiru Safari Lodge and listen to the calls of the wildlife snug in your cabin.

DAY 3 MAREEBA TO CAPE TRIBULATION 138KM

Up Early to continue on your journey to Cape TribulationM it is here that your wildlife of the wildside adventure truly begins. You are in Croc Country Now!! Sink your teeth into a croc burger at Masons Cafe before you meet the real thing on a Mangrove Croc Cruises on the mighty Cooper Creek. Afterwards check into your accommodation at Cape Tribulation Beach House and enjoy Dinner at Tides restaurant followed by Bonfire on the Beach.

DAY 4 CAPE TRIBULATION

This morning get ready for an exhilarating ride to snorkel the pristine untouched Great Barrier Reef off the Daintree Coast at Cape Tribulation. You can snorkel alongside sea turtles, myriads of tropical fish, eagle rays, giant clams and starfish. Spend the afternoon finding bats, cassowaries and insects at the many museums close by. :

When the sun sets those who only come out at night start dancing in the dark. It time for torch adventures of the Attenborough kind – lets meet the feathery and scaly locals. The two-hour game of hide and seek starts every night at 7.30pm.

DAY 5 RETURN TO CAIRNS – 145KM

After breakfast, how about one last stop to take it all in – head to Cape Trib Lookout – it takes around 45 minutes and will work up your appetite for a Daintree Ice-cream on the way back to Cairns.

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SIMPLY THE BEST TROPICAL COAST HUGGER ROADTRIP. EVER!

If the Great Ocean Road is Victoria’s best drive then the stretch between Townsville and Cape Tribulation might just well be Queensland’s own claim to road tripping fame. We like to call it Simply The Best Tropical Coast Hugging Road Trip. Ever!

Tropical Coast
Townsville to Cape Tribulation (via Mission Beach, Paronella Park, Cairns & Port Douglas) - One Way - 526km
DAY 1: TOWNSVILLE TO MISSION BEACH 235KM

Starting in Townsville and heading north along the Great Green Way, stopping along the way at McClelland’s Lookout for dizzying views over the islands and coastline. Explore picturesque beach towns, such as Lucinda, Halifax, Taylors Beach or Forrest Beach. At Tully River National Park walk through World Heritage-listed rainforest and swim beneath waterfalls in crystal clear swimming holes or have a white water rafting adventure down the Tully River. Stay the night at Mission Beach

DAY 2: MISSION BEACH TO CAIRNS 139KM

Heading to Cairns today a must see along the way is a detour off the highway to Mena Creek and Paronella Park, a Spanish castle surrounded by waterfalls and butterfly-fringed gardens. Visit a lavender oil farm in Aloomba and then arrive into Cairns, gateway to the islands, rainforest and reef of Tropical North Queensland. Spend the evening at Cairns.

DAY 3 CAIRNS TO CAPE TRIBULATION (VIA PORT DOUGLAS) 155KM

As you head north stop at Ellis Beach and get used to the thrill of having a beach all to yourself. Pull off the road at Rex Lookout to take in the stunning panoramic views of the Great Barrier Reef. Arrive Port Douglas. Continue on your journey through sugarcane country towards the emerald green mountains & friendly town of Mossman. Alexandra Lookout, Cow Bay, Thornton Beach, Noah Beach and Coconut Beach are all worth a stop for some beachcombing. Cross the Daintree River and check into Cape Tribulation Beach House Cabins.

DAY 4 -5 CAPE TRIBULATION

Now that you have arrived it is time to leave the car and immerse yourself in this simply incredible destination. Your time at Cape Tribulation can be as fast or as slow as you like! Some of the activities on offer include:

  • Jungle Surfing Canopy Tours – explore the world’s oldest rainforest on a fully guided and exhilarating zip line tour.
  • Saddle up to enjoy the most breathtaking scenery in Australia on horseback – Cape Trib Horse Riding.
  • Board the Ocean Safari for an exhilarating ride to snorkel the pristine untouched Great Barrier Reef alongside sea turtles, colourful coral, myriads of tropical fish, eagle rays, giant clams and starfish.
  • Paddle Trek – explore fringing reefs, see marine wildlife and continue to soak up the stunning views of the Daintree Rainforest by sea kayak.
  • Finish each evening by gathering on the beach and watching the fire flicker with Cape Tribulation Beach House’s nightly Beach Bonfire.
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THE SOUTHERNERS NORTHERN ESCAPE ROADTRIP

OMG – You have five whole days of pure freedom to explore FNQ paradise with the family! Aye Carumba! Is it even possible to snorkel the Great Barrier Reef, explore the Daintree Rainforest, see crocs & maybe even some shy cassowary’s, have a great coffee, get a massage and experience the best of it all in 5 days? Look no further Southerner – we have the perfect Northern adventure – Cape Trib Style!

Cassowary
Cairns to Cairns (via Palm Cove, Kuranda & Cape Tribulation) - 415km Round Trip
DAY 1: CAIRNS TO KURANDA TO PALM COVE – 60KM

Lets start this 5 day trip by getting into the zone nice and slowly. If you have family with you, including little ones, a smooth transition into holiday zone is key my friends!! Arrive at the airport and pick up your rental car, take the leisurely drive to Kuranda (26km). On arrival go and explore any of the amazing sites, tours and sanctuary’s available such as Kuranda Scenic Railway, Australian Butterfly Sanctuary, Barron Falls, Birdworld Kuranda, Kuranda Koala Gardens or Rainforestation Nature Park to name but a few. Make your way to Palm Cove where the beachside accommodation options, cafe’s and restaurants make it easy to settle in quickly, grab something for dinner and have a fabulous nights rest.

DAY 2: PALM COVE TO CAPE TRIBULATION

Take some stunning panoramic shots at Rex Lookout and drink in the views of the Great Barrier Reef, before continuing on through the emerald green mountains & friendly town of Mossman. Get your bearings at the Alexandra Lookout and take a detour to Cow Bay for beaches right on the rainforest door. As the bitumen road winds towards its end at Cape Tribulation it is here that your coastal adventure truly begins. Stop in at Masons Cafe for a Croc Burger for lunch and then check into Cape Trib Beach House. Your accommodation is the only beachfront digs in the area. Right where World Heritage rainforest meets the Great Barrier Reef. How about getting your bearings straight away with a rainforest tour, or better yet, how about a night rainforest tour by torchlight to meet the furry, feathery and scaly locals. Super thrilling for kids and adults alike!

DAY 3 CAPE TRIBULATION 138KM

Today can be as action packed or as chilled as the family allow – but to really immerse yourself into the beauty of Cape Trib hop aboard the Ocean Safari Snorkelling Tour in the morning for an exhilarating ride to snorkel the pristine untouched Great Barrier Reef just off the Daintree Coast. A short ride out will have you snorkelling alongside sea turtles, myriads of tropical fish, eagle rays, giant clams and starfish. Later in the afternoon, you could do a Mangrove Croc Cruises searching for estuarine crocs on the mighty Cooper Creek, or you could go zip lining through the Daintree with Jungle Surfing adventures – or you could do all three!!! As the sunsets enjoy Dinner at Tides restaurant followed by a Cape Trib Beach House Bonfire on the Beach.

DAY 4 CAPE TRIBULATION

This morning how about a horse ride along the beach to get a taste of freedom!! One of the only places in the region where you can do this, Cape Trib Beach Horse rides are an exhilarating way to start the day. Follow it up with a kayak later in the afternoon, or have a masseuse booked and ready to go in your cabin. Spend the afternoon finding bats, cassowaries and insects by pottering around the Cape Tribulation Bat House.

DAY 5 RETURN TO CAIRNS – 145KM

After breakfast, head to Cape Trib Lookout – it takes around 45 minutes and will work up your appetite for a Daintree Ice Cream on the way back to Cairns.

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Where the Reef meets the Rainforest