Port Douglas to Airlie Beach

Page author

by Hertz AU - 19 November 2018

The tropical north of Australia may well be the jewel in its crown.

Stage 1: Port Douglas to Cairns

Begin your trip in Port Douglas, a charming little town in Far North Queensland. Although it’s a small town, Port Douglas’ population often doubles in the busier months of the tourist season. On numerous occasions, it has appeared in the top three of Australian Traveller magazine’s 100 best towns in Australia. From here, you can make the short drive south to Cairns. Cairns is famous for its tropical climate, and for being the gateway to the world-famous Great Barrier Reef. There is a plethora of things to see and do in Cairns, with everything from scuba diving, to rainforest adventures, or just plain lazing in the sun. We recommend starting the morning with some great coffee and breakfast at Caffiend. This will set you up for the day so you can go exploring, get your bearings, and make plans for diving the reef or whatever else takes your fancy. Cairns is a holiday paradise.

Stage 2: Cairns to Mission Beach

After you’ve resurfaced in Cairns, jump in your rental car and hit the road. There’s plenty to see on the short 139 km journey to Mission Beach. Along the way, make time to stop at Etty Bay, a popular beach for surfing, fishing, and sailing. If you’re lucky you may come across a cassowary, a tropical bird native to northeastern Australia, and also the third-tallest bird in the world. After this quick pit stop, hop back in the car and continue on your way to Mission Beach. Mission Beach is the quintessential tropical beach paradise, complete with pristine white sands and overhanging palm trees. It’s an interesting mix of art, culture and unique tourist attractions that makes it the perfect place to relax and unwind.

Stage 3: Mission Beach to Paluma

After a few days at the coast, drive south and head inland to Paluma. Here you can witness the natural beauty of the Paluma Range National Park and the Wet Tropics Heritage Area. Paluma is a place where you can also find some respite from the coastal, lowland heat, and relax in the cool mountain air. It’s also an amazing place to see tropical wildlife at home in the rainforest. McClelland's Lookout is a definite highlight, with beautiful views of Queensland from above. Along the Paluma Range highway you'll come across Little Crystal Creek and Big Crystal Creek, which are both ideal locations to stop for a picnic, swim, bushwalk, or barbecue. If you have a permit, there is also the option to camp for the night in the designated camping area. Paluma has it all and is well worth the visit. Stage 4: Paluma to Bowen Three and a half hours south from Paluma is our next stop, Bowen, a town that boasts eight beaches with crystal-clear turquoise waters. Bowen is at the top of the Whitsundays, with untouched beaches, beautiful bays, and a perfect tropical climate. It is truly one of the undiscovered treats of Queensland and an ideal destination for those seeking a laid back beach holiday. The waters out in the bay are easily accessible, allowing visitors to snorkel above stunning coral and marine life with ease. With a daily average of eight hours of sunshine all through the year, Bowen might well lay claim to having Australia's best climate. Our favourite beaches are Horseshoe Bay and Queens Beach.

Stage 5: Bowen to Airlie Beach

After exploring the underwater coral paradise of Bowen (if you feel like leaving), jump in the car and head south to your last stop, Airlie Beach. Airlie Beach is the gateway to the Whitsundays and an ideal place for an adventure. Take time and soak up the laid-back, tropical atmosphere. The holiday vibe up here is so infectious, you’ll instantly tune out of the real world. Browse the boutiques, cafes and shops, or relax by the beach. The Saturday morning markets offer a range of locally produced items from arts and crafts, to fresh fruit and vegetables. At the end of a great day, kick back with a piña colada, before treating yourself at one of Airlie Beach’s many restaurants.

There’s nothing quite like the tropics. We know you’ll be back for more.

Page author

Article by Hertz AU

582 Posts