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Queensland ~ Australia Travel

Trinity Beach, Cairns, Port Douglas: Laid Back Far North Queensland

Queensland is Australia's second largest state, with fabulous Pacific beaches from southerly Brisbane to the northeastern tip of Australia. The Great Barrier Reef runs along the coast.

See my Cairns travel story for a look at dangerous things in FNQ. Ttropical Queensland attracts tourists and those who want to fall off the map. 'Going Troppo' is refers to those who abandon themselves to northern Queensland life.

Far North Queensland, Australia: I'd come to see a friend recently moved to Trinity Beach, just north of Cairns, on a direct non-stop flight from Hong Kong (about a 10 hour flight. To fly via Sydney then north to Cairns would add about 7 hours to the trip.

Look for flight routes via Brisbane, too, to save a few hour's flying time. From Queensland, I then flew to Sydney, and on to Adelaide to take a tour to Kangaroo Island off the southern coast, with its Remarkable Rocks and wildlife.  

Queensland : Trinity Beach Near Cairns  Sign at Trinity Beach North of Cairns australia

Cairns is about a 3 hour flight north from Sydney, and Trinity Beach is a 15 minute drive north of Cairns.

Australia has more signs posted in more places, so get used to them :-)

Some are overkill (such as no martini drinking on Sydney trains -- darn!) but these ones along the beaches in Far North Queensland warn of the area's many hazards, and tell how to get medical help.

Read these carefully. Indigenous dangers aside, Queensland Beaches are among the most beautiful and inviting in the world. See Queensland Beaches for a list and the location of all the beaches, including the wonderfully named 'Yorkey's Knob'.)

Marine Stinger enclosure on Queensland Beach Marine Stinger enclosure trinity beach australia

The blue floats mark off the swimming area enclosed by netting designed to keep out marine stingers.

(This view is looking towards Double Island from the Palm Cove Beach.)

Mind you, every so often, large waves theoretically carrying the little menaces washed over the booms and into the 'safe' area.

Cape Tribulation Daintree Rainforest Queensland Cape Tribulation Daintree Rainforest cassowaries warning sign

Cassowary warning sign: One should indeed be 'wary' of these birds, which the signs describe as large and mean tempered. (I am not surprised they are an endangered species.)

Should you meet one on the road, do not make eye contact, but rather back up slowly and try to get behind something large, like a tree or a bus, say, lest they fly at you with their sharp talons.

Several businesses at the Daintree River ferry crossing into the park offer free maps, Dragonfly Cafe and Daintree Connection (Croc-spotting river cruises). (It's 117 kilometers (73 miles) from Cairns to Daintree).

Signs of the Cassowary ~ Endangered Australian Birdqueensland australia cassowary sign

As we drove past yet another of the many speed bump and cassowary signs along the park road, we did a double take:

Some wit had written the word 'Before' on the cassowary sign, and the speed bump warning sign, had added 'After' and drawn a cassowary 'head'.

The sign is in the dark spot -- sorry it's difficult to see. Given the Aussie sense of humour, I'd bet this road sign artist was born and bred Down Under.

It makes me a tad hesitant to see what signs are used to denote crosswalks :-)


Giant Crocodiles in concrete (whew!) at Daintree Crossing QueenslandGiant Crocodile warning sing daintree queensland australia

Another warning sign at Daintree Crossing, this time for crocodiles (stingers, cassowaries, crocodiles -- we hadn't even gotten to the cane toads and snakes!).

After all these warnings of creatures that can seriously ruin your day, you begin to see how Cape Tribulation got its name.

Hang gliding (parasailing) above Queensland Beaches FNQ (Far North Queensland) Beach panoramic view with hang glider in the air

The beaches line the entire coastline, and are amongst the loveliest in the world, dangerous wildlife excepted.

Of course, during the marine stinger season running from November to May, you enter the water at your own risk.

Here, we stopped along the winding road to catch the cool breeze in late afternoon, and to watch several hang gliders.

Green Island Queensland Australia boat tours Green Island boat tours catamaran in ciarns australia marina

Full day or half-day tours leave for Green Island, which lies 27 kilometers (17 miles) off the coast.

Green Island is the only coral cay with a rain forest.

The crossing from Cairns takes about 45 minutes by high speed boat. This is a great look at the barrier reef, but with the security of a bit of actual land under your feet -- a good spot for those who are not fond of very deep waters.

Green Island day trip from Cairns QLD DocksGreen Island australia near great barrier reef

As we arrive from Cairns, we can see that other tour boats are already docked at Green Island, which from this angle, looks smaller than it is.

There is a five star hotel (Green Island Resort), a few shops and food stalls, and a very lovely swimming beach, replete with genial lifesavers.

Since Green Island is some distance from the mainland, it is deemed relatively stinger-free year round.

You'll have no trouble finding a good variety of tours in Queensland, so allow lots of exploring and diving time!

Queensland ~ Glass Bottom Boat Underwater views near Green Island Underwater reef views of tropical fish green island australia

Once at Green Island, tours transfer to a submersible for a brief tour (20 minutes or so) around the reef near the island.

After that, there'a another hour or so allotted for snorkelling in a lagoon or swimming in the warm waters at a separate beach before returning to Cairns.

Full day tours would, of course,allow for more leisure time on the island.

Palm Cove, Queensland, shops & cafes Palm Cove shops and cafes australia resort area

Great beaches, lovely hotels, and interesting shops full of clothing, shoes, art and more.

Palm Cove is well worth at least an afternoon's visit to walk the beach, browse the shops, or have a drink at an outdoor cafe.

Better yet, stay a week!

Reef and rainforest tours can be booked at several locations here.

Palm Cove is 22 kms (14 miles) north of Cairns, not far if you want to head into town for the day.


Related: What to Pack for a trip to Australia.