Cities & towns
- 1 Cairns - visitor gateway and backpacker mecca to the north of Townsville
- 2 Cardwell
- 3 Cooktown - the oldest place settled by Europeans in Australia, though not continuously
- 4 Karumba
- 5 Kuranda - famed for its market and alternative lifestyles, near Cairns
- 6 Innisfail
- 7 Normanton
- 8 Palm Cove
- 9 Port Douglas - an hour north of Cairns are the beachfront resorts missing in Cairns
- 10 Thuringowa
- 11 Tully
- 12 Yorkeys Knob
- 1 Atherton Tablelands
- 2 Daintree National Park - to the north of Port Douglas, and accessible via a sealed road along the coast
- 3 Great Barrier Reef - a natural wonder of the world, easily accessible from Cairns and Port Douglas, and stretching far down the length of Central Queensland as well
- 4 Hinchinbrook Island
- 5 Possession Island National Park - at this island, Captain Cook claimed possession of the entire Australian coast for the British Empire, on 22 August 1770. Today, it's the centre of the eponymous National Park, an area of 5.10 km2 (1.97 sq mi), established as a Protected Area in 1977, and managed by the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service.
- 6 Torres Strait Islands
- 7 Undara Volcanic National Park - a unique geological formation
Far North Queensland is the northernmost coastal region of Queensland. It is full of tropical rain forests, extremely remote communities and for the most part very hard to get into. The northern city of Cairns is a good base with a lot of tourist infrastructure to begin to explore.
Although you should be fine with English, this part of Australia does in fact speak many different tongues. Many remote communities will speak native aboriginal languages. The Torres Straight islands can speak Kalaw Lagaw Ya, which belongs to the Pama–Nyungan languages found in Papua New Guinea as well as Creole English.
Travelling around the North Queensland region is best accomplished by car. From Townsville heading North there are many picnic areas, swimming facilities, and national parks only accessible by car. An example of such places include Crystal Creek, Paluma, Mission Beach, as well as the northern beaches of Cairns. The Atherton Tablelands also becomes available for you to explore at your own pace.
Hire cars are readily available in both Townsville and Cairns, with one way hires available (sometimes with a substantial fee, so remember to make sure).
Roads are generally of good condition, with the Bruce Highway providing the primary link to North Queensland with access to the coastal towns. Some dirt roads do exist near particular attractions so checking your hire car insurance policy would be worth while.
Fuel is generally easy to come by along the highways. If driving between Townsville and Cairns and the many attractions in between, fuel is available at towns such as Ingham and Tully. Cash, credit card and bank cards are generally all accepted, and many of the fuel stations are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- Cape York Peninsula
- Crystal Cascades
- Daintree Rainforest
- Gulf Country
- Tablelands Region
- Wet Tropics of Queensland - a UNESCO World Heritage site
Saltwater Crocodiles are very common in certain portions of northern Queensland; the species general range extends from Rockhampton to the Torres Strait, along with the rest of northern Australia. Population sizes vary depending on the area, but it is wise to avoid swimming in any rivers or lagoons unless they are known to be safe (signposted for swimming). Read warning signs carefully.
In summer months (Oct-May) don't swim in the ocean or estuaries without a stinger suit due to the risk of fatal jellyfish stings. They especially inhabit in shallow water near beaches.