Gateway to the far north, Mission Beach is the place to let your worries float away and get used to the relaxed pace of tropical time. Lounge around by the pool, or head out across the road to the main Mission Beach, filled with coconut trees to climb and warm shallows waters to relax in.
If you're a family of adrenaline junkies, hop a raft for some adrenaline pumping white water rafting on the Tully River. Set right in the heart of world heritage rainforest, this white water experience is perfect for anyone aged 13 or older - definitely beats sitting in front of an iPad during the school holidays!
If the thought of rushing down a river still doesn't tickle your need for adventure, you can jump out of a plane! The tandem skydive means anyone aged 12 and up can safely experience this one-in-a-lifetime skydive that ends right on the shores of Mission Beach, with an instructor guiding the jump from start to finish. What better way to view the stunning reefs and beaches of far north Queensland than from the air?
Head to the centre of all the action up north in Cairns. The best location to base yourself when experiencing the wonder of the Great Barrier Reef, Cairns is a city that makes you want to stay as long as you can to do, see, and taste all that's on offer!
Of course, Cairns is the place to explore the Great Barrier Reef - check it out by boat, by diving or even by helicopter to soak up a bird's eye view of the majestic reef. Get up close to the with a visit to the unmissable Green Island, one of the small cays in the reef that's filled with lush rainforests, perfect snorkelling opportunities, and filled with wildlife for those who prefer to keep their activities onshore.
If you missed your chance to take the leap at Mission Beach, never fear! You can bungy jump into the heart of the rainforest, with various drops suitable for ages 10 and up... plus, you get $40 off your jump when you book through YHA!
Keep it lowkey after all the adventure with a wander through the ancient Daintree rainforest, where you can explore at your own pace, or wander up to the idyllic Palm Cove for unbeatable sunrises and pink-sky dusks over the water. For all your evening snacking requirements, the Cairns Night Markets are the place to be - held daily from 4-10pm.
Port Douglas combines small town charm and community with the intrinsic sense of adventure you'll find up north. One day you'll be enjoying buskers and performers on the main Macrossan Street, the next, headed up the skyrail into the depths of the Daintree.
Situated at the northern tip of the Great Dividing Range, discover a magical East Coast sunset right in the heart of the Coral Sea before taking a dip at the famous Four-Mile Beach. You can explore the northern Great Barrier Reef from Port Douggy, where you'll be right at the edge of where the reef meets the open water, letting you meet little Nemo clownfish all the way to huge stingrays and friendly Maori Wrasse.
If staying on land is more your style, mingle with cassowaries and crocodiles at the Port Douglas Wildlife Habitat. There's plenty of chances to cuddle koalas or feed kangaroos, and you'll make some friends with native lorkieets and galahs looking for a ride on your shoulder. If you're up for it, you can even cuddle a python!