16 days in Tropical North Queensland & Atherton Itinerary

16 days in Tropical North Queensland & Atherton Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Queensland visit planner

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Route & dates

16 days in Tropical North Queensland & Atherton Itinerary

Start: Melbourne
Fly:  3​h 30​min
1
Cairns
— 4 nights
bus:  30​min
2
Palm Cove
— 4 nights
Drive:  2​h 30​min
3
Cape Tribulation
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
4
Atherton
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h
5
Mission Beach
— 3 nights
+3
bus + foot + shuttle + Fly:  9​h
End: Melbourne

4
nights
Cairns

A neat, cosmopolitan city of shaded plazas and laid-back neighborhoods, Cairns serves as a popular base for exploration of the surrounding region and the Great Barrier Reef, as well as a center for watersport activities like surfing or waterskiing.
Head to Rusty's Market and Cairns Art Galleryfor some retail therapy. Kids will appreciate attractions like Muddy's Playground and Nudey Beach. Spend the 10th (Fri) wandering through the wild on a nature and wildlife tour. Spend the 9th (Thu) among aquatic life with a scuba or snorkeling tour. And it doesn't end there: trek along Esplanade Boardwalk, brush up on your military savvy at The Australian Armour & Artillery Museum, view the masterpieces at Underart Gallery, and relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas.

To see other places to visit, ratings, maps, and other tourist information, read Cairns tour itinerary planner.

Melbourne to Cairns is an approximately 6-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a train. Plan for a bit warmer temperatures traveling from Melbourne in January, with highs in Cairns at 37°C and lows at 28°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Sun) to allow enough time to take a bus to Palm Cove.

Things to do in Cairns

Outdoors Wildlife Tours
Find places to stay Jan 8 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Esplanade Boardwalk ©
Esplanade Boardwalk

4
nights
Palm Cove

Palm Cove ©
A small community of about 1,200 people, Palm Cove sits beside the clear blue waters of the South Pacific.
Family-friendly places like Palm Cove Beach and Trinity Beach will thrill your kids. Escape the urban bustle at Hartley's Crocodile Adventures and Earl Hill. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Palm Cove: Kuranda (Australian Butterfly Sanctuary, Birdworld Kuranda, & more). Next up on the itinerary: view the masterpieces at Village Gallery, browse the different shops at Smithfield Shopping Centre, kick back and relax at Ellis Beach, and stroll through Yorkeys Knob Beach.

You can plan Palm Cove trip in no time by asking Inspirock to help create your itinerary.

Palm Cove is just a short distance from Cairns. In January, daytime highs in Palm Cove are 37°C, while nighttime lows are 28°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Thu) so you can drive to Cape Tribulation.

Things to do in Palm Cove

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Kuranda, Trinity Beach, Smithfield Shopping Centre, Yorkeys Knob Beach, Ellis Beach
Find places to stay Jan 12 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures ©
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures
Palm Cove Beach ©
Palm Cove Beach
Trinity Beach ©
Trinity Beach

2
nights
Cape Tribulation

Cape Tribulation ©
A lush headland that's part of the forested Daintree Region, Cape Tribulation was so named by Lieutenant--later Captain--Cook in 1770, when his ship ran aground in the area.
On the 17th (Fri), kick back and relax at Myall Beach, then stroll through Cape Tribulation Beach, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Thornton Beach.

Make your Cape Tribulation itinerary with Inspirock to find out what to see and where to go.

Traveling by car from Palm Cove to Cape Tribulation takes 2.5 hours. January in Cape Tribulation sees daily highs of 37°C and lows of 28°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 18th (Sat) so you can travel to Atherton.

Things to do in Cape Tribulation

Outdoors Parks Beaches
Find places to stay Jan 16 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Thornton Beach ©
Thornton Beach
Myall Beach ©
Myall Beach
Cape Tribulation Beach ©
Cape Tribulation Beach

2
nights
Atherton

Atherton ©
Atherton is a town and locality on the Atherton Tablelands within the Tablelands Region, Far North Queensland, Australia. Kick off your visit on the 18th (Sat): steep yourself in history at Historic Village Herberton, then get answers to all your questions at The Bat Hospital Visitor Centre, then learn more about the world around you at The Crystal Caves, and finally identify plant and animal life at Cathedral Fig Tree. Here are some ideas for day two: admire the sheer force of Nandroya Falls, then look for all kinds of wild species at Granite Gorge Nature Park, and then browse the exhibits of Tolga Woodworks Gallery & Cafe.

For other places to visit, where to stay, reviews, and more tourist information, go to the Atherton sightseeing planning website .

Traveling by car from Cape Tribulation to Atherton takes 3 hours. Expect a daytime high around 37°C in January, and nighttime lows around 28°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 20th (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Mission Beach.

Things to do in Atherton

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trips

Historic Village Herberton, Tolga Woodworks Gallery & Cafe, Granite Gorge Nature Park, Cathedral Fig Tree, Millaa Millaa Falls
Find places to stay Jan 18 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Granite Gorge Nature Park ©
Granite Gorge Nature Park
Historic Village Herberton ©
Historic Village Herberton
Cathedral Fig Tree ©
Cathedral Fig Tree

3
nights
Mission Beach

Gracing the coast along the Coral Sea, Mission Beach is a collection of villages that merged into one city.
Kick off your visit on the 20th (Mon): take in the exciting artwork at Helen Wiltshire Gallery and then look for gifts at The Pocket. On the 21st (Tue), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: do a tasting at Murdering Point Winery, then take the plunge with a skydiving experience, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Mission Beach.

For reviews, ratings, photos, and more tourist information, read our Mission Beach trip planner.

Traveling by car from Atherton to Mission Beach takes 2 hours. You'll set off for home on the 23rd (Thu).

Things to do in Mission Beach

Tours Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trips

The Pocket, Murdering Point Winery, Fishing Charters & Tours
Find places to stay Jan 20 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Fishing Charters & Tours
Mission Beach ©
Mission Beach
Skydiving