Archive for April, 2019

Cairns to Great Barrier Reef – A road trip in Queensland

Thursday, April 11th, 2019

The Great Barrier Reef Drive – from Cairns to Cape Tribulation

Get ready to take one of the best road trips in the world which will let you see many attractions, mesmerizing views and one-of-a-kind experiences. Spot crocodiles along with other wonders of the wildlife as well as many World Heritage Sites on this great trip from Cairns. The Great Barrier Reef is one of the top tourist destinations in the world as it’s the largest coral reef on earth.

This 143 km coastal drive will start from Daintree National Park or Cairns and can be completed in 6 hours. You will pass through the oldest rainforest in the world while driving along the Great Barrier Reef.

The best time to visit the Great Barrier Reef is between the months of June and November which also is the peak season in terms of tourism, thanks to the absence of showers. Otherwise, people love to visit the reef all year round as its beauty shines through all the seasons. From November to May, it’s the stinger season there when you have to wear a stinger suit and swim in stinger enclosures. Carry a good phone or camera to click memorable pictures along this scenic route as well as fine sunblock and waterproof pouches for the sunny beaches.

You don’t really need a map to drive on the Great Barrier Reef Drive, also, the road is in a superior condition. If you are on a tight budget then you can spend the nights camping under the stars, giving a break to the expensive hotels and resorts. Make sure that you obtain a camping permit from the government and get familiar with the rules for setting up camps in Queensland.

Cities that would act as gateways to the Great Barrier Reef include Cairns, Port Douglas, Airlie Beach and Townsville. You can start the drive from Cairns city center, a location where your taste buds will be in for a treat. Apart from boats, car is one of the best modes to explore the Great Barrier Reef as it’ll let you visit all the major attractions of the region.

Some information on the Great Barrier Reef

Generating a good amount of revenue for the nation every year, almost 2 million tourists pay a visit to the 2,300 km stretch of the Great Barrier Reef, in the Coral Sea on the north-eastern coast of Australia. If you want to go on a vacation with your family, especially, with the kids then this is an ideal destination for you.

Wildlife lovers are in for a treat as this age-old ecosystem is home to 30 species of whales, dolphins as well as porpoises along with hundreds of species of birds and numerous species of sea snakes. One of the original Seven Natural Wonders of the World, the reef serves as a breeding ground for many species of turtles. The rich wildlife on the reef also includes more than a 1000 species of fish, accounting to 10% of the fish population of the whole world.

Tourists can indulge in the many aquatic sports such as snorkelling, diving, sailing, etc and experience what’s it like to be at the most photographed beach of Australia, Whitehaven Beach. Holidaymakers love to go for air tours to get a bird’s eye view of the natural wonder that’s 2000 metres deep.

Drive from Cairns to Port Douglas to experience the Barrier Reef

Distance 68 km
Total time 1 hour 8 minutes
Best route Captain Cook Highway/State Route 44

Cairns is the most preferred location for starting an adventure around the reef but you can also begin the road trip from a location like Brisbane, Mackay or Gold Coast. First, you must discover Cairns, its Botanic Gardens and other experiences it has to offer, such as a colourful nightlife and adventure sports. The vibe to Cairns is almost cosmopolitan with a majority of the tourists being Europeans and Americans. We suggest enjoying a gambling session at the casino or indulging in some souvenir shopping at the night markets! In Cairns, you will get to eat all sorts of cuisines suiting all types of price ranges. When in Cairns, do not forget to try boating in a glass-bottomed boat.

On the contrary, Port Douglas is a laid back destination where you can find many luxurious resorts, ideal for a tropical vacation or honeymoon. Interestingly, Port Douglas is the one and only place in the world where two World Heritage Sites meet, namely, the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest. This port is one of the best places to see the coral reef, many prefer going on a cruise from Port Douglas or Cairns or Airlie Beach to fully absorb the stunning beauty of the reef.

From Port Douglas to Cape Tribulation

Distance 85 km
Total time 1 hour 51 minutes
Best route Mossman Daintree Road and Cape Tribulation Road

Driving around the great coral reef, from Port Douglas, you can visit the Mossman Gorge for some refreshing swimming experience in the Daintree National Park’s Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. The last destination on the Great Barrier Reef tour is an ecotourism destination in the northeast of Queensland, Cape Tribulation, a distant headland in Australia. You can visit the attractive Cape Tribulation any time of the day.

Book a comfortable car rental in Cairns to go for this pleasant drive.