Mankind has forever fixated on the ecstasy of adventure, from the real life explorers who discovered distant lands, to the thrill seekers who strive to find the highest jump. Australia is a country with a landscape so diverse, any explorer will find fulfilment in its crystal waters, lush verdant forests, or its arid rocky lands.
Spread along the east coast of Australia only 40 miles apart, Cairns and Port Douglas share excellent access to Daintree Forest and the Great Barrier Reef. Both landmarks are UNESCO World Heritage Centres and the unique environment of each location lends itself to a host of discovery. Daintree Forest is the oldest surviving tropical rainforest in the world, thought to be over 165 million years old. Nature lovers will be enthralled by the abundance of plant and animal life which lives in the harmonious eco system of the forestry. Journey through the heart of the wetlands on a guided river cruise where you will site crocodiles, birds exclusive to the area, snakes and butterflies. Travel paths are in abundance, while the more courageous may be tempted to give ziplining a chance.
No adventure to the shimmering coast of Queensland can be accomplished without a trip to see the incomprehensible beauty of the Great Barrier Reef. To put it simply, the Great Barrier Reef is huge, it’s greater in size than the UK, Holland and Switzerland combined, making it the only living structure that can be seen from outer space. Within the breath-taking beauty of its waters over 1625 species of fish and 30 species of whales and dolphins can be found. Of course, diving is the most popular means of exploration here, so you can see the effervescent sea life in front of your very eyes. It should also be pointed out that sailing, paragliding and parasailing are growing in popularity as a means of obtaining a very different view of its beauty.
Did you know that Cairns is considered to be one of the ballooning capitals of the world? Wake up early and experience a balloon ride at dawn, gently drifting above the lush fields and water. Kite surf at Four Mile Beach, kayak along the Great Barrier Reef or test your mettle game fishing. With so much to see, do and experience the Cairns & Great Barrier Reef regions are immensely popular and we recommend planning in advance to get the most out of everything. Of course, if you’re in the model of your forefathers and enjoy the mystique of the unknown and the challenge of discovery, Queensland is certainly right for you.
Where to stay
Silky Oaks Lodge
Ideally positioned between both the UNESCO sites of Daintree Forest and the Great Barrier Reef, Silky Oaks Lodge is warm and inviting with a horde of activities available for the adventurer. Explore the Daintree National Park and its abundance of wildlife and plant life on guided rainforest walks and harmonious picnics. Pick up the speed on a quad biking expedition or take to horseback catered to all skill ranges.
Thala Beach Nature Reserve
Located 32 miles north of Cairns, Thala Beach Nature Reserve is an advanced Eco Lodge on a dreamy 7 mile stretch of golden beach. Forget the formalities and jump straight into an exhilarating list of activities to help you get acquainted with the landscape. Jungle surfing, white water rafting and a hot air balloon journey are just a taste of the activities available. Sea kayaking is a particular favourite as it often includes sightings of turtles, stingrays, dolphins and dugongs.
The fact that you’re on an adventure shouldn’t detract from the comfort and style of the hotel you’re staying in. Lizard Island is on its own secluded island, with a national park that covers 1,013 hectares. While its rooms are suitably stylish and it’s dining of the highest five star quality, its experiences are just as qualified, incorporating night dives and paddle ski tours.