Borobi’s top 8 things to do in Tropical North Queensland

Home to ancient culture, World Heritage-listed wonders, and more adventure in its borders than some entire countries, it ain’t hard to see why Tropical North Queensland is considered a Mecca for one-of-a-kind experiences.

But with so many awesome things to do, where does one even start ticking off the ol’ bucket list? Thanks to Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games mascot, Borobi, we’ve got you sorted with these 8 must-dos.

1. Discover the reef

Fitzroy Island

Whether it’s a day trip or overnight adventure calling, all it takes is an easy 45-minute ferry ride from Cairns to maroon yourself on the Great Barrier Reef island known as Fitzroy.

Surrounded by coral beaches, this island is the perfect land-based alternative to the great depths of the outer Great Barrier Reef, with colourful sea life and fringing reefs all within a fin’s flip of the shore.

But if your aim is to go deeper and make the most of the underwater world that is this World Heritage-listed wonder, hop on a tour and explore these 6 Great Barrier Reef scuba diving sites off Cairns.

2. Relax and unwind in Cairns

Cairns Esplanade Lagoon

You don’t have to tell us twice! Cairns makes it all too easy to slip into relaxation mode, with massages, delicious eats, boutique shopping, and long, lazy swims at the Esplanade lagoon all in the heart of the CBD.

But if you want to up the luxury factor, familiarise yourself with these swanky spots to eat, retreat, relax and repeat.

3. Take the plunge with AJ Hackett

AJ Hackett Bungy

It’s not often koalas like to throw themselves out of the trees, but at AJ Hackett Bungy, Borobi always makes an exception.

Nothing gets the heart-pumping like bungy jumping from 50 metres high towards the natural canopy below, but combine it with sky-high views stretching over Cairns’ northern beaches and out to the Great Barrier Reef before you dive, and that makes for a plunge worth taking.

4. Make new friends while visiting the Kuranda Rainforest

Rainforestation Nature Park.

Experience the rainforest from a new perspective when you hop aboard the amphibious World War II Army Duck at Rainforestation Nature Park.

During this 45-minute trek, you’ll traverse land and water as your Duck Captain takes you on a grand tour of the Kuranda Rainforest, pointing out fascinating plants, exotic tropical fruits and local wildlife.

Afterwards, pop into the Koala and Wildlife Park to get up close and personal with some of Borobi’s mates, and don’t forget to say g’day to Jack the Ripper, the resident five-metre saltwater crocodile.

5. Glide across the treetops on Skyrail Rainforest Cableway

Skyrail Cairns

With so much greenery to cover while you’re here, the best way to see the lot is to journey through and over Australia’s World Heritage-listed Wet Tropics rainforest via the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway.

Jumping on at either the Kuranda or Smithfield terminal, the scenic journey spans across 7.5km, where you’ll move through canopy layers and soar over ancient rainforests and the spectacular Barron Gorge and Falls on a 1.5-hour one-way or 2.5-hour return trip.

6. Climb aboard the Kuranda Scenic Rail

Kuranda Scenic Rail

For a more on-the-ground kind of experience, choo-choo-choose the Kuranda Scenic Rail, where you’ll wind your way through the dense rainforest framed by rugged mountains and waterfalls cascading into deep ravines along the iconic Cairns-Kuranda railway.

Departing daily from both ends on a two-hour, one-way scenic trip, not only are the views sure to impress, but the refurbished original red-wooden heritage carriages and historical decor are a highlight in themselves, giving you a sense of old world charm and class.

7. Learn ancient traditions at Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park

Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park

Go back in time to when Australia first began to take shape, and discover the rich history of one of the world’s oldest living cultures at Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park.

Day and night you’ll find Tjupukai sharing ancient traditions of the local Djabugay people, bringing them back to life with their interactive experiences: learn to “shake a leg” when you join in on a traditional dance performance, master the art of boomerang throwing, make a fire without a matchstick (or lighter), or go on a guided bush walk to learn about the traditional uses of the region’s native plants.

If you want to delve further into the local cultures who’ve called this land home for over 40,000 years, check out these 5 magical Indigenous tours around Cairns.

8. A long, lazy weekend in Palm Cove

Alamanda Palm Cove

Only one word comes to mind when Borobi thinks of the idyllic stretch of sand that is Palm Cove north of Cairns… INDULGE.

We’re talking beachfront hammock hangs, spa treatments overlooking towering palm trees and the Coral Sea at the luxe Alamanda Day Spa, and fine dining at the award-winning Nu Nu Restaurant (because it would be a crime not to visit Queensland’s Regional Restaurant of the Year for 2017 – as crowned by Brisbane Times’ Good Food Guide – while you’re here).

What’s your favourite thing to do in Tropical North Queensland?

This post was originally published in 2016 and was updated on 15th February 2018.