With two World heritage areas, the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics at your disposal, the ingredients are in place to serve up the ultimate adventure. Much of the adventure along The Tropical Coast is free, whether it’s venturing off road to discover the local swimming hole, hiking through rainforest for a view of the Great Barrier Reef or an encounter with a cassowary on the beach.
The Tropical Coast is a driving experience in its own right. With so many pictures to see; quaint villages, interesting agricultural crops, and stunning vistas, just cruising through the region and exploring its many side roads is an adventure.
This is the land of the mighty: Bartle Frere is Queensland’s tallest mountain; Hinchinbrook Island is Australia’s largest island national park; the Misty Mountains wilderness walking tracks are Australia’s first network of long distance hiking and Mountain Biking trails in a high- altitude rainforest environment; the Great Barrier Reef is the world’s biggest reef; at 268 metres, Wallaman Falls is Australia’s tallest single drop waterfall. No doubt this is a big menu!
Hard-core adrenalin seekers might test their mettle on a spiralling 60-second 200km/h free fall from 14,000 feet before the parachute opens and you float down to the sand of Mission Beach. Stay inside a plane for a scenic flight over amazing Hinchinbrook Channel, or maybe swoop over the rainforest covered mountains to an exclusive beach picnic location in a helicopter.
Camping is a low-cost way of touring the region with plenty of national parks and private camping grounds to choose from. Spend the night on an island, in the rainforest, within earshot of a waterfall or right on the beach. A night under the stars is the perfect end to a day of adventure.
hit the throttle on a jet ski and head for Dunk Island to explore its beaches or ride like the wind on a blo- kart skimming along the sand on the ocean’s edge. Get a gang together and play a serious game of hide and seek in the hills, just don’t get tagged by the small projectiles containing bright paint.
Of course, the adventure can be easier. Cruise to one of the many islands and reefs to snorkel or dive with colourful fish, giant clams and reef sharks. Or maybe it’s a day at the local markets, or researching memorabilia at one of the historic Queenslander pubs. Lunch or dinner at a beachside cafe, local pub or restaurant will always offer up a new adventure for your tastebuds.
Feel like a fish? Let’s chase a majestic billfish, sneak up on your first barramundi in the Hinchinbrook Channel at Lucinda, or feel the pull of the line as a mackerel snaps your bait. Adventures continue in the late afternoon as you boast to new friends in the bullring at a beach side caravan park about the big one you brought home.
Push your physical boundaries by hurtling through the rainforest on a mountain bike, or just sit up and casually ride the new foreshore trail in Cardwell. The Paluma Push is an annual mountain bike adventure through the World Heritage rainforest from Paluma to Hidden Valley, near Townsville. Try the gentle Musgravea track featuring a forest of fan palms and creeks in Djiru National Park at Mission Beach, exciting trails at Cardwell’s Forest Drive or Cochable Creek up the Tully Gorge.
With its record-breaking rainfall, the Tully region is world renowned for white-water rafting. For a more sedate pace try kayaking along a pretty rainforest creek where Ulysses butterflies add a flash of electric blue to the green landscape.
It’s the size of the activity menu that will impress and much of it can be done at your pace. There are charter guides and information centres that will create an itinerary that you can consume at your own pace, or perhaps a little faster at 200kph!
Wallaman Falls - Tallest Single Drop in Australia - - Photo Courtesy of @micksestro
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