We are so lucky to live in such a gorgeous region and there is nothing better than exploring with your family. From beaches to mountains, from reef to rainforest, it doesn’t get much better than this. It comes as no surprise that many locals spend their weekends camping, hiking, or fishing with their families, but with so many spots to choose from, where do you even start?


1. Fitzroy Island

Fitzroy Island has some gorgeous views - check out this one overlooking Nudey Beach.

Dreamy views at Fitzroy Island. Image courtesy of Tourism and Events Queensland / Chris McLennan.

Sleep next to the Great Barrier Reef on beautiful Fitzroy Island. Watch the sunrise from the island, go snorkelling, hike up to the lighthouse or have a BBQ at the beach… ahhhh the possibilities.

2. King Reef Resort
You’ll find these pet-friendly camping grounds right on the beachfront of the gorgeous Kurrimine Beach. Take a stroll, hire a family bike or play on the waterslide on-site. The family certainly won’t get bored at King Reef Resort.

3. Frankland Islands
Camping is available on High and Russell Islands for those seeking a bush-camping experience. Both sites are accessible by private boat and have limited facilities. The lush vegetation, pristine beaches, and diverse wildlife of the islands will make your trip one to remember.

4. Goldsborough Valley
The campsite in the green area of Goldsborough Valley has all the facilities you could ask for, including BBQs and a toilet block. You’ll find the Mulgrave River winding through the rainforest where the water is slow moving, making it ideal for swimming or kayaking.

5. Emu Creek Station Homestead
Explore the history and diverse wildlife of the Emu Creek Station Homestead, an accessible piece of the Queensland Outback. Go for a bushwalk, cruise down the river on a small boat, go bird watching and enjoy your time away from the city noise.

6. Granite Gorge
Discover an outback landscape at Granite Gorge in Mareeba. Not only is it a great camping spot, but also home to the Mareeba Rock Wallabies. Enjoy spotting unusually shaped boulders, finding dinosaur footprints, viewing abundant wildlife and ending the day by a warm campfire.

7. Davies Creek
Sleep under the stars at a campsite positioned among huge granite boulders, located close to the clear waters of Davies Creek. The crisp, cool water is perfect for cooling off in on a warm day. Do note, however, that facilities are limited, although there are toilets on site.

8. Noah Beach
Nestled within Cape Tribulation, Noah Beach campground is located in coastal lowland rainforest adjacent to the pristine beach. The grounds are located in a shaded area, shielded from the harsh sun. Just remember the campsite is closed during the wet season from early January until Good Friday.

Relax and explore the daintree

Discover paradise right on your doorstep. Image courtesy of Tourism and Events Queensland / Brad Newton

9. Lync-Haven Rainforest Retreat
Positioned in the secluded, peaceful Daintree Rainforest, Lync-Haven has something for everyone. Visitors have the opportunity to see snakes, kangaroos, crocodiles, and lizards up close. Popular nearby activities include rainforest horse rides, scenic helicopter flights and Daintree River cruises.

10. Bustard Downs
Located near Mt Molloy, Bustard Downs allows you to stay on a family-run organic beef farm. Some activities to try during your stay include bird watching, bushwalking, fishing, swimming, and most of all, relaxing.

11. Woodleigh Station
If you’re looking for a slice of the country lifestyle, you’ll find this working cattle station near Ravenshoe is perfect. Discover open dry forests, swamplands, sandy riverbanks and winding waterways at Woodleigh. And keep your eyes peeled for native animals that frequent the area.


1. Speewah Conservation Park
Difficulty: Easy – Moderate
You’ll find many trails branching off Speewah camping area, including the Douglas Track, Smiths Trailheads, Wright’s Lookout and Glacier Rock. These trails wind through the rainforest and range in length from short to half-day walks.

2. Behana Gorge
Difficulty: Easy – Moderate
This 6.4 km walk is often referred to as a “secret” spot, offering a steep climb to tranquil surroundings and wonderful swimming holes to cool off in once you reach the end.

3. Fitzroy Island Hiking Trails
Difficulty: Moderate
Fitzroy is home to plenty of great hikes including the Summit Walk, Nudey Beach Walk, Lighthouse Walk and the Secret Garden Walk. Explore the lush greenery under the rainforest’s canopy, take in incredible ocean views and discover Nudey Beach, recently voted the Best Beach in Australia.


Discover the cascading falls that are Emerald Creek Falls. Image courtesy of Tourism and Events Queensland / Karl Seelig

4. Emerald Creek Falls
Difficulty: Moderate
From the car park you’ll find a track leading you all the way to the falls. Be rewarded with gorgeous views of the falls and the valley across the Atherton Tablelands.

5. The Arrows
Difficulty: Moderate
Popular with locals, the Arrow tracks wind up Mount Whitfield with plenty of stairs to climb and viewpoints to stop at along the way. There are four Arrow tracks to try – the popular Red Arrow, the fast-paced Yellow Arrow, the quiet Green Arrow and the longer Blue Arrow.

6. Dinner Falls Circuit
Difficulty: Moderate
If you’re visiting Mount Hypipamee Crater, take this circuit back to the car park for a little adventure. Along the way you’ll discover the beautiful Dinner Falls, diverse vegetation, and a number of wildlife species.

7. Earl Hill
Difficulty: Moderate – Hard
This track will take you to the top of Earl Hill where you’re greeted with stunning views of Trinity Beach and the nearby Yorkeys Knob Marina.

8. Walsh’s Pyramid
Difficulty: Hard
The iconic Walsh’s Pyamid standing proudly near Gordonvale is hard to miss on a drive south. The mountain itself stands 922m tall and is quite steep, but with regular breaks and plenty of water, you’ll be rewarded with spectacular 360-degree views at the summit.



Catch your own dinner at one of the various fishing spots in FNQ.

Drop a line and try your luck! Image courtesy of Tourism and Events Queensland / Tom Strickland.

1. Trinity Inlet
This inlet is around 9km in length and provides various places to drop a line. In the summer months, you’ll catch golden snapper, grunter, mangrove jack and barramundi while during the winter time you’ll catch trevally and queenfish.

2. Palm Cove
Before becoming famous for their five-star hotels and restaurants, Palm Cove was known for its fishing.
Drop a line from the jetty and you may just catch mackerel, barramundi, trevally, queenfish, or shark. There are even smaller species for kids to catch, including whiting and yellowtail.

3. Thomatis Creek
The banks of Thomatis Creek at Holloways Beach are lined with mangroves and frequented by many species of marine life, including bream, flathead, shark, stingray, and the odd barramundi.

4. Tully River
Tully River is teeming with mangroves and best fished after a few days of rain. Catch mangrove jack and barramundi year-round and trevally, queenfish and salmon in the winter.

5. Dickson Inlet
This inlet in Port Douglas is home to some of the best fishing charters in Cairns, as well as plenty of bream, flathead, grunter, and the odd barramundi.


All this exploring will make you hungry. Check out our top family-friendly places to grab a bite to eat in Cairns and in Port Douglas!


Feature image courtesy of Tourism and Events Queensland / Andrew Watson.