Unexpected rainforest experiences in North Queensland

From native wildlife to waterfalls, Tropical North Queensland’s rainforests are a natural playground, covering almost 900,000 hectares of leafy, rejuvenating vegetation. Beyond forest walks and trails, there’s a range of unique and out-of-the-box activities in the region that will give you a different perspective of the oldest rainforest in the world.

Here are some unexpected rainforest experiences worth adding to your to-do list for a truly memorable holiday.

Embark on a fascinating food journey
Enjoy a unique food and wine experience in Port Douglas with Brett’s Outback Tasting Adventures. You’ll taste some of the best food and wine the Atherton Tablelands has to offer. Venture through striking landscapes, from lush rainforest to farmland to stunning ochre savanna, while tasting your way around the region’s ‘food bowl.’

Race through the rainforest
Jump onto a quad bike and explore the oldest tropical rainforest on Earth with Kuranda Rainforest Journeys. Your personal tour guide will take you through the secluded Barron Falls Estate, surrounded by World Heritage rainforest and home to the elusive cassowary.

Spot furry locals
Tick off the Australian wildlife bucket list with FNQ Nature Tours for unrivalled nature and animal encounters. Take the 4-Day Nature, Wildlife and Conservation Safari Tour and get exclusive access to the Forever Wild Tropical Wetlands Shared Earth Reserve. Spot a platypus, northern quoll, Mareeba rock wallaby, saltwater crocodile, cassowary and many more creatures to tick off your bucket list.

From the river’s perspective
Immersed under a secluded ancient rainforest canopy, experience stand-up paddle boarding through the crystalline freshwater of Mossman Gorge. This low impact adventure by Windswell will energise the body with a gentle workout as you explore the tranquil surroundings to discover the local wildlife.

Read: 101 ways to holiday in Australia: Do something epic!

View from the canopy
Take a walk through the clouds at Mamu Tropical Skywalk and have the exhilarating perspective of viewing the World Heritage Rainforest from high above. With a 350-metre-long elevated walkway through the canopy, a cantilever viewing platform, a 37-metre observation tower and more than 1200 metres of walking tracks, you’ll have plenty of time to absorb the beautiful country of the MaMu traditional owners.

Glide down the rainforest river
Go River Drift Snorkelling with Back Country Bliss – it’s swimming, snorkelling, floating and a rainforest walk all combined! Step into the cool, crystal-clear river water in the Daintree Rainforest and drift with the current as you explore life under the water’s surface and ride gentle rapids under the rainforest canopy.

Volunteer to help the rainforest’s inhabitants
Make a difference today and go on a 10-day wildlife conservation program with No Limit Adventures, exploring World Heritage rainforest and reef to see unique wildlife. As a wildlife conservation volunteer, you will be intimately involved in learning about and collecting data related to spotted-tailed quolls living in North Queensland, helping out with turtles on Fitzroy Island and assisting with the war on plastic pollution in our oceans.

Read: Queensland’s top five Airbnbs

Get an adrenaline rush on the rapids
For an exhilarating outdoor adventure, take on Foaming Fury’s new pack rafting tour on the Russell River. Under the leadership of highly trained guides, navigate the rapids in single person pack rafts taking in the lush backdrop of Wooroonooran National Park. The tour is three adrenalin-filled hours of white-water action on continuous rapids.

Create a cultural connection to the land
Hunt for your supper with Walkabout Cultural Adventures. The Kuku Yalanji people have used the rainforest as their supermarket for tens of thousands of years. On an intimate and authentic tour experience, you can share in their ancient knowledge as you attempt to spear mud crabs and gather bush tucker.

Glide over the world’s oldest tropical rainforest
The Skyrail Rainforest Cableway offers a truly unique perspective of this ancient landscape. Marvel at the pristine jungle canopy from a gondola before descending to explore the rainforest close up.

Read: Reef, rainforest and heady tropical scents

Built by hand and completed in 1891, this amazing feat of engineering provides visitors with a scenic journey into yesteryear. Heritage-listed stations and original wooden carriages are all a part of the charm.

For more information go to cairnsgreatbarrierreef.com

Photo credit to Tourism Tropical North Queensland.

Which activities would you most like to try? Share your favourite place in FNQ in the comments section below.

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Ellie Baxter
Ellie Baxter
Writer and editor with interests in travel, health, wellbeing and food. Has knowledge of marketing psychology, social media management and is a keen observer and commentator on issues facing older Australians.
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