Most Canadians and Americans when visiting Australia usually opt to visit the Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland. This region is the home of 2 World Heritage-listed sites the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest (the oldest rainforest in the world).
There are many things to know about this region before considering a trip up to this area.
1/ What season are you going? … The Tropical Northern Queensland region is tropical, to say the least. During the months of Nov- April ish this is the wet season. This means tropical storms can happen even cyclones. If you can not handle humidity then this is not the place for you during this time of year. The wet season also brings out the box jellyfish or stingers as we Aussies call them. There are nets in certain areas on beaches and you are advised to only stick to swimming in these nets. Out on the Barrier Reef itself, the tour companies usually either hire or supply stinger suits for your safety when swimming. That being said the wet season is usually the best time to visit the rest of the southern states in Australia.
2/ How long do you wish to stay in this region? I would recommend 5 days at a very very minimum. It is quite easy to spend over 2 weeks in this area and still have plenty to do.
3/ What things interest you? A day out on the Barrier Reef, a full day to the Rainforest? Aboriginal Culture? Whitewater Rafting? Food and Wine Tours? Kayaking? Holding a Koala and hand-feeding a Kangaroo?
Beach relaxing? Cane Toad racing? Nocturnal Wildlife spotting?
4/ What other regions of Australia would you like to combine with your trip? Cairns is the gateway to many other areas in this region and it is quite easy to combine places like Sydney, Adelaide, Ayers Rock (Uluru), Melbourne, The Whitsunday Islands, and Perth into your itinerary.
5/ What type of accommodation would you like? This region is very much known for self-contained apartments and in Cairns itself, there is also a mix of normal hotels. There are many award-winning restaurants to dine out at and also some cheaper options like food halls plus you can also cook or BBQ for yourself.
6/ Do you wish to self-drive? I honestly would not recommend this as most of the tour companies will collect you from your hotel and if you have a rental car it is just sitting there and costing you money. When traveling to this region especially the Rainforest, you really do need to be on a guided tour to get the true experience. Otherwise, it is just another walk through some tropical plants.
When deciding what to look for when visiting Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef Queensland Australia please contact us by clicking the link below.