Just an hour to the north of Townsville the arid landscape that has predominated since Bundaberg transforms into dark green plateaus shrouded in cloud. There’s superlative scenery at Wallaman Falls, inland from Ingham, and also near Cairns as the slopes of the coastal mountains rise up to front the Bellenden Ker Range. Forests here once formed a continuous belt, and though logging has thinned them to a disjointed necklace of national parks, it still seems that almost every side-track off the highway leads to a waterhole or falls surrounded by jungle – this is where it really pays to have your own vehicle. There are also islands to explore, including the wilds of Hinchinbrook, as well as the Mission Beach area between Tully and Innisfail, where you might find regular work on fruit plantations or further opportunities to slump on the sand.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Australia features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

The rebirth of Perth: how the city got cool

The rebirth of Perth: how the city got cool

Sun-soaked and healthy? Perhaps. A decent gateway to Western Australia? Definitely. But a cool place to spend a few days? Until recently Perth just couldn’t …

27 Apr 2017 • Helen Ochyra insert_drive_file Article
12 tips for backpacking Australia

12 tips for backpacking Australia

Backpacking Australia will almost certainly exceed your expectations. It’s not just that the places you’ll see will be more stunning than you had imagine…

09 Mar 2017 • Ros Walford insert_drive_file Article
26 awe-inspiring architectural wonders

26 awe-inspiring architectural wonders

From ancient temples to hyper-modern skyscrapers, these are just a few of the world's most incredible architectural wonders. Whether you're looking to wander l…

01 Feb 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month