Can you believe this is a thing now? I was reading an article this morning about how Brits chose their holidays based on Instagramability. Is that even a word?! In other words they like to vacay where they can get the best selfies for there Instagram account. This is not a bad thing, I mean we all like to holiday in amazing places, I guess it’s just a bonus if it Instagram worthy too. I saw this first hand when I visited Tropical North Queensland last month. I actually went on a holiday for once and could not believe how many tourists were visiting each place for 5 minutes max to get there token “selfie” before running off to the next location. It was a rude awakening to how powerful that little social media app Instagram has become.
So speaking of Instagram I have decided to write a blog about the 10 Most Instagramabble Spots in Tropical North Queensland because there are so many gorgeous locations to see (and get a selfie – yes I was doing it too ?) in this part of Australia.
10. Cape Tribulation
Cape Tribulation is right up the top of Tropical North Queensland. We based ourselves at Port Douglas (amazing place) so that we could explore this area easily. To drive the entire way to Cape Tribulation Beach takes almost 2 hours but the best thing to do is leave early and make it a day trip as you will be passing through the Daintree Rainforest. You don’t want to miss that. It is the oldest rainforest in the world after all. The Daintree Rainforest is estimated to be 180 million years old which is tens of millions of years older than the Amazon Rainforest.
There is one beach that you want to stop at on the way to grab a selfie and that is Cow Bay. There is a swing hanging from a palm tree that can provide lots of hours of entertainment. It is quite high and if you are a short girl it’s quite difficult to get on. I had many failed attempts and ended up with two massive bruises on my arms from rope burn. Eventually I got on my husbands shoulders and he boosted me up onto the swing. Here is the pic that I eventually got! It is much higher than it looks in the pic.
Cow Bay and Cape Tribulation beaches are the best ones in the entire area. You can’t swim in the beach due to crocodiles but they are still beautiful to visit.
9. Mossman Gorge
This place blew my mind. We spent the entire day exploring every inch of it (well tried to). The gorgeously clear water that flows between massive boulders surrounded by rainforest is just stunning. And there is no need to worry about crocs here. You can swim freely without getting eaten! Of course you have to get the token selfie sitting on the rock! It’s a short 15 minute drive from Port Douglas and once you arrive in the carpark you pay $20 for a bus to drive you up to the gorge. Otherwise it would probably take 3o minutes to walk. They ask that you take the bus as you will be walking through an indigenous community who would prefer not to be disturbed by tourists. There are lots of boardwalks to follow or you can adventure up or down stream while swimming around to cool off. I think Mossman Gorge was my favourite experience in Tropical North Queensland.
8. Port Douglas
I had only ever been to Port Douglas accidentally about 12 year earlier when I forgot to get off the bus at Palm Cove after arriving at the airport in Cairns. This was my first major holiday with my boyfriend at the time and I was pretty clueless about travel. We were even too chicken to hire a car! What’s with that? ? But anyway, 12 years later, I wanted to stay in Port Douglas for a few days because I only spent a few hours there 12 years prior when the bus driver told us to hang around until he was ready to head back down to Cairns again. I remember it being beautiful so I was keen to check it out again. It is still beautiful and a lot quieter and chilled out than Cairns. We spent four nights at the Pullman Sea Temple Resort and it was heaven. It has the best pool and buffet breakfast.
We spent every afternoon down at Rex Smeal Park watching the boats come back in from the islands as the sun set over the ocean. I highly recommend grabbing some dinner at Hemingways at the marina. The 14 hour slow cooked pork ribs and macadamia slaw was to die for.
7. Clifton Beach, Cairns
Clifton Beach is one of the nicest beaches near Cairns with probably the whitest sand in the area and lots of awesome coconut trees. There is one particular tree that hangs out on an angle towards the water which always makes for great photos. I couldn’t help but climb it. So, to add to my two rope burn bruises on my arms I had chaffing on my inner thighs from clinging onto the coconut tree for a selfie! By the end of the trip I was pretty beat up! ?
6. Ellinjaa Falls, Atherton Tablelands
Ellinjaa Falls are part of the Waterfalls Circuit in the Atherton Tablelands. It is not far from the famous Millaa Millaa Falls but in my opinion just as beautiful. It is a short walk from the car park to the bottom of the falls and a great little place to cool off. Very picturesque for photos too!
5. Millaa Millaa Falls
Millaa Millaa Falls is the most famous waterfall in the region especially after it was featured in a Herbal Essence ad a few years ago. Tourists love to jump in the water and get a selfie flipping there wet hair back just like the ad. This waterfall is the most photographed in Australia with good reason too. It is an 18 metre drop of perfectly straight water into a plunge pool. It’s very picturesque and very popular. You are lucky to get a minute to yourself here without bus loads of tourists showing up. However, it is a must see on your tropical North Queensland adventures.
4. Nucifora Tea Plantation
On the way to Waterfall Circuit (if you are coming the Babinda Boulders way) you will drive passed the Nucifora Tea Plantation. You can’t miss it from the road. There are rows up rows of perfectly planted tea. It looks stunning and yes, it is another hugely popular Instagrammable selfie spot. This was the first time I had ever seen a tea plantation and I love tea so I thought this place was great and even though the selfie has been done to death here, I had to get one too!
3. Palm Cove
I stayed in Palm Cove 12 years ago so I didn’t want to spend too much time here on this trip to Tropical North Queensland but I found myself ending up here a lot. It is just so photogenic with its gorgeous coconut tree lined bay and quiet laid back feel. The coconut trees down the south end of Palm Cove are perfect for photos and the beach here is beautiful too. There is a netted off area to swim in to save you getting eaten by crocs or stung by blue bottles etc.
2. Fairy Falls, Cairns
About 20 minutes from Cairns are Cascade Falls which is a popular swimming spot and another spot that I took a tumble on a slippery rock and got massive bruising all down the side of my thigh. But..there is a beautiful little waterfall hidden to the left of the car park. It’s about a 10 minute walk on a not very well marked track. You also have to be careful of stinging trees which sounds absolutely horrible if you touch one. Luckily I didn’t come into contact with a stinging tree while searching for Fairy Falls. I did however think that Fairy Falls was my favourite waterfall of them all in Tropical North Queensland. The is a swing at these falls which you can see in the photo below but after all the tumbles and falls and bruises that I had collected on this trip I did want to make it home alive. So after many failed attempts to get on this swing I gave up and just enjoyed this gorgeous secluded waterfall that was the first one that felt like it wasn’t over run with tourist. Hopefully I haven’t ruined that now but saying where it is! ?
1. Fitzroy Island
Last but certainly not least my number 1 most Instagrammable spot in Tropical North Queensland would have to be Fitzroy Island. After about a 45 minute boat ride from Cairns you pull up to a sandy coral cay surrounded by tropical aqua blue water. It was raining the day that we went but it was still stunningly beautiful. After jumping off the boat we headed to Nudey Beach (name only – not actually a nude beach) to get a glimpse of the 2nd place getter of Australia’s best beach.
Even on an overcast rainy day I can see what the appeal is all about. It actually felt like you were lost in paradise. I would love to return and see this place on a beautiful sunny day. I can only imagine how gorgeous it would be!
And that brings us to the end of the 10 most Instagrammable Spots in Tropical North Queensland. I had fun exploring all these magical spots and can’t wait to go back and revisit these places plus find some other gems.
Have you been to Tropical North Queensland? If so, whats your favourite spot there? I would love to know so leave a comment below! 🙂