The Great Tropical Drive
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The Great Tropical Drive

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Cairns - Cooktown - Mareeba - Undara - Charters Towers - Townsville - Ingham - Tully/Mission Beach - Innisfail - Cairns


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Drive from Cairns to Townsville, through World Heritage-listed reef and rainforests to golden outback savannah. On this journey you won't miss an inch of Queensland's tropical splendour. Cruise the Great Barrier Reef and trek the ancient Daintree Rainforest. Connect with Aboriginal culture as you travel north to the remote frontier of Cape Tribulation. Explore historic gold mining towns and the lush orchards and plantations of the Tropical Tablelands. Day trip to Magnetic, Dunk and Hinchinbrook Islands and relax in resort towns like Port Douglas and Mission Beach. This journey has a short 4WD section, with an alternative road for conventional vehicles.

At a glance:

  • Cairns – Port Douglas (1 hour)
  • Port Douglas – Cooktown (3 hours)
  • Cooktown – Mareeba (4.5 hours)
  • Mareeba – Ravenshoe (1 hour)
  • Ravenshoe – Undara Volcanic National Park (2.5 hours)
  • Undara Volcanic National Park – Charters Towers (5.5 hours)
  • Charters Towers – Townsville (1.5 hours)
  • Townsville – Ingham (1.5 hours)
  • Ingham – Cardwell (0.5 hours)
  • Cardwell – Tully (0.5 hours)
  • Tully – Innisfail (0.5 hours)
  • Innisfail – Cairns (1 hour)