A Solo Road Trip Adventure across Tropical North Queensland
I had been to North Queensland a few times, but always in March when the rainy season wasn’t over. September is a good time of the year to travel to far North Queensland. It marks the beginning of Spring, and right after the peak season, it is not as busy as during the winter months of July and August.
It was ideal for time and weather, with daily temperatures around 27-32°C and cooler nights at 16-18°C. Having ten days of sunshine in a row has been the best reward I could ever have in North Queensland. So I was so thankful I could visit and enjoy the rainforest region in Queensland with day trips from Cairns. Here is a recap of a 2-weeks-solo-trip adventure around Tropical North Queensland.
Cairns – Relax before hitting the road.
Cairns was the gateway for my road trip to North Queensland. Spending a few days relaxing and preparing for my Solo Road Trip was an excellent opportunity to rest from the long-haul flight from Europe to Australia and recover from jet lag. I was happy to stay with the locals in Cairns and relax in a natural home.
Camping Solo in Tropical North Queensland
I have been travelling alone this time with a colourful Jucy Crib campervan, a small campervan ideal for solo travellers. I have always wanted to try solo camping, and I couldn’t have picked a better destination for a solo camping trip. This is a recap of what I have done on this ten-day road trip around North Tropical Queensland.
Cape Tribulation – where the reef meets the rainforest
I loved Cape Tribulation. As you know, it is completely cut off from civilisation and electricity is produced by power generators, so no mobile phone services and internet for a few days can be frustrating, but at the same time, it allows you to find a new dimension, reconnect with nature and ultimately let it go. I enjoyed the time there. I walked along the beach at sunrise and sunset; I walked alone in the forest day and night (in a group), tasted tropical fruits, and had a bit of adventure.
Jungle Surfing in the Daintree Forest
During my Cape Tribulation stay, I was lucky enough to make unique encounters with wild Cassowaries, rare to spot in the wild. I stepped out of my comfort zone and tried to overcome my fear of heights. I went on a Jungle Surfing Tour and swang through the dense forest canopy of the Daintree National Park. Read on about my experience with Jungle Surfing in Queensland.
Port Douglas – Snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef
I am happy to have picked a trip that suited me this time. I don’t feel comfortable on boats, as I usually start feeling dizzy. The same goes for snorkelling and swimming; it makes me feel dizzy. I have been lucky, not only because of the sea conditions. The water was calm, and we had a smooth cruising, but also because of this Eco Snorkelling Tour from Port Douglas to Low Isles.
Atherton Tablelands – Landscapes like canvas
The second part of my solo trip in North Tropical Queensland was focused on the Atherton Tablelands, including the Mareeba wetlands, Malanda, Yungaburra and the waterfalls regions. The beauty and the diversity of the landscapes blew me away.
I had planned two days, but it was too short to do justice to this fantastic area. Unfortunately, I couldn’t extend it, but I recommend planning a three-day road trip across the Atherton Tablelands to make the most of this region.
4WD Road Trip Adventure – The Bloomfield Track to Cooktown
This had been on my list for a long time. But I was not sure whether I could do it on my own. Now that I have experienced it, I am happy I haven’t done it alone. The Bloomfield track is a very challenging 4WD route. Even the locals find it strenuous to drive it, and during the wet season, it is hazardous because the dirt roads become slippery and may get flooded by heavy rain. Thanks to our guide, Kathy, we had a fantastic time on a four-wheel drive tour to Cooktown.
Cooktown – A lesson learnt about life and love
Last but not least, The Bama Way Tour with Aboriginal Elder Willie Gordon has been one of my Solo Trip highlights in Tropical North Queensland. It was the reason why I travelled to Cooktown in the first place. Due to flooding, I had to cancel my tour in 2011, and I was happy I could finally meet Willie in person and go on his fabulous tour.
I had heard a lot about him, and I can tell you this is the best Aboriginal tour I have ever had in 10 years of travel. It’s different because it goes beyond the Aboriginal Dreamtime stories and cultural background you usually hear in all Aboriginal tours. This is about life, love and, first and foremost, about people.
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How to organize your road trip around North Queensland
The best way to organize your road trip in North Queensland is to hire a car in Cairns. Straight after landing at the airport is the easiest way to go.
Here are all the resources I used for my road trip planning.
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First published in 2014, last updated in July 2023