Don't forget the sunscreen & hat!
Spring break in the USA coincides with Autumn(Fall) in Australia.
Autumn is the perfect time to visit, especially in the Tropical areas such as Far North Queensland. At this time of year most of the monsoonal rainfall has ceased & there is less likely hood of encountering cyclones & the heat that follows. Summer in Northern Australia is not called the "wet" for nothing! There is also likely to be less insect & crocodile activity, as most in tropical areas, these critters breed in summer!
Cairns is the capital of Far North Queensland & is a bustling tropical city of around 160,000 people. Many tour operators use Cairns as their base & offer everything from diving on the Great Barrier Reef to White Water rafting to Adventure Tours.
There is also a wide range of accommodation types catering for all budgets. Backpackers & overseas visitors are well catered for. Eating out is no problem as most pubs have a bistro or beer garden where you can get steaks or cafe style meals. There are also lots of restaurants & cafes to choose from. The local Returned Servicemans League(RSL) club or Bowling club are also great alternatives for good value meals but you must sign in at the desk & obey the dress rules. The Casino also offers a smorgasboard & restaurants.
The Casino is within easy walking distance from most accommodation & open 24 hours. Entry to the gaming area is for over 18's only as is consuming of alcohol. There's even a Wildlife attraction that's open during the day on the roof!
The public pool, on the harbourfront, is open all day for free & is great place to hang out during the day. It is popular with backpackers, sun lovers & families.
Some of the best features of the region are the beaches. All mainland Australian beaches are public. This means anyone can have access provided they obey the law. Nude bathing is also allowed on some allocated beaches only but it is not uncommon to see topless bathing on most beaches. There are also freshwater waterfalls in the area that attract locals & visitors alike, but check with a local first to see if they are "croc" free!
The World Heritage region of the Daintree lies to the north of Cairns. This area is bordered by the Daintree River which is a great place to take a Crocodile watching Tour but not a good place to swim!
One of the best spots is Point Tributary Beach in the Daintree rainforest. "Point Trib" can be reached by tour operators, car or preferably 4 wheel drive by crossing the Daintree River & then following the road for several hours until you reach the point where the rest of the journey to Cooktown can only be continued by 4 wheel drive or motor bike. There are also other attractions such as lookouts, a local ice-cream company & tree canopy site within the Daintree to visit.
Other attractions in Far North Queensland include the resort towns of Port Douglas & Palm Cove. Both are beautiful & well worth a visit but are much more low key than Cairns.
Taking the inland road north, the visitor can experience the true Outback by travelling up to Cooktown. Black Mountain is a creepy but fascinating spot to stop & admire the surrounding savannah land.
By going west from Cairns, the visitor can visit Kuranda accessible by train or road, there is also a skyway, well worth the effort. Kuranda is a village surrounded by tropical trees & ferns & you will find a Butterfly Farm & the Bird attraction, both great entertainment.
Paronella Park is a fantastic fantasy land of waterfalls & ferns, south of Cairns & the Chillego Caves & Lava tubes are also within a days drive from Cairns.
Whatever you decide to do, Far North Queensland offers something for everyone.