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7 Winter Getaways Worth the Trek to the Top End

Colder temperatures have set in in Australia’s south, but there’s still plenty of sunshine to enjoy in the country’s Top End. Extend your summer with a trip to Cairns and enjoy everything the dry season has to offer, from the lush, tropical landscapes of the Atherton Tablelands to the sparkling blue-green waters of the Great Barrier Reef.

Ready to shake off the winter chill with a tropical escape? Take advantage of the season’s special rates and reserve your car hire in Cairns online today.

Cape Tribulation

Best For: A Bush Escape on a Budget

Cape Tribulation Queensland

Found at the top end of the Tropical North where the rainforest meets the sea, this remote destination is a haven for holidaymakers who don’t mind leaving the bells and whistles of city living behind – other than the 4WD car hire you’ll need to get there. Pile your bush retreat necessities into the back and get ready to experience everything this fascinating township has to offer, from adrenaline-pumping Crocodile Cruises along the Daintree River to immersive (and bank account friendly) accommodation amidst the treetops at Cape Tribulation Beach House.

Palm Cove

Best For: A Laidback Luxury Holiday

Palm Cove Queensland

If up-close encounters with forest-dwelling critters doesn’t fit your definition of a relaxing winter getaway, make the short journey from Cairns to Palm Cove, where seaside resorts and cosmopolitan restaurants reside just metres from the beach. Long touted as the luxury option when it comes to the Tropical North, this posh seaside town is a favourite for sun seekers and self-confessed foodies alike with golden beaches and gourmet eateries aplenty.

The Savannah Way

Best For: An Outback Adventure

Undara Lava Tubes Queensland

For travellers who can’t bear the thought of endless hours whittled away by the pool, a world of adventure awaits along Far North Queensland’s famed outback thoroughfare, The Savannah Way. Connecting the Northern Territory border with Queensland’s coast, the eastern stretch of this roadway covers spectacular landscapes of all kinds, from the subterranean lava tubes in Undara Volcanic National Park to the sub-tropical swimming holes that surround Millaa Millaa Falls.

Long Island

Best For: A Romantic Trip for Two

Long Island Queensland

With the Whitsundays located just offshore, travellers to the Tropical North are spoiled for choice when it comes to island escapes – but there are plenty of destinations to discover beyond the tourist hotspots. Take a chance on one of the lesser-known isles, like the secluded Long Island, where nine kilometres of pristine white sand is flanked by dense bushland and a lively coral reef. Located just 20 minutes from the mainland when travelling by boat, this easy-to-access hideaway is an effortless getaway for two, whether you’re planning a romantic day trip or a luxurious week-long stay.

Cairns

Best For: A Winter Weekender

Cairns Lagoon

No time to take off on a secluded island escape? No problem – Far North Queensland’s most central city has plenty to offer for travellers looking to spend two days in the sun. Plan a stay in the CBD and you’ll soon discover this oft overlooked city has just as much to offer as its cosmopolitan counterparts further down the coast, from world-class dining and high-street boutiques to unspoilt beaches and spectacular national parks.

Atherton Tablelands

Best For: A Rainforest Retreat

Waterfall Atherton Tablelands Queensland

Less than 100 kilometres beyond the bounds of Cairns’ CBD, this charming hinterland is home to thousands of species of flora and fauna along with a seemingly endless supply of camp sites and eco retreats from which to explore. Wander the World Heritage-listed Daintree Rainforest from the comfort of Jabiru Safari Lodge – a luxury ‘glamping’ resort perched on the northern edge of the Tablelands – or embark on a more authentic adventure to Danbulla National Park, where a selection of remote campgrounds bring travellers up close and personal with the Daintree’s year-round residents.

Port Douglas

Best For: A Great Barrier Reef Getaway

Great Barrier Reef Queensland

Looking for the quintessential Great Barrier Reef experience without the crowds? Make a beeline for the sleepy seaside town of Port Douglas. Located a mere 70-kilometres from Cairns’ bustling city centre, this northern gateway provides travellers with a more laidback way to explore the Coral Sea, with private charters and group tours departing all year round. Best of all, this less-frequented locale sees fewer tourists than its southern equivalents, so you can see one of the world’s seven natural wonders without having to share.

What are you waiting for? Reserve your Cairns Airport car hire and start exploring the Tropical North as soon as you touch down.

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