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Cooktown coastline

Ayton

Queensland

Ayton is a good spot to revive your spirits. Strategically placed on the Cooktown to Cape Tribulation road known as The Bloomfield Track there's a store, cafe, takeaway, campground and accommodation. Head down to the beautiful hidden treasure of Weary Bay beach your worries will be washed away. Hire a dinghy or use a boatman to take you to secluded Cedar Bay National Park for isolated camping. Yachts anchor on the wide river, an irregular air service flies to Pepper Bloomfield Lodge across the Bay. Ayton was originally established as a service centre for a burgeoning sugar plantation in 1882. Northern Queensland's first sugar mill was built and a narrow gauged rail line linked old Ayton wharf. Provisions were transported by far north Queensland's first locomotive for export by sea. At one time hundreds of workers were employed English, Chinese, Italian and Japanese and local Kuku Yalanji people. Ayton thrived, selections were taken up by entrepreneurial families and Torres Strait trepang and trochus hunters settled here. But by 1897 it came crashing down because of high costs. Operations were sold and moved to Bundaberg. Determined to squeeze money from the land, 'red gold' or Red Cedar was the next industry. Cutting began in 1890 with horse teams dragging logs to a riverbank chute. Rafts were floated downstream and taken by vessel to Townsville. The wood ended up at the gold rich city of Charters Towers, lining the floors of wealthy miner mansions.

Mirani Railway Station

Kuttabul

Queensland

The Kuttabul Camel-boks are probably the biggest thing to come out of Kuttabul, up the road from Mackay. This feature of the town may not attract tourism, that is, unless the boys are in one of their two modes of dress. You see, the Camel-bok boys form the local rugby union team and they play hard when wearing the team colours. And, when they're socialising, their mode of dress is full kilt. There's another reason to spend some time in this town: it's the meat! The local butchery is well known through the whole region for its quality product. Perhaps one more reason to call in is to check out the handicraft talents of the local ladies. Kuttabul crafts include woodwork, folk art and Aboriginal styles through to concrete garden ornaments.

Cooladdi

Cooladdi

Queensland

Situated on the Quilpie Road to the opal fields, Cooladdi was once a thriving railway town, but when the rail connection closed the residents slowly drifted away. Today only a handful of residents can be found keeping the Outback town alive, however, during the September school holidays, hundreds flock to the town for the annual Gymkhana. Pick up a copy of the Heritage Trail Guidebook and discover the history of the town that refuses to disappear. Cooladdi also boasts a great fishing spot close by at Quilberry Creek, so why not take the time to visit, kick back for a day or two and fish? Quilberry Creek has waterholes suitable for fishing, swimming, catching yabbys and camping.

Clear waters of Lake Mckenzie

Fraser Coast Region

Queensland

Queensland's Fraser Coast unites two World Heritage icons - Fraser Island and the Great Barrier Reef - and offers some of the best natural experiences on earth including amazing encounters with humpback whales. Walk through untouched ancient rainforests growing out of sand and swim in pristine freshwater lakes on World Heritage-listed Fraser Island, the largest sand island in the world. Take a scenic flight to the start of the Great Barrier Reef and step off the beach into an unrivalled, magical world of coral and marine life as you snorkel alongside giant manta rays and turtles. The calm, protected waters of Hervey Bay are a natural playground for thousands of majestic Humpback Whales - providing the world's best , and closest, whale encounters. Hervey Bay is also an aquatic paradise - perfect for year round swimming, diving, water sports and fishing. Soak up the wonderfully vintage feel of Maryborough where fascinating heritage comes to life in stunning architecture, museums, costumed guides, quirky tours, boutique cafes and antique stores. Experience the diverse marine life and beauty of the Great Sandy Strait, with a stunning coastline of pristine, white sandy beaches and charming seaside villages stretching from Burrum Heads to Rainbow Beach. Discovery the tranquil natural beauty of the Fraser Coast hinterland with its national parks, rainforests and the beautiful Mary River. Visit quaint townships such as Howard, Tiaro and Bauple - the original home of the Macadamia Nut. As part of the UNESCO recognised Great Sandy Biosphere, the Fraser Coast's unique and diverse natural attractions are officially recognised in the same class as the Galapagos Islands and Central Amazon. With incredible eco-experiences, heart racing adventures, fascinating history, inspiring art and culture, and tantalising local food and wine - the Fraser Coast truly is where nature comes alive.

Esk

Esk

Queensland

The lively adventure town of Esk - a leisurely 80 minutes' drive from downtown Brisbane - is a must for anyone who loves to get outdoors and get active. With its stunning location in the middle of the Valley of the Lakes, it's no wonder that all kinds of watersports are popular here. Skiing, sailing and white water kayaking are all well catered for, as are fishing, canoeing and swimming. But it's not just the water that people are diving into in Esk. Adventure is everywhere, from abseiling, mountain bike riding or tandem sky diving 12,500 feet above the valley. Or, for something just a little more sedate, climb aboard a camel safari and plod your way through the bush. You can even stay overnight at a stockman's camp and really get back to nature. For something completely different, make sure you visit the ostrich and deer farms, and get a close up view of these magnificent creatures. And if you just can't leave the need to shop behind, there are numerous craft and antique shops and galleries dotted around the region. And as you would expect of a region where there is so much going on, there are plenty of motels, hotels, camping areas, caravan parks and farm stays to rest at after a big day out.

Tyrconnell Historic Gold Mine

Dimbulah

Queensland

Dimbulah is the gateway to the Hodgkinson Goldfield, which was settled in 1876. Tyrconnell, Kingsborough and Mt Mulligan were towns which developed around crushing mills along the Hodgkinson River. By 1880, four years after the discovery of minerals, the population in this area reached nearly 10,000 with settlements also including Thornborough, Beaconsfield and Northcote. Most towns were temporary with settlers doing the wheelbarrow act to move to new strikes. By mid 1901, John Moffatt's mining company completed a private rail link from Mareeba to Chillagoe linking the mining fields to Cairns port. Dimbulah was the junction for rail lines both north and south to the mining areas. A tent camp developed to service the train with water supplies from the permanent waterhole. This permanent Walsh River water source is actually the origin of the town's name - local Barbaram Aboriginal dialect for 'long, permanent waterhole'. Modern day Dimbulah still relies on water, however, it is agriculture which makes the money. The 1950's Tinaroo-Dmbulah irrigation scheme ensured the viability of agricultural industries. Initially tobacco was the crop of choice, however, since the demise of the tobacco industry, alternate crops have included ti-tree, mango plantations, native trees and sugarcane. Dimbulah has a restored rail station for The Savannahlander line between Cairns and Forsayth. You can read interpretive panels here on the town's history. There's an excellent, well-serviced caravan park set in gardens, a supermarket and a butcher plus petrol stations and mechanical repair services. Centuries on Dimbulah still remains a good watering place.

Storm clouds over Wyandra

Wyandra

Queensland

So many towns of the Outback can claim their very existence directly to the laying of the great inland railway systems. Wyandra is such a town. Being the halfway point between Charleville and Cunnamulla, a railway settlement was established. In 1898 a school was established with about 60 pupils, which is about the same number of today's total population. If you are interested in outback architecture, this town retains some great old buildings. A heritage trail, guiding visitors past old and unusual buildings, offers many photographic opportunities.

Edge Hill

Edge Hill

Queensland

The leafy inner city suburb of Edge Hill is one of Cairn’s oldest and most popular suburbs. Beautifully restored Federation and pre-war era homes line the streets, set within established manicured gardens. The suburb is peppered with chic eateries, gourmet delis, boutiques and shops for browsing. Edge Hill is home to the beautiful Cairns Botanic Gardens where visitors can learn about the fascinating flora of Tropical North Queensland. An alfresco cafe set amongst the lush tropical surrounds is the perfect place to grab a bite to eat. Visitors can also take advantage of the barbecues, picnic shelters and children’s playground provided. A boardwalk connects the Gardens to The Centenary Lakes, home of seabirds and turtles as well as spectacular water lilies. The Gardens feature an impressive arts centre creatively housed in three huge converted World War Two naval oil storage tanks. Here you can enjoy a production of performance art or wander through an exhibition. Just behind the Botanic Gardens is the Mt Whitfield Conservation Park, where bushwalkers can enjoy a number of walking tracks through green mountainside forest. Edge Hill is just minutes from the Cairns City Centre as well as the Cairns Airport. There are many charming bed-and-breakfasts to choose from as well as a resort, motels and unit-style accommodation.

Ravenshoe

Ravenshoe

Queensland

Ravenshoe, the highest town in Queensland at 920 metres, is a lush region of mountain pastures and un-spoiled World Heritage rainforest. Situated five kilometres from Ravenshoe you will find windmills that are 45 metres freestanding and twenty of them together is a spectacular sight to behold and feed enough power to into the national grid to power 3,500 homes. In 1987 when World Heritage listing of the Wet Tropics occurred Ravenshoe was a timber town producing beautiful furniture timbers as well as veneers. Today, the town still has two timber mills operating using both plantation pine and hardwoods. From Ravenshoe, Tully Falls Road leads south and becomes an unsealed road 28 kilometres out. A one km drive takes you to the Tully Gorge (275m) lookout where the Tully Falls can be seen after heavy rain. Returning to Ravenshoe, visit Little Millstream Falls 1.25km along Wooroora road. From the Kennedy Highway head west for 3km to the turn off to the spectacular Millstream Falls, the widest waterfalls in Australia. Access to the viewing area is via a 1km gravelled drive with caravan turning space, and a short walking track. Continue on to Innot Hot Springs for a dip in the warm mineral waters. Distance from Cairns is 147 kilometres.

Quoin Island via Gladstone

Quoin Island

Queensland

Situated just five kilometres off the coast of Gladstone, is Quoin Island. An unspoilt sanctuary for wildlife, nature lovers and those seeking a secluded spot to relax and let life pass by. Anchor the boat for the day and enjoy a picnic under the shade of the pandanus and coconut palms, or be taken to the Island by ferry. The island features a fully refurbished resort which caters for families, corporate functions, weddings or an entertaining Sunday Session! The region's only turtle rehabilitation centre is also located on the Island, which is fully operated by volunteers.

Información suministrada por Almacenamiento de datos turísticos de Australia (Australian Tourism Data Warehouse)