Far North Queensland Family Holidays Guide

Life doesn’t get much more spectacular than in Far North Queensland, the iconic destination where the reef meets the rainforest. Home to the largest coral reef system in the world – the Great Barrier Reef and the oldest rainforest in the world – the Daintree Rainforest, Far North Queensland is one of the most visited places in Australia.

This family-friendly region is full of attractions, activities, breathtaking landscapes, and is well set up for visitors, meaning there are plenty of places to eat, drink and rest your head.

The main towns in the region for visitors are Cairns, Port Douglas, and Atherton, with hundreds of islands and beaches along the way to explore, plus stunning hinterland.

Best of Port Douglas family travel holiday Mossman Gorge Travel with Boys

Best things to do in Far North Queensland with kids

Our Top 11 things to do with kids in Far North Queensland

  1. Go snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef
  2. Explore the world’s oldest rainforest, the Daintree on foot, by boat, or through the air on a zipline
  3. Go crocodile spotting from the safety of a boat
  4. Ride a bike along Four Mile Beach, Port Douglas
  5. Discover the beauty and history of Mossman Gorge
  6. Send the boys off on a day of deep sea fishing
  7. Take a trip on the Kuranda Skyrail and the Kuranda Scenic Railway
  8. Learn more about our Aboriginal heritage at places like Mossman Gorge, Flames of the Forest and Tjapukai
  9. Discover one of the oldest and best-preserved lava tube systems in the world at Undara Volcanic National Park
  10. Splash around in pristine waterfalls and waterholes
  11. Go on the iconic Cape York 4WD road trip to Cape York Peninsular

Read more on best things to do in North Queensland

Discover the Best of Port Douglas for families

Snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef with kids

Before you hit the beach, take a look at our Aussie beach survival guide for great tips and tricks, with everything from chafing to stingers, sand to sunburn.

Holiday accommodation North Queensland with kids

Best family accommodation in Port Douglas

North Queensland Itineraries

Family road trip Gold Coast to Port Douglas

Travel tips North Queensland

How to save money on your Port Douglas family holiday

Know before you go

Food in Far North Queensland

Surrounded by ocean and fertile soils, you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to fresh food in North Queensland. It is very laid back, so the kids will be welcome almost anywhere you decide to dine. One thing to note is food is more expensive here than it is in the big cities due to how remote the area is and the cost of transport.

From the airport

Cairns has both a domestic and international airport, which is located about 5km from the city centre. If you’re not renting a car for the family holiday, then your choices are to ask your hotel to pick you up, book an airport shuttle, or catch a taxi. Sun Palm run shuttle buses from Cairns airport.

North Queensland Public Transport

For bus and ferry timetable and fare information for Cairns, take a look at Sunbus. Trans North offer bus services in Cairns, Atherton, Ravenshoe, Innisfail, Ingham, Mission Beach, and Ayr.

Car Hire North Queensland

North Queensland is easy to navigate but it is a huge area, and you need to keep an eye out for wildlife such as kangaroos, and cassowaries. The roads north of Cooktown up to Cape York Peninsular are generally open from April to December depending on the monsoon season. Most visitors to the Cape will travel between June and August. Before deciding where you want to travel, please check the road requirements as many roads in Far North Queensland (not including those around Cairns, Port Douglas, the Daintree, Atherton, Mareeba, Kuranda, Mission Beach) are passable by 4WD’s only.

With so much to see that is spread out, we highly recommend families hire a car so you don’t have to rely on hotel shuttles and tour groups to get everywhere. Find the best car rental prices for your dates.

North Queensland Weather

North Queensland has a wet and dry season, with summer bringing high humidity, rain and daily temperatures on average from 31 to 24 C. Winter is peak tourism season with temperatures averaging 25 to 18 C.

Favourite family events Far North Queensland

Port Douglas Carnivale, Laura Dance Festival (biannual), Kuranda Festival, Cooktown Discovery Festival

Disclosure: Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. This means, at no additional cost to you, if you book after clicking on a link, we may earn a small commission. We book our travel through these companies, so please consider booking your travel through these links as it helps buy us much-needed coffee, so we can continue providing you with the best information on family travel.

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Visit North Queensland with kids family holiday guide Travel with Boys