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Our guide to Atherton Tablelands by our Cairns local expert - The Atherton Tablelands is that area to sandwiched between the Savannah Lands/Gulf Country and the Coastal strip of Cairns/Coral Coast/Cassowary Coast. It has two entirely different sub-regions - the Southern & Northern - that latter being mainly Savannah style country with mainly cattle farms as the major activity. The Southern half though is vastly different, having a much higher rainfall, with the result that it is much more lush and the farms are generally smaller and more into horticulture & agriculture boutuique dairy products etc. The terrain in the north tends to be flat hot and dry with sparse habitation, whereas in the south it is gently rolling hill country with a rainforest style bush with fully running steams in the gullies and a new village or township at every turn.
Our guide to Cairns Beaches by our Cairns local expert - Also known locally as the "Northern Beaches" , the Cairns Beaches collectively stretch out approximately 90km northwards from the Cairns International Airport all the way to Port Douglas. The latter 50 kms of these are largely 'uninhabited' - want a beach all to yourself for the day - one of these may be just what you are looking for.
Our guide to Cairns City by our Cairns local expert - Cairns city is a bustling metropolis of some 140 thousand surrounded to the East by Trinity Inlet & the Coral Sea, to the south by the Mulgrave River, to the West and North by the mountains and rainforest.
Our guide to Cassowary Coast by our Cairns local expert - The Cassowary Coast stretches south of Cairns to Hinchinbrook Island and includes the various townships of Innisfail, Tully, Babinda and Cardwell - all of which annually vie for the title of wettest town in Australia - presently Babinda is the holder. During the wet season a fall of nearly a metre of rain in a day is not rare, however this is what grows the lush green vegetation of the area and creates the moist fertile soils which grow vast quantities of sugar cane - which is the leading industry of the region. On the coast Mission Beach is well known internationally with some fine resorts. Unfortunately the area is rather susceptible to damage by Cyclones and in 2011 we saw the loss of premier resorts on the offshore islands of Dunk & Bedarra lost to tropical cyclone Yasi.
Our guide to Coral Coast by our Cairns local expert - The Coral Coast runs North from Cairns to the tip of Cape York, and includes the Cairns Beaches, Port Douglas, Daintree, Cape Tribulation, Cooktown and "The Tip" townships of Bamaga, New Mapoon & Seisia. For simplicity on this website we have taken a little license and excluded Port Douglas & the Cairns Beaches as seperate regions, and have added in the Torres Strait Islands as part of this region.
Our guide to Great Barrier Reef by our Cairns local expert - Once the graveyard of many ships, the Great Barrier Reef is today a tourism playground. A biological marvel which is visible from space, this vast structure is a maze of reefs, and coral cays formed over the millenia from the skeletons of myriads of the polyps which inhabit it. It is also shelter and home to a huge number of other marine organisms - 80% of which are only found in this part of the planet.
Our guide to Port Douglas by our Cairns local expert - One hour drive north of Cairns City is Port Douglas, the second largest centre within the region. Known for its many very up-market resorts and regularly visited by the rich & famous - including Movie & Tv Stars and even a US president it is definately one of the premier holiday destinations of this part of the world known for it's Golf courses, fine dining & sumptuous accomodation. Port Douglas is also a great jumping off point to visit the Daintree Rainforest, Cape Tribulation and the Mossman Gorge. As well the hinterland is home to a number of very luxurious & secluded live in conference venues.
Our guide to The Gulf Country by our Cairns local expert - The Gulf Country is that wild stretch of Land on the Western side of Cape York Peninsular and around the bottom of the Gulf of Carpentaria to the Border with the Northern Territory. This is sparsely populated territory and subject to harsh seasons of drought & floods. Main industrys are huge station cattle farming, fishing and mining. Of late approximately $60B of mining projects have been identified for development in this area which (if they happen) will bring in many workers and change Cairns destiny slightly becoming a "fly-in, fly-out" port for mining employees. There is little tourism in this area and negotiation of the territory is not for the faint at heart.
Our guide to The Savannah Lands by our Cairns local expert - The Savannah Lands are as their name implies savanah country - red dirt / rock plains stretching for thousands of kilometres over much of the country. Vegetation is mainly sparse Eucalypts scattered over long grassy outcrops - grey & brown most of the time but surging to lush green after infrequent rainfalls. In fact people living in this region refer to the "wet season" as the "green" season. The terrain is mainly very flat and roads are generally straight & level for upwards of hundreds of kilometres a stretch. The Savanah Lands in the Cairns Region stretch west of the Atherton Tablelands - the main access road being west out of Atherton on the Kennedy Higway and right onto the Gulf Development Rd or west out of Mareeba on the Bourke Development Rd - the two routes meet up at Normanton becoming the Savanah Way and continuing on to Broome in Northern Western Australia after crossing right through the Northern Territory. Distances are huge out here, and it is advisable that only larger vehicles (preferably 4WD) be used. The roads are not all bitumised.
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