Step aside Great Ocean Road; there’s a new and note-worthy ‘great’ in town. Immerse yourself in the vibrant springtime greens along Queensland’s Great Green Way, between Townsville and Cairns.
Townsville to Ingham
With an average of 300 days of sunshine each year, tropical Townsville is the unofficial capital of North Queensland, and is a great jumping-off point to explore the central section of the Great Barrier Reef. And while we highly recommend taking adequate time to experience this colossal wonder of the natural world before climate change destroys it, there’s so much more to the Townsville area than just the reef.
Orient yourself by climbing the 290-metre-tall Castle Hill, which overlooks the city centre. Its panoramic views, particularly at sunset, are well worth the climb. Afterwards, get down to the serious business of dining: try Palmer Street for a multicultural mix of cuisines or Flinders Street East for a range of restaurants, bars and nightlife housed in beautiful heritage buildings.
Ingham to Cardwell
The beating heart of the local sugar cane industry, Ingham is lovingly referred to as ‘Little Italy’ because over half of the town’s population is of Italian descent. Learn more about the early settlement of the town and the contribution of Italian, Basque and Spanish immigrants on the Hinchinbrook Heritage Walk, and be sure to visit the original ‘pub with no beer’ (made famous by Slim Dusty, but based on a Dan Sheehan poem) – Lee’s Hotel.
Cardwell to Tully
Cardwell is a boat-lover’s paradise, boasting a state-of-the-art marina at Port Hinchinbrook, a public boat ramp and maintenance facilities. Cardwell is an alternative gateway to Hinchinbrook Island, with 21 other islands also easily accessible from this coastline.
The town is also home to the Cardwell Bush Telegraph Heritage Centre, housed in the former post office, and one of the oldest buildings in North Queensland. The historic building tells the story of the region’s development brought about by the telegraph, which operated here between 1870 and 1983. Cardwell also features Australia’s largest war memorial – the Coral Sea Battle Memorial Park – which commemorates the air and sea battle on 1942.
Tully to Innisfail
Thriving on its sugar cane and banana produce, Tully is popular with backpackers looking for work during the harvest. Snap a selfie in front of the eight-metre-tall Golden Gumboot – an homage to the town’s reputation for wet weather! The upside of all this moisture is that the Tully River features perfect white-water rafting conditions. If you’re not quite that adventurous, the lush vegetation makes the area very pleasant for bushwalking.
Innisfail to Babinda
In Innisfail, enjoy the town’s Art Deco–style buildings, luscious local produce and the five-hectare Paronella Park, featuring tropical plants, castles, stonework and water features. Also nearby is the Mamu Rainforest Canopy Walk – a 350-metre elevated walkway through the canopy, with an observation tower offering great views.
Babinda to Cairns
Although nearing the end of the Great Green Way, there’s still lush scenery abounding, including Walsh’s Pyramid, situated just outside Gordonvale, which at 992 metres is the world’s highest freestanding peak that’s not part of a mountain range. Take the climb and enjoy the 36-degree views as your reward.