From Cairns head south along the Bruce Highway for about 1 hour and turn right into the town of Babinda. Road signs then direct the way to this gorgeous natural swimming hole, the perfect place to stretch your legs and have some morning tea. Surrounded by lush rainforest, the Babinda Boulders is an iconic attraction and popular swimming hole and tourist attraction. It is a classic example of the fast-flowing tropical creeks in the area that are perfect for afternoon dips in the cool water to combat Far North Queensland’s tropical heat.
You’ve covered some miles, so it’s time to relax and take in Townsville’s cosmopolitan ambience. Unofficially known as the ‘Capital of North Queensland’, Townsville boasts a more metropolitan feel due to its urban expansion. Here you can enjoy some boutique shopping on Flinders Street or hit up the local markets. When hunger calls, check out the top-notch restaurant scene on Palmer Street.
Continue on the Bruce Highway heading South until you reach Bowen, the mango capital of Australia, home to the delicious Bowen Mango (aka Kensington Pride). Bowen is a small town with big photo opportunities and an even bigger mango. Tick an Aussie icon off your list and grab a photo with The Big Mango. Bowen’s secluded beaches are one of the many treats you’ll enjoy about the town, so secluded that you only have to share with locals who are in-the-know. Horseshoe Bay is a must, an all-rounder perfect for swimming and relaxing or take a picnic and enjoy the beautiful Bowen breeze! This secluded cove is also ideal for snorkelling; it is one of the only places where you can snorkel the fringing reef straight off the beach!
Spend the next 3 nights in and around Airlie Beach. Dine out in one of Airlie Beach’s delicious restaurants or perhaps a BBQ on the beach. If you’d prefer something a little more upbeat the pumping Airlie Beach nightlife will not disappoint. With clubs, bars, and live music venues, you can party the night away with like-minded travellers and make lasting memories.
Check out our local itineraries for inspiration. The stunning natural landscapes of the coast and islands are dotted with secluded beaches and cascading waterfalls, a rich tapestry of hinterland through to the vibrant Great Barrier Reef. The Whitsundays is a feast for the senses. There’s so much to do, you’ll just have to work out how to fit it all in!