Insta-Paradise; Ten Instagrammable holiday shots not to miss in TNQ…

By Sam Carver
Published on: 28 May 2020
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With more swirls of colour than a Persian tapestry, Tropical North Queensland is fast becoming renowned as one of the world’s most Instagrammable (yep, that’s a word) holidays.

From the sweeping aquamarine ocean, to the ancient rainforests and vibrant villages, the Wet Tropics offer the kind of photo-ops that inspire the greatest in memories and insta-envy!


#1 Mossman Gorge

Daintree Rainforest walk

Boulders, boardwalks, indigenous legend & the clearest creeks you’ll ever witness, Mossman Gorge is a rainforest wonderland with the rarest in imagery.

Best Selfie: Sitting on one of the regal boulders, or swimming in the crystal clear springs. Both are over a hundred million years old!

How to get there: Self-drive from Cairns, Palm Cove & Port Douglas, or join Back Country Bliss Adventures’ Mossman Gorge Rainforest Walk for a fascinating presentation and tour.

#2 The Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef

Rich with jewel-like colour and teeming with curiosities, the marine life and coral gardens of the iconic Great Barrier Reef are just a quick spirit across the waves from Port Douglas.

Best Selfie: Find Nemo and snap a side-by-side shot, or it could be your lucky day for a giant Maori Wrasse to photo-bomb! And keep your eyes peeled for Humpbacks in the cooler months.

How to get there: Wavelength Reef Cruises specialise in small groups and snorkelling, and leave from the Crystalbrook Marina building, Port Douglas.

#3 Port Douglas Sunday Markets

Sugar Wharf

Challenge yourself to capture the festival feel of this renowned marketplace, or take a lasting image of the vibrant bustle! As well as the thriving Sunday custom, you can also find a fascinating collection of locally-crafted stalls at the stunning inlet views of Crystalbrook Marina in Port Douglas on Wednesday afternoons.

Best Selfie: As you meander through local artwork and locally-made delicacies, you’ll see the Sugar Wharf; a white building standing alone in the inlet’s waterway. Once the old Ben Cropp Shipwreck Museum, you’ll not only snap yourself standing next to a bit of history, but likewise with Mossman Gorge rising in the background.

How to get there: Self-drive from Cairns & Palm Cove, or stroll down Macrossan Street to Anzac Park on Wharf Street. Market times are Sundays 8 a.m. to 1.30 p.m. And Wednesday markets are held at the Crystalbrook Marina from 11 a.m. till 5 p.m.

#4 River Drift Snorkelling

Daintree Rainforest Float

It’s true. You can actually snorkel and drift through a rainforest river! A unique alternative to snorkelling the reef, Back Country Bliss Adventures are the pioneers of river snorkelling, and host the only tour of its kind in all of Australia. Above and below the transparent surface, there’s plenty of wildlife and rainforest shots you won’t want to miss.

Best Selfie: The ‘Cathedral’. Imagine drifting under a rainforest canopy on a river sled, with nothing but the sounds of gentle cascades and kingfishers & butterflies flitting overhead. Get that Go-Pro ready!

How to get there: Back Country Bliss Adventures pick up for a morning or afternoon River Drift Snorkelling tour from Port Douglas hotels, or can meet self-drivers at Raintree’s Café in Mossman.

#5 Flagstaff Hill Walking Trail to Lookout

Port Douglas

It winds through the rainforest, and leads to a wondrous viewing platform, suspended over the Coral Sea. With breathtaking views of Low Isles, Snapper Island, and all the way to the Daintree rainforest, this free adventure trail will provide you with unlimited insta-opportunities.

Best Selfie: Among countless spectacular views along the way, you’ll snap one-of-a-kind imagery from the elevated lookout, with your face facing out over the pristine Coral Sea and tropical Islands.

How to get there: Flagstaff Hill Walking Trail provides a 1.5 kilometre link between Four Mile Beach and Rex Smeal park in Port Douglas. Entry is possible from both ends.

#6 Daintree Rainforest

Daintree Rainforest

Not only is it the oldest rainforest on the planet, but this 100 million year old jungle is a dazzling emerald phenomenon of endemic flora and fauna. Travellers visit from all over the globe to snap some once-in-a-lifetime images of the Daintree Rainforest’s magic.

Best Selfie: You’ll be framed by one of the world’s most stunning views at the Alexandra Lookout, and part of a prehistoric garden on the Jindalba Boardwalk.

How to get there: The Daintree ferry is a scenic 40 minute drive from Port Douglas. Ultimately, for a full day of activity and discovery, venture on the Back Country Bliss’ Daintree Adventure Day for the best photo-ops (crocodiles and possible cassowary sightings included!)

#7 Sunset at Rex Smeal Park

Port Douglas
You could scour your imagination to its full extent, and still never conjure up anything close the imagery of sunset at Rex Smeal Park. Locals, lovers, bohemians and families are rarely disappointed and always captured by the breathtaking golds, purples & pinks that nature paints across the sky here in the early evening.

Best Selfie: Sitting right between the palms by the ocean, with the mighty Daintree on the horizon. Wait for the sunset Shaolin to sail past, and snap yourself in pure paradise with a genuine Chinese junk floating by.

How to get there: A simple stroll to the end of Macrossan Street in Port Douglas, then right onto Wharf Street and past the historical courthouse will bring you to insta-bliss.

#8 Thala Beach Nature Reserve

Sunset Cocktails

If your idea of the perfect shot includes an eco-treehouse snuggled in the rainforest overlooking the Coral Sea, surrounded by wildlife and intriguing coconut-tree formations, then here’s the dream snap you’ve been looking for!

Best Selfie: Grab a coffee or cocktail among the eco-lodge, and capture yourself smiling at an almost 360 degree view of the Great Barrier Reef as your backdrop.

How to get there: You’ll find the world-famous Thala Beach Nature Reserve just 15 minutes’ drive south of Port Douglas. Day visitors (and photo enthusiasts) welcome.

#9 Port Douglas Wildlife Habitat

Koala Photo

Make sure your camera is fully charged for this one! With the unique ‘interactive’ ethos of the Port Douglas Wildlife Habitat, you’ll immortalise and endless album of rare wildlife across the savannah, woodland, wetland and rainforest sanctuaries.

Best Selfie: Go on, cuddle a koala, you know you want to…

How to get There: You’ll find the Wildlife Habitat on Port Douglas Road an hour south of Cairns, & 30 minutes from Palm Cove.

#10 Heritage Lodge & Spa

Daintree Rainforest
Nestled deep in the Daintree Rainforest, Heritage Lodge & Spa are gifted with a stunning blue creek flowing directly below their restaurant. Cooper Creek has become one of the most photographed place in the Daintree, and you can see why from the photo above.  And don’t worry, there’s no crocs here; plenty of fish and turtles though.

Best Selfie: Either down in the creek; an easy 2 minute walk from the restaurant. However the view form above is equally impressive!

How to get there: Heritage Lodge & Spa is located at 236 Turpentine Rd, Diwan; on the way to Cape Tribulation, 1.25 hours north from Port Douglas.

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