Botanical Adventures in Queensland

In April, my Mum and I spent a week in Queensland, with a few days in Townsville for my auntie’s wedding and a few days in Cairns for exploring and adventures! Here’s a visual diary of our trip, in three parts:


Part 1: Exploring Townsville

If you’re not familiar with Townsville, it’s a lovely coastal city in northeastern Queensland

We were staying near the Strand for my auntie’s wedding, and the views from our hotel room were pretty spectacular!

You can also get a great view of Townsville from above at the Castle Hill lookout

I gotta say, ground level was pretty great too. I mean, how amazing are these adventitious roots? Getting out there, doing their own thang


The pandanus above was at Queens Park Botanic Garden, which was full of beautiful colour…

For even more planty goodness, we checked out the Palmeton. As the name would suggest, there are so many palms… and lots of other fun tropical plants too!

I learned that no trip to Townsville would be complete without catching the ferry over to Magnetic Island. The water looked so lovely, but we were a bit too worried about box jellyfish to go in!

On our last day in Townsville, Mum and I, along with my grandma and grandad, stopped by my auntie’s house. I was amazed by these rosehip flowers and fruits - how cool are they?!

After a few hugs goodbye, we started the long journey from Townsville up towards Palm Cove…


Part 2: Exploring Palm Cove, Kuranda & Port Douglas

Our first stop on the drive up to Palm Cove was Mission Beach! How beautiful are those palm trees?

‘Scuse me! I think you dropped this!

‘Scuse me! I think you dropped this!

A few hours later, we arrived in Palm Cove - a cute little seaside town, full of colourful shops and cool restaurants


The place we stayed was super cute and planty, and apparently had a resident crocodile lurking somewhere in that pool of waterlilies! I never spotted the croc, but I didn’t venture too close, just in case…

After we’d all settled in, we went to take the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway ride up to the small town of Kuranda


In Kuranda, we saw a historic plane crash site, which plants had grown all over…


We stopped for lunch (by which I mean dragon fruit ice-cream), and then we took the Kuranda Scenic Railway back down to ground level


On another day, we made a little road trip up to Port Douglas, where we had a delicious lunch and wandered through some super cute craft markets! On the way back, we carefully joined all the other cars stopping on the roadside to see the Gatz Balancing Rocks (aka the cairns in Cairns!)

Did you know “cairns” actually means “a mound of stones”? So here they are, the cairns in Cairns!

Did you know “cairns” actually means “a mound of stones”? So here they are, the cairns in Cairns!

Whilst in Cairns, there were a couple places we simply had to visit…


Part 3: The Great Barrier Reef & The Daintree rainforest

Of course! Last but not least, we had the great privilege of visiting two incredible World Heritage sites in Cairns: The Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree tropical rainforest

Big ones, small ones, some as big as your head!

Big ones, small ones, some as big as your head!

First, Mum and I visited the Daintree rainforest on a Billy Tea Safari, along with one of my cousins. We arrived at an information centre full of cool insect and plant specimens!

Then we took on a cruise on the Daintree river, followed by a beautiful look out over the Alexandra Range


Our Billy Tea Safari guide took us on a lovely walk through a national park, where we kept our eyes peeled for cassowaries… but alas we never spotted a real one!

Afterwards, we got to hand feed some gorgeous wallabies at a wildlife rehabilitation centre - apparently they love sweet potato!

For afternoon tea, we tried some strange tropical fruits and billy tea, and had a beautiful freshwater swim at Emmagen Creek


We dipped our toes in the water at Cape Tribulation beach, and spent ages looking at the tiny round balls of sand piling up outside tiny tunnel openings on the beach floor, apparently made by little sand crabs!

Our last stop on the Daintree adventure was the Daintree ice-creamery, where we tried passionfruit, black sapote, and wattle seed ice-cream - yum!

And finally, the Great Barrier Reef! I didn’t take a whole lot of photos, because we spent most of our time snorkelling about and hearing from our marine scientists guide about this beautiful ecosystem and the unfortunate situation it is in…


After visiting the Great Barrier Reef, we decided to make a quick stop at the Cairns Botanic Gardens. Unfortunately they were already closed, but we still saw heaps of awesome plants just outside the gates…


And that’s it!

I really loved visiting all these beautiful places, and spending time with my wonderful family. I’m curious though - where in Queensland did we miss? I’m sure there’s plenty more beautiful places to see and I’d definitely like to come back one day, so let me know what you’d recommend!