Palm Cove beachTHE TROPICAL NORTHThe Tropical North of Queensland is bordered bythe Coral Sea and the Great Barrier Reef to theeast and the rainforest mountains that sweepfrom the west. At the heart of this tropicalparadise is the city of Cairns, much more than agateway with its eclectic cuisine making use offresh seafood and tropical fruits and a vibrantnightlife. It struggles, however, to match thenatural beauties on every side. Inland the landrises through virgin rainforest to the elevatedAtherton Tablelands, known as the 'cooltropics': warm and sunny by day, cool and freshby night. To the north a string of shelteredbeaches, backed by tropical rainforest, becomeever more remote and unspoiled as they lead tothe little-visited Cape York Peninsula and finallythe Torres Strait Islands. Running the full lengthof this coastline is the Great Barrier Reef, theworld's largest living structure, alive with thekaleidoscopic colours of corals and fish.24Zanzoo Retreat, Cairns Located twenty minutes from the centre of Cairns,Zanzoo Retreat is one of Queensland's oldestsurviving homes. Amidst lovely gardens, thistraditional 'Queenslander' home has beentransformed into a delightful bed & breakfastcomplete with swimming pool. Large and rambling,there are two lounges, a reading room and a kitchenfor guests to use. The first floor is ringed by a vastbalcony, perfect for breakfast and the six guestbedrooms are beautifully decorated in soft colours.THE NORTHERN BEACHES Less than half an hour from Cairns, Palm Coveand Kewarra Beach offer magnificent ribbons ofpalm-fringed, golden beaches edging the CoralSea with picturesque Double Island and ScoutsHat Island breaking the blue horizon. Palm Coveexudes a genuine, simple tropical appealcomplete with cobbled streets and colonial stylebuildings, whilst Kewarra has a delightfullyrelaxed, yet elegant feel. Take the scenic drivenorth for a further hour and you will discoverPort Douglas with its backdrop of tropicalmountains and one of the region's mostbeautiful beaches: 'Four Mile'. Retaining muchof the original charm of its fishing-village days,the low-rise buildings of the main street ofMacrossan intermingle with the originalarchitecture and are crammed with tiny open-aircafés and restaurants. It has a laid-backatmosphere coupled with a generous touch ofeccentricity. Any one of these places is an idealbase from which to discover the delights of theGreat Barrier Reef, Daintree Rainforest or theAtherton Tablelands, they also make perfectretreats once you have finished exploring. Zanzoo Retreat, CairnsKewarra Beach ResortKewarra Beach Resort,Kewarra Beach, near Palm CoveHidden within acres of rainforest surrounding a smalllagoon and bordered by a honey-coloured beach,Kewarra offers a perfect escape without having tostray too far off the track. The central lodge hasadopted the style of the Torres Strait Islands, using aspiritual wood 'Gul' from Saibai Island, coupled withIslander artwork. Individual 'Mouds', the islanderword for 'small tropical house', are scattered aroundthe grounds, each one private and spacious. Strollthrough the gardens and encounter butterflies andbirds or saunter along the private beach beforesampling fresh modern cuisine in the KingsRestaurant - the perfect finale to an outdoor day.
QUEENSLAND25Port Douglas marinaSebel Reef House,Palm CoveIn the heart of Palm Cove, this delightful white-washed, colonial-style building is just steps from thebeach. Elegant and spacious, the open-plan roomsmaximise daylight and catch the sea-breezes tocreate a calm and carefree ambience. The 'help-yourself honesty bar' makes a refreshing change,while dining beneath the majestic melaleuca trees isan indulgence to be savoured. This is the ideal placeto unwind and enjoy the beach of Palm Cove, theperfect haven having spent time exploring theTropical North. Peninsula Boutique Hotel,Port DouglasIn the heart of Port Douglas across from the famouspalm-fringed Four Mile beach, this charmingproperty provides unsurpassed comfort and top-notch friendly service. The al fresco restaurant haswonderful views of the ocean and serves the freshestof seafood, while the landscaped pool has a waterfalland a sheltered sun deck. The one bedroom suiteseach have a private balcony with views out to theocean or overlooking the pool.Tropical NorthDiscoveryUsing delightful Port Douglas as your base, this tripallows you to explore a number of the breathtakinghighlights of Tropical North Queensland, from theGreat Barrier Reef to the huge trees of the ancientDaintree Rainforest. Thala Beach Lodge provides aluxurious and spectacular haven to return to.Day 1:Arrive in Cairns and transfer to ThalaBeach Lodge near Port Douglas. The restof the day is yours to enjoy at leisure.Day 2:Take a full day trip to the Great BarrierReef onboard Synergy II.Day 3:Enjoy a full day small group guided 4WDtour to Cape Tribulation.Day 4:Today is yours to explore the lovely townof Port Douglas.Day 5:This morning drive to the verdantAtherton Tablelands for the day beforereturning to Thala Beach Lodge.Day 6:Morning at leisure before departing.EXTENSIONSThe options to extend your visit to Tropical NorthQueensland are as varied as they are tempting.Lounge longer on pristine Lizard Island, cruisearound the islands and coral systems of the GreatBarrier Reef or for a real adventure hire a 4WDvehicle and follow the Bloomfield Track to Cooktown.tailor-made travelAll our travel arrangements are on a private,individual basis to offer you complete freedom ofchoice. The itineraries and accommodation optionsthroughout the brochure are designed to give you aflavour of what is possible and can be tailor-made tosuit your preferences. Prices vary according toselected accommodation and season. Please callour Australia specialists on 01869 276 345 todiscuss your individual requirements.Thala Beach Lodge,near Port DouglasTucked away atop a peninsula on the northern tip ofa stretch of untouched coastline, this lodge, anAudley favourite, offers seclusion at its best. Theheady concoction of dense verdant bush, nativewildlife and views of the sparkling Coral Sea are atremendous combination. Choose between rustictimber-clad tree-top cabins that share the aromaticeucalypt canopy with the birds, or the elegantbungalows where the Coral Sea fills the view - bothare comfortable and spacious. Take an exploratorybushwalk through the garden trails to learn aboutthe native flora and fauna, or stroll along the privatebeachfront and enjoy a picnic in a sheltered cove,returning for a dip in one of the two fresh-waterfree-form swimming pools. The open-air centrallodge houses the renowned 'Ospreys' Restaurantand the intriguingly named, yet warmly sociable'Masked Plover' Bar.Thala Beach LodgeSebel Reef HouseCassowary