Flight Centre travel expert Angela Blazey from the Rangiora Flight Centre recently went to Tropical North Queensland (TNQ) & absolutely loved it.
Tropical North Queensland depicts a very relaxed, casual, friendly and outdoorsy lifestyle, perfect for us Kiwi's. Whether you are after a holiday to just relax and park up on the beach or a fun adventure packed holiday it has something for everyone.
Tropical North Queensland is tailor made for everyone - couples, honeymooners & families. People wanting a not too expensive getaway to somewhere hot. I think Tropical North Queensland (TNQ) is a great alternative for people that perhaps can’t quite afford to go to an island but want the snorkelling and picturesque beaches. There is something for everyone. Eg: Day trip to the reef, Skyrail, Kuranda Rail, Rainforest walks, lazing on the beach, shopping, Fine Dining, River Rafting, Zoo’s, Crocodile Parks, Flames of the Forest, and the list goes on!
The great thing about Australia is it's convenient transport. There are always buses, taxis, trains etc and the frequency is just amazing.
Where to find the best shopping:
Kuranda Village: Fantastic for Souvenirs, Gifts & Gelato Ice-cream! It is a lovely village just to take a lazy stroll through and browse.
Cairns Markets: On a Saturday – We didn’t have the privilege of going to this market, however Nicki, a local told us they were popular.
Port Douglas: has a lovely street for shopping – The ‘Rivers’ store rocks! Even managed to get some bargains – Shoes $69 reduced to $20. Shorts $40 reduced to $15. That was the quickest speed shopping I've ever done. All in10 minutes!
Top Local Restaurants:
Zinc Restaurant in Port Douglas. It is a unique combination of restaurant, bistro, bar, cafe & lounge Bar. It is also family friendly and has a lovely inside/outside flow. The main feature of this trendy Restaurant is the floor to ceiling fish tank that greets you when you go to the restroom – AMAZING!
Elandra Mission Beach Restaurant – The credit to this lovely restaurant is their staff! Don’t get me wrong, the food was divine, but the staff just couldn’t do enough for us. Glasses were never empty, water or otherwise and they were just lovely! Try their amazing triple sorbet dessert! 1 x Scoop of Coconut, 1 x Scoop of Melon and 1 x Scoop of Pear all in lined up in a row. All quite different, but delicious!
Flames of the Forest – 7 Course Meal! This isn't a cheap evening out, but so worth it just for the food alone! 7 x courses of exquisite delicacy’s from Smoked Kangaroo on Rocket, to Steamed fillets of Barramundi, to Salt N Pepper Crocodile wok, followed by Pavlova! Divine!
My pick of top hotels:
Elandra Mission Beach: Lovely white, crisp clean rooms with a touch of Balinese culture. All rooms have balconies and ours was at the front with a lovely view of the beach. Not overly huge rooms, however the outdoor pool area makes up for it. I loved the 2 x bean bags on the balcony (very hard to get out of again!) Woke up to a lovely sunrise from our balcony. The fact that it is up on the hill, makes it quite secluded. Fabulous place for honeymooners or couples. Pool was just lovely with loungers everywhere and the bar & restaurant right there.
Castaways Mission Beach: Fantastic location right on the beachfront. Great family resort with everything right there. Rooms were lovely, however it was interesting to note one of the ‘family’ type units is more like a studio with a 1 x bedroom off that room. Ie, no couch. Good to note that clients need to be made aware of this as it makes the room very small. Quite reasonably priced also we thought. Lovely day spa right there and the girls were lovely. Loungers you can laze on after your treatment – quite hard to leave really.
Coral Sands Trinity Beach: I loved the HUGE apartments and spaciousness. We stayed in a 3 x Bedroom apartment and it was just so lovely, I could easily have stayed there for 2 weeks. Ours overlooked the beach, and it was lovely sitting outside at night on the balcony. Not all rooms have a view of the beach though.
Peppers Beach Club Port Douglas: 5 Star and say no more! Gorgeous pool with sand. Private swim up decks on some of the ground floor rooms. Stunning rooms with a lovely indoor/outdoor flow to them. We had the privilege of having breakfast there one morning and I didn’t really want to leave. Very Mediterranean style with crisp, clean white decor and paint – I’m always a fan of that look, it just feels 5 Star.
Local traditions/customs: North Queensland has a much stronger Aboriginal influence as opposed to Brisbane/Gold Coast area. Respect for Aboriginal culture is important, especially their history & beliefs. If you have the chance go to the Flames of the Forest show. It's very interesting and informative.
Local greetings: “Gidday Mate” Generally similar to our way of greeting people. Australia has a pretty friendly & informal greeting tradition.
Dress code: Depends on what you'll be doing and where you'll be going. Shorts, Singlets & Jandals if you are on holiday just cruising about. Evening dinning requires a more smart dress theme.
Looking for more information on the Tropical North Queensland? or Cheap flights to Cairns? Contact Flight Centre travel expert Angela Blazey in our Flight Centre Rangiora store or one of Flight Centre's 135 stores nationwide. Phone 0800 24 35 44.