The summer months in tropical north Queensland signal a time of change, a time of renewal, a time to start again.
While the rest of the country defrosts and makes its way out of hibernation, Queensland experiences a different kind of rebirth.
Nature comes alive and the landscape transforms before your eyes. The rainforest displays every luscious shade of green imaginable, the wildlife is stimulated by an abundance of food and the summer rainfall puts on a spectacular display feeding the land.
Visiting north Queensland during this time of rejuvenation offers an array of fabulously unique experiences – each of which can truly only be experienced in this part of the world.
If you’ve never witnessed the majesty of Rejuvenation Season in north Queensland, these are some of the amazing experiences you can have.
1. Spot wildlife
The summer season is when the wildlife comes alive. Encouraged by the summer time rains, many of the animals in north Queensland are at their procreation peak, with many looking for mates or new life being born.
- Turtles come ashore to lay their eggs between November and January, with hatchlings starting to emerge from nest from mid-January to March. Paddle a kayak to the islet known as Scouts Hat and look for turtles foraging on the reef.
- Cassowaries have usually mated by November with young ‘stripey’ chicks staying close to their fathers. Look for cassowaries in the rainforests of Mission Beach, the Atherton Tablelands and the Daintree and on the beach at Etty Bay.
- Saltwater crocodiles are mating, with males becoming particularly active as they look for a mate. Mating generally takes place during October and November with nesting occurring from December to April. Saltwater crocodiles are extremely dangerous. The best way to view them safely is at a wildlife park such as Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures, where the daily Crocodile Attack Show mixes humour with entertainment and education.
2. View spectacular waterfalls
The summer rains turn already beautiful waterfalls into cascading wonderous attractions. You can discover them in a variety of ways – see Barron Falls from the comfort of Skyrail Rainforest Cableway or Kuranda Scenic Railway or walk along the elevated rainforest boardwalk to the viewing platform at Kuranda. Millaa Millaa, Zillie and Elija Waterfalls are also well-known beautiful falls, but if you want to see the locals’ favourites, visit Mungalli, Nandroya, Windin, Josephine, Tchupala or Hartleys Falls.
3. Walk to a freshwater swimming hole
Behana Gorge with its mammoth boulders and multi-level rock pools is reached after an easy 3km walk along a bitumen path. Crystal Cascades has rock pools linked by waterfalls alongside a shady grass area perfect for picnics. Stoney Creek and Old Weir Falls are at the start of a walking trail that rises steadily uphill to Glacier Rock where stunning views over Cairns and offshore islands are the reward for your sweat equity.
4. Feast on tropical fruits
Plantations are laden with fruit, streets are literally carpeted with fallen mangos and produce markets like Rusty’s Market is the place to pick up luscious locally grown mangoes, pineapples, paw paws, avocados, citrus, berries, and melons.
5. Rejuvenate body and soul at the Reef House Day Spa
Check in for the Signature Spa Ritual and allow three hours of ultimate pampering in tranquil surroundings. Allow the gentle hands of skilled therapists to exfoliate, cleanse, massage and rejuvenate your whole body during a sensory journey that will leave you floating on clouds for days afterwards.
6. Take a day trip to the Atherton Tablelands
Almost 1,000m above sea level and with a noticeably cooler climate than the coastal plain, the Tablelands are all rolling green hills interspersed with dense pockets of ancient rainforest. Hastings and Bromfield Swamps offer exceptional birdwatching opportunities, visit Granite Gorge to see wild rock wallabies and look for platypus in the shallows of Lake Tinaroo near Yungaburra. Taste award-winning gin at Mt Uncle Distillery, fresh-baked scones at Lake Barrine Teahouse and pick up locally grown fruit and vegetables, macadamia nuts, tea, coffee, chocolates and dairy products from Tablelands towns or roadside ‘honesty’ stalls direct from the farmer.
7. Explore the Daintree Rainforest
The absolute best time to savour the sights, sounds and smells of a tropical rainforest is after recent rains when it’s in full restorative mode. The rainforest literally drips with vibrant new life. Walk the boardwalk trails to see elegantly curved buttress roots with flanks the size of a small vehicle, delicate dangling ferns glistening with dew drops and multi-coloured fungi clinging to moss-draped logs, some of which glow iridescent in the shadowy recesses of the forest floor.
8.Visit Cairns Botanic Gardens
Join a guided walk for an in-depth dive into the lifecycles of extraordinary tropical species, wander the Conservatory where tropical butterflies flutter amidst exotic orchids and the peculiar beauty of phallic-like carnivorous pitcher plants make it hard to look away. Stay for coffee or linger over lunch at the Café to admire oversized ginger and heliconia plants with their extraordinary blooms in hues ranging across sassy scarlets, charred oranges and the vivacity of sunflower yellows.
9. Relish the novelty of restorative tropical rain
Participate in an Aqua Aerobic class in the Mineral Pool at the Reef House, where the rejuvenating tincture of rain on your skin is a warming elixir for the soul.
10.Scuba dive or snorkel on the Great Barrier Reef
Generally from November to March the trade winds subside and the Coral Sea is often as calm as a lake with mirror-like calm seas that reflect cotton wool cumulous clouds overhead. Underwater visibility is at its best, with exceptional clarity making for superb diving and snorkelling experiences. Early in the season, the largest synchronised coral spawning event in the natural world occurs – creating new life for future generations inhabiting the Great Barrier Reef. Discover the ways in which you can experience the Great Barrier Reef here.
Where To Rest Your Head in North Queensland
To enjoy these amazing experiences, you need to base yourself somewhere that embraces everything Rejuvenation Season embodies, and the Reef House is just the place.
In the tranquility of the hidden seaside village of Palm Cove, you’ll find this spectacular beachfront property where your cares and worries will simple melt away from you.
To encourage your journey of rejuvenation and renewal, the Reef House has curated a variety of boutique holiday packages. Each package has been specially designed to harness the energy of the season and reinvigorate your wellbeing.
A favourite of ours, and one that has been designed to allow you to step away from the ordinary world and reconnect with your mind, body and soul is the 4 Night Wellness Spa Retreat.
Three days of Phytomer Treatments at the Reef House Day Spa will be tailored to suit you to set you on the right path of your journey to wellbeing. Along with these treatments, you will indulge in daily tropical breakfasts, a seafood platter, a 3-course dinner with views of the Coral Sea at the award winning Reef House Restaurant, and of course, the Reef House’s signature inclusions and traditions, like canapes and punch each evening, onsite activities and poolside sorbet each afternoon.
The colonial style beachfront property of the Reef House offers you a serene and tranquil setting that is one of the best kept secrets of Tropical North Queensland.
Experience Rejuvenation Season at the Reef House in Palm Cove.