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43 The Esplanade Cairns 4870 QLD Australia

Cairns to Cooktown, Bloomfield Track

Cairns to Cooktown

A driving adventure through the most beautiful parts of Tropical North Queensland.


The drive is just over 300 kilometres, which takes you through some of the most beautiful scenery in Northern Queensland. Below you'll find our recommended travel itinerary, over 5 days, taking you to the most incredible places in the region.

Day 1: Cairns

  1. Fire up for the day in Cairns with an all-you-can-eat breakfast at Bushfire Flame Grill Restaurant.
  2. Take a walk along the Esplanade, have a dip in the lagoon, appreciate the scenery and check out the shops!
  3. Visit the Cairns Aquarium and learn about the region's incredible marine life.
  4. Zipline over crocodiles in the city at the Cairns ZOOM and Wildlife Dome
  5. Visit Rusty's Markets and stock up on some produce for the drive up to Cooktown.
  6. Dig into the must-try, all-you-can-eat churrasco experience at Bushfire Flame Grill.

Day 2: Cairns to Kuranda

Image credit: Tourism Tropical North Queensland

The first stop on your road trip should be Kuranda, a mountain village that's about 30 kilometres from Cairns. Kuranda is a popular tourist destination, and it's home to a number of attractions, including the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary, Birdworld Kuranda, the Kuranda Markets and Barron Falls.

The drive from Cairns to Kuranda is through the Barron Gorge National Park, which offers spectacular views.

Day 3: Kuranda to Cape Tribulation

Image credit: Tourism Tropical North Queensland

The drive from Kuranda to Cape Tribulation is around 140km and will take you approximately 3 hours. On the way, you can take a small detour to Port Douglas, visiting Four Mile Beach for the perfect pit stop. It's also worth stopping at the Daintree Discovery Centre just outside of Cape Tribulation.

Whilst here, explore the wonders of the Daintree Rainforest on the Madja Boardwalk, have a dip at Masons' Swimming Hole and see where the rainforest meets the Great Barrier Reef on the Kulki Boardwalk.

Day 5: Cape Tribulation to Cooktown on the Bloomfield Track 

The Bloomfield Track

Image credit: Tourism Tropical North Queensland

Now for the fun part...four-wheel driving through the winding rainforest, across rivers and alongside some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. On the track you'll find the below attractions:

  • Emmagen Creek Crossing
  • Donovans Ridge
  • Cowie Beach
  • Bloomfield River lookout (look out for crocodiles)
  • Bloomfield River
  • Bana Yirriji Arts Centre
  • Wujal Wujal Falls

Day 6: Cooktown back to Cairns

Image credit: Tourism Tropical North Queensland

Once you arrive in Cooktown, you'll have plenty of time to explore before setting off back to Cairns. There are a number of things to see and do whilst you're here, including:

  1. Take in the views from Grassy Hill
  2. Learn about the history of the town at the Cooktown Museum
  3. Have a dip at Trevethan Falls
  4. Explore Finch Bay and the Botanical Gardens

The journey back to Cairns takes less than 4 hours when you go via Mulligan Highway.

A road trip from Cairns to Cooktown is a great way to experience the best of Far North Queensland. The scenery is spectacular, the towns are charming, and there are plenty of things to see and do.

Pacific Hotel Cairns - The perfect starting point for your adventure up to Cooktown!

If you're staying at the Pacific Hotel Cairns, you're in the perfect location to start your road trip. The hotel is located in the best location for exploring Cairns on the first day, and it's close to the highway that takes you out to Kuranda!

To view our accommodation options or to start a booking, click the 'book now' button below.

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