Calling all Weekend Warriors: Another public holiday means another long weekend road trip. Official advice from Auto Europe is that all residents of Australia's fine southern cities should head north - far north - to escape some of the coldest winter days seen for years. Far North Queensland might sound remote but a quick domestic flight and your weekend escape is underway.
Hire a car in Cairns, the main hub of the region and hold tight - you're heading north.
The coastal views driving along Captain Cook Highway stretch out to the Coral Sea and the sparkling blue waters. Keep a look out for viewing areas just off the Highway as they are sometimes easy to drive straight past. After about an hour of stunning views, turn off the highway and into the charming town of Port Douglas. Understandably a popular tourist hot spot, the town has maintained its charm with palm trees along the main street and a tropical leafy vibe all around.
The waters lapping gently along Four Mile Beach are beautifully warm at this time of year and with stinger season a distant memory there's no need to suit up.
Get a different perspective by driving up to the top of the Flagstaff Hill. Four Mile Beach will stretch out in front of you, yearning to get its sand between your toes.
A slightly more energetic Australian experience awaits you at Iron Bar in the town centre. Kiss a cane toad and watch it go in cane toad racing each evening. If there's time to squeeze it in, Cairns is a gateway to the mighty Great Barrier Reef. Tours leave daily and you can find one suitable for snorkelers, scuba divers or those who prefer to keep all limbs in the boat.
Drag yourself away from the tropical luxury of PD and head north again towards Mossman. This small town is built off sugar-cane farming and holds a badly kept secret treat for visitors. About 5km away, Mossman Gorge has refreshing waters to dip your feet in to and from the car park a 2.4km walking track through the rainforest.
Stay north on the Mossman-Daintree Road and cross over the Daintree River on the car ferry. When your wheels hit the tarmac you'll be in true rainforest territory. This part of the trip is a bit more off the beaten track. There are a few different ways to go, but stop off at Cow Bay or Thornton Beach and if you're lucky you'll be the only one around. Drop in for some local ice cream made from crops thriving in the rainforest climate of the grounds, including soursop and wattleseed depending on the seasonal availability. On the way back down, stop at Alexandra Lookout. Try and spot Port Douglas in the distance from the lookout, framed by rare tropical flora.
If you need a car to get around for weekend adventures in Northern Queensland, give Auto Europe Australia a call on 1300 656 601 or book online.