Queensland, Australia

No trip to Australia is complete without exploring the wonder that is Tropical North Queensland. This is a region of truly spectacular sights, from the pristine corals of the Great Barrier Reef, to the beautiful and mysterious Daintree Rainforest, to the lush landscapes of the Atherton Tablelands. The coastline is punctuated by endless idyllic sandy beaches, with paradise islands sprinkled just off shore, while inland is a bounty of gorgeous waterfalls, stunning crater lakes and the otherworldly moonscapes of the Outback. And don’t even get us started on the wildlife. This place has adventure in its DNA.

The friendly city of Cairns is worth checking out for a few days in its own right: it has a great esplanade, some awesome bars and clubs, and a great backpacker crowd. It’s also the main hub from which to explore the wider region, with lots of hostels and major transport links, including an international airport.


Call us to book on: 0333 333 9945

Flights to Cairns

Return flights from: £601


We’ve teamed up with Philippine Airlines to offer you an exclusive deal: return flights with only one stop to Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef. You simply won’t find a better rate out there.

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Flight Inclusive Package

14 days from: £1,200


You can save even more money by combining your flight with an amazing tour. Explore the stunning Tropical North Queensland and much much more.

Call us to book: 0333 333 9945

Hostel & Hotel Accommodation

1 night from: £11


Cairns is backpacker central in Tropical North Queensland, so there are heaps of options for quality budget accommodation. Check out our listings and choose one of our selected hostels.

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Adventure Tours

5 days from: £475


Tropical North Queensland was made for tours. Choose between scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef, trekking through ancient rainforests, swimming in waterfalls and so much more.

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Our Favourite Adventure Tours

Joining a tour can not only be absolutely epic but save you money. Join up with a group and explore everything Queensland has to offer with one of our carefully selected tours below.

The easiest, fastest and cheapest way to get to Australia from the UK is to fly. With our amazing offer with Philippine Airlines, you can get return flights from London to Cairns for just £601, with a changeover in Manila. Not bad for getting to the other side of the planet and back! And once you get to Cairns Airport, the city centre is practically walking distance.

If you are visiting as a tourist without plans to work, you’ll just need an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA), which you can apply for online, for about £15. Once you’ve purchased this, it will be automatically linked to your passport, and allow you to stay for up to three months. If you plan to settle down and earn some cash, you’ll need to apply for an Australian Working Holiday Visa.

The climate of Tropical North Queensland is – you guessed it – tropical, so you can put those jeans back in the wardrobe. The most you’ll need is a few pairs of shorts, some T-shirts/tank tops and flip flops. Everything else can be bought in Australia if and when you need it, including sun cream, which is much cheaper there than it is in the UK.

Compared to the UK, Australia’s seasons are upside down. The best time to visit Tropical North Queensland is during Australia’s autumn and winter – March through to August – when temperatures are a comfortable 25-30°C . The spring and summer temperatures are much the same, but with much higher humidity and a lot more rain.

The major highlight of the region is the Great Barrier Reef, massively popular for snorkelling and scuba diving. Another must-see is the Daintree Rainforest, which in some places creeps all the way down to the sandy beaches, like at Cape Tribulation. Other highlights include the Kuranda Scenic Railway, the Atherton Tablelands, and the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway.

We strongly recommend you join a tour, and then you won’t have to worry about getting around, as it’ll all be taken care of for you. The other benefits of joining a tour are that you’ll be sharing the experience with a group of like-minded people (who’ll quickly become great friends) and you’ll have an expert guide explaining everything you’re looking at.

Tropical North Queensland has a stupendous amount of awesome wildlife. Expect all the classic Australian creatures – think koalas, kangaroos, dingoes – but also some offerings unique to the region. Ever heard of a cassowary bird? It’s the size of an ostrich and as colourful as a peacock. Cool. And then there are the salt water crocs. Get yourself on a boat trip down the Daintree River to see these guys in action.

Need more info?

If you have any questions feel free to contact us via email at gapyear@studentuniverse.co.uk or fill out a quick form on our gap year home page. We can’t wait to help you start this adventure!