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Lifestyle : Discover North Queensland 2011
All fares quoted are per person, twin share, land content only. Cape York Tour includes Horn Island flight with Qantas. All fares include Australian GST. All tours operated by Outback Spirit Tours Pty Ltd. ACN 006 972 130. Licensed Travel Agent 2TA4575. EM110833_SH 1800 688 222 Call 1800 OUTBACK www.outbackspirittours.com.au Q Q QL LD D 1 1 1 21 2 2 1 Moreton Station Thursday Island Bamaga Lotus Bird Lodge Weipa Cooktown Cairns Cape Tribulation Cape York Wilderness Adventure Enjoy an adventure through one of the most remote regions in Australia, the wild Cape York Peninsula. Visit the Daintree Rainforest and take a guided walk through magnificent fan-palm galleries before tackling the infamous Bloomfield Track to Cooktown. Explore this historic frontier town before setting off into Lakefield National Park. New for 2011, spend 2 nights at the stunning Lotus Bird Lodge, exclusive to Outback Spirit. Also visit Weipa and tour the largest Bauxite mine in the world before heading further north to Moreton Telegraph Repeater Station on the banks of the Wenlock River. From here travel sections of the original Telegraph Track to Bamaga and venture to the northernmost point of the Australian mainland - Pajinka. Travel to the Torres Strait Islands and enjoy tours of both Horn Island and Thursday Island before flying back to Cairns with QANTAS (included). Also includes 2 nights in Cairns. The tour is fully accommodated and fully inclusive of all meals, all attraction and entry fees, exceptional accommodation and travel aboard a 5-star 4WD Mercedes Benz tour vehicle. Travel in small groups of 20 passengers. 12 days $6,495 Frequent departures May to Sep 2011 Specialists in escorted outback travel Premium small group adventures THE SUN-HERALD SUNDAY, JULY 31, 2011 3 north queensland special report Trip notes Getting there Virgin Blue and Jetstar fly daily from Sydney to Cairns. 13 31 33, flightcentre.com.au. Staying there The Shantara Port Douglas Resort and Spa has studio rooms from $205 a night. 1800 427 100, shantara.com.au. The Pullman Reef Hotel Casino in Cairns has rooms from $219 a night. 07 4030 8888, reefcasino.com.au/hotel.php. Kuranda's Cedar Park Rainforest Resort has rooms from $120 a night. (07) 4093 7892, cedarparkresort.com.au. Birds'n'Bloom Cottages at Yungaburra has cottages from $220 a night. (07) 4095 3330, bnbcottages.com. Eating there NuNuatPalmCoveisopensix days a week between April and November. Closed on Tuesdays. (07) 4059 1880, nunu.com.au. Harrisons at Port Douglas is open daily. (07) 4099 4011, harrisonsrestaurant.com.au. Getting around By road, Port Douglas is an hour's drive north of Cairns. Kuranda, Yungaburra and Atherton can be reached via the Kennedy Highway north- west of Cairns. More information pddt.com.au. Natural attractions . . . the Mareeba wetlands; barramundi at Bistro 3. opportunity to take a ride above the plantation in a micro-light aircraft. At nearby Mount Uncle, on an avocado and nut plantation, North Queensland's first and only distillery produces spirits and liqueurs, including vodkas, and rums made from local sugar cane spirit. Whisky production is in the pipeline. Tours of the Mount Uncle Distillery are held daily at 11.30am while tastings of such exotica as Sexycat marshmallow liqueur are unsurprisingly popular with sweeter-toothed visitors. While grapes do not thrive in the tropics, there are several wineries; including de Brueys, where a family operation produces a range of tropical fruit wines, liqueurs and ports using produce from Mareeba and surrounds. Much of the fruit comes from the family orchard, which is planted with mangoes, bush cherries and passionfruit and jaboticaba, a rare Brazilian tree grape. The lush green pasture of the tablelands is ideal for dairy cattle and the biodynamic dairy and organic cafe at Mungalli Creek is one of the region's most popular stopping-off points. Visitors can watch quark and yoghurts being made, along with a range of cheeses, and then partake in a free tasting. Fresh scones with rainforest jam and Jersey cream and the cheesecakes made from quark are always popular, as is the ploughman's lunch. Gallo Dairyland also has an excellent range of cheeses (the Gallozola blue is exceptional) and offers tastings of a selection of hand-made chocolates. Other popular gourmet stops include Tarzali Lakes Smokehouse Cafe, the Nerada Tea Plantation, where visitors learn how tea is grown and processed, the Peanut Place, with its flavoured peanuts, macadamia, pecan and cashews and Wondaree Macadamias. The area is also full of natural attractions, with the possibility to walk off any excesses on the Waterfall Circuit or the Misty Mountains Trails around Millaa Millaa, Malanda, Yungaburra and Atherton. Yungaburra is one of the prettiest hamlets on the tablelands and is home to Nick's, an endearingly eccentric Swiss-Italian restaurant that is this year celebrating its 20th anniversary. Coffee Works in Mareeba is a terrific one-stop shop for local produce, ranging from coffees, teas, liqueurs and chocolates to gourmet gifts. Returning to the coast, Nu Nu and the Reef House restaurant in Palm Cove are well worth exploring, while Cairns has become a metropolis with a selection of top-notch accommodation and eateries. Among the stars is Tamarind, the signature restaurant of the Pullman Reef Hotel Casino, which features the fusion tastes and textures of Asian and Western cuisine and is regarded as a dining ''must do''. Other favourites include Bayleaf, Bushfire Flame Grill, Hanuman, Bellocale and Ochre. And because this is the north there is, almost inevitably, a beer on the agenda -- at the boutique Blue Sky Brewery, which produces hand-crafted, unpasteurised brews and a range that includes FNQ Lager, Cairns Gold, Reef Blonde, Blue Sky Pilsner, Woody Ale and True Blue Stout. The writer was assisted by Tropical Tablelands Tourism and Taste Paradise.
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