It’s safe to say that our itinerary was jam packed full of adventure, covering a large chunk of the Atherton Tablelands before heading south to the funky beachside town of Mission Beach and then back up to Cairns.
What follows are my top 11 Itinerary highlights from start to finish!
Have a read and trust me, you’ll be ready to jump in your very own JUCY Champ and get on the road in no time! And if not, well then, you mustn’t have a sense of adventure. 😉
A must do location for those who like all things vibrant, colourful and quirky.
These ‘Original’ markets can be found nestled amongst the rainforest and are comprised of many colourful little wooden shacks that are connected by overflowing garden beds and winding pathways. They are bursting with local art and crafts, food and interesting stalls to get lost within.
Hot Tip: If you’re a fan of churros then you absolutely must try the home made churros and chocolate dipping sauce from the Cassowary Cafe. They are melt in your mouth, finger licking and bowl licking good!
On the road again and we were heading for the cute little country town of Atherton, but not before stopping off at Emerald Creek Falls for a bit of exploring and a refreshing dip.
Located not far off the main highway between Atherton and Mareeba, this impressive waterfall is well worth the hike and if the cool water isn’t enough to entice, then the amazing views from the top surely will.
The run down: A 1.9 km hike will take you to the lookout and then it’s just a matter of picking a spot you like best to go for a swim.
Theres always time for wine and cheese picnics when you’re living out of a Jucy van!
Overnight was spent at Big 4 Atherton, where we parked up just before sunset and settled in for an evening of good company and good conversation – one of my favourite things about road trips.
This is definitely where the memories are made.
Location tip : Yungaburra is a cute little town located not far from Atherton and if you visit the local stream late in the afternoon you may be lucky enough to spot a Platypus.
In the morning we checked out Petals & Pinecones in the main street of Atherton for a breakfast that was second to none – especially if you have a sweet tooth like me.
With retro furnishings literally plastered from top to bottom, it was like I had just walked into the Mad Hatters Tea Party and I never wanted to leave!
This honestly has to be one of the most ‘Instagrammable Cafe’s’ I have ever set foot in.
BIG Call – I know but I’ll let you be the judge!
Ohh and the food. Well I tucked in to a modest ham + cheese toasty accompanied by an ‘out of this world’ Unicorn Milkshake, that I can’t stop thinking about to this day! (Check out this glorious creation for yourself – pictured below)
After breakfast we rolled ourselves back to the Champs and hit the road in the direction of the Curtain Fig Tree just outside of Yungaburra.
This is one of the largest fig trees in the region and is probably one of the most amazing tree’s you will ever see.
Towering high above, I am forever in awe of how strange and powerful nature is!
Fig tree facts: This Curtain Fig belongs to the strangler fig species, which grow by germinating upon another tree and sending roots towards the ground, from there it will grow rapidly to eventually strangle and kill the host tree. This beauty is nearly 50 metres tall and is estimated to be over 500 years old!
As if breakfast wasn’t enough to leave us cradling our food babies – next up we stopped in for cheese and chocolate tasting at Gallo Dairyland.
An experience not to be missed if you like your cheese and also the perfect place to fuel up for lunch before some more exploring.
Food tip: Make sure you try their Macadamia Cheese, it is seriously delish!
From Gallo’s we headed south towards Mission Beach and nearly made it all the way to our next destination before stopping to check out some local produce and purchase a cup of tea from the Nucifora Tea Plantation honesty box.
Lucky we had the perfect set up in our JUCY Champs to quickly brew a cuppa before getting back on the road.
After a massive day we finally arrived to check out our last destination – the always beautiful Paronella Park.
This incredible location boasts the ruins of a charming Spanish castle built for love close to 100 years ago.
Surrounded by enchanting gardens, it truely is an incredible place to get lost in the fairytale.
The next morning we rose to an incredible sunrise at Mission Beach and cooked breakfast beneath the palm trees before another massive day.
It was pure bliss!
Quick tip: Mission Beach sunrises are some of the best in the region. Make sure you set your alarm as this is one early morning you don’t want to miss!
Now it wouldn’t be a road trip in Tropical North Queensland without a visit to the reef.
So on the third day of our trip we jumped on board The Reef Goddess with Mission Beach Dive and made our way out to the beautiful outer Great Barrier Reef.
We could not have hoped for a more perfect day. The sun was out, the visibility was insane and water temp was a balmy 27 degrees.
Thanks to the awesome crew form Mission Beach dive for taking us to some seriously beautiful reef sites!
So the next day it was sadly time to head back to Cairns.
But not before stopping off at one of my favourite swimming holes for a refreshing dip – The Babinda Boulders.
Safety First: The water level was incredibly low when we visited in early November, meaning it was easy to reach this swimming hole. At almost all other times of the year this area is a raging torrent and defiantly not safe to swim! Always be aware of how strong the current is and don’t go swimming if you are unsure of anything.
The clever set up in the JUCY champ, makes them ideal for a road trip with your bestie or as a couple. With a comfy bed up top leaving loads of room down below to spread out and make the campa your little home on wheels. For more info on the Champs and all that they have to offer head to: www.jucy.com.au
To view the full gallery of images from the trip head here.
Hope you enjoyed reading along, if you have any questions or feedback I’d love you to leave a comment below! 🙂