Walking Advice – Far North Queensland

Far North Queensland has some of Australia’s most stunning scenery and coastlines to match.

In fact, it’s hard to choose between the two and fortunately there’s no need to because if you have a few days and some decent walking inclinations, then you can sample both.

Here are a few top tips if you’re planning to do a bit of hiking in the area while on holiday.

Dress for the Weather

As this is a tropical climate, you’re not likely to need to worry about dressing for snow and ice but at some times of the year heavy rain may be a possibility.

Obviously though, you don’t want to carry waterproofs around unnecessarily.  So, check the local weather forecast (it’s usually fairly accurate) and if it forecasts rain then go prepared.  If you’re staying in local holiday accommodation, Cairns or elsewhere, your holiday provider can also give advice.

Remember, hiking when soaked to the bone doesn’t suit everyone!

Wear Appropriate Footwear

This advice is ancient and global – yet you still see people getting it wrong.

Hiking through rainforest trails in light tennis shoes (for example) or similarly inappropriate footwear is a really bad idea. It’s just trouble waiting to happen.

In most cases, good walking boots or shoes and good socks are essential. Poorly fitting shoes or looking ‘cool’ and sockless is going to leave you with some impressive blisters. This is true anywhere but particularly so in tropical and humid environments like rainforests.

Be Cautious with Adventure

This is wild countryside and needs to be both understood and respected.

Many hiking tours are led by very experienced tour guides who know the area like the back of their own hand. That’s fantastic but if you decide to be adventurous and cut off on your own, then fine. Do remember though to:

  • Tell someone else of your route, itinerary and check-in points/times
  • Take communication devices with you that you know will work – not just a mobile that struggles to get a signal anywhere outside of a city centre
  • Be sure you have plenty of water with you, some high-energy food and a first-aid kit.
  • A map and a compass is also a very smart idea – providing you know how to use them
  • Take local advice from experts BEFORE you depart.

Don’t Climb Rocks if you’re Inexperienced

Every year someone, somewhere, tries to climb a rock face to save time, for the adventure or just to see what’s on the other side, with the result being broken limbs and even more serious injuries.

Even very modest height rock formations that appear docile, can suddenly become a horrific trap if you’re 75% of the way up and get stuck.  Leave rock climbing to experienced climbers and if you’d like to try as a novice, go on an organised tour for beginners.

Know your Limits

Hiking can be the best way to see the countryside but be realistic about your physical capabilities.  If you’re younger – just how fit are you really?  If you’re older – are you sure you’ve set an itinerary that’s commensurate with your age/fitness levels?

Don’t forget also, if you’re unused to it, that hiking in the tropics can be more tiring than elsewhere. So, keep yourself hydrated and avoid being overly ambitious about distances, terrains and timetables.

Above all though, have fun exploring this magnificent region!