Hi Conference goers,
My first suggestion would be to fly north to Cairns while the weather is likely to be bearable, and base yourself there for a week. The Trip Advisor link below gives an idea of the variety. Cairns is on the coast where all the boats leave to visit the various islands. There’s a plateau called the Atherton Tablelands that runs parallel leaving a very low flat strip of coastal land north and south of Cairns. It’s at a reasonably high altitude providing a very different rainforest type. The Skyrail is an amazing way to get there. It will float you up and over the rainforest and into the Atherton region national parks. Great jungle, cafes and markets if you head to Kuranda on the right day of the week.
Head further north up to Port Douglas overnight (very hip and great food while being a good half way point) then on to The Daintree (as it’s fondly known). World Heritage designated for being a rainforest located right on the coast. Quite rare. You’ll pass through lots of sugar cane plantations on the way but the coastal drive is flat, easy and quite beautiful at times.
At the back of the city of Cairns is an area known as Crystal Springs which is a large bubbling small river that is a beautiful swimming area that the locals frequent (my niece lived there). In the city itself is the boardwalk along the mudflats. The tide goes out quite a distance so all the crabs and critters are revealed at low tide. It’s a city of festivals too, so no doubt you’ll hear music and see unusual food vendors around the streets. As it’s school holidays, think about booking sooner rather than later.
Then there are butterfly farms and the Great Barrier Reef to explore. https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Attractions-g255069-Activities-c57-Cairns_Cairns_Region_Queensland.html
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