Exploring in your own vehicle is so easy here. Before you set-off on your adventure, make sure you have plenty of water to drink (Cairns and Port Douglas tap water is as good as bottled water), hats for everyone, sunscreen and snacks (so you can extend your journey, if you wish!)
The Cairns region has many natural areas ideal for walks:
Besides the natural areas, the Cairns region also has numerous built attractions suitable for families which are ideal to combine with Hartley’s as part of self-drive day out.
Pre-arranged bookings are required in some cases and entry fees do apply.
Smithfield Shopping Centre also has excellent family friendly facilities including a movie theatre and a range of cafés and restaurants for all budgets and tastes.
If you are departing from Cairns, Jonsson’s Farmer’s Market, just off the Highway at Aeroglen has a fantastic range of local fruit and snacks.
After a morning visit to Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures, we recommend you continue your drive north to Port Douglas and Mossman.
If so, Port Douglas is your next destination. Head north for 20 minutes along the Captain Cook Highway. A long list of cafes, restaurants and eateries offer a wide range of cuisines for an array of budgets.
The new lookout on Flagstaff Hill offers greats views from Daintree to Cairns.
Every Sunday morning, the Port Douglas markets on the water front showcases a variety of local crafts, along with fresh fruit and regional produce.
A further 20-minute drive will deliver you to the Mossman Gorge Visitor Centre. Regular shuttle buses operated by the Kuku Yanlanji Traditional Owners take you into the Gorge National Park for a small fee.
For an authentic cultural experience, guided walks into the rainforest can be booked at the Centre, subject to availability.
Kuranda, the world famous ‘village in the rainforest’ is a must do activity. From Cairns, drive north to Smithfield round-about and take the exit for the Kennedy Highway. After driving 17km, turn left at the traffic lights. There are designated free parking areas in the Kuranda Village.
If you don’t feel like driving, Down Under Tours offer a self-drive package where they will transfer you between Kuranda Scenic Rail (Freshwater Station) and Skyrail Rainforest Cableway at Smithfield.
Take time to explore and enjoy the cafes, art galleries, market stalls, sweet makers and our sister attractions; Kuranda Koala Gardens and Birdworld Kuranda, both located in the Kuranda Heritage Markets. The Heritage Markets and Original Kuranda Markets have an array of great shopping and various food options. Relax with a cold beer at historic Kuranda Bottom Pub or cruise the Baron River on the Kuranda Riverboat.
After your time in Kuranda, return to Smithfield and drive north to Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures. The drive takes approximately 45 minutes from Kuranda.