The 4 Most Photogenic Spots in Far North Queensland
Let me tell you about a paradise so beautiful it couldn’t possibly be real. In the top corner of eastern Australia lies a magical land of green mountains and luscious forest jutting out of sparkling turquoise water. Even during the winter months, the weather is an idyllic 27°C with blue skies and plenty of sunshine to accompany you as you experience the many beautiful locations along the stunning coastline. Alas, real it is and we were lucky enough to explore Far North Queensland just last week, equipped with my fancy new Olympus PEN E-PL9.
Brad and I have been searching for the perfect compact camera to add to our travel photography and videography kit for quite some time now, and the sophisticated PEN E-PL9 ticks all the boxes. Not only does it look good, but it has a bunch of fantastic features like interchangeable lenses, a flip-down selfie screen, instant creative filters and Bluetooth that had us hook, line and sinker.
I figured there was no better place to set the new Olympus PEN E-PL9 to work. And work it did. That is, it worked absolute wonders artistically capturing the beauty we found ourselves surrounded by throughout our incredible Queensland trip. So, today I’m going to be sharing with you four of our favourite spots in Far North QLD and the special shots we captured along the way.
1. Palm Cove
Just 30-minutes north of Cairns Airport is the charming seaside town of Palm Cove, which gets its name from the Instagram worthy palm trees that line the beach. It was here that we made our home base during our stay (also known as our place to eat, sleep, recharge and edit photos, of course!) and we’re sure glad that we did because it was the prettiest town we visited. With plenty of resort accommodation, five-star dining and amazing coffee (shoutout to Chill Cafe for the delicious caffeine hit each morning!), Palm Cove really has it all.
Known for its stellar east coast sunrises, Brad and I rose super early one morning to experience it for ourselves. With my Olympus PEN E-PL9 in hand, we strolled to the beach where we were in awe of just how special it was to view the sun rise out of the Coral Sea, painting our world with warm washes of pink and orange and yellow and red. It was truly breathtaking.
I captured these moments with the M.Zuiko 14-42mm lens (a great everyday all-rounder!), one of many interchangeable lenses I’ve been having fun with on my Olympus PEN.
Zara striped shirt dress, Lack of Color cap, Status Anxiety bag with Zara scarf tied around it, CLUSE gold rings and Rubi slides.
2. Daintree Rainforest
If you didn’t go to the Daintree Rainforest, did you even go to Far North Queensland? An ancient and complex ecosystem, the UNESCO World Heritage-listed rainforest is believed to be the oldest in the world, so it’s easy to believe that dinosaurs once roamed within its lush, green canopies. Gulp. During our visit, we were lucky enough to spot another kind of dinosaur (according to me), a huge salt water crocodile from afar, as well as an adult cassowary with its baby.
The best way to see the rainforest is to do a guided tour, a boat cruise down the Daintree River (especially if you want to go crocodile spotting!) or a canopy walkway experience. We decided to go with the latter, making our way across the River by ferry to the Daintree Discovery Centre. Set 23-metres high, the aerial walkway allows you to be right amongst the thriving nature of the forest as you stroll through its green depths, snapping away a you go. Palm trees, vines and giant ferns make you feel like you’re on the set of Tarzan. I mean, c’mon, look at those photos! Epic, right?
Glassons off-shoulder top, MINKPINK wrap skirt, Lack of Color cap, Status Anxiety bag, CLUSE watch and bracelet, and Soludos espadrille shoes.
3. Fitzroy Island
The Coral Sea is home to the famous Great Barrier Reef, so we decided to take a day trip to Fitzroy Island for a spot of snorkelling, relaxing and backflips (apparently 😂), just 45-minutes by boat from Cairns. The tropical island is surrounded by calm turquoise waters that are home to many marine creatures, including fish and sea turtles.
When we arrived at the island, we made our way to Nudey Beach, a white coral beach with boulders and rocks; the perfect spot to take in the beauty around us. With tropical rainforest on one side and the Great Barrier Reef on the other, we set ourselves up on an elevated granite boulder and pinched ourselves at the view, which included the Cairns Hinterland across the sea (can you spot the mountains in our photos?).
There’s no doubting that Fitzroy Island is one of the most photogenic locations in Far North Queensland with unlimited photo opportunities from the pristine beaches to the rainforest hikes that will take you high above for views across the Coral Sea. Or you can just take photos of your fiancé doing backflips off rocks like me. Either way.
ASOS frill shoulder bikini and baker boy cap, and Glassons wrap skirt.
4. Thala Beach Nature Reserve
The best thing about Far North Tropical Queensland is that no matter where you go, you’ll be wanting to stop off along the way to admire and capture pretty much everything. With my super small Olympus PEN E-PL9 tucked away safely and conveniently in my cross-body bag (you can literally take the camera anywhere!), we did just that as we drove from south to north and back again. If you’re anything like me, you’ll be overexcited by all the magnificent views outside your car window and forcing the driver to pull over every few kilometres. Thanks Brad! Not that he minded, not one bit.
Along Captain Cook Highway, we discovered the Thala Beach Nature Reserve, located between the Daintree Forest and Coral Sea, and the incredible coconut plantation at its entrance (after picking up a couple of sweet pineapples at a roadside fruit stall). With rows upon rows of palm trees, it was the ultimate photographic opportunity.
After taking selfies with the flip-down screen on the Olympus PEN (a feature that makes me want to start vlogging again!) with Brad in the warm evening light – and uploading them on Insta Stories instantly via the Bluetooth – we took a moment to appreciate the many beautiful places we’d experienced here in Queensland.