December is nearly upon us which means two things: Christmas and summer holidays! What better way to combine these two things than with a trip to somewhere sunny?

Pick up the car rental Cairns airport tourists choose and explore this beautiful part of Australia over the festive season. You’ll be spoilt for choice in terms of outdoor activities, with some of our country’s most brilliant beaches and nature reserves in the area. Cairns is also the perfect place to stay if you want to visit the Great Barrier Reef.  But that’s not all – within a short drive you can access other sweet spots in Tropical North Queensland such as Port Douglas and Black Mountain National Park.

To help you plan your Christmas Cairns adventure, we’ve rounded up some of the best road trips in the area. Don’t forget to pack a few Christmas carol albums for the drive!

Cairns to Kuranda Rainforest Cableway – 30 minutes

The Kuranda Rainforest Cableway is a must-visit destination if you are staying in Cairns. Located only a quick thirty minute drive from Cairns town centre, this cableway will take you up into the trees and above Kuranda town – a sight well worth seeing!

After you have taken some great photos, be sure to check out the local Kuranda township. There are excellent places to grab a bite to eat, as well as a lovely Butterfly Sanctuary.

Cairns to Port Douglas – 1 hour

Take the Captain Cook Highway north for 66 kilometres and you will find yourself in Port Douglas in just over an hour. With its picturesque sandy white beaches and tropical palm trees, this small town really does run on island time.

Park the car at the Four Mile Beach and stretch your legs along this idyllic stretch of coastline. Be sure to stop to take a look at the magnificent resorts looking out to the water and to take some photos.

If you’re feeling beached out, then Port Douglas also has some excellent cafes, restaurants and boutique shops. Stock up on last minute Christmas gifts or enjoy a delicious coffee in the buzzing town centre.

If you have time, on the drive home stop in at the Rainforest Habitat (also known at the Wildlife Habitat). If you’re travelling with kids, they will absolutely adore looking at all the unique animals in this nature reserve. However as one of North Queensland’s most famous destinations, the Rainforest Habitat goes down a treat with young and old alike.

Cairns to Daintree Rainforest – 2.5 hours

Located about an hour north of Port Douglas the Daintree Rainforest and local town is well worth the extra time in the car.  As the oldest surviving rainforest in world, this natural icon is a feast for the eyes and ears. Thought to be the product of more than 160 million years of growth, here you will find an incredible amount of different flora and fauna.

Due to the size and scale of the Daintree Rainforest, it’s a good idea to plan ahead. Pick a particular area to explore or perhaps join a guided tour. A popular place to aim for is Thornton Peak. From the top of this hill you will be able to enjoy breathtaking views of the forest and the sparkling blue sea beyond.

Once you’ve finished exploring nature you can relax and unwind in the Daintree village. Small and quaint, Daintree is well-known for its commitment to sustainability and eco-tourism. Previously a village for dairy and timber workers, it was settled in the 1880s and is now only inhabited by around 100 people. Here you can find a few cafes, a small museum and a handful of galleries.