11 Top Things To Do In Innisfail, Queensland

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Going on an Innisfail trip and want to know all the best things to do in Innisfail, Queensland? We have you covered! Below you will find our guide to all the best Innisfail attractions to plan your ultimate trip.

Originally called Geraldton, Innisfail changed names in 1911 (with the name thought to be Irish for ‘Island of Destiny’ or a romantic name for Ireland). Today the town is the largest on the Cassowary Coast with a population of around 10,000, and lies at the junction of the North and South Johnstone Rivers, about 5 kilometres from the coast.

The main industries around Innisfail are banana and sugar cane, making for some dramatic scenery. The further out from the town you travel, you’ll find tea, pawpaws and other such exotic fruits, all flourishing in the region’s wet climate. In fact, Innisfail’s dubious claim to fame is being one of the wettest towns in all of Australia!

Surrounded by tropical rainforest and extensive farmlands, it’s a pretty rural town that is renowned globally for having one of the best collections of Art Deco buildings in one place, with almost all of the two main streets full of such architecture.

Etty Bay Innisfail

There’s a large mix of ethnic groups, thanks to early Sugar Cane workers coming from Europe and being pulled from South Sea islanders. Events such as the Innisfail Rodeo, the Innisfail Agricultural Show and various festivals have helped to make the town a popular backpacker stopover. While the nearby spectacular Wooroonooran National Park – with the Mamu Canopy Walkway and walking trails through the Misty Mountains – pulls in nature lovers and hiking enthusiasts.

There are splendid secret beaches with unusual wildlife, great fishing spots and fabulous waterfalls and creeks for picnics and freshwater dips.

Below, you will find our Innisfail travel blog with everything you need to know about exactly what to do in Innisfail, Qld as well as top Innisfail tourist attractions for your ultimate holiday!! There is also a handy map of all the best things to do around Innisfail.


Top 11 Things To Do In Innisfail, Queensland

Here are the best things to do in Innisfail, Qld. Read through and select the ones that fit your interests and timeframe.

Take The Cassowary Coast Art Deco And Historical Self-Guided Walk

Cassowary Coast Art Deco Innisfail

We found this walk mentioned in the No-1 spot of an online posting of ‘The 10 Best Historic Walking Areas in Queensland, Australia’ and it more than merits that because, as you’ll discover, Innisfail has an urban beauty of streets lined with Art Deco treasures.

Ironically, thanks to a huge cyclone that swept through Innisfail in 1918 damaging or destroying most of the town, new buildings sprung up during the 1920’s all of Art Deco design. Today, these buildings are beautifully restored and on show, viewable under the Cassowary Coast Art Deco and Historical Self-Guided Walk.

Step back in time as you stroll the pretty roads, checking out some of the best buildings along the route. Before you head out, download the Tropical Deco App here – a storytelling tool that gives technical details on the decorative architecture along with some of the history of how Art Deco was built from tragedy. The app also provides directions, distance, and photos. Plus, you can check out an online brochure too.

There are so many brightly painted pretty buildings to view, but here’s some of our favourites:

  • The Blue Bird Cafe – a cafe from the 1920’s that was once popular with farmers.
  • The Robertson Bros Building – with two storeys, this building has a symmetrical facade and is of interwar modernist style with classic semi-circular arched windows on the first floor.
  • The Johnstone Shire Hall – over the years there have been four Shire Halls, three of which have burned down! Look for the semicircular arched street level openings that still have their original art deco leadlight panels, and the ornate foyer ceiling is gorgeous.
  • The Regent Arcade – probably our favourite building of all, this was once the town’s main entertainment place for plays, concerts and cinema.
  • The Masonic Temple – visit here at dusk to see how when the lights on the two pillars in front of the entrance are turned on, they shine through the stained glass window and show the letters GOD on the ceiling inside the upper room. Clever!
Cassowary Coast Art Deco Innisfail

There are many more heritage sites at Innisfail, so check out Casa Fotea Building, J Rizzo Building, the Court House, and a monument to the Pioneers of the Sugar Industry.

Another couple of standouts are the spectacular Mother of Good Counsel Catholic Church – built by prominent North Queensland architects in the 1920’s, with some of the pews having come from an original church dating back to 1891.

And, of course, you can’t miss the Innisfail Water Tower. Erected around 1933, the dome top was at that time the largest in the state and the overall art deco character of the tower is hard to miss.

The majority of buildings can be found along the main streets of Edith and Rakin, and there are examples of French, Spanish, Italian, Moroccan and Anglo-Saxon Art-Deco facades. Get your cameras at the ready!

Visit The Innisfail Temple

Innisfail Temple

Another of the Art Deco buildings is the highly colourful Innisfail Temple, better known as Lit Sing Gung – Temple of All Religions.

Originally constructed in honour of Taoist, Confucian and Buddhist traditions, the Innisfail Temple is these days focused on bringing together all belief systems and ethnicities. There’s a spiritual feel to the temple, with activities on improving the mind, body and spirit.

Nicknamed the “Joss House” for the aroma of the incense burned at the front of the shrine, this temple is a centre for local Chinese to get together on Sunday mornings.

Perhaps one of the best kept Chinese Temples in Australia, the temple has a few artifacts that showcase its rich history that stretch back to the original Innisfail settlers and the early Chinese community that came for gold mining and retail industries.

Small but calming, you can spend an hour here at this slice of China in Queensland!

Walk Through The Rainforest In Mamu Tropical Skywalk

Mamu Tropical Skywalk Innisfail

For an up close look at the rainforest which is very accessible, your top option of things to see in Innisfail should be to head to Mamu Tropical Rainforest!

Consisting of an elevated walkway, cantilever (long walkway that hangs over the rainforest) and a tower which rises 37 metres above the ground to see the rainforest, this place is more than just the sum of its parts. To reach these Innisfail attractions, you need to take a walk of about 2.5 kilometres return through the rainforest on the edge of Wooroonoon National Park.

It’s a great walk and perfect for those that want an easy hike. The paths are well maintained, and the elevated walking and cantilever give you great views over the surrounding rainforest as you are on the side of a hill here. It can be breathtaking for a different reason if you are afraid of heights but the brochure assured us that everything is well tested for weight :)

Mamu Tropical Skywalk viewing deck

The tower takes the views to another level but, again, it’s not for people afraid of heights. While all the other paths are broad and flat-ish (with a slight incline at the beginning/end of the walk), the tower has 100 steps to the top viewing platform. It is definitely worth the effort but you’ll get plenty out of a visit here even if you don’t like the idea of this.

The tracks were pram accessible when we visited (apart from the stairs at the tower). We rushed around everything as we had to get to our next stop and we still took an hour so budget a couple of hours ideally. It was annoying to rush so much as there is a lot of information here. This includes information boards, a great brochure with photos and explanations for local fauna and an app you can download to learn more as you walk around.

Mamu Tropical Skywalk

We have been to many attractions similar to this with rainforest walkways around the world so I hadn’t been that excited about visiting here. However, it really was beautiful and quite amazing and well done. I’m glad we went. It’s my favourite of these types of attractions that I’ve been to anywhere (and I’ve been to ones in Tassie, Brunei, the Amazon and more). It really is a great attraction, and I highly recommend it.

Click here to buy tickets now.

Take In The Views From The Crawford’s Lookout

Crawford's Lookout

Whether you just have time for a quick stop or are looking for free things to do near Innisfail which are like the Mamu Tropical Skywalk, a stop at Crawford’s Lookout is nice and easy!

Located less than a kilometre past Mamu Tropical Skywalk on your way out of Innisfail, this lookout is easy to stop at and have a look at the rainforest. From the road, you can stop at a great viewing spot to get similar views to Mamu. If you are running short of time and driving past here, this is the way to do this. You can’t miss it.

Crawford's Lookout hike to North Johnstone lookout

For a longer (and for a free alternative to Mamu), you can also hike through the rainforest here to North Johnstone lookout. It’s recommended only for fit walkers and is a steep track which drops 500 metres over 1.6 kilometres to a point that overlooks the valley where the North Johnstone River joins the Douglas Creek.

It’s a beautiful part of the world.

Wander Around Wooroonooran National Park

Wooroonooran National Park

This inspiring National Park is dramatic, exhilarating and invigorating! Visit in the wet season to really see it in full bloom with thundering waterfalls, surging rivers, refreshing rainfalls whilst you’re at full sweat from hiking under the rainforest canopy, and veils of mist that seem to suspend dramatically over the green mass of vegetation. Are we in deepest Africa?!

This beautiful and richly diverse World Heritage area is truly one of North Queensland’s most iconic National Parks. But where to start?

The Nandroya Falls Circuit track – explained in depth here takes you past dramatic fig trees and past Silver Falls before reaching the two levels of Nandroya. A 50-metre dramatic single stream is your treat at the end of the track… Extremely photogenic!

Next up, explore the Tchupala Falls track, another trail under the cool damp canopy. This time you’ll find Henriette Creek tumbling down a basalt barricade, fully surrounded by ferns, mosses and loads of moisture-loving plants. Continue on the nearby track to yet another falls, Wallicher, where water streams over rocky ledges into the deep pool below. This was definitely another of our favourites!

The entire Park comes under the traditional lands of the Ma:Mu Aboriginal people and is at the heart of what is known as the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. Altogether more than 500 rainforest tree species are known to grow here, such as red tulip oak, milky pine and water gum. There are plants growing on plants, ferns, mosses and vines everywhere! A complete haven for wildlife, you can often spot the musky rat-kangaroo, the double-eyed fig parrot and the endemic chowchilla.

You can stay overnight at two camping areas – Henrietta Creek and South Johnstone, with permits and fees applying (find out more here).

For epic treks, ensure to download the hiking map before setting out as there are several entry points into the ancient rainforest. The Palmerston Highway, which crosses the southern end of Wooroonooran National Park also provides access (via K-Tree Road) to the dramatic Misty Mountains wilderness tracks (a 130km network of tracks through pristine, high altitude rainforest – seriously beautiful, but seriously hard work!).

However, you don’t have to trek the Wooroonooran, as much can be enjoyed by car too. There are picnic and day-use areas, swimming holes and – of course – the fabulous Mamu Tropical Skywalk to enjoy.

Wild rivers, cascading falls, lowland rainforest, the North Johnstone River gorge… these all make the Palmerston Section of the Wooroonooran National Park one of the most scenic places we’ve seen, a top of any list of things to do in Innisfail, Qld.

Swim And Splash At Nandroya Falls

Nandroya Falls

One of the most spectacular waterfalls we’ve seen across all our travels, the Nandroya Falls is a 50-metre vertical plunging waterfall found in the rainforest valleys of Wooroonooran National Park.

Truly one of the most impressive waterfalls, there’s an equally impressive hike to reach it! Firstly, you’ll need to drive (on a sealed road) to the Henrietta Creek Campground in the Palmerston (Doongan) area of Wooroonooran National Park.

Once you reach the campground carpark keep driving through to the left. Stay on this dirt road all the way to the end, until you leave your car near a sign just before a footbridge. Cross the footbridge and around the bend after about 50 metres, you’ll find the signpost for the Nandroya Falls hike.

It took us around 40 minutes to reach the main level of the Falls, but if you want to explore more then it can easily take over an hour. The trail is narrow, surrounded by thick rainforest vines and lush plant life on both sides, all thanks to how wet the climate is here.

There’s awesome fig trees along the trail, probably the largest we saw anywhere, and you’ll pass other smaller falls too. About half way along, there’s the Silver Falls that drops from a small height into a pretty shallow blue pool.

Then, around the 40 minute mark you’ll hear – way before you see it – the lower level of Nandroya’s two main waterfalls. To the right of the track, this isn’t as tall as the second level, but it’s much wider and is pretty powerful after heavy rain.

After this, walk up a short way to the main waterfall, cascading down 50-metres, heavily surrounded by vines and rainforest that naturally frames it perfectly.

Altogether you’ll walk around 6 kilometres on the Nandroya Falls Circuit, with an elevation of 230 metres. Thus it’s a moderate hike, that’s ok for most levels of general fitness with a mainly flat trail that can get slippery when wet. We saw a few families with young children enjoying the walk, in fact the kids were racing along with the parents in tow!

You can take a dip in the main waterhole under the second level but there’s a warning to look out for leeches. And we’d recommend carrying mosquito-spray as it’s a damp, humid environment.

We loved this walk and the waterfall is super photogenic… We just weren’t so keen on the leeches!

Camp At Etty Bay

A Southern Cassowary at Etty Bay
A Southern Cassowary at Etty Bay

Only 15 kilometres from Innisfail, Etty Bay is one of those secret local-favoured spots that you just have to check out during your visit. In fact, it’s noted as one of the most scenic beaches of North Queensland and quite honestly it’s a small strip of rugged paradise!

Etty Bay is a wilderness-style beach that’s enclosed by rainforest, and sprinkled with small boulders and rocks that brings to mind the beaches of Galapagos. And there’s some unique wildlife to match here too, including the weird Southern Cassowary (a large flightless black bird with patches of bright blue and red around the neck, plus an awesome horn-like brown casque atop the head). Also, if you’re lucky, you’ll spot some impressively sized monitor lizards plodding around too.

Ideal for swimming, surfing (there’s an onsite Surf Live Saving Club), sailing, boating and fishing, the beach is also a great draw for nature enthusiasts with a wide variety of wildlife and iconic-Aussie bushwalking in the adjacent rainforest.

Though you can visit for the day, to really enjoy this tucked away spot on the Cassowary Coast we suggest camping a night or two. You’ll find a small caravan park tucked away by the beach – the imaginatively named Etty Bay Caravan Park. They currently have eight cabins and a powered/unpowered campsite to choose from (good for caravans, motorhomes, camper trailers and tents). And as of July 2021, there’s an upgrade programme for the amenities side, with a new Etty Bay Kitchen and General Store already in place.

Australia’s largest flightless bird, the Cassowary is best seen early morning (sunrise) or late afternoon, but don’t get too close as they aren’t very friendly. Don’t stalk them – just sit in a spot and wait for them to pass you by.

If you’re a bird lover, this is a heavenly spot for you! Recent sightings include Australian swiftlet, great crested tern, masked lapwing, osprey, metallic starling, laughing kookaburra, white-bellied sea-eagle and double-eyed fig-parrot… So don’t forget to carry some binoculars!

If you’re here for the swimming, remember to read the warning signs, stay between the flags and inside the stinger nets during the summer months. Bring some food to bbq as there’s a bbq area and a few benches as well as toilets. You’ll find the whole area is spotlessly clean.

To reach Etty Bay from Innisfail, head south on the Bruce Highway until you see a left-turn with signs to Mourilyan Harbour Road. Follow this for approximately 3km and then turn left onto Etty Bay Road. Follow that all the way past the conservation park and down to the beach. You’ll find lots of parking at the beach if you’re just here for the day.

A stunning, untouristic, unspoilt cove that you simply must see, this was without doubt one of our favourite places to visit near to Innisfail.

See The Picturesque Paronella Park

Paronella Park Innisfail

One of the few heritage listed tourist attractions in the region, Paronella Park is found at Mena Creek, just 15 minutes drive from the centre of Innisfail.

Built in the early 1930’s by a Spanish immigrant (Jose Paronella) who had sailed from his homeland to Australia and settled in Innisfail, Paronella Park is a five-hectare mystical wonderland!

A Spanish-style castle, a waterfall and over 7000 tropical trees and palms make up the park and have, unsurprisingly, made this spot one of North Queensland’s premier tourist attractions.

Built by hand, the castle took six years to complete and was a gift of love to his wife. The waterfall – the Mena Creek Falls – is a 15-metre single-drop waterfall that is a spectacular sight. Try out the rickety suspension bridge and watch the water cascade over 7-million year old basalt rock!

After checking those out, get lost in the incredible plants, trees, vines, and ferns that Jose and his wife planted so long ago. An amazing habitat for insects and birds, you’ll adore the colourful butterflies that flit around. Plus, look out for bandicoots, some “giant” snakes (which aren’t dangerous!), spiders, green ants (yes, really green!) and many bats.

The park offers complimentary guided tours – a 45 minutes The Dream Continues Tour (with park highlights) and The Hydro Tour (with an up-close look at North Queensland’s first river-driven hydroelectric generator found in the park).

But perhaps the best tour – in our opinion – was the nocturnal The Darkness Falls Tour. The grounds and waterfall are simply magical at night, with clever placement of spotlights lighting up both the castle and the waterfall spectacularly. You can also catch the evening light and music show which seems to radiate around the surrounding rainforest! A beautiful way to end your day.

If you want to stay overnight, it’s actually free with your entrance ticket! Just bring your own caravan or a tent to stay at the adjoining caravan park and campground (book ahead for this), and you can then enjoy the silence of the beautiful grounds underneath an amazing star-filled night sky.

Click here to buy tickets now.

Feel The Adrenaline Rush At The Babinda Boulders

Babinda Boulders

Known locally simply as ‘the Boulders’ and officially as ‘the Boulders Scenic Reserve’, the Babinda Boulders is a great add-on to your visit to the adjacent Wooroonooran National Park.

A popular spot for a cool relaxing swim or a picnic surrounded by tropical rainforest in the foothills of Bartle Frere (Queensland’s highest mountain), the area is named for a number of huge granite boulders found along the creek.

Away from the calm swimming holes, The Babinda Creek almost thunders through the boulders as the region has an exceedingly high average annual rainfall, only adding to the wild beauty of the spot. Clear, refreshing, cascading mountain water that is invigorating to swim in – it doesn’t get much better than this!

All around you’ll see lush rainforest vegetation with a myriad of trees, ferns, vines, plus fungi, moss and lichen covering most of the ground.

As with many of the local spots, you can choose to camp here overnight too – with a small camping area nearby that’s suitable for tents, caravans or motorhomes. But if you’re just here for the day, you’ll find ample parking, a covered picnic area, free gas bbqs, some toys for the kids to play with, toilets and changing rooms, plus lots of open grassy areas ideal for hanging out at.

After a swim, why not check out the local Boulders Reserve walking tracks? There’s three to choose from, with an easy 850m loop walk (the Wonga Circuit Track), another return walk of 1.2km (Devil’s Pool Walk) that takes you alongside the Creek, and lastly one for serious walkers (the Goldfield Trail) at 19km.

This is a great place to spend a relaxing lunch or, as we did, just to escape from the steamy afternoon heat – perfect for families or couples. Just stay within the marked areas for swimming and avoid the downstream section known as The Devil’s Pool, as this has dangerously strong currents.

Have A Sweet Time At The Australian Sugar Heritage Centre

Australian Sugar Heritage Centre

The sugar cane industry is a massive part of Australian heritage, with today’s Australian mills still crushing around 30 million tonnes of cane and producing more than 3.5 million tonnes of raw sugar. An industry that in the 1800’s brought South Pacific Ocean islanders to the country, and in the early 1900’s brought Italian and other European migrants, all contributing to today’s multicultural diversity found in many Queensland districts.

At the Australian Sugar Heritage Centre, you can learn how things all got started, view equipment from the earliest days of farming (such as tractors from circa 1926), harvesters, steam locomotives that were built especially to handle the steep inclines of the region and a working model of a steam driven crushing mill.

We were perhaps most taken by the photographs, some dating back to the mid 1800’s and copied from originals held in the Queensland State Archives. These show the people at work in the farms, hand-picking the sugar cane and loading onto rickety trucks. There’s a portion that highlights the contribution that South Sea Islanders (Kanakas) made to the development of the Sugar Industry in Australia, plus there’s the section on Pioneers, the local men and women who grew the industry, introducing modern methods to the process.

An enormous complex that offers a slice of Australian history that’s interesting for younger visitors too with all the machines on display. Plus, there’s a small theatre that shows a film about the sugar industry. There’s lots to see in addition to the Museum, as the Cassowary Coast Region Art Gallery is here too, and you can take a snack at the Mourilyan Cafe.

Located just 8 minutes drive south of Innisfail, you can combine a visit here with an afternoon at Etty Bay.

Drive To Mission Beach

Mission Beach

Loving Innisfail but want some serious beach time? Head down to Mission Beach!

About 40 minutes away, Mission Beach consists of a collection of 5 villages and some great beaches. It’s laidback, chilled with no big developments and it’s the perfect place to experience the beach with jungle seemingly everywhere. It’s beautiful and fun.

While it’s a better stop for a couple of nights, it’s a very valid half or full day trip from Innisfail and worth it for some beach time. Consider adding it to your list of best places to visit in Innisfail.

You can read our full guide to Mission Beach here.

Innisfail Things To Do And See Map

Things To Do In Innisfail map
Click the Map to open in Google Maps. You can then access directions to each of the locations discussed in this article.

Best Place To Stay In Innisfail

Innisfail is a small town without global-chain hotels or glamorous accommodation options. However, you can still find a couple of hidden gems!

Below, we’ve recommended a budget, mid-range and more expensive option, which we feel are the pick of the bunch – ideal whether you’re travelling in a group, with family or solo.

BEST – Barrier Reef Motel Innisfail Review

The best in the region, the Barrier Reef Motel is a Golden Chain Classic motel. With 41 air-conditioned units plus 2 fully self-contained family units, this is our selected choice of accommodation in Innisfail.

The motel rooms come in standard queen rooms and superior queen rooms, both good for 2 people. There’s a twin-share room with 1 queen and 1 single bed for 3 people, and a standard family room with 1 queen and 2 single beds for up to 4 people. There’s also a large family room with 1 queen and 3 single beds for up to 5 people.

Rooms are sparkling bright, with white walls and cream flooring. Beds with black headboards and brightly coloured linen contrast nicely. You’ll enjoy air-conditioning, ceiling fans, Wi-Fi, a flat screen tv and cable/satellite. There’s a mini bar, a fridge, and tea-coffee making facilities. The majority of rooms also come with a microwave, ironing board, iron and hairdryer, and all have a separate shower.

The hotel offers room service breakfast and evening meals. You can dine at the fully licensed Reef’s Restaurant or enjoy a drink at the Cat 5 Bar. There’s a lovely salt-water swimming pool, free parking and coin-operated guest laundry facilities.

Centrally located in Innisfail, it’s no surprise we feel Barrier Reef Motel is the top choice in town!

Click here to see the latest prices.

MID-RANGE – Black Marlin Motel Review

Another Innisfail town-centre accommodation option is the Black Marlin Motel, less than 1km from the Innisfail train station.

Ten cosy rooms, basically furnished, come in two types – deluxe double room (with 1 double bed, sleeping 2 people) and deluxe twin room (1 double bed and 1 twin bed, sleeping 3 people).

All rooms have a private ensuite bathroom, with free toiletries, hairdryer and shower. The bedrooms come with air conditioning, ceiling fan, heating, coffee/tea maker, electric kettle, flat-screen tv and a desk. There’s daily housekeeping, and you can request a microwave or refrigerator in-room if needed.

Black Marlin offers complimentary parking and WiFi throughout the Motel, and you can enjoy a splash in the outdoor pool. Breakfast is offered for additional cost and you can make use of the grill in the gardens for self-arrangement of lunch or dinner.

Basic, clean accommodation, set in peaceful surroundings, Black Marlin is a great mid-range Innisfail option.

Click here to see the latest prices.

BUDGET – Moondarra Motel Review

Our Budget Innisfail accommodation option is – yet again – slapbang in the middle of town. Moondarra Motel, on Ernest Street, is just 5 minutes walk from the Johnstone River.

There’s a handful of room types from standard single rooms (1 single bed) or standard double rooms (with 2 single or 1 double bed) with little view but basic setup of mini bar, flatscreen tv and ensuite shower through to family rooms (2 single and 1 double bed) with a patio, seating area, fan, outdoor furniture, bathroom with walk-in shower (and sometimes a bath), plus a kitchenette with refrigerator, kitchenware, stove and a dining table.

Almost all rooms come with a hair dryer, coffee/tea maker, toaster and microwave and free toiletries. There’s free WiFi, non-smoking rooms, parking and a 24-hour reception. Breakfast is offered in-room with packed lunches available.

Rooms are compact but comfortable, and due to its prime location we felt Moondarra Motel is our top pick of budget accommodation in Innisfail.

Click here to see the latest prices.

How To Get To Innisfail

Cassowary Coast Art Deco

It’s easy to get to Innisfail by bus, train or car. If you have your own car, great! You are good to go and would approximately take you an hour of self-drive.

You can also take the direct bus or train from Cairns to Innisfail which would take around 1 hr 15 mins of travel.

You can also hire a car to get you there by clicking here.

Innisfail With Kids

There’s loads of outdoor fun to enjoy with kids in Queensland and you’ll never be stuck on thinking of what things to do, Innisfail, as the town and surrounding area rocks!

Starting at Paronella Park, let your youngsters roam around the picnic area by the falls, cross the bridges, find the hidden tunnel and enjoy the amazing tropical rainforest.

Check out the horse riding at Babinda Pony Club, available for riders from 2-years and up. Add this to an afternoon swimming at the fresh water pools of Babinda Boulders. Or up the adrenaline with Foaming Fury, a whitewater rafting experience about 40km from Innisfail, at the Barron River.

For a full day of nature, there’s the spectacular Wooroonooran National Park, just 15 minutes from Innisfail. Walk high in the rainforest canopy along the Mamu Tropical Skywalk or hunt for waterfalls through the lush vegetation.

For a rainy day, head to the Australian Sugar Heritage Centre to let the kids learn a little about the culture of the region, but mainly to explore the massive machines and locomotives on display.

There’s a couple of beaches in the region, with our favourite definitely Etty Bay. Kids will marvel at the weird cassowaries and gasp at the dinosaur-like monitor lizards. Swim, fish, or just play on the sand and explore the rocks, it’s a gorgeous spot. And there’s more wildlife fun with Snapping Tours, who offer trips in a glass-bottom boat along the Johnstone River where you can look out for salt water crocs and lots of birds.

For indoors or evening fun, head to Innisfail Sugarbowl Lanes for some great family competition!

Final Words

We found Innisfail a surprising town, pretty and bright in its Art Deco splendour, there’s just so much to do around the local area. Etty Bay will forever stand out in our memories, and the rainforest scenery in the hikes is awesome – we felt completely immersed in nature!

The best part is that nothing is as popular as nearby Cairns so you can enjoy the attractions without being surrounded by others. Definitely add a few nights at Innisfail into any Queensland itinerary.

I hope you enjoyed the guide to things to do in Innisfail, Queensland. You can also read our full guide to nearby Mission Beach here and Cairns here. Read more Queensland travel guides here.

By Anne Sutherland-Smith

Anne Sutherland-Smith is the founder of the Pretraveller and Everywhere Australia blogs which focus on travel planning. Anne has extensively explored her home country of Australia. As a result, she writes from personal experience to help others plan their Australian trips.