245km (one way)
Cairns to Cardwell
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Cairns to Paronella Park
Charging is a must before any road trip, so head to the Pier Cairns which has two Chargefox charging stations and one non-networked station as part of the Queensland Electric Super Highway. Fuel up yourself for the journey ahead with a coffee and breakfast at the Backyard or take a relaxing stroll to the Cairns Lagoon. Don’t forget to take your swimmers if you fancy a morning dip!
Other places to charge in Cairns: Crystalbrook Bailey, Cairns Central Shopping Centre, Reef Hotel Casino, Crystalbrook Riley and Cairns Beach Volleyball Court.
Head south towards Gordonvale – there’s two more charging stations located at Woolworths if you didn’t top up earlier. If your car is charged, continue to the quaint country town of Babinda, home to one of the most beautiful swimming spots in the area, Babinda Boulders. Cool off in the large swimming area and serenely float surrounded by lush rainforest. Meander through the rainforest to a series of lookouts over the Devil’s Pools and learn about the eerie Indigenous tale that gave this spot its moniker. Before you hit the highway, pop into the Babinda Bakery to sample some of the best baked goods you’ll ever taste. Hint: this eatery is renowned for its cream buns.
Continue south to Josephine Falls, which is undoubtedly one of the most scenic waterfalls in the tropics. This crystal-clear, triple tiered waterfall flows from Queensland’s highest mountain, Mt Bartle Frere, and tumbles over smooth granite boulders into stunning, green pools. The designated swimming area at the bottom of the waterfall is the ideal spot for a mid-drive cool off and even has its very own natural waterslide.
Drive a further 25 minutes south and you will arrive at the Art Deco town of Innisfail. On Gladly Street, there are two Chargefox stations and one non-networked station as part of the Queensland Electric Super Highway. While you wait, visit the Innisfail Visitor Information Centre or walk down Edith St to Oliveri’s Continental Deli for lunch. Pop into the Innisfail Museum to pick up a map of the Cassowary Coast Art Deco and Historical Guided Walk or download the app, then hit the streets.
Head south to the most romantic spot on the Cassowary Coast – Paronella Park. Join the Evening Experience to learn the love story behind this castle in the rainforest. Finish the evening up with dinner at the nearby Mena Creek Hotel.
Got a tent? Your ticket to Paronella Park includes complimentary camping for one night. If you’re after something a bit more luxe, stay at the onsite cabins, which are fully air-conditioned with tea and coffee making facilities.
Paronella Park has two type 2 EV charger located in the car park, best of all, they are charged by the hydroelectricity from Mena Creek Falls.
Paronella Park to Mission Beach
The Cassowary Coast is known for its fantastic local produce, so why not dedicate the morning to sampling some? Head 30 minutes south to El Arish, home to The Pocket, and tuck into a tasty toasty and coffee. Browse the shop, which offers an array of local produce, as well as gifts and local handicraft.
Begin to head towards the coast and stop at Lacey Creek Day Use Area in Djiru National Park. Wander through the rainforest to the stunning Lacey Creek and look for turtles and fish in the crystal-clear water.
Continue your drive towards the coast and veer north to the seaside suburb of Bingil Bay. The cute and quirky family-owned Bingil Bay Cafe serves up a plethora of tasty lunch options, including gourmet pizzas and burgers.
Check into beachfront bliss at Castaways Resort & Spa. Spend the afternoon hopping between the palm-fringed beach and the sparkling pool, or, if you’d really like to treat yourself, indulge in a spa treatment. The onsite restaurant Buko offers fine dining with ocean front views and has a menu just as delicious as the seascape.
Castaways has four on-site wall plug charging stations reserved specifically for guests. Alternatively, there is one overnight charging station at Tuskers on the Marine Parade.
Mission Beach to Cardwell
Spend your morning beach-hopping along the golden sands of Mission Beach. With 14km of pristine beach stretching across several village suburbs, you’re sure to find a patch of sand with your name on it.
Once you’ve had your fix of vitamin sea, head inland to Tully, home to the iconic Golden Gumboot. This giant boot was awarded to Tully after a competition between Tully, Innisfail and Babinda to be Australia’s wettest town. The height of the boot equates the town’s record rainfall – a whopping 7.9 metres!
Tully is home to a four electric vehicle chargers as part of the Queensland Electric Super Highway, two Chargefox plugs and two type two plugs. They are located on Morris Street near the IGA. Whilst you are charging up, check out the Cardwell Shire Museum, or head to one of the nearby coffee shops.
Continue on the highway towards Cardwell, turning off to Murray Falls at around the half way mark. Wander along the boardwalk for stunning views of the falls or swim further downstream in the designated day use area.
Continue south to Cardwell and spend the night at Cardwell Beachcomber Motel and Tourist Park and choose from an array of accommodation options spanning from motel rooms to villas.
As part of the Queensland Electric Vehicle Highway, Cardwell has three Chargefox stations on the main street. Cardwell Beachfront Motel is located just 300m away if you’d like to charge your car overnight.
You can’t visit Cardwell without heading to the Instagram-famous Cardwell Spa Pool. Pack a picnic breakfast and drive along the Cardwell Forest Drive to this vibrant blue pool.
Attie Creek Falls is just a stone’s throw away from Cardwell Spa Pool, so make the most of your time on the Cardwell Forest Drive and head there too. The falls can be reached by a 700m walk from the Attie Creek car park.
Stay a little longer
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