0408 835 160 paul@nqwildscapes.com

Paul Curtis


wilderness images and information

A Traveller’s Guide to North Queensland

WELCOME TO WILDERNESS, North Queensland style! The tropical city of Cairns is uniquely situated in being central to a spectacular variety of landscapes within a half day’s journey. For locals looking for a weekend getaway the choices are enormous, and can at times be frustrating or confusing. For visitors to this northern city of Australia, the options usually go unnoticed in favour of the more widely-known destinations that can be congested with tourist buses and other mobile visitors.

Being primarily interested photographing the true North Queensland wilderness that is off the beaten track and away from the usual postcard subjects, I began to discover some great places mostly only known to “locals”. My initial goal was to produce the ultimate photographic publication on this part of the world. However you have to crawl before you walk so after being frequently asked by acquaintances to recommend destinations for a trip away and sometimes being at a loss, not knowing exactly the sort of experience desired, I started making a list of every place I had visited or heard about and categorised them into degrees of suitability dependant upon the person(s) and time of the year. I quickly had enough destinations to fill every weekend of the year.

With a little encouragement I decided to expand on the details of these suggestions to come up with this guide that should take some of the difficulty out of where to take yourself, friends or family for a day or two or longer on foot, car, boat or canoe. As well, the book will assist those organising a holiday to the Cairns area by providing information necessary to plan your activities in some detail before you leave.

In this latest full colour edition, I have collated information obtained over the last 30 years of visiting and living in North Queensland driving and walking along every track I find. As you will see, I have included all information I consider relevant to enhance your visit to the North Queensland, as well as suggestions and requirements to ensure that the impact of your visit is not detrimental to the environment and does not lessen the experience for others.

I hope you enjoy your travels as much as I have.

Amendment 1 - 19th December 2019 - Chapter 7 Edmund Kennedy National Park

Details – Edmund Kennedy National Park appears to no longer exist. The highway sign is gone and is now referred to as Girrimay National Park. Not to be confused with the other Girrimay National Park further north up the road which is Murray Falls.

Amendment 2 Bessie Falls

 Detail access to Bessie Falls

Bessie Falls

A Heritage of Trees

In the mid 90s an international book arrived on the market titled “Meetings with Remarkable Trees”. Writer Rupert Russell and I were inspired and considered all the remarkable trees we had passed in our travels around north Queensland’s Wet Tropics and contemplated their individual stories of resilience and character. The Wet Tropics is nothing if not trees and all the lifeforms they support.


We travelled far and wide over 3 years visiting known examples and discovering many more. You could say people came out of the woodwork offering advice and information on individual examples of great specimens and in many cases known to very few people.


Three years of walking, climbing and crawling resulted in quite a library of spectacular examples of dwarves and giants from deep within the wilderness. However, other commitments and financial resources led to a hiatus until in 2018 photographer and publisher Steven Nowakowski re-lit our enthusiasm and offered his assistance and expertise in getting the project moving again. Trees were re-visited and more discovered.


Rupert’s wonderful text brings alive the story of encountering each tree and I hope our photographs capture the sometimes uncooperative subjects in all their moods and spectacle. We are pleased to offer a long overdue book celebrating the nature of north Queensland’s Wet Tropics through the age-old inhabitants that have watched as indigenous Australians, explorers, loggers and bushwalkers passed beneath their limbs – the trees of north Queensland.

Order Books direct from Paul

Enquiry from Website

3 + 8 =

To purchase any of these books direct from Paul please submit your contact information with details of your order.

I will send you an email with payment options and ship the books once payment is received.