School holidays are half way through and if Christmas fever has turned to cabin fever, it's time to take a leaf out of the books of some of the wettest and most visited cities in the world - like London which cops 226 days of rain a year or Settle which averages six cloudy days out of every seven between October and May – and get on with it.
After all, with some of the state's iconic destinations still flashing their traditional glamour days between downpours, there's still a lot you can do before school starts.
So come on Australia, turn off the Wii, dust off the grey that's clouding your thoughts, and support the tourism industry that needs you most ... Oh, and have fun, while you're doing it.
Here are ten things to do in key destinations that can still make your summer shine. Cairns and Tropical North Queensland is naturally adventurous even in the rain.
- The hyper-reality of the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef is something that has to be seen to be believed and a little bit of mainland rain should not deter you. Often the rain hugs the coastline, leaving this stunning natural beauty waiting to be explored. There are many day tours available for you to dive, snorkel, or seawalk, your way through the reef.
- The Daintree Rainforest is spectacular in any weather but adopts a rare beauty in the wet, when waterfalls plunge through the mountains and sightings the rare flightless bird, the Cassowary, are more prominent. There's so many ways to enjoy the Daintree: team up with any tour like Daintree Discovery Tours, visit the Daintree Discovery Centre or fly through the trees on flying fox ziplines with Jungle Surfing Canopy Tours and to take in spectacular bird's eye views over the treetops.
- About 15 minutes drive north-west of Cairns is Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park a largely undercover and fascinating attraction where you can learn about bush foods, medicines and Tjapukai cultural customs from the original “rainforest” people. Join in a powerful dance theatre performance or two!
- Kuku Yalanji Cultural Habitat Tour – Kick off the shoes and join Linc and Brandon as they take you into their ancestral homes for a spearing trip to remember. Walk the tidal flats and collect molluscs, crabs and cockles. What you catch you will eat later.
- Skyrail and Train Kuranda (take a rain coat) – the best time to see the rainforest is of course in the rain when you can see – and smell - the effect it has on the world heritage forest. Not only that, the Barron Falls are raging with furious wander.
- Self drive through the Atherton Tablelands – Museums, coffee plantations, The Chalet Rainforest Gallery, Hau Wang Temple, Nyletta Bird Hide, Millaa Millaa Falls, Lake Eacham, Lake Barrine, the giant Curtain Fig Tree, Yungaburra and of course all of the waterfalls will be at their best.
- If you like museums, The Cairns Regional Museum - located on the corner of Lake and Shields Street in the heart of the city will keep you entertained with exhibits ranging from how the Kuranda Rail was built to the indigenous history of Cairns city. Meanwhile, visitors to Herberton Historical Village some 100 km from Cairns can now spend a Night at the Museum and sleep over in a refurbished 100 year old farmhouse.
- Undara Lava Tubes – just because it's raining in Cairns doesn't mean it's raining 3.5 hours away in the Savannah Country and this geological wonder is now greener than ever and just waiting to be explored. Enjoy wildlife spotlighting, go underground to the world's longest lava flow, or kick back at the communal bar.
- Hartley's Crocodile Adventures Located just 40 minutes north of Cairns and 25 minutes south of Port Douglas, Hartley's Crocodile Adventures is simply the best place to see crocodiles and local wildlife in Tropical North Queensland.