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Far North Queensland

Map of Far North Queensland region

Our 12 Queensland regions are the best that Australia has to offer.

Far North Queensland is our largest region covering 20 per cent of the state. It boasts World Heritage areas including the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics – one of the world’s oldest rainforests – as well as many authentic Indigenous experiences from the world’s oldest living culture.

This region is home to memorable tourism experiences and filled with innovators with ground-breaking ideas that are putting us on the world map.

Whether it’s converting banana waste into a gluten-free flour or restoring our islands through the Great Barrier Reef Island Resorts Rejuvenation Program, we’re backing Queenslanders who live and work in this region.

We know innovation and tourism are crucial to the region’s growth – now and in the future.

The Far North Queensland region has many local success stories supported by our strong innovation and tourism investment. We’re working together to deliver jobs, economic growth and benefits for your community, our state and the world.

  • 440+

    Advance Queensland recipients

  • $28M

    Advance Queensland funding

  • 9,500+

    Advance Queensland event attendees

  • $9.05M

    local tourism experience funding

  • 59+

    local tourism jobs

  • $36M

    Wangetti trail investment


Anyone can have a great idea or come up with an innovative solution to a problem. The hard part when you’re in a region can be getting access to the help you need to turn your idea into a business and your business into a global success story.

Advance Queensland is helping Queenslanders to grow their business and build our innovation economy.

Far North Queensland has many local success stories that we support though programs such as Ignite Ideas and the Business Development Fund.

We have designed or funded many programs to support innovators across Queensland including:

  • Advancing Regional Innovation Program - gives each region up to $500,000 to develop region-wide innovation projects.
  • Regional Startup Hubs Support Program - a local skills-building program delivering education and networking events.
  • Startup Onramp Regional Queensland Program - shows people with a great idea how to become a startup founder.
  • Regional Angel Investors Support Program – helps investors to find innovators who need financial backing.

Case study: Turning Waste into Profit

Banana farmers Bob and Krista Watkins from FNQ had their Eureka moment when Rob accidentally drove over a hand of green lady finger bananas and noticed a puff of white dust. Natural Evolution Foods now uses patented technology in its factory to convert banana waste into highly nutritious gluten-free banana flour.

Support from the Advance Queensland Ignite Ideas Fund helped the company to establish sales of its processed foods in overseas markets. Their gluten free flour has been exported into Japan with more international markets to follow.

Their range has since expanded to health supplements, baking goods, beauty, equine and healing products.


Tourism is crucial to Queensland’s economic growth and Far North Queensland attracts millions of visitors each year. Tourism accounts for more jobs here than in most other regions throughout Queensland and contributes significantly to the local economy.

We are funding new and improved tourism products and experiences that will continue to grow the region’s industry, and have contributed $4.5 million towards projects including:

  • $1.1 million for the Cairns-based Mandingalbay Yidinji Aboriginal Corporation for new cultural and eco-tourism experiences
  • $560,000 to partner with Sunlover Reef Cruises to deliver marine tourism infrastructure
  • $2.3 million to partner with the Ewamian Aboriginal Corporation to build new tourism infrastructure and re-open the Talaroo historic hot springs near Georgetown
  • $600,000 for the Yarrabah Aboriginal Shire Council to re-develop their arts and cultural precinct.

We’ve supported the Great Barrier Reef Island Resorts Rejuvenation Program with Green Island and Bedarra Island Resort all getting a facelift.

These projects, along with the Wangetti Trail, the Yarrabah Arts and Cultural Precinct redevelopment and the Sunlover Group Infrastructure Proposal are proof of our commitment to grow the tourism industry in Far North Queensland.

Case study: Growing jobs in Far North Queensland

Tourism means jobs. That’s why we are committed to growing this industry.

Under the Unite and Recover for Queensland Jobs Plan, the Queensland Government established the $15 million Queensland Aviation Route Restart Program to attract new services and resume existing services. This funding has been provided to 16 Queensland Airports including Cairns to fast track the return of aviation routes and develop new routes into Cairns from intrastate, interstate, and other key markets.

Last updated: 30 Jun 2022