Far North Queensland is now one of the hottest holiday destinations on the planet.It’s not hard to see why because this is beautiful nature at its unspoilt best.Here are some of the more regularly encountered questions on holidays in Far North Queensland.Where is the nearest big town?Cairns is by far the largest town in the region. At the time of writing, its population is approaching 148,000.The city offers a wide range of accommodation, entertainment, cultural and business opportunities.What are the beaches like?Fantastic! Words are pointless – just check out some of the online photographs of places like Palm Cove or Port Douglas etc.How expensive or otherwise is accommodation?Just like everywhere, a lot depends upon what you’re looking for and your budget.There are very prestigious beach-front apartments, such as the Sea Temple Palm Cove, which offer luxury though at very reasonable prices.If your budget is tight, look for the special offers in such centres. If your finances are REALLY tight then you’ll find plenty of smaller hotels and apartments at reasonable prices. Of course, their facilities might be a little more limited and they might be further from the beach and town centre facilities etc.What are the prices and service culture like?The prices locally are generally reasonable though of course, they might be a tad higher than you’re used to back home. That’s because it’s a holiday area and in addition, quite a few of the supplies need to be trucked in and that adds cost.However, there are plenty of low-cost shopping and dining opportunities around, particularly in Cairns itself.The service is typically excellent just about everywhere.Any nightlife locally?There are plenty of options to suit all tastes in and around Cairns plus its adjacent resorts.If you’ve gone to a quieter resort a little further away, such as Port Douglas, then expect evenings to be calmer and more relaxed.Is it OK to swim in the sea?Yes but PLEASE take local advice while you’re there and follow all safety notices etc.At certain times of the year stingers can be a nuisance though some beaches are net protected. You might also wish to use a stinger suit – subject to local advice as to whether or not it’s necessary.Just like elsewhere in Australia, you need to be aware of sharks when swimming and it’s always sensible to stick to patrolled and protected beaches.Problems though are exceptionally rare.Can I go hiking?Absolutely! It’s a fantastic and very popular pastime around here. There are some great parks and trails to suit all levels and fitness abilities.If you strike off on your own, remember to follow all good ‘best practice’ to ensure your safety. If you’re not sure what that means for wild countryside then find out before setting off.In passing, do please respect the countryside and the nature you encounter. There are still a very small number of visitors who don’t – unfortunately.Is the Great Barrier Reef closed?No – though this is a common misconception arising from recent rather ambiguous press coverage of protection measures.The reef is now a marine conservation area and steps are being taken to protect it from some of the past’s careless misuse – such as bad fishing techniques that damaged the coral.However, it’s still possible to take a boat trip out to the reef and swim above it (or dive it) in the safe hands of top-professionals who will have your safety and the reef’s protection at the very forefront of their minds. It’s a wonderful experience.