History, scenic views and World Heritage rainforests from two perspectives: this two-day tour combines the natural beauty and history of the Atherton Tablelands’ best waterfalls and attractions with the untouched wilderness of Daintree and Cape Tribulation, where the rainforest meets the reef.
Travel in comfort amongst our small, friendly tour groups as our Northern Experience Eco Tour guides share their expert knowledge throughout the must-see attractions on the Atherton Tablelands. Enjoy priority access to Paronella Park, witness abundant rainforest plant and animal life at Lake Barrine and the Curtain Fig Tree, and relax with time to dip your toes in the cool, clear waters of Millaa Millaa Falls and Babinda Boulders.
On day two we join Discovery Tours for a premium small group journey to Daintree and Cape Tribulation, soaking in sweeping views of the Daintree rainforest’s collision with the Coral Sea, visiting picture-perfect Cape Tribulation Beach and spotting the area’s rare wildlife on a Daintree River Cruise.
- Please note this tour is not suitable for children under 4, unless on a Private Charter.
- Don’t forget to bring your swimming gear
After a 7.15am – 7.45am coach pickup, the imposing silhouette of Walsh’s Pyramid marks the start of our day of discovery south from Cairns, its steep slopes making for a dramatic first photo opportunity on the border of Wooroonooran National Park. The Mulgrave River leads us onwards through the vibrant rainforests Goldsborough Valley to the Gillies Range Road, where we ascend towards the Atherton Tablelands, stopping to appreciate the dramatic valley landscape and coastal vistas from Heales Lookout.
Our first stop in the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area comes at Lake Barrine, in Crater Lakes National Park, where a short guided walk with our expert guide reveals the area’s ancient natural history at the 1000-year-old twin kauri pines, true giants of the rainforest.
After a walk imbibing the rainforest ambience, it’s time for our memorable Devonshire Tea consists of locally grown tea and coffee served with our secret recipe scones going back four generations which are presented with jam and freshly whipped cream. Birdwatchers will delight in the array of ducks, pelicans, sea eagles and various other seasonal visitors to the lake, in addition to tortoises, eels, water monitors and various species of snakes sunning themselves on the shoreline.
On the outskirts of Yungaburra we enter under the cool canopy of Curtain Fig National Park, our expert guide sharing the unlikely story of how the 600+ year-old Curtain Fig Tree came to rest in its spectacular formation above the elevated rainforest boardwalk. Onwards via the historic dairy town of Malanda, we reach another must-do rainforest destination on the Atherton Tablelands — Millaa Millaa Falls. Surrounded by lush tropical rainforest, the falls are an iconic image of Far North Queensland, not to mention an essential place to swim and shower as the cool rainforest waters cascade from 20 metres above. We then stop for an a la carte lunch.
A refreshing morning swim behind us, we wind our way to the coastal town of Innisfail, before priority entry into the heritage-listed gardens and architectural delights of Paronella Park. A guided tour reveals several fascinating chapters of this park’s rich 90-year history amongst the colourful tropical gardens, then you’re free to explore the rest of its treasure trove of offerings — Mena Creek and Theresa Falls, the miniature bats of the Tunnel of Love, and you can even feed the fish and platypuses!
Our trip home winds back up the coast through Babinda and its popular freshwater swimming hole, Babinda Boulders, with time for a taste of Tropical North Queensland produce as we pause at a local fruit stall before our trip home, arriving in to your Cairns accommodation or meeting point between 5.30 – 6:00 pm.
Day two of your World Heritage rainforest discovery begins with a pick-up from your accommodation in Cairns, Northern Beaches or Port Douglas (pickup times listed below). From Cairns, we commence our scenic journey on the Great Barrier Reef Drive, the steep slopes of the McAlister Range yielding abruptly to the alternating rocky shorelines and golden beaches that border the iridescent Coral Sea —all immediately apparent from our stop at Rex Lookout.
At Port Douglas we visit Flagstaff Hill for sweeping coastal views over Four Mile Beach, before our stop at Mossman Gorge for morning tea and an exploration of its rich natural and cultural history. Learn how Rainforest Aboriginal people lived and thrived here, explore underneath the shelter of the rainforest canopy and take a dip in the Mossman River’s pristine waters.
After your choice of a restaurant quality lunch we continue to the banks of the Daintree River, where a river cruise highlights this remote rainforest’s abundance of wildlife, from cormorants feeding on the riverbanks, a bounty of butterflies or the imposing figures of the prehistoric estuarine crocodile. The Daintree Ferry escorts us into the Daintree Rainforest, which envelops our path to Alexandra Lookout before receding to offer panoramic sights of rainforest tumbling to sea.
Walk Cape Tribulation Beach, unique in the world as the only place where two natural World Heritage sites meet, and absorb the contrast between ancient rainforest and teeming fringing coral reef. Kulki Boardwalk and Lookout rewards walkers with a bird’s eye view of this special place, a fitting end to our journey north. From here, it’s a scenic drive home with an essential stop to sample home-made ice cream at a local Daintree Ice Cream Company (at own expense) —hopefully not the only thing from your two-day journey that leaves a sweet taste!
Day 2 pick-up / drop-off times:
|Adult - Save $21||$419|
|Australian Concession (Over 65 Years) - Save $16||$409|
|Child - Save $21||$319|
|Family (2 adults & 2 children) - Save $81||$1399|
All rates are in Australian dollars and include GST. Conditions: Northern Experience Eco Tours reserves the right to amend this itinerary due to any unforseen circumstances and accepts no responsibility for lost, stolen or damaged property, lunch destination may be changed without notice, cancellation fees apply. Pensioner or student ID required.
Our buses are 20-seater air-conditioned Toyota Coasters.
© Northern Experience Eco Tours 2023