Must-see Tablelands plusDAINTREE & CAPE TRIB

Overview

TABLELANDS SIGHTS & DAINTREE RAINFOREST

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 Milla Milla 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

Highlights

  • Small group touring
  • Expert guides
  • Quality restaurant lunches
  • World Heritage-listed rainforest
  • Amazing lookouts
  • Tablelands waterfalls
  • 1000-year-old twin kauri pines
  • Curtain Fig Tree
  • Yungaburra & Malanda townships
  • Swim at Millaa Millaa Falls, Babinda Boulders & Mossman Gorge
  • Paronella Park & guided walk
  • Daintree River Cruise
  • Daintree Rainforest
  • Cape Tribulation Beach
  • Port Douglas
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Itinerary

DAY 1. TABLELANDS WATERFALLS, RAINFOREST & PARONELLA PARK

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.

Lake Barrine, in Crater Lakes National Park, was etched in the landscape by volcanic activity more than 10,000 years ago and is now home to thriving life in and around its clear waters. Take a rainforest walk with our accredited guide to the towering twin kauri pines, minding to keep your eyes peeled for the abundant bird and butterfly life above, and even turtles, eels and water monitors in the waters below. We pause our journey for Devonshire Tea at Lake Barrine Teahouse, sharing our discoveries over freshly-baked scones and locally-sourced tea and coffee, before a short drive to historic Yungaburra, where photo opportunities abound amid the 18 heritage-listed buildings.

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 — Milla Milla 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.

A refreshing morning swim behind us, we wind our way to the coastal town of Innisfail for a lunch stop, 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 6:00 – 6:30 pm.

DAY 2. DAINTREE & CAPE TRIBULATION

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 locally-made ice cream at Daintree Ice Cream Company—hopefully not the only thing from your two-day journey that leaves a sweet taste!

Day 2 pick-up / drop-off times:

  • Departs Cairns City 7.00am – returns 6.30pm (approx.)
  • Departs Northern Beaches 7.45am – returns 6.00pm (approx.)
  • Departs Port Douglas 8.45am – returns 5.30pm (approx.)

Rates

Adult $389
Pensioner $379
Child $289
Family (2 adults & 2 children) $1176

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.

NOTE:

  • This tour is not suitable for children under 4, unless on a private charter.
  • The child price is for ages 4 – 14, with no dive inclusion
  • Day 1 transfers:
    • Complimentary from meeting points at Skyrail Rainforest Cableway (6 Skyrail Dr, Smithfield) and Cairns Central Railway Station (Bunda Street entrance, Cairns).
    • Pickups from Northern Beaches hotels available for an additional $22 per person, payable direct to driver.
  • Day 2 transfers
    • Included from Cairns, Northern Beaches and Port Douglas.

Inclusions

What's Included

TABLELANDS SIGHTS TOUR

  • Devonshire morning tea. Scones and tea/coffee at Lake Barrine Teahouse.
  • Rainforest lakeside walk. Visit the twin kauri pines at Lake Barrine.
  • Curtain Fig Tree and elevated rainforest boardwalk.
  • Millaa Millaa Falls, including time for a swim.
  • Quality lunch at a local restaurant.
  • Paronella Park including priority entry, 45-minute guided tour free time to explore.
  • Visit iconic local landmarks, including Walsh’s Pyramid, Heales Lookout, Yungaburra, Curtain Fig Tree, Malanda, Crawford’s Lookout, Millaa Millaa Falls.
  • Rainforest swim at Babinda Boulders (time permitting).
  • Taste the tropics. Buy your own locally grown tropical fruit at local fruit stall.
  • Return hotel transfers (Cairns area only). Paid transfers available for northern beaches hotels ($22 per person) or make your way to collection points.
  • Attractions and all national parks permit fees as per itinerary.
  • Small group touring in comfortable, air-conditioned buses.

 

DAINTREE & CAPE TRIBULATION TOUR

  • Full interpretation and commentary by naturalist guides.
  • Port Douglas. Flagstaff Hill lookout with views over 4 Mile Beach.
  • Mossman Gorge. Guided walk and swim in the cool waters of Mossman River.
  • Morning tea & lunch. Choice of meals at lunch.
  • Daintree River Cruise. 1-hour cruise.
  • Daintree River cable crossing. Both ways.
  • Mount Alexandra Lookout. Amazing photo opportunity.
  • Daintree Rainforest. Oldest surviving tropical rainforest on earth.
  • Botanical walk through the Daintree Rainforest.
  • Cape Tribulation Beach and lookout. Where reef meets rainforest.
  • Attractions and all national park fees and permits as per itinerary.
  • Small group touring in comfortable, late model, air-conditioned vehicles.
  • Pickups from Cairns, Northern Beaches and Port Douglas.

Checklists

WHAT TO BRING

TABLELANDS SIGHTS TOUR

  • Hat and sunglasses.
  • Sunscreen.
  • Comfortable covered walking shoes.
  • Swimwear, towel and change of clothes.
  • Bottled water.
  • Light jacket in cooler months (June – Oct), when the Tablelands can be quite cool early in the morning, but still hot enough for swimming later in the day.
  • Umbrella (if rain is forecast).
  • Camera with spare batteries and enough room on the memory card.
  • Cash / credit card as we visit two very well-equipped gift shops with mostly locally-made products.
  • A sense of adventure and thirst for great views!

 

DAINTREE & CAPE TRIBULATION TOUR

  • Swimmers & towel, if you wish to swim at Mossman Gorge (subject to conditions on the day).
  • Lightweight clothing (shorts & t-shirts are fine).
  • Comfortable walking shoes.
  • Hat & sunscreen.
  • Cash for purchase at Daintree Ice-Cream Factory.
  • Bottle of water, which can be topped up throughout the tour.

FAQ

What size bus do we travel on?

Our buses are 20-seater air-conditioned Toyota Coasters.

All Inclusive Price

from $389

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