Waterfalls, historic sites, pristine tropical rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef: Tropical North Queensland’s essential highlights are all included in this great value three-day package. Your journey starts with the cool tropical rainforests of the Atherton Tablelands, where Lake Barrine, Millaa Millaa Falls and the Curtain Fig Tree offer an introduction to the wonders of the region’s World Heritage-listed rainforests, before a relaxing afternoon at historic Paronella Park’s Spanish architecture and tropical gardens. On day two we swap rainforest for reef, cruising to two reef sites where you’ll have up to six hours to explore this natural wonder of the world, with unlimited snorkelling and a free introductory dive. Day 3 puts you in the untouched, ancient wilds of the Daintree Rainforest and Cape Tribulation, but you’re never far from the reef here – a visit to Cape Tribulation Beach revealing this as the only place in the world where two natural World Heritage sites — the reef and rainforest — meet.
- 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 coach pickup between 7.15 – 7.45am, we begin our Tropical North Queensland tour of discovery heading south from Cairns, taking in the imposing views of 900-metre Walsh’s Pyramid at the border of Wooroonooran National Park. This marks the first of many iconic sights on today’s tour, and as we climb the Gillies Range Road towards the Atherton Tablelands keep watch as the lush rainforest parts to reveal views of the Goldsborough Valley and out to the Coral Sea below.
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.
After morning tea we visit historic Yungaburra and its many photo opportunities of heritage listed buildings, before a boardwalk tour around the Curtain Fig Tree, where our guides share the story of how this 600+ year-old rainforest behemoth’s origins, and the abundance of animal life surrounding it. If you’re lucky, you may spot the elusive Lumholtz’s tree-kangaroo! Onwards for a driving tour through Malanda — home to Australia’s oldest continuously running commercial picture theatre — we come to rest at Millaa Millaa Falls, where you’ll have time to take a dip under the 20-metre falls, secreted away in the rainforest landscape. We then stop for an a la carte lunch.
We wind our way down the Palmerston Highway to the coastal town of Innisfail, then it’s time to take in the stunning gardens and historic Spanish-style architecture at Paronella Park, where a guided tour and ample free time reveal this must-do attraction’s rich history and natural wonders. After your tropical garden sojourn, it’s time to return north. Time permitting, we’ll stop for another swim, this time in the cool rainforest pools of Babinda Boulders. We’ll briefly stop at a local fruit stall, where you can purchase local, fresh and seasonal fruits before we return you to your Cairns accommodation or meeting point by around 5.30 – 6.00pm.
You’ll need your energy for six-plus hours on today’s Great Barrier Reef Adventure, so tuck into your bacon and egg breakfast roll as we cruise across the Coral Sea. Across two separate reef sites, you’ll have ample opportunity to explore with unlimited time for snorkelling, and a free introductory scuba dive to take a closer look at the teeming reef life underneath the waves. Non-swimmer snorkel tours are great if you need some help in the water, and glass bottom boat tours are another great way to experience the reef (weather permitting).
You’ll no doubt build up your appetite while in the water all morning; luckily, you’ll have lunch, snacks and tea and coffee available throughout the day, prepared by the onboard chef with local ingredients.
Not sure what you just saw underwater? Ask us! Onboard reef experts teach you what to look for, and explain exactly why the Great Barrier Reef is so special at the interactive Marine Biology Presentation. You won’t have to worry about a thing as you explore the reef, with sunscreen available all day free of charge, all reef taxes included in your cost, and a convenient bus transfer to your Cairns CBD accommodation at the day’s end.
Our premium, full day Daintree Rainforest and Cape Tribulation tour takes you deep into the rainforest to discover some of the region’s most dramatic landscapes and scenic vistas. In the comfort of our air-conditioned bus after a pickup from Cairns, Northern Beaches or Port Douglas, we take you to the essential things to do in Daintree and Cape Tribulation. Port Douglas’s Flagstaff Hill offers panoramic views of the Coral Sea, Four Mile Beach and back to Palm Cove, before we journey onward for a guided walk, morning tea and refreshing swim in the rainforest waters of Mossman Gorge.
Onwards to the powerful Daintree River, where a one-hour wildlife cruise showcases the many birds, fish, turtles and even crocodiles that call the river home. A cable ferry ride is our ticket to the Daintree Rainforest, where our path winds through the dappled lights under the rainforest canopy, upwards to stunning Mount Alexandra Lookout. Tread the very sands that link reef with rainforest at Cape Tribulation Beach, and learn more about this ancient ecosystem on a boardwalk tour and scenic lookout. Our trip home features another Daintree highlight at a local Daintree Icecream Company, (at own expense) featuring flavours from locally-grown exotic fruits. We’ll return to Port Douglas around 5.30pm, and at around 6.30pm to Northern Beaches and Cairns.
|Adult - Save $46||$619|
|Australian Concession (Over 65 Years) - Save $41||$609|
|Child - Save $30||$449|
|Family (2 adults & 2 children) - Save $100||$1909|
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