Far North Queensland
Far North Queensland
Cultural & Nature Expedition
13 Days Tour
AUD 9,960 p.p Twin Share
Single Supplement POA
Wednesday 11th to Monday 23rd August 2021
A sunset sail aboard an authentic Chinese Junk off the coast of Port Douglas will have you primed for your Far North Queensland Outback Adventure!
Become immersed in the jungles, rivers and beaches of the wet tropics of Far North Queensland where they meet the reef.
Walk the World Heritage listed Daintree Rainforest, the earth’s oldest at 180 million years old. Cruise the Daintree River by boat observing wildlife including crocodiles, tree snakes, pythons, and birdlife and learning about the mangrove eco-system.
Traverse the iconic 4WD Bloomfield Track to Cooktown to view spectacular and stunning scenery. Learn of this frontier land's history and about the main players in the many layers of Australia's past.
Continue from Cooktown flying up the Cape York Peninsula and along the Great Barrier Reef viewing all it's glory on the "World’s Longest Scenic Flight". Land on the idyllic islands of the Torres Strait for an intriguing land tour with locals before the return flight over the Cape's rivers and forests.
Back in Quinkan country, you will explore rarely seen Aboriginal rock art galleries with a renowned traditional owner interpreting their songlines and learn about traditional bush tucker and medicine. The Atherton Tablelands host ancient crater lakes, gigantic trees, wonderous waterfalls and an abundance of birdlife and unique wildlife. Visit a Distillery, a Bat Hospital and historic Herberton before viewing the rainforest canopy from the Mamu Skywalk and rambling around the enchanting Paronella Park. Explore the picturesque Dunk and Beddara Islands and snorkel and scuba dive the outer Great barrier Reef. Taste sweet delights on “paddock to plate” experiences. After venturing into the worlds longest lava tube caves at Undara experience the Savannahlander train as it meanders through the Gulf Savannah on your way to Chillagoe to immerse yourself in Australia's most beautiful of Limestone Caves. Marvel at the beauty of nature in Cairns Botanic Gardens, a tropical paradise, renowned as one of the best exhibitions of tropical plants in Australia. You will enjoy a number of "Paddock to Plate" experiences throughout your travels and Cairns best restaurant for the tour's final dinner.
Day By Day Presentation:
Day 1: Lets Go Troppo
Depart Cairns by private bus along the pretty coastline to Port Douglas. On arrival enjoy a leisurely walk with captivating views before a cooling dip at the beach or in the hotel’s large pool. Taking in the views of the north’s rugged jungle drenched hinterland at sunset whilst aboard an authentic Chinese Junk in full sail off the coast of Port Douglas will have you primed for your Far North Queensland Outback Adventure!
Day 2: A Daintree Dalliance
Travel by private bus into the World Heritage listed Daintree Rainforest, the earth’s oldest at 180 million years old. Cruise the Daintree River by boat observing wildlife including crocodiles, tree snakes, pythons, and birdlife and learning about the natural history and mangrove eco-system. Walk the Jindalba Boardwalk and the Mardja Botanical Rainforest Boardwalk with a picnic lunch enjoyed on a secluded Beach. On to Cape Tribulation for a beach walk at sunset before returning for Dinner.
Day 3: Taking a Captain’s Cook
Commence the day on the Kulki Boardwalk before we head north along the Bloomfield Track taking in the scenery at Cowie Beach and the Bloomfield River. A pristine rainforest rockpool is the picnic venue with a stop at the legendary Lions Den Hotel. View the fascinating Black Mountain, Cooktown’s Botanic Gardens, the James Cook Museum and the renowned local Vera Scarth-Johnson’s artworks. Ascend the Grassy Hill Lookout and Lighthouse for spectacular 360 degree panoramic views at sunset.
Today you will explore rarely seen Aboriginal rock art galleries with traditional owners interpreting their songlines. Learn about traditional bush tucker and medicine. Explore Lakefield National Park, old Laura Station, the mesmerising dune formations of the Coloured Sands at Elim Beach and take a dip in croc free Isabella Falls. On return to Cooktown we will head out to Keatings Lagoon Conservation Park for a spot of late afternoon Birdwatching or just chill out along the fishing town’s interesting waterfront.
Day 4: Ancient Art and Lonely Landscapes
Day 5: World’s Longest Scenic Flight
On a full day activity from Cooktown, fly at low level along the outer Barrier Reef. See the big river estuaries and World Heritage rainforests. View the beaches and massive wetlands. Enjoy incredible vistas of the Great Barrier Reef’s islands. Fly over the Australian mainland’s northernmost point, Thursday Island and land on Horn Island in the Torres Strait for lunch and an informative land tour. Take in more stunning scenery on the return flight to Cooktown
Day 6: The Tablelands await you
Explore the Atherton Tablelands to unlock the secrets of the Mareeba Wetlands, the Mt Uncle Distillery and view a diatreme (volcanic pipe) at Mount Hipipamee National Park. Experience living history at one of Australia’s top museums at Herberton and an intriguing insight into the world of bats at the Bat Hospital Visitor Centre. You will sleep at a rainforest lodge with an illuminated wildlife viewing platform where you can view Sugar Gliders, Striped Possums, Uromys, Bandicoots, Melomys and Antechinusin.
Day 7: Critters, Craters & Scenic Vistas
Traverse the Atherton Tablelands and see playful Platypus, dancing Brolgas, cute Tree Kangaroos and nocturnal birds and animals. Enjoy a boat cruise on an ancient crater lake, fringed by waterfalls and forests that host giant trees like the Twin Kauri Trees, the Cathedral and Curtain Fig Trees and the Giant Red Cedar Tree. Travel through an amazing range of farmed produce and walk on ancient trails through lush rainforest.
Day 8: Waterfalls and Wonderlands
Meander down to the Cassowary Coast to view Cassowaries at Etty Bay, enjoy brunch amongst the art deco architecture of Innisfail and enter the dreamworld of the iconic Paronella Park’s castle.
A short boat ride will enable you to explore, walk the jungles paths and swim the sandy coves of Dunk and Bedarra Islands before returning to Mission Beach to dine and sleep in an eco-lodge in rainforest on the beachfront.
Day 9: Great Barrier Reef Discovery
An early morning rainforest walk will be followed by a full day on the spectacular Outer Great Barrier Reef. Snorkel and scuba diving at two separate world class locations that offer some of the healthiest coral and teeming fish life on the Queensland Coast. It will be a fun filled day in an aquatic wonderland. Back on the mainland enjoy a beach stroll at sunset and dinner amongst the rainforest.
Experience the “cocoa tree to chocolate bar” production process at Charley’s Chocolate Factory and the wet tropics wonderment on the Mamu Rainforest Canopy Skywalk. Swapping the jungle for Savannah country, arrive at the Undara Lava Volcanic National Park. Explore the Undara lava tubes that acted as conduits distributing lava over 100 km from the crater 190,000 years ago, the longest flow in the world from a single volcano.
Day 10: Sweet Hinterland to Ancient Lava Tubes
Walk the Kalkarni Crater Rim before visiting Mt Surprise, a departure point for the Savannahlander, and your unique train journey. You will alight the train at Almaden, lunching at the historic hotel before driving to fascinating Chillagoe. Explore a labyrinth of passages and 11 lofty caverns of the Royal Arch limestone cave on the ranger guided tour. Inspect the marble mines and aboriginal rock paintings.
Day 11: Journey on the Savannahlander
Day 12: Caves, Miners and Coffee Planters
Marvel at beautiful columns, calcite crystals and a cave decoration in the form of the Madonna on the ranger guided tour of the renowned Donna limestone cave. Meander amongst Chillagoe’s mining relics and even a prized Ford motor vehicle collection for enthusiasts. Wind your way back along the Wheelbarrow Way and spectacular scenery, visiting Jaques Coffee Plantation and Barron Falls National Park. Enjoy Cairns best dining experience and sensational views from the sea port's most luxurious hotel.
Day 13: Coastal Cairns
As the sun rises on the final morning enjoy an early stroll in the Cairns Botanic Gardens, a tropical paradise, renowned as one of the best exhibitions of tropical plants in Australia. Explore the beauty of tropical plants, relax in stunning surroundings and learn about tropical flora and horticulture. Your North Queensland Adventure has come to an end as you make your way to the airport for your departure home.
Did You Know ?
Famous for its Aboriginal rock art, Quinkan Country, on the southern rim of Queensland’s rugged Laura sandstone basin in Cape York Peninsula contains a large and dramatic body of prehistoric rock paintings. These galleries have been identified as being at least 15000 to 30000 years old and have been included on the Australian Heritage Estate and listed by UNESCO as being among the top 10 rock art sites in the world.
One of the world’s seven natural wonders, the Great Barrier Reef is the largest living structure on the planet, so big it’s visible from space. At 348,000 Km2 , the World Heritage Listed area, is slightly more than the 344,400 km2 Great Barrier Reef Marine Park because it also includes some 980 islands, internal waters, intertidal areas and other state waters. 7% of the World Heritage area is made up of coral reefs. The rest is an extraordinary variety of marine habitats ranging from shallow inshore areas – such as seagrass, mangroves, sand, algal and sponge gardens, and inter – reefal communities – to deep oceanic areas more than 250 km offshore. The Great Barrier Reef is home to 1625 species of fish – 10% of the world’s fish species, 600 plus types of hard and soft corals, 215 species of birds, 133 varieties of sharks and rays, 30 species of whales and dolphins, 14 species of sea snakes, 6 of 7 of the world's species of marine turtle, in all , 25% of all known marine species.
The Daintree Rainforest is estimated to be 180 million years old which is tens of millions of years older than the Amazon Rainforest. It encompasses an area of approximately 1,200 square kilometres, from the Daintree River north to Cooktown and west to the Great Divide, representing the single largest block of tropical rainforest in Australia. North of the Daintree River, the coastline is also lined with tropical rainforest that grows right down to the sea’s edge. This natural wonder is home to thousands of species of birds and other wildlife including 30% of Australia’s frog, reptile and marsupial species in Australia, 65% of the country’s bat and butterfly species as well as 18% of all bird species. 12,000 insect species can also be found in the Daintree Rainforest.
The Undara Lava Tubes were created about 190,000 years ago when a staggering 23 cubic kilometres of lava flowed into a river bed and kept flowing for 160km, making it the world’s longest lava flow from a single volcano. Huge caves, some over 21m wide and up to 10m high, have formed in places along the tubes.