Personalised 8 Day Cairns Explorer Tour
Our Personalised 8 Day Cairns Explorer Tour is a jam packed tour that takes you to all of the major sights in Cairns. This tour is perfect for single travellers and for groups. Accommodation is in your choice of 3 star or 4 star accommodation.
Day 1: Arrival, Welcome Orientation and Sunset Cruise
Welcome to the tropics! You transfer from the Cairns airport to your accommodation at The Hotel Cairns, a breezy, sophisticated 4-star hotel only a block from the ocean.
In the afternoon, you are greeted by your guide who will lead you through a welcome orientation over drinks and nibbles. Just a short walk from your hotel is Cairns' wharf and your awaiting boat, on which you look for crocs in the mangroves, sip a glass of champagne, and watch the sun slip below the horizon. Your guide will introduce you to Australian culture as well. Following your cruise, you savour an elegant meal at one of Cairns restaurants in the heart of the city, where you have an opportunity to sample classic Australian cuisine with your guide.
Day 2: Animal Refuge, Croc-Spotting Cruise and Daintree Rainforest
Considered one of the most scenic drives in Australia, the Captain Cook Highway winds north from Cairns and treats you to views of golden beaches and the translucent sea. Travel today in the company of a guide and small group to the famed Cape Tribulation, the site at which explorer Captain Cook ran aground. It is here where two World Heritage areas also lie side by side. Along the way, visit a refuge for Australian animals such as crocodiles, kangaroos, koalas, and countless exotic birds. A guide educates you about these different species, and you'll have an opportunity to interact with the animals up close, whether it's holding a python, feeding a lorikeet or meeting a mother kangaroo and her joey. If you have ever wanted a quintessential photo with a koala – here's your chance!
Next you'll take a croc-spotting river cruise on the Daintree River where you can look for these magnificent reptiles in the wild. Then enter the Daintree, home of the magical ancient rainforest. At one hundred and thirty-five million years old, the Daintree is some of the oldest rainforest in the world. Approximately 430 species of birds live here, including 13 species that are found nowhere else on earth. You take a walk through lowland rainforest with your guide to learn more about the flora and fauna of this region and return to Cairns this evening.
Day 3: Sailing to the Great Barrier Reef, Snorkeling or SCUBA Diving, Live Aboard Boat (shared accommodation and shared baths)
No trip to Australia is complete without a visit to the outer Great Barrier Reef--a UNESCO World Heritage Site and easily one of the world's top natural wonders. On this journey, you avoid the crowds and do the reef in style aboard a 60-foot sailing ketch with a crew dedicated solely to a group of 12 guests. Unmatched in personal service, your journey affords you an intimate experience of the outer reef, flexibility of locations, and spontaneity not available on larger boats.
Snorkelers will find most of the abundant life and colours exist right beneath the surface at the reef. Within reach are giant clams, angel, butterfly and parrot fish, turtles, sea stars and corals of a thousand hues. Snorkelers can also opt to learn about SCUBA diving one-on-one from the dive instructor–an intro dive is a fantastic way to see the reef without having a certification. SCUBA divers can log many dives during these two days, diving along bommies and coral walls with mysterious swim-throughs that dance with light.
This evening divers can also experience the magic of the reef with a phenomenal night dive. Afterwards you enjoy a sumptuous meal, perhaps a raucous game of Pictionary, and the option to sleep on deck beneath a blanket of stars. Boat accommodation is single beds and shared bathrooms. This is a great way to meet other travelers from around the globe.
Coral Sea Dreaming is a 60' luxury cruising yacht designed for diving, sailing and entertaining for a maximum of 12 guests with a large aft deck for divers to set up their gear and a spacious forward deck for sunning and relaxing. All cabins are double or twin bunk for privacy with fresh linen, hot showers and shared baths.
Day 4: Great Barrier Reef Sailing, Snorkeling and/or SCUBA Diving
Today you can rise early for a fantastic sunrise over the ocean, with a cup of hot coffee in your hands. You spend another day exploring the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef, moving to several sites which offer you exclusivity and pristine environment. Included in the boat's marine permit are sites at Flynn, Moore and Thetford reefs, as well as The Pinnacles at Milln Reef.
Among the 1,800 species of fish and 450 species of coral, you can expect to see “Nemo” clown fish in anemones, Wally the giant wrasse, elusive white-tipped reef sharks, fan corals, sea cucumbers and stag horn coral gardens.
On the sail back, the crew is happy to teach you about sailing techniques, and you are welcome to “take the wheel” if you choose. You can keep an eye out for dolphins swimming and playing in your wake. You return to Cairns tonight.
Day 6: Mareeba Wetland Reserve and Granite Gorge, Rose Gums Eco-Lodge (private baths)
For the next two days, a private naturalist guide takes you to see the natural wonders of the Highlands, as well as some off-the-beaten-track hidden gems you would not be able to find on your own.
Mareeba Wetlands Reserve, located on the East Asian-Australasian flyway, is a rich and diverse sanctuary for almost all of Australia's tropical water birds. It is also the site of a re-introduction program of the nearly-extinct Gouldian Finches. A ranger takes you on an electric-powered boat ride and you can expect to see sea eagles, black swans, magpie geese, cranes, whistling ducks in the hundreds, pelicans, pink-eared ducks and even Australia's only stork, the jabiru. In addition, the tropical savanna woodlands boast eastern grey kangaroos, agile and whiptail wallabies, wallaroos, possums and gliders. You learn how staff rescue native wildlife and then facilitate their release into this untouched natural wonderland.
Afterwards you travel to Granite Gorge, where a labyrinth of giant boulders and carved canyons have fashioned a fantastic place to explore. Here formerly endangered rock wallabies (a cousin to the kangaroo) come out to play, and you can hand feed these wild but friendly creatures. You stop in Yungaburra for dinner at Nick's Swiss Restaurant–a local favorite and home of the yodeling accordion player. At sunset you look for the elusive platypus at their preferred swimming hole before heading to Rose Gums Eco-Retreat, a superb set of bungalows on 230 acres of private wilderness property.
Day 7: Optional Sunrise Balloon Flight or Crater Lakes National Park and The Waterfalls Circuit
Today you rise early for an optional balloon flight over the Cairns Highlands. Peaceful and silent, your balloon glides over the tablelands, affording you a magnificent view of the rising sun and of kangaroos going about their daily routine. Your balloon “conductor” will give commentary, and from the basket we will be able to greet the new day. There are binoculars on board to capture sightings of local birdlife as well. A grand champagne breakfast follows your 30-minute flight.
If you choose not to balloon, you will see more natural sites with your guide. You pay tribute to Yungaburra's high-profile resident–a massive curtain fig tree–and one of the area's ancient crater lakes, tucked away in a national park.
Next you enter the outback where you are welcome guests at a traditional cattle station and homestead. In the company of your new “fair dinkum” cowboy friends--Kate and Peter--you have a quintessential Aussie BBQ, and take a walk back through time to the age of the early pioneers.
On the way back down the range, you explore the Waterfalls Circuit: a series of three grand waterfalls under which you can swim or view from above. Your guide will teach you about Australia's unique rainforest species like the brilliant blue Ulysses Butterfly, the giant tree frog, and the musky rat kangaroo, which you ma
Optional Sunrise Balloon Flight is $195.00 + $30.00 levy.
Day 8: Trip Conclusion
After breakfast, you prepare for your journey home or enjoy a few optional activities such as the Kuranda Skyrail, whitewater rafting or a scenic helicopter tour.
Trip includes all breakfasts, all lunches and 3 dinners, accommodation in deluxe rooms as described in itinerary, all activities as described in the itinerary, park entrances, 25-square metres of Daintree rainforest adopted in each guest's name, park fees, ClimateCareâ„¢ carbon offsetting for a carbon-neutral trip, 24-hour local emergency service, two days one-on-one professional local guide who specializes in regional flora & fauna.
4 Star Accommodation The Hotel Cairns
With its impeccably private and tropical ambience, is a 4-star hotel superbly positioned in the central business district of Cairns, one block from the famous Esplanade. Its exterior facade is one of the most beautiful examples of Queenslander heritage style, and rooms are stylishly appointed. The hotel has undergone a complete refurbishment to emerge as the classic accommodation of choice in Tropical North Queensland. Privately owned and operated by an Australian family, the Bakers, The Hotel Cairns is popular with guests who prefer a boutique hotel experience. Set back from the street and well shaded by tropical trees and plants, The Hotel Cairns features a tour booking desk, sparkling blue outdoor pool and spa, WiFi, state of the art cardio gymnasium, and a welcoming indoor/outdoor restaurant, The Plantation Bar & Grill. The Hotel Cairns is conveniently located just 10 minutes drive from the airport and an easy 5-minute walk from shops and restaurants.
3 Star Accommodation The Heritage Cairns
This accommodation is a breezy 3-star hotel in Cairns' restaurant and shopping district, and only a couple of blocks from the waterfront. All rooms have ensuites and air-conditioning, flat screen TVs and tea & coffee making facilities while the hotel also offers complimentary WiFi and internet access, a tropical pool and spa. The friendly manager Rosemary will treat you like a welcome guest and make you feel right at home.
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NOTE: Unless otherwise specified, the rates listed are for the 2019 - 2020 season. The 2019 - 2020 season rates are valid from the 1st April 2019 to the 31st March 2020. The 2020 - 2021 season rates commence on the 1st April 2020.