Tour Description

Carins and the Daintree Stayput 

(including the Great Barrier Reef)

(Combined Adelaide and South Coast Departure)
Eight Days: 14th – 21st June 2021

Twin Share: $4695 per person. Sole Use: $5295 per person.

Included in the tour:
  • Home pick-ups & set downs (most metro areas – please contact us for details)
  • Picnic-style morning teas & all meals as per the itinerary
  • All accommodation & admissions to all attractions
  • Experienced & informative tour driver/guide.

 

Nestled on the coast of Far North Queensland, Cairns is a tropical city surrounded by World Heritage areas of incredible natural beauty. We see the world-renowned Great Barrier Reef to the east, easily explored by a cruise through waters protected from the ocean swells. To the north is the World Heritage-listed Daintree National Park, with amazing wildlife and magnificent rainforest to be explored. The west boasts the Atherton Tablelands, full of variety and surprises for us to discover. All of this while based at the same accommodation in Cairns. Join us to experience all of these delights and so much more on this wonderful tropical Queensland winter escape!

 

Day One – MONDAY 14 JUNE 2021

(includes light lunch and two course dinner)

After being picked up from our homes (limited areas*) we are taken to the Adelaide Airport terminal. On arrival we are met by an Endeavour Tours representative who assists with our group check-in, helps us through the security procedures and takes us to the gate, ready to board our Qantas flight to Cairns.

On arrival in Cairns, we are met by a guide, who assists those who need help with luggage and takes us to the Endeavour Tours minicoach to meet our driver.

It is a short drive from the airport to our accommodation at the Rydges Esplanade Resort, Cairns (Ph: 07 4044 9000). As we will be staying here for the full duration of our tour, we can unpack and settle in before coming together for dinner and the opportunity to get to know our fellow travellers.

Day Two – TUESDAY 15 JUNE 2021

(includes cooked breakfast, light lunch and two course dinner)

Cairns was founded in 1876 as a service town for the goldfields, but since then it has evolved from a rough frontier outpost where the pubs nearly outnumbered the people, to an international cosmopolitan destination. Following breakfast we are joined by a local guide to show us around the city, sharing stories of Cairns heritage and culture.

We will stop for morning tea before heading north of the city to Caravonica to join the wonderful Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. The Skyrail spans 7.5 kilometres over Australia’s pristine tropical rainforests and leads us all the way to Kuranda. As we prepare to board the cableway, we are greeted by friendly attendants who assist us into a gondola cabin. Please note: Our Tour Driver will not accompany us on the Skyrail journey, but will meet us at Kuranda. Skyrail staff will be at all stops to assist.

Our rainforest journey begins as the gondola glides over woodlands before revealing the splendour of the World Heritage listed tropical rainforest with its dense canopy. As we ascend, we enjoy spectacular views of tropical Cairns and the Coral Sea. We can even see Green Island and the fringes of the Great Barrier Reef.

As we approach our first stop, our gondola descends through the canopy layers and takes us deep into the forest. Red Peak Station is nestled amongst pristine rainforest with a boardwalk providing the perfect opportunity to explore the forest from ground level. Rainforest displays and interpretive signs provide  information on the native flora and fauna and Skyrail’s qualified rangers are on-hand to share their knowledge of this fascinating eco-system.

After absorbing the rainforest atmosphere we re-board the cableway. As we journey to Barron Falls we pass some of the most pristine areas of this World Heritage environment. As we approach the Station we enjoy spectacular views of the majestic Barron Gorge and its mighty, granite walls.

After alighting at the mid-station, we explore using the easy access walkways that lead us through the rainforest to lookouts with breathtaking views of the Gorge and Falls. The station is also home to the Rainforest Interpretation Centre, which houses a visual and interactive presentation of the rainforest environment.

Reboarding the gondola once more we continue through the mountains, before gliding over the Barron River and arriving at Kuranda. Here we are met by our Tour Driver, who takes us up the hill into the heart of the village.

A friendly, welcoming community, Kuranda is a popular spot for visitors to far north Queensland and it’s not hard to see why. Surrounded by the oldest living tropical rainforest in the world, it is the perfect  mountain retreat. It is also well known for its markets which are home to a variety of quality arts, crafts and artisan products. There will be plenty of time to explore at our leisure and enjoy lunch in this picturesque village.

Mid-afternoon we head back to the Skyrail for our return journey, experiencing the sites again from a different perspective. Our driver will meet us at the terminal in Smithfield and take us back to our accommodation with time to relax and freshen up before dinner.

During our stay, there will be the option one evening to visit the Cairns Night Markets. This is an open air market that comes to life as the sun sets. It features over seventy retail outlets which showcase locally made goods, as well as a myriad of food options.

Day Three – WEDNESDAY 16 JUNE 2021

(includes cooked breakfast, light lunch and two course dinner)

This morning we travel south of Cairns, passing through Gordonvale and Babinda on our way to Innisfail.  Well renowned for its sugar and banana industries, the town was originally named Geraldton until 1910.

After morning tea we continue to the beautiful Paronella Park with its fascinating and inspiring history. After arriving from Spain in 1913 and working in the sugar cane industry, a young man called Jose Paronella bought land at Mena Creek in the late 1920s. He began to build his dream castle and gardens which he intended to open for public enjoyment.  He created pathways through the rainforest,  cut tunnels through hills, built a tennis court and planted more than 7000 trees. The park opened officially in 1935 and was a popular venue for movies, dances and parties. After being severely damaged by a number of floods, the property was sold out of the family in 1977 and not long after, a major fire that swept through the area and the park was closed.

Mark and Judy Evans bought the property in the 1990s and began the massive task of restoration. Their focus is on preserving and maintaining the property, as opposed to rebuilding and their story of passion and dedication is inspirational. Paronella Park is recognised as a historical treasure and listed on the National Trust, as well as being heritage listed. We are guided through this amazing property, have free time to explore and  enjoy a light lunch in these stunning surrounds.

During the afternoon we travel further into the hills to visit the spectacular Millaa Millaa Falls. One of Far North Queensland’s most photographed waterfalls, it flows strongly all year round and is set in a beautiful location. The falls cascade perfectly into a pristine watering hole and those who wish might like to dip their toes in the water!

After enjoying the falls we continue to wind our way through the hills and back to Cairns.

Day Four – THURSDAY 17 JUNE 2021

(includes cooked breakfast, light lunch and two course dinner)

We cannot come to Far North Queensland without experiencing the awe-inspiring beauty of the World Heritage listed Daintree Rainforest. Spanning an area of approximately 1200 square kilometres, it is the oldest living rainforest on earth—even older than the Amazon Rainforest. The Daintree is the largest area of tropical rainforest on mainland Australia and contains the highest number of rare and threatened species, anywhere in the world.

Our day of adventure begins as we travel north along one of the most beautiful coastal roads in the world to Daintree Village, originally a settlement created in the 1870s by timber-cutters. The village has the charm of yesteryear and is an oasis in the middle of some of the most beautiful and varied scenery in the far north of Queensland.

It is here we have morning tea before we board the boat for our Daintree River Cruise. This unforgettable cruise takes us on the Daintree River through the rainforest, searching for crocodiles that may be basking in the sun on the banks. This part of the river is where the tidal flows of salt water from the sea mix with fresh water flows from inland, and there is a rich diversity of birds and other wildlife around for us to see. Aided by the knowledgeable crew who are experienced in spotting the wildlife, this is the perfect way to truly appreciate the diversity of the Daintree River.

At the conclusion of the cruise, we cross the river by ferry and continue to Cow Bay. Home of the Daintree Discovery Centre, this award-winning, world class interpretive facility is located in the heart of the Daintree Forest. This area was once use for farming, grazing and logging, but today the main aim of the local community is the sustainability of this spectacular environment.

After lunch, we have time to wander through the Centre that provides an excellent introduction to the wonders of the Daintree and its environs. There is easy access to every level of the Rainforest; from the forest floor to the upper-most reaches of the canopy. We can enjoy the spectacular aerial walkway, wander the Cassowary Circuit, or relax on the reclining benches and gaze at the giant Strangler Fig.

After experiencing the stunning beauty of this natural wonderland, we cross the river again in the late afternoon and return to Cairns.

Day Five – FRIDAY 18 JUNE 2021

(includes cooked breakfast, light lunch and two course dinner)

Today we visit a major highlight of our holiday, the stunning Great Barrier Reef! One of the seven natural wonders of the world, the Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef in the world comprising over 3000 individual reef systems.

After breakfast we embark on a cruise to the outer reef, right at the edge of Australia’s Continental Shelf. We have morning tea and watch a presentation from a Marine Biologist as we cruise.

Agincourt Reef is situated on the very edge of the Great Barrier Reef and provides sheltered anchorage for our vessel. The reef platform floats like an island in the Coral Sea and provides a spacious, dual level facility that is excellent for reef viewing and relaxation. Here we can watch the fish feeding from the viewing deck and see the corals in the underwater observatory.

We enjoy lunch on the reef and have time to participate in the activities or simply relax and enjoy the views, either on the spacious decks in undercover seating or in the air-conditioned comfort of the vessel.

In the afternoon, we reboard our vessel to cruise back to the mainland, returning to our comfortable resort in Cairns.

Day Six – SATURDAY 19 JUNE 2021

(includes cooked breakfast, light lunch and two course dinner)

Held against the scenic backdrop of the Cairns waterfront, The Esplanade Markets showcase local, quality handmade products from jewellery, leather work and homewares to pottery, clothes and skincare. After breakfast we have the opportunity to wander around these popular markets and perhaps find a unique gift or souvenir. There will be plenty of time to browse and enjoy morning tea, plus the location of the markets also provide the ideal opportunity for a stroll along the beach.

Late morning we return to Kuranda to visit the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary. The largest butterfly flight aviary in Australia, the Sanctuary is home to over 1500 magnificent tropical butterflies that are hand-reared on the premises. All are local rainforest species, including the electric blue Ulysses and the majestic fluoro green Cairns Birdwing. As we walk through the aviaries we enjoy the unique experience of being surrounded by these habitually elusive wonders of nature.

This afternoon, after lunch in the village, we experience a sensational journey back to Cairns, this time on the Kuranda Scenic Railway. A spectacular train-ride comprising unsurpassed views of dense rainforest, steep ravines and picturesque waterfalls, we travel through World Heritage listed tropical rainforest, past stunning waterfalls and into the awesome Barron Gorge. The railway represents an engineering feat of enormous proportions and is a testament to the hard work, ambition and suffering of those involved in its construction, much of which was completed by hand in the 1880-1890s. This historic and picturesque journey will definitely be a memorable highlight of our tour.

We meet our driver in Cairns and head back to our accommodation, where we can relax before dinner.

Day Seven – SUNDAY 20 JUNE 2021

(includes cooked breakfast, light lunch and two course dinner)

This morning we begin our travels via the scenic Gillies Highway to the cool atmosphere of the Atherton Tablelands. Here we come to Lake Barrine, a beautiful natural lake hidden in the World Heritage rainforest. The lake was formed when a large volcano erupted thousands of years ago, leaving a crater that gradually filled with water. We enjoy a relaxed morning tea by the lake, before climbing aboard for an informative and relaxing Rainforest & Wildlife Cruise around the volcanic crater brim, providing a close-up view of one of the most complex and amazing rainforest eco-systems in the world.

Back on dry ground, we travel towards the dairy growing town of Malanda, detouring off the main road to the Nerada Tea Plantation and Tea Rooms. The history of Nerada dates back to the late 1800s and it’s an intriguing story that we will discover on our tour of the plantation, after a light lunch in the tea rooms. Nerada’s black tea is 100% Australian grown and with a commitment to sustainable farming practices, it is grown in perfect harmony with its surrounding environment. There is even a family of Lumholtz tree kangaroos living in the treetops next to the tea rooms!

From Malanda we travel a short distance to Yungaburra to see the incredible Curtain Fig Tree. Starting from a seed dropped high in the canopy, this strangler fig grew vertical roots which slowly became thicker and interwoven. Over hundreds of years these roots strangled the host causing it to fall into a neighbouring tree. Vertical fig roots then formed a curtain-like appearance and the host tree rotted away, leaving the freestanding fig tree. The tree is thought to be nearly 50 metres tall, with a trunk circumference of 39 metres and is estimated to be over 500 years old. We enjoy a stroll on the boardwalk to fully appreciate the size and structure of the tree and its ‘curtain’.

On leaving Yungaburra, we continue our journey through Atherton and on to Mareeba, a town situated where the Barron River, Granite and Emerald Creeks meet.

After looking around the town we return to Cairns for our last night in this spectacular city.

Day Eight – MONDAY 21 JUNE 2021

(includes cooked breakfast and light lunch)

We farewell our hosts at the resort this morning and make our way to Cairns Airport. We will be assisted through the check-in process and guided to the departure areas ready to board our Qantas flight to Adelaide via Brisbane.

Upon arrival at the Adelaide Airport, we are met at the gate by an Endeavour Tours representative, who guides us to the baggage collection area and assists us with reclaiming our luggage.

We say goodbye to our fellow-travellers before being returned home with spectacular memories of Far North Queensland including beautiful Cairns and the natural wonders of the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree National Park.