Day trip

Chillagoe Caves and Outback from Cairns Full-Day Tour

4.7 / 5

27 reviews

Chillagoe Caves and Outback from Cairns Full-Day Tour

From US$ 140.91 per person

Journey back in history to spectacular outback landscapes, ancient coral reefs, limestone caves and Granite Gorge Nature Park. See an array of birdlife and wildlife, visit the Chillagoe smelters and Chillagoe Caves.

About this activity

Free cancellation
Cancel up to 24 hours in advance to receive a full refund
Covid-19 precautions
Special health and safety measures apply. Learn more
Mobile ticketing
Use your phone or print your voucher
Duration 11 hours
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Live tour guide


  • Explore the famous Chillagoe Caves with a local expert guide
  • Admire fossilized remains of the ancient coral reefs from 400 million years ago
  • Travel off the beaten track down exclusive backroads in a 4WD
  • Delve into history at the Chillagoe Copper Smelters and see Aboriginal Rock Art
  • Visit Granite Gorge Nature Park and see the rock wallabies
Full description
Your naturalist guide will meet you at your accommodation and after introductions all round, you will ascend the McAllister Ranges and head west through Mareeba embarking on a remarkable journey back to prehistoric times, when dinosaurs ruled the Earth. The first stop is for morning tea (tea, coffee and cakes or a sausage roll). From here you will travel through the back blocks of a wetland area viewing wallabies, emus and other wildlife and then along the irrigated agricultural paddocks of this fertile area, eventually crossing over the Great Divide and into the Western watershed. Travel through historical towns and rolling hills rich in minerals eventually giving way to towering limestone karsts scattered around Chillagoe.  Stop in Chillagoe for the National Parks Cave tour. The fossilized remains of the ancient coral reefs with hidden limestone labyrinths give a portal to a lost world just like the Great Barrier Reef. Millions of years in the making, the limestone formations are nothing short of spectacular. Then delve into the history of the copper smelters, whose old chimneys dominate the western horizon. Visit the remains of the once mighty smelters to ponder what it was like working there, then visit Aboriginal Rock Art. Afterwards, it’s time for an Aussie pub lunch.  After lunch and a visit to the local souvenir shop, head back towards the East coast, stopping at Granite Gorge where you can feed wallabies and hold other indigenous animals. The tour then returns down the range to Cairns.
  • Naturalist guide
  • Pick-up and drop off (Cairns area only)
  • Air-conditioned 4WD vehicles
  • Morning tea at Skybury Coffee Plantation
  • Delicious Aussie pub lunch
  • Tour of Chillagoe caves
  • Visit to Aboriginal Rock Art
  • Tour of the Chillagoe Copper Smelters
  • National Park fees
  • Personal expenses
Not suitable for
  • Wheelchair users
Covid-19 precautions
Safety measures in place
  • The number of visitors is limited to reduce crowds
  • All areas that customers touch are frequently cleaned
Traveler requirements
  • You must fill out a travel information form

Select participants and date



Important information

What to bring

  • Comfortable shoes
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Sun hat
  • Warm clothing

Not allowed

  • Pets
  • Luggage or large bags
  • Alcohol and drugs
  • Oversize luggage

Know before you go

  • Transfers can be arranged from Port Douglas at an additional cost
  • A reasonable level of fitness is required for this tour as there are steps into the caves and uneven ground.
  • The tour may be canceled or the itinerary changed due to wet season weather, where conditions may close roads and access to the caves.
  • This tour requires a minimum of 5 passengers to operate and may need to cancel if minimum numbers are not met.
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.7 /5

based on 27 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
  • Transportation
  • Value for money
  • Safety

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A great day with the high light certainly being the Caves and the tour with our guide Eddie. It was a very hot day but Mark tried very hard to keep us cool. His knowledge of the area was very good. Perhaps omit the visit to Granite Gorge with its caged animals.

September 15, 2021

We enjoyed this trip to the outback, seeing Royal Arches Caves, Balance Rock, Kangaroo's and Wallabies in the wild was truly and Australian experience. its a bit of a ride to the Chillagoe but interesting. Australia has a unique landscape from rainforest to desert rather quickly. strongly recommend a journey inland to round out your experience.

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February 24, 2020

Very interesting tour. The round trip is a bit long but has been shortened by well-organized stops. The caves are impressive, the stop at the Wallabis and the contact with the animals was nice and the first coffee stop at the coffee roastery was also pleasant. The tour guide was also able to tell interesting stories about the country and its people.

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September 23, 2019

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Product ID: 11045