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Far North Queensland Hidden gems

Our most recommended Far North Queensland Hidden gems

Cairns: Kuranda Day Trip with Kuranda Train and Skyrail

1. Cairns: Kuranda Day Trip with Kuranda Train and Skyrail

Explore the village of Kuranda in a pristine World Heritage-listed rainforest. Be picked up from your hotel and travel to the train station. Take the Kuranda Scenic Railway and marvel at mountains on the way. Soar over waterfalls and over Barron Gorge on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. Explore the markets, shops, and walking trails, or take a river cruise (seasonal) for 2.5 hours. Discover the food stalls and cafés, or dine with the water dragons at Frog’s Restaurant famous for its sauces and dressings. Take the famous Skyrail down, spanning 7.5km over the rainforest canopy. Spot native wildlife, including the cassowary, the world's 3rd-largest flightless bird. Next, take the 2:00 PM Skyrail back to the bottom (Skyrail Smithfield station). Embark on a fascinating journey of discovery over and deep into the world’s oldest, continually-surviving tropical rainforest. The iconic Skyrail experience is a must-do Cairns attraction of Australia’s World-Heritage listed tropical rainforest, immersing you in one of the most botanically fascinating areas on earth. At the end of your Skyrail experience, be picked up again by bus at 3:30 PM to be brought back to the hotel.

From Cairns: Great Barrier Reef Snorkeling and Diving Tour

2. From Cairns: Great Barrier Reef Snorkeling and Diving Tour

Explore the stunning biodiversity of the outer Great Barrier Reef on this diving and snorkeling tour from Cairns. Sail on s boat 3 sun decks, 2 air-conditioned indoor saloons, a spacious dive deck, and a sunken platform for easy water access. Have drinks and a packed lunch. Depart Cairns in the morning for the outer reef on this 8-hour tour. Whether you are a snorkeler, first-time SCUBA diver, or already certified diver, join a once in a lifetime adventure aboard a luxury day trip to the great barrier reef. Enjoy a light morning tea and a delicious pre-packed picnic lunch. Complimentary tea, coffee, and chilled water are served throughout the day (snacks, soft and alcoholic beverages are also available for purchase). Discover the Great Barrier Reef in the easiest way possible: with a snorkel - it is as simple as breathing. If you have never snorkeled before, don't worry, a briefing is held on board, explaining how to put and use the snorkeling gear. The private reef locations are approximately 70 kilometers (about 43 miles) offshore, these unique sites offer superb coral formations and an abundance of coral and marine life including inquisitive Nemos, Turtles, Stingrays and Wally the friendly Maori Wrasse. Visit 2 different reef locations daily, these are chosen en-route considering weather and sea conditions to ensure the best in-water experience. Visit either Normank, Saxon or Hastings Reef.

Airlie Beach: Outer Great Barrier Reef ReefWorld Pontoon

3. Airlie Beach: Outer Great Barrier Reef ReefWorld Pontoon

Explore the serene water and colorful underwater life at the Great Barrier Reef by a pontoon. You will encounter many species of fish, and corals while enjoying water activities like snorkeling and swimming. Depart from Airlie Beach, and cruise through the Whitsundays on a high-speed, luxury vessel. Enjoy morning tea as you pass by deserted islands, secluded bays, and beaches en route to the outer Great Barrier Reef. The vessel features spacious lounges, full air-conditioning, huge outside view decks, and a duo of bars that will gladly serve you your favorite refreshment, including both alcohol and soft drinks. Arrive at the permanently-moored, spacious, and innovative pontoon on the outer Great Barrier Reef. The water quality and diverse marine life are unrivaled. Meet hundreds of fish species and admire a variety of hard and soft coral. See unbelievable snorkeling and diving (at an extra cost on the day). Spend the time as you please: Make use of the undercover seating and tables, sun decks to top up your tan, freshwater showers, and changing rooms. Visit the underwater chamber if you prefer to see the underwater world below without getting wet. Take a ride on a semi-submersible boat. Indulge in a delicious tropical-style buffet lunch and purchase drinks from the bar as you please. Finally, return to Airlie after a beautiful day.

Cairns: Outer Edges of The Great Barrier Reef Scenic Flight

4. Cairns: Outer Edges of The Great Barrier Reef Scenic Flight

Take in the full spectacle of the Great Barrier Reef from the sky during a scenic flight from Cairns. Onboard a fixed-wing plane, see up to 140 kilometers of the Outer Barrier as well as many inner islands, reefs, and sand isles. Within 10 minutes of departing Cairns, the real adventure begins, as you get wonderful photo opportunities over Green Island, Oyster Reef, Vlasoff Cay, Upolo Reef, Pixie Reef, and Arlington Reef. Sit back in air-conditioned comfort as you glide through the sky. Take in the spectacular hues of green and blue from your window seat while listening to the pilot's informative commentary about the sights below. Get a chance to spot marine life with manta rays, green turtles, dugongs, sharks, and, if in season, whales, in clear view from the aircraft. Once your journey comes to an end, fly right back to Cairns.

From Cairns: Fitzroy Island Full-Day Adventure Tour

5. From Cairns: Fitzroy Island Full-Day Adventure Tour

Discover Fitzroy Island on a day tour from Cairns. Enjoy a scenic ferry ride and explore the many hiking trails. Admire the marine life native to the coral reef as you snorkel or observe from a glass-bottom boat. Choose from a range of packages, including transfers for you to explore on your own, or a package including snorkel or glass-bottom boat activities. Explore the Island's 339 hectares of lush rainforest that covers 94 percent of the island and is protected and managed as a National Park. Walking trails are suitable for all levels of fitness, allowing you to explore areas of the island at your leisure. The fast catamaran departs from the Marlin Marina, with check-in directly on the vessel. Cruise south along the calm waters of the coastline to reach Fitzroy Island in just 45 minutes, giving you up to 7 hours to explore the tropical island.

Cairns: Guided Twilight Tour with 3-Course Dinner

6. Cairns: Guided Twilight Tour with 3-Course Dinner

Witness the setting of the sun on Tropical North Queensland’s mountain ranges and experience how steamy rainforests and shallow reef lagoons begin to stir with life. Reptiles, Amphibians, Insects, and nocturnal fish sense the onset of dusk and emerge from their day time lairs.  Get an insight into the unique changes of the region’s nocturnal creatures as they move in the shadows.  Complete your evening at Dundee’s Restaurant with a perfectly matched dining experience while you enjoy a stunning sea life backdrop.

From Cairns: Atherton Tableland Wilderness Tour with Lunch

7. From Cairns: Atherton Tableland Wilderness Tour with Lunch

Embark on a full-day trip to Atherton Tableland from Cairns and admire the lush beauty of tropical North Queensland. Visit Wooroonooran National Park, swim in Lake Eacham, and enjoy lunch in a historic pub. Your 11-hour excursion begins with a drive to the Wooroonooran National Park. Stop for a swim at Josephine Falls, which features a huge natural rock slide. Travel across the volcanic landscape of the Atherton Tablelands. Marvel at the 18-meter-high Millaa Millaa Falls, framed by lush rainforest and tree ferns. Enjoy lunch at the Malanda Pub, before visiting Mount Hypipamee. Walk through the rainforest on easy pathways. See wildlife around Dinner Falls, including brush turkeys and Boyd’s forest dragon. Visit the giant curtain fig tree, and try your luck at platypus spotting in Yungaburra. Enjoy a last swim at Lake Eacham, before the trip back to Cairns.

Spirit of Cairns: Waterfront Dining Experience

8. Spirit of Cairns: Waterfront Dining Experience

A Cairns Dinner Cruise is the perfect way to end a perfect day in paradise.  Set sail aboard a newly refurbished 26-meter catamaran on the calm waters of Trinity Inlet, for an evening of dining, entertainment, and panoramic mountain and city views. The ultimate in waterfront dining, your cruise includes a delicious dinner with a focus on local and fresh produce, a complimentary beverage on arrival, and views of the Trinity Inlet. A selection of beverages and cocktails are also available for purchase from our fully licensed bar. Throughout the evening you will cruise the waterways of Cairns, exploring the beauty of the natural harbor, and sailing past the waterfront and restaurant precincts. Watch the day transcend into night, against a backdrop of rainforest-clad hills, as the twinkling night lights of the city appear. 

Barron Gorge: Half-Day Barron River White-Water Rafting

9. Barron Gorge: Half-Day Barron River White-Water Rafting

Experience white-water rafting in Barron Gorge National Park, known for its rugged rainforest mountains, steep ravines, and the falls carved out over thousands of years by the Barron River. Enjoy optional pickup from Cairns or Port Douglas before heading to the national park. Meet your guide at Lake Placid, and get ready for your river rafting tour on the river. Enjoy the area’s scenic beauty and a combination of calm water and a series of white-water rapids as well. Spend two hours navigating rapids up to grade three. No experience is necessary, making this a good choice for beginning rafters. There is also plenty of excitement for the more experienced.

Chillagoe Caves and Outback from Cairns Full-Day Tour

10. Chillagoe Caves and Outback from Cairns Full-Day Tour

Discover the Chillagoe Caves and the Outback on a tour alongside a licensed local guide. Enjoy striking natural landscapes, lunch at a 100-year-old pub, and learn about Aboriginal culture. Your naturalist guide will meet you at your accommodation in an air-conditioned 4WD vehicle. After being picked up, 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 at Skybury Coffee Plantation for tea, coffee and a light morning tea snack while enjoying the serenity and views. There is also time to stroll and purchase something from the gift shop if you wish. Then, travel through historical towns and rolling hills rich in minerals eventually giving way to towering limestone karsts scattered around Chillagoe. Travel out to Chillagoe while listening to the informative commentary by your guide who will share information about the region's wildlife, history, and Aboriginal culture. Explore the Chillagoe-Mungaga Caves National Park with an expert local guide, visit Balancing Rock for an amazing photo opportunity and see and learn about aboriginal rock art. Visit the remains of the once-mighty smelters to ponder what it was like working there before heading to an iconic 100-year-old Aussie pub for lunch. After lunch and a visit to the local souvenir shop, head back towards the East Coast, stopping at Granite Gorge where you get up close to the wild rock wallabies who inhabit the area. The tour then returns down the range to Cairns.

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What people are saying about Far North Queensland

Excellent trip and great value for a FULL day of entertainment. Boat and crew were very helpful, and gear supplied worked very well. Not a good swimmer no prob as they offer for very small fee an excellent intro to snorkeling course. Fitzroy Island such a beautiful place with plenty to do and explore. You will not regret this trip, I will be back.

Jess was great tour guide! My family of 7 really enjoyed it. Lunch was delicious and we liked having a bit of time for some local shopping.

Amazing staff and very organised! Our family had a great day and ticked one off the bucket list.

Such a wonderful day!! Can't fault it one bit. Definitely recommend this to everyone!

Friendly and organised guide, beautiful scenery, great lunch