New Zealand tour itinerary name and information

Rainforest & Great Barrier Reef Tour

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Australia's northeast is home to two of the most spectacular natural landscapes on earth. First, you will immerse yourself in the world’s largest coral reef, the Great Barrier Reef, one of the seven wonders of the natural world. Next, travel to Cape Tribulation to set foot in the Daintree Rainforest, the oldest tropical rainforest in the world at an incredible 180 million years old. With fantastic accommodation and time in Cairns, Port Douglas and surrounds to explore incredible white sand beaches, this is the perfect Australian holiday for those who are short on time.

Classic driving toursNational parks

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Self Drive Tour

This suggested tour costs from NZD$2,528 per person (twin share, low season)

Starts in Cairns, finishes in Cairns

6 days/5 nights

Hotel 4 star

 Rental car included

 Viewed 32 times in the last 7 days

Tour full itinerary
ITINERARY
Rainforest & Great Barrier Reef Tour - Day 1
Private transfer from Cairns Airport to your accommodation

A private transfer will meet you on arrival at the airport and transfer you to your Cairns accommodation.

Arrive into Cairns

Cairns has been home to indigenous Australians for more than 40,000 years and was settled by Europeans in 1876 who arrived in search of gold. These days, Cairns is seen as the city "where the rainforest meets the reef" as it is the gateway to both the 100-million-year-old Wet Tropics World Heritage Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef. The main tourist centre in town is along the Esplanade, which has a swimming lagoon, bustling weekend markets, and plenty of great food options.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Spirit of Cairns Dinner Cruise

A Cairns dinner cruise is the perfect way to end a perfect day in paradise. Board the sailing catamaran and enjoy an evening of calm water cruising on Trinity Inlet, taking in the sights and sounds of this tropical port city and its surrounds as they transition from day to night.

Your accommodation: Mercure Hotel Cairns

Two blocks from the Esplanade and across the road from Cairns Aquarium, The Mercure Hotel in Cairns is centrally located. The property has a modern restaurant and bar with access to terrace and pool area, allowing guests to wind down and relax.

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Rainforest & Great Barrier Reef Tour - Day 2
Choose your style of rental vehicle

Our rental car range includes the latest vehicles from the top suppliers. From economy hatchbacks to SUVs, we can help you decide on a car suitable for this leg of your trip. Insurance can often be included with a small excess or deductible.

Collect your rental car from the Cairns City depot

Head to the Cairns City depot today to collect your chosen rental car, and continue your journey.

Cairns to Smithfield

Smithfield is home to the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway Terminal and the drive is a quick 20 minute drive to the outskirts of the city, taking you from the coast to the edge of the rainforest.

Classic Experience with Kuranda Scenic Railway

Experience this scenic journey on the Kuranda Scenic Railway to the 'village in the rainforest'. Your day begins in Cairns as you board the train for a morning departure. Travel through unsurpassed views of World Heritage-listed rainforest and waterfalls, including Stoney Creek Falls and the breathtaking Barron Gorge. You will wind your way through 15 tunnels and over 37 bridges on your journey before reaching Kuranda, where you will have several hours to explore the village. In the afternoon you will board the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway for a journey up and over the rainforest canopy, back to the Skyrail terminal where you will be transported back to the Cairns railway station.

Smithfield to Port Douglas

It's less than an hour to Port Douglas from Smithfield and this short drive offers countless opportunities to stop and admire the breathtaking views, walk along the beach or take a quick dip in the sea. We recommend arriving to Port Douglas before dusk so that you can take in the beautiful sunset over the water.

Your accommodation: Peninsula Boutique Hotel Port Douglas

Port Douglas accommodation offers a boutique style adults only hotel experience – enjoying an unrivalled beachside location overlooking Four Mile Beach and is the only hotel in Port Douglas with beach and ocean views. 40 metres to the beach and a 2 minute stroll to the heart of Port Douglas with its cosmopolitan boutiques, restaurants and entertainment options.

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 60 kms / 38 miles : 1.0 hours

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Rainforest & Great Barrier Reef Tour - Day 3
Outer Barrier Reef Cruise with Quicksilver Cruises

For your experience of a lifetime, Quicksilver’s wave-piercing catamaran and friendly crew will take you to a reef at the very edge of Australia’s Continental Shelf, to an underwater world that is a dazzling kaleidoscope of colour and brilliance.
Choose to dive, snorkel, or stay dry and explore the stunning reef from the comfort of a Quicksilver semi-sub, just one meter underwater. Watch the fish feeding from Quicksilver’s unique underwater viewing platform and underwater observatory. Whichever way you choose, you’ll bring home a lifetime of memories from this living natural wonder.

Your accommodation: Peninsula Boutique Hotel Port Douglas

Port Douglas accommodation offers a boutique style adults only hotel experience – enjoying an unrivalled beachside location overlooking Four Mile Beach and is the only hotel in Port Douglas with beach and ocean views. 40 metres to the beach and a 2 minute stroll to the heart of Port Douglas with its cosmopolitan boutiques, restaurants and entertainment options.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

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Rainforest & Great Barrier Reef Tour - Day 4
Port Douglas to Cape Tribulation

The coastal route from Port Douglas to Cape Tribulation looks reasonably short on paper but offers plenty of things to do and places to stop at, so allow plenty of time. Departing Port Douglas, you'll first pass through Mossman Gorge. A must-do for everyone who visits the Mossman Gorge is the Ngadiku Dreamtime Walks. If your itinerary doesn't allow for you to meet up with a guided tour, you can also take a self-guided tour through the park. From here, continue north and cross the Daintree River on the ferry (at your expense) as you enter the Daintree Rainforest.
Cape Tribulation is a unique location as it is the only place in the world where two World Heritage Listed sites meet: The Daintree and the Great Barrier Reef.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Dreamtime Walk at the Mossman Gorge Centre

A visit to Mossman Gorge is a must-do for anyone travelling to the beautiful Far North Queensland region. The Mossman Gorge Centre is the gateway to the world’s oldest rainforest, the Daintree Rainforest, as well as a unique link to the lives, cultures, and stories of Australia’s Indigenous people and their connection to the natural environment.

Your accommodation: Daintree Wilderness Lodge

Daintree Wilderness Lodge is surrounded on all sides by the World Heritage-listed Daintree National Park and is ideally situated halfway between the Daintree River and Cape Tribulation, in the very heart of the worlds oldest rainforest.
Meals included: Breakfast

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 77 kms / 48 miles : 1.7 hours

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Rainforest & Great Barrier Reef Tour - Day 5
Cape Tribulation to Cairns via Palm Cove

The drive south from Cape Tribulation takes you out of the Daintree Rainforest, across the Daintree River on the ferry and down towards Kuranda State Forest. An hour and a half into your journey is Mossman Gorge, an interactive ecotourism experience that introduces visitors to the Daintree Rainforest and the Indigenous communities who have lived there for centuries.
Just 20 minutes further south is Port Douglas, a bustling tourist town with no shortage of cafes, bars and restaurants. Continue on the Captain Cook Highway as it follows the Coral Sea until you get to Palm Cove. Palm Cove Beach is a great spot for a swim if you’d like to have an afternoon dip to break up the road trip, or there is a beautiful jetty to stroll along to stretch your legs. If you're not short on time, Yorkeys Knob, Trinity Beach, and Clifton Beach are worth checking out as you continue to your destination, Cairns.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - General Admission to Hartley's Crocodile Adventures

Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures is one of the longest continually operating tourist attractions in Australia. The business began in 1934 as a roadhouse for weary motorists. Legend has it the original owner Pop Evans entertained motorists by feeding Charlie the crocodile, while scones cooked in the woodstove. Eight decades later, Hartley’s world-famous Crocodile Attack Show is as popular as ever with daily presentations that strike a perfect balance between entertainment and education.

Your accommodation: Mercure Hotel Cairns

Two blocks from the Esplanade and across the road from Cairns Aquarium, The Mercure Hotel in Cairns is centrally located. The property has a modern restaurant and bar with access to terrace and pool area, allowing guests to wind down and relax.
Meals included: Breakfast

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 138 kms / 86 miles : 2.6 hours

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Rainforest & Great Barrier Reef Tour - Day 6
Cairns Classic Ballooning with Hot Air

This morning you will be collected from your accommodation before dawn and taken to the launch site to begin your adventure. Watch on as the balloon inflates and be amazed at its sheer size. Your guide will have you in the balloon ready for launch as the sun begins to rise, setting the scene for your breathtaking experience as you gaze out the views of the Atherton Tablelands and the Great Barrier Reef that greet you. As the flight is coming to an end, your pilot will slowly guide the balloon back to the landing point where the fun continues. Once you have landed, experience the pack down of the balloon and come together with the pilot and crew to share a toast with a glass of bubbly to celebrate your unforgettable experience.

Return your vehicle to Cairns airport

Drop your rental car at the airport depot and continuing your onward journey.

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