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Intrepid Travel

Intrepid Travel: North Queensland Adventure

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Explore Australia’s beautiful northeastern corner – home to rainforests, coral reefs and white sand beaches. This 13-day adventure starts strong with a dose of serenity in Noosa, before whisking you to the stunning surroundings of K’gari (formerly Fraser Island) and the ancient wilderness of the Daintree Rainforest. Explore the expanse of the iconic Great Barrier Reef and the bliss of the Whitsundays and enjoy free time in Airlie Beach, Hervey Bay, Mission Beach and more – on this whirlwind through north Queensland, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to kick back on the warm sands with a good book or get right in on the action.

Is this trip right for you?
This trip requires a good level of fitness as it involves some walking and swimming, allowing you to really get among nature. Please bring sturdy, comfortable walking shoes, a swimsuit and comfortable clothing.

AdventureBeachesNational parks

See what's included

  • Atherton Tablelands
  • Barron Gorge lookout
  • Cairns - Mandingalbay First Nations tour
  • Cape Tribulation - Kulki walk & lookout
  • Cape Tribulation - Mason’s Swimming Hole
  • Daintree National Park - Jindalba circuit track
  • Daintree National Park - Madja boardwalk
  • Daintree National Park - Mossman Gorge
  • Great Barrier Reef - Half Day Cruise & Snorkelling Experience
  • K'Gari (Fraser Island) 4WD Tour
  • Kuranda - Kuranda Markets
  • Paluma Range National Park
  • Meals included: 8 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 1 dinner
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Tour summary and feature

Small Group Escorted Tours

This suggested tour costs from AUD$5,925 per person (twin share, low season)

Starts in Brisbane, finishes in Cairns

13 days/12 nights

 Pre and post tour options? YES

 Viewed 7 times in the last 7 days

Tour full itinerary
ITINERARY
Brisbane

Welcome to Brisbane! Or Meanjin in the language of the Turrbal and Yuggera peoples, who are the Traditional Owners of the land on which Brisbane is now located. Your adventure starts with a welcome meeting at 10 am. After, you’ll drive straight to Noosa Heads – a serene town in Queensland by the sea – where you can grab some lunch, relax on the beach or go shopping in the cute boutique shops. If you’d like, maybe use your free time here to do part of the Noosa Coastal Walk and look out for local flora and fauna. This afternoon, you’ll hit the road again for the coastal city of Hervey Bay, where you’ll spend the night.

Today's welcome meeting will take place at 10 am this morning at the starting point hotel. Please see details in the joining point section in the Essential Trip Information document. It’s very important that you’re on time, as the group will hit the road towards Noosa straight after. It’s highly recommended that you spend a night in Brisbane before your trip starts.  Your travel time today will be approximately 3 hours. In Noosa you have time to complete a short walk along the coast if you wish. Choose from the Palm Grove Walk (Grade 3, 1.1km return/30 mins), Noosa Hill Walk (Grade 4, 2.8km return/90 mins), the 300m path to Boiling Point or Dolphin Point (1.2km one way) - both sealed and barrier free.

Staying in:

  • Cabins (1 night)

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4WD through K'gari

After breakfast this morning, you’ll head to the stunning K'gari (previously known as Fraser Island) by ferry for a day trip. The name change is a major milestone in a long-running campaign by the Butchulla people, whose original name for this place means ‘paradise’ – and you’ll soon see why. Set off on a 4WD adventure through the breathtaking landscape. Start off with an adventurous drive along 75 Mile Beach Road – one of the best coastal drives in the country. Take a refreshing dive into the crystal-clear water of Boorangoora (Lake McKenzie) – an island icon. The lake is world famous for its turquoise colours and delicate white, 92% pure silica sand. Take another dip, this time in the fresh waters of Eli Creek, then visit the Maheno shipwreck and the coloured sands of the pinnacles. From tropical dense rainforest to wild offshore waters, you’ll witness the contrasting fauna and terrain of this truly unique island as you venture across undulating dunes and vast golden beaches in search of the iconic outback creature – the dingo. Tonight, head back to Hervey Bay where you can rest and recharge. 

Please note that your day trip to K'gari today is on a join-in basis. Other travellers from outside our Intrepid group may join us.

Activities:

  • K'gari - Full day 4WD tour

Staying in:

  • Cabins (1 night)

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Herey Bay

Enjoy a free day in Hervey Bay today – one of the best sites for observing humpback whales during migration season. If the month is right, maybe spend the morning whale watching on the water, or rent a bike to cycle along the foreshore. Or you could take a leisurely stroll along the water’s edge, go kayaking or just enjoy one of the many gorgeous beaches nearby. Make sure you pick up some snacks for tonight's overnight train journey north on the famous 'Spirit of Queensland', from the train station at Maryborough West to Proserpine, just south-west of Airlie Beach, arriving early tomorrow morning.

Tonight you will take the 'Spirit of Queensland' overnight train to Proserpine. An Australian first, the revolutionary 'RailBed' is a spacious and comfortable seat by day that includes a state-of-the-art personal entertainment system, a 240v power point and a USB point. In the evening, the onboard team convert the seat to a lie-flat bed with all linen provided. The train journey will be unaccompanied by your leader. You'll say goodbye to your first leader at the train station tonight and your new trip leader will meet you at the other end upon arrival of the train in the morning. Please note that throughout the year scheduled railway track works may take place on the route from Hervey Bay to Airlie Beach. If the train happens not to run on your departure you will be driving with your leader instead, with an overnight in or around Gladstone. The total distance is around 900km, taking approximately 10 hours, split across two days. Please note that whale migration season is from July to October. Please choose your departure date accordingly if you would like to take advantage of the opportunity to see whales.

Staying in:

  • Overnight train (1 night)

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White sand beach

Your new leader will meet you at Proserpine train station early this morning. Head to their favourite sunrise spot as a group – the best way to start your day – and watch the land come alive. Then, you’ll head for an optional breakfast and caffeine hit at a local café in Airlie Beach. Your day is free to explore this coastal paradise dotted with palm trees. This hub town of the popular Whitsundays has beer gardens, trendy cafes and a lawn-fringed swimming lagoon. Maybe stroll around and explore, visit some local swimming spots for a refreshing dip or find a seat at one of the many bars and watch the sun sparkle on the water. Get to know your new leader tonight with an optional group dinner. 

We request that our property in Airlie Beach prepare rooms in time for our arrival. However as we're arriving prior to normal check-in time this isn't always possible. This means we may not be able to check-in immediately on arrival. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination, or head straight for the pool or the beach. The Coral Beach trail is a Grade 3, 2.2km return/90 min walk in Conway National Park.

Staying in:

  • Holiday Apartments (1 night)

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Snorkelling

Today you’ll head out on a full-day tour to Whitehaven Beach, in the heart of the Whitsunday Islands and in the centre of the Great Barrier Reef. Start with a walk to the spectacular Hill Inlet Lookout, where you can take photos of the sweeping ocean views. Then, hit the water and go snorkelling at Border Island, Dumbell Island or one of the secret spots today's guide will show you. See coral reefs, colourful fish, turtles, clams and other marine life. Then, enjoy an included lunch and take a boat to the southern end of the 7 km stretch of Whitehaven Beach, taking the chance to kick back and relax in the sun after a day of outdoor adventures. Tonight, back in Airlie Beach, maybe head to one of the local bars for a cocktail (or two) and watch the sunset.

Please note that your day trip to Whitehaven Beach today is on a join-in basis. Other travellers from outside our Intrepid group may join us. Additionally, please note that today's activity is not suitable for travellers with pre-existing back, neck or hip injuries or who are pregnant. A signed release will be required from all participants on departure.

Activities:

  • Airlie Beach - Full day Whitsunday Islands & Whitehaven Beach Tour with Snorkelling

Staying in:

  • Holiday Apartments (1 night)

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Castle Hill

Today is a long day of travel, interspersed with some stops to stretch your legs. Your first stop is Townsville. Head to Castle Hill lookout when you arrive and take some photos of the gorgeous views of the town and ocean below. You’ll have some free time for lunch and to chill by the water. Carry on to Big Crystal Creek in the Paluma Range National Park, where you can take a stroll, swim in the creek or just relax among the sounds of local birdlife. This afternoon, you’ll head to Lucinda, where you’ll spend the night. Ask your leader for the best seaside spots for dinner and maybe enjoy a night walk to watch the sun go down.

Your travel time today will be approximately 6.5 hours.

Activities:

  • Paluma Range National Park - Crystal Creek
  • Townsville - Castle Hill Lookout

Staying in:

  • Hotel (1 night)

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Palm Tree

This morning after breakfast, drive to Mungalla station, where you’ll meet the First Nations owners of the land – the Nywaigi people – and learn about their culture and history, including about the brutal conflicts with European settlers. The story you’ve been told will come to life as you visit an exhibition of pictures within the historic homestead. Then head out and explore the Mungalla wetlands in search of aquatic birdlife. Drive to Mission Beach this afternoon – a small coastal town with expansive beaches, lined with palm trees. Stop in Tully along the way to stretch your legs, then ask your leader for the best way to spend your night.

Your travel time today will be approximately 2.5 hours.

Activities:

  • Mungalla Station - Nywaigi First Nations Guided Day Tour

Staying in:

  • Hotel (1 night)

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Millaa Millaa Falls

This morning after breakfast, drive to Millaa Millaa Falls for a nature walk and a quick swim in the cascades. Stop in for lunch at a local cafe near Atherton. Take the Curtain Fig boardwalk to see the iconic tree this park was named after – this park protects endangered mabi forest and a large green fig tree with extensive aerial roots that drop 15 m to the forest floor, forming a ‘curtain’. After, walk to Lake Eacham – the site of an old volcano and home to Australia’s largest python! Here, maybe take a swim (just keep an eye out for the resident freshwater crocodile). This afternoon, you’ll drive to Cairns, where you you may say goodbye to some of the group who are finishing their travels here. Tonight meet any new travellers joining at a Welcome Meeting at 6pm.

As this is a combination trip, the travellers in your group and your group leader are likely to change today. There will be a group meeting to discuss the next stage of your itinerary. Please attend as this is also a great chance to meet the new group. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place. Your travel time today will be approximately 4 hours. The Curtain Fig boardwalk is a Grade 2, 180m circuit taking around 10 min. The Lake Eacham circuit track in Crater Lakes National Park is a Grade 2, 3km circuit taking around 1 hour.

Activities:

  • Atherton Tablelands - Curtain Tree boardwalk
  • Atherton Tablelands - Lake Eacham walk
  • Atherton Tablelands - Millaa Millaa Falls

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Mandingalbay

This morning after breakfast, head out on a First Nations-guided eco-tour of Mandingal Bay. The traditional owners of this land will teach you about Country, where mountains are home to rainforests and vast wetlands are home to local birdlife. Walk to Hills Creek, where the sea meets the fresh water and attend a Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony. Join your guide on a rainforest trail and learn about ancient Aboriginal traditions, customs and artefacts as you listen to the sounds of nature. After, you have a free afternoon in Cairns to grab some lunch, head to a local art gallery, explore the aquarium or just soak up some sun on the promenade.

Please note that the First Nations-guided eco-tour today is on a join-in basis. Other travellers from outside our Intrepid group may join us.

Activities:

  • Cairns - Mandingalbay First Nations tour

Staying in:

  • Hotel (1 night)

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Atherton Tablelands

This morning, enjoy breakfast and then drive to Kuranda – perched at the top of a mountain. You’ll have some time to explore this charming rainforest town and its surroundings at your own pace. Maybe check out the famous Kuranda Markets, take the Skyrail, or relax at one of the town’s many restaurants and cafes, where outdoor dining is one of the joys of the cooler mountain climate. After, head to nearby Barron Falls and walk to the lookout for the best photo spots. Continue to Mareeba, where you’ll take a leader-led orientation walk. This afternoon, visit the Tolga Bat Hospital – Australia’s largest bat rehabilitation facility. Here you’ll learn about the facility's research, advocacy and community education and make some new upside-down friends. Tonight, you’ll head to the Mareeba Wetlands for an exciting wildlife spotting experience at sunset, hosted by Forever Wild – an organisation that creates community and nature-based solutions to the climate and biodiversity crises. After dark falls, head back to your accommodation for an included group dinner.

The walk to Din Din Barron Falls lookout is an easy 1.2km return walk, taking around 40 mins.

Activities:

  • Atherton Tablelands - Tolga Bat Hospital
  • Mareeba Wetlands - Forever Wild sunset wildlife experience
  • Kuranda - Kuranda Markets
  • Barron Gorge National Park - Din Din Barron Falls lookout

Staying in:

  • Hotel (1 night)

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Daintree

This morning, maybe head out bright and early for a unique optional birdwatching experience in the wetlands – the best time to witness the local birdlife in their natural habitat! Then, enjoy some breakfast and head to the idyllic Mossman Gorge for a refreshing morning swim and a nature walk. After, you’ll continue to not one but two UNESCO World Heritage areas – Cape Tribulation and the Daintree Rainforest. Head off on another nature walk and immerse yourself in the sounds and smells of the rainforest, keeping your eye out for local birdlife. Daintree is over 135 million years old, making it the oldest rainforest in the world! This afternoon, continue exploring the area or kick back and relax at your accommodation.

Your travel time today will be approximately 3.5 hours. Your leader will choose the most appropriate walk in Mossman Gorge for your group today. They vary from easy to moderate in difficulty and may include boardwalks, small lookouts, suspension bridges, slippery steps, and may be up to 45 mins in length.

Activities:

  • Daintree National Park - Mossman Gorge
  • Daintree National Park - Jindalba circuit track

Staying in:

  • Hotel (1 night)

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Great Barrier Reef

After breakfast, head out on an early morning tour of the Great Barrier Reef, where you’ll swim with turtles and snorkel in the pristine waters off the Daintree Coast, visiting two different snorkel locations. What better way to spend a morning!? The rest of the day is free to relax on the beach, swim, take a hike or just find a good spot to sit and people-watch. This is a nature-lovers paradise, so there are plenty of activities and laidback options to choose from.

Please note that the Great Barrier Reef cruise & snorkelling experience today is on a join-in basis. Other travellers from outside our Intrepid group may join us. Additionally, please note that today's activity is not suitable for travellers with pre-existing back, neck or hip injuries or who are pregnant. A signed release will be required from all participants on departure.

Activities:

  • Great Barrier Reef - Half Day Cruise & Snorkelling Experience

Staying in:

  • Hotel (1 night)

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Lookout

This morning visit Kulki Lookout, where you can stroll along the boardwalk for some iconic views of Cape Tribulation and steep, rainforest-covered slopes that meet the sandy beaches below. Next, head to Madja boardwalk for a scenic circuit that takes you through dense lowland forests and mangrove-lined creeks. Then visit Mason’s Swimming Hole for a gorgeous tropical swim among lush flora and friendly fish and turtles, where you'll have time to have lunch. When you’re refreshed from a dip in the water, continue to Cairns via the idyllic Palm Cove. On arrival in Cairns your trip will come to an end at around 5 pm. If you want to extend your stay and explore Cairns further, just speak to your booking agent.

Your travel time today will be approximately 1.5 hours. The Kulki boardwalk is Grade 1 walk, 600m/10 mins. The Madja boardwalk is a Grade 1, 1.2km circuit taking around 45 min to complete.

Activities:

  • Cape Tribulation - Kulki walk & lookout
  • Cape Tribulation - Mason’s Swimming Hole
  • Daintree National Park - Madja boardwalk

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