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Arriving into Cairns, spend your first evening meandering through the tropical city. The following day, it's time to collect your rental car and travel onto your slice of tropical paradise in Port Douglas. After settling into your accommodation, jump aboard a sunset cruise on a luxury catamaran and enjoy drinks and canapes as the sun sets over the Coral Sea. Enjoy your next day's breakfast alongside the birds and koalas at Wildlife Habitat, with the rest of the day to explore Port Douglas, with the option of taking a Great Barrier Reef scenic flight. Take in the rainforest scenery as you drive to Cape Tribulation, and spend the afternoon rafting and snorkelling in the pristine waters of McKay Cay and Undine Reef. Your final full day takes you on a guided walking tour of the Daintree with a local Aboriginal guide, immersing you in the cultural significance of this spiritual area. Back in Port Douglas, take some time to walk the Flagstaff Hill track or one of many others, and soak up your last tropical sunset. On day 6, return your rental car to Cairns Airport and meet your departing flight. If you need more time to kickback in this tropical paradise, your sales consultant would be more than happy to extend this itinerary for you.

Aboriginal cultureBeachesClassic driving toursNational parksWildlife & nature

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Tour summary and feature

Self Drive Tour

This suggested tour costs from AUD$2,092 per person (twin share, low season)

Starts in Cairns, finishes in Cairns

6 days/5 nights

Apartments

 Rental car included

 Viewed 9 times in the last 7 days

Tour full itinerary
ITINERARY
Port Douglas Tropical Tour - Day 1
Private transfer Cairns Airport to your accommodation

On arrival, you will be met by a private driver outside customs exit and delivered 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.

Your accommodation: Vision Cairns Esplanade

Located across the street from the ocean, these polished apartments have everything you need and so much more including, glass-fronted balconies with ocean views and room service. There's an outdoor lagoon-style pool and BBQ area, as well as a gym with a saltwater lap pool and a sauna. Parking is available.

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Port Douglas Tropical 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 Port Douglas

The best route to travel between Cairns and Port Douglas is the Captain Cook Highway (State Route 44). Less than 70km in length, 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. You could even stop off at the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway for a bird's eye view of the world's oldest continually surviving tropical rainforest.
We recommend arriving to Port Douglas before dusk so that you can take in the beautiful sunset over the water.

Explore Port Douglas

Port Douglas is a chic, yet relaxed seaside village with a plethora of restaurants and bars, as well as fantastic boutique shopping. The village is also the ideal base to explore three of Australia's most iconic natural attractions - the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef, the Daintree Rainforest, and Cape Tribulation with an abundance of tours and day trips available.

Sunset Sail with Sailaway Port Douglas

Enjoy the thrill of pure sailing! A must do when visiting Port Douglas is to relax with a twilight cruise on board the first class sailing catamaran. Soak up the peace and tranquillity of a tropical sunset over the Coral Sea as you sail along the coast of Port Douglas. Take in the ambient music, relaxed and friendly atmosphere, and spectacular mountain views while enjoying a welcome drink and delicious canapés.

Your accommodation: Mandalay Luxury Beachfront Apartments

Mandalay Luxury Beachfront Apartments offers spacious, self-contained accommodations with all the facilities and services you need for a relaxing luxury holiday. It is located within walking distance of Four Mile Beach and world-renowned restaurants.

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 61 kms / 38 miles : 1.0 hours

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Port Douglas Tropical Tour - Day 3
Wildlife Habitat - General Admission + Breakfast with the Birds Upgrade

Wildlife Habitat is an eco-certified wildlife sanctuary that allows you to interact with wildlife in five unique habitats. It provides a chance to experience the animals of Wetlands, Rainforest, Savannah and Woodlands environments. Today, you will start with the iconic Breakfast with the Birds, which has been a must-do for visitors who are seeking a unique breakfast experience. The Curlew Cafe team will be serving up scrumptious breakfast platters, and you can interact and feed Koala’s, colourful birds and more, whilst chatting with the friendly, knowledgeable keepers about their passion for wildlife and conservation. After that, explore the Rainforest Habitat from forest floor to canopy, as you make your way along the boardwalks and admire the wildlife that call this environment home, including the southern cassowary. Savannah Habitat offers you the opportunity to hand-feed kangaroos and wallabies, as well as admire emus and the Lumholtz’s Tree Kangaroo. If you are looking for an unforgettable Australian wildlife experience, this is the place for you!

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - 30 Minute Great Barrier Reef Scenic Heli Tour with Nautilus Aviation

A scenic helicopter flight over the reef is an opportunity not to be missed! You will be amazed by the stunning blue and green hues of these pristine coral sea waters and their thriving coral gardens. This flight includes incredible photo opportunities of picturesque Green Island, Arlington Reef and Upolo Sand Cay.
Many of the larger marine species can be most easily spotted from the air.  Inflight sightings have included Sea Turtles, Sharks, Manta Rays, Dolphins, Dugong and even majestic Humpback Whales (Jul-Sep) during their annual migration from Antarctica, stopping by briefly to give birth and raise their calves in our warm tropical waters.

Your accommodation: Mandalay Luxury Beachfront Apartments

Mandalay Luxury Beachfront Apartments offers spacious, self-contained accommodations with all the facilities and services you need for a relaxing luxury holiday. It is located within walking distance of Four Mile Beach and world-renowned restaurants.
Meals included: Breakfast

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Port Douglas Tropical 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.

Great Barrier Reef Turtle Tripper Adventure with Ocean Safari

This half day tour will take you on an exhilarating ride from Cape Tribulation Beach to snorkel the pristine Great Barrier Reef bordering the Daintree Coast. After boarding the semi-rigid inflatable boat, your custom-built vessel will embark on the 25 minute journey out to your snorkelling sites, Mckay Cay and Undine Reef. From here you will often be able to see the rainforest along the mainland as you paddle, and on most days you will find yourself swimming with sea turtles as well as an extraordinary array of marine life and coral species. Throughout your tour you will also receive personalised snorkelling instruction and reef interpretation talks from your ultra-qualified eco hosts.

Cape Tribulation to Port Douglas

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.

Your accommodation: Mandalay Luxury Beachfront Apartments

Mandalay Luxury Beachfront Apartments offers spacious, self-contained accommodations with all the facilities and services you need for a relaxing luxury holiday. It is located within walking distance of Four Mile Beach and world-renowned restaurants.

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 159 kms / 99 miles : 3.4 hours

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Port Douglas Tropical Tour - Day 5
Ngana Julaymba Dungay: We All Going Daintree Walkabout Cultural Adventures Half Day

Spend time with a local Aboriginal tour guide, learning about culturally significant areas and the relationships the Kuku Yalanji people still have with their land. Learn the history, culture and traditions of the local Aboriginal people and the area. Walk through the rainforest and coastal habitats learning about the different environments, different foods and medicines utilised from nature, sample some seasonal bush tucker, collect shellfish and learn traditional Aboriginal hunting practices, have a go at spear throwing and if you are lucky, catch a mud crab. Complete the adventure by cooling off in a pristine freshwater stream.

Walking Tracks Around Port Douglas

Flagstaff Hill lookout track
1.5km. Allow 15 minutes.
If you need a picture worth framing (or posting) look no further than the Flagstaff Hill Lookout. Located at the summit of Island Point Road, it is an easy walk, bike ride or even short drive to the lookout viewing area. From here you will witness sweeping, majestic views of Four Mile Beach and the rainforest-clad mountain ranges to the south. Venture along the Flagstaff Hill Walking Trail down to Four Mile Beach and walk the plank (or viewing platform) and take in the 180-degree views to the Coral Sea, Low Isles, and Snapper Island to the north. Find the hidden Low Isles Lighthouse viewing platform located on the corner where Wharf and Island Point Roads meet.
Mossman Gorge
Embark on your own adventure through the Gorge with a voyage through the lush green rainforest. Soak up the wonders of the national park at your own pace as you navigate walking tracks and trails, including the popular Gorge Circuit. Pack a picnic lunch to savour at one of the many water holes, where you can find a quiet place to sit back, catch your breath, and appreciate the wonders of your surroundings. Find yourself under the towering canopy of the rainforest, beautifully framed by the striking mountains.
All of the walking tracks are clearly signposted and maps are also provided upon entry. Seasonal track closures may occur from time to time due to localised flooding or track maintenance. Please note, shuttle bus fees apply to the below Mossman Gorge walks. For a guided experience, we recommend joining a Mossman Gorge Dreamtime Walk, where an experienced interpretive Indigenous guide demonstrates traditional plant use, identifies bush food sources, and provides an enchanting narrative of the rainforest and their special relationship with this unique tropical environment.
Baral Marrjanga
270 metres. Allow 5-10 minutes.
Baral Marrjanga leads through the rainforest from the shuttle bus stop to a lookout with views of the Mossman River and the mountain ranges beyond. The track includes two sections of elevated boardwalk that pass through the lower rainforest canopy. The track is suitable for wheelchairs, strollers, and the vision-impaired.
Lower River Track
300 metres. Allow 5-10 minutes.
This track starts at the shuttle bus stop and winds along the Mossman River before joining Baral Marrjanga. Several small lookouts along the track provide views of the river. Although most of the lower river track is easy walking, the steps can be slippery. Please take care and use the handrails provided.
Rex Creek Bridge
460 metres. Allow 10 minutes.
To reach the Rex Creek suspension bridge, follow Baral Marrjanga to the lookout and take the short, signposted track to the left.
Rainforest Circuit Track (from Rex Creek Bridge)
2.4km return. Allow 45 minutes.
This track begins on the far side of Rex Creek bridge. On the left, 80m from the bridge, a small lookout provides views of Manjal Dimbi (Mount Demi). A little way past the lookout, the track divides to form a circuit that meanders through the rainforest.

Your accommodation: Mandalay Luxury Beachfront Apartments

Mandalay Luxury Beachfront Apartments offers spacious, self-contained accommodations with all the facilities and services you need for a relaxing luxury holiday. It is located within walking distance of Four Mile Beach and world-renowned restaurants.
Meals included: Lunch

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Port Douglas Tropical Tour - Day 6
Port Douglas to Cairns

This short 70km drive will take you down the Captain Cook Highway (State Route 44) to the beautiful city of Cairns. Consider picking up some groceries in Port Douglas and enjoy a picnic on one of the many stunning beaches along your drive. Pebbly Beach, located approximately 15km south of Port Douglas is a bit of a deviation from the standard sandy beaches of the tropical north but is beautiful nonetheless. As the name suggests, the beach is covered with smooth, tiny stones and is popular among motorists to stop and explore.
Your next stop on your drive south will be Rex Lookout, with panoramic views of the Coral Sea and views of Double Island to the south.
Further south, you will reach the beautiful coastal village of Palm Cove. Spend some time wandering the paperbark-lined streets dotted with boutique shops and artisan cafes and restaurants. Finally, pass through Smithfield before getting off the highway and heading into Cairns.

Return your vehicle to Cairns airport

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

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 59 kms / 37 miles : 0.9 hours

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