This day and night tour will have you seeing and learning about the amazing array of wildlife, flora and fauna that can be found in the rainforests on the Cairns Tablelands. You will be exploring the world’s oldest surviving continuous rainforest which is the habitat of unique species and plants. Your guide is highly experienced in knowing how to find elusive wildlife including the amazing hodgepodge of nature, the duck billed platypus (90 per cent success rate).
This is one of very few tours that offer dusk and night tours, which is unbelievable considering that 80 per cent of Australian animals are nocturnal. You might see illuminated by your tour guide’s torchlight, frogs, possums, owls, tree kangaroos and many others.
Although wildlife is the main focus of this tour, plants and rainforest trees are equally interesting to learn about. You’ll find out which ones are the best to eat if you ever got lost in the forest, Bear Grylls style, and how the Aboriginal tribes used the forest flora and fauna for medicines and hunting.
You will be in a small group, which means you will see so much more. With a minimum of two people and maximum of eleven it will feel like you are on a private tour.
The Cairns Tablelands (also known as the Atherton Tablelands) are a short drive from Cairns. After ascending the winding road of the Gillies Range you will find yourself 800 metres above sea level in an area of outstanding beauty – the Wet Tropics and Rainforest World Heritage area.
Out of the world’s nineteen families of primitive flowering plants, twelve can be found in this small area. 700 (out of a recorded 2,800) plant species are unique to this area and 315 mammal species call the Wet Tropics Rainforest home (13 of which are unique to this area). It really is like walking through Jurassic park, as many of the animals and plants that you are seeing have existed for over 100 million years.
Enjoy rare sightings of duck-billed platypus, Lumholtz tree kangaroos, and Ringtail possums, as your knowledgeable tour guides takes you to the secret hangouts of these and other rare rainforest inhabitants.
The Danbulla National Park and State Forest is located on the Cairns Tablelands and a chance to see the magnificent and ancient Cathedral Fig tree. Marvel at this amazing 500-year-old strangler tree as you walk amongst the giant buttress roots on the raised boardwalk.
You will stop at Lake Barrine to enjoy afternoon tea at the Teahouse Café. Lake Barrine is a fresh water lake that fills a crater left by a volcanic eruption from around 10,000 years ago.
You will have tea on the balcony of this charming 80-year-old café while overlooking the beautiful lake view.
The tea and coffee is all locally grown and served with scones (optional extra) from a secret family recipe. They also have a homemade cake selection (including gluten free options).
You will have a chance after tea to walk through the rainforest amongst 50 metre (156ft) tall Queensland Kauri pines. Marvel at these gigantic trees that are taller than the statue of liberty
Keep your eyes peeled and watch out for wildlife. You might see an endangered northern bettong as it searches for truffles or the beady eyes of a green-eyed tree frog or a startled Boyd’s forest dragon running by on its back legs.
Stop by the stunning Lake Eacham, a crystal clear, blue maar (a lake formed by the action of a volcanic explosion) and formed the same way as Lake Barrine. Whilst looking over the lake, peer through the clear water and look for saw shelled turtles, spurting archerfish and eastern water dragons.
The lake bottom dips down to a total depth of 65.5 metres (215ft) and the stillness and calmness of the water makes it ideal for bird watching.
From a private viewing balcony it is possible to view the elusive duck-billed platypus. With a bit of patience it is highly likely that you will see one of these rare and elusive animals (this tour guarantees a sighting 90 percent of the time).
The platypus is one of the world’s most bizarre animals. The first scientists to examine this species initially believed it to be a hoax. A mix and match of the remnants from other animals with a duck’s bill and webbed feet, a beaver’s tail, otter’s feet and with sharp poisonous stingers on their rear heels. And to add to its uniqueness, it is the only mammal that lays eggs.
Yungaburra is a small local town steeped in history. Prior to European settlement Yungaburra was inhabited by around sixteen separate indigenous groups.
In the early 1980’s the town was used as an overnight stop for miners. Yungaburra has many protected historical buildings. The name Yungaburra derives from ‘Janggaburru’ an Aboriginal word for silver ash.
It is in this scenic and historical town that you will stop for dinner at Nick’s Swiss Italian Restaurant. This welcoming restaurant is an alpine, rustic treat with Swiss food cooked by European chefs. You can play on one of their musical instruments or just be prepared to hear the unison of cuckoo clocks when they serenade you on the hour. All dietary requirements catered for.
If your tour is on a Monday (when Nick’s Restaurant is closed) then dinner will be at the Yungaburra Hotel. This is a traditional pub with a yesteryear charm is the main hotel in town and was built in 1910. The building is a sample of federation architecture with a display of historic photos of the town’s milling past. The Yungaburra Hotel serves home cooked country meals (some with secret recipes) in its expansive dining area.
Your tour guide, complete with a large flashlight, will lead you into the rainforest to search for nocturnal wildlife action. An amazing 80 per cent of Australian animals are active at night, so as the sun sets the animals rise and the forest comes alive.
Serenaded by the croaking frogs, the chirruping of insects and the scurrying sounds of small animals you will be taken in to the heart of the rainforest for your journey of discovery.
As you wander under the stars through this night in nature’s museum you will see sleeping birds and rainforest dragons. You’ll catch the glimpse of red lights as animal eyes reflect in the torchlight. Look up at the sky and you might even be able to spot the Southern Cross star system and the Milky Way.
You may be lucky to spot a Lumholtz Tree Kangaroo, Green and Herbert River Ringtail possum, frogs, owls, gliders and more (most are endemic only to this region). On this adventure of discovery the wonderful part of this tour is that you just don’t know what you will see next as every adventure is different.
What can be guaranteed, is how amazed you will be at the sheer beauty and diversity of nature that you will see on this tour and the appreciation you will have for the World Heritage Rainforests of Far North Queensland.
January - December
Closed 24, 25, 26, 31 December and 1 January
Port Douglas Pickup/Drop off is an additional charge
All cancellations must be in writing. Please note that all cancellations will incur an administration fee. Please see our terms and conditions for details prior to booking.