Chillagoe Caves Tour & Australian Outback

Tour Code: 69

Departing: Cairns

Pickup: Cairns, Cairns Northern Beaches, Palm Cove, Port Douglas

Unique Outback Cairns Tours
  • It’s obvious the knowledgeable Chillagoe Caves tour guides love their jobs. They are all passionate locals who thrive on showing visitors this part of the world and you will find their commentary a valuable part of your day.
  • The incredible Limestone Caves. They are truly spectacular and if you’re struggling with the heat of the outback in summer, keep in mind it’s considerably cooler in the caves, which makes for a comfortable exploration. 
  • The visit to Balancing Rock and to see the Aboriginal Rock Art is a big highlight on this Chillagoe Tour
  • Skybury Coffee Plantation is the largest coffee plantation in Far North Queensland.  Try the range of award-winning blends of coffees and shop in the gift shop during your visit.  

Included In Price

  • Chillagoe Caves tour
  • Chillagoe Smelters
  • Aboriginal Art - Balancing Rock
  • Visit Granite Gorge and the wild rock Wallabies
  • Morning Tea at Skybury Coffee Plantation
  • Delicious Aussie Lunch in 100 year old pub
  • Tropical fruit tasting
  • Courtesy return transfers from Cairns
  • Air conditioned vehicle
  • Naturalist Outback Guide
  • Small group size (16 - 20 guests)
  • Chillagoe gift shop

A unique Australian Outback tour to Chillagoe Caves from Cairns. See native Australian wildlife, explore underground caves and smelters, view Aboriginal rock art, find fossils, lunch in 100 year old pub and have a yarn with the locals

Explore the Australian outback on our full-day Cairns to Chillagoe Caves tour. You’ll see kangaroos, emus, and wallabies as you venture off the beaten track in a custom-built, air-conditioned vehicle towards the Atherton Tablelands and the Skybury Coffee Plantation.  

You’ll learn about the growth of this highly successful coffee and papaya plantation and you may even like to try and sample some coffees and take a look in the gift shop whilst enjoying morning tea. 

We will then traverse the fertile agricultural land of the Atherton Tablelands area, passing through mango, banana, and avocado plantations before crossing over the Great Divide to the great red Australian Outback. 

The historical town of Chillagoe is where you’ll next stop to learn about its past as a thriving copper mining hub. You’ll visit the remains of the smelters before lunching at an authentic outback pub, built in the early 1900s.

Next, you’ll head to the alluring Chillagoe-Mungana Caves National Park. 

It’s here you’ll venture into the labyrinth of passages in its limestone cave system to discover an incredible past more than 400 million years old.

Fossilised remains have been found of the extinct giant kangaroo and ancient marine life, proving its history as an inland sea just like our Great Barrier Reef.

Head for the Atherton Tablelands Hills

Your Cairns day tour to Chillagoe Caves will begin with a pick-up from your accommodation in the custom-built, air-conditioned four-wheel-drive.

We head west to the Skybury Coffee Plantation up the Kuranda range for our first stop for morning tea.

We then hit the Australian outback dirt roads, keep a lookout for emus, kangaroos and wedge-tailed eagles along the way.

Note, at times subject to weather we will visit Granite Gorge to see the native Australian wildlife.

Step Back in Time in the Australian Outback

You’ll then drive past agricultural paddocks of mangoes, paw paws and lychees before crossing the Great Dividing Range and entering the Australian Outback.

You’ll continue past historic towns, mineral-rich rolling hills and limestone karsts, before entering the township of Chillagoe.

This town lies within a belt of limestone, contributing significantly to its distinctive landscape.

You’ll learn about the town’s history as part of a thriving mining industry and the wealth and development that came with this boom. You’ll visit what remains of copper smelters and step back in time as you ponder what it must have been like to work here in these ghost towns.

You’ll then head to lunch at an authentic Australian pub, built in the early 1900s. 

Cavernous Caves of Chillagoe

Just out of Chillagoe is the Chillagoe-Mungana Karst Caves National Park containing world-class limestone caves.

On a guided tour, you’ll walk through underground caverns lined with stalactites and stalagmites learning about how these caves were formed and the wildlife that inhabits the cave system.  

Some scientists believe the landscape around the caves began to form around 400 million years ago, from an ancient inland sea of coral reefs just like our own Great Barrier Reef, this was once the inland sea.

Marine fossils have been found in the caves as well as those of the extinct giant kangaroo.  

Head Back East to Dimbulah and Cairns

Millions of years in the making the limestone formations and Chillagoe Caves are nothing short of spectacular.

We visit some Aboriginal Rock Art and the Balancing Rock. 

Next up is the opportunity to vsit the unique gift shop which specialises in Chillagoe marble and local Aboriginal art.

Aftert the cave tours we’ll then head back towards Dimbulah for a comfort stop.

Then it’s all aboard for a vist to Granite Gorge to see the wild rock wallabies and enjoy some tropical fruit tasting.

Once we are all satisfied we then begin the final drive to your Cairns accommodation. 

See more Outback Australia tours. 

Chillagoe Guided Cave Tours

Park Ranger-guided tours to Donna, Trezkinn and Royal Arch Caves depart each day at 9.00 am, 11.00 am and 1.30 pm daily except Christmas Day. 

Royal Arch Cave tour—1.6 km return (1.5 hrs) Grade: easy/moderate

From the Royal Arch Cave car park, about 6 km from Chillagoe central, a short 200 m walking track leads you to the cave entrance.

This caving tour is a 600 m walk through passages and 11 chambers in one of the largest cave systems in Chillagoe. Now and again you will be hit with shafts of daylight that appear in between karst formations, and you will see cave dwelling bats echoing their way around the cave roof tops.

The Royal Arch cave has been described by some as grand and impressive. It is a horizontal cave and probably the easiest to explore.

Time taken to explore this cave is around one hour and thirty minutes

Torches are given to everyone to add to the excitement of exploring the tall limestone karsts and enticing tunnels and to ensure you are able to see where you are walking.

There are low overhangs in some places within the Royal Arch Cave so you may be have to be fit enough to stoop low in several sections.

Donna Cave-440 m return (1 hr) Grade: moderate

The Donna Cave car park is 1.8 km from Chillagoe. This cave features beautiful limestone columns, calcite crystals and a cave decoration in the form of the Madonna.

During the 200 m walk through the cave, visitors are required to climb several steep flights of stairs; about 200 steps in total so make sure you are wearing the right feet attire and you are moderately fit.

No need for hand held torches this spectacular cave has been fitted out with electricity.

Trezkinn Cave-590 m return (30-45 mins) Grade: moderate

From the Donna Cave car park, located 1.8 km from Chillagoe, a boardwalk leads to a shelter shed at the entrance to the cave. From here enjoy outstanding views of the Chillagoe landscape.

Access to Trezkinn Cave is provided via a steel catwalk encircling a huge central mass of limestone.

The walk through the cave is about 150 m long, with several steep flights of stairs. The sight of a magnificent 'chandelier' formation rewards the visitor.

No need for hand held torches this cave has also been fitted out with electricity

Tour Languages Offered
  • English
Departs From


Departure Time
  • Cairns 6:50am
  • Cairns Northern Beaches 6:30am
  • Port Douglas 6:00am
Departure Instructions
  • Be ready and waiting at the front of your accommodation at the communicated time. A 100 per cent cancellation fee will apply if you fail to board the vehicle at the allocated time.
  • If passengers are staying in a location other than Cairns CBD, the Northern Beaches, or Port Douglas, they can drive themselves to the pickup point at the Canopy’s Edge Bus Stop at the bottom of the Kuranda Range. There is no transfer fee for this option.
Pickup Locations
  • Cairns
  • Cairns Northern Beaches
  • Palm Cove
  • Port Douglas
  • Atherton Tablelands
  • Chillagoe Town
  • Chillagoe Caves
  • Outback Queensland
  • Granite Gorge
  • Chillagoe smelters
Months of Operation

January - December

Days of Operation

Monday, Wednesday, Friday

6:50am (approx) from Cairns - returns 6:30pm (approx)
6:30am (approx) from Northern Beaches - returns 6:30pm (approx)
6:00am (approx) from Port Douglas - returns 7:30pm (approx) - Return Transfers from Port Douglas or Thala Beach, payable on board to the driver.


12 hours approx

Available for Purchase / Hire

Transfers available from Turtle Cove, Thala Beach Resort and Port Douglas for an additional cost

Fitness Level Required

Low, Medium

  • Due to the Chillagoe Cave component of this tour, guests must be able to negotiate steps, inclines and narrow walkways. This tour is not suited to guest in wheelchairs.
  • The Chillagoe Caves are not stroller, walking frame or crutches friendly.
  • Not suited for small children
Additional Information
  • You may want to bring a light coat or jumper when touring in the winter months
  • The operator reserves the right to cancel any tour, change vehicle type or arrange an alternative carrier if the numbers in a group are insufficient. The operator reserves the right to alter the tour or itinerary of schedules to another operator if necessary. No refund will be given in these circumstances or in the event of any delay, curtailment or alteration of a tour resulting from any cause including severe weather, road conditions or mechanical failure.
  • The operator cannot guarantee pick-up or drop-off times and are not liable for passenger failure to connect with other services. Whilst the operator will make every effort to safe guard its clients and their belongings the operator cannot be held responsible for personal injury or loss due to events which are beyond the operator’s control.
  • The operator reserves the right to apply a fuel charge of $20.00 per person (children exempt) which is payable in addition to the tour cost.
  • All tours are subject to weather and road conditions, alternative routes will be taken.
  • Travel Insurance is not included.
Eco Certifications
Advanced Ecotourism Certified
Eco Climate Action Business
Eco Green Travel Leader
  • Closed footwear
  • Hat
  • Comfortable clothing
  • Sunscreen
  • Camera
  • Water bottle
  • Cash or credit card

  • 0-14yrs child rates apply including infants. Baby seats are available on request - Must be requested at time of booking
  • All children on tour must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Family Fare: 2 Adults and 2 Children

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.

Day Tour: cancellations received within 48 hours are subject to no refund. Also includes any no shows. Any tour date changes must be made with at least 48 hours’ notice.

Chillagoe Caves Tour & Australian Outback

Tour Code: 69

Departing: Cairns

Pickup: Cairns, Cairns Northern Beaches, Palm Cove, Port Douglas

Unique Outback Cairns Tours



Prices are AUD, per adult and include all levies fees and taxes.

Child: au$125.00
Family: au$600.00

Tour Code: 69



15 yrs & over

3 - 14 yrs

0 - 2 yrs

Ages of Children
(Discounts May Apply)
1300 231 118
+61 427 074 745
1300 231 118
+61 427 074 745

You May Also Like