• Whitewater raft through the stunning Tully River Gorge
• Sail to The Great Barrier Reef and then snokel or SCUBA dive
• Rock climb in the Barron River Gorge OR mountain bike The World's Course
• Ride a zip line over the jungle canopy
• Experience the UNESCO World Heritage Daintree - some of the oldest rainforest on the planet
Overview - 4 Days/ 3 Nights
In Cairns, adventure activities reign supreme--and the tropical climate invites adventure year round. Climb the rock faces of the lush Barron River Gorge, or mountain bike rolling singletrack of the local’s favourite World’s Course. Then trade your pedals for a paddle and whitewater raft the rollicking rapids of the Tully River through gorgeous emerald rainforest.
A day sailing to the Great Barrier Reef gives you a splendid opportunity to snorkel among colourful corals and fish of all shapes and sizes, and an option to try a SCUBA “resort dive” without needing a certification. At the end of active days, settle into your comfortable private room in central accommodation with a social atmosphere.
Day 1: Arrival, Transfer and Mountain Biking or Rock Climbing
Welcome to Cairns! You arrive in Cairns and are warmly greeted by one of our staff members at the airport. You are then transferred to your accommodation.
Your hotel won Trip Advisor's Traveller's Choice Award for 2012, and continues to rank as one of Cairns best rated hotels. You will enjoy the complimentary WiFi in your room, while all rooms have ensuites and air-conditioning, flat screen TVs with Austar and tea & coffee making facilities. The hotel also has guest laundry, a tropical pool and spa. It is also easy walking distance to shops and restaurants, and two blocks from the Esplanade and waterfront.
This afternoon you will be picked up by your mountain biking guide and you will head for the hills. Mountain biking in Cairns is a biker’s dream: mild to challenging singletrack, fun rolling terrain, gorgeous vistas and little-seen wilderness areas.
You are fitted to superbly crafted Canadian Norco mountain bike, and mountain biking basics are reviewed. Just north of Cairns, you will retrace the 1996 UCI World Mountain Bike Championship course, both cross country and downhill. The course weaves through tropical rainforest and offers 'interesting' challenges. This course was previously utilised for two rounds of the Grundig World Cup Series. The ride is for experienced mountain bike riders with a good level of fitness.
Alternatively, under the care of a professional rock climbing instructor you spend some time on “the rock” in the picturesque Barron River Gorge. Experience climbers are in for a treat at this local’s favourite top-rope climbing spot, while first-time climbers will be particularly well-cared for: starting with the basics, your guide shows you how to effectively pick hand holds and how to conserve energy while climbing. In the process, you discover that you don't need big muscles to climb well — just agility and good technique! You are returned to your hotel at the end of the day.
Accommodation: Heritage Cairns Hotel
Day 2: Whitewater Rafting the Tully River
The Tully River ranks high with rafting enthusiasts around the globe for its stunning course through national parklands, thrilling Class III-IV rapids, and its reliable year-round flows. First timers and experienced rafters alike will be spoiled by the Tully’s non-stop action and pristine wilderness.
From Cairns you will travel to your put-in at Tully Gorge National Park. There you are fitted with a life jacket and helmet and after a safety briefing you are on the water. In a small group, you raft through UNESCO World Heritage rainforest and below waterfalls that tumble from the walls of the gorge. Rousing rapids with evocative names like The Staircase, Corkscrew and Alarm Clock mark the start of your day, after which you paddle through another 41 rapids, stopping midway for a riverside BBQ. This is an action-packed day with friendly and skillful guides who will keep you safe and entertained.
Accommodation: Heritage Cairns Hotel
Included: Breakfast and Lunch
Day 3: Sailing and Snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef
The adventure continues today as you sail away with a small group to a perfect spot on the Great Barrier Reef. Visible from space, The Great Barrier Reef is one of Australia’s premier attractions and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
On arrival at Pinnacle Reef, you snorkel or enjoy a certified or introducatory SCUBA dive. Beneath the surface is host of hard and soft corals, such as the whimsical elephant ear, broccoli, and spaghetti corals. You will also recognize beauties such as luminescent parrot fish, the chocolate-dipped damsel, and the Picasso triggerfish. Wally the gigantic wrasse, giant clams, sea cucumbers, and several types of turtles are also popular residents at this reef. Within reach are butterfly and parrot fish, sea cucumbers, starfish and virtually the whole cast of Finding Nemo.
Later you enjoy a delicious buffet lunch and then take the tender to nearby Green Island. Here you can sunbathe, stroll the boardwalk in the national park, or walk right into the water to view the reef.
Options on Green Island include a ride on a glass-bottom boat, a cruise in a semi-submarine, and a visit to Marineland Melanesia (extra cost). On the return, the crew is happy to get you involved with hoisting the sails and those who are keen can captain the sailboat. The friendly crew also offers up sparkling wine, fruit and cheese plates, cakes and other goodies. You return to Cairns in the late afternoon.
Accommodation: Heritage Cairns Hotel
Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 4: Wildlife Sanctuary, Daintree Rainforest and Jungle Canopy Zip Line
You travel today in the company of a guide and small group up the coast to the famed Cape Tribulation, the site at which explorer Captain Cook ran aground. It is here where two UNESCO World Heritage areas also lie side by side.
You first stop at a sanctuary to meet quintessential Australian animals: crocs, koalas, kangaroos and a host of other creatures. The sanctuary uses funds raised from donations and park entries to operate their Wildlife Rescue Program which includes a dedicated wildlife care centre for injured, sick, and orphaned animals. In addition, the care centre operates a successful Lumholtz Tree Kangaroo breeding program for this locally endemic species. If you’ve always wanted a photo with a koala – here’s your chance!
Next you’ll cross the Daintree River by car ferry and enter the Daintree, home of the magical ancient rainforest. At one hundred and thirty-five million years old, the Daintree is the oldest continuously growing rainforest in the world. This area of the country also has the highest concentration of primitive flowering plant families in the world, Australia’s rarest mammal (the Murina florious bat) and 13 species of birds found nowhere else on earth.
At Cape Tribulation you will then experience the art of "jungle surfing": an exhilarating zip line ride among the tree tops. By clipping into a series of steel cables arranged in the trees, you can fly across the rainforest canopy and get a bird's eye view of the world. The longest span is over 75 metres and the platforms vary in height from 2.5 to 19.5 metres above the ground. At the highest point you fly over 22 metres above the valley, and the flight choice is yours – slow, fast, or even upside down. During this unique adventure led by naturalists and scientist guides, keep an eye out for Boyd's Forest dragons and the brilliant blue Ulysses butterfly.
You return to Cairns by dinner time. You can then continue your adventures in Cairns or on to another destination in Australia.
Included: Breakfast and Lunch
- Airport Meet & Greet by a Small World Journeys staff member
- Transfers to/from Cairns International Airport
- All activities as described in the itinerary
- All transportation to activities
- 3 nights central Cairns boutique hotel (standard room with ensuite)
- All breakfasts
- 3 lunches
- Mask, fins, snorkel and wetsuit rental on reef trip
- 101 Animals of the Wet Tropics field guide
- Emergency local support 24 hours a day
- National Park taxes
- Comprehensive travel notes, maps, background and logistical information
- 5 metres square of Daintree rainforest adopted in your name by Rainforest Rescue
- Climate Care™ carbon-offsetting for a carbon-neutral trip
What's not Included:
- Airfare to Cairns and travel insurance
- 1 lunch and 3 dinners
- Optional koala photo
- Optional SCUBA Diving
- Options on Green Island
- Personal expenses (phone, internet, laundry, etc.)
NOTE ON SCUBA DIVING: In order to participate in SCUBA diving, you will be required to fill out a medical form. It is important to note that Australian diving standards are some of the most rigorous in the world, and certain medical conditions will require a medical exam by a certified Australian dive doctor even if you are ALREADY certified. Although dive medical exams (at your cost, approximately $60 AUD) are available at a 24-hour clinic in Cairns, you need to know before the dive trip that you need this medical exam. Some of the medical conditions that may disqualify you from diving or will require a medical exam are, but not limited to, the following: Diabetes, Asthma, Migraine Headaches, Previous Head Injuries. We will email you a medical form on request if you are interested in diving.
Other Destinations in Australia, Pre or Post Trip:
Once I arrive at the Cairns airport - what next?
We will arrange a transfer from the airport to your hotel. Details will be provided in your final itinerary.
What is the weather like in Cairns?
Cairns has a tropical climate, and outdoor activities can be enjoyed year-round. In our summer (December-February), the weather is at its warmest and wettest. Expect hot days with occasional tropical storms, producing lush green hillsides and plenty of waterfalls. Average temperatures are 23-31 degrees Celsius/73-87 Fahrenheit.
In our winter (June-August), the climate is at its most mild, with warm days, cool nights, and little rainfall. Average temperatures are 18-26 degrees Celsius/64-78 degrees Fahrenheit.
In spring (September - November), days are warm to hot and in autumn (March - May) temperatures are still warm to hot, with more chances of rain than in spring.
What should I bring with me?
We will provide you with a suggested packing list in your Confirmation Packet.
What about sharks or jellyfish?
The ocean is home to sharks, but the ones you may encounter at the Great Barrier Reef are small and pose little threat to swimmers. In fact, divers and snorkelers often consider themselves lucky to spot one of these shy, magnificent creatures. Australia's famed Great White sharks prefer the cold waters of the southern coast, and therefore are not found at the Great Barrier Reef.
Box jellyfish, irukandji and other jellyfish, collectively known as "stingers" breed along the coast in estuaries and are not commonly found at The Great Barrier Reef. Therefore, they do not pose a major threat to snorkelers or divers at the reef. However, as a precaution you can use a full body lycra suit from the reef boat (provided free) so that you may still enjoy snorkeling and/or diving. Stingers are only a consideration between November and April/May.
Do I need to bring my own snorkelling or dive equipment?
You may bring your own equipment if you wish; however mask, fins and snorkel are provided on the Great Barrier Reef trip for snorkelers and all dive equipment is included in the diver package.
How do I arrange airfare?
We do not arrange airfare in house, however we do work closely with several travel agents.
In Australia, we recommend:
Kim Salter, our Melbourne-based travel agent. Contact Kim at email@example.com or call + 61 0433 324 455 or toll free within Australia 1 300 640 821.
In the US, we recommend:
Sandra Marron at Millennium Travel California. Contact Sandra at
firstname.lastname@example.org or call toll free at 1-888-700- 2182.
Do I need a visa to visit Australia?
All visitors to Australia need a visa, with the exception of visitors from New Zealand. An Australian entry visa, commonly known as an ETA (Electronic Travel Authority) will let you spend up to three months in Australia. In most countries it is easily obtained by the travel agent who issues your ticket, and should be free of charge. You can also get an ETA on line by visiting www.eta.immi.gov.au. There is no need for you to visit an Australian diplomatic office to submit an application, and you do not need a stamp or label in your passport. Upon check in at the airport, the airline agent will be able to confirm your ETA electronically. All visitors will also need a passport, valid for at least six months after the planned return date.
Why should I travel with Small World Journeys?
LOCAL SUPPORT & KNOWLEDGE
Our office is in Cairns – this means we are right around the corner for 24-hour support, to answer your questions, or if you have an emergency in the middle of the trip.
Local knowledge means we know the restaurant owners who catch their own fish (and then deliciously prepare it for you!), where to buy the real indigenous-made souvenirs, and where the mobs of people will be on the morning of the eclipse (hint: we’re not going there.)
Being an “eco” tour operator means more to us than just offering walks outdoors. It means we pay to offset the carbon emissions from your trip, give a percentage of profits to local environmental and community organizations, plant trees, recycle, and participate in Rainforest Rescue’s Adopt-a-Square program. See 10 Reasons Why We’re Eco for more on what we do for our environment and community.
HUNDREDS OF HAPPY GUESTS
We could tell you that we provide highly professional customer service, respond attentively and consistently exceed our guests’ expectations. But don’t believe us! Read some of our testimonials or ask us for references from past guests who are willing to tell you all about their experience with Small World Journeys.
You get a Small World Journeys water bottle, a cloth carry bag, a regional field guide, and a 5 square metre of Daintree rainforest adopted in your name, plus a certificate detailing where your rainforest square is located. Plus you get an unforgettable trip too.
Once you book your trip, we will send out a Confirmation Packet to you with detailed information that should answer most of your questions. In addition, you can feel free to email us anytime at: email@example.com