Welcome to Cairns! Famous for breathtaking coastlines, lush rainforests and rich natural history, this is the palm-lined gateway to Tropical North Queensland.
After touching down at Cairns Airport (CNS), make your own way to your hotel in town. Your local guide will be in the lobby at the Luxury Escapes Hospitality Desk to answer any questions about your itinerary, or suggest a beachfront restaurant to toast your first day in paradise. Introduce yourself to the balmy weather with a walk down the Esplanade, grab a frothy mango juice (a Queensland staple) or simply recharge in your room, preparing for tomorrow's activities.
The journey begins with a convenient coach pickup from Cairns at 8.30, setting the stage for a day filled with discovery and cultural immersion. Meet at the Night Markets Bus Stop, located adjacent to your hotel.
Your first destination is the Cattana Wetlands, where a guided walk takes you through the heart of a remnant feather palm forest. Traverse the unique landscape, absorbing the tranquil ambiance as you pass by the reflective Jabiru Lake and gain insights into the unique flora and fauna that call this wetland home.
Next on the itinerary is a visit to the awe-inspiring Barron Falls, known locally as Din Din. This magnificent waterfall holds profound significance to the Djabugay Aboriginal People, and your experience goes beyond the surface as you connect with a Djabugay Traditional Owner to hear about the spiritual and historical importance of the falls in local heritage.
Your journey continues through the rainforest to the lush tablelands, with your guide sharing captivating stories about the people, plants and wildlife that shape this extraordinary area. Reach Australia's oldest coffee plantation, Skybury Farms, where you'll enjoy lunch and coffee. Afterwards, make a refreshing stop at local favourite, Emerald Creek Ice Creamery.
Return east and descend back down the mountain aboard the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, savouring breathtaking aerial views of UNESCO World Heritage-listed Barron Falls. Your coach awaits to take you back to your hotel, and the rest of the evening is yours to explore Cairns at leisure.
Famed for its incredible biodiversity, hosting a majority of Australia's wildlife species and history that predates the dinosaurs – Daintree National Park will readily impress you during today's adventures.
After breakfast, your coach will set out on a full-day drive towards Cape Tribulation, beginning with a stop at Mossman Gorge with a guided exploration of its captivating boulder-filled, cool-air terrain. Continue onward, embarking on a scenic ferry crossing over the Daintree River and past Alexandra Lookout, well-known for a mesmerising view on high over the 135-million-year-old forests' sprawl. Take a break for lunch deep in the bush at Daintree Heritage Lodge, encapsulated by the forest and with views over Cooper Creek.
After lunch your coach will finally arrive at Cape Tribulation, and from here you can explore the coastline a while. Bask in sandy shores and absorb views of the dramatic headlands. Follow this with a complimentary treat from Daintree Ice Cream Company – perfect for cooling off after time in the sun.
Returning to your hotel around 6.30pm, you have the evening to enjoy as you please.
Embark on a full day of maritime exploration today during an immersive Great Barrier Reef cruise. One of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World, this vibrant ecosystem boasts thousands of individual reefs that make it the largest living organism on Earth.
Make your own way to the Reef Fleet Terminal, a short walk from your hotel to embark on a catamaran to Moore Reef. Once you have docked at the pontoon, snorkellers of all levels can relish the opportunity to swim alongside hundreds of aquatic species, or opt to stay dry on a glass-bottom or semi-submersable boat tour. Don't miss the world's most impressive natural fish tank – an underwater observatory where you can come fin-to-face with marine life during a touch tank presentation.
Savour a tropical banquet lunch onboard before sailing back to shore.
On your final full day, bid Cairns farewell and transfer to the train station, where you'll board the Spirit of Queensland for a southbound journey along the Pacific coast, departing at 9.35am (with an estimated arrival in Brisbane of 10.20am the following day). While savouring lunch on board, marvel at the scenic beauty as you pass through resort towns like Townsville, Bowen and Proserpine.
Dinner is served right at your seat, where you'll also enjoy a complimentary beer, wine or non-alcholic drink. Later, stop by the galley car, where you can enjoy a soothing sundowner tea or coffee or a nightcap with fellow passengers. Meanwhile, your seat is thoughtfully transformed into a cosy bed, perfect for gazing out at the starry night sky.
After breakfast on board, you'll arrive in Brisbane around 10.20am, marking the end of your unforgettable journey.