Australia's northeast is home to two of the most best and most spectacular natural landscapes on planet earth. First, you will immerse yourself in world’s largest coral reef, the Great Barrier Reef, one of the seven wonders of the natural world. Next, travel to Cape Tribulation to set foot in the Daintree Rainforest, the oldest tropical rainforest in the world at an incredible 180 million years old. With fantastic accommodation and time in Cairns, Port Douglas and surrounds to explore incredible white sand beaches, this is the perfect Australian holiday for those that are short on time.
A private transfer will meet you on arrival at the airport and transfer you to your Cairns accommodation.
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.
A Cairns dinner cruise is the perfect way to end a perfect day in paradise. Board the sailing catamaran and enjoy an evening of calm water cruising on Trinity Inlet, taking in the sights and sounds of this tropical port city and its surrounds as they transition from day to night.
Our rental car range includes the latest vehicles from the top suppliers. We have a fantastic range, from economy hatchbacks to prestige sedans and SUVs. Insurance can often be included with a small excess or deductible.
Cairns is a laid back city with plenty of opportunities for adventure. You can take the Skyrail or Scenic Railway to Kuranda to explore the world's oldest continually surviving rainforest; journey by boat to the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef to visit the largest coral reef system in the world, jump on a river rafting trip to get an adrenaline rush, visit one of the nearby islands, or simply relax and enjoy the Cairns Esplanade.
Smithfield is home to the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway Terminal and the drive is a quick 20 minute drive to the outskirts of the city, taking you from the coast to the edge of the rainforest.
Experience this scenic journey on the Kuranda Scenic Railway to the 'village in the rainforest'. Your day begins in Cairns as you board the train for a morning departure. Travel through unsurpassed views of World Heritage-listed rainforest and waterfalls, including Stoney Creek Falls and the breathtaking Barron Gorge. You will wind your way through 15 tunnels and over 37 bridges on your journey before reaching Kuranda, where you will have several hours to explore the village. In the afternoon you will board the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway for a journey up and over the rainforest canopy, back to the Skyrail terminal where you will be transported back to the Cairns railway station.
It's less than an hour to Port Douglas from Smithfield and 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. We recommend arriving to Port Douglas before dusk so that you can take in the beautiful sunset over the water.
For your experience of a lifetime, Quicksilver’s wave-piercing catamaran and friendly crew will take you to a reef at the very edge of Australia’s Continental Shelf, to an underwater world that is a dazzling kaleidoscope of colour and brilliance.
Choose to dive, snorkel, or stay dry and explore the stunning reef from the comfort of a Quicksilver semi-sub, just one meter underwater. Watch the fish feeding from Quicksilver’s unique underwater viewing platform and underwater observatory. Whichever way you choose, you’ll bring home a lifetime of memories from this living natural wonder.
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, crossing the Daintree River 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.
A visit to Mossman Gorge is a must-do for anyone travelling to the beautiful Far North Queensland region. The Mossman Gorge Centre is the gateway to the world’s oldest rainforest, the Daintree Rainforest, as well as a unique link to the lives, cultures, and stories of Australia’s Indigenous people and their connection to the natural environment.
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. Continue on the Captain Cook Highway as it follows the Coral Sea until you get to Palm Cove. Palm Cove Beach is a great spot for a swim if you’d like to have an afternoon dip to break up the road trip, or there is a beautiful jetty to stroll along to stretch your legs. If you're not short on time, Yorkeys Knob, Trinity Beach, and Clifton Beach are worth checking out as you continue to your destination, Cairns.
Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures is one of the longest continually operating tourist attractions in Australia. The business began in 1934 as a roadhouse for weary motorists. Legend has it the original owner Pop Evans entertained motorists by feeding Charlie the crocodile, while scones cooked in the woodstove. Eight decades later, Hartley’s world-famous Crocodile Attack Show is as popular as ever with daily presentations that strike a perfect balance between entertainment and education.
Explore more of Cairns before dropping your rental car at the airport depot and continuing your onward journey.