Tour title bar

6 Day Great Barrier Reef & Rainforest Self Drive Holiday

6 days 5 nights
Cairns to Cairns
from NZD$1,590pp
Breadcrumb
Tour summary and feature with map

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.

Classic driving tours

This Tour Also Features

Tour full itinerary
Itinerary
Jump to Day 1 /Day 2 /Day 3 /Day 4 /Day 5 /Day 6
Day One - G'day and welcome to Cairns
Tour day 1
6 Day Great Barrier Reef & Rainforest Self Drive Holiday - Day 1
Private transfer from Cairns Airport to your accommodation

A private transfer will meet you on arrival at the airport and transfer you to your Cairns accommodation.

Itinerary information by APP & in country support

Access to our exclusive Touring App. The App includes your full itinerary and reservation details, all available online and offline as well as lots of other great information such as restaurant guides, weather forecasts, and local activity suggestions. Instant itinerary updates and changes are available and it's easy to keep in touch with us. The App is free and easy to download on your mobile using Android or IOS.
You also have access to our free call number and after-hours service if you require support while on tour.

Arrive into Cairns

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.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Spirit of Cairns Dinner Cruise

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.

Accommodation: Mantra Esplanade, Cairns
Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star
Located on the waterfront, Mantra Esplanade Cairns is the perfect base for your Tropical North Queensland stay. Situated just minutes from the yacht harbour – the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, lively street cafes, fine dining restaurants, and Cairns Esplanade Lagoon, guests are never short of things to do.

Return to Top

Day Two - Collect your car and head out to explore Kuranda
Tour day 2
6 Day Great Barrier Reef & Rainforest Self Drive Holiday - Day 2
Collect your rental car

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.

Explore Cairns and surrounds

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.

Cairns to Smithfield

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.

Skyrail and Kuranda Scenic Railway

Immerse yourself in the sights, sounds, smells and tranquillity of one of the world’s most botanically fascinating areas that have remained relatively unchanged for 130 million years.
Enjoy a truly unique perspective of this ancient landscape with unsurpassed panoramic views of Barron Gorge and Australia’s Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. Glide metres above the pristine jungle canopy between Smithfield (Cairns) and Kuranda, en route descend to explore the rainforest close up at Red Peak and Barron Falls.
Journey back on the must-do Kuranda Scenic Railway. This famous railway winds its way on a journey from Kuranda to Cairns, the village in the rainforest, with Freshwater situated along the line with views of the surrounding mountains. Descending from 327 metres back to sea level, the journey to Kuranda passes spectacular waterfalls and into the stunning Barron Gorge.

Smithfield to Port Douglas

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.

Accommodation: Mantra Aqueous on Port
Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star
Mantra Aqueous Port Douglas is located in the exclusive beachside town of Port Douglas, with its nautical flavour and convenient location, Mantra Aqueous Port Douglas is the perfect place for a relaxing getaway or family holiday. Situated just off Macrossan Street, the hub of the village, providing the perfect base to explore Four Mile Beach, Mossman Gorge, the Daintree Rainforest. Or experience the wonder of the Great Barrier Reef where you can dive into the crystal clear waters and snorkel amongst tropical fish and coloured corals.
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 60 kms / 38 miles : 1.0 hours

Return to Top

Day Three - A day on the Great Barrier Reef
Tour day 3
6 Day Great Barrier Reef & Rainforest Self Drive Holiday - Day 3
Outer Barrier Reef Cruise with Quicksilver Cruises

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.

Accommodation: Mantra Aqueous on Port
Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star
Meals included: Lunch
Mantra Aqueous Port Douglas is located in the exclusive beachside town of Port Douglas, with its nautical flavour and convenient location, Mantra Aqueous Port Douglas is the perfect place for a relaxing getaway or family holiday. Situated just off Macrossan Street, the hub of the village, providing the perfect base to explore Four Mile Beach, Mossman Gorge, the Daintree Rainforest. Or experience the wonder of the Great Barrier Reef where you can dive into the crystal clear waters and snorkel amongst tropical fish and coloured corals.

Return to Top

Day Four - Journey north to the Daintree Rainforest
Tour day 4
6 Day Great Barrier Reef & Rainforest Self Drive Holiday - Day 4
Port Douglas to Cape Tribulation

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.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Dreamtime Walk at the Mossman Gorge Centre

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.

Accommodation: Daintree Wilderness Lodge
Accommodation type: Hotel 3 star
Daintree Wilderness Lodge is surrounded on all sides by the World Heritage-listed Daintree National Park and is ideally situated halfway between the Daintree River and Cape Tribulation, in the very heart of the worlds oldest rainforest.
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 77 kms / 48 miles : 1.7 hours

Return to Top

Day Five - Return to Cairns, with plenty of great opportunities to stop
Tour day 5
6 Day Great Barrier Reef & Rainforest Self Drive Holiday - Day 5
Cape Tribulation to Cairns via Palm Cove

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.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Hartley's Crocodile Adventures

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.

Accommodation: Mantra Esplanade, Cairns
Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star
Located on the waterfront, Mantra Esplanade Cairns is the perfect base for your Tropical North Queensland stay. Situated just minutes from the yacht harbour – the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, lively street cafes, fine dining restaurants, and Cairns Esplanade Lagoon, guests are never short of things to do.
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 138 kms / 86 miles : 2.6 hours

Return to Top

Day Six - Depart Cairns today
Tour day 6
6 Day Great Barrier Reef & Rainforest Self Drive Holiday - Day 6
Depart Cairns today

Explore more of Cairns before dropping your rental car at the airport depot and continuing your onward journey.

Return to Top

Tour quick quote
Get an Instant Quote - 6 Day Great Barrier Reef & Rainforest Self Drive Holiday
Step 1: Select a chosen start date
Step 2: Select a preferred vehicle for Australia
Step 3: Select number of passengers and room configuration
Select number of adult per room type
Single occupancy (based on 1 adult in one room)
Double room (based on 2 adults in 1 room, 1 bed)
Twin room (based on 2 adults sharing 1 room with 2 beds)
No pricing loaded - please choose another date or contact us
Your quote for this tour:
Start date:
End date:
Guests:
Rooms:
Car type
The total cost for this tour package is:0
This quote is based on vehicles to accommodate your party in the vehicle type. We suggest changing the car type or contacting us for the best options.
Save and send a copy of this quote to

NOTE: Quotes are subject to the availability of specific accommodation and other inclusions. Our touring experts will be in touch with you regarding this. Costs quoted in currencies other than New Zealand dollars (NZ$) are estimated on today's exchange rate and are subject to change and may fluctuate. The NZ$ value will not change. Terms and Conditions apply.

Remember - we can create this itinerary with any style of accommodation or customise it to suit your interests and timeframe. Just contact us here.

Enquire about this tour

We can adjust travel dates to suit you, add activities, extra passengers, adapt to your budget. Just get in touch and let us know what is required.

Contact form

See our privacy policy here

Spam Protection* complete the spam test below
Tour recommendation
Other tours you might like
6 days Map
6 Day Australian East Coast Explorer
View Tour
 
6 days Map
6 Day K'gari (Fraser Island) and Glass House Mountains
View Tour
 
6 days Map
6 Day Tasmanian Road Trip
View Tour
 
Can we help?
Call us on +64 3 443 0812

Our friendly support team is just a phone call away.

Contact Us Today