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AAT Kings: Tropical Islands & Rainforest 24/25

9 days 8 nights
Gold Coast to Cairns
from AUD$5,139pp
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Queensland is the only place in the world where two World Heritage Sites meet. And you get to see their convergence on this east coast Australia trip, which tours from the Gold Coast all the way to Cairns. From a Great Barrier Reef tour and the Wet Tropics rainforest to K’gari (Fraser) Island tour, get set for a parade of postcard-worthy attractions.

BeachesWildlife & nature

This Tour Also Features

  • Barron Gorge lookout
  • Catamaran Cruise on the Great Barrier Reef
  • K'Gari (Fraser Island) 4WD Tour
  • Langmorn Station Tour
  • Sarina Sugar Shed Tour
  • K'gari (Fraser Island)
  • Millaa Millaa Falls
  • Meals included: 8 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 1 special dinner
Tour full itinerary
Itinerary
Gold Coast

Follow the waves north to World Heritage-Listed K’gari (Fraser Island). The ferry ride across the strait is a highlight, particularly during whale migration when these gentle giants come to the calm, protected waters to calve. Landing on K’gari, expect to see a lot of sand. This is, after all, the world’s largest sand island, and the only place in the world where rainforest grows from the sand.

Staying in:

  • Kingfisher Bay Resort (1 night)

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K'gari

The other thing sandy is K’gari’s highway­, which you’ll get to zip along on a 4WD tour across 75 Mile Beach, all the way up the east coast to the Pinnacles Coloured Sands, calm Eli Creek and the Maheno shipwreck. Bring your camera, because between the wreck and Lake McKenzie – a dazzling patch of blue formed only with rainwater – you’ll accumulate dozens of happy snaps. It’s a hard act to follow, but the ancient rainforest at Central Station and Wanggoolba Creek lives up to the challenge with its huge satiny, scribbly gum and kauri trees.

Staying in:

  • Kingfisher Bay Resort (1 night)

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Cattle

In a whiplash, you leave the coast behind and reunite with Queensland’s cattle country. First stop: Langmorn Station, where the Creed family welcome you to their immense (and historic) cattle property with open arms and afternoon tea. And just a few stories about life on the land… The theme continues as you cross the Tropic of Capricorn to arrive in Rockhampton, the beef capital of Australia. See if it deserves its title sampling some of the town’s restaurants. Ask us for tips.

Staying in:

  • Quality Hotel Regent, Rockhampton (1 night)

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Sarina Beach

From Australia’s beef capital to its sugar capital – today you’re en route to Sarina. If you’ve ever wanted to know how sugar cane is processed and distilled, you’ll find the guided tour at the Sarina Sugar Shed a sweet addition to the itinerary. And yes, you get to sample the wares. Continue, on a high, to Airlie Beach, the gateway to the Whitsundays. Life moves at a leisurely pace here. Fall into step and take things slow tonight.

Staying in:

  • Mantra Club Croc (1 night)

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Whitehaven Beach

The Whitsunday Islands are the stuff of postcards, a dreamy collection of 74 tropical islands that are all white sandy beaches and dense rainforest, surrounded by the Great Barrier Reef. You have to decide how to take it in. Perhaps on a scenic flight over the legendary Heart Reef, or on a cruise to Whitehaven Beach, where high amounts of silica in the sand means that it squeaks under your feet. Bring your sunglasses – the colours are blinding.

Staying in:

  • Mantra Club Croc (1 night)

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Cairns at Sunset

Relax – today is all about soaking up the scenery. Think sugar cane fields and rolling green paddocks, all framed by the ocean and rainforest-clad mountains on one side, and the Coral Sea on the other. Stretch your legs en route to Cairns and soak up this steamy part of the state.

Staying in:

  • DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cairns (1 night)

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Millaa Millaa Falls

Early morning is the ideal time to explore Cairns, before things get too steamy. Join locals on a heart-starting stroll along the Esplanade. The temperature dips as you climb into the Atherton Tablelands, a high tropical plateau of rainforest, including the heritage listed Curtain Tree. And waterfalls, like Millaa Millaa, where enormous iridescent Ulysses butterflies like to dance. Explore Kuranda before getting some perspective on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, high above and through the canopy of the Barron Gorge National Park.

Staying in:

  • DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cairns (1 night)

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Snorkelling in Great Barrier Reef

Just when you thought your outlook couldn’t get any better, you’re zipping over the Great Barrier Reef on a high-speed catamaran. Snorkel with six of the world’s sea turtles bobbing over fans of coral, as well as so many fish you won’t know where to look. If you prefer to keep your head above water, the marine world can also be glimpsed from an underwater observatory and glass-bottom boat.

Staying in:

  • DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cairns (1 night)

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Turtle

From underwater love to overwater love – bid adieu to your new crew of travel buddies.

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Starts Status   Twin/Double Single occupancy  
Sep 12, 2024
(Thursday)
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Nov 7, 2024
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Feb 6, 2025
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Mar 6, 2025
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