Discover the high-elevation landscapes of the Atherton and Southern tablelands on a rainforest and waterfalls excursion from Cairns. Spot rare kangaroos and the shy platypus, see some of Australia’s oldest and tallest trees, and take a morning cruise on tranquil Lake Barrine. Travel along the Waterfall Circuit to swim in Millaa Millaa Falls, and explore the romantic gardens and castle ruins at Paronella Park. With plenty of stops at rainforest lookouts to take in wonderful views across the tablelands, enjoy more personalized attention on this small-group tour, with numbers limited to 21 passengers.
After being picked up from your Cairns, Northern Beaches or Palm Cove hotel, travel to the high-elevation rainforests of the Tablelands. Ascending the Lamb Range, take in panoramic views of the Mulgrave River valley from Heales Lookout, looking down onto the coastal rainforest from the Atherton and Southern tablelands.
Stop for a morning Devonshire tea with freshly baked scones, then take a morning cruise on the calm waters of Lake Barrine. Admire the old-growth World Heritage-listed rainforest surrounding the lake’s extinct volcanic crater, and look for wildlife basking on the shoreline. Back on land, take a short walk to see the towering 1,000-year-old twin kauri pine trees, some of Australia’s tallest trees.
After a short drive, take a guided walk along the boardwalks to see an ancient giant curtain fig tree, and try to spot the area’s rare tree kangaroos. Then visit a private sanctuary at Tarzali Lakes to see one of Australia’s shyest native animals, the platypus, in its creek habitat.
The Waterfall Circuit takes you through a network of beautiful waterfalls flowing year-round. Take a quick swim at lovely Millaa Millaa Falls, and follow quiet country roads to enjoy a tasting of cheese and yogurt at Mungalli Creek Organic Dairy. Admire the area’s dairy pastures en route to Mungalli Falls, the area’s tallest waterfalls, where a two-course lunch is served in a private outdoor gazebo on top of the falls.
After lunch, stop at Crawford’s Lookout to see an amazing view of North Johnstone Gorge en route to Paronella Park. Follow your knowledgeable guide around Paronella’s National Trust-listed heritage gardens, the romantic ruins of a Spanish-style castle and the crumbling remains of the area’s first hydroelectric plant. Enjoy free time to visit the museum, and feed fish and turtles at Mena Creek Falls.
Take in views of Mt Bellenden Ker and Mt Bartle Frere, two of Queensland’s highest mountains, on the scenic drive back to Cairns, the Northern Beaches or Palm Cove, where you will be dropped off at your hotel.