5 March 2012

Top 10 Tours in Tropical North Queensland

Tropical North Queensland has plenty of attractions to suit the adventurist, the environmentalist and animal lover! From relaxing tours to adventure tours Sunlover Holidays can find the perfect day tour for you.

10. Get your adrenaline pumping with an Adventure Tour
If you are keen for an adventurous holiday look no further than skydive over Cairns. From 11,000 feet in the air you can  enjoy the spectacular views of the World Heritage rainforests or ‘Jump the Beach’ and enjoy a Birdseye view of the Great Barrier Reef, tropical islands and Mission Beach.

For a smaller ‘jump’ take on AJ Hackett’s 50 metre bungy tower just 15 minutes from Cairns. If the weather is hot, then cool down by river rafting down the Barron or Tully River or, for a thrilling way to see the Daintree Forest ‘Jungle Surf’ through the canopies and over the treetops. Those who remember the rush of swinging in the school yard may enjoy the Minjim Jungle Swing, a cocoon that 1 to 3 people can share for a soaring ride across the rainforest and through the trees, reaching down just 2 metres from the rainforest floor before swinging up to views of the ocean.

If you prefer to be closer to the ground there are horse riding and quad biking tours through rainforest, bush and creeks. Ride around giant termite mounds and spot native wildlife during your 2 hour ride.

9. Learn about Australian Aboriginal Culture
Discover the legends of Australia’s Dreamtime with Tjapukai by Night. The people of the rainforest share their culture during an evening of spectacular entertainment including a traditional Tjapukai corroboree, didgeridoo blessing ceremony, Quinkan Spirit performance, spectacular lightning show and buffet dinner with professional entertainment before joining the dancers around the campfire. The tour includes an international buffet, face tribal marking face painting and you may self drive or book transfers from Cairns and Cairns Beaches.

8. Explore Cairns Highlands
For a relaxing and yummy experience take a unique coach tour to the Cairns Highlands for food, wine and sightseeing with Food Trail Tours. Experience the Wet Tropics Rainforest, dry savannah and red soil plains, discover the enormous Cathedral Fig Tree, enjoy tastiings at cheese and chocolate factories, sample wines at the vineyard then experience a coffee plantation tour. The day also includes exploration of a local macadamia plantation and a tropical seafood lunch!

Another highland tour take in the well known Spanish Castle (Paronella Park). Built by Jose Paronella on 5 hectares next to the spectacular Mena Creek Falls the castle has become beautiful ruins surrounded by a lush rainforest made up of over 7,500 tropical plants and trees. You will also have a chance to visit Lake Barrine for a wildlife cruise followed by Devonshire tea.

7. Watch the sunrise from a Hot Air Balloon
Enjoy the unique sensation of floating over the Atherton Tableland with its rainforest fringed mountains and tranquil country landscape from a hot air balloon. Tours depart before dawn so you can see the mist disperse over the patchwork ground below as the sun rises. The silence of dawn and the stillness of the tranquil landscape below is mesmerising. Transfers are available from Cairns, Cairns Beaches and Port Douglas.

6. Take a different route with Sky Rail and Scenic Rail
Sitting upon the hinterland is the town of Kuranda, well known for its alternative lifestyle, historic pubs and arts and crafts market. The town also offers the chance to enjoy local produce including lychee flavoured wine! You can journey here by car, but the much more scenic and relaxing route is by Scenic Rail. The train takes a leisurely pace through Cairns suburbs up into the mountains and stops at two impressive waterfalls.

Barron Falls
On your way home feel the rush of sliding smoothly across the rainforest in a glass encased cable car. Director James Cameron even took this journey for inspiration in creating the rainforests in Avatar. There are two stops along the journey so you can take short 2 minute boardwalks through the rainforest. See vines snaking up trees to reach the light and basket ferns that grow on the trees just under leafy branches that provide compost and nest. Did you know for a forest to be called a ‘rainforest’ it must receive at least 1.3 metres of rain a year?

5. Head Outback  
Journey back in history and discover spectacular savannah landscapes, limestone caves and the Mareeba Wetlands home to an array of birdlife and wildlife. Once you pass the Great Dividing Range watch the landscape change into agricultural fields and flat plains. Stop in Chillagoe to view the Chillagoe Smelters and the former mining site. Take a guided tour of the limestome caves and a stop at Mt Uncle Distillery for a cool drink before transfering back to Cairns.

4. Trek into a rainforest
Explore Cape Tribulation rainforest with a full day tour from Cairns or Port Douglas. See where the ‘rainforest meets the reef’ and experience an aerial walkway amongst the trees. 4WD through the Bloomfield Track and relax upon Cable Tribulation Beach. The tour also includes barbeque lunch with a chance to hand feed kangaroos. 
Cape Tribulation
If you want to go even further north take a flight / 4WD tour of Cooktown. Experience the Daintree River cable ferry crossing and have lunch at the famous Lions Den Hotel. It’s a chance to enjoy the traverse rivers and mountain ranges of far North Queensland.

3. Visit an island
Fitzroy Island's Full Day Sea Kayaking tour offer the chance to discover the natural wonders of the Great Barrier Reef. Upon Fitzroy Island you have the chance to visit a private beach only accessible from water. This half day tour includes lunch, use of ocean trampoline and return ferry transfers from Cairns.

Green Island offers a great alternative for those not wanting to travel to the Outer Reef to see the coral. Just a short ferry ride from Cairns brings you to a tropical paradise surrounded by coral and fish life. The full day tour includes buffet lunch and the island includes a range of water activities and walks to keep you entertained, including a crocodile farm!

Green Island, off Cairns
If you prefer to feel the ocean breeze on a relaxing day out then take a Low Isles sailing cruise to a coral cay island. These islands offer white sandy beaches surrounded by fringing coral and an array of marine life including turtles and stingrays. Take a walk about the island, enjoy a guided snorkel tour, listen to a marine biologist reef and island interpretation and tuck into a buffet lunch. The day tours depart from Cairns to Port Douglas and include return transfers from your hotel.

2. Walk amongst the Wildlife
Australia is teeming with unique (and unusal) wildlife and there is no better place to catch a glance of these amazing creatures than one of Tropical North Queensland’s zoos and wildlife parks. Cairns Tropical Zoo offers a chance to cuddle a koala, hand feed kangaroos and get up close to a cassowary. The daily shows also include a chance to see snakes, crocodiles and free flying birds. Cairns Night Zoo lets you see what the animals get up to when the lights go out. See possums, owls, and join kangaroos around the campfire for billy tea and damper.

Hartley's Crocodile Farm
Hartley’s Crocodile Farm allows you to spot crocodiles in their natural environment, from the safety of your raised boardwalk or inside a boat cruising about the man-made waterway. Hear the incredible sound created when a crocodile snaps its jaw shut, as powerful and awesome as a dinosaur. For an extra cost you have the chance to feed one of these big guys yourself or have your photo taken with a young croc. The park also includes snakes, turtles, birds, wallabies, sleepy koalas and cassowaries. 

1. Snorkel upon the Great Barrier Reef
Discover the Great Barrier Reef on one of many reef cruises out to pontoons upon the outer reef. One of the most marvellous natural attractions in the world, the reef runs down more than half of the Queensland coast. There is almost 3000 individual reefs and an abundance of marine wildlife from tropical fish, stingrays, turtles, seahorse and dolphins. 
Snorkelling in the Great Barrier Reef
Travel out by air conditioned catamaran and enjoy a snorkel or sunback on the sundeck while your lunch is being prepared. Even if you don't want to get wet you can enjoy the views from glass bottom boat and semi-submersible coral and fishing viewing with commentary. Listen to a marine biologist give a reef presentaiton and fish feeding demonstration then enjoy afternoon tea before your return journey home.

Clown Fish

 To book your Tropical North Queensland Holiday visit www.sunloverholidays.com.au or call our specialist Australian travel consultants on 13 88 33 (from Australia) or 0800 445 316 (from New Zealand).