The Creme De La Creme!
A copy of your unique Cairns and Far North Queensland Itinerary is being send to your inbox right now! (as well as on this page)
You value the finer things in life, and are live by the mantra of 'not doing things in halves'.
This itinerary has been carefully curated for you... to give you the ultimate gold-class experience during your stay in Far North Queensland!
How To Use This Itinerary
Remember to bookmark this page so you can refer back to it at any time. As you move through the itinerary, use these top tips to help you get the best experience out of your time in Cairns and Far North Queensland!
Choose The Best Day
Top Tips For An Unforgettable Holiday
- Choose the best weather day (least wind) for your 'Reef Day'
- Try to group 'self-drive' days together if you are hiring a car.
- Consider the length of tours and how your energy levels are going to feel after each day. Will you need a break?
Avoid Disappointment and Book Ahead
There's nothing worse than missing out! Many tours, car rentals and restaurants book out quickly, especially during busy times in Cairns. Don't leave it to chance, book in advance!
We have included links throughout this guide to provide you with our top recommendations.
Travelling with Children?
It Doesn't Need To Be Hard!
As a mum, I get that the way we travel is often different when we are travelling with children. Because of this, I've added a section below each 'day' on the itinerary with my top recommendations when travelling with children under 12 years old. Keep an eye out for this logo for 'Family Friendly' tips
Considering hiring a car during your stay in Cairns?... Save Money and Don't Miss Out! Since COVID, there has been a shortage of hire cars in the region. Many visitors to the region have missed out or paid much higher rates as a result of not planning ahead. To secure a car at the best price I recommend searching through Drive Now (use the search boxes below). You'll find prices and availability for multiple car hire providers including Hertz, Thrifty, Avis, Budget, East Coast Car Rentals, etc. all in the one place.
Day 1: Hot Air Balloon & Sights of Kuranda
Nothing starts your day than an early morning Hot Air Balloon, taking in the sights of the Atherton Tablelands peacefully from above.
Watch the sun rise with a new perspective, as the golden rays light up the jaw-dropping views below.
The morning doesn't need to end here though... If you're keen to get even more out of your day, you can combine your Hot Air Balloon experience with Kuranda Train, Skyrail along with all the helpings of Kuranda Activities.
You'll get the time to cuddle a koala at Kuranda Koala Gardens, meet the birds at Birdworld, be surrounded by beautiful butterflies at Australia's largest butterfly sanctuary and exhibit, relax on a 45 minute Kuranda Riverboat cruise, and also explore the renowned Kuranda Markets.
Use the link below for more info...
Top Tip For Families:
Hot Air Ballooning is not considered suitable for pregnant women, however, children aged 3 years and older and welcome aboard! The sunrise from a hot air balloon is not something you will forget easily, and will create lasting memories for you and your whole family.
If the early start means that your children might not last the day, you can opt for a shorter day and get dropped back to Cairns instead of stopping in Kuranda. By doing this, you can be back in Cairns by around 10am for a mid-morning nap!
Day 2: Your very own Slice of Paradise
Can you honestly visit Cairns without visiting the Great Barrier Reef? Every time you enter the water is a whole new experience, and you never know what incredible memories you're going to make!
And boy, do you have the most memorable day planned for you!
Jump on board your private helicopter from Cairns, and you'll be taken out over the Great Barrier Reef as you take in the incredible sights full of turquoise and blues.
Where are you going? You're making your way to a private sand cay where you'll spend the next two hours enjoying a gourmet picnic lunch with wine and snorkelling the untouched, pristine waters.
This is truly an experience you'll never forget!
Top Tip For Families: The helicopter flights are suitable for bringing your children, and they'll have plenty to explore if they're keen snorkelers, or love to play on the sand. For alternatives to this exclusive sand cay experience, check below.
Option 1: Full Day Pontoon at the Outer Barrier Reef
This pontoon is run by the same company as the reef trip above. It is designed for comfort and has a huge range of activites for you to enjoy on the day, including the Ocean Walker Helmet Dive, Scenic Helicopter Flight, Scuba Diving, Glass Bottom Boat, Semi-Submersible vessels, licenced bar while enjoying the site on the Argincourt Reef off the coast of Port Douglas.
If you want to shorten your day further, consider a Fly/Cruise or Cruise/Fly Combo.
Option 2: Visit Green Island or Fitzroy Island Instead!
You can visit these islands in a half day and is my recommendation for very young children or non-swimmers. Activities like the SeaWalker Helmet Dive, kayaking, or if you're staying on the island, you can even try your hand at windsurfing!
Day 3: Where The Rainforest Meets The Reef
North of Port Douglas, you'll find Cape Tribulation. That iconic place (and ONLY place) where you find two natural wonders of the world meet - The Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest.
Today, you'll be exploring the oldest rainforest in the world in style...
I love this tour operator because it focuses its attention on small, exclusive tour groups rather than crowded busses. This allows them to provide you with best experience possible. I also consider this overland 4WD bus to be the most comfortable with the best visibility.
Make your way up the scenic coastal drive before embarking on a 1 hour Daintree River Cruise where you'll spot crocs, birds, snakes and any other wildlife you might come across.
Enjoy a guided boardwalk tour in Mossman Gorge, and get up close and personal with some friendly wallabies. You'll enjoy a fresh BBQ lunch, then head off for a refreshing swim at Emmagen Creek with Traditional Billy Tea, Damper and Tropical Fruits.
Finally, you'll make it to the breathtakingly iconic Cape Tribulation Beach, where you can enjoy a stroll along the white sands before making your way back to Cairns.
Travelling with Kids? A Long Day... Children from 0 years above are able to travel on this tour, however keep in mind the tour takes around 11-12 hours in total, which is a LOT if you're traveling with young children.
If you're looking for a shorter day, I recommend self-driving up to Cape Tribulation and staying the night. That way you can go up there at your own pace, and break the number of sites you visit up over two or more days.
Looking For More Inspiration?
Check out some of my most recent blog posts!
Private Tours For The Most Personalized Experience...
Tableland Tasting and Waterfall Chasing Private Tour
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
This tour showcases the best of both worlds that the Atherton Tablelands has to offer.
A tasting tour that includes the sights of 3 spectacular waterfalls.
Spanish Castles, Historical Villages and Gorgeous Wallabies
Overall Rating: 5/5
Spend your day being chauffeured around historical Spanish Castles, Lovers Lane, and and entire historical village with over 50 original buildings, countless original vehicles and machinery from the 19th century. After your afternoon tea make your way to Granite Gorge to meet some local wallabies.
Private Photo Session with a Local Photographer in Cairns
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Whether you're here for some R&R, some quality time with your significant other, on your honeymoon, your babymoon, or you're just enjoying a solo trip, getting professional photos can leave you with lasting memories worth framing!
Use the link below to find out more!
Hey there! I'm Kate!
I moved to Cairns, Far North Queensland in 2014 for a sea change, leaving my medical profession as a pharmacist behind, in favour of celebrating this beautiful region full time while working in the tourism industry.
It was a pivotal point in my life, and has lead me to many opportunities and experiences that I am endlessly grateful for.
This blog, and the resources I put together are created to help others discover the same beauty I found in this region and to create lasting memories for you too!