Atherton Tablelands rainforest & wildlife day/night tour, Cairns

From: AUD190

per adult

$165 per child
$660 per family (2x Adults, 2x Kids)

Departs Cairns: 1:30pm
Returns: 10:30pm

Dinner Included Refreshments Equipment Use
Evening Wildlife Watching Family Friendly Transport Included

Atherton Tablelands, Cairns
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Atherton Tablelands rainforest & wildlife day tour, Cairns

Price: $190 per adult, $165 per child (4-12 years), $660 per family (2x adults, 2x children)

Private Charters: Available, starting at $1000 (min 2 people), $75 for every extra person

Pickup: Cairns Beaches - 1:30pm, Cairns City - 2:00pm, Port Douglas - On request (Extra $90 per booking)

Return: Cairns - 10:30pm


Join this fascinating day/night tour into the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. After departing Cairns around 1400, we will turn off Bruce Highway south of Cairns at Gordonvale and head up the Gillies Range to the fascinating Atherton Tablelands. Moving through the Atherton Tablelands you will stop at a wonderful scenic attraction, the majestic Cathedral Fig Tree a gigantic 500 year old strangler tree and learn about the Wet Tropics of Queensland World Heritage area. Get the chance to circumnavigate the base of the tree and giant buttress roots on the easily accessible boardwalk. Departing, you will then move on to a volcanic crater lake, Lake Barrine which includes a leisurely 45 min walk through the rainforest to see the towering Twin Bull Kauri Pines and spot the Boyd’s Forest Dragon and Musky Rat Kangaroo, while listening to, and hopefully spotting, a wide range of spectacular rainforest birds. Lake Barrine is a fresh water lake formed over 17,000 years ago when a large volcano erupted, leaving a crater that over time filled up with water to create a lake. Whilst there you will enjoy an afternoon tea.


Our next stop is again another area of awesome beauty - Lake Eacham. Here you take a leisurely walk to the extinct volcanic lake surrounded by lush rainforest to look for Saw Shelled Turtles, Archer fish and Eastern Water Dragon’s. Leaving Lake Eacham we head to Malanda to our private access Platypus viewing area to search for the elusive creature. Around 1830 we head off to Nick’s restaurant in Yungaburra for dinner. You will enjoy a main meal and coffee or tea or even hot chocolate if you wish. You will have the opportunity to purchase other drinks at your own expense. Straight after dinner we journey to the Curtain Fig Tree for a spotlighting session of approximately 1 1/2 hours in the rainforest searching for elusive nocturnal animals such as possums and tree kangaroos. After our nocturnal adventure we journey back to Cairns. A comfort stop will be made in Yungaburra and we arrive back in Cairns at approximately 2230.


About the Wet Tropics

  • The Wet Tropics World Heritage Area lies between Townsville and Cooktown on the north east coast of Queensland and covers an area of 894,420 hectares.
  • Some plant and animal species have been here for over 100 million years, making this the oldest continually surviving rainforest on earth. Twelve of the world's nineteen families of primitive flowering plants occur in the wet tropics.
  • Over 2,800 different plant species grow in the World Heritage Area, and more than 700 of these are found nowhere else in the world.
  • The Wet Tropics World Heritage Area covers less than 0.01% of Australia, yet is home to 30% of its marsupial species, 60% of its bats, 30% of its frogs, 23% of its reptiles, and over 40% of its birds. Many of these species are endemic to the region.
  • There are more than 20 Aboriginal tribal groups with ongoing traditional connections to land in the World Heritage Area. Natural features are interwoven with Aboriginal people's religion, spiritual and economic use, and social and moral organisation.
  • Tourism companies which use the World Heritage Area are encouraged to support Australia's duty under the World Heritage Convention to protect, conserve, present, rehabilitate and transmit to future generations the special values of the area.


About Us

We are Cairn's original rainforest wildlife spotlighting tour company, founded in 1982. Over the years we have obtained National Park and State Forest permits to visit what we have found to be the best places to combine rainforest interpretation with observation of the wildlife of the Wet Tropics.


We place a great emphasis on low impact, ecologically sustainable tours in which we observe rainforest life with as little disturbance as possible. According to National Park guidelines we do not feed or otherwise entice the animals and only use low wattage illumination when spotlighting.


We have:

  • Full Operator Accreditation from the Queensland Department of Transport
  • Commercial Activity Permits from the Queensland Environmental Protection Agency
  • Public Liability Insurance
  • Experienced guides with Driver Authorisation and Senior First Aid Certificate


Our Guides


Terry's enthusiasm is second to none. With his extensive knowledge base of the region and exceptional wildlife spotting skills, Terry can share secrets about best locations and techniques to find animals and can provide up-to-date wildlife information. Terry consistently receives positive comments from his guest's on tour and he is very passionate about his guiding. If you're after a good local story, he is the man to ask.



Clayton has worked for many years helping others understand and appreciate Australia's natural heritage. After his employment as a Wildlife Officer and koala keeper in the bush, he worked on the Great Barrier Reef before moving to Cairns with his family to explore the wonder of Australia’s tropical rainforests. Clayton’s interests include evolutionary biology, botany, anthropology, agri-ecology and music, and he is renowned for his keen eyesight for spotting wildlife.