Beaches, Reefs and Rainforest
BRISBANE | SUNSHINE COAST | FRASER COAST | K'GARI | CAPRICORN COAST | AIRLIE BEACH | WHITEHAVEN BEACH | TOWNSVILLE | MISSION BEACH | PORT DOUGLAS | GREAT BARRIER REEF | DAINTREE RAINFOREST
Explore the Sunshine State’s glorious beaches, stunning reefs and amazing rainforest on this drive from Brisbane to Port Douglas. You’re sure to love the Daintree Rainforest’s pristine environment, incredible wildlife, and the underwater world of coral gardens and tropical fish found on the Great Barrier Reef. A tour of World Heritage-listed K'gari will be an added highlight along with relaxing beach stays to soak up the sun.
- Experience the magic of the Great Barrier Reef
- Explore the World Heritage Daintree Rainforest.
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Beaches, Reefs and Rainforest
Day 1 : Arrive Brisbane
On arrival in Brisbane a private transfer will be waiting to take you to your downtown hotel for a two night stay.
Day 2 : Brisbane at leisure
The state capital of Queensland and Australia’s third largest city, Brisbane is renowned for its culture, balmy climate and cosmopolitan atmosphere. The city is set along the banks of the Brisbane River with entertainments in abundance, a cruise along this winding urban channel is a must for all visitors. Cool off in Australia’s only city based man-made beach at Streets Beach in Brisbane’s inner-city suburb of South Bank. Looming over the city is Mt Coot-tha, home to the Botanic Gardens and the ideal vantage point to admire the breath-taking views or perhaps catch the perfect sunset over this amiable city.
Day 3 : Mooloolaba, Sunshine coast (100 miles)
Collect you rental car this morning and head north to the Sunshine coast and the resort of Mooloolaba. For a two night stay. With a sparkling coastline fringed by sugar white sand it’s not hard to see why it has consistently been voted one of Queensland’s best beaches.
Day 4 : Mooloolaba at leisure
From relaxing on the beach to body surfing the rolling waves, walking or cycling along the esplanade to Mooloolaba Split or exploring the labyrinth of canals and waterways on a canal cruise, there’s plenty to see and do.
Day 5 : Hervey Bay (118 miles)
Make your way to Hervey Bay on the Fraser Coast for a two-night stay. Hervey Bay’s unspoilt coastline, quiet charm and raw nature will leave you refreshed and re-energised.
Day 6 : Fraser Island tour
There’s no denying that K'gari offers an abundance of untouched natural beauty just 15km off the coast of Hervey Bay. As the world’s largest sand island, stretching 123km long and 22km wide, this World Heritage-listed wonder offers endless white sand beaches, freshwater lakes and tropical rainforests, and is home to native wildlife like dingoes and goannas.
Your tour today will commence with a ferry transfer to K'gari. Led by an experienced local guide, you’ll see the island’s iconic sights on a curated itinerary of highlights such as Lake McKenzie for a revitalising swim in its crystal clear waters, World Heritage-listed rainforest, 75 Mile Beach, and the iconic Maheno Shipwreck. Stroll along the Wanggoolba Creek boardwalk to discover the ancient King Ferns, towering Ghost Gums and Pine trees. Float down the fast-flowing freshwater of Eli Creek. At the end of the day return by ferry to River Heads and be transferred to your hotel.
Day 7 : Rockhampton (240 miles)
Drive to Queensland’s beef capital, Rockhampton set on the Capricorn coast.
Day 8 : Mackay (210 miles)
Mackay is surrounded by sugar cane fields and National Parks where you can spot platypus and stroll the mangroves.
Day 9-10 : Airlie Beach (95 miles)
Continue northwards to Airlie Beach, gateway to the fabulous Whitsundays, for a two-night stay.
Relax in Airlie beach or take an optional excursion – trips include the Great Barrier Reef, Daydream Island and scenic flights over Whitehaven Beach.
Day 11 : Townsville (171 miles)
En-route to Townsville, relax at one of the secluded beaches or stretch your legs at Lake Ross, a reservoir surrounded by unspoilt open savannah.
Day 12-13 : Mission Beach
An easy drive today to Mission Beach, a coastal village off the beaten tourist track. Mission beach sprawls over 14 kilometres of golden coastline and the village of Mission Beach is home to palm-fringed beaches and laid-back cafes. A nature lover's playground with plenty of walking trails and pristine beaches, you’ll be spoilt for choice of what to do.
Day 15 is to relax and explore this beautiful place.
Day 14 : Port Douglas (140 miles)
Your journey to Port Douglas takes a detour inland to the Atherton Tablelands. Be sure to visit charming Kuranda before you head to the coast and Port Douglas for a four night stay.
Day 15-17 : Port Douglas
Time to relax in a tropical paradise. There’s so much to see and do in Port Douglas that you can be as active or relaxed as you wish. Enjoy some solitude, relax and soak up the sun on Four Mile beach, lounge by the pool or head off into the rainforest. Visit the Wildlife Habitat and take breakfast with the birds or swim with a salty (crocodile!); explore the shops and boutiques, bars and restaurants along Macrossan Street or visit the Sunday market for some great Aussie gifts. To ensure that you see and experience what we think are the “must see and do” activities we’ve included some experiences.
Great Barrier Reef Cruise
Make your way to Crystalbrook Superyacht Marina, where you will board your vessel. You can sit back and relax on the beautiful yacht and set sail to the Coral Cays of Mackay or Undine Reefs. You will enjoy an authentic sailing experience, following the coastline and views of the Daintree mountains. Once at the protected sites at the Coral Cays, nature activities will include snorkelling over the pristine coral reef with a qualified marine biologist offering reef interpretation on a guided snorkel tour. A glass bottom boat coral viewing tour is also on offer. Premium reef sites showcase abundant marine life, including encounters with turtles and an amazing display of giant clam gardens, beautiful corals and a wide variety of fish. Exploring the white sands of the coral cays will relax the mind. Soak up the sun, peace and tranquillity and swim in turquoise clear waters. Small numbers of guests ensure personal interactive communication with your experience guides. A tropical buffet lunch, morning and afternoon teas & coffees, supplied by local plantations, will compliment a day of adventure and relaxation.
Mossman Gorge Cultural Dreamtime Gorge Walk
It’s a short drive from Port Douglas to the Mossman Gorge Centre, where a "must do" for every visitor is the Ngadiku Dreamtime Walks, conducted by the local Indigenous people. Ngadiku (Nar-di-gul) means stories and legends from a long time ago in the local Kuku Yalanji language. This Mossman Gorge tour takes visitors on a guided walk along private, gentle tracks, visiting special places and culturally significant sites, past traditional bark shelters and over meandering cool rainforest streams. Your Dreamtime Walk begins with a traditional ‘smoking’ ceremony to cleanse and ward off bad spirits. Next, your guide will lead you on a meandering stroll through stunning, lush rainforest, observing traditional huts or humpies along the way. Your experienced interpretive Indigenous guide demonstrates traditional plant use, identifies bush food sources, and provides an enchanting narrative of the rainforest and its special relationship with this unique tropical environment. Discover traditions like making bush soaps and ochre painting. At the end of the tour, enjoy traditional bush tea and damper – the perfect treat after your journey.
After wards why not spend some time in the delightful town of Mossman.
Day 18 : Daintree Rainforest (45 miles)
Leave Port Douglas behind today and head north through Mossman; you’ll cross the Daintree River on the cable ferry and continue into the World Heritage Daintree Rainforest. Be sure to stop at Cow Bay Beach for stunning photographs before arriving at the Daintree Wilderness Lodge.
Afterwards explore the area described by Sir David Attenborough as “the most extraordinary place on earth”, the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area is the world’s oldest surviving tropical rainforest. A landscape so biodiverse, this ancient forest is a living breathing window into the past, where you’ll find flora and fauna over 100 million years in the making. The Daintree is the only place in Australia where the rainforest meets the reef. With white sand, clear blue water and lush rainforest, it is easy to see why this is such a unique holiday destination.
Day 19-20 : Cairns Departure (160 miles)
Leave the Daintree behind and return to Cairns in time to drop your rental car and check in for your homeward flight.