Australian Natural Adventures

Wildlife, Nature & Soft Adventure Tours

Custom Australia, New Zealand & Pacific tours and travel


Reef, Rainforest and Relaxation


This tour lets you relax on Australia's best tropical beach, enjoy a special night in the rainforest complete with spa, visit the Great Barrier Reef and have time to explore Cairns and Palm Cove. A few days in Sydney can easily be added.

Day 1 -Los Angeles / In Flight
Depart from the Tom Bradley International Terminal for your Qantas flight to Brisbane. Australia begins the moment you step aboard your Qantas plane. The Australian style is apparent—easy going, casually efficient and very friendly. Qantas is known for its excellent food and in flight service, so sit back and enjoy the hospitality, meal and a movie. However, we recommend having dinner at the airport – there are a wide range of options upstairs, at the end of the ticket counters – then just relaxing on the plane. *D

Day 2 – Lost in Space
Day lost due to the International Dateline, but regained on the return journey.

Day 3 - Brisbane / Cairns / Palm Cove
Arrive in Brisbane, pass through customs and immigration and transfer to your Qantas to Cairns, arriving at lunchtime. Upon arrival in Cairns you will be met in the arrivals or baggage area– look for the person with the Clarion Barrier Reef Resort sign – and transferred to your resort in Palm Cove. Now you can relax, and enjoy the beach and the tropics. *B

Day 4 - Palm Cove
A free day to explore and relax at Palm Cove. The beach is just across the road, and it is safe to swim. There are many boutique shops offering a range of goods, including clothing, accessories, art galleries and typically Australian souvenirs such as Aboriginal dot paintings. Try one of the areas's spas, such as Angsana or Espa, for total relaxation and toning using local ingerdients. Angsana's tropical fruit inspired scrubs and Espa's ancient Aboriginal medicines and massage techniques, which are combined with aromatherapy and herbalist principles, are superb. As tomorrow you will be in Kuranda for about two hours, we suggest browsing the hotel's brochure rack to determine if there is something you would like to see there, such as the Butterfly Sanctuary, which is highly recommended, apart of course from the shops. B

Day 5 - Palm Cove / Kuranda / Tjupakai
This morning you are picked up at 7.30am for a full day in Kuranda and Tjapukai. You start at Freshwater Station, where you take the 8.45am Kuranda Rail Scenic train. This journey up the side of the Range offers superb views across Cairns and Trinity Inlet to the Coral Sea. You arrive in Kuranda at 10.10am, and are free to walk into the village, the center of which is about five minutes away. There is much to see here, but be sure to return to the Skyrail Cableway at 12.30 or so for your travel down to Tjapukai. The Skyrail gondolas are continuous, and actual travel time is about 35 minutes, however there are two stops along the way you can make to explore the rainforest canopy a little more. You need to be at Tjapukai, located adjacent to the Skyrail terminal, no later than 2pm in order to see everything (although if really pushed 2.30pm will still be OK). Suggested order could be Dance Theater at 2.15pm, then boomerang and spear throwing until the start of the History Theatre at 3.15pm. After that the Creation Theatre at 3.45pm, followed by didgeridoo, bush tucker (you’ll find out) and native medicine displays. If you are late, you can watch the Dance Theatre at 4.15, and enjoy the didgeridoo etc after that. However, the desk at Tjapukai on arrival will help you work out a personal itinerary. Your transfer back to the resort departs at 5.15pm. B

Days 6 – Palm Cove
Continue to enjoy Palm Cove. . You may also consider going to the nearby Outback Opal Mine an excellent place to buy opals, Australia's classic gemstone. The Opal Mine, while not an actual mine, has a good display to tell you about opals, and the staff are extremely informed and courteous. Opals can be purchased loose or set - remember to take your passport to purchase tax-free. If you give them a call, the will pick you up and drop you back again. The number is in your brochure. There are also many other places to purchase opals in Cairns and Port Douglas, just to the north, another place to visit for interesting boutiques and restaurants. You should give Coral Coaches a call tonight to confirm your transfer to the rainforest tomorrow, and discuss any return plans you may wish to make. At 6.45pm you will be picked up at the resort for your evening outing to Tjapukai By Night. After arriving at Caravonica, you will enjoy dinner and the spectacular Aboriginal-based show, which illustrates the ancient connection between the Aboriginal performers and this very place, their traditional land for thousands of years, as well as a light-hearted look at the reality of Aboriginal bush life. D The buffet style dinner is features a modern Australian fare including indigenous foods, local produce and quality wines. You are returned to your resort about 10.15pm. B

Day 7 – Palm Cove / Daintree
You will be picked up at 9.45am for the scheduled bus ride into the rainforests of the Daintree region, arriving at the Daintree Heritage Lodge about an 1 ½ hours later, after a scenic drive along a beautiful section of coast, across the Daintree River and through the World Heritage Rainforest. Don’t forget to confirm with the drive your return time red-legged pademelon, a small rainforest kangarootomorrow. Today enjoy this boutique lodge, surrounded by the lush tropical rainforest. Enjoy your spa treatments, and a night-time guided walk in the forest, where brilliant green frogs, night birds and possibly the rainforest pademelon, a small kangaroo, may be seen. B

Day 8 - Daintree / Palm Cove
Continue your enjoyment of your beautiful surroundings. An early morning walk along the river will reward you with the call of birds, and a serene start to your day. Laer this morning return to Palm Cove, arriving about lunchtime. Enjoy your beachside tropical paradise once again. Although restaurants range from upscale to simple cafes, the traditional Aussie fast food is a pie and sauce - a small meat pie with ketchup. These are now available in a range of fillings, and you must try them. Be warned – they can’t be eaten elegantly; the normal way is just to hold them like a burger, eat away, and clean up if necessary afterwards. CB

Day 9 - Palm Cove
Your last free day in Palm Cove, or possibly take a trip to Tully to skydive or raft a whitewater rainforest river, go horseriding along the beach, or any of a wide range of activities easily arranged through your hotel. B

Day 10 – Palm Cove / Cairns / Great Barrier Reef / Cairns / Palm Cove
This morning you will be picked up at 7.45am for a full day outing to Michaelmas Cay and the Great Barrier Reef. Here you are introduced to one of the natural wonders of the world—Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, a series of reefs extending for about 1,250 miles along the coast of Queensland, nearly to Papua New Guinea. During the day you experience two important features—a coral inner-shelf reef, and the sandy vegetated cay formed on one end. Michaelmas Reef lies about 22 miles off the coast just north of Cairns, with Michaelmas Cay on its southern tip. It is an important seabird rookery, which becomes apparent as you approach the mass of birds swirling constantly above the cay. The four primary species are Crested, Lesser-crested and Sooty Terns, and Common Noddy. Lesser Frigatebirds are usually present, as are Silver Gulls, Brown Boobies and Ruddy Turnstones. The cay, most of which is off limits, is a National Park within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. However, the birds are very tolerant of visitors and stand thickly along the beach, allowing us to approach them within a few yards. Immediately offshore in waist-deep water, the first of the corals can be seen. For those not used to snorkelling, there is no easier introduction—just walk up to your waist, and bend over. Brilliantly colored fish, giant clams, beche de mer and coral outcrops can all be seen. Easy swimming in shallow water brings you over coral “bombies,” heads of coral with their assortment of fishes, and hard and soft corals. Parrot fish glean algae from the coral, and small and medium predators search for food. Schools of fish twist and flash between the outcrops. An occasional sea turtle may be seen. You can also glide around the coral in a semi-submersible submarine, dry and with your ordinary cameras, while a marine biologist describes the species seen and some of the processes at work. There are also guided snorkel tours led by a marine biologist. On your way out one of the marine biologists explains the development of this and other reef systems and gives an illustrated introduction to many of the animal species that you see. Lunch is a tropical smorgasbord. In the afternoon you return to Cairns, under sail if the winds are right, as your transport to the reef is Ocean Spirit, a 105 foot luxury, motor-sailing catamaran. You will be returned to your hotel about 5.15pm; alternatively, you may wish to stay in Cairns to look around, shop and eat, and then taxi back to Palm Cove. The Red Ochre Grill restaurant is especially recommended. Featured are meals prepared from exclusively Australian ingredients, often "bush tucker", meaning native ingredients from the Australian bush. B,L

Day 11 – Palm Cove / Cairns / Los Angeles
Sadly, your last day in Australia. An early start this morning for the airport for your Qantas flight to Sydney to connect with your international Qantas flight. Due to the International Dateline, you arrive in Los Angeles early in the morning today, the same day and time you departed Cairns.) As you wing your way back over the pacific, you'll take with you the indelible memories of Australia, and her friendly people, some of whom are sure to have become new friends. *B*L, *M, *B



Cost : from $4426, including international air from Los Angeles, based on double occupancy. Operates on demand. Call 1 877 285 1170 or email for more information.