GREAT TROPICAL DRIVE EXPRESS
Routing: Cairns to Cairns
Duration: 7 Days
From AUD$1,100.00* per person, based on standard double/twin share accommodation.
Includes: 6 nights’ accommodation, 7 days unlimited km use of a compact size car, continental breakfast in Atherton Tablelands, light breakfast in Mission Beach, Wildlife Sunset Tour, Archway Explorer Tour and fully detailed itinerary with local and regional maps.
From AUD$1,210.00* per person, based on superior double/twin share accommodation.
Includes: 6 nights’ accommodation, 7 days unlimited km use of a compact size car, light breakfast in Mission Beach, Wildlife Sunset Tour, Archway Explorer Tour and fully detailed itinerary with local and regional maps.
DAY 01: Cairns to Atherton (80 km)
Your journey begins in Cairns, which is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, the tropical rainforest of the World Heritage region and the rugged outback of the Cape York Peninsula and the Gulf of Carpentaria. Today’s drive takes you to Kuranda, a cultural village in the rainforest. As well as the original Kuranda markets (operating Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday), the Heritage markets are open every day. Drive onto Mareeba, where you can savour the region’s aromatic coffee and continue onto the town of Atherton, the hub of the Atherton Tablelands, which are situated between the Bellenden Ker Range and the Great Dividing Range.
DAY 02: Atherton to Mt Surprise (Undara National Park – 212 km)
Start the morning off early with a visit to Malanda Falls along the Malanda Atherton Road where you can either go for a refreshing swim or a rainforest walk. Travelling from Malanda to Ravenshoe along the Millaa Millaa / Malanda Road your first stop will be the start of the waterfall circuit which include Millaa Millaa, Elinjaa and Zillie Falls. Continue onto the township of Ravenshoe. The Visitor Centre is worth a visit, as is Windy Hill, one of Queensland’s largest wind farms. From Ravenshoe, follow the Kennedy Highway to Innot Hot Springs, famous for its unique natural thermal mineral springs. Travelling further west on the Kennedy Highway, the highway passes through the heart of Forty Mile Scrub National Park – part of the Undara Lava Fields. Arrive at Undara Volcanic National Park by mid afternoon and in time for the Wildlife at sunset tour, where you can experience the vastness of the Gulf Savannah with the sun setting on the horizon whilst sipping champagne and canapés.
DAY 03: Mt Surprise to Charters Towers (401 km)
You may like to rise early for a morning walk before joining the Undara staff and guests at ringer camp for breakfast. The Undara Lava Tubes were formed 190,000 years ago and is the largest Lava Tube systems on earth. This morning understand more about this system on the half day Lava Tube tour. From Undara, you will be travelling along the Gregory Developmental Road to Charters Towers. Your first stop will be at the Lynd Junction, which is home to the smallest bar in Australia. Continue onto the Dalrymple National Park or locally know as Bluff Downs where you can take a break for afternoon tea. Arrive in Charters Towers which is bursting with living history of the gold rush day of the 1800’s. We suggest you head to the Visitor Information Centre to obtain a navigational map for the Ghosts of Gold Heritage Trail.
DAY 04: Charters Towers to Townsville (135 km)
Spend some time in Charter Towers exploring the gold rush history. Then take a leisurely drive east along the Flinders Highway into Townsville, a modern, tropical city and the administrative capital of North Queensland. a visit to the Great Barrier Reef Wonderland is recommended; it houses the world’s largest living coral reef aquarium. This evening join in with the locals for a walk along the waterfront esplanade, known as “The Strand”.
DAY 05: Townsville to Mission Beach (236 km)
Spend the morning exploring Townsville, then head north along the Bruce Highway for Mission Beach. A side trip to the Paluma Range National Park is a must take a picnic lunch and relax at Big or Little Crystal Creek. Back on the road; make sure you stop at the Frosty Mango with its home made tropical fruit ice cream, which you won’t be able to resist. The highway is jam packed with natural wonders, Jourama Falls is 6 kilometres off the highway (4WD needed) and Tyto Wetlands and Wallaman Falls is Australia’s highest single drop waterfall. Continue to Cardwell and Australia’s largest island National Park, Hinchinbrook Island. Continue along the Bruce Highway to Mission Beach
DAY 06: Mission Beach
Enjoy your day at leisure in Mission Beach. With a day in Mission Beach the activities are endless, visit the Reef and Dunk Island or try some fishing, for the adventures you can Sea Kayak, White Water Raft or go Parachuting (all at own expense) and with 100 of kilometres of rainforest walking track you will wish you had another day to do it all.
DAY 07: Mission Beach to Cairns (155 km)
Today is the last day of your journey. Depart Mission Beach for Cairns along the Bruce Highway. At Silkwood take the Old Bruce Highway scenic drive through Mena Creek to visit the intriguing Paronella Park. Continue onto South Johnstone, an historic sugar town, before reaching Innisfail, which is home to the Australian Sugar Museum and many Art Deco buildings. Detour near Babinda to explore the natural wonders of the Wooroonooran National Park, including The Boulders. If time permits, perhaps stop at Josephine Falls home to the Noongyanbudda Ngadjon-jii people. Make the last part of your journey north on the Bruce Highway to the tropical city of Cairns.
Your car is booked until tomorrow and should be dropped off at the city or airport, by the same time as it was picked up on Day 1, to avoid any additional charges.
*Prices are subject to availability and conditions apply. Valid until 31 March, 2021. For dates after this or if you would like to make any changes, please contact us direct for a quote.