Explore North Tropical Queensland on this seven-day tour. Begin in Hamilton Island and snorkel, sea kayak, play a round of golf, or relax. Then, take a cruise to Whitehaven Beach and learn the history of the area. Next, journey to Port Douglas to enjoy a day of leisure, a tour of Daintree Rainforest, an excursion to the Great Barrier Reef. The trip winds down in Cairns, with plenty of native animal exhibits to visit and a scenic ride up the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway.

Highlights

  • Go sea kayaking, golfing, and take a helicopter ride in Hamilton Island
  • Board a Daintree Rainforest river cruise to explore the mountains and beaches
  • Enjoy a day discovering up to three reef systems in the famous Great Barrier Reef
  • Visit the various wildlife exhibits and ride the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway in Cairns

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Whitsundays and Travel to Hamilton Island Hamilton Island
Day 2 Hamilton Island - Whitehaven Beach Tour Hamilton Island
Day 3 Travel to Cairns and Port Douglas Port Douglas
Day 4 Port Douglas - Tour Daintree Rainforest Port Douglas
Day 5 Port Douglas - Great Barrier Reef Tour Port Douglas
Day 6 Cairns - Free Day Cairns
Day 7 Depart From Cairns  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Whitsundays and travel to Hamilton Island

Hamilton Island - Bush Walk
Hamilton Island

Welcome to Australia! Upon arrival, collect your luggage and go to the designated transfer area to meet your driver, who will take you to your Hamilton Island accommodation.

Part of the 74 Whitsunday Islands, Hamilton Island is located in the heart of the famed Great Barrier Reef. It is the perfect getaway to explore the unique tropical environment of the Whitsundays, with its scenic surroundings, calm waters, warm weather, fascinating coral reefs, and diverse flora and fauna. The island offers various activities to keep busy—snorkeling the reef, sea kayaking, scenic helicopter flights, and golf.

If you're tired from your travels, perhaps simply laze around a range of pools, or relax on Catseye Beach.

Enjoy the rest of this first day exploring the island at your leisure.

Day 2: Hamilton Island - Whitehaven Beach tour

Hill Inlet View - Whitehaven Beach
Whitehaven Beach

Whitehaven Beach—with its warm, turquoise-hued water and pristine, white sand—is the preserved, beautiful host of today's adventure. Enjoy its beauty on a day cruise to the island. Explore the island on guided bushwalks, learn about the Whitsundays traditional owners, get insight into the history, and hear stories of this picturesque area. Have your camera ready to capture postcard-style views at the lookouts. Swim, hike, sunbathe, and take time to enjoy the natural surroundings. Enjoy a scenic beachside lunch, before it is time to return to Hamilton Island. 

Once your excursion is over, the rest of the evening will be yours to enjoy on your own.

Day 3: Travel to Cairns and Port Douglas

Port Douglas - Marina
The marina in Port Douglas

This morning, travel to the airport to catch a flight to Cairns, the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. Upon arrival at Cairns, collect your luggage. Then, meet with your transfer, who will drive you to your Port Douglas hotel. The day is at your leisure to explore the area. A few activities to consider include the below: 

  • Take a tour of Atherton Tablelands: Go hiking, biking, walking, and hot air ballooning, or indulge in a food and drink tasting in this rural town
  • Visit Hartley's Crocodile Adventures: This 25-acre wildlife sanctuary is home to the local wildlife of Tropical North Queensland, where you can get up-close and personal with crocodiles, wallabies, wombats, and koalas
  • Relax on Four Mile Beach: Go for a swim, a snorkeling session, or simply kick back and relax on this iconic beach
  • Dine at Flames of the Forest: Enjoy a traditional aboriginal meal, along  with a live performance, in a unique rainforest setting

Dinner and the evening will be on your own, as well.

Day 4: Port Douglas - Tour Daintree Rainforest

Daintree Rainforest
Daintree Rainforest

Rise early today, and after breakfast at the hotel, enjoy a scenic drive up north to the oldest rainforest in the world. From the Kulki Lookout in Cape Tribulation, view scenic mountain peaks and pristine white beaches. Witness the rare sight of two UNESCO World Heritage Sites together: the Daintree Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef—the only place in the world where the rainforest meets the reef.

Board the Daintree River Cruise to learn about the wildlife environment—the bird habitat, tree snakes, and unique plants, as well as the estuarine crocodile. Then, indulge in a tropical-style lunch at a private rainforest property in the Daintree Rainforest. 

Next, visit the Mossman Gorge Centre, an important cultural hub of the Kuku Yalanji. Learn about the indigenous people, who have lived here for 50,000 years—using the local flora and fauna of the wild jungle to survive and thrive. 

Then, your final evening is at your leisure to enjoy more of Port Douglas before departing tomorrow.

Day 5: Port Douglas - Great Barrier Reef tour

The Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef

If you are an early riser, join a morning yoga session before boarding a luxury vessel for a full day on the Great Barrier Reef. Marine biologists will give you a better understanding of the reef, where you can visit up to three, different reef systems and enjoy a delicious gourmet lunch.

One of Australia’s most remarkable natural gifts, the Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef. The reef contains an abundance of marine life and is home to more than 3,000 individual reef systems and coral cays. Surrounding the reef are hundreds of picturesque tropical islands that contain some of the best golden beaches. The Great Barrier Reef is one of the world's most sought-after tourist destinations.

Following the reef tour and some snorkeling, swimming, and relaxing, return to your hotel in the late afternoon, and enjoy the evening at your leisure.

Day 6: Cairns - Free day

Skyrail - Cairns
Ride the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway to Kuranda

In the morning, make the transfer to Cairns and enjoy a full day of discovery in this tropical destination.

Some activities to consider include the below:

  • Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park: Enjoy a meal at this sprawling eatery in an indigenous cultural center, which delivers homestyle meals and a buffet
  • Australian Butterfly Sanctuary: Located in Kuranda,  this locale is listed by the Guinness Book of Records as Australia’s largest butterfly flight aviary and exhibit
  • Koala Gardens: Hold a koala, and visit with other native species, like wombats and kangaroos
  • Cairns Aquarium: Stroll this landmark, rich with Tropical North Queensland species, followed by a meal at a restaurant with its own near-2,000-gallon Under the Pier Shark Habitat
  • Cairns Lagoon: Visit this iconic swimming pool, which is located in the business district, and then relax on the grassy knoll 
  • Skyrail Rainforest Cableway: Take the 4.66-mile scenic ride up to Kuranda, which passes over Barron Gorge National Park

Following your self-guided tour of Cairns, the evening will be yours to enjoy.

Day 7: Depart from Cairns

A Final Farewell from Cairns
Farewell from Cairns!

Enjoy the morning to unwind and reflect on your trip to Australia before transferring to the airport for your departure flight home.

Take with you all the new memories from your trip Down Under, and come back soon!

Map

Map of Tropical North Queensland: Hamilton Island, Port Douglas, Cairns, & More - 7 Days
Map of Tropical North Queensland: Hamilton Island, Port Douglas, Cairns, & More - 7 Days