Cairns Reef and Rainforest

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                      Cairns Reef and Rainforest
  • 
                      Cairns Reef and Rainforest
  • 
                      Cairns Reef and Rainforest

The Concept

This 6 Day/5 Night educational itinerary focuses on key branches of science including biology and ecology, as well as environmental and sustainability learning and is targeted towards high school students. There are many highlights – visit the World Heritage listed Daintree Rainforest and learn about life in the rainforest with our experienced guides. Kuranda provides students with a spectacular view of the rainforest gorge before experiencing Aboriginal culture at the Tjapukai Cultural Park and the Great Barrier Reef is always a highlight of this program where students will learn about the future of the Reef and what we are doing to protect this wonderful resource. To finish a magnificent week-long ‘Living Lesson', Port Douglas and Hartley's Crocodile Adventures will leave students with many great memories and lots of incredible learning experiences.

Please note that additional days can be added to the program and we can also offer a 5 Day/4 Night program for schools who prefer to return home a day earlier.

Itinerary Day By Day

DAY 1 CAIRNS (L, D)

Arrive into Cairns this morning to meet your coach for your private transfer to your accommodation. Check in while we deliver your lunch, then it’s a short walk to your first presentation on Ecology and Conservation. This provides students with an introduction to Tropical Rainforests, Climate Change in North Queensland (including impacts on the reef, rainforest, savannah, and local communities), Wildlife of Northern Australia, and other conservation and natural resource management issues (2 hours). After a swim in the nearby lagoon, enjoy dinner at your accommodation before making your way by foot to ‘Reef Teach’, where you will be given a great understanding of all the amazing marine diversity you will experience in the next few days (6.30pm – 8.30pm)
*Please note Hartley’s Creek Crocodile Adventure can be added this afternoon for the 3pm ‘Croc attack’ show, followed by a 4pm Lagoon boat trip before returning to Cairns at 6pm.

DAY 2 CAIRNS - DAINTREE (B, D)

After breakfast travel by private coach to Cape Tribulation, weaving your way past beautiful white sandy beaches and some of the most picturesque scenery in Australia. Highlights include Cape Tribulation beach, breathtaking views of North Queensland and scenic lookouts and a delicious lunch at the Cape Tribulation Beach House. Cape Tribulation is also home to the Daintree National Park World Heritage Area, which contains the oldest continually surviving tropical rainforests in the world. Estimated to be over 100 million years old, the Wet Tropics area is home to around 50% of Australia's plant and animal species with many species found nowhere else in the world! Your guide will take you on a guided walk through Mossman Gorge, and a 1- hour Daintree River Crocodile and Wildlife Cruise before returning to Cairns in time for dinner.

DAY 3 CAIRNS - KURANDA (B, D)

After breakfast board your coach at 8.30am and head off to Kuranda, stopping at the Tjapukai Aboriginal Culture Park at 9am. The Indigenous people of the rainforest share their culture with interactive demonstrations of hunting, didgeridoo playing, bush tucker and dance by the award-winning Tjapukai performers. Modern audio-visual techniques add to the wonder of Aboriginal traditions dating back 40,000 years. Students will learn -
• Didgeridoo – A Journey
Learn how to make and play a didgeridoo before a live performance with the haunting sounds of the traditional instrument complementing iconic images of a flight over the Great Barrier Reef, the Wet Tropics rainforest and the Outback in a state-of-the-art studio with a twinkling, starry night sky.
• Hunting & Weapons Demonstration
A Tjapukai warrior shows how traditional tools and weapons were used 40,000 years ago by the Aboriginal people.
Magic Space
Authentic stone-age artefacts once used by the Tjapukai people have been returned from the Queensland Museum to their traditional owners and are now on display in Tjapukai’s museum art space. Large murals by Tjapukai’s foremost artists are visual stories of the Dreamtime and a documentary of the impact of modern man on Indigenous life during the past 120 years can be watched at your leisure.
• Creation Theatre
Giant holograms reminiscent of the spirit world add a mesmerising quality to the live performance of the Dreamtime story of the Tjapukai people.
• Dance Theatre
A traditional Tjapukai corroboree, song and dance are part of the award-winning Tjapukai show in a spectacular outdoor theatre set in a natural rainforest amphitheatre.
• Bush Foods & Medicine Demonstration
The rainforest is a rich food source for the Tjapukai people, but many of its foods are toxic and require special preparation. Watch how it is done, learn how the land provides medicinal remedies and enjoy the opportunity to touch, taste and feel local bush tucker.
• Spear & Boomerang Throwing
A Tjapukai warrior will show you how to use the traditional spear throwing instrument, a Milay, and help you master the technique of the returning boomerang.
• Complimentary Face Painting
Have your face traditionally painted with the natural colours of the rainforest.

Your coach will then take you onto Caravonica where you will catch the Skyrail to Kuranda, enjoy 2 hours free time in Kuranda before returning on the Scenic Railway to Freshwater Train Station to meet your coach for the return journey to your accommodation in time for dinner.

DAY 4 CAIRNS - GREAT BARRIER REEF (B, L, D)

An early breakfast this morning before a short walk to the dock to board your reef exploration vessel. Boarding time is 7.30am. There are 12 exclusive moorings at six reef locations, and the locations are chosen each day based on weather conditions and water clarity so as to ensure the best experience for all activities.

Generally, you will travel to one of our two outer reef locations in the morning (Norman Reef or Saxon Reef) then make your way to North Hastings Reef in the afternoon before returning to the dock at 4.30pm.
Inclusions and highlights:
• Five hours at two outer Great Barrier Reef locations.
• Us of state of the art equipment and flotation devices.
• Live musical entertainment.
• Delicious Aussie BBQ lunch including prawns, fish, steak, sausages, vegetarian, tropical salads and pastas.
• Exclusive, protected, sheltered reef locations.

*Note that marine biology presentations and guided snorkel tours can also be arranged. Please ask us for more information.

DAY 5 CAIRNS – PORT DOUGLAS (B, D)

After breakfast meet your private coach and head to Port Douglas for a full day trip. Visit Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures, the best place to see crocodiles and local wildlife in North Queensland. With over 2100 metres of timber boardwalks and pathways you are led on a journey of discovery through woodlands and rainforest where you can see an array of wildlife including beautiful tropical birds, reptiles, insects and other native fauna. The knowledgeable staff provide an entertaining and educational wildlife presentation which includes demonstrations with snakes, cassowaries, koalas, crocodiles, quolls and much more.
Return to your accommodation later in the afternoon, and prepare for your farewell dinner this evening.

DAY 6 CAIRNS – HOME (B)

After breakfast, say goodbye to Cairns and head back to the airport to return home.

Optional day activity: TABLELANDS (B, L, D)

After breakfast today head south and discover the majesty and beauty of North Queensland’s most iconic waterfalls, a must-see for anyone wanting to experience pristine rainforest, cascading waterfalls, stunning panoramas of Queensland’s highest peaks and maybe a glimpse of rare and unique native wildlife. You will visit and be amazed by the legend of Babinda Boulders, steeped in Aboriginal history of trapped spirits and a tragic love story that will chill you to the bone. Next, your morning swim beckons amidst the lush rainforest and cascading crystal clear waters of Josephine Falls. A natural waterslide awaits the young at heart, while the spectacular backdrop provides photo opportunities and wildlife spotting. Josephine Falls is a unique opportunity to slide down a waterfall on a natural rockslide, something every child loves! Continue on to Australia’s most iconic waterfall Millaa Millaa Falls, made famous by Qantas and Herbal Essence (hair shampoo) commercials. This 18m single drop waterfall lies in the heart of the Wet Tropics World Heritage listed rainforest. For lunch, we will take you to Australia’s largest timber pub and fill your belly with some good old fashioned country cooking. Then it’s back into the waterfalls- Mount Hypipamee, the Crater and Dinner Falls, 3 great things in 1 location! Here you will have the opportunity to take a bush walk, swim behind a waterfall and gaze into an 85 meter deep volcanic crater and if that’s not enough, we quite often see the local Cassowary here too. As the afternoon starts to roll on, we head to the Curtain Fig Tree. Here 15 meter high tree roots tower above, like a 3 story building; keep your eyes peeled for the elusive Lumholtz Tree Kangaroo. Just before our last swim spot, we will take you down to a quiet little creek to search for Platypus and then off to our last stop of the day at Lake Eacham, a dormant Volcanic Crater lake filled with turtles and surrounded by wildlife. Watch the sunset over a truly spectacular day, having our last swim together and don’t worry about getting cold, the water in here never changes temperature, 23 degrees all day and all night. Included is morning and afternoon tea, lunch, tea, coffee, hot chocolate, biscuits and fruit throughout the day, as well as heaps of games and puzzles to keep you entertained on the bus.

Inclusions
  • All transfers by private coach as required
  • Breakfast and Dinner each day
  • 5 nights Multi-Share Accommodation
  • Guides and walking tours in Daintree Rainforest
  • Skyrail and Scenic train at Kuranda
  • Entrance to Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Centre
  • Great Barrier Reef tour, including lunch
  • Hartley’s Crocodile Adventure admission
  • Please note – it is your responsibility to bring a towel and toiletries on this program