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  • Southern Cassowary

  • Saltwater Crocodile

  • Boyd's Forest Dragon

FNQ Nature Tours

Daintree & Cape Tribulation Tour Ultimate Nature (Cairns & Great Barrier Reef)

Duration: 2 days/1 night

Type: Private Charter.

Interests: Birds, Fish & Marine Invertebrates, Land Invertebrates, Land Mammals & Marsupials, Reptiles & Amphibians.

This spectacular two day tour showcases the only place on earth where two World Heritage Sites meet; the Wet Tropics Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef at Cape Tribulation. The Daintree National Park is the largest section of tropical rainforest in Australia and oldest continually surviving rainforest in the world. This region is home to thousands of species including around one-third of Australia’s frog, reptile and marsupial species, around two-thirds of Australia’s bat and butterfly species, over 400 bird species and 12,000 insect species.

The adventures include a ‘river drift’ snorkel, where guests will look for over 33 species of fish, turtles and eels in the Mossman river along with a snorkel of the Great Barrier Reef to spot soft and hard corals, sea turtles, reef sharks, myriads of tropical fish, eagle rays, giant clams and starfish. A visit to Cape Tribulation will provide the opportunity to spot the endangered Southern Cassowary.

An interpretative guided nocturnal walk will reveal a different side of the Daintree Rainforest providing the opportunity to spot wildlife such as the Daintree River Ringtail Possum, Northern Long-nosed Bandicoot and Northern Bettong. Wildlife enthusiasts will be captivated by the wildlife cruise of the Daintree River, full of opportunities to observe and photograph the region’s apex predator, the Saltwater Crocodile, along with iconic species such as the Boyd’s Forest Dragon, Ulysses butterfly, Spectacled flying-fox, White-lipped tree frog, Azure, Little & Sacred Kingfishers and Wompoo fruit dove.

About FNQ Nature Tours: After ten years of guiding nature and wildlife safaris in Northern Australia, James Boettcher established FNQ Nature Tours in 2015, with a firm belief that tourism is the key to the protection and conservation of this World Heritage area. The company offers tours designed for nature minded travellers desiring a personal, educational and interactive guided experience, whilst sharing the necessity of protecting the natural wonders and biodiversities of this world famous region.

Itinerary

Tour day-by-day

  • Day 1:

    After departing from Cairns early morning, guests will head north towards the world famous Daintree Rainforest; an area of ancient tropical rainforest spanning 120,000 hectares, estimated to be 180 million years old.

    This region was given World Heritage status in 1988 and has the highest diversity of rainforest mammals in Australia. This route along the ‘Great Barrier Reef Drive’ will provide gorgeous coastal views of the Pacific Ocean. The first wildlife adventure begins on the beautiful Mossman river, where guests can partake in a ‘river drift snorkel’; one of the most unique aquatic activities across Australia.

    Crystal clear waters will reveal an amazing underwater experience, with the opportunity to spot up to 33 species of fish, turtles, eels, water dragons and occasionally the intriguing Platypus. Butterflies and an amazing array of birds can also be spotted along the rainforest lined river. Upon arriving to the Daintree Tea House, lunch will be served with the opportunity to sample some of the region’s delicious fruits and berries, surrounded by views of the tropical rainforest and continuous sounds of birds and nature.

    Led by an expert guide, guests will enjoy a walk through a private section of the National Park to learn more about some of the 3,000 plant species from over 210 families, including 65 percent of Australia’s fern species, 30 percent of Australia’s orchid species and the earliest examples of flowering plants on the planet. The trees into Mossman Gorge provide the opportunity to spot the endemic Boyd ‘s Forest Dragon, a chameleon that can adapt its colouring for camouflage along with the beautiful White-lipped Tree Frog and iconic Ulysses Butterfly.

    After dinner you have the option of joining a night walk to discover a completely different Daintree Rainforest. Nocturnal walks will allow the group to observe the Crepuscular and Nocturnal wildlife, such as the Daintree River Ringtail Possum, Northern Long-nosed Bandicoot and Northern Bettong. Accommodation for this evening will be at Ferntree Rainforest Lodge. An environmentally friendly resort set back in the heart of a lush coastal rainforest, a short stroll from Cape Tribulation’s Myall Beach and its famous mangrove boardwalks.

    Overnight Accommodation: Ferntree Resort (4 star).

  • Day 2:

    A spectacular day of adventures await, with guests starting the day by boarding an exhilarating ride to snorkel the pristine Great Barrier Reef off the Daintree Coast at Cape Tribulation.

    This half day Great Barrier Reef tour visits two different snorkel destinations, each with an extraordinary array of marine life and coral species. After a quick 25-minute journey, travellers will enter the awe-inspiring waters off the Mackay and Undine Reefs. There are often opportunities to snorkel alongside sea turtles, which are found in abundance swimming over reefs full of colorful coral, along with myriads of tropical fish, Eagle Rays, giant clams and starfish. Often the coastal rainforest of the Daintree can be seen along the mainland beach whilst snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef.

    After lunch, the group will continue to Cape Tribulation. This famous valley resembles a giant amphitheatre, with a semicircle of hills dominated by Mt Sorrow (850m) and Mt Hemmant (1000m). The south-eastern rain, trapped by this valley, results in a tropical climate with high temperatures, humidity and rainfall. This provides a unique vista, being one of the rare locations where rainforest extends right to the shoreline (littoral or beachside rainforest), separated by beautiful white sandy beaches.

    Led by an expert wildlife guide, travellers will then venture out by foot across the Jindlaba boardwalk, meandering around and across a small creek, far beneath a towering canopy of palms and ferns. The boardwalk is elevated at all times, and there are a variety of interesting flora and fauna to experience including the endangered Southern Cassowary. The cassowary is a large, flightless bird most closely related to the Emu. Although the Emu is taller, the Southern Cassowary is the heaviest bird in Australia and the second heaviest in the world after its cousin, the Ostrich.

    Walk lengths and difficulties can be modified to suit the guest’s wishes. Travellers will finish the day with a memorable Daintree River Wildlife Cruise; a two hour exclusive afternoon to sunset cruise, where the surroundings are full of opportunities to observe and photograph some of the most primitive forms of animal and plant life in the world.

    Upon a solar powered vessel, there will be opportunities to spot the mighty Saltwater Crocodiles. The river is a haven for kingfishers, including the Azure, Forest, Little & Sacred species, cormorants, herons, ibis, spoonbills, flycatchers, Brahminy Kites, White-bellied Sea Eagles, Wompoo fruit doves, Sunbirds, Spotted-whistling ducks and Rainbow Bee-eaters.

    Guests will return to Cairns at approximately 6:30pm.

    Key Details

    Private Charter Pricing: from $1,920 per person (based on 2 adults, twin share including touring, meals & accommodation).
    Private Group Size: Maximum of 7 guests
    Pick-up and Drop Off Point: Cairns/Northern Beaches/Port Douglas
    Pick-up and Drop-off Time: Cairns 7:30am/Northern beaches 08:00am/Port Douglas 8:30am (location dependent), Drop off approximately 5:00pm

    Responsible Tourism

    As part of our commitment to sustainability we have developed a Code Of Practice relating to our wildlife interactions which is available for your reference. Our river affiliates are using only solar powers vessels, clean, quiet and zero impact on the environment during wildlife cruises. 

    As our way of contributing to the local wildlife community, we are heavily involved with FNQ Wildlife Rescue. Our organisation attends rescues and is active in sharing stories that may help educate our guests on safe and helpful practises for supporting injured or orphaned wildlife. 

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    Bookings & Enquiries

    The tour is not currently available to be booked online, as our team customises the itinerary according to your interests, accommodation preferences and transport/logistics into Cairns. Please contact our friendly team via the Enquire Now button below - there are some essential details to help us provide the best options for you. We will be in touch via your preferred contact method.

    Enquire Now

    Recent Testimonials

    "While visiting Australia I did five different tours and this one was by far the best. To say that James is a knowledgeable guide is to put it lightly. He is a legend. Our tour was packed full of information, and the sights we saw were top notch. I can't recommend it enough. If I'm ever in Cairns again, I will certainly be looking to take another tour with James." - Jake, Colorado

    "What can I say, other than if you're a lover of all things nature and have a love of photography, then DO THIS day tour with James. He has a wealth of knowledge and has such a passion for nature that makes the trip incredibly fun and educational. We all had such a wonderful time, and got to see so many amazing things (flora and fauna) that we'd have all missed out on, had it not been for James. Thank you for giving us one of the best days in FNQ yet! It's a day I will treasure forever." - Jessica, Sydney

    "James was a really terrific guide, bringing enthusiasm and knowledge that really enhanced our day. He clearly loves what he does, and that made for a great day for our group of five. We learned a lot, and had a truly fun and relaxing time. Doesn't get better than this!." - Dianne, New York City

    "If you want personal service from a passionate and professional guide then you must book James. I was travelling with two teenage boys and from the moment they stepped into his vehicle they had a smile on their faces and I knew I made the right decision booking him. He is like an encyclopaedia of animals and plants... Because of James expertise, we saw things others before us walked or drove past. Lizards, birds, crocodiles, plants - he knows them all and what an incredible photographer....I doubt you will find a better tour in the Daintree." - Nickle 27 - UK

     

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