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FNQ Nature Tours

Tablelands & Crater Lakes

Duration: Full Day

Type: Private Charter, Shared.

Departs: Daily

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

On this adventure, guests will experience a spectacular mix of habitats across the Atherton Tablelands; from lush rainforest, volcanic lakes, wetlands through to savanna country. Located in the highland region southwest of Cairns, this tour covers landmarks such as the Cathedral Fig Tree, Lake Barrine and Milla Milla Falls.

The rainforests of the Tablelands provide habitat for a rich array of marsupials, reptiles, invertebrates and over 320 species of bird. Iconic bird species include the Victoria’s Riflebird, Golden Bowerbird, Tooth-billed Bowerbird, Atherton Scrubwren, Bridled Honeyeater, Pied Monarch, Stone Curlew, Black-faced Monarch, Red-backed Fairy-wren and Forest Kingfisher.

A visit to Lake Barrine provides a very high likelihood of seeing the elusive Platypus along with opportunities to see a the Red-legged Pademelon, Musky Rat Kangaroo, Snapping Turtle, Giant Eel, Eastern Water Dragon, Saw-shell Turtle and one of the areas most iconic species, the Lumholtz Tree Kangaroo.

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

  • Full Day Tablelands & Crater Lakes

    Departing early morning from Cairns, guests will travel up to the highlands of the Atherton Tablelands, to experience beautiful panoramic vistas across sections of this World Heritage Listed ecosystem. Upon arrival to the Danbulla State Forest, travellers will reach the famous Cathedral Fig Tree, a gigantic 500-year-old strangler tree measuring 50 metres high, with a trunk circumference of 39 metres.

    Led by your expert guide, this is a prime area to spot the regions abundant songbirds, including the Red-backed Fairy-wren, Golden Bowerbird, Pale-yellow Robin, Grey-headed Robin, McLeays Honeyeater, Bridled Honeyeater, Blue-faced Honeyeater, Spectacled Monarch, Pied Monarch and Australia’s very own bird of paradise, the Victoria’s Riflebird.

    Next stop is Lake Barrine, a crater lake formed when rising lava was pushed against underground water, resulting in dramatic explosions around 10,000 years ago. After a delicious morning tea, guests will be led by their guide to learn about the flora and fauna alongside the lakeside rainforest, with the opportunity to also enjoy a one hour lake cruise for more wildlife and photographic opportunities.

    This provides the opportunity to see Red-legged Pademelons, Musky Rat Kangaroos, Snapping Giant Eels, Eastern Water Dragons, Saw-shell Turtles and numerous birds. After a delicious seafood lunch, the group will search for one of Australia’s most intriguing animals, the Platypus.

    To finish off the day, guests will take in the spectacular panoramas of Milla Milla lookout, an incredibly picturesque 18-metre waterfall, with the option to take a swim or spend time at Lake Eacham or venture out to spot one of the area’s most iconic species, the Lumholtz Tree Kangaroo. Guests will be returned to Cairns at approximately 5:30pm.

    Key Details

    Private Charter Pricing: from $420 per person (based on 4 adults including touring, morning tea and lunch).
    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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