Your naturalist driver/guide will come to meet you at your hotel, Cairns CBD, Northern Beaches incur an additional transfer fee. After introductions you will set off in a 4WD (4-wheel drive) vehicle for your exciting Mareeba and Chillagoe Outback Tour from Cairns.
You will ascend the McAllister ranges and drive west across North Queensland. After about an hour you will reach the wildlife oasis of Mareeba Tropical Savannah and Wetland Reserve. This pristine wilderness area protects over 5000 acres of savannas (tropical grasslands) and wetlands.
When you arrive at Mareeba, you will have morning tea and then embark on a 20-minute cruise in an environmentally friendly electric boat. A naturalist guide from Mareeba Reserve will accompany you. As you slip quietly through the waterlilies, you can see egrets, jabirus, jacanas and numerous other water birds as well as frogs, freshwater crocodiles and other animals. This may change due to flooding in the wet season. Wet Season Alternate is Granite Gorge and to hand feed the rare Granite Gorge Rock Wallabies.
After your cruise you will drive through grasslands where, if you are lucky, you may spot kangaroos, wallabies, lizards, emus and other wildlife.
From Mareeba you head west across the Great Dividing Range to the historic mining town of Chillagoe, a journey of about 140km (84 miles).
The old town of Chillagoe dates from the 1870s. You will visit the Chillagoe copper smelters, built in the 1900s by investors convinced of the area's potential. The mineral wealth failed to materialize, fortunes were lost by speculators and the smelters were abandoned in the 1940s.
At Chillagoe, you will also enjoy a delicious barbeque Australian Pub lunch. The menu includes rump steak or veg patty or fish and a selection of salads. Home made Australian Beef Burgers and Chips or Fish, Chips and Salad. Vegetarians are catered for upon notification prior to commencing tour.
After lunch, you embark on an enthralling tour of Chillagoe limestone caves (approximately 1 hour). A National Park Ranger from the Chillagoe-Mungana Caves National Park will guide you through this underground 'wonderland'. As you view the spectacular caverns and fossilized coral reefs, you will be transported back to the time of the dinosaurs.
Afterwards, board your vehicle for the return trip. You will stop for refreshments at the Australian Coffee Plantation “Skybury” (payable direct) on the way, admiring the spectacular views of the Atherton Tablelands and arrive in the early evening.
At the end of your thrilling excursion, you will be dropped back at your hotel in Cairns.