1. Chillagoe Caves and Outback from Cairns Full-Day Tour
Your naturalist guide will meet you at your accommodation and after introductions all round, you will ascend the McAllister Ranges and head west through Mareeba embarking on a remarkable journey back to prehistoric times, when dinosaurs ruled the Earth. The first stop is for morning tea (tea, coffee and cakes or a sausage roll). From here you will travel through the back blocks of a wetland area viewing wallabies, emus and other wildlife and then along the irrigated agricultural paddocks of this fertile area, eventually crossing over the Great Divide and into the Western watershed. Travel through historical towns and rolling hills rich in minerals eventually giving way to towering limestone karsts scattered around Chillagoe. Stop in Chillagoe for the National Parks Cave tour. The fossilized remains of the ancient coral reefs with hidden limestone labyrinths give a portal to a lost world just like the Great Barrier Reef. Millions of years in the making, the limestone formations are nothing short of spectacular. Then delve into the history of the copper smelters, whose old chimneys dominate the western horizon. Visit the remains of the once mighty smelters to ponder what it was like working there, then visit Aboriginal Rock Art. Afterwards, it’s time for an Aussie pub lunch. After lunch and a visit to the local souvenir shop, head back towards the East coast, stopping at Granite Gorge where you can feed wallabies and hold other indigenous animals. The tour then returns down the range to Cairns.