DAY 1 – ARRIVE DARWIN
Darwin is world famous for its fabulous food, colourful outdoor markets and a diverse range of activities.
On arrival in the Territory’s tropical capital city we will be met and privately transferred to The Oaks Elan Hotel with views of the tropical city, Darwin Harbour and Frances Bay.
Ideally positioned in the heart of Darwin the Oaks Elan Hotel is just minutes from the Darwin Waterfront precinct and in the midst of the city’s dining, entertainment and shopping hub. The Oaks Elan rooms are spacious and stylish with unbeatable views of the surrounding city and ocean. Alongside the guest rooms the hotel also offers an outdoor lap pool, well-equipped gym and their on-site restaurant opens daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Overnight: The Oaks Elan, Darwin
Day 2 – Darwin
This morning we will be met at our accommodation and transferred to Port Douglas for a morning of markets.
The town hosts a fantastic market on Sundays with local stallholders providing locally produced fashion, jewellery, food and more.
Enjoy lunch (at own expense) at one of the many stalls or a quick bite at the Marina.
We will all meet at the Reef Marina at a set time to board our (shared) cruise to the Great Barrier Reef.
We depart Port Douglas and enjoy a day with a reef and island cruise to Low Isles. We will explore this protected Coral Cay, with white sandy beaches and coconut palms, surrounded by magnificent coral gardens and the Coral Sea. Our cruise offers snorkelling, a guided snorkel tour, glass bottom boat tour, guided walk through the island, and the opportunity to relax and enjoy the best of Low Isles.
Drinks and canapés will be served for the sail back to Port Douglas with 1st class service, ambient music and a fun relaxed atmosphere. Guests can relax on the deck and enjoy the spectacular sunset views of the Daintree Mountains and Four Mile Beach.
On arrival back at the Reef Marina at approximately 6:30pm, we will be transferred to our accommodation.
Dinner at leisure this evening.
Overnight: Thala Beach Nature Reserve (B / drinks and canapes on board the cruise)
Day 3 – Port Douglas
Enjoy your breakfast and they get ready for a fun morning at Oaks Kitchen & Garden.
We will be met at our accommodation and transferred to Oaks Kitchen and Garden for a Chef’s Table Experience.
Oaks Kitchen and Garden was created by husband and wife team, Benjamin Wallace and Rachael Boon. Their love of Southeast Asian flavours has inspired the cooking school and surrounding gardens while also utilising Australian native produce.
The Chef’s Table Experience allows you to explore the garden, meet the chickens and taste the herbs before watching Benjamin at work in the kitchen.
Sit and enjoy a beautiful Thai inspired tasting menu in the superb lush surroundings before returning to our accommodation.
Dinner at leisure and a peaceful evening to get ready for our departure in the morning to explore the Daintree!
Overnight Thala Beach Nature Reserve. (B / L)
Day 4 – The Daintree
This morning after breakfast and check out, we depart Port Douglas and travel towards the Daintree River to enjoy a private Wildlife Cruise.
The Daintree Ecosystem is the habitat of an extensive array of wildlife, many endemic to this area. There are over 280 different species of bird life on the Daintree River system. After the cruise board the Daintree car ferry to enter into the Daintree section of the World Heritage protected rainforest. This is oldest continuously growing rainforest on Earth – with its spectacular beauty, rugged mountains, and deep creek beds.
Our first stop is for morning tea in the forest near Coopers Creek.
We then continue on to private land away from the crowds to take a hike through this untouched rainforest wildness. As we hike through forest and under rainforest canopy, our guide will show us how to discover ancient plants and meet some of the animals who make theses forest their home.
We will learn how the Aboriginal people, old and new, helped to shape its destiny.
We may even spot a cassowary, an important keystone species to the forest and learn how these amazing animals keep it alive today.
Our lunch today will be deep in the forest alongside a beautiful flowing creek.
After lunch, there will be the opportunity to take a swim in a private swimming hole with its crystal waters.
Tonight, enjoy dinner at our accommodation located within the rainforest.
Overnight: *The Daintree Wilderness Lodge (B / L / D)
*Twin share only due to property size
Day 5 – Cooktown
This morning we depart early heading for the famous Bloomfield Track to start our off road 4wd adventure to Cooktown.
The road traverses through untouched wilderness with many river crossings and the Bloomfield Track is rated as one of Queensland’s most scenic short road trips.
Continue north towards Cooktown, arriving at the Aboriginal community of the Wujal Wujal, a rural town and locality in the Wujal Wujal Aboriginal Shire. Wujal Wujal is the local Kuku-Yalanji clan name meaning ‘many falls’, highlighting the many sacred waterfalls in this landscape. Originating from the rainforests of Far North Queensland, the Kuku Yalanji people have been living in harmony with the environment for over 50,000 years; their borders extend from Port Douglas in the south, to Cooktown in the north. An integral part of the belief system of the Kuku Yalanji, also known as “rainforest people”, revolves around nature and the knowledge of its intimate cycles. This information has remained alive and well within the Kuku Yalanji, with present custodians passing on the knowledge of their forefathers, which their forefathers passed on before them (and so on).
Once you’ve arrived, breathe in and take a moment. You are now on sacred ground.
Our Indigenous Guide will take us for a walk into to see Bloomfield Falls, which run all year round. Learn the story of the falls and the unique plants that grow only in this area and their uses including for medical purposes. With the help of our guide, we will leave with a better understanding of how culture and nature thrive together.
Lunch today will be at Woodidi Creek just off the Bloomfield Track.
As we continue along rugged dirt roads, we will come across the famous Lion’s Den Hotel built in 1875 and still going strong today. The hotel was frequented for many years by miners working at various tin mines in the early days. A stop here is included to enjoy a beverage and take some photos.
We then arrive into Cooktown and settle into our accommodation before heading to Grassy Hill for sunset drinks with an outstanding 360-degree view overlooking the Endeavour River.
Overnight: Sovereign Resort Hotel (B / L / Sunset Drinks)
Day 6 – Cooktown
This morning we explore Cooktown with a walking tour of the town.
Learn the history of Captain James Cook who discovered Cooktown in 1770. Cooktown became a thriving port during the gold rush era and this small town is rich with history. The Endeavour River was the only river that Cook named during his exploration of the Australian coastline.
Lunch is included today.
This afternoon enjoy some free time and chill out, enjoy a cocktail by the pool or just read a book.
This evening, dinner at a local restaurant is included.
Overnight Sovereign Resort Hotel. (B, L / D)
Day 7 – Laura Escarpments, Rock Art and
This morning depart Cooktown and experience true outback driving on the way to Laura. Here you will marvel at the outback wilderness and views of the Laura escarpments and signs of the old railway line that traveled from Cooktown to the Gold Fields of early 1872 to the Palmer River.
Continue towards the Rock Art Split Rock site up in the escarpment overlooking the Laura River. This area is the famous Quinkan Area. The rock art galleries in Quinkan Country are listed by UNESCO as being amongst the top 10 sites in the World.
Enjoy lunch in Laura before travelling south towards Cairns.
View the stunning outback, stopping at beautiful lookouts and watching the sunset set over the Orange Mountain Range (with a little sparkling of course).
On the way into Cairns, there will be a refreshment stop for a light dinner.
Overnight Shangri-La Marina Hotel. (B, L / D)
Day 8 – Atherton Tablelands
This morning we take a beautiful drive towards the Atherton Tablelands for a full day tour of the region.
High in the hills – the farming country is where fruit and vegetables are grown for the whole of Australia.
Enjoy a stunning walk to waterfalls and rainforest with the chance to swim in a crystal clear lake.
Lunch today is in a local restaurant specialising in the produce of the region, including the famous local beef.
After further exploration of the region, we will be transferred back to our Cairns accommodation.
A farewell dinner at Ochre Restaurant is included tonight.
Overnight Shangri-La Marina Hotel. (B, L / D)
Day 9 – Departure
Time to say farewell.
Breakfast at the hotel and then private transfer to the airport to meet your flights.
Checkout at the hotel by 11 am and if flights are later they will store your bags. (B)