Chillagoe Caves And Outback Day Trip From Cairns

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Tour Information

Key Details

  • Mobile Voucher Accepted
  • Hotel pickup Available
  • Duration: 11 Hrs 30 Mins
  • Language:
  • Departure Time :
    06:30 AM
  • Departure Details :
    Traveler pickup is offered
  • Return Details :
    Returns to original departure point
  • Cancellation Policy :
    This activity is non-refundable Tours booked using discount coupon codes will be non refundable.


The only Outback Full-Day Tour from Cairns and Port Douglas! Explore the Chillagoe Caves, Granite Gorge and other gems of the Australian Outback on a full-day tour from Cairns. With a naturalist guide, you'll travel by 4WD vehicle through the McAllister Ranges, the Great Dividing Range and the Australian Outback while listening to informative commentary about the regions wildlife, history and Aboriginal culture. Tour Chillagoe-Mungana Caves National Park, drive near the wetlands to spot Australian native wildlife, see historic mining towns, and enjoy morning tea at the local Skybury Coffee Plantation and lunch at a 100-year-old Chillagoe Pub during this small-group tour limited to 14 people.

Know More about this tour

Your naturalist guide will meet you at your accommodation and after introductions all round, well ascend the McAllister Ranges and head west through Mareeba embarking on a remarkable journey back to prehistoric times, when dinosaurs ruled the Earth.Along the way, we will stop for morning tea (Tea, Coffee & cake and sausage rolls).

After morning tea, we travel through the back blocks of this 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. (We use a wet weather alternate when the wetlands access is flooded) Travel through historical towns and rolling hills rich in minerals eventually giving way to towering limestone karsts scattered around Chillagoe.

We embark on theNational Parks Cave Tour to see fossilised remains of the ancient coral reefs with hidden limestone labyrinths.The fossilized remains of the ancient coral reefs with hidden limestone labyrinths give a portal to a lost world just like our own Great barrier reef. Millions of years in the making, the limestone formations are nothing short of spectacular. We then delve into the history of the copper smelters, whose old chimneys dominate the western horizon. We visit the remains of the once mighty smelters to ponder what it was like working there. Now its time for a wonderful Aussie pub lunch.

After lunch, we will visit a local souvenir shop and head back towards the east coast, stopping at Granite Gorge where we can feed wallabies.

The tour ends with a return drive down the range to Cairns.

Note: The tour may be closed or itinerary changed due to the wet season where conditions may close roads and access to the caves.


Local driver guide

Lunch at a 100-year-old Aussie pub

Transport by air-conditioned vehicle

Chillagoe-Mungana Caves National Park Tour

Hotel pickup and drop-off (Cairns and Northern Beaches area only)

Chillagoe Smelter Ruins

Visit Balancing Rock and see Aboriginal Rock Art

Granite Gorge National Park and see Wallabies

Morning Tea at Skybury Cafe and Roastery


Port Douglas transfers (min 2 people, contact reservations after booking to confirm)

Additional Info

Confirmation will be received at time of booking

Please advise any specific dietary requirements at time of booking

Please wear closed-toe shoe and bring a light jacket or sweater

A reasonable level of fitness is required, as there are steps and uneven terrain leading into the caves

Not wheelchair accessible

Infant seats available

Not recommended for travelers with back problems

No heart problems or other serious medical conditions

Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level

This experience requires good weather. If its canceled due to poor weather, youll be offered a different date or a full refund

This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If its canceled because the minimum isnt met, youll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund

This tour/activity will have a maximum of 14 travelers

Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff

Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas

Gear/equipment sanitized between use

Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized

Guides required to regularly wash hands

Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms

Traveler Reviews

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  • 06-Dec-2022 was a good experience,our driver was brilliant, full of humour and knowledge of the local area. Although a hot day he anticipated our needs well. His time management was spot on and the places we visited were well worth it.

  • 01-Nov-2022

    Very nice tour. The only down side was a lot of driving from one place to the other. Good if you don't like long drives on your own. You can rest and watch scenery while someone else does the driving for you. Our guide Mark was very nice

  • 29-Oct-2022

    A great trip, one of the highlights of are stay in Cairns. While there is a lot of travel involved, we got to see parts of the country we would not normally see. We really enjoyed the trip and the guide was great as well. Well worth doing to see something different from the standard things in Cairns. Would recommend, great stuff.

  • 18-Oct-2022

    The most memorable of the trip was the caves and the balancing rock. Absolutely breathtaking views and great meal at the pub.

  • 30-Sep-2022

    We wanted to experience the Atherton Tablelands and the semi-arid outback beyond. We also like seeing caves (and on a hot day, caves are great). This was a long day but worth it, with a really good coffee stop, enjoyable cave visit and yes, caves. A bonus was a visit to see rock wallabies at a sanctuary. There was more beside. Our guide for the day was Gavin, a ready wit and easy conversationalist, who provided many facts and interesting tidbits along the journey plus our eyes for spotting kangaroos, wallabies and wedge-tail eagles among many. He did an excellent job. Weather was great (31-32C), mainly cloudless and low humidity. And yes, 21-22C in the caves was the perfect place to ‘chill out.’

  • 17-Sep-2022

    OMG, what a fabulous day! Mark (our guide) was knowledgeable and fun. Great part of our wonderful country to visit

  • 29-Aug-2022

    I first visited the Caves as a 9 yo in 1948 with my garndparents on a real FNQ adventure, so this was my 2nd visit, my wife's first. We love all things FNQ (at least between April and October :-), and this is a genuine top experience! Driver Guide and very gregarious fellow Gavin must have a great constitution, as he started picking up customers on the Coast around 6am, dropping the last off at 9pm or so. Weakies us just got on board at Mareeba from the excellent Jackaroo Motel at a civilised 8.10am, as we are vey familiar indeed with Cairns and the wonderful Kuranda Range drive. Things quickly got underway for us driving through the ever - expanding and diversifying Agriculture between Cairns and Dimbulah, great to see though why sugarcane now needs to be up there beats me! More than enough on the coast still, while coffee, fruits (yea to the ever - increasing varieties of papaya!), nuts and legumes are just stunning. Morning tea at Skybury plantation was a beautiful revelation! Once we hit the dirt in a bad patch past Almaden, we were glad we were in a quality 4WD bus with an experienced driver! (The remainder of the dirt stretch is being sealed). The real highlight of the day for us was the scramble up to huge and Amazing Balancing Rock, closely followed by the nearby Royal Arch Cave, with our official parks guide. Not the most colourful limestone cave we have visited, but wonderful nevertheless. More would have been better, at the expense of the old copper mining ruins. And while on what could be improved, we would add the hotel lunch at Chillagoe. Finally, the short visit on the way back to Mareeba, to nearby Granite Gorge with it's wonderful, swarming little wallabies was a nice close to our day :-)

  • 26-Aug-2022

    Really enjoyed our day. Great value and Mark, our guide and driver was very knowledgeable. It was lovely finishing off the day with a visit to some rock wallabies at Granite Gorge. The caves were very interesting and the rangers that took us through them knew their stuff. Great day out.

  • 18-Aug-2022

    Gavin was a very informative guide. Great day out well worth the trip. All the different stops were a bonus, balancing rock was also great to see. Lyall from nz

  • 17-Aug-2022

    Gavin, the tour guide, was very personable and interesting, both in his presentation of the data about the tour and in his reminiscences of his personal experiences. Really enjoyed the tour, despite having done similar previously, and more so because of Gavin's enthusiasm.

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