Tourist Information 
Adventure Sports 
  • Scuba Diving
  • Whitewater Rafting
  • Other Adventure Sports

  • Organised Tours 
  • Cairns Tours
  • Islands & Reef Cruises
  • Daintree Rainforest Tours
  • Cape Tribulation National Park Tours
  • Cooktown Tours
  • Atherton Tablelands Tours
  • CapeYork Tours

  • Accommodation 
    Places to Eat 
    Getting to Cairns 
    Getting Around Cairns 

    Offshore Islands 

  • Fitzroy Island
  • Green Island
  • Franklin Island
  • Lizard Island
  • Atherton Tableland 

    Port Douglas 

  • Scuba Diving
  • Organised Tours
  • Resorts
  • Youth Hostels
  • Getting to Port Douglas
  • Getting Around Port Douglas
  • Mossman 


    Cape Tribulation 
    National Park 


  • Lizard Island
  • Cape York Peninsula 

  • Orgainsed Tours
  • Transport
  • Accommodation
  • Thursday Island
  • Where to Go Next

    CAIRNS (population 105 000) 
    Cairns is a top tourist destination with lots of exciting activities from scuba diving and cruises on the Great Barrier Reef to whitewater rafting, sky-diving, bungee jumping and horse riding. Cairns certainly is a party city. 

    Tourist Information 

    There are numerous tour booking agencies in Cairns. 

    Wet Tropics Information Centre on the esplanade is open daily 9.30am to 5.30pm. phone 4051 3588. 

    RACQ has road maps. 520 Mulgrave Road, Earlville. Phone 4033 6433. 

    Department of Environment deals with camping permits and information on the regions national parks, particularly the numerous on Great Barrier reef islands. Phone 4052 3096. 10 McLeod St. Open weekdays 8.30am to 4.30pm. 

    Picture: Cairns

    Tourists flock to Cairns not because of what is in Cairns but because of what is around Cairns. However the city itself does have some interesting things to see. 

    Pier Marketplace has expensive clothes shops, souvenier shops, cafes and restaurants. 

    Undersea World aquarium is also there. It is open 8am to 8pm. Entry is $10. 20% discount vouchers are available from hostels. 

    Rusty’s Bazaar on Sheriden St has a fruit, vegetable, art and craft market on Friday night and Saurday morning and Sunday morning. 

    Cairns does not have a beach. It is situated on a muddy flat that is exposed at low tide. 

    Scuba Diving 

    Cairns is a big diving centre. The outer reef is better for diving than in at Green and Fitzroy Islands. Major dive schools include: 

    Deep Sea Divers Den 319 Draper St. Phone 40312223. 

    Pro-Dive Marlin Jetty. Phone 40315255. 

    Down Under Dive 155 Sheridan St. Phone 40311288. 

    Underwater on the Great Barrier Reef 
    Picture: Underwater on the
    Great Barrier Reef
    Cairns Dive Centre 135 Abbott St. Phone 1800 642591. 

    Tusa Dive 93 The Esplanade. Phone 40311248. 

    Taka II Dive 131 Lake St. Phone 40518722. 

    Prices vary from $350 to $450 for a five day course. Cheaper courses spend longer in the classroom and pool. More expensive courses spend longer on the reef. 

    Reef Teach has a well worth while lecture to learn about the reef before diving. Lectures are nighlty 6.15pm to 8.30pm except Sunday at Boland’s Centre, 14 Spence St. Phone 4051 6882. 

    Whitewater Rafting 

    The rainforested gorges of the Tully River, 150km south of Cairns make for great whitewater rafting. It is very popular and costs $128 for the day. There are two operators. 

    Raging Thunder, 97 hartley St, phone 4030 7990 and R ‘n’ R, 74 Abbott St, Phone 1800 079039. 

    Foaming Fury, 21 Berry St, phone 4032 1460, has half day trips on Barron River near Cairns for $66, full day trips on Russell River for $118 and full day trips on Johnston River for $123. 

    There are also two day and five day trips on the remote North Johnston River.

    Whitewater Rafting on the Tully River 
    Picture: Whitewater Rafting
    on the Tully River
    (picture courtesy of Raging Thunder)

    Other Adventure Sports 

    Adventure Company has one day wilderness canoe paddling tours on Musgrave River for $89. Phone 4051 4777. Three day tours are available from Mission Beach. 

    Blazing Saddles and Springmount Station (phone 4093 4493) have half day horse trail rides for $65 including Cairns transfers. 

    Dan’s Tours has full day mountain bike rides to the Daintree Rainforest for $95. Phone 4033 0128. 

    AJ Kackett has bungee jumping at Smithfield, 15km north of Cairns for $95 including transfer. Phone 4057 7188. 

    Rapjumping Cairns has unlimited jumping. Free famous rap t/shirt included. Cliffes range from 25 metres to 80 metres high in the Barron Gorge. Seven day a week pick up from Cairns accommodation at 11am(?), drop off 3pm(?). http://www.rapjumping.com 

    Skydive Cairns has tandem skydiving. Phone 4035 9667. 

    Hot are balloon flights for 30 minutes or one hour are run by Hot Air (phone 1800 800829) and Champagne Balloon Flights (phone 4035 9156). 

    Northern Air has short joy flights over the reef and islands. Phone 4035 9156. 


    There are innumerable tour operators out of Cairns 

    Cairns tours 

    Half day tours take in the city sights. Expect to pay $25. 

    Great Barrier Reef and Islands Cruises 

    There are numerous operators. Ask whether lunch is included, what facilities are on their boat and pontoon, how much snorkel hire is and where exactly the boat is going before paying. The outer reef has better diving than the inner islands. 

    Great Adventures is the main operator with large boats, three hours on a pontoon at the reef, lunch, snorkelling gear and glass bottom boat ride included. Phone 1800 079080. 

    Compass (phone 1800 815811) and Noah’s Ark Cruises (phone 4051 5666) have day trips for $55 including snorkelling gear and lunch. Dives are $45 extra. 

    Diving pontoon on the Great Barrier Reef 
    Picture: Diving pontoon on the
    Great Barrier Reef

    Daintree Rainforest and Cape Tribulation Tours 

    These tours are very popular. There are lots of tour operators who use 4WD vehicles. Lonely Planet recommends Jungle Tours with Daintree River cruise included for $82, or two ($78) and three day ($89) tours staying at Crocodylus Village and PK’s Jungle Village. Phone 1800 817234

    4WD touring in the Daintree Rainforest 
    Picture: 4WD touring in the
    Daintree Rainforest

    Cooktown Tours 

    Lonely Planet recommends Strikie’s Safaris 4WD day trip for $85. Phone 1800 809999. 

    Atherton Tableland Tours 

    Day bus tours usually include waterfalls, the lakes and Kuranda markets for $65 to $85. Tours spefically geared to backpackers are a little cheaper. 

    Cape York 

    See Cape York entry below.. 


    Backpackers Hostels - Esplanade 

    International House is big with 200 beds and fun atmosphere. 67 The Esplanade. Phone 07 4031 1424. Freecall 1800 682647. Dorm $21, single room $30, double or twin room $48 to $50 with airconditioning and TV. http://www.internationalhostel.com.au 

    Caravella’s Backpackers 77 is a big old clean place. 77 The Esplanade. Phone 07 4051 2159. Dorm $20, single $40, double or twin room $50 or $60 with private bathroom. All rooms have airconditioning. http://www.caravella.com.au 

    Hostel 89 at 89 The Esplanade is small and the staff helpful. Phone 07 4031 7477. All rooms have air-con. 

    YHA Cairns Esplanade at 93 The Esplanade is spacious. Phone 07 4031 1919. Some rooms have air-con and each dorm room has its own bathroom. Dorm $20, double $46 with air-conditioning. http://www.yha.com.au

    Caravella Backpackers is at 149 The Esplanade. Phone 07 4031 5680. Dorm $20, single room $40, double or twin room $50 or $60 with private bathroom. http://www.caravella.com.au 

    Bel-Air By Sea Hostel is in a renovated old Queensland style house. 155-157 The Esplanade. Phone 07 4031 4790. All rooms have air-con. Breakfast included. Pool. 

    Backpackers Hostels - Back from the Esplanade 

    Parkview Backpackers Hostel is friendly and relaxed set in a large rambling old house in large garden. 174 Grafton Street, Cairns. Phone 07 4051 3700. Freecall 1800 652215. 

    Captain Cook’s Backpackers Hostel 204-212 Sheridan Street, Cairns. Phone 07 4051 6811. Huge converted motel. Each unit has own bathroom and kitchen. Two pools, bar, restaurant. 

    YHA Cairns Central Backpackers 20-26 McLeod Street, Cairns. Phone 07 4051 0772. Dorm $23 to $26. Car parking. http://www.yha.com.au

    Calypso Backpackers 5 Digger Street, Cairns.  The hostel is in an old renovated Queensland house set in a tropical garden. Phone 07 4031 0910. Freecall 1800 815628. Dorm $22, double $48. Pool, bar, restaurant. http://www.calypsobackpackers.com.au 

    Inn the Tropics Backapckers Hostel 141 Sheridan Street, Cairns. Phone 07 4031 1088. Freecall 1800 807 055. Dorm $20, single $38 ($48 with bathroom), double $48 ($59 with bathroom). Pool, kitchen. http://www.cairns.net.au/~innthetropics/ 
    Corona Backpackers 72 Grafton street, Cairns. Phone 07 4041 5288.

    Rosie's Backpackers 136 Grafton Street, Cairns. Phone 07 4041 0249.

    Castaways Backapckers 207 Sheridan Street, Cairns. Phone 07 4051 1238.Pool, free barbeque some nights. Rooms have fridges. http://www.castawaysbackapckers.com.au

    Gilligans Backapckers Hostel and Resort 57-89 Grafton Street, Cairns. Phone 07 4041 6566. http://www.gilligansbackpackers.com.au

    Cairns Beach House Backpackers 239 Sheridan Street, Cairns. Phone 07 4041 4116. Dorm $20, double $44 to $56. http://www.cairnsbeachhouse.com.au

    Asylum Backpackers 149 Grafton Street, Cairns. Phone 07 4031 7921. Dorm $17, single $30, double $40 to $60. http://www.cairns.net.au/~cairnsbackpackers/

    Globe Palace Backpackers 86 Lake Street, Cairns. Phone 07 4031 7921.

    Gone Walkabout Hostel 274 Draper Street, Cairns. Phone 07 4051 6160. Freecall 1800 045 161. Dorm $18 to $20, single $25 to $30, double or twin $40 to $45. http://www.gonewalkabout.com.au

    Travellers Castle Hostel 209 Lake Street, Cairns. Phone 07 4031 2229.

    Serpent Hostel & Bar 341 Lake Street, Cairns. Phone 07 4040 7772. Freecall 1800 737 736.

    Backpackers Hostels - Further from downtown Cairns

    JJ’s Backpackers Phone 07 4051 7642. 11 Charles Stret, Cairns North.

    Tropic Days Backpackers 28 Bunting Street, Cairns, off Scott Street, past the railways station and the showgrounds. Itis quite a long way from the beach. Phone 07 4041 1521. Dorm $20, double $45, camping $11 per person. http://www.tropicdays.com.au

    Geckos Backpackers 187 Bunda Street, Parramatta Park. Phone 07 4031 1344. http://www.geckosbackpackers.com.au

    Utopia Backpackers 702 Bruce Highway, Woree. Phone 07 4054 4444.

    Major National Youth Hostel Chains 

    YHA - Youth Hostels Australia (Hostelling International) http://www.yha.org.au 
    VIP Backpackers http://www.vip-backpackers.com 
    Nomads Backpackers. Phone 1800 819883 or http://www.nomads-backpackers.com 



    The Esplanade between Shields and Aplin St is lined with restaurants with a variety of cuisines. 

    Pubs and Nightclubs 

    Most hostels have vouchers for cheap or free meals at a number of pubs and nightclubs. Popular places for food are The Beach at the corner of Abbott and Aplin Sts, The Wool Shed on Shields St Mall and Samuel’s Saloon near the corner of hartley and Lake Sts. 


    Pubs and Bars with Live Music 

    Johno’s Blues Bar upstairs at the corner of the Esplanade and Shields St has blues, rock and R&B bands till late every night. 

    Other pubs which regularly have live music are Fox & Firkin Cnr Spence and Lake Sts, Crown Hotel Cnr Shields and Grafton Sts, Pier Tavern at the pier marketplace. 


    Cairn’s is a big party town and the nightclub scene is wild! The complex at the corner of Lake and hartley Sts has Samuels Saloon backpacker bar, the huge Playpen International nightclub, and the classy Court Jester Bar. Also hugely popular are the Wool Shed nightclub on Shields St Mall and Beach nightclub, cnr Abbott and Aplin Sts. 


    Cairns 5 Cinemas at 108 Grafton St screens mainstream new releases. 


    Reef Casino takes up a whole block bordering the Esplanade and Abbott, Spence and Wharf Sts. 


    By Plane - Domestic 

    Qantas/Sunstate has an office on the corner of Shields and Lake Sts. Phone 131313. 

    Ansett is at 13 Spence St. Phone 131300. 

    Both have daily flights to Brisbane ($428), Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, Townsville, Darwin and Alice Springs. 

    Qantas flies to Lizard Island ($195) and Thursday Island ($324). Ansett flies to Weipa and Mt Isa. Flight West flies to Cooktown ($75), Cape York and Torres Strait. Hinterland Aviation flies to Cow bay near Cape Tribulation ($83). 

    By Plane - International 

    Cairns has regular flights to North America, Asia and Papua New Guinea. Qantas flies to Singapore daily except Thurday when it flies to Hong Kong instead. 

    Air Niugini has an office at 4 Shields St. Phone 4051 4177. Air Niugini and Qantas fly to Port Moresby. 

    Airport Transfers 

    Cairns airport is 3.5km north of town. 

    Australia Coach shuttle meets all incoming flights with downtown dropoff and pickup. $4.50 one way. 

    A taxi is around $11. 

    By Bus 

    All buses operate from Trinity Wharf

    Greyhound Pioneer has 5 coaches a day south along the coast to Brisbane, 27 hours, $168. Phone 132030. 

    McCafferty’s does too. Phone 131499. 

    Coral Coaches has daily buses to Port Douglas ($16), Cape Tribulation ($28) and Cooktown on the inland road ($47) or coast road ($52). There is a weekly service to Weipa. Phone 4031 7577. 

    White Car Coaches runs buses irregularly to Kuranda and the Atherton Tablelands. Phone 4091 1855. 

    By Train 

    Five trains a week run the 1631km journey south to Brisbane in 32 hours. It is more comfortable than by bus. The Sunlander runs three times weekly and the Spirit of the Tropics once. Economy sleepers are $165, 1st class sleeper $253. The luxury Queenslander which runs once a week is more expensive at $389 including meals. 

    Call Queenland Rail on 132232. 

    Car Rental 

    All major car rental companies have agents at the airport and in town. There are also numerous smaller local operators which are probably cheaper. Cars are a great way to get around as they enable you to see more picturesque Australian countryside at your own leisurely pace stopping and looking at small towns along the way. Note 4wds are required on the Cooktown and Cape Tribulation roads. 

    By Boat 

    The Quicksilver fast catamaran runs daily to Port Douglas 1 1/2 hours away for $20 one way, $30 return. Phone 4099 5500. 



    Sunbus runs regular local buses with major routes operated 24 hours. Route map and timetable is posted at the Lake St transit centre in City Place. 


    Most hostels and car hire places hire out bikes. 


    Fitzroy Island (29km southeast of Cairns) 

    Fitzroy Island is a continental island. Good coral for snorkelling is just 50 metres offshore. There is a dive school. Being a larger island there are walking trails, a good one is to the islands peak. 

    Fitzroy Island Resort has bunk rooms with shared bathroom for $28 a bed. Kitchen, laundry pool, snack bar, bar, laundry, watersports gear and dive school. 

    Units are $240 single, $340 double and include breakfast, dinner and activities. 

    There is also a council camping ground with sites for $15 per night. Campers can use most resort facilities. 

    Great Adventures (phone 1800 079080) and Sunlover Cruises (1800 810512) both have return trips for $30. Day trippers have acces to resort facilities. 

    Green Island (27km northeast of Cairns) 

    This tiny coral cay is surrounded by reef for snorkelling amoung the tropical fish. 

    Green Island Reef Resort accomodates 92 guests who pay upwards of $250 per night. Phone 1800 673366. 

    There is a day trippers section with pool, bar, eateries and water sports gear hire. 

    Marineland Melanesia has an aquarium of fish, crocodiles, turtles stingrays and melanesian artifacts. Entry $7. 

    Great Adventures, which owns the resort, runs a boat to the island for $30 return and a fast catamaran for $50 return. Phone 4051 0455. 

    Big Cat runs a full day cruise for $42, lunch $8. Phone 4051 0444 

    Green Island 
    Picture: Green Island

    Franklin Islands 

    Frankland Island Cruise and Dive has trips to undeveloped national park islands for $125. Includes lunch and snorkel gear. 

    Lizard Island (300km north of Cairns) 

    See Cooktown entry below. 



    As you travel inland the land rises steply to the lush green Atherton tablelands. The historic railway through 15 tunnels ($25 one way, $40 return, phone 4052 6249) and Skyrail gondola ($27 one way, $47 return, phone 4038 1555) take tourists from Cairns to Kuranda on the tablelands. The trip is a major tourist attraction in itself. 

    There is also a normal bus for $7 operated by White Car Coaches 5 times a weekday, twice on Saturday and Sunday leaving cairns from outside the Tropical Paradise Travel centre (phone 4051 9533). 

    Kuranda has an art and craft market Wednesday, Thurday, Friday and Sunday. 

    At the market there is also a bird house, butterfly house, a house to view nocturnal rainforest animals like fruit bats and echidnas. 

    There are some beautiful rainforest walks at Kuranda, especially good to see is Barron Falls and Gorge. 

    Kuranda has accomodation, including Kuranda Backpackers Hostel located on Arara Street (corner Barang Street), phone 07 4093 7355.

    (population 2000) 

    Port Douglas is a smaller luxury resort town north of Cairns with beautiful beach, huge Sheraton resort and some old colonial buildings. 

    Port Douglas beach 
    Picture: Beach at Port Douglas


    Quicksilver at the marina has 5 day courses for $439. Phone 4099 5050. 

    Port Douglas Dive Centre has 4 day courses for $530. Phone 4099 5327. 

    Aussie Dive has courses for $350. Phone 1800 646548. 

    Organised Tours 

    Quicksilver has fast catamarans for day trips to the outer reef for $130. Includes snorkelling gear, semi-submersible ride, underwater observatory viewing and lunch. Phone 4099 5050. 

    There are are operators with smaller boats to the outer reef and the closer in coral cays. 

    There are a number of operators with 4WD tours to cape Tribulation via Mossman Gorge and Cooktown. Many of these tours from Cairns also pick up in Port Douglas. 

    Resorts - Port Douglas 

    The massive luxury Sheraton Mirage Resort is just outside Port Douglas. Phone 1800 818831. Rooms from $430. 

    There are many other hotel, though not as expensive, on smaller blocks of land on and around Macrossan Street, the main street of Port Douglas

    Backpackers Hostels - Port Douglas 

    Port O’ Call Lodge Backpackers Hostel Corner of Port Street and Craven Close, Port Douglas. Hone 07 4099 5422. Freecall 1800 892 800. Pool, kitchen, bar, restaurant, free bus to and from Cairns Monday, Wednesday and Saturday, bike hire. YHA affiliated. Dorm $23 to $28, double or twin room $69 to $110. http://www.portocall.com.au

    Dougies Backpackers Hostel 111 Davidson Street, Port Douglas. Phone 07 4099 6200. http://www.dougies.com.au

    Getting To and From Port Douglas 

    Coral Coaches runs several buses a day to Cairns and Mossman. Irregular service to Cape Tribulation and Cooktown and Friday service to Weipa (13 hours, $220). The Port Douglas bus station is just off Wharf Street. 

    Quicksilver has a daily fast catamaran service from Cairns for $20 one way, $30 return. Phone 4099 5500. 

    Getting Around Port Douglas 

    Some car hire companies have offices. They are on Macrossan St. 

    Port Douglas is small and a bike is a good cheap option. Port Douglas Bike Hire at 40 Macrosan Street, phone 4099 5799, and the Port o’ Call Lodge hire out bikes. 

    MOSSMAN (population 2000) 

    Mossman is a quiet town. 

    Mossman Gorge with beautiful waterfalls in the rainforest is 5km west of town. 

    Accomodation in the small town include: 

    Royal Exchange Hotel which is in town. Phone unknown. Single $17, double $32. 

    Demi-View Motel Phone 4098 1277. 41 Front St. Rooms $50-$60. 

    Cockatoo Cabins 1km south of town. Phone 4098 2222. Double $60. 

    DAINTREE (population 2000) 
    Quite sleepy town with a few cruises operating on the forested Daintree River. 

    Some leave as early as 6am to catch the best birdlife. 

    Red Mill House in town is a bed and breakfast with singles for $25, doubles for $50. Includes great breakfast. Pool, garden. Phone 4098 6169. 

    Daintree River 
    Picture: Daintree River, Cape Tribulation
    National Park
    CAPE TRIBULATION NATIONAL PARK (population nominal) 
    At Cape Tribulation National Park you will find ancient flowering plants in the rainforest found no where else and long empty beaches frequented only by soldier crabs. The best time to visit is in the dry season (May to September).There are few tourists to the area and it is very remote. Bring insect repellant, mosquitos like rainforest. Accomodation is basic. 

    The ferry across the Daintree River operates 6am to 12 midnight. Car $6, motorbike $3, pedestrain $1. 

    There are organised tours fron Cairns and Port Douglas

    Cow Bay, Cape Tribulation National Park 
    Cow Bay, Cape Tribulation
    National Park

    Youth Hostels - Cape Tribulation Area 
    Crocodylus Village is YHA associated. Eight km north of Daintree River then 2.5km down Buchanan Creek Rd. Phone 4098 9166. Dorms, eight bed cabins with bathroom, doubles. Elevated canvass cabins in rainforest setting, pool, general store, cafe, bar, bike hire, organised forest walks, transport to and from Cow Bay beach ($39), two-day sea kayaking trips ($159). Book ahead. 
    PK’s Jungle Village At Cape Tribulation. Phone 4098 0040. Dorm , double cabin. Party atmosphere, pool, bar, restaurant, organised tours. 
    Club Crocdile Youth Hostel, Cow Bay, Cape Tribulation 
    Picture: Club Crocodile Youth Hostel,
    Cow Bay, Cape Tribulation
    COOKTOWN (population 1300) (334km north of Cairns by road. Either road is slow) 
    This frontier town is situated next to a headland at the mouth of the Endeavour River. Cooktown is the last settlement of any size on tne east coast. To the north Cape York roads are impassable in the wet season. Captain Cook landed here to repair his ship the HMS Endeavour in 1788 after it was damaged on the reef. A small museum to Cooks voyage is on Helen St. Open daily 10am to 4pm. Entry $5. Phone 4069 5386. 

    There are cruises on the river and weekend fishing trips. 

    Picture: Cooktown
    Pam’s Place is a YHA associated hostel. Corner Charlotte and Boundary Sts. Phone 07 4069 5166. Dorm, single and double rooms. Pool, kitchen, TV lounge. 

    Hillcrest Guest House Hope St. Phone 07 4069 5305. Single and double rooms. Shared facilities. Includes breakfast. 

    Cooktown Caravan Park and campground.  Unpowered and powered campsites. 14 Hope Street. Phone 07 4069 5536. 

    Flight West flys to Cooktown daily from Cairns. 

    Coral Coaches has services almost daily to and from Cairns. Phone 07 4098 2600. 

    Endeavour Hire Car is the only hire car operator in town. Phone 07 4069 6100. 

    For taxi phone 07 4069 5387. 

    Lizard Island (100km north of Cooktown) 

    Lizard Island is dry, rocky and mountanous but with great beaches and snorkelling. 

    Lizard Island Resort is isolated. Phone 4060 3999. Single $860 a night, double $1040 a day. Includes meals and use of facilities. 

    There is also a campground. 

    Marineair Seaplanes has daytrips from Cooktown for $199. They will fly you to the island for around $100 from Cooktown. 

    Sunstate Airlines flies from Cairns to Lizard Island for $195 one way. 

    Aussie Airways has daytrips to Lizard Island from Cairns for $299 including lunch and snorkelling gear. Phone 1800 620022. 

    Lizard Island
    Picture: Lizard Island
    Lizard Island beach
    Picture: Beach on Lizard Island

    Cape York is a remote undeveloped place. There are rugged 4WD tracks with numerous deep river crossings recommended only for experienced drivers. The roads are impassable in the wet season. The dry season is June to October. Driving to Cape York is one of Australia’s great 4WD adventures.  There are tours to Cape York which depart from Cairns. They cary in lenghth from one to two weeks. 

    Organised Tours 

    4WD camping tours depart from Cairns and take one to two weeks. They operate in the dry season only. Expect to pay $1000-$1400 for a one week fly/drive tour and $1500 to $2500 for a two week trip. Operators include Wild Track Adventure Safaris (phone 4055 2247), Oz Tours Safari (phone 1800 079006), Australian Outback Travel (phone 4031 5833), Heritage 4WD Tours (phone 4038 2186) and Kamp Outback Safaris (4031 2628), 

    Cape York Transport 

    Qantas/Sunstate flys daily from Cairns to Bamaga 40km from the tip of Cape York for $320, Thursday Island in Torres Stait for $320 and the mining town of Weipa for $240. 

    Flight West also operates on the peninsula. 

    Cape York Air does the mail run on weekdays and will take passengers for $195 to $390. 

    Coral Coaches operates buses once a week between Cairns and Weipa from April to October. Phone 4098 2600. 

    Jardine Shipping operates a twice weekly vehicular barge from Cairns to Thursday Island and Bamaga. $750 per vehicle. Passengers are taken once a week for $250 one way, $450 return to Cairns. Phone 4035 1900. 

    Gulf Freight Services operates weekly vehicular barges from Weipa to Karumba in Gulf Country. Phone 4069 8619 or 1800 640079. 

    Accomodation at the tip of Cape York 

    Pajinka Wilderness Lodge is a luxury resort and campground. Phone 4062 2100. Cabins are fro $230 to $270. 

    Punsland Bay Private Reserve has cabins for $95 to $135 including meals and campsites. Phone 4069 1722. 

    Thurday Island (population 4000) 

    Thurday Island is the main Torres Strait Islander town. The main industry is prawn and crayfish fishing. 

    Jumula Dubbins Hostel Phone 07 4069 2122. Book ahead. 

    Federal Hotel Phone 07 4069 1569. Single and double rooms. 

    Jardine Motel Corner Normanby Street and Victoria Parade. Phone 07 4069 2555. Single $130, double $160. 37 units, pool, laundry. 


    Return south to Townsville, then west through the mining town of Mt Isa to Darwin in the Northern Territory. If travelling by air there are direct flights from Cairns to the Northern Territory. 

    Travel south all the way along the Great Barrier Reef through Townsville to Hervey Bay, Fraser Island, Noosa on the Sunshine Coast, Brisbane the state capital and the Gold Coast surfing beach party mecca. 

    From Cairns head west through the lush green Atherton tablelands visiting the Undara Lava Tubes and remote Gulf Country on the way to Darwin in the Northern Territory. Note the roads are poor and impassable after rain. 

    Copyright (c) 2005 Graham Warren. Backpackers Guide to Australia (TM) is a trademark.
    Cairns, Queensland, Australia.
    Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia.
    Daintree Rainforest, Queensland, Australia.
    Cape Tribulation National Park, Queensland, Australia.
    Cooktown, Queensland, Australia.
    Green, Fitzroy and Lizard Islands, Queensland, Australia.
    Cape York Peninsula, Queensland, Australia.


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