Cairns to Cooktown – Explore the Scenic Beauty and History of Far North Queensland
Travelling from Cairns to Cooktown is an unforgettable journey through some of the most scenic and historic parts of Far North Queensland. Along the way, you’ll discover pristine beaches, ancient rainforests, and unique wildlife, as well as the fascinating history and culture of the region.
Here’s what you can expect on a journey from Cairns to Cooktown:
Stop in this picturesque Port Douglas on the way to Cooktown and enjoy its stunning beaches, boutique shops, and world-class restaurants.
Explore the world’s oldest tropical rainforest and its unique plant and animal life, including the endangered cassowary.
Visit Cape Tribulation this stunning headland where the rainforest meets the reef, and experience the natural beauty of this unique region.
Take a 4WD adventure along this scenic route, which passes through rugged rainforest, pristine beaches, and Indigenous communities.
Discover the rich history and culture of this fascinating town, including its connections to Captain James Cook and the Indigenous people of the region.
Travelling from Cairns to Cooktown is a must-do for anyone visiting Far North Queensland. Contact us today to learn more about guided tours, self-drive itineraries, and other travel options, and start planning your adventure in this stunning and unique part of Australia.
Cairns to Cooktown Outback and Daintree Tour
Day One Cairns to Cooktown
This boutique tour explores the diversity that is the Far North Queensland landscape. Following your hotel pick up in Cairns, the tour will travel through the Kuranda Range to Mareeba in the Atherton Tablelands. During the ascent, views of Cairns and the Coral Sea appear as you wind through the rainforest. Then, after leaving the highway, travel through the rainforest by 4WD, including river crossings and a giant Strangler Fig Tree.
Leaving the rainforest behind, the landscape opens up to the Atherton Tablelands before the tour moves on to the Savannah Country of the Queensland outback. Pass by the Black Mountains, which are also known as Kalkaja and on to Archer Point Lighthouse, before arriving in Cooktown.
Day Two Cooktown to Cape Tribulation
In Cooktown, visit Grassy Hill Lookout to take in views of the area before a visit to Captain James Cook Museum explores the history of the area. Departing Cooktown, the tour heads south to the famous Lions Den Hotel for lunch. The tour travels in 4WD down the Bloomfield Track through Daintree Rainforest after lunch. During the trip through Daintree Rainforest, you will visit Bloomfield Falls, Cedar Bay National Park and a boardwalk tour. Arriving in Cape Tribulation, there is the opportunity to take a walk on the beach and visit Kulki Lookout.
Day Three Cape Tribulation to Cairns
To conclude the tour, the third day starts with a trip to Thornton Beach for some photos and a walk on the beach. Thornton Peak, Queensland’s fourth highest mountain, stretches down to meet the beachfront, and as a result, you will enjoy some great nature spotting opportunities. The tour continues to Alexandra Lookout for views over the Daintree and the Great Barrier Reef. Crossing the Daintree River on the cable ferry crossing before joining a nature cruise. Try croc spotting as the guide explains the ecosystem and points out interesting flora and fauna while you cruise down the Daintree River.
Following lunch at Daintree Tea House, the tour moves to Mossman Gorge for a guided tour. Learn about the history and traditions of the Kuku Yalanji people while walking through the rainforest. Departing Mossman Gorge, take in spectacular views as the bus moves down Captain Cook Highway, undoubtedly one of the most scenic drives in the world. While overlooking the Coral Sea, pass stunning beaches and iconic views before returning to your Cairns accommodation.
Highlights of the Cairns to Cooktown tour
- Full Interpretation and commentary by naturalist guides.
- Lunch at two iconic locations, Palmer River Roadhouse and Lion’s Den Hotel.
- Cooktown. Where Captain James Cook stopped to fix his ship, the Endeavour.
- Grassy Hill. Amazing views over the Endeavour River and the Coral Sea.
- James Cook Museum. Showcase of local history and architecture.
- Bloomfield Track. For some 4WD action.
- Cape Tribulation Beach and Lookout. Where reef meets the rainforest.
- Daintree Rainforest. Oldest surviving tropical rainforest on earth.
- Mossman Gorge 1.5hr guided walk and opportunity to swim.
- Daintree River Cruise. 1-hour with the chance to see crocodiles.
Tour departs Cairns on Tuesdays and returns on Thursdays.
Day 1 -Cairns to Cooktown
Begin your three-day adventure with a pick up at your Cairns accommodation before a 4WD through the rainforest near Kuranda. Stop at Palmer River Roadhouse for lunch followed by an outback drive to Archer Point Lighthouse. Finish the day at Cooktown to stay for the night.
Day 2 – Cooktown to Cape Tribulation
Visit Grassy Hill Lookout and Captain James Cook Museum before the Lions Den Hotel for lunch. Then we follow the famous Bloomfield Track to Cape Tribulation for the night.
Day 3 – Cape Tribulation to Cairns
Start the day with a walk at Thornton Beach before moving on to Alexandra Lookout. We then cross the Daintree River on the vehicle ferry followed by Croc spotting on a Daintree River Cruise. Visit the Daintree Tea House for lunch and then move on to Mossman Gorge for a guided walk through the rainforest. Finish the tour with a scenic drive on the Captain Cook Highway before being dropped off at your Cairns accommodation.
- Quality accommodation with private facilities
- All Meals as per itinerary
- All National Park entries fees
- Daintree River Cruise
- Entry to James Cook Museum
- Comfortable clothing and footwear
- Water and Water Bottle
- Insect Repellent and Sunscreen 30+
- Luggage is restricted to ONE Soft Bag (no suitcases) weighing no more than 10kgs + ONE Small Backpack/Day Pack
Pick up from your Cairns or Port Douglas accommodation is included. Please advise your location when booking.
- Seasonal weather conditions and operational requirements may cause a variation in the tour itinerary. The operator reserves the right to substitute or modify if required. Departure and Return times are approximate.
- We endeavour to room guests with ensuite facilities where available.
- This tour is not suitable for infants.
- Single Travelers must purchase the optional extra “single supplement” as we don’t offer shared rooms with other single travellers. Contact our team to book the single rate if required.
- Please read our terms and conditions carefully.