Cairns Shore Excursion: Barron Gorge National Park and Kuranda National Park Waterfall and Rainforest Small-Group Tour
While you're in port in Cairns, take a 5-hour shore excursion to explore the rainforests and waterfalls surrounding the city. By 4-wheel-drive vehicle, you’ll travel through Barron Gorge National Park and Kuranda National Park, part of the Wet Tropics of Queensland UNESCO World Heritage site. Ideal for those with limited time in Cairns who want to see some of the area's most spectacular scenery, this tour provides an exclusive-access pass to visit sections not usually open to the public. This small-group tour is limited to 13 participants, ensuring you'll see some of Tropical North Queensland’s hidden gems with personalized attention from a guide. Select a morning or afternoon tour when booking.
After pickup from the cruise terminal by your guide, your tour starts by heading north to Barron Gorge National Park in Cairns. Stop at Surprise Falls, a 797-foot-high (243-meter) waterfall set in the lower Barron Gorge.
Continue climbing the Lamb Range to the west of Cairns, and enjoy views over the city and out toward Green Island on the Great Barrier Reef. Then head to Lake Morris and Copperlode Dam—Cairns’ water supply, which is surrounded by World Heritage rainforest–clad mountains. You'll have time to stretch your legs and snap photos from the lookout prior to crossing the dam wall.
With your exclusive-access permit, head into areas not typically open to the public, away from the crowds. In your 4WD vehicle, wind through some of the most amazing rainforest landscapes in the region and over the Great Dividing Range, one of the longest mountain ranges in the world. Continue through the rainforest, crossing several creek systems and stopping at a boardwalk for an interpretive overview of the rainforest from your guide. Here you will be introduced to the Clohesy River Fig, one of the most impressive fig trees in the tropics.
Next, leave the lushness of the Wet Tropics and enter the beginning of Australia’s mighty savannah country, marveling at the rapid change in the forest types and scenery. Back on paved roads, make your way to the village of Kuranda, from where you'll continue to the upper Barron Gorge National Park. Stop at Wrights Lookout for photo ops overlooking the gorge and back toward the coastal plains and Cairns. Then take a short drive to the Barron Falls viewpoint to see what is possibly the most famous waterfall in northern Queensland.
Head back toward Cairns via a drive through more of the Wet Tropics World Heritage area on the Kuranda range, stopping at Henry Ross Lookout with views of the northern beach suburbs of Cairns and out to the Coral Sea. Your shore excursion ends with return to your ship.