Billy Tea Safaris is a small locally owned tour operator which operates small personalised tours with custom built 4WD vehicles. Your naturalist guides have extensive knowledge of flora, fauna, history of the area and aboriginal culture which will ensure your day will be a memory of a lifetime.
Your day begins when your accredited guide meets you at your accommodation Cairns CBD around 06:45, Holloway's Beach and Yorkey's Knob will be approximately 07:00, and after introductions all round we'll ascend the McAllister Ranges and head west through dirt tracks via the little town of Biboorha, looking for many different species of bush birds, including Emus, Wedge Tail Eagles, Squatter Pigeons and Kangaroos, Frilled Neck Lizards, before reaching our first stop.
Our first stop is Mareeba Wetlands for morning tea (Tea, Coffee & Biscuits) and a twenty-minute cruise in an environmentally friendly and quite electric boat. Birdlife can be plentiful on the wetlands.
From here 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 Mareeba Wetlands access is flooded)
Travel through historical towns and rolling hills rich in minerals eventually giving way to towering limestone karsts scattered around Chillagoe. Here we 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 it’s time for a wonderful pub lunch before setting off for our National Parks cave tour. The fossilised 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. After the cave tour, we head back towards the east coast.
The tour then returns down the range to Cairns.
Pickups from the Southside Accommodation 6:50, Cairns CBD is 6:45-7:00, Northern Beaches 6:30, Port Douglas are at 6:00-6:15.
What to bring: A hat, a sunscreen, a camera, extra batteries, memory cards, a water bottle, and extra cash for cold drinks, souvenirs or an ice-cream.
What to wear: Comfortable clothes as you are in the tropics, and the outback in winter you will need to take a light coat. Flat comfortable shoes closed in. No thongs and ladies no high heels as there is uneven ground and you will be in the outback and they aren't allowed to be worn in the Caves. If you do not have closed in shoes you may not be allowed in the Caves this is for safety reasons and decision of National Parks.
Conditions: A reasonable level of fitness is required for this tour as there are steps into the caves, uneven ground. The tour may be closed or itinerary changed due to the wet season where conditions may close roads and access to the caves. Reasonable level of fitness is needed as there are stairs and narrow sections of cave. Small children will have to be carried in the caves no strollers allowed. Not suitable for wheelchairs, walkers, closed in shoes must be worn in the caves.
Child policy: 0 years to 14 years of age is at the child rate. Age of children must be specified at time of reservation so baby & booster seats can be supplied for 7 years or under. This is Queensland Transport Ruling.
Carbon tax and fuel levies may apply.
Not included: Afternoon tea and drinks, personal expenses. Transfer from Port Douglas with an additional cost of $85.00 per person payable to guide on board