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Cape Trib, Reef, Waterfalls Backpacker

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Cape Trib, Reef, Waterfalls Backpacker Options

Dorm Share  
FROM $706
Double Room | 2 Adults  
FROM $1,801

Cape Trib, Reef, Waterfalls Backpacker Info

Backpacker Circuit:  Cape Tribulation, Crater Lakes, Reef & Waterfalls Backpacker circuit is fun budget package.

Cape Tribulation, Outer Reef & Waterfalls Backpacker Circuit includes:

  • Guided tour to Cape Tribulation
  • 1 night Cape Trib P.K's Rainforest Resort
  • Mossman Gorge
  • Daintree River Cruise
  • Evolution Outer Barrier Reef
  • Swim in Waterfalls
  • 1 night Yungaburra On the Wallaby lodge
  • Canoe & Mountain bike 
  • 4 nights at Gilligans Backpacker Resort, Cairns

DAY ONE:  Check-in at Gilligan's 

Gilligan's Backpacker Hotel & Resort provides an excellent standard of accommodation for backpackers and budget conscious young, (and young at heart) travellers in the heart of the Cairns CBD. 

What makes it great:

  • Free airport pick up
  • Free entree meal *with beverage purchase
  • Free linen
  • Free use of gymnasium
  • Free entry into entertainment venues before 10pm, 50% discount after 10pm
  • VIP prices throughout venue

Features and Services:

  • Lagoon Pool with Waterfall
  • Pool Tables
  • Tour Desk and Travel Information
  • Guest laundry & ironing facilities
  • Pool bar & Spa area
  • Restaurant, Gaming area & Beer Garden
  • Internet café
  • Luggage Storage
  • Gymnasium
  • Communal kitchen
  • Recreational areas with flat screen TV's
  • Outdoor cinema screen
  • 24 hour reception/security

Room Features:

  • Air conditioned
  • Secure key access
  • Linen supplied
  • Small lockers for electronics & personal effects
  • Additional power outlets for charging electronics
  • En-suite in all room types

NOTE: If towels required for dormitory guests they are available from reception, there is a $10 deposit plus $2 usage charge. Irons and hairdryers are also available from reception.

Centrally located between Sheridan & Grafton streets, in the midst of Cairns city centre, Gilligan's is the ideal base from which to explore the beautiful and tropical north. The great thing about Gilligan's is everything is at your finger tips without leaving the property.

By night, this area comes alive with cocktail bars, nightclubs, regular concerts or National Basketball League games at the Cairns Convention Centre & diverse restaurants offering everything from the finest international a-la-carte dining to fresh local seafood.

Located next to famous Rusty's Markets where you can buy the freshest produce and sample what the tropics have to offer.


Lots of Swimming & heaps of FUN! Explore the Highland Rainforest, Unique Wildlife and Crater Lakes on the Atherton Tablelands.  The day begins with a visit to the Curtain Fig Tree and continues with guided rainforest walks in search of native wildlife at both the Cathedral Fig Tree and the volcanic crater, Lake Barrine, before lunch. Travel through the picturesque countryside for the day's highlights, swimming at several pristine waterfalls, such as the famous Millaa Millaa, plus a jungle trek to view the raging Dinner Falls and World Heritage listed Mount Hypipamee National Park.

  • Gilligans Pick-up 8am approx.
  • Cathedral Fig Tree
  • Guided Rainforest walk at Lake Barrine
  • Picnic Lunch at Lake Eacham
  • Millaa Millaa Falls & Dinner Falls
  • Crater at Mt Hypipamee
  • Tropical Fruits
  • Platypus Spotting
  • Seriously good BBQ Dinner

DAY THREE:  ON THE WALLABY - Mountain bikes and wildlife canoeing: 

Guests are treated to a guided mountain bike ride through the lush, green Atherton Tablelands countryside and rainforest for a swim and walk at the volcanic crater, Lake Eacham. (lunch can be purchased here at own expense).

In the afternoon explore a secluded area of Lake Tinaroo in the safety of your two person canoe. Guides will help you spot rare wildlife such as tree kangaroos, birds and water dragons. Then, have your face painted with Aboriginal ochre clay before hot showers, tea and coffee at On the Wallaby Lodge. 

  • Self-serve breakfast
  • Curtain Fig Tree
  • Guided Mountain Bike tour of Atherton Tablelands Country Side
  • Swim & Walk at Lake Eacham (Lunch at own expense)
  • Canoeing at Lake Tinaroo
  • Unique wildlife
  • Face Painting with Aboriginal Ochre Clay
  • Hot Showers
  • Tea & Coffee back at the Lodge
  • Return to Gilligans around 7pm approx. and check-in for 2 nights.

Optional Extras:

  • Nocturnal Wildlife Canoeing - A great way to spot unique rainforest animals from the safety of a two man canoe - departs nightly at 8pm, and includes guides, transport, lifejackets & torches.
  • It is possible to upgrade to a private double room on request for an additional cost but it is not guaranteed.  Double rooms do not have ensuites.


Evolution offers the ultimate passenger experience with the class and style of a motor yacht. 

This ultra spacious and comfortable vessel features seating and decks over 3 levels.  Large well glazed interior spaces on the main and upper deck  include a mix of booth configuration seating.  Enjoy oversized outdoor decks in the sunshine with sunlounges.  A choice of outdoor seating areas fitted with comfortable lounges and well protected from the sun. 

Fold-down platforms encircle the aft end of the vessel providing ample comfortable and safe access to the water.  

Evolution is quick, taking only 80 minutes to get to the Outer Reef.  With less travel time, you’ll spend more time at the Reef!

Evolution travels to two different reef destinations.  Norman & Saxon in the morning and Hastings Reef in the afternoon.  There are no islands and no pontoons.  The Outer Reef is spectacular! 

Reef sites are chosen on the day to ensure the best protection and underwater visibility according to weather conditions. Expect to see spectacular coral formations and masses of brilliantly coloured fish.

What makes it Great?

  • FREE Guided Snorkel Tour
  • 5 Hours on the Outer Barrier Reef
  • Aussie BBQ lunch
  • Live on-board entertainment on return journey
  • Maximum 150 passengers - plenty of space


  • Check-in at the Reef Fleet Terminal Cairns, from 07:30am at the Down Under Cruise & Dive counter ( a 10 minute walk from Gilligans )
  • Boarding commences at 08:00am for an 08:20am departure
  • This trip returns to Cairns at approx 4:45pm.
  • Hotel Transfers are not included but can be booked for an additional fee

Trip Inclusions:

  • 5 hours spent visiting 2 outer reef locations
  • Snorkelling gear and flotation devices
  • FREE guided snorkelling tours
  • FREE 10 min scuba dive demonstration - (charges apply if you proceed)
  • Aussie BBQ lunch including steak, fish, prawns, sausages and tropical salads (vegetarians are catered for)
  • FREE tea, coffee and biscuits, complimentary glass of wine, cheese and fruit platter on return journey
  • Environmental Management Charge $20

Your day:

  • 7.30am Check-in at Reef Fleet Terminal, commence boarding at 8:00am
  • 8.20am Departs Daily
  • 9:50am Approximate arrive Norman OR Saxon Reef
  • 3 hours to play, Snorkel Tour, sunbathe & relax, Aussie BBQ Lunch is served
  • 12: 20pm Depart for Hastings Reef
  • 12:30pm Arrive Hastings Reef
  • 2 hours to play, Snorkel
  • 4:45pm Returns back into Cairns

Additional Costs:

  • Hotel transfers
  • Semi-Submersible tour $10 if pre-booked 
  • Intro/Certified Diving
  • Certified Dive Guide
  • Wetsuits for Snorkelers and Intro Divers $10 (included for cert divers)
  • Lycra Suits $10
  • On-board purchases - drinks, snacks, underwater camera
  • Heli ride at Hastings Reef
  • Heli flights
    To experience the reef from a different perspective, why not take a Helicopter flight over Hastings Reef ! This is available from the Outer Reef Heli pad on the day, due to limited seats please pre book your flight. Click here for Get High Up Top & Dive Down Under combo.

What to Bring:

  • Sunscreen & Hat
  • Change of clothes
  • Swimmers and towel
  • Cash or credit card
  • Scuba Certification for Cert divers

Multi-lingual staff members:  Evolution does have Chinese crew members on this vessel year round.  Please request this option when booking so that we can make sure the staff member is working on your day of travel.    

Please note:

  • Be aware snorkelling & diving may be a strenuous activity - All snorkelling & diving are subject to completion of on-board medical questionnaire /declaration.
  • A history of asthma, diabetes, ear, epilepsy, heart, pregnancy, recent operations and other medical conditions and medications may preclude a passenger from diving. Please discuss existing medical conditions with staff prior to travel. Or if in doubt, please visit your local dive doctor to get a medical clearance.
  • Should a trip be cancelled passengers will be offered an alternative day of travel or a full refund
  • Semi sub will operate subject to weather conditions.


Experience an overnight adventure staying in the oldest rainforest in the world. Take time to explore the rainforest, rivers and beaches of the Daintree and Cape Tribulation and enjoy unique rainforest accommodation.

Coastal Drive – Travel to Port Douglas on one of the most renowned scenic coastal roads in Australia. Have your camera ready for breath taking views.

Wildlife Habitat – 1 hour to visit the award winning Rainforest Wildlife Habitat where you will venture through purpose built native habitats of some of Australia’s rare, endangered and beautiful native animals. You have a chance to have morning tea with the birds (optional extra), hand feed a Kangaroo and see a Koala doing what they do best…..sleeping!

Mossman Gorge - Enjoy a brief stop (1 hour) and guided rainforest walk. See the crystal clear waters of Mossman River cascade over spectacular boulder formations amongst the lush rainforest.

Alexandra Lookout – The perfect location to view where the Daintree Rainforest, Daintree River and the Coral Sea merge into one spectacular panoramic reflection. Ideal spot for those post card photo opportunities.

Lunch Time – Only meters from Cape Tribulation Beach you will be treated to a Chef prepared lunch. Indulge in a set menu choice of local barramundi (fish), Steak and a Vegetarian option all served with a fresh garden salad & chips, daily baked bread finished off with a tropical fruit platter to share at your table. Bring your towel & swimmers for a dip in the resort pool or in the ocean (marine stingers are present during the stinger season Oct to June).

Cape Tribulation Beach – Already there for the lunch break you now have free time for a walk along the full length of the magical Cape Tribulation Bay (takes 30min unguided) or simply kick back and relax under the fringing rainforest of the Daintree where the “Rainforest meets the Reef”!

**You will be dropped off to your selected Cape Trib accommodation and your tour will commence the following day.

06:40    Gilligans pick-ups commence
08:30    Rainforest Habitat
10:00    Mossman Gorge
11:00    Daintree River Cable ferry crossing
12:30    Lunch – Set Menu
13:00    Cape Tribulation Beach Walk
13:45    Accommodation drop-offs

PK's Jungle Lodge is a budget accommodation minutes from the beach in the heart of Cape Tribulation surrounded by the Daintree World Heritage Rainforest.  Lounge around the large pool soaking up the warm tropical sun and then in the evening it all happens at PK's famous Jungle Bar. 

Dorms - featuring 4 or 7 beds, a/c. linen supplied (BYO towels) and shared facilities.

Ensuite Room - airy timber rooms in a lush tropical setting with ensuite, double or twin beds, a/c, linen & towels supplied.


Daintree River Wildlife Cruise