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Chillagoe Caves & Outback Day Tour

Billy Tea Safaris is a small locally owned tour operator, which operates small personalised tours with custom built 4WD vehicles, and 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 6.45am, Holloway’s Beach and Yorkey’s Knob will be approximately 7.00am, 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.

Mareeba Wetlands for morning tea and a twenty-minute cruise in an environmentally friendly and quiet electric boat. This is a magnificent setting and to see the Giant Lotus Lilly's up close and also many different Water Birds as well. You will learn about the fragile Eco System of this wonderful reverse and also see the Rare Gouldian Finch breeding programme.

From here we board the custom built 4WD vehicle and travel through the back blocks of this wetland area viewing Wallabies, Emus and other wildlife and then along the agricultural paddocks of this fertile area, where you will have a chance to see, Paw Paw, Lychee, Longen, Mangoes, just to name a few eventually crossing over the Great Divide and into the Western watershed, we are now in the Australian Outback. (We may sometimes have to take our Wet Weather alternate from the Wetlands when the road is impassible, we will then visit another location. Take a step back in time as we travel through historical towns and rolling hills rich in mineral eventually giving way to towering limestone karsts scattered around Chillagoe Township.

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 lunch at a true Australian Outback Pub built back at the turn of the century, before setting off to have a look at this historical town on route to our National Parks guided cave tour where you will take a step back in time and be inspired by the knowledge of your guide as he explains about the fossilized remains of the ancient coral reefs some 400 - 420  million years old, with hidden limestone labyrinths give a portal to a lost world just like our own Great Barrier Reef. This was once the inland sea.

Millions of years in the making, the limestone formations and caves are nothing short of spectacular.

After the cave tour, we head back towards the east coast, stopping for a short comfort stop along the way.  The tour then returns back down the range arriving back in Cairns at approximately 6.30pm.  Please ensure that you wear closed in footwear for the cave tour, (National Parks have the right to refuse entry into the cave unless you have closed in footwear on) please No Thongs or High Heels on this tour.

Note: Payable Onboard:
Turtle Cove, Thala Beach Resort and Port Douglas will incur a $85.00pp return transfer fee this is based on a minimum of 2 passengers. (A single will have to pay for two places) (Prices for transfers may change)

Terms & Conditions:

  • Please be aware there is a 24-hour cancellation policy of 100% cancellation fee. No exceptions.

  • Billy Tea will supply the Booster Seat or Baby Seat please advise upon booking, we need to know the age of all children, and if you have infants you are unable to take strollers into the Caves, children will need to walk or be carried.
  • If you are staying at Turtle Cove, Thala Beach Resort or Port Douglas accommodation and can make your way to our pickup point which is the Canopy's Edge Bus Stop bottom of the Kuranda Range, there is no transfer fee. Transfer fee of $85pp applies from Thala Beach, Port Douglas.


11 hours

Height Restriction

No minimum height

No maximum height

Wheelchair Friendly


Maximum Weight

No maximum weight

Weather Dependent

Indoor - N/A

Customer Guarantee

This product is covered by the Experee Guarantee and Cancellation Policy


This experience is not suitable for spectators

Animals Allowed

No Animals Allowed

Toilet facilities


Minimum Age

No minimum age

Important Information

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Child (0-14 Years)


2 Adults + 2 Children

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About the provider

Billy Tea Tours, Cairns City, Queensland

105 Sheridan Street,
Cairns City,

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