Billy Tea Safaris - Chillagoe Caves & Outback Tourfrom $230
Wel 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 Granite Gorge) 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 ourNational 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 at Mt Uncle Distillery, this is the only Distillery North of Bundaberg. Here you have the choice of a wonderful devonshire tea or a cold beer or wine in Bridges Cafe (own cost) this beautiful rustic Cafe is made of recycleable timber from the old Walsh River Bridge which was built back at the turn of the centuary, or you may wish to indulge in the liqueur or spirit tasting of some of there international award wining Spirits and Liqueurs (own cost) Mt Uncle Distillery is also nestled at the foot Hill of Mt Uncle hence where the name came from, which was named after the Uncle of one of the early explorers of the Atherton Tablelands John Atherton. This lovely property is also rich Agriculture area and they grow Lady Finger Banana's, Advocados, Macadamia Nuts. The tour then returns back down the range arriving back in Cairns at approximately 6.30pm.
Tour operates Monday, Wednesday and Friday
Please ensure that you wear closed in footwear for the cave tour please. No Thongs or High Heels on this tour