Insider's Guide to Cairns & the Tropical North

Major attractions, tips and our top things to see and do.

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4.5 star rating: Recommended 128 Reviews

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  • Location:Cairns, Palm Cove and Northern Beaches, Australia
  • Duration:9 - 10 hours

Kuranda Scenic Railway, Skyrail, Great Barrier Reef Helicopter Tour and Cruise

Hit the rails, the rainforest, the sky and the reef in an action-packed day trip from Cairns! You'll take the Kuranda Scenic Railway from Cairns, go shopping in the Kuranda Markets, ride the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, soar over the Great Barrier Reef on a scenic helicopter tour, take a lunchtime cruise on the reef, then spend the afternoon swimming, snorkeling or diving before cruising back to Cairns. What a rewarding day out!


  • Combined Kuranda Scenic Railway from Cairns, sightseeing flight by helicopter over the Great Barrier Reef and reef cruise
  • Spectacular views of Stoney Creek Falls and Barron Falls from the Kuranda Scenic Railway
  • Vibrant Kuranda Markets and photo opportunities from the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway
  • Stunning 30-minute helicopter flight over the Great Barrier Reef
  • Aerial views of the reef's colorful corals and marine life
  • Tropical Lunch
  • Two hours free time to swim, snorkel or scuba dive
  • Pickup and drop off from Cairns hotels and surrounding areas

Why Our Insiders Chose This Tour

You cover two of the top attractions of Far North Queensland on this tour -- the Great Barrier Reef and Kuranda. A very active day that includes a train ride, cable car ride, helicopter flight, cruise, snorkeling and diving!

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What You Can Expect

Kuranda Scenic Railway, Skyrail, Great Barrier Reef Helicopter Tour and Cruise

Kuranda Scenic Railway, Skyrail, Great Barrier Reef Helicopter Tour and Cruise

Have your camera ready aboard the Kuranda Scenic Railway to take photographs as the train winds its way around Horseshoe Bend and past Stoney Creek Falls and Barron Falls. At Kuranda Markets you'll have free time to shop for locally made arts and crafts before taking a ride on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. Make sure to have your camera ready as you glide over the rainforest canopy and glimpse tantalizing views of Cairns' beautiful coastline.

From lush tropical rainforest it's on to the blue expanse of the Great Barrier Reef and your spectacular thirty-minute helicopter flight to the Outer Reef. From the heli pontoon at Hastings Reef, you will be transferred to a high-speed vessel to enjoy a delicious tropical lunch.

After lunch you will have more than two hours to snorkel and swim. If you prefer not to get wet, you can take an informative semi-submersible boat tour to see and learn about the delicate coral reef ecosystem (if time permits). Divers are not forgotten either with scuba diving available for both beginners and experienced divers at an additional cost. Then it's time to relax and enjoy the live entertainment onboard this luxury vessel as you sail back to Cairns at the end of a packed, fulfilling day.



Please consider wind strength or the roughness of the sea before booking. Please be aware that snorkeling may be a strenuous activity. Your level of fitness and any existing medical conditions should be considered prior to snorkeling. Buoyancy vests are available onboard the vessel.


For both first time and certified divers - a history of asthma, ear and heart conditions and any other medical conditions may preclude a passenger from scuba diving unless a current Australian Diving Medical can be shown to the instructor. It is advisable to discuss any existing medical condition with the Down Under Helicopter staff before embarkation. All intending divers over the age of 65 years must provide a current Diving Medical certificate. All divers must complete a medical questionnaire/declaration onboard the vessel prior to diving and their fitness to dive will be assessed by the diving instructor. The minimum age for the Introductory Dive is 12 years. (Additional charge)


In the interest of safety, we recommend you do not fly on high altitude flights within 48 hours of your last dive. It must be noted that all helicopter flights are low altitude flights.

Introductory Dive (Optional Activity):

It's fun, it's easy, with professional dive instructors who can take you on your first dive. All equipment is included. Try a FREE Scuba Lesson which takes approximately 10 minutes. Please note that some medical conditions and medications may preclude you from diving. Minimum age for diving is 12 years and a parent or guardian must sign a release form if aged between 12 and 18 years.(Additional charge)

Certified Diving (Optional Activity):

All equipment is included. Age restrictions apply. Some medical conditions and medications may preclude passengers from scuba diving and divers MUST be certified. Certified divers must show a 'C' card. (Additional charge)

Customer Reviews

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

This was an incredible way to see the are in the one day we had to see everything. It was well done - all people involved were terrific. It was truly amazing and we weren't tired, but very relaxed. There was nothing bad about this tour. I would highly recommend it to everyone.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

This was an excellent tour. The pickups were all coordinated and on time, we went from one event to the other with no problems. This was very well organized and executed. When you book something on-line and don't talk with anyone it can be a bit intimidating when in another country to know if things will happen on time.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

The best part was the helicopter ride to the reef and snorkelling on the reef. Good lunch on the boat. Kuranda Scenic railway and sky rail was a great view of the area. I would have liked to have visited Kuranda but that would have made the day too long since I chose such a tour with some much in it.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

What a great way to fill a day starting with our hotel pick up and delivery to the train our driver was great very helpful making sure we had everything we needed or wanted the staff on the train where great offering to take photos of everyone adding a personal touch to the trip the day was so well planned and ran so smoothly we where extreamly impressed with all staff and the helicopter ride was amazing the semi sub is a must for everyone to see the reef we where well catered and had an amazing holiday ..

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

Brilliant! It's a lit to do in a day, so didn't really get to see much when we got off the railway, but we always knew it was a busy day.mifnyou are an explorer, I'd suggest two separate trips!
Transport was prompt and guides were helpful and knowledgable.
The helicopter ride was amazing. The crew on the boat were fantastic and helped me with my first snorkel.. An experience I was so glad I did!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2015

A great exeperience in Cairns. Well organized and never a dull moment. I would love to come back.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2015

A great way to spend a day in Cairns covers all major activities presented in an efficient and enjoyable manner. The Skyrail particularly was magic, skimming over the tops of the rainforest canopy and following the explanations in the brochure. Highly recommend this experience to visitors without their own transport.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2015

This trip was out of this world every part of it was breathtaking! My favourite part was the helicopter ride over the barrier reef would highly recommend it was the highlight of my trip

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2015

Cairns in one day! Rainforest and reef. Awesome tour, everything taken care of.
Highly recommended.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2015

The railway and skyrail were good but the helicopter ride out to the North Hastings area of the great barrier reef and snorkeling on the reef were outstanding!

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Tour code: 3262_CAIRNS


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