Insider's Guide to Cairns & the Tropical North

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Peter H Australia

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
October 2007

This is an excellent way of seeing a lot of the best attractions around Cairns. The package enabled us to do everything we wanted to do in the only full day we had available. All the operators were on time and very courteous.

Elizabeth W United Kingdom

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
August 2007

We didn't get to look around Kuranda village due to time restrictions, but the railway and cable car were good anyway. The helicopter ride to the reef is absolutely the best way to see it: the colours are amazing and we could see turtles in the water as we were coming in to land. I wish we'd booked the helicopter both ways.

Kim A United Kingdom

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
February 2007

Fab day. Schedule tight but well worth the money. Friendly staff and very helpful.

Barbara H United Kingdom

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2006

The whole day went like clockwork. The cable ride over the rain forest is awesome. We went in the beginning of the wet season so we had mist and rain over the canopy. The helicopter ride is spectacular as he swoops down to make sure you can see the turtles in the water. The Great Barrier Reef is worth every moment spent there. We had an overcast day so we lost the blue sky. The trip is so much value for money. It is great that you can book through Viator and they sort out everything for you. They were helpful before we left and answered all sorts of silly questions before I finally booked (regarding picking up points & suitable places to stop, as we were travelling round in a camper van).


4 star rating: Recommended
April 2016

We pretty much enjoyed the Kuranda scenic railway, not as much on skyrail, not as much on heliride in fact as most reefs are dying, you wont see much color. Though, it was still exciting since it was our first time flying on a helicopter. The cruise was pretty rush. If you do take semi-submersible boat ride then you probably wont have time for snorkeling/diving. Basically we kinda rush through the whole trip except the first 2stops. Despite all these, overall was good. A package that well worth the money considering there was a 30mins heliride, lunch on cruisepretty late, we were starved till 2pm. If you wanna do all these stuffs in 1day then YES. Do bare in mind that it'll be quite rush and remember to bring along some snacks. Hope this helps. Enjoy your trip!

Ram Prasad G

4 star rating: Recommended
March 2016

it was fantastic!

Brian C

4 star rating: Recommended
November 2015

helicopter ride saves it. train is boring with very little to see. the skyrail is worth a trip just for the scenery. helicopter is amazing. the tour company they meet at the reef is a bit disorganized.

Dorothy Z

4 star rating: Recommended
November 2015

Very enjoyable trip. Was in the back of the helicopter which limited the view. The rest was great even though it rained on many of the events. The staff was great and made it fun.


4 star rating: Recommended
October 2015

Everything was fantastic from the train ride to the sky rail, helicopter ride was the best. The only real down fall was the food on the boat, for the price you pay there was no buffet only a few steaks and sausages that were reheated and a few salads already served on a plate for was terrible for the price we paid. Staff on the boat were fantastic. If you are planning to do,this tour really think about it as the food was bad. I was terribly disappointed. My rating will be based without food.


4 star rating: Recommended
September 2015

One day trip is too tight


4 star rating: Recommended
June 2015

Tour was great but weather not so good. Rainy day made the Kuranda village not something we could even get too. Felt very rushed getting to skyrail. Couldn't see anything on skyrail. Loved helicopter but snorkeling rough with the weather and no glass bottom if bad weather. Food good guides great!

Mark S

4 star rating: Recommended
June 2015

Very Very good! Experience of a lifetime!

Robert G

4 star rating: Recommended
April 2015

Overall this was a great tour adventure especially the Railway ride, Skyrail canopy ride and the Helicopter ride over the Great Barrier Reef. Everyone was helpful and considerate. The boat cruise was crowded and we were just additions on a cruise boat already loaded with snorkelers and scuba divers. My mate with me did enjoy his couple of hours snorkeling. I on the other hand not being a water person was disappointed in the all to brief glass bottom boat ride. It only lasted about 15 minutes and did not really do much exploring. Our meal on the boat was adequate. Would recommend this to others, but if you are not into the water portion be prepared for a couple of hours on a crowded boat.

jason h

4 star rating: Recommended
February 2015

Excellent experience! Didn't enjoy the helicopter too much, too hot but not there thought! Barrier reef is more spectacular in the winter, you've been warned...

Darren H

4 star rating: Recommended
February 2015

Unfortunately we only got to do the morning part of this tour. We had extremely bad weather and the helicopter and reef part of the tour was cancelled. That said, the Kuranda Scenic Railway and Skyrail was wonderful, even with the torrential rain. Viator gave us a prompt part refund! Top marks!!!


4 star rating: Recommended
February 2015

Due to weather, the first part of the trip railway to Kuranda and cable car back was cancelled the day before. Fortunately, the skies cleared and the helicopter took off for the Reef and all was well. The company providing the tour, was very helpful and honest in their dealings with me and the cancellations. They were willing to cancel the entire trip if I found an alternative tour more to my liking with another operator. It was unfortunate, the company did not provide the option of cable car in both directions to the village and then the helicopter to the reef. I would have opted for this alternative.

Once on the reef, while the boat was crowded, all was well. There where guides of the reef that assisted you, if required due to the strong current. Lunch was fine - not gourmet, but more than sandwiches. A soft drink should have been provided in lieu of the free wine.

Overall, it was an enjoyable half day.

Anthony J H

4 star rating: Recommended
March 2015

Loved the events on the tour, but you need to be self-confidnt you can follow initial instructions as you are on your own for the individual sections. Picked-up at hotel and given broad overview of day. You are then pretty much on your own and have to manage time to meet pick - up.

Marc R

4 star rating: Recommended
April 2014

It was a great experience, with one exception. I didn't know that the helicopter would land right on the water, on a small square of planks. The weather was bad when we got off the helicopter so the water was very choppy and we had to exit on to this slippery landing, and then board a small boat. It was extremely difficult for me to get into that boat which was very rocky, but then it took us to yet another boat which I had to board. I needed a lot of help getting in that boat. The glass bottom boat which I planned to take would not go out due to the weather , so I had to just remain in the boat while my husband snorkeled. I understand, however that bad weather can affect activities. I did want to mention, though, that perhaps a caution should be mentioned regarding mobility issues. I did like the safety measures taken by the diving staff. They watched the swimmers carefully. Train and skyrail enjoyable.

Rhys O

4 star rating: Recommended
January 2014

Overall great trip if you have limited time in Cairns. The helicopter ride to the reef was the highlight.

Rainer F

4 star rating: Recommended
August 2013

great experience !

Mirza H

4 star rating: Recommended
June 2013

The tour was good. All transfers (from hotel to Kuranda station, from station to Bottom of Sky rail, then to Helepad and back to hotel via the cruise ship) were very smooth. The staff everywhere was very cordial. In general we enjoyed the trip.
However, we were looking forward to the glass bottom tour in the cruise. We were informed that the glass bottom tour was cancelled when we arrived at the ship. Although they appologised, it was very disappointing for us. We had been looking forward to view the barrier reef through the glass bottom as a once in a lifetime opportunity. I and my wife were both very upset about it.
Thak you very much for your effort in organising the trip for us.


4 star rating: Recommended
June 2013

Great tour if you only have a day in Cairns (like us). Covers all the "basics" one would like to do in a quick tour of Cairns. We had 45mins in Kuranda, which was great budget-wise, but make sure you set an alarm to get back to the skyrail in time. For people who love to shop this will not be enough time. On the cruise, they had run out of wetsuits in our size. We were able to get stinger suits, but I rather suspect that was due to the tour operators stating there weren't "many stingers about", and that they would be probably unnecessary.
If you get carsick I thoroughly recommend taking anti-emetics with you. It is a terrible time to discover you get sea-sick when cruising back into Cairns.

laetitia d

4 star rating: Recommended
January 2013

Very good. Very well organized. I had a lot of fun. Shame I went at the beginning of the monsoon. It started raining non stop on that day. Which is not a problem at all except for the underwater pics which are not as bright. Also If you suffer from travel sickness beware of the helicopter tour.

William S

4 star rating: Recommended
December 2012

The railway was nice, with some great views. I loved the skyrail which had awesome views of the forest and coatline and made me feel like a bird flying above it all, the helicopter also made me feel like a bird flying above the ocean. I really enjoyed the views of the barrier reef and ocean life, including a shark. The glass bottom boat was great, I was able to see the reef in depth with great views and a great narrative by the speaker. The lunch and boat ride back were alot of fun, the food was good and the ride was fun, I enjoyed getting sprayed by a wave as we returned, and rlaxed with a nice glass of wine. All in all it was a great day and I feel that I experienced much of what Cairns has to offer in this one day tour, thanks fro a great time.

Linda B

4 star rating: Recommended
September 2012

Absolutely brilliant! The heritage train travels through beautiful country whilst gibing patrons an interesting potted history along the way. The SkyTrain is absolutely wonderful as one is enveloped by The cacophony of the rainforest whilst passing overhead. The reef doesn't disappoint and having the options of glass bottomed boat and snorkel and dive is terrific. Definitely a must-do tour if you have little time. Note that the Kuranda train timetable has changed so no time to see Kuranda at all.

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Tour code: 3262_CAIRNS


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