From Cairns, travel north along one of Australia's most scenic coastal drives — the Captain Cook Highway — towards Daintree National Park.
Cross the Daintree River in a cable ferry then continue by 4WD to the Bloomfield Track. Stop for lunch at Cafe Ayton before visiting the Lion's Den Hotel, established in 1875 and one of North Queensland's oldest pubs. Continue to Black Mountain, and hear from your guide about local Aboriginal legends. Before arriving in Cooktown, stop at Grassy Hill lookout for sweeping photo ops of the Coral Sea, Cooktown and the Endeavour River. Throughout your tour, your knowledgeable guide shares fascinating facts about the region's history, and animal and plant life.
In Cooktown, have about one hour of free time to look around and visit the James Cook Museum (admission not included). Next up, leave Cooktown on the Mulligan Highway, traveling inland past cattle stations and the Palmer River goldfields. Pull into the Mt Molloy Hotel for an evening meal (own expense) then continue on your return to Cairns after 9pm.
Alternatively, enjoy a scenic 45-minute flight to return to Cairns, and take in views of the Daintree Coast and Great Barrier Reef. The flight from Cooktown departs around 6pm and arrives at 6:45pm at Cairns General Aviation Airport. From May to August, you can get spectacular sunset views during the flight. Upon arrival in Cairns, make your own way back to your hotel.