Includes Chillagoe, Mareeba, Aboriginal Rock Art & Australian Outback
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. Guests from Northern Beaches and Port Douglas will be picked up from their accommodation by International Coaches and transferred to meet the Billytea Tour at the Canopys Edge Bus Stop. After introductions all round we’ll ascend the McAllister Ranges and head to our first stop at Skybury Coffee Plantation, 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. Your guide will explain the history of the Chillagoe Caves and explain the fossilized remains of the ancient coral reefs some 400 - 420 million years old. Hidden limestone labyrinths offer 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.
Please note: If you're thinking of driving to Chillagoe in your hire car you need to check with your company that you can take your car on a dirt road. The road to Chillagoe is not sealed all the way. If you can't drive... come on our tour! We do not pick up in Port Douglas for this tour but arrange a private transfer to the bottom of the Karanda Range at an additional cost of $87.00p.p. return, paid on board to the driver.
Check out our Earlybird Advance purchase specials.
|Child (0-14 years)||$89.00|
Family (2 adults + 2 children 0-14 years)
Additional Child (0-14 years): $140.00
Billy Tea Safaris will provide Baby Seats or Booster Seat please advise upon booking, all children up to the age of 7 years.
Please be aware there is a 24-hour cancellation policy of 100% cancellation fee. No exceptions.
If you fail to load there is also a 100% cancellation fee applies. No exceptions.
Please check our Terms and Conditions for Cancellation Fees.
PRIVATE CHARTER RATES ARE AVAILABLE ON REQUEST.
Prices valid from 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020.
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. Take a step back in time as we travel through historical towns stopping at Skybury Coffee Plantation for morning tea. Rolling hills rich in mineral eventually giving way to towering limestone karsts scattered around Chillagoe Township.
Here we delve into the history of the Chillagoe 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 Chillagoe 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 Chillagoe Caves are nothing short of spectacular.
Visit the Aboriginal Rock Art and the Balancing Rock.
Visit the unique gift shop which specialises in gifts of Chillagoe marble and local Aboriginal Art.
After the cave tour, we head back towards the east coast, stopping at Dimbulah for a comfort stop.
Visit Granite gorge and admire the wallabies. Tropical fruit tasting.
The tour then returns back down the Karanda Range to Canopys Edge where we will transfer the Northern Beaches and Port Douglas clients to International Coaches for their return to desired accommodation, arriving back in Cairns at approximately 6.30pm.
Please ensure that you wear closed in footwear for the cave tour, please. No Thongs or High Heels on this tour.
What time does the tour start and end?
Pickups from the Southside Accommodation 6.40 am, Cairns CBD is 6.45 – 7.00am, International Coaches will pick up from the Northern Beaches around 6.45am, and transfer you to Canopys Edge Bus Stop to meet your tour. Pick up from Port Douglas are by International Coaches private charter at 600am-6.15am and cost an additional $87.00p.p. you will be transferred to the bottom of the Karanda range to meet your Billy Tea Tour and returned again in the late afternoon to Port Douglas. Please ensure you are on time for your hotel pickup if you aren't on time you may miss your pickup and fail to load, which will incur a 100% cancellation fee. Returning time Port Douglas at approx 7.00 – 7.30 pm, Northern Beaches 6.30 – 7.00 pm, Cairns City 6.30 – 7.00pm. Please note all times are approximate. Also please note that there is an additional transfer fee for Port Douglas area.
How many people will be in the vehicle?
Our vehicles take 16/20 passengers only. Small personalised numbers.
Can we do a private charter?
Private charters are available with personalised itineraries and price on application.
What do I need to take?
Please take Hat, Sunscreen, Camera, extra batteries & memory cards Water bottle, extra cash for cold drinks, souvenirs or an ice-cream.
What do I wear?
Comfortable clothes as you are in the tropics, and the outback in winter you will need to take a light coat. Flat comfortable shoes closed in. No thongs and ladies no high heels as there is uneven ground and you will be in the outback and they aren’t allowed to be worn in the Caves. If you do not have closed in shoes you may not be allowed in the Caves this is for safety reasons and the decision of National Parks.
What does Billy Tea provide?
We provide Morning Tea at Skybury Coffee Plantation. Guided National Parks cave tour, Custom built 4WD vehicles, experienced accredited guides, delicious Pub Lunch. Vegetarians and dietary requirements can be catered for providing notified in advanced. Please note this is a remote outback pub, so there is not a big selection. On the way home, we will stop for a tropical fruit tasting in Dimbulah and then continue on to the Granite gorge to feed rock wallabies. Itineraries may be changed or run in reverse at the discretion of Billy Tea Safaris due to weather and possible road closures and not all destinations may be reached this is for the safety of all passengers.
What if I have dietary requirements?
All dietary requirements must be notified at the time of reservation, we can cater for vegetarians and most other requirements within reason providing they are medical, please remember selection is limited as it is a remote location.
Where do we go?
We head west via the Kuranda Range and Kennedy Highway, passing through Mareeba to our first stop at Skybury Coffee Plantation, Dimbulah, Petford, and into Chillagoe. A guided tour through the ancient Limestone Cave of Chillagoe, visit the Smelters and historical sites, Lunch at a true outback Australian Pub, Aboriginal Rock Art and Balancing Rock, a comfort stop and tropical fruit tasting in Dimbulah on our homeward journey back to Cairns via Granite Gorge.
Level of fitness?
You will need to be reasonably fit as there are stairs, some uneven ground and will take an hour to walk through the cave system at a slow pace.
Is this tour suitable for children?
Children are more than welcome on the tour, but with small children and infants you are not able to take prams or strollers into the caves, so the children will need to be able to walk or you will need to carry them. The cave tour will take at least an hour and there are stairs and uneven ground. (Please note this a 12 hour day so take this into consideration when taking children on this tour- Booster seats provided)
Is the tour wheelchair / disabled friendly?
Unfortunately due to the Chillagoe Caves system with narrow passages, steps and elevated platforms this tour is not suitable for wheelchair or walking disabilities.
Is there Wifi connection?
We don't have wifi in our vehicles and mobile reception is often quite difficult due to the remoteness of the area.