Asia & the Pacific / Australia
Australia Reef and Rainforest Multisport Tour
Hike, Mountain Bike, Whitewater Raft, Sail, Snorkel and Dive in the "Land Down Under"
Experience two magical UNESCO World Heritage areas--the Wet Tropics and Great Barrier Reef--and see wildlife found nowhere else on earth. From snorkeling and SCUBA diving to rafting and mountain biking, we do it all while enjoying fine Australian cuisine, elegant inns, and a live-aboard boat along the way.
Days 1-2: Cairns-Daintree National Park
A welcome orientation is followed by a sunset cruise in the harbor. The next morning we hike with an aboriginal guide through the rainforest, listening for the call of the cockatoo or the laughing kookaburra. Next it's into Mossman Gorge, part of a UNESCO World-Heritage site and home to several unique species. We top off the day with a visit to a refuge for native animals such as cassowaries, crocodiles, kangaroos, koalas, and countless exotic birds.
Day 3: Wooroonooran National Park-Mission Beach
Today we hike through some of the world's oldest continually surviving rainforest to enchanting Nandroya Falls, where the creek drops in an uninterrupted 165-foot fall from a basalt parapet. Next we explore the Waterfalls Circuit: a series of three grand waterfalls. We conclude with a short hike through the jungle to Josephine Falls--where the triple-tiered cascades end with a natural waterslide into a refreshing swimming hole.
Day 4: Tully Gorge National Park
Rousing rapids with evocative names like The Staircase, Corkscrew and Alarm Clock mark the start of our Tully River rafting. We raft through the rainforest and below waterfalls that tumble from the walls of the gorge. Another 41 rapids await, and we stop midway for a riverside BBQ.
Day 5: Little Mulgrave Valley-Departure
Mountain biking in Cairns is a biker's dream, with mild to challenging singletrack, fun rolling terrain, gorgeous vistas and little-seen wilderness areas. Choose a thrilling singletrack circuit through the Little Mulgrave Valley or a more relaxed scenic route, ending in either case at a refreshing swimming hole.
Days 6-8: Great Barrier Reef and Departure Day
Early this morning we set sail for the Great Barrier Reef, taking the opportunity to trim the sails and steer the vessel or simply soak up the sun. For two days snorkelers delight in discovering a thousand shades of coral, angelfish, anemones, massive Maori wrasse and giant turtles. SCUBA divers log up to five dives, including a phenomenal night dive. In the evening our crew offers up a hearty meal, good conversation, and the option to sleep under the stars.
After breakfast on the final morning, prepare for the journey onward or sample one final optional activity--Skyrail, balloon flight or helicopter tour.