Atherton Tablelands Rain Forest by Night from Cairns

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Atherton Tablelands Rain Forest by Night from Cairns
from USD $152.41
See Australia's unique animals and birds in their natural environment on a rainforest wildlife-spotting tour in the Atherton Tablelands. Led by an expert nature guide, your small-group nocturnal tour visits a number of locations including lush tropical rainforest and a volcanic crater lake. See tree kangaroos, lizards and musky rat kangaroo by day, and search for platypus at dusk. Enjoy afternoon tea at Lake Barrine and dinner at a country restaurant, then go spotlighting for possum, bandicoots, owls, bats and tree kangaroos by starlight on this fascinating nocturnal wildlife tour.
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In Brief

Cairns, Australia
8 hours 30 minutes
Important InfoInfo
With pickup from Cairns’ city hotels, your wildlife-spotting tour begins in the early afternoon.

See wonders of nature including thousand-year-old kauri pines, as your expert guide leads you along interpretive trails through the rainforest to search for butterflies, birds and flying foxes (bats).

Your tour takes you to a spectacular volcanic pool at Lake Barrine, where afternoon tea at the tea house is served.

As dusk falls, follow a trail by the river to search for the shy platypus, one of the world's most unusual animals.

Enjoy dinner at a country restaurant, then go spotlighting on a walk under the southern stars. While helping you wind your way through the World Heritage-listed rainforest, your guide will point out tiny ringtail possums hiding in the trees, shiny green gecko lizards, the local Lumholtz tree kangaroo, glider possums, frogs and owls.

You'll come away with a greater appreciation of Australia's wonderful wildlife, environment and culture on this original spotlighting tour. Operating for more than 30 years, the tours are led by knowledgeable, enthusiastic and professional local guides who are familiar with North Queensland's lush and fertile wet tropics rainforests.

To help you spot the wildlife, use of on-board spotlights, binoculars and rain ponchos is included.


  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Local guide
  • Afternoon tea
  • Dinner
  • National Park fee
  • All equipment (binoculars, spotlighting gear, rain ponchos, reference materials)
  • Air-conditioned vehicle
  • Entry/Admission - Atherton Tablelands


  • Drinks, unless specified

Departure Time

2:00 PM

Departure Point

Traveler pickup is offered
We pick up from any location and type of accommodation in and around the city of Cairns.


  • Cairns

Additional Information

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Children must be accompanied by an adult
  • Please wear closed toe shoes and a jacket for night time.
  • A moderate amount of walking is involve. Low fitness level required
  • Please advise any specific dietary requirements at time of booking
  • Please bring insect spray as this is not provided
  • Infant seats available
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund

Booking Information

You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity.

Cancellation Terms

Once booked, this trip is fully non-refundable

Booking Terms and Conditions

When you book this trip, you need to read and accept the terms and conditions for booking our day trips in excursions.

Hotel Pickup

When you book, we will ask you to select a hotel to be picked up from. Once your booking is confirmed, we'll send you a confirmation voucher with full contact information (phone number, email address) for our local operator in case you need to update or change your hotel pick-up details.

Here are answers to some commonly asked questions about hotel pickup:

What if my hotel is not listed?
That's okay. When you book you can select an hotel from our list and make your way there on the day of departure; or you can contact our local operator directly to make alternate pick-up arrangements.

What if I have not yet booked a hotel?
Once your hotel arrangements are finalised, you can contact our local operator directly with your hotel details.

What if I live locally, am staying with friends or relatives, and/or don't require pick-up?
Once your booking is confirmed, we'll send you complete details and directions to the tour/activity departure point.

Scoring an average traveller rating of 5 out of 5 based on the last 24 recent reviews

This was a wonderful journey into the forest by moon light. Our guide was very knowledgeable. Bring bug spray!!
• Submitted 21 Nov 2019
Pau was absolutely fantastic and extremely informative. We saw a lot of different wildlife, especially nocturnal animals too. It was a lovely day.
• Submitted 21 Oct 2019
Lets be clear, this trip is all about the wildlife. Paul has some very useful local knowledge, and tries his best to put you in a position to see the animals. To that end he drives you out of Cairns to the Tablelands, and then from location to location looking for birds/animals/trees/plants/insects of interest. I was in a group that was very into it, and it was very enjoyable bonding with these people. Food stop was more than adequate at pleasant village hotel. For the record we saw: platypus incredible ... we got very close!!, tree kangaroos, wallabies, possums 3 types, flying foxes, cane toads, white tailed rat, bearded dragon, brush turkey, huntsmans spider, fig tree. The after dark part is a treat. Totally safe. No issues with creepy crawlies or biting bugs. Most memorable tour on my month-long trip to Australia/New Zealand.
• Submitted 17 Mar 2018
My family and I took this tour with Paul and I wasn't disappointed with respect to the wildlife. We spotted many wallabies, platypus, opossum, and three tree kangaroos. Dinner was pretty decent and we got the veg food we had opted for. Paul seems to know exactly where to look for animals and I am sure you will like the experience. Paul does drive fast and the roads weren't kind to those of us seated behind in the van. My family and I were hit by waves of nausea while in the van. So, that bit, I wasn't too happy with. Everything else was just right.
• Submitted 16 Jan 2018
Absolutely THE best trip to go on if you love wildlife and nature. Paul, the guide and owner of the company, is brilliant, has a wealth of knowledge and is passionate about what he does. He really, really made the experience very memorable. We saw animals and birds during the afternoon and evening that we didn't expect to see and as it is a small group tour it really is all the more special as you can share the experience with just a few like-minded people. We also experienced the Southern Hemisphere night sky in total darkness where you really can appreciate the night sky with its millions of stars and a very useful App!. A definite MUST DO excursion if you get the opportunity.
• Submitted 06 Jan 2018
Once in a life time experience! My friend Joy and I both loved the experience. The tablelands rainforest is mysterious and full of life. Our guide Paul was very passionate and knowledgeable about the forest and the wild animals living there. We felt safe traveling in the pitch dark rainforest under his guide, and had fun seeing the tree kangaroos, possums, flying foxes got pooped by one on the face wear hats and shut your mouth when you look up...-D fireflies and more! Because of the high altitude, there weren't mosquitoes bothering us either, which was a plus. Dinner was awesome too, would go with rare on the steak if ever going back the next time though. Thank you Paul!
• Submitted 27 Nov 2017
This tour was amazing!
• Submitted 28 Oct 2017
Amazing tour! Saw some really cool wildlife.
• Submitted 20 Sep 2017
That was a really amazing day !!! Paul knows perfectly the area and the animals to see. We've seen so much all day long: platypus, wallabies, possums, etc. So much to dicover for a wildlife lover !!! I highly recommend this tour :.
• Submitted 19 Aug 2017
Our guide Paul found many Australia animals and gave us knowledge about each one and plants/tee we can across. We saw a tree kangaroo, platypus, 3 different types of possums,leaf tail gecko, forest dragon, chameleon gecko, and bats flying above. We really enjoyed this tour and saw some amazing animals.
• Submitted 22 May 2017
This was one of my highlights in this holiday. I did just book the same tour again for my next visit to Cairns. We saw a lot of nocturnal animals witch you cant spot on the mostly offered tours in daylight conditions. Even the sounds in the night are worth to visit the jungle after sunset. Strongly recommended!!
• Submitted 01 May 2017
Take this tour if you want to see as much wildlife as possible. Paul has his ego involved in being able to show as many people a platypus as he can- which of course is a win-win situation. and we did see one! this really was quite a quest, and fun! We also saw three kinds of possum, a lot of spiders, a dragon, and a leaf lizard, and a tree kangaroo. We also saw ancient trees, including a couple of amazing fig trees. The drive up there is also beautiful. The place he takes you for dinner is a place you would choose as well, the food was great.
• Submitted 10 Mar 2017
Excellent tour with very knowledgeable guide. We saw a lot of animals and enjoyed the experience.
• Submitted 02 Oct 2016
We found this trip great. It was so good being able to see so many endangered animals. Paul was so good at spotting them. Thank you
• Submitted 02 Oct 2016
Paul was an amazing guide and introduced us to tree ants, wallabies, tree kangaroos, bandicoots, possums, platypus, strangler fig trees and kauri trees 1000 years old!, a beautiful southern sky milky way and all constellations visible...awesome dinner and lovely picnic tea. Memorable day, thank you Paul. My 8 year old sends special thanks for the tarzan style vines and natural swing vine!
• Submitted 30 Aug 2016
I chose this tour because I have an interest in nature and wildlife and I thought the nocturnal aspect sounded more interesting than just another scenic railway. I was not disappointed. I, my husband, and our 2 teen sons had a great time. We saw wallabies, megabats, microbats, tree kangaroos, platypus, many birds, 2 kinds of possums, bandicoots, giant huntsman spiders, a leaf-tailed gecko, green ants, and more. We also learned a lot about various plants and the landscape and history of the area, and got to swing on jungle vines. The twisty mountain roads didn't cause problems for anyone in our group and the scenery was lovely. Paul, the guide, was funny and knowledgeable, and dinner was not bad. Highly recommended.
• Submitted 25 Aug 2016
The tour operator, Paul, was outstanding. We have never experienced anything like a walk through a rainforest in the dark We saw tree kangaroos, bandicoots, bats, possums, platypus platypi? and more. Paul was entertaining, informative and personable. The experience was more than worth the price
• Submitted 10 Aug 2016
Paul was wonderfully knowledgeable about the wildlife and culture in this area. We had children with us, and he was particularly helpful with them. I would recommend Paul and Wait-A-While unconditionally. CC
• Submitted 03 Jul 2016
Recommend this trip! Paul was a great guide. Very knowledgeable and friendly. He remembered everyone's name throughout the whole trip. Small sized tour which was helpful for the wildlife sightings. Was able to see a lot of wallabies and possums but also a tree kangaroo family, a gecko, and even a platypus. Tea/snacks were nice and the dinner was great. Just a heads up for those that may suffer from motion sickness the road up to the tablelands consists of many curves.
• Submitted 09 May 2016
We really enjoyed the tour, both seeing the rainforest with those impressive fig trees and all the animals platypus, tree kangaroo, a very cool and rare lizard and many more. The travel was difficult for both me and my sister though, as the car goes fast on roads that turn more than 180 degrees at one direction and then the other, so if you're sensitive, please bring some pills!!!
• Submitted 12 Nov 2015
Wonderful experience start to finish - highly recommend this tour!
• Submitted 08 Sep 2015
Excellent! We did and see more than we expected! The driver was the tour guide who did an excellent job taking us to places to see wild nature. It was almost a full day tour and we loved every secind of it except windy road and I tend to get car sick. However , I was prepared with motion sickness pillss, just one way: I was able to buy dramamine in the uSA over the counter, but in Australia we were not able to find the same. If you come from another country try to bring your own! The guide provided binoculars and raincoats , we really did not need the raincoats , but it was to have them . The sky at night was so beautiful and we spotted some animals/mammals in the dark. Lots of kangaroos, wallabies, birds, etc.. We stopped at a great italian restaurant for dinner which was included. Vegetarian option was available too upon request. I really recommend this tour to thise who enjoy wildlife and nature! I really recommend this tour
• Submitted 28 Aug 2015
This was the highlight of our time in Cairns. Paul was an excellent guide who is a fount of knowledge and very good at finding animals, both during the day and at night. It was fun to see animals in the wild and not just in the preserves. He showed us an amazing variety of plants and animals. This is an all day adventure that is well worth the time.
• Submitted 09 Jul 2015
Always wanted to see a Tree Kangaroo, Platypus, Cassowary and Thylacine if they still exist in the wild. On this tour with Paul I got to see 2 Lumholtz's Tree Kangaroos and 2 Platypus, plus several other mammals, reptiles, birds. The waterfalls, lakes and volcanic craters were great to see, plus the amazing Cathedral Fig and Curtain Fig trees which are massive. Then there were the 1,000 year old Kauri Pines. A really nice meal in the largest timber hotel historic in Australia. So glad I did this tour.
• Submitted 29 Jun 2015

In Brief

Cairns, Australia
8 hours 30 minutes

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Atherton Tablelands Rainforest by Night from Cairns
Atherton Tablelands Rainforest by Night from Cairns
USD $152.41 / 8 hours 30 minutes