Chillagoe Caves & Outback Cairns | BT

Tour Code: 69

Departing: Cairns

Pickup: Cairns

Unique Outback Cairns Tours
  • It’s obvious the knowledgeable Chillagoe Caves tour guides love their jobs. They are all passionate locals who thrive on showing visitors this part of the world and you will find their commentary a valuable part of your day.
  • The incredible Limestone Caves. They are truly spectacular and if you’re struggling with the heat of the outback in summer, keep in mind it’s considerably cooler in the caves, which makes for a comfortable exploration. 
  • The visit to Balancing Rock and to see the Aboriginal Rock Art is a big highlight on this Chillagoe Tour
  • Skybury Coffee Plantation is the largest coffee plantation in Far North Queensland.  Try the range of award-winning blends of coffees and shop in the gift shop during your visit.  

Included In Price

  • Your day trip includes a naturalist guide
  • Courtesy pick-up and return transfers from your accommodation
  • Premium air-conditioned 4WD vehicles
  • Small group tour
  • Morning Tea (coffee & cake) at Skybury Coffee Plantation
  • Spot Kangaroos, emus, wallabies, wedge-tail eagles all day in the Outback
  • Drive past diverse dry tropical farmlands
  • Pass through historic mining ghost towns and small outback communities
  • Visit the local Aboriginal rock art and Balancing Rock
  • Local Chillagoe Gift Shop is a must see
  • Find fossils in ancient limestone casts at Chillagoe
  • Explore the famous Chillagoe caves
  • View the one booming Chillagoe smelter ruins
  • Feed the wallabies at Granite Gorge and see local wildlife
  • Delicious Aussie Pub Lunch
  • National Park Fees

A fantastic outback day tour from Cairns to the famous Chillagoe Caves and smelters. The one and only Chillagoe Caves day tour from Cairns. If you wish to see and experience the real treasures of the genuine Queensland outback then you need to join one of our day tour bush safaris to Chillagoe Caves

Our Chillagoe Caves tour and outback Queensland day tour is a sensational genuine Australian outback experience that showcases an abundance of natural attractions including the Chillagoe Caves just outside of Cairns

The Chillagoe Caves tour is a real four wheel drive adventure with access to private roads making it a unique adventure through the outback Savannah Land of Cairns Northern Queensland.

Wildlife is prolific on the Chillagoe Caves outback Queensland adventure tour, kangaroos, wallabies, lizards, emus and an abundance of birdlife can be easily spotted from the comfortable seats of your air-conditioned overland vehicle. 

See the wonderful sights in our purpose built air-conditioned overland vehicle on one of our small group tours. You will cover many miles and have great experiences that will keep you reminiscing for years to come as this day tour is such a huge adventure.

Areas of immense natural beauty are discovered and explored, along with areas of cultural and historic Australian significance.

Follow in the footsteps of trail blazers such as Sir Edmund Kennedy a famed Australian explorer and gain an appreciation of traditional Aboriginal culture.

Our four wheel drive company has been established in Cairns Australia since 1981. We are an eco-accredited tour operator who prides themselves on providing interesting and informative tours with highly experienced and knowledgeable naturalist guides. 

Specialists in personalised four wheel drive tours, day trippers can enjoy custom built air-conditioned vehicles that are designed for passenger comfort. 

We are the only four wheel drive tour operator in Cairns that does an outback Queensland Chillagoe Caves day tour. 

Small passenger numbers (maximum 16 - 20 passengers) assure space and comfort and a personalised day tour with a difference. 

The Chillagoe Caves and Outback tour operates Tuesday and Friday each week and the itinerary may be closed or changed due to the Green Season February-March of each year.

Chillagoe Caves Tour - Kuranda - McAllister Range

Our Chillagoe Caves and Outback Day Tour begins when a friendly naturalist guide picks passengers up from their Cairns accommodation. 

The Outback day tour begins its journey, winding its way over the Kuranda Range heading west through Mareeba embarking on a remarkable journey back to prehistoric times.

The Kuranda Range is a scenic stretch of highway that is enveloped by World Heritage Rainforest. The road winds along the side of rocky waterfalls and the buttress roots of giant trees, home to a million humming cicadas and exotic forest birds.

Forest clearings offer spectacular views of the tropical city of Cairns that lies below, and out to the sparkling waters of the Great Barrier Reef.

The Great Dividing Range is waiting at the summit of the Kuranda Range, and the tropical rainforest quickly merges into a drier Eucalypt forest, home to an abundance of kangaroos and wallabies. 

After following the Kuranda Range a short while, we turn off the main highway and the real four wheel drive adventure begins. 

Our guides have both access and knowledge of private dirt roads that run behind agricultural properties, and the tour begins twisting and turning through cattle, mango, paw paw, lychee, longan, banana, coffee and orchid farms.

The scenery is diverse and ever-changing, the wildlife prolific.  The tour guides have a special knack of spotting some of the most elusive wildlife in the Eucalypt forest – kangaroos, wallabies, lizards and cows are sure to be seen. 

The landscape is framed by tall mountain ranges in the distance, and depending on the season the land may be dry and arid, or during the green season rich and vibrant. 

These contradictions make Cairns and Far Northern Tropical Queensland an intriguing and beguiling area of natural beauty to visit.

First Stop...Morning Tea at Skybury Coffee Plantation. From here we travel through the back blocks of this wetland area viewing wallabies, emus and other wildlife and then along the irrigated agricultural paddocks of this fertile area, eventually crossing over the Great Divide and into the Western watershed.

Travel through historical ghost towns and rolling hills rich in minerals eventually giving way to towering limestone karsts scattered around Chillagoe.

Chillagoe Caves - Outback Queensland Australia

There are over 600 limestone caves in the Chillagoe region, intriguing labyrinths that twist and turn underneath the dry tropical woodland forests. 

It's here where we explore the Royal Arch Cave, a vast cave system that features several massive chambers, each with distinct and intriguing features. 

There are several stairs leading in and out of the cave system, therefore a moderate level of fitness is required.

The Royal Arch Cave is surrounded by woodlands that feature pockets of vine thicket clinging to limestone outcrops.  This woodland forest is home to a variety of native Australian animals including birds, wallabies and kangaroos. 

The caves are naturally air-conditioned and maintain a constant temperature of 22 degrees Celsius, cool relief from Chillagoe’s dry heat. 

The first chamber of the Royal Arch is enormous, a monumental testament to the millions of years it took Mother Nature to create.

Our privileged tour group is led by a Queensland Park and Wildlife Ranger through narrow cave walkways until the second chamber is discovered – a glorious open chamber with remarkable limestone formations. 

This is the ‘Picnic Chamber’, a popular picnic spot largely due to the constant temperate milieu for the miners and their families in the early 1900’s.  The tour continues through the limestone labyrinths, home to bats and pythons, a remarkable tour through a rich geological past.

The final chamber in the Royal Arch Cave system is the Cathedral Cave, an enormous space which features pulpit rock formations, inspiring both the name and a sense of awe and inspiration. 

Chillagoe Caves have taken 400 million years to form, a timeline which is ever apparent in the Cathedral Cave.  This unique system of caves boast the typical features of stalagmites and stalactites, along with some more distinctive features, such as a giant strangler fig growing from the base of one chamber through a crack in the cave roof.

The cave tour lasts approximately an hour, and is a wonderful journey of discovery and exploration, one which showcases some areas of immense ecological and geological significance.

After leaving the township of Chillagoe behind, our outback day tour begins winding its way back down to the tropical city of Cairns. 

There is one more short comfort stop before heading back towards the city of Cairns.

Our Chillagoe Caves and Outback Day Tour is a full day adventure tour of the Australian outback, allowing travellers a unique insight into the Australian Outback landscape, history and culture. 

Full of immense natural beauty and an abundance of wildlife, the Chillagoe Caves and Outback Day Tour will create memories to treasure forever.

Chillagoe Smelter

The drive to Chillagoe is marked with a distinct landscape of granite and limestone – a remarkable geological feature in an area that was formed by volcanic activity.  As the town of Chillagoe appears on the horizon your tour guide begins to tell of the interesting and unique history. 

The town of Chillagoe is small and charming, boasting quaint country cottages, rolling agricultural paddocks and two prominent taverns located on the main streets.

The tour guide expertly guides the four wheel drive through the town, and just outside city limits lies the Chillagoe Smelter.  The Chillagoe Smelter played a significant role during the mining boom, and operated from 1901 to 1943.  In its heyday, the Chillagoe Smelters employed over 1,000 men, who were responsible for extracting copper, silver, lead, mica and some gold.

 During this time the township of Chillagoe was a thriving metropolis, until the ultimate collapse of Chillagoe Smelters in 1943.

Today, chimneys still stand tall on the landscape, a testament to smeltering at the turn of the century.  The size, scale and evidence of smelting processes, which are now very rare, are preserved in the remains at the Chillagoe Smelters. 

The Chillagoe Smelters are historically significant, and are being managed by Queensland Parks and Wildlife. After exploring the smelters it’s all aboard the 4WD once again, the next destination is the Post Office Hotel in Chillagoe for lunch.

Lunch Time in Chillagoe

The Post Office Hotel is an iconic Australian tavern with some of the most delicious counter meals in all of Queensland! There is also a souvenir shop where you can purchase some souvenirs.

Aboriginal Rock Art & Balancing Rock

Next stop, view some amazing Aboriginal Rock Art and Balancing rock. This stop is for 1 hour approximately.

Granite Gorge

Granite Gorge is where you have a chance to hand feed wallabies and hold other indigenous animals before heading back to Cairns.

We have no doubt you will enjoy your day out in the Australian Outback. We also have a fantastic Daintree Rainforest & Cape Tribulation day tour, please click here to view or you can book one of our Combo Package tours and save up to $70.00 per person here 

Departs From


Departure Time
  • 7:00am (approx) from Cairns - returns 6:30pm (approx)
  • 7:35am (approx) from Northern Beaches - returns 6:00pm (approx)
  • 6:00am (approx) from Port Douglas - returns 7:00pm (approx) - Return Transfers from Port Douglas or Thala Beach, payable on board to the driver.
Pickup Locations


  • Atherton Tablelands
  • Chillagoe Caves & Outback
Months of Operation

January - December

Days of Operation

Tuesday, Friday

6:50am (approx) from Cairns - returns 6:30pm (approx)
6:30am (approx) from Northern Beaches - returns 6:30pm (approx)
6:00am (approx) from Port Douglas - returns 7:30pm (approx) - Return Transfers from Port Douglas or Thala Beach, payable on board to the driver.


12 hours (approx)

Available for Purchase / Hire

Return Transfers from Port Douglas or Thala Beach, payable on board to the driver

Fitness Level Required

Low, Medium

Additional Information
  • Carbon Tax and fuel levies may apply.
  • Fitness And Medical Conditions: reasonable level of fitness is needed as there are stairs and narrow sections of cave. Small children will have to be carried in the caves no strollers allowed. Not suitable for wheelchairs, walkers, closed in shoes must be worn in the caves.
Eco Certifications
Advanced Ecotourism Certified
Certified Tourism
Eco Climate Action Business
Eco Green Travel Leader

Closed in footwear, hat, comfortable clothing, sunscreen, a camera, water bottle for the cave walk money for afternoon tea.

  • 4 years to 16 years of age is at the child rate.
  • Age of children must be specified at time of reservation so baby & booster seats can be supplied for 7 years or under. This is Queensland Transport Ruling.
  • We do not recommend long drives out to Chillagoe Caves with young children as it is a very big day however we can certainly cater for them with car seats for children up to 7 years of age.

Cancellation Policy:

All cancellations must be in writing. Please note that all cancellations will incur an administration fee. Please see our terms and conditions for details prior to booking.

Operator’s Cancellation Policy:

Cancellations within 48 hours of departure and no shows are subject to 100% cancellation fee

Day Tour: cancellations received within 48 hours are subject to no refund. Also includes any no shows. Any tour date changes must be made with at least 48 hours’ notice.

Chillagoe Caves & Outback Cairns | BT

Tour Code: 69

Departing: Cairns

Pickup: Cairns

Unique Outback Cairns Tours



Prices are AUD, per adult and include all levies fees and taxes.

Child: au$125.00
Family: au$600.00

Tour Code: 69



17 yrs & over

4 - 16 yrs

0 - 3 yrs

Ages of Children
(Discounts May Apply)
1300 761 612
+61 427 074 745
1300 761 612
+61 427 074 745

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