Cairns on a Budget 4-Day Reef and Rainforest

You will see the best of our region without breaking the bank on this Cairns on a Budget tour! Spend a day on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

Enjoy a day in the oldest living Rainforest on the Daintree Rainforest. Cool off in the Atherton Tablelands, and then Whitewater Rafting on the mighty Barron River.

This Cairns on a Budget package can be done in any order.

Great Barrier Reef Experience

Everything you need to know about the Great Barrier Reef Deluxe Cruise: a state-of-the-art, modern, and speedy catamaran is the best method to observe the Great Barrier Reef.  Getting to the outer Reef on a catamaran gives you more time to explore this UNESCO-listed world heritage site.

This tour includes fantastic options, making it the only fully-inclusive Great Barrier Reef tour available.

Either arrange a complimentary pick-up from your Cairns accommodation or meet at  Finger A number 8 on the  Marlin Jetty to begin the tour.

Boarding starts at 7:30 am, and then enjoy a delicious breakfast of BBQ egg and bacon rolls, tea, and coffee upon arrival (If you have dietary requirements, please advise in the booking notes at the time of booking).  We depart for the Outer Great Barrier Reef at 8:00 am.

On the way, we will show you how to use snorkelling and scuba diving equipment, the specialists, and you’ll also get a safety lecture.  Along the way, enjoy the fun and informative marine biologist presentation.

At 9:30 am, you’ll arrive at your first Great Barrier Reef site.  For this Great Barrier Reef tour, our captain will wait until the day of the trip to pick which Reef location would provide guests with the best snorkelling and scuba diving conditions.

Daintree Rainforest

Travel from Cairns to Cape Tribulation. One of the most scenic coastal roads in Australia!  The first stop is the Wildlife Habitat in Port Douglas.

See the endangered cassowary and other wildlife. Have the chance to have your photo taken while holding a koala, snake, or crocodile (extra cost).

Heading further north, you will cross the mighty Daintree River. You will feel like you have entered a different world with Rainforest towering over narrow winding roads.

Tablelands and Waterfalls Adventure

Next up on your Cairns on a Budget tour! Jump aboard Gus the Wonder Bus! Uncle Brian will take you, in his fun and friendly way on a day of adventures in our natural world.

We’ll visit ancient coastal Rainforests and the beauty of the Atherton Tablelands during this Rainforest and Waterfalls Tour.

We’ll be walking and talking, swimming, rock sliding, singing in waterfalls, floating in a volcanic crater lake. Then an exciting journey home! We look forward to welcoming you into our family and sharing fun times.

Barron River White Water Rafting

Feel the rush of white water rafting in the impressive wilderness of Australia’s tropical rainforests. A fun afternoon with a few thrills and spills.




  • Great Barrier Reef
  • Daintree Rainforest
  • Atherton Tablelands


Daintree Rainforest

  • 7.00 am Pick up from Cairns accommodation.
  • 7.45 am Travel to Port Douglas via the Captain Cook Highway.
  • 8.05 am Commence pickups from Port Douglas accommodation.
  • 8.45 am The Wildlife Habitat. Join a guided tour with the opportunity to have your photo taken while holding a koala, snake, or crocodile (at extra cost).
  • 10.15 am Depart The Wildlife Habitat.
  • 11.00 am Cross the Daintree River ferry.
  • 12.15 pm Arrive at Cape Trib Beach House for a Tropical Lunch—free time for a swim or a walk along the spectacular Cape Tribulation Beach.
  • 1.50 pm Depart Cape Trib Beach House and visit Cape Tribulation Beach and Boardwalk for a guided rainforest walk.
  • 2.35 pm Depart Cape Tribulation for the return journey, with some comfort, and stops along the way.
  • 3.35 pm Stop at Alexandra Lookout for magnificent views.
  • 4.00 pm Daintree River Cruise. Spot crocodiles, birds and other wildlife
  • 5.00 pm Arrive south side of the river to board the bus
  • 6.00 pm Arrive at Port Douglas accommodation.
  • 7.00 pm Arrive at Cairns accommodation.


  • The day begins with a visit to the Babinda Boulders. After a delicious morning tea, you take your first walk and swim of the day.
  • From here, your journey on to Josephine Falls. Enjoy a short rainforest walk before sliding down a waterfall.
  • Drive to the beautiful Tablelands and famous Millaa Millaa Falls. Uncle Brian will keep you amused and entertained with tales of adventure!
  • Lunch at the Millaa Millaa Falls Tea House is a selection of cold roast meats, salads and vegetarian meals.
  • For Dessert, enjoy freshly brewed tea, coffee and cake.
  • When you get to Millaa Millaa Falls, make your way to beneath the waterfall and SING your heart out! One of the most photographed waterfalls in Australia.
  • Delicious afternoon tea of hot chocolate and muffins follows a swim or stroll around Lake Eacham.
  • Platypus spotting is next.
  • You get to relax by a volcanic crater lake in the evening before the exciting fun journey home with Uncle Brian.

White Water Rafting

  • 2.00 pm Pickup from your Cairns City accommodation
  • 2 hours rafting grade 2 and 3 rapids
  • 6:00 pm Return to accommodation

Great Barrier Reef

Cairns Itinerary for Great Barrier Reef tour Snorkeling  and Diving

  • 07:30 – First Board Reef Experience boat at the Cairns Marina ‘A-Finger’ for check-in
  • 08:00 – Approximate departure and Safety Talk with snorkel briefing
  • 08:30 – Marine Biology presentation, followed by a detailed scuba dive briefing.
  • 09:30 – Arrive at our first spectacular reef site, snorkel and dive with thousands of vivid tropical fish, giant clams, plus more.
  • 10:30 – Next, take the Glass Bottom Boat tour (approximately 20-minute tour)
  • 12:30 – Then enjoy a delicious Lunch
  • 13:00 – Cruise to our second location to explore forests of coral, large sea fans and black coral trees in its shallow lagoons
  • 15:00 – Depart the Great Barrier Reef.
  • 15:30 – Glass of wine, tropical fruits, cheese and biscuits.
  • 16:30 – Arrive back in Cairns.


Daintree Rainforest

  • Air-conditioned 21-seater coaster bus
  • Pickup and return bus transfers from your accommodation
  • Scenic coastal drive
  • Entry to the Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas
  • Tropical picnic lunch
  • All National Park and ferry fees
  • Daintree River Ferry Crossing
  • Daintree River Wildlife Cruise
  • Guided rainforest walks
  • Cape Tribulation beach
  • Rex Look Out
  • Alexander Look Out


  • Morning and afternoon drinks and snacks.
  • Delicious home-cooked 2-course lunch.
  • Ancient Rainforests.
  • Experience the beauty of the Atherton Tablelands.
  • Swimming, walking, and just relaxing.
  • Milla Milla Falls
  • Babinda Boulders
  • Josephine Falls
  • Lake Eacham
  • Friendly, relaxed company.
  • Fun-filled day! Sing along on the homeward journey.
  • Pick up & return from/to your Cairns CBD accommodation.

White Water Rafting

  • 2 and a half hours whitewater rafting.
  • Return air-conditioned coach transfers to and from your Cairns City accommodation.
  • Safety equipment life includes a jacket, helmet and instruction.

Great Barrier Reef

  • Cash and/or credit card for purchases
  • Swimming Clothes, Towel, Hat and Sunglasses,
  • Proof of qualification if you’re a Certified Diver

Optional Extras

Optional Extras for Reef Experience

  • Underwater Digital Camera Hire
  • Snack Bar Purchases: Soft drinks, chocolate, chips, alcohol, etc.
  • Marine Biologist Guided Snorkel Tour of the reef: Snorkel with an experienced Marine Biologist and learn about the marine life you see on an educational and interactive tour
  • Great Barrier Reef souvenirs – T-shirts, hats, etc
  • Dive Guides for already qualified ‘Certified’ scuba divers (dive guides included for beginner divers)
  • Prescription Mask Hire if you require stronger lenses to see (contact lenses can be worn in most circumstances)
  • Bus transfers from accommodation outside of the Cairns Business Area
  • Second Scuba Dive at our beautiful afternoon reef location

What to bring

Daintree Rainforest

  • Money for drinks and snacks
  • Camera
  • Water Resistant 50+ sunscreen
  • Comfortable Walking shoes
  • Swimmers and Towel (optional)
  • Your booking Ticket
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Insect Repellent
  • Bottle of Water

Waterfalls and swimming

  • Sense of fun
  • Sunscreen
  • Raincoat
  • Swimming Gear
  • Walking Shoes/Sandals
  • Towel
  • Change of Warm Clothes

White Water Rafting

  • Swimming costume (you will get wet).
  • Lace-up shoes or sandals that won’t fall off and you can get wet.
  • Towel
  • Dry clothes
  • Sunscreen but don’t apply to the back of your legs.
  • Money for photos & rafting levy.


White Water Rafting

  • Digital photos are available for purchase.
  • Shoe hire is available.

Great Barrier Reef

  • Underwater Digital Camera Hire
  • Snack Bar Purchases: Soft drinks, chocolate, chips, alcohol etc.
  • Marine Biologist Guided Snorkel Tour of the Reef: Snorkel with an experienced Marine Biologist and learn about the marine life you see on an educational and interactive tour.
  • Great Barrier Reef souvenirs – T-shirts, hats etc.
  • Dive Guides for already qualified ‘Certified’ scuba divers (dive guides included for beginner divers)
  • Prescription Mask Hire our clients who wear contact lenses. Normally, you will be able to use them on the day.
  • Bus transfers from accommodation outside of the Cairns Business Area.
  • Second Scuba Dive at our beautiful afternoon Great Barrier Reef location.
  • Fully licensed bar[/toggle]

How to get there

Reef Experience departs from
Cairns Marina: ‘A-Finger’ View map to Cairns Marlin Marina

Boarding commences at 7:30 am for check-in on the Reef Experience vessel.

Arrive back at Cairns Marina at approximately 4:30 pm

Where Can I Park?

Several parking stations throughout Cairns are within walking distance of the Marina.  Click here to see where


Important Information

White Water Rafting

  • Minimum age: 13 years (Under 18 years must travel with a guardian or parent).
  • Every participant must sign a Liability Release Form before commencing rafting.
  • Medical Conditions: some medical conditions, disabilities and impairments may exclude participants from rafting for safety reasons, e.g. pregnancy and serious vision impairments.
  • Passengers should disclose any medical condition, disabilities and impairments at time of booking.

Great Barrier Reef

We have a passion for showing you Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, so please make sure you understand the scuba diving laws.

Queensland, Australia has some of the strictest scuba diving rules in the world but also the safest scuba diving record.

The Queensland Government Code of Practice regulates us and comply with all rules, including medical as is the law.

To avoid disappointment on your day of travel, we strongly recommend that all of our passengers complete our dive medical questionnaire.

Before booking some medical conditions, age and medications may prevent you from scuba diving.

It is always our mission to provide our passengers with the very best Great Barrier Reef experience.

Reef Experience Dive Medical

We are pleased to help you with any questions you may have.

Please contact our office on 07 4037 2700 or email us at [email protected],

Or you may like to consult your Doctor for a Dive Medical using the Australian Standard Forms ‘AS.4005.1

Flying after Scuba Diving

For a single no-decompression scuba dive, you should not fly or go to altitude for at least 18 hours after a scuba dive.  For multiple dives, you should not fly for 24 hours after your last dive.
If Skydiving or Hot Air Ballooning you must wait 24 hours after your dive.
We recommend waiting a minimum of 24 hours whenever possible.[/toggle]

Your Cairns on a Budget package can be experienced in the order that suits you best.

BookRead policies

Tour Features


Barron River Rafting

Barron River Rafting – Half Day


Pick-up from Cairns City Accommodations


Great Barrier Reef Tours, Reef Experience

All Inclusive Day Tour

Best value outer Great Barrier Reef tour! Snorkel, scuba dive & glass bottom boat the Barrier Reef with Cairns' only all inclusive reef tour! Visit two pristine locations and enjoy up to 6 hours in natures paradise - Reef Experience is our NUMBER 1 day trip in Cairns. An unbeatable outer reef tour...


Millaa Millaa Falls, Cairns Waterfall tour

Waterfall Tour Cairns

Fun, Falls & Forest

Uncle Brian's has been sharing rainforest and waterfall experiences with amazing people for over 21 years. The combination of music, food, world people's and breathtaking natural history has made us who we are. Your driver and Gus the bus are as excited to be on the tour as you will be, they do it because they love showing off their backyard.


Cassowary and chicks, Daintree Rainforest, Australia

Daintree Rainforest Animals

Daintree Rainforest Wildlife Tour

Daintree Rainforest Wildlife Tour - where the rainforest meets the reef -spot a crocodile on a Daintree river cruise, take a guided walk, spotting wildlife




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