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Atherton Tablelands Rain Forest by Night from Cairns

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Cairns, Australia
Atherton Tablelands Rain Forest by Night from Cairns
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Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance. Learn more
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Safety measures
icon8 hours 30 minutes  (Approx.)
Hotel pickup offered
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English
Good for avoiding crowds


Venture into the rainforest of the Atherton Tablelands with an expert guide to observe Australian native animals in the wild. From Cairns, travel into the World Heritage-listed Wet Tropics of Queensland to observe kangaroos, lizards, and possums by daylight, then continue after sundown to look for nocturnal critters like the elusive platypus and Lumholtz tree kangaroo. Enjoy afternoon tea at Lake Barrine and dinner at a country restaurant. This small-group tour is limited to 11 people, which ensures a more personalized experience with your guide.
  • Guided wildlife–spotting tour of Atherton Tablelands rainforest
  • Follow interpretive rainforest walking trails to see native wildlife in their natural environment
  • Look for animals such as the shy platypus, Lumholtz tree kangaroos, and tree frogs
  • Enjoy afternoon tea at Lake Barrine, a natural volcanic crater lake
  • Go platypus spotting at dusk
  • Enjoy dinner at a country restaurant
  • Small-group tour with a maximum of 11 participants provides a more intimate experience

Why Travelers Choose This Tour

Cooler temperatures and rare sightings of nocturnal wildlife on this night tour of the Atherton Tablelands.
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Hotel pickup and drop-off
Local guide
Afternoon tea
National Park fee
All equipment (binoculars, spotlighting gear, rain ponchos, reference materials)
Air-conditioned vehicle
Drinks, unless specified

Departure Point

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


  • Cairns

Departure Time

2:00 PM
Your wildlife-spotting tour starts in the early afternoon with pickup at your hotel in Cairns.

Head to the Atherton Tablelands and Lake Barrine where you observe natural wonders by day and night, using the provided spotlights, binoculars, and rain ponchos as needed.

Follow your expert guide along interpretive walking trails through the rain forest to see thousand-year-old kauri pines, a towering curtain fig tree, butterflies, birds and flying foxes (bats). Check out a volcanic pool at Lake Barrine and take a break for afternoon tea at the 80-year-old teahouse, gazing over the lake as you snack on tea or coffee and fresh-baked goods.

Go in search of the reclusive platypus at sundown; if you're lucky you may see this shy and unusual animal in the wild. Before your night walk, have dinner at a country restaurant in a historic building. Afterward, take a night hike in the rain forest, while stars shine overhead. Using a spotlight, your guide points out bright green gecko lizards, the Lumholtz tree kangaroo, glider possums, frogs, owls, and tiny ringtail possums that perch in the trees.

Gain a greater appreciation of Australia's wildlife, environment and culture as your knowledgeable local guide shares the beauty of the World Heritage-listed Wet Tropics of Queensland. Your tour ends with return to your hotel at night.
Stop At:  
Atherton Tablelands
There is no better place close to Cairns to see some of the rarest animals in Australia in the wild. We spend the majority of our tour exploring the region searching for wildlife.
Duration: 4 hours 
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Curtain Fig National Park
We take you to this amazing natural spectacle during the night walk section of our tour. The sites and sound of the rainforest at night is an experience you will not forget.
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Free
Pass By:  
Our tour is centred around the picturesque village of Yungaburra and the surrounding countryside. It is also where we get dinner.
Stop At:  
Lake Barrine
During the tour we take a break for afternoon tea and there is no better setting than Lake Barrine to enjoy it. Afterwards we take a slow walk through the surrounding forest searching for Forest Dragons and Musky Rat Kangaroos!
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Free
  • 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 tour/activity will have a maximum of 11 travelers
  • OPERATED BY Wait-a-While Rainforest Tours
You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.
  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
  • 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.

Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What is the policy on sanitization during Atherton Tablelands Rain Forest by Night from Cairns?
A:The policies on sanitization are:

  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Gear/equipment sanitized between use
  • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
See all safety measures taken by Atherton Tablelands Rain Forest by Night from Cairns.
What is the social distancing policy during Atherton Tablelands Rain Forest by Night from Cairns?
A:The policy on social distancing is:

  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
See all safety measures taken by Atherton Tablelands Rain Forest by Night from Cairns.
What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during Atherton Tablelands Rain Forest by Night from Cairns?
A:The policies on staff health & safety are:

  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
See all safety measures taken by Atherton Tablelands Rain Forest by Night from Cairns.

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281 Reviews

Reviews by Viator travelers

Showing 1-10 of 281 reviews
Not your average wildlife tour
, Jan 2022
A very different wildlife tour. Small group which is much more friendly and Paul was very knowledgeable about local flora and fauna. We managed to see platypus. Tree kangaroos, rat kangaroos, pademelons, bandicoots along with lots of species of possum, lizards and plants. Dinner at the old country pub was excellent. A great tour.
icon Response from Host , Jan 2022
Glad you enjoyed it thanks for the review.
Great experience
, Oct 2021
We thoroughly enjoyed the experience and would not hesitate recommending to anyone. We saw several of the rare native wildlife animals including the elusive tree kangaroo.
icon Response from Host , Oct 2021
Thanks for recommendation. Glad you enjoyed the tour.
Paul’s knowledge of the...
, Oct 2021
Paul’s knowledge of the area and where to find platypus, tree kangaroos and other wildlife made the tour everything we hoped for.
icon Response from Host , Oct 2021
So glad you enjoyed it!
Rainforest magic
, Nov 2020
Paul is a very experienced and knowledgable guide. Equipment is supplied except bring your own water bottle. The pace of the tour is pretty cracking with a lot of walking so you need to stay hydrated and wear the correct footwear to walk on the rainforest trails. Dinner in the "country pub" marvellous.
icon Response from Host , Nov 2020
Thanks for that. Glad you enjoyed it.
Possums and Pladypus
, Nov 2019
This was a wonderful journey into the forest by moon light. Our guide was very knowledgeable. Bring bug spray!!
Amazing wildlife
Cindy W
, Oct 2019
Pau was absolutely fantastic and extremely informative. We saw a lot of different wildlife, especially nocturnal animals too. It was a lovely day.
icon Response from Host , Oct 2019
Thanks Cindy glad you enjoyed it.
Lets be clear, this trip is all...
Roger B
, Mar 2018
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.
My family and I took this tour with...
Sam L
, Jan 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.
Absolutely THE best trip to go on if...
Ian G
, 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.
Good tour, but it's not for...
Dmitry S
, Dec 2017
Good tour, but it's not for experienced travelers if you've been in real trips of Indonesia/Thailand in the jungle. Don't expect you'll go further to jungle than 100 meters from where you parked : . During the trip you will drive between 4-5 known spots where particular animals live and make short stops to see them. While it's a good value for the price - just be aware that you're not going to 8 hour long expedition to the jungle that was my mistake thinking so, and nobody here commented on the real flow of the tour.

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