Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to footer

Cairns Outback Tours

Outback Australia consists of vast open spaces, tradition, red dirt, and unique wildlife. See for yourself the wonder that has inspired so many before.

Australian Outback Tours

Inland of Cairns to the West, you will come across the Far North Queensland Outback, rich in landscapes and in culture. Like a diamond in the rough, the shining people of this region are always keen to share a story over a beer at the pub or lend a helping hand.

The Indigenous Culture across Australia is rich in diversity and out in the outback is no different. Hunting & gathering on the land for over 50,000 years, it is safe to say the people of the first nations have a deep connection and expansive understanding of the natural environment. Elders share their knowledge through the telling of dreamtime stories, passed down over many years and continue through today’s generation. If you are lucky you may get the opportunity to see parts of these stories through the rock art at various locations scattered across the outback, such as the cave at Chillagoe.

Self drive Tips

Take your own journey through the Outback & take your time to soak in the magnificent environment. It is highly recommended to make sure you have a suitable vehicle, such as 4WD, to make this drive as the roads can be rough at times.

If you are driving a rental car, please do make sure that you check with your provider that the insurance will cover travel through the remote outback.

A route we recommend to travel is departing from Mareeba to Chillagoe. This route will show you all the nice Outback views, with a bit of adventure. You will travel through lush tropical rainforest into the arid, isolated Savannah. The diversity over this 559kilometer track is sure to amaze and provide lots of fun along the way.

Outback Tours & Options


A few hours’ drive West of Cairns, or along the Wheelbarrow Way if departing from Mareeba, you will find the former mining town of Chillagoe. Once an area of shallow sea with coral reef, this region now showcases magnificent caves and passages that have formed over the past 400 million years.

Over many years, Chillagoe has transformed into spectacular limestone bluffs with a network some 560 caves. A long time ago there was volcanic activity in Chillagoe, creating rich marble and mineral deposits.


  • Caverns
  • Balancing Rock
  • Smelters
  • Observatory, Star Gazing
  • Railway Station
  • Court House
  • Bank Vault
  • Police museum
  • Post office + hotel

Hot Springs (South of Ravenshoe)

Warm waters, rejuvenating minerals, and a lot of relaxation is what you can expect from a visit to the hot springs. In the cooler pools, you can relax in the mineral rich waters to heal both body and mind. Do be mindful when testing the water as some spots can reach upwards of 60 degrees Celsius.

Staying around the area to explore more is a great choice. Woodleigh Cattle Station, a family run cattle station on 180 acres of land, overlooks its own private river located just a short drive from Innot Hot Springs and the local Ravenshoe pub. You can camp, stay in a cabin, or if travelling with large groups, stay in the bunkhouses.

Talaroo Springs is the newest attraction inspired & put together by Australia’s first nations people. This camping/glamping option provides a comfortable space & a chance to indulge in the healing hot springs of Talaroo in their own geothermal bathing pool or private soaking pools. Here you can learn the indigenous history & dreamtime stories when you stay at this beautiful location.

Undara & Cobbold Gorge

Further into the outback, roughly 4 hours south-west of Cairns, you will come across a region that is popular amongst star gazers, history fans, and explorers looking to walk through Australia’s (some believe the world’s) longest lava tube system. Take in the sights will imagining the volume of lava that once flowed through these underground caves to create such a natural wonder.

Continue heading further into the outback to find Cobbold Gorge, a popular spot for water activities. Take a boat ride, kayak, or stand-up paddle board tour through the gorgeous gorge while learning about the history of the area and how the landscape came to be.


  • Wildlife
  • Birdwatching
  • Kayak and SUP tours
  • Helicopter tours
  • Fossicking opportunities
  • Forsayth township
  • Mountain biking

Outback Futures

A good work life balance is essential for a person to maintain good mental health. But what about those who live and work in these remote regions that are so captivating to visit? There is no denying the conditions of outback Queensland can be difficult, both physically and mentally. Businesses have a tough time dealing with the remoteness of the outback, weather complications from drought to heavy flooding rains, and the never really being able to escape the daily grind.

Outback Futures is a not-for-profit to help those Aussie’s living and working remotely in the outback by providing services to those need them and raising awareness of mental health with the next generation. Working with the community, having open & honest conversations about mental health, will help to break down the barriers while building strength together.