Great Barrier Reef Snapshot: Wildlife Encounters, Culture, and Rainforest

Explore the Great Barrier Reef in style! 4-star hotels, transfers, and activities included.

  • Snorkel and sail the Great Barrier Reef
  • Cuddle a koala & feed kangaroos
  • Discover Aboriginal culture in the ancient Daintree Rainforest
  • Get your adrenaline pumping on a whitewater rafting rainforest adventure
From $2,199
per person
8 days
Airfare additional cost
Based on
2 travelers

This Great Barrier Reef Snapshot: Wildlife Encounters, Culture, and Rainforest package was designed for a mother-daughter duo traveling from Wisconsin. They shared an interest in rare flora and fauna of the Daintree Rainforest along with the vibrant coral gardens and tropical marine life of the Great Barrier Reef.

They checked into the elegant Thala Beach Nature Reserve and took the morning to relax after a long journey. They were able to choose from a variety of onsite tours like Natural walks, bird watching, coconut odyssey, and beach discovery. They chose to stargaze in the evening, the perfect end to a long day of travel from Wisconsin.

The following day they embarked on a Quicksilver snorkeling expedition. The SilverSonic quickly whisked the duo away for a day filled with fun and adventure on the Great Barrier Reef. The day was filled with activities like exploring the underwater gardens and ecological diversity of the Great Barrier Reef. Then they explored the Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas. They truly enjoyed the koala enclosure where they learned more about wildlife rescue efforts and more. They finished the eventful day with a Sunset Sail with Sailaway Port Douglas. They took the evening to unwind and enjoy the tranquillity of pure sailing, with a complimentary beverage in-hand.

Day 4, the mother-daughter duo chose to take a full-day of cultural experience. They spent the day with a local Aboriginal tour guide, learning about the amazing relationships the Kuku Yalanji still maintain with their land. Learning the history and culture of the local Aboriginal people was truly a memory for the books. To complete the adventure, the duo cooled off in a pristine freshwater stream. Following a full day of walking, the duo chose to travel from Port Douglas to Cairns City in a private luxury sedan. They finished the day exploring Cairns city, home to the Great Barrier Reef!

On the 6th day, the Wisconsin duo decided to adventure to the Cairns Aquarium. Being avid marine-life enthusiasts, they were excited to learn more about the 15,000 aquatic animals housed at the Cairns Aquarium. To finish off the adventure, the duo decided to embark on a Barron River Adventure with Raging Thunder Adventures. Ready for thrills and excitement, they paddled with the rapids all while taking in the beauty of the surrounding land. No experience necessary! The following day they took a private luxury sedan form Cairns City to the airport where they prepared for the journey back to the Midwest.

The mother-daughter duo returned home with full hearts and a plethora of memories that will last a lifetime. Not to mention some amazing action-shot photos to fill their photo books!


Need flights? We can help with that! Ask us about the new direct Qantas routes from Chicago & Los Angeles to Brisbane.

Day 1
Welcome to Australia! Arrive feeling refreshed and ready to explore after a comfortable flight into Brisbane on the award-winning Qantas Airways (additional cost). Enjoy a short onward flight into Cairns and a scenic road transfer to Port Douglas in a private luxury sedan vehicle.

Sunny Port Douglas is the perfect hub for experiencing Australia’s top natural wonders. Discover the rare flora and fauna of the World Heritage Daintree Rainforest, plus the vibrant coral gardens and tropical marine life out on the Great Barrier Reef. Your home for the next four nights is the secluded Thala Beach Nature Reserve—a true nature retreat that combines the best of the tropical forest and beach. 
Thala Beach Nature Reserve

Day 2
Today, explore the Great Barrier Reef, one of the world’s most iconic natural wonders, on a day filled with adventure and fun. You’ll explore spectacular coral formations and underwater gardens awash with vibrantly colored marine creatures as you visit three different Agincourt ribbon reef sites at the outer edge of the Great Barrier Reef.

After a fun-filled, active day, you’ll return to Port Douglas in time for a relaxing stroll along Four Mile Beach and dinner at one of the many fabulous restaurants in town. Back at Thala Beach, enjoy a peaceful evening in your own little slice of natural paradise. If you’re up for it this evening, be sure to try the complimentary stargazing experience and discover the stars of the Southern Hemisphere on a private beach completely free from light pollution.
Thala Beach Nature Reserve

Day 3
This morning, you’ll have a chance to meet all of Australia’s iconic animals at Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas. Enjoy a personalized private tour with amazing opportunities to interact with Australian wildlife. Enter the koala enclosure for some one-on-one time, visit the Wildlife Care Centre to learn about wildlife rescue efforts, enjoy a private reptile presentation, and spend 1.5 hours with a wildlife keeper.

Your afternoon is free to relax on the private beach at Thala, indulge in a relaxing spa treatment, or spot sea turtles in the house reef. Lunch at Osprey Restaurant, nestled high in the treetops, is a can’t-miss! Your evening ends with a sunset sailing excursion with Sailaway Port Douglas. Soak up the peace and tranquility of a tropical sunset over the Coral Sea with spectacular mountain views.
Thala Beach Nature Reserve

Day 4
Today, you’ll discover Aboriginal culture in the ancient Daintree Rainforest. Spend your day with a local Aboriginal tour guide, learning about the amazing relationships the Kuku Yalanji people have with their land. You will visit the majestic Daintree Rainforest and coastal habitats, learning about traditional foods and medicines sourced from this unique environment.

Sample some “bush tucker” cuisine, have a go at spear throwing, and if you’re lucky, catch a mud crab! To complete the adventure, cool off in a pristine freshwater stream. Return to Thala Beach in time for a relaxing sunset dinner.
Thala Beach Nature Reserve

Day 5
Enjoy a leisurely morning to explore anything you may have missed in Thala’s extensive and beautiful grounds. Perhaps take a refreshing dip in the pool after breakfast, or spot wildlife on one of the gorgeous nature trails. This afternoon, your private driver will transfer you 1 hour via scenic coastal highway to Cairns and your spacious, modern hotel: Riley by Crystalbrook. The rest of the day is free to enjoy the hotel’s luxurious amenities and explore some of the fantastic restaurants, bars, and galleries in town. Don’t miss the Cairns night markets in the evening!
Riley by Crystalbrook

Day 6
Enjoy another day of leisure. Whenever you choose, you can head to the Cairns Aquarium for a few hours to learn more about the unique wildlife you saw in the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest earlier in your journey. Travel through 10 amazing North Queensland ecosystems with over 70 different habitats.
Riley by Crystalbrook

Day 7
Spend your last day on a thrilling whitewater rafting adventure on the Barron River! Prepare for plenty of thrills and excitement as you plunge through the rainforests of Barron Gorge National Park, paddle through grade 2-3 level rapids, surf the rafts into the free-standing waves, and go over the huge drop at Rooster Tail. No experience necessary! Return to town in time for a delicious dinner to celebrate your wonderful Australian adventure.
Riley by Crystalbrook

Day 8
Your memorable Great Barrier Reef adventure comes to an end today. Enjoy a transfer in a private luxury sedan to Cairns airport, where you’ll begin your journey back home on the award-winning Qantas Airways.

  • Private road transfer from Cairns to Thala Beach Nature Reserve in a luxury sedan vehicle
  • 4 nights at Thala Beach Nature Reserve, Port Douglas
    • Daily guided nature tours on the private rainforest reserve and beach
    • Special Offer: Stay 4 Nights, Pay 3
  • Full-day Great Barrier Reef excursion with Quicksilver
    • Complimentary snorkeling gear and wetsuit
    • Transfers to/from hotel
    • Tropical buffet lunch and morning and afternoon tea included
  • Privately guided tour of Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas
    • One-on-one koala encounter with 1 souvenir photo per person
    • Visit to Wildlife Care Centre
    • Private reptile presentation
    • General park admission allows you to see unique Australian animals and hand-feed kangaroos
    • Private dining experience included
  • Sunset sailing excursion with Sailaway Port Douglas
    • Complimentary beverage
    • Hot & cold canapes
  • Full-day Aboriginal cultural experience in the Daintree Rainforest
    • Transfers to/from hotel
    • Lunch included
  • Private road transfer from Thala Beach Nature Reserve to Cairns in a luxury sedan vehicle
  • 3 nights at Riley hotel, Cairns
    • Special Offer: Stay 3 Nights, Pay 2
  • Admission to the Cairns Aquarium with photo
  • Whitewater rafting adventure on the Barron River
    • Transfers to/from hotel
    • Tea and coffee included
  • Private road transfer from Riley hotel to Cairns airport in a luxury sedan vehicle

Must book by April 30, 2020. Valid for travel through 31 March 2021. Blackout dates may apply. Special offers are included in package pricing.

“A trip to the Great Barrier Reef is packed with adventure; that’s why I truly enjoy the sunset sail with Sailaway Port Douglas. It’s the perfect way to unwind on the open ocean with a glass of wine in hand, all while watching the sun set into deep blue skies.”
Shannon, Luxury Travel Designer at Down Under Endeavours 

Thala Beach Nature Reserve

Partner Information

  • Location: Port Douglas
  • Type of Accommodation: Eco-Lodge
  • Comfort Level: Superior Comfort
  • 145 Acres of Rainforest and Beachfront Wilderness
  • Private-Access Beach
  • 2 Freeform Swimming Pools
  • Massage Studio
  • Range of Complimentary Activities
  • Committed to Conservation of Natural Environment

Things To Do

  • Nature and Wildlife Walks
  • Great Barrier Reef Excursions
  • Swimming at Private Beaches
  • Sea Kayaking
  • Birdwatching
  • Stargazing
  • Kuku Yalangi (Aboriginal) Cultural Talks
  • Coconut Odyssey Tour