Atherton Tablelands Rain Forest by Night from Cairns

Atherton Tablelands Rain Forest by Night from Cairns

8 hours 30 minutes Cairns, Australia

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See Australia's unique animals and birds in their natural environment on a rainforest wildlife-spotting tour in the Atherton Tablelands. Led by an expert nature guide, your small-group nocturnal tour visits a number of locations including lush tropical rainforest and a volcanic crater lake. See tree kangaroos, lizards and musky rat kangaroo by day, and search for platypus at dusk. Enjoy afternoon tea at Lake Barrine and dinner at a country restaurant, then go spotlighting for possum, bandicoots, owls, bats and tree kangaroos by starlight on this fascinating nocturnal wildlife tour.
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Stop At: Atherton Tablelands, Cairns, Queensland Australia

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

Stop At: Curtain Fig National Park, Yungaburra, Queensland Australia

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

Pass By: Yungaburra, Yungaburra, Queensland

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, Yungaburra, Queensland Australia

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


  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Local guide
  • Afternoon tea
  • Dinner
  • 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

  • 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 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
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 11 travelers
  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Gear/equipment sanitized between use
  • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
  • Reduced numbers on tour


42 Reviews

Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews

5 Stars
4 Stars
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1 Stars

Sue C November 2019

This was a wonderful journey into the forest by moon light. Our guide was very knowledgeable. Bring bug spray!!

Marc W October 2019

Pau was absolutely fantastic and extremely informative. We saw a lot of different wildlife, especially nocturnal animals too. It was a lovely day.

Roger B March 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.

Sam L January 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.

Ian G January 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.

Rachel November 2017

Once in a life time experience! My friend Joy and I both loved the experience. The tablelands rainforest is mysterious and full of life. Our guide Paul was very passionate and knowledgeable about the forest and the wild animals living there. We felt safe traveling in the pitch dark rainforest under his guide, and had fun seeing the tree kangaroos, possums, flying foxes got pooped by one on the face wear hats and shut your mouth when you look up...-D fireflies and more! Because of the high altitude, there weren't mosquitoes bothering us either, which was a plus. Dinner was awesome too, would go with rare on the steak if ever going back the next time though. Thank you Paul!

hksurf79 October 2017

This tour was amazing!

Alexandra R September 2017

Amazing tour! Saw some really cool wildlife.

Emmanuelle H August 2017

That was a really amazing day !!! Paul knows perfectly the area and the animals to see. We've seen so much all day long: platypus, wallabies, possums, etc. So much to dicover for a wildlife lover !!! I highly recommend this tour :.

Desiree B May 2017

Our guide Paul found many Australia animals and gave us knowledge about each one and plants/tee we can across. We saw a tree kangaroo, platypus, 3 different types of possums,leaf tail gecko, forest dragon, chameleon gecko, and bats flying above. We really enjoyed this tour and saw some amazing animals.

Stefan M May 2017

This was one of my highlights in this holiday. I did just book the same tour again for my next visit to Cairns. We saw a lot of nocturnal animals witch you cant spot on the mostly offered tours in daylight conditions. Even the sounds in the night are worth to visit the jungle after sunset. Strongly recommended!!

Katherine R March 2017

Take this tour if you want to see as much wildlife as possible. Paul has his ego involved in being able to show as many people a platypus as he can- which of course is a win-win situation. and we did see one! this really was quite a quest, and fun! We also saw three kinds of possum, a lot of spiders, a dragon, and a leaf lizard, and a tree kangaroo. We also saw ancient trees, including a couple of amazing fig trees. The drive up there is also beautiful. The place he takes you for dinner is a place you would choose as well, the food was great.

R C K October 2016

Excellent tour with very knowledgeable guide. We saw a lot of animals and enjoyed the experience.

Janette H September 2016

We found this trip great. It was so good being able to see so many endangered animals. Paul was so good at spotting them. Thank you

Prabhat P August 2016

Paul was an amazing guide and introduced us to tree ants, wallabies, tree kangaroos, bandicoots, possums, platypus, strangler fig trees and kauri trees 1000 years old!, a beautiful southern sky milky way and all constellations visible...awesome dinner and lovely picnic tea. Memorable day, thank you Paul. My 8 year old sends special thanks for the tarzan style vines and natural swing vine!

Jean G August 2016

I chose this tour because I have an interest in nature and wildlife and I thought the nocturnal aspect sounded more interesting than just another scenic railway. I was not disappointed. I, my husband, and our 2 teen sons had a great time. We saw wallabies, megabats, microbats, tree kangaroos, platypus, many birds, 2 kinds of possums, bandicoots, giant huntsman spiders, a leaf-tailed gecko, green ants, and more. We also learned a lot about various plants and the landscape and history of the area, and got to swing on jungle vines. The twisty mountain roads didn't cause problems for anyone in our group and the scenery was lovely. Paul, the guide, was funny and knowledgeable, and dinner was not bad. Highly recommended.

Irwin M August 2016

The tour operator, Paul, was outstanding.
We have never experienced anything like a walk through a rainforest in the dark
We saw tree kangaroos, bandicoots, bats, possums, platypus platypi? and more.
Paul was entertaining, informative and personable.
The experience was more than worth the price

C C June 2016

Paul was wonderfully knowledgeable about the wildlife and culture in this area. We had children with us, and he was particularly helpful with them.

I would recommend Paul and Wait-A-While unconditionally.


Gillian C May 2016

Recommend this trip! Paul was a great guide. Very knowledgeable and friendly. He remembered everyone's name throughout the whole trip. Small sized tour which was helpful for the wildlife sightings. Was able to see a lot of wallabies and possums but also a tree kangaroo family, a gecko, and even a platypus. Tea/snacks were nice and the dinner was great. Just a heads up for those that may suffer from motion sickness the road up to the tablelands consists of many curves.

Florian S November 2015

We really enjoyed the tour, both seeing the rainforest with those impressive fig trees and all the animals platypus, tree kangaroo, a very cool and rare lizard and many more. The travel was difficult for both me and my sister though, as the car goes fast on roads that turn more than 180 degrees at one direction and then the other, so if you're sensitive, please bring some pills!!!

Kelly M September 2015

Wonderful experience start to finish - highly recommend this tour!

Richard d August 2015

Excellent! We did and see more than we expected! The driver was the tour guide who did an excellent job taking us to places to see wild nature. It was almost a full day tour and we loved every secind of it except windy road and I tend to get car sick. However , I was prepared with motion sickness pillss, just one way:
I was able to buy dramamine in the uSA over the counter, but in Australia we were not able to find the same. If you come from another country try to bring your own! The guide provided binoculars and raincoats , we really did not need the raincoats , but it was to have them . The sky at night was so beautiful and we spotted some animals/mammals in the dark. Lots of kangaroos, wallabies, birds, etc.. We stopped at a great italian restaurant for dinner which was included. Vegetarian option was available too upon request.
I really recommend this tour to thise who enjoy wildlife and nature!
I really recommend this tour

Art D July 2015

This was the highlight of our time in Cairns. Paul was an excellent guide who is a fount of knowledge and very good at finding animals, both during the day and at night. It was fun to see animals in the wild and not just in the preserves. He showed us an amazing variety of plants and animals. This is an all day adventure that is well worth the time.

Paul C June 2015

Always wanted to see a Tree Kangaroo, Platypus, Cassowary and Thylacine if they still exist in the wild.
On this tour with Paul I got to see 2 Lumholtz's Tree Kangaroos and 2 Platypus, plus several other mammals, reptiles, birds. The waterfalls, lakes and volcanic craters were great to see, plus the amazing
Cathedral Fig and Curtain Fig trees which are massive. Then there were the 1,000 year old Kauri Pines.
A really nice meal in the largest timber hotel historic in Australia. So glad I did this tour.

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.

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