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 planet the Daintree Rainforest. Cool off in the Atherton Tablelands then Whitewater Rafting on the mighty Barron River.

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

Daintree Rainforest

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

See the endangered cassowary and other wildlife. Have the chance to have your photo taken 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.

Outer Great Barrier Reef Cruise

You will have an unforgettable day on Compass Cruises! The best ending to your Cairns on a Budget package.

Enjoy a relaxing cruise to the Outer Great Barrier Reef. Snorkel amongst beautiful corals. View a colourful variety of tropical marine life. Relax on the huge sundeck.

Take the “Wild Ride” on the famous Compass Boomnet.

Unlimited snorkelling while at the Great Barrier Reef, while Scuba Diving is available for all levels of experience (at an additional cost).



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


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


  • 07:30 – Check in direct to Compass at Marlin Wharf Berth 18.
  • 08:00 – Depart Marlin Marina Cairns to the Great Barrier Reef.
  • 10:30 – Arrive at your first Great Barrier Reef Location.
  • 12:30 – BBQ Lunch with fresh salads.
  • 13:00 – Cruise to 2nd Reef Location.
  • 15:00 – Depart the Great Barrier Reef.
  • 17:30 – Approximately Arrival time at Cairns Marina.



  • 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.


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


  • 2 spectacular outer barrier reef locations (weather permitting).
  • Up to 4 hours of snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef.
  • Snorkel equipment hire & tuition (excluding wetsuits).
  • Flotation devices if required.
  • Fresh fruit platters.
  • Delicious BBQ lunch.
  • Boomnetting (weather permitting A glass of wine, cheese & crackers on the return journey.
  • Complimentary tea & coffee all day. (while the vessel is stationary).
  • Experienced & helpful crew.
  • All Reef Taxes and Levies.
  • Friendly crew assistance for non-confident swimmers.

What to Bring


  • 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


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


  • 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.


  • Hat & towel
  • Swimming clothes
  • Proof of certification if you are a certified scuba diver.
  • Cash/Credit card for extra purchases.
  • Sun cream
  • Please advise of any dietary requirements upon booking.
  • Children’s prices are from 4 – 14 years.

Optional Extras


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


  • Certified Dives
  • Resort Scuba Diving
  • Dive Guide for Certified Divers.
  • Glass Bottom Boat Tours available (weather permitting).
  • Return Bus transfers from your Cairns City Accommodation  (please advise when booking where you are staying to enable us to process your reservation efficiently).
  • Wetsuit Hire
  • Prescription Masks
  • Underwater Camera Hire
  • Fully licensed bar

Important Information


  • 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.


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 as 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.

Compass Cruises Medical Questionnaire

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.

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

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