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Cairns to Cooktown Day Tour

Cairns to Cooktown day tours, including an Aboriginal rock art tour, depart every day during April to November, thanks to Outback Overnight Journeys. Don’t be confused by our name, we provide flying day tours to an extensive selection of stunning destinations, including the historic township of Cooktown.

Our Cairns to Cooktown day tour departs Cairns Airport’s General Aviation terminal at 7am and returns at 5.40pm. It’s a full day of exploration that must be booked with advance notice.

Please note that itineraries and destinations can be tailored to suit your needs and interests. The day tour outlined below includes a 5 hour cultural experience, which necessitates the early start from Cairns. If you want to omit this from the day, then the departure can be later. Please contact us to discuss your individual requirements.

Your Day

As a scenic flight operator, we ensure your journey to and from Cooktown is as memorable as possible. Taking off, we head west to Green Island and Arlington Reef on the edge of the continental shelf. From here, we track north-westerly passing over Norman, Opal and Agincourt Reefs on our way to Cooktown.

We arrive into the historic township at around 8.15am, when you are collected for your Rainbow Serpent Rock Art Tour. This is a cultural day tour where Aboriginal Elder and story-keeper Willie Gordon takes you to his ancestral rock art sites, set in stunning countryside high in the hills outside Cooktown.

Here, on his Traditional lands, Willie explains why these sites are of such importance to future generations of Nugal-warra people. He gives guests an understanding of the rich and complex society depicted in the art and explains how the paintings speak of the essence of life and the lores of his people. The tour returns to Cooktown around 1.15pm.

Lunch is not included in the tour price, but there are plenty of cafes and restaurants to choose from. In the afternoon you can visit the Cooktown Historical Museum, home to many artefacts from HMB Endeavour, before taking a guided tour of the town.

Cooktown has a rich and diverse history, from being the first point of meaningful contact between Europeans and Indigenous Australians, to being the base for one of Australia’s largest gold rushes, this is a town with many tales to share.

Departing at around 4.20pm, we follow the coast back to Cairns, passing over Cape Tribulation (where the reef meets and rainforest), Port Douglas, Palm Cove and the Beaches, before arriving at the airport at around 5.40pm.

What Will I See?

As much as possible! The scenic flight to and from Cairns to Cooktown is stunning. You will enjoy panoramic views over the Coral Sea, tropical islands, rich rainforest and coastal topography. Photographers will be particularly happy. Our Cessna 337 uses the unique “Centre Line Thrust” and high wing, which means there aren’t any engines or wings blocking your stunning pictures.

At Cooktown you explore and learn more about the region’s unique Indigenous and European history, including a 5 hour cultural tour to six (6) rock art sites.

What Does It Cost?

Our Cairns to Cooktown day tour costs $2,480, which includes the aforementioned itinerary and pilot commentary. The Cessna 337 takes up to 4 guests (bringing the price down to $620 per person), making this one of the most affordable options in the market! This is perfect for couples travelling together, small groups and families.

Cairns to [Destination] Return
Cairns to Cooktown Day Tour (10.5 hours) $2,480 or $620pp for 4 people.
For more information on Outback Overnight Journeys, please contact Hew Mills on phone 0409 976 888
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Why Choose Us

We are one of the only operators to offer flying day tours from Cairns to Cooktown. With guest numbers limited to a maximum of four (4) people, you are ensured personalised service. Our professional pilot can work with you to tailor the day and itinerary to suit your needs and requirements. Just contact us to discuss further.

Hotel pick-ups from Cairns city are included. Departure times to suit guests, subject to prior bookings. Itineraries, destinations and flight duration can be tailored to suit your needs and preferences, contact us to discuss further.

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