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The 5 wonders of A&K’s Tropical North Queensland

From coral reefs and pristine rainforest to remote cattle stations, Abercrombie & Kent delivers eco-luxe adventures like no other.

With its rare combination of reef, rainforest and classic Australian Outback, Tropical North Queensland has long beguiled visitors to the Sunshine State. Today, a new generation of chic eco-luxe retreats and exclusive touring and holiday options by Abercrombie & Kent delivers an array of life-enriching and fully immersive experiences in this rich and varied region.

A pioneer of luxury travel for more than 50 years, A&K’s latest small-group and tailor-made journeys take travellers on extraordinary adventures from Cairns to Cooktown and Port Douglas to Palmerville, focusing on rainforest wilderness, Indigenous art and culture, Outback life, tropical islands and hands-on conservation on the iconic Great Barrier Reef.

Sunrise at Port Douglas
Sunrise at Port Douglas © Reuben Nutt

Far North Exploration

Languid sun-splashed days dissolve into balmy evenings under starry skies on this five-night, self-drive journey from Port Douglas to Cooktown. Three days in Port Douglas include a snorkelling tour to the Low Isles, a rainforest experience in Mossman Gorge, a traditional Kuku Yalanji smoking ceremony and an interpretive walk in Daintree National Park. There’s also plenty of time for relaxing at Thala Beach Lodge, an exclusive eco-luxe retreat with views of reefs, islands and rainforest, where you’ll spend the first three nights. The three-hour drive to historic Cooktown takes in another Daintree experience, followed by two nights at the Sovereign Resort Hotel in the heart of town, and a private day tour of the major attractions with a knowledgeable A&K guide.

Five nights | Self-drive | $3,900 per person twin-share*

Turtle Bay and Dark Reef at Ribbon Reefs, Great Barrier Reef
Turtle Bay and Dark Reef at Ribbon Reefs, Great Barrier Reef © Tourism Australia

The Great Reef Census

Embark on the conservation adventure of a lifetime by participating in the Great Reef Census, a world-first citizen science program to survey the Great Barrier Reef. Spend six nights on board the fully-crewed, 21-metre luxury motor yacht Aroona, snorkel or dive on pristine coral reefs, take photographs and document what you see. Relax in five-star comfort with gourmet dining by a private chef. The Great Reef Census takes place between October and December 2021; all reef equipment is provided. Shorter experiences can be customised to suit, and Aroona can be booked as a private charter. The price is based on three groups twin-share travelling together.

Six nights | Luxury motor yacht | $8,350 per person twin-share*

Clownfish, Great Barrier Reef
Clownfish, Great Barrier Reef © Tourism Port Douglas and Daintree

Outback to the Reef by Air

Explore Tropical North Queensland at its best on this six-night, small-group journey by private charter aircraft, 4WD and helicopter. Contrast pioneering Outback spirit with the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef and the remote Cape York Peninsula. Tour highlights include the working cattle station of Mount Mulligan, the rich pearling heritage of Roko Island, the scenic Torres Strait islands, and the exquisite beaches and reefs of Lizard Island. Boutique accommodations are at Riley, a Crystalbrook Collection Resort in Cairns, Mount Mulligan Lodge and Lizard Island. Departure dates are 8 August, 5 September and 8 October 2021, and the tour is limited to 10 guests.

Six nights | By road and air | From $12,500 per person twin-share*

Mt Mulligan Lodge, North Queensland
Mt Mulligan Lodge, North Queensland

Stories of Outback Queensland

Soar across towering sandstone escarpments, ancient rivers and majestic Outback landscapes on this extraordinary heli-experience, exclusive to A&K. A traditional custodian will share his knowledge, insights and expertise as you helicopter inland from Cairns or Port Douglas to a stunning natural setting for a cultural experience like no other. Witness Quinkan rock art at the 20,000-year-old ‘Magnificent Gallery’ and hear stories of the Kuku Yalanji people, before choppering to Palmerville for a fascinating tour of a working cattle station. Call A&K for your preferred dates; the price reduces with larger groups travelling together.

One day | Heli-experience | From $5,355 per person twin-share*

Jarramali Rock Art Tours
Jarramali Rock Art Tours © Tourism Tropical North Queensland

Insider’s Cairns: An Indigenous Art Immersion

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art, fashion and culture collide in dazzling style at the 2021 Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF). A&K is offering exclusive access to one of Australia’s best art fairs with the chance to meet the designers and curators. Attend VIP events and previews, enjoy a private tour of the fair with CIAF Artistic Director Janina Harding, join a hands-on Aboriginal art workshop, and tour the Daintree. This is a group journey from 17 to 22 August for up to 24 guests, staying at Shangri-La The Marina, Cairns.

Five nights | Indigenous art experience | $3,195 per person twin-share*

Brought to you by Abercrombie & Kent in partnership with Tourism Tropical North Queensland. For more details, call 1300 851 800, contact your local travel agent or visit the website.

*Conditions apply. See website for details.

Cairns Indigenous Art Fair
Cairns Indigenous Art Fair © Kerry Trapnell

This article on A&K’s luxury Queensland tours originally appeared in Signature Luxury Travel & Style magazine. Subscribe to the latest issue today.

Lead image: Jarramali Rock Art Tours © Tourism and Events Queensland