- Quicksilver Great Barrier Reef Tour from Port Douglas
One of the main reasons to visit cairns is to snorkel the Great Barrier Reef, it is a must! Quicksilver tours from Port Douglas isn’t specifically in Cairns but it is a 50 minutes drive north. There is a Wheelchair accessible boat that takes you 1.5 hours to the Agin Court Reef where there is a accessible floating dock. There is ramps all over the boat and the crew members are extremely helpful and will do anything to make your trip comfortable. There is accessible toilets on the boat but not the dock (I don’t think there is any toilets on the Dock). Now you may be thinking how do I snorkel? Well for people who have arm movement it is quite easy! They have a lift into the water and life jackets or pool noodles that can assist you to float around the reef. If swimming is bothersome to you or you find it hard to lift your head above the water the crew can offer you assistance. When booking just state what needs you have and they will accommodate as best they can.
Prices: $252.50 Per an adult. This company does take companion cards although the fare is not totally free they do offer your carer half price discount which comes to $126.25
Contact/Bookings: (07) 4087 2100 ( Make sure you ask them for the accessible Dock and boat from Port Douglas)
2. Mosman Gorge
Mosman Gorge Eco Tourism Centre is situated in the Moseman Gorge world Heritage site within the Daintree Rainforest which is located 1 hour north of Cairns. There is disability car parks next to the centre and ramps to get Mayi Cafe and Restaurant. There is also ramps that head over to the accessible shuttle bus to get to the middle of the Gorge. There is hiking trails all through the Gorge but only a 250 metre long board walk is accessible. It is still worth the visit to see the lush tranquil rainforest even if there is only a small amount of a wheel for us wheelers.
Price: The shuttle service is $9.50 for adults. This company also takes companion cards which gives your carer a free ticket.
Phone: (07)4 4099 7000
3. Sunset Cruise
Sunset Cruise in Cairns is a cruise that takes off from the Docks down on Spencer Street and takes you up along the cairns river. It starts at 5.30pm and finishes at 7.00p,m. This cruise is perftect not to long and not to short. It takes you up through the mangroves as you watch the sunset behind the mountains. To say the scenery is spectacular is an understatement. Now the boat is halfway accessible it has ramps and a spot to sit your wheelchair but the only thing it is missing is the disabled toilet. Although its only a short cruise you can use the bathroom in the terminal before the cruise takes off so in this instance it is manageable.
Price: $46.00 ( This include a welcome drink and nibbles on arrival). They also accept Companion Cards so you can take a carer for free.
Phone: (07) 40510444
4. Skyrail Rainforest Cableway and Kuranda Railway
Now this is the most lazy amazing day you could spend in cairns. The sky rail is a cable way that takes you high in the sky and up to the small village of Kuranda. The cable way carriages would only be suitable for manual wheelchair users as they are very tiny on the inside and the doors do not open very wide.
On the way up the mountain there is 3 different spots that allow you to jump off and take a walk along wooden footpaths through the rainforest to a viewing platform where you can be in ore of the giant waterfalls.
After a couple of hours of travel in the cable way you will arrive in the village. The village has one main street that stretches a few hundred metres with hippie like shops with some really different Australian souvenirs. Along the main street there is many restaurants and cafes that you can stop and have a snack at. There is only two main disabled toilets in the whole town which is at the main park and the centre that the cable cars arrive at. The village is rather hilly so a power assist will be really beneficial.
Once you’ve finished in the village you can make your way down to the train station. (Before you decide to travel here for the day, call the centres and organise times for the sky rail and the train down from kuranda). This old steam train is amazing, it reminds me of the train out of Harry Potter. It has large windows and luxury seating inside.
There is a neat lift that heads down to the platform and a folk lift style lift to assist you to get onto the train. It is easy and the workers have been educated on how to manage the lift and how to strap chairs in. There is a disabled toilet on the train which I would advise to use when the train has come to a stop or it will feel like your on a roller coaster instead of a relaxing train ride.
The history of the train and kuranda is interesting and you will be educated on the way back to cairns. On the train there is a tape that goes into detail of settlement life and how the train was built and the purpose.
The train stops once to view the waterfall but there isn’t a lift to get off although you still have a rather spectacular view from your seat on the train. At the end of the train ride you someone who is travelling with you can catch the shuttle back to where the car is parked or continue on the train to the Cairns main train station.