After pickup from your Cairns hotel by your guide, your tour begins by heading north to Barron Gorge National Park. Stop at Surprise Falls, a 797-foot-high (243-meter) waterfall set in the lower Barron Gorge.
Continue climbing the Lamb Range to the west of Cairns, and enjoy views over the city and out toward Green Island on the Great Barrier Reef. Then head to Lake Morris and Copperlode Dam; this is Cairns’ water supply, surrounded by World Heritage rainforest–clad mountains. You'll have time to stretch your legs and snap photos from the lookout before crossing the dam wall.
With your exclusive-access permit, head into areas not typically open to the public, away from the crowds. In your 4WD vehicle, wind through some of the most amazing rainforest landscapes in the region and over the Great Dividing Range, one of the longest mountain ranges in the world. Continue through the rainforest, crossing several creek systems and stopping at a boardwalk for an interpretive overview of the rainforest from your guide, including an introduction to the Clohesy River fig tree.
Next, leave the lushness of the Wet Tropics and enter the beginning of Australia’s savannah country, marveling at the rapid change in the forest types and scenery. Back on paved roads, make your way to Kuranda, where your guide drops you off just before midday for free time to explore this 'Village in the Rainforest.' You have about three hours to check out its attractions and markets on your own, and have lunch at one of the cafes or restaurants (own expense).
Later in the afternoon, return to Cairns by either the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, which glides over the World Heritage–listed rainforest and provides aerial views, or on the historical Kuranda Scenic Railway, where you can learn about the history of this feat of engineering. Once you have completed your choice of journey, you will be transferred by coach back to your accommodation in Cairns.