MAREEBA WETLANDS is a 5,000 acre nature reserve close to Mareeba and Cairns with interconnecting lagoons and creeks.  These lagoons including Clancy’s lagoon attract a wide diversity of birdlife with over 200 species of birds and provides a sanctuary to most of Australian tropical water birds.

Mareeba Wetlands and Jabiru Safari Lodge are closed from April 2018 for day visitors. Whilst conservation works are undertaken at the Mareeba Wetlands, overnight stays at Jabiru Safari Lodge and day visits to the Mareeba Wetlands will not be possible. Throughout  2018,  conservation works will be undertaken so we look forward to when both Mareeba Wetlands and Jabiru Safari Lodge re-open in the future.  Whilst the conservation works are undertaken, day access and overnight stays won’t be possible except for specialised open days which will be advised.

Where to go whilst Mareeba Wetlands is shut?

Atherton Tablelands is a diverse rich ecological environment, locations including Hastie’s Swamp and the Yungaburra and Malanda regions are ideal locations for bird watching.  Closer to Cairns is the wonderful Cattana Wetlands just 15 minutes from Cairns.  These wetlands are ideal for nature experiences and are a good option to visit whilst Mareeba Wetlands is closed.  A popular accommodation close to Cattana Wetlands is the Villa Marine Nature Reserve.

Where to stay while Mareeba Wetlands is closed?

Throughout the Atherton Tablelands there is a good choice of holiday accommodation including motels, hotels and holiday cottages.  A popular accommodation for bird watchers is Villa Marine Nature Reserve.

 When are the best times of the year to visit Mareeba?

The best time to visit the Wetlands from our past experience is from April to December as the reserve is usually closed in January, February & March and during wet season and usually opening again in April.  My favourite times to visit are in May when the Brolgas and Sarus Cranes begin to arrive in August and September the Red-tailed Black Cockatoos and as the lagoons dry out, this is a great time to spot kangaroos, wallabies and emus.

October is when large numbers of Brolgas & Sarus Cranes are roosting and November and December with the large number of whistling ducks.

Mareeba Wetlands Emu                                                     Kayaking Mareeba Wetlands

What to do at the Mareeba Wetlands

  • Canoeing on lagoon, hire a canoe and canoe around the extensive lagoon system. This is the most wonderful activity, stable canoes.  It is thoroughly recommended and it was the highlight of our trip to the Mareeba Wetlands.
  • Fly fishing at Mareeba Wetlands
  • Wildlife and birdwatching throughout the Mareeba Wetlands
  • Private guiding
  • Sunset tours
  • Self-guided interpretive walks around the Mareeba Wetlands.
  • To book, any activities when it re opens or overnight stay Jabiru
    Safari Lodge contact Cairns Beaches Tourism Information Centre. The local experts on nature tours in North Queensland and the Cairns Region Phone 07 4055 7158.

How to get to Mareeba Wetlands?

From Cairns drive north along Captain Cook Highway taking the Kuranda Range at Smithfield.  It is an easy 1 hour drive from both Cairns.  Drive through Mareeba and 6.5 kms north of Mareeba the reserve is located.  Take signpost on left side to Mareeba Wetlands along Pickford Road.

Do you need a four wheel drive to go the Mareeba Wetlands?

Not usually, as the gravel road is suitable for regular cars.  You don’t need a four wheel drive unless you were travelling during wet season.  It is a 4 km drive to the Mareeba Wetlands Reserve gate and then a further 3 kms to the visitors car parking, toilets and disabled access.

What birds can I see at Mareeba Wetlands?

Birds to see at Mareeba Wetlands include over 200 species. Diverse range of birdlife and wildlife include 6 different Quill species, Magpie, Geese, Black Swans, 11 different duck species and 3 different Grebes, Darters and Cormorants, Pelicans, Crakes, Rails, Swamphens, Moorhens & Coots, Herons, Egrets, Bitterns, Ibis, Spoonbills, Storks (Jabiru), Cranes including Brolga, Sarus Crane, Bustards, Sandpipers, Godwits, Common Greenshank, Stints, Jacanas which thrive on the water lilies, Curlews, Stills, Avocets, Lapwings, Plovers, Dotterels, Terns.

Birds of Prey including Osprey, Kites, Hawks, Eagles, Harriers and Falcons.  Five different pigeons and doves have been recorded and of course the famous Red-Tailed Black Cockatoo.  We have great sightings of Black Cockatoos at the Wetlands and on the road into Mareeba Wetlands. Parrots including Lorikeets, Rosellas & Red Wing Parrots. With 9 different varieties of Cuckoos, Keels and Coucals not to mention a great location if you wish to see owls.  “Five different species, 3 different Frogmouths and Night jars.

One of the most beautiful birds to see are the Kingfishers especially the Azure Kingfisher, a delight to see around the lagoons.   Both the laughing Kookaburra and Blue Winged Kookaburra are regularly seen.  Bee eaters, Rollers & Tree Creepers and Pardalotes are well represented as well as numerous Honeyeaters, beautiful Robins, Bee Eaters, Thrushes, Monarchs, Magpie Larks; Fly Catchers & Wagtails are seen throughout the Wetlands.

One to look out for is the fascinating Great Bowerbird, a delight to watch.  The changing and different habitats within the Mareeba Wetlands give great opportunities to observe Finches, Mandikins.  The Wetlands if of course famous for the Gouldian Finch program.  For more extensive bird list, see www.mareebawetlands.org

 

Costa Luminosa Cruise Ship Onshore Tours from Yorkeys Knob Cairns & Port Douglas, cruise ship passengers can purchase their onshore tours at local prices for tours in Cairns from the Yorkeys Knob Tourist Information Centre. Why pay more? Purchase shore tours at the local price for Cairns tours and save.

Yorkeys Knob Tourist Information Centre can book your on-shore tours at the local price. Compare our prices against those on the cruise ship. Contact our office on 07 4055 7158 for more specific information on tours that suit Costa Luminosa. The most popular tour for ship passengers is to Kuranda. Enjoy the Kuranda markets, rainforest walks, the Kuranda Heritage train and the amazing journey over the rainforest canopy in the Skyrail gondola. Other popular tours include Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures and Tjapukai Aboriginal Culture Centre.

Costa Luminosa from Port Douglas is ideal for taking trips to the Great Barrier Reef or an island experience. Going to Low Isles is a great alternative to Green Island.

Costa Luminosa Arrival & Departure times in Yorkeys Knob Cairns

Port North indicates an arrival time of 7.00 am and departure at 6.00 pm. However, these times are approximated only and we also recommend you check the arrival and departure times that the cruise ship advises you.

Contact us to organise pick-up and drop off at the Yorkeys Knob Marina where your tender arrives and departs from.

Once arriving in Yorkeys Knob, Cairns, the ship will moor just off the coast and you will be tendered in to shore to the Yorkeys Knob Marina. The length of time of the tendering process largely depends on weather conditions on the day. Usually, it only takes approximately 15 – 20 minutes.

 

For all onshore tours from Port Douglas for cruise ship passengers contact us and ask for our Port Douglas Tour Specialist to assist you with great local knowledge and cheaper prices.

Costa Luminosa is affectionately referred to as Ä diamond of light” as the ship is the diamond in the Costa fleet.  The ship was built in 2008 and operated by Costa Crociere. The 294m long cruise ship can hold up to 2,826 passengers and cost 240 Million euros to build. The 42 day world cruise in Santiago, Chile and visits the following ports: Easter Islands, Pitcairn ISL, Papeete, Rarotonga, Tauranga, Auckland, Melbourne, Brisbane, YORKEYS KNOB, CAIRNS, Komodo Island, Lombok, Benoa and finishing in Singapore.

Passengers who don’t wish to do any onshore tours but would rather just spend a relaxing day at Yorkeys Knob, can take a five minute walk to the Yorkeys Knob Tourist Information Centre.  We can organise a day package for the use of Villa Marine Resort.  You will have the full use of the resort facilities which includes the use of a Villa, swim in our salt water pool, purchase cold drinks, local souvenirs and post cards.  Our friendly staff are here to offer great local information.

 

Celebrity Solstice Onshore Tours Yorkeys Knob Cairns, cruise ship passengers can enjoy some popular onshore Cairns tours. Celebrity Solstice passengers can purchase their onshore tours at local prices for tours in Cairns from the Yorkeys Knob Tourist Information Centre. Why pay more? Celebrity Solstice Onshore Tours Yorkeys Knob Cairns can be purchased by cruise ship passengers through us for all shore tours, activities and excursions at the local price and save.

Celebrity Solstice Onshore Tours Yorkeys Knob Cairns cruise ship passengers book locally and save

Tourist Information Centre at Yorkeys Knob Beach Cairns can book your on-shore tours at the local price. Compare our prices against those on the cruise ship. Contact our office on 07 4055 7158 for more specific information on tours that suit Celebrity Solstice. The most popular tour for passengers is to Kuranda. Enjoy the Kuranda markets, rainforest walks, the Kuranda Heritage train and the amazing journey over the rainforest canopy in the Skyrail gondola. Other popular tours include Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures, Tjapukai Aboriginal Culture Centre and scenic flights over the Great Barrier Reef.
Kuranda train All Cairns Tours

Contact us to organise pick-up and drop off at the Yorkeys Knob Marina where your tender arrives and departs from.

Celebrity Soltice Arrival & Departure times in Yorkeys Knob Cairns

Port North indicates an arrival time of 8.00 am and departure at 6.00 pm. However, these times are approximated only and can vary according to the day and to the weather. We recommend that you always check your cruise ship arrival and departure times.

 

Once arriving in Yorkeys Knob, the ship will moor just off the coast and you will be tendered in to shore to the Yorkeys Knob Marina.  The length of time of the tendering process largely depends on weather conditions on the day. Usually, it only takes approximately 15 – 20 minutes.

All Cairns Tours Scenic Reef flights

Yorkeys Knob Tourist Information Centre

Passengers who don’t wish to do any onshore tours but would rather just spend a relaxing day at Yorkeys Knob can take a five-minute walk to the Yorkeys Knob Tourist Information Centre and receive advice and free maps on activities here in Yorkeys Knob.  Check out our diverse range of local North Queensland souvenirs, beach towels, Sarongs, sea shells, tea towels and other souvenirs at your stop at Yorkeys Knob. Enjoy cold drinks, table and chairs and free complimentary Wifi.

Celebrity Solstice is Australia and New Zealand’s highest-rated cruise ship. She was built in Germany in 2008 and cost US$750 million to build with a length of 317 metres. It accommodates 2,852 passengers and 1,250 crew. Known for the food and the overall dining experience, Celebrity Solstice has raised a whole new level in the cruising world. We wish you a great cruise on Celebrity Soltice and don’t hesitate to contact us for any information relating to this cruise ship.

 

Pacific Eden on-shore tours, excursions Cairns, Port Douglas can be purchased at the local price rather than through the ship. Pacific Eden passengers can purchase all their onshore tours at local prices rather than the cruise ship price from Cairns Beaches Tourist Information Centre Why pay more?  Purchase your Cairns tours at the local price and save.

Pacific Eden docks in Airlie Beach, Yorkeys Knob Cairns and Port Douglas giving cruise ship passengers 3 great ports to experience different on shore tours and activities. This includes excursions to Kuranda rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef.  The best place to see the reef is from Cairns and Port Douglas whereas Kuranda is best visited from Yorkeys Knob.  Phone our Cairns Beaches Tourist Information Centre on 07 4055 7158 for the latest and up to date details for Yorkeys Knob, Port Douglas and Airlie Beach.

Once arriving in Yorkeys Knob, the ship will moor just off the coast and you will be tendered in to shore to the Yorkeys Knob Marina.  The length of time of the tendering process largely depends on weather conditions on the day.  Usually it only takes approximately 15 – 20 minutes.

The Tourist & Visitors Information Centre at Yorkeys Knob Beach Cairns can book all your on-shore tours at the local price.  Compare our prices against those on the cruise ship.  Contact our office on 07 4055 7158 for more specific information on tours that suit Pacific Eden. The most popular tour for Pacific Eden passengers is to Kuranda.  Enjoy the Kuranda markets, rainforest walks, the Kuranda Heritage train and the amazing journey over the rainforest canopy in the Skyrail gondola.  Other popular tours include Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures and Tjapukai Aboriginal Culture Centre.

If there is a specific tour you would like to do such as a scenic flight over the reef just advice and we will organise your booking.  Contact us to organise pick-up and drop off at the Yorkeys Knob Marina where your tender arrives and departs from. The Kuranda tour and others have transfers included in the price so there is no need to book on your cruise ship.

Pacific Eden from Port Douglas is ideal for taking trips to the Great Barrier Reef or an island experience.  Going to Low Isles is a great alternative to Green Island and through us you can make significant savings.

For all onshore tours from Port Douglas for cruise ship passengers contact us and ask for our Port Douglas Tour Specialist to assist you with great local knowledge and cheaper prices.

Passengers, who don’t wish to do any onshore tours but would rather just spend a relaxing day at Yorkeys Knob, can take a five minute walk to the Yorkeys Knob Tourist Information Centre at 8 Rutherford Street, Yorkeys Knob.  We can organise a day package for the use of Villa Marine resort Villa Marine Resort.  You will have the full use of the resort facilities which can include the use of a Villa.  Swim in a huge salt water lagoon pool facing rainforest, purchase cold drinks, local souvenirs and post cards.  The friendly staff are there to offer great local information and assist you with other onshore cruises you would like to book in other ports.

Pacific Eden is a cruise ship of P&O Cruises Australia and was built for the Holland America Line in 1993.  In November 2015 it was transferred to P&O Cruises Australia and renamed to Pacific Eden.  She can accommodate 1,258 passengers and 557 crew. Pacific Eden’s final voyage will depart on 16 March 2019 before being transferred to a new cruise ship operator in early April 2019.

The Pacific Eden is a food-lovers dream, with 16 dining experiences on board ensuring you’ll never be lacking in options for breakfast, lunch or dinner. This includes P&O Cruise’s newest innovation to the dining at sea experience “The Pantry”, which replaces the traditional cruise buffet with a marketplace of fresh, quality food options in eye-catching dining décor.

Pacific Eden features a top deck pool with a climate controlled retractable roof, ensuring you’ll always be able to take a dip whenever you want. You won’t have to worry about buying adapters either – as an Australian-based ship, the Pacific Eden features Australian power points and pricing on board.

We hope you have a great cruise on Pacific Eden and we look forward to assisting you with all your onshore excursions from Cairns, Yorkeys Knob, Port Douglas and Airlie Beach.

C. Broussard – Avid cruise ship passenger & travel writer