Queensland Winter Retreat

Tour departs: 31 July 2018
Tour length: 15 Days


Tour Departs: 31 July 2018.

Tour Length: 15 Days.

Queensland is home to some of the world’s most treasured natural wonders. Where else would you find regions bursting with everything that makes for the perfect holiday. Our itinerary is uniquely different and full of highlights yet maintaining that relaxed holiday pace. The tour spends most of the time in the winterless north of Queensland, a region which offers a diversity of scenery – lush and fertile regions, the world renowned Great Barrier Reef, island resorts, exciting tropical towns and cities. Enjoy another of Australia’s iconic rail journeys between Brisbane and Cairns. Join us for a great tour.

  • Brisbane for 3 nights.
  • Tilt Train high speed train to Bundaberg.
  • Premium Rail bed accommodation on the overnight rail journey to Townsville.
  • Magnetic Island for 2 nights.
  • Townsville for 2 nights.
  • Cairns.
  • Port Douglas
  • Cape Tribulation & Daintree.
  • Great Barrier Reef.
  • Kuranda Skyrail Cableway & Scenic Railway.


Tuesday 31 July

Home – Brisbane

Today join your flight to Brisbane. All flights are met on arrival in Brisbane. Transfer by coach to our central city hotel for a 3 night stay.

Wednesday 01 August

Brisbane (B.D)

What better way to see Brisbane than from land and water. Our sightseeing tour takes us through the city centre, including City Hall, Parliament House, St. John’s Cathedral and the Treasury Casino. We then cruise up the river, past prestigious suburbs and historic buildings including the magnificent sandstone buildings of Customs House. Cruise under the Story Bridge and past Kangaroo Point cliffs to South Bank. There is time to explore the delights of the colourful South Bank. The afternoon is free and in the evening we get together for a ‘welcome’ dinner.

Thursday 02 August

Brisbane (B)

This morning we take a drive to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, located on the banks of the upper Brisbane River in a beautiful parkland setting. It is Australia’s largest koala sanctuary and is also home to birds, kangaroos, dingoes, wombats, reptiles, and emus. Then we visit Queensland’s premier sub-tropical Botanic Gardens. Located in the historic suburb of Toowong at the base of Mt Cootha, they are a gardener’s delight. There is free time in the afternoon to have a wander around Brisbane city at your leisure.

Friday 03 August

Brisbane – Bundaberg (B.L.D)

Late this morning, we transfer to the Brisbane Railway Station and begin our journey north on the Tilt Train to Bundaberg. Enjoy Business Class as we travel along the spectacular coastal route of Australia’s north eastern coast. We arrive late afternoon and transfer to our hotel for an overnight stay. The bustling provincial capital is located on the Banks of the Burnett River and boasts beautiful heritage buildings. Bundaberg is home to the world famous Bundaberg rum & Ginger Beer.

Saturday 04 August

Bundaberg – Townsville (B.D)

Today we take a tour of the main sights around Bundaberg, beginning with a visit to the Botanic Gardens which sprawls
over 27 hectares of land and features a variety of 10,000 trees and shrubs. We then visit the Hinkler Hall of Aviation, which celebrates Bert Hinkler, the Australian pioneer aviator. We pay a visit to the home of one of Australia’s most famous spirits
– Bundaberg Rum. We take a tour of the distillery, including tasting the finished product and viewing historical displays. Then we visit the Bundaberg Barrel, home of the world famous Bundaberg ginger beer with the opportunity to taste the many varieties made there. Later this evening, after enjoying dinner at a local restaurant, we join the “Spirit of Queensland” Train
for our overnight journey to Townsville. Our accommodation aboard is in the all new “Railbed” accommodation, an exclusive
section of the train featuring spacious and comfortable seats by day with state-of-the- art personal entertainment systems, which convert to a lie flat bed in the evening.

Sunday 05 August

Townsville – Magnetic Island (B.D)

Sit back, relax and enjoy the scenery through panoramic windows as you enjoy breakfast aboard the Spirit of Queensland. On arrival into Townsville mid-morning, we take a short sightseeing tour of the city before transferring to the ferry terminal at lunchtime for the short boat ride to Magnetic Island and our resort where we stay for 2 nights. The rest of the afternoon is free. Magnetic Island is situated in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, just 8 kilometres from Townsville. This World Heritage listed island includes a National Park and provides a haven for abundant wildlife such as wallabies, koalas and a wide variety of bird-life.

Monday 06 August

Magnetic Island (B.D)

This morning’s tour of this beautiful tropical paradise provides an insight into the history, flora and fauna of the island. This eco/ orientation tour explores the bays, habitat and environs of this beautiful isle! Look for koalas in their natural habitat and view the Coral Sea and rugged rocky headlands from the roads which hug the coastline. The afternoon is at leisure for further sightseeing or maybe take it easy and laze under a coconut palm on the warm golden sand and/or take a swim in the clear blue sea.

Tuesday 07 August

Magnetic Island – Townsville (B.L.D)

This morning we take the ferry back to Townsville and continue with a Reef HQ Aquarium Tour, the world’s largest living coral reef aquarium. The underwater viewing tunnel offers astounding views of living coral and the predators that prowl the watery depths. Enjoy the antics of the hundreds of reef creatures without even getting your feet wet! After the aquarium visit, enjoy lunch before we make our way to our hotel to check in for a 2 night stay.

Wednesday 08 August

Townsville Day Trip to Leahton Park & Charters Towers (B.L.D)

Our day tour today takes us out to Leahton Park, the home to the largest herd of purebred Texas Longhorn cattle in Australia and the famed Bethel Saddlery custom saddle shop. Take a horse drawn wagon ride and a trip back in time – back to the old west, to the era of the legendary Texas Longhorns! These cattle are direct descendants of the millions of Texas Longhorns that walked in the great trail herds from Texas in the late 1800’s. Enjoy camp oven cooked damper and billy tea served from the genuine cowboy chuck wagon before taking an informative tour of the custom saddle shop. We then continue on to the town of Charters Towers to experience Venus Gold Battery tour. Charters Towers is renowned for its gold mining history and heritage. At the height of the 1880’s it was the second largest city in Queensland and was referred to as “The World”. The town is a living museum that preserves an amazing story 137 years old. We have time to visit Towers Hill Lookout, the site of the first gold discovery, World War II bunkers and the ruins of the Pyrites Works before returning back to Townsville late afternoon.

Thursday 09 August

Townsville – Cairns (B.D)

After breakfast, we transfer to the Railway Station and re-board the Spirit of Queensland for the day trip to Cairns. We travel in comfortable Premium Economy style seating with panoramic windows ensuring a relaxing and enjoyable journey. We pass through the towns of Ingham, Cardwell, Tully, Innisfall, Babinda and Gordonvale before our late afternoon arrival into Cairns. We transfer to our Cairns hotel for a 5 night stay and we enjoy dinner at the hotel this evening.

Friday 10 August

Kuranda Day Tour (B)

This morning we board the Skyrail Cableway that takes us above the tropical rainforest of the Barron Gorge National Park and onto Kuranda. Visit the Butterfly Sanctuary before heading to Kuranda village with time to browse through the various stalls of the colourful Kuranda Markets. We then take the historic journey through the picturesque countryside on the Kuranda Scenic Train back to Cairns arriving late afternoon.

Saturday 11 August

Cape Tribulation & Daintree Eco Experience Tour – Port Douglas (B.L)
A full day tour today. We travel to Port Douglas and take a guided tour through the Wildlife Habitat. We then cross the Daintree River to visit Cape Tribulation National Park, a World Heritage Listed site, where we have a BBQ lunch. We return to the resort town of Port Douglas where we will stay for 3 nights.

Sunday 12 August

Port Douglas (B)
Today is a free day to relax and discover the delights of this beautiful, tropical town. There are many options available, take a stroll down Four Mile Beach, visit Flagstaff Hill for wonderful views or hit the shops for some retail therapy.

Monday 13 August

Great Barrier Reef Cruise (B.L.D)

A highlight of our stay in Port Douglas is a cruise out to Low Isles which is a picturesque vegetated sand cay, encircled by a spectacular fringing reef of beautiful coral gardens, teeming with colourful marine life. It is also a National Park and a most important protected sanctuary for migratory seabirds. We set sail aboard the 32 metre luxury sailing catamaran, Wave Dancer, for a day to remember with a wide range of activities to fully experience Low Isles unique reef environment. Be active and enjoy all the included activities – a chance to snorkel or if you don’t want to get wet, cruise in the glass bottom boat for a diver’s view of the reef. A delicious lunch is served and in the afternoon there is time to land on the island for a look around before we return to Cairns late this afternoon.
Tonight we enjoy a final dinner together.

Tuesday 14 August

Cairns – Home (B)

After breakfast we transfer to the airport to join our flight home – and so ends a great holiday in an excellent climate with fine food, top hotels and resorts, a wide variety of sights and inclusions, and most importantly, good company to share it all with.




Tour Costs

Sharing a Twin or Double Room – $7,950
Supplement for Single Room – $1,850

Costs Include
  • Economy class air travel from the tours international departure point.
  • Airport, government and security taxes as known at 01/09/2017.
  • First Class / Superior Grade accommodation throughout.
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner.
  • Sightseeing and entrance fees as indicated in the itinerary.
  • Baggage handling of one suitcase per person.
  • Tips to local guides, coach drivers and train staff.
  • Fully escorted by a Maher Tours Leader.
Costs exclude
  • Domestic Airfares – assistance with your flights can be provided.
  • Any meals and sightseeing not specifically mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Travel insurance – advice and assistance offered.
  • Items of a personal nature such telephone charges, laundry, drinks etc.


“Another exceptional Maher Tour. Tasmania (2016) exceeded my expectations as did the 2017 Queensland Winter retreat. Once again, the organisation was first class, with everything running like clockwork. The content of both tours was wonderful – interesting, varied and enabled us to experience the very best of both destinations.”
– Joan Young

“Not a thing to worry about! Even when we had free time our tour leader made suggestions and organised those without a plan.”
– Ruth Ryan

“Great way to travel for our age group, so well looked after from wow to go.”
Margaret and Bill Mansel

“This tour was a test for me as a first time solo traveller.  It was such a friendly group and tour leader – I will have no hesitation to travel with Maher Tours again.  Every day was a highlight, and the whole tour was worth it.”
– AW

“A great variety of things to see and do.  I wouldn’t hesitate to do another Maher Tour.  Well organised and well cared for.”
– AS

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