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Mareeba Tropical Savanna & Wetlands Reserve

142 Pickford Road | Biboohra, QLD 4880 | Official website
Mareeba Tropical Savanna & Wetlands Reserve Photo info
Dirk Ercken/Shutterstock
  • Type: Hiking, Parks and Gardens, Recreation, Sightseeing
  • Time to Spend: Half Day to Full Day
Overall Rating: 3.5 (3.6)
Value: 2.5 (2.5)
Facilities: 4.0 (4.0)
Atmosphere: 5.0 (5.0)
About these ratings

Though the Great Barrier Reef's marine life is undoubtedly spectacular, don't forget to carve out some itinerary time for the creatures above the water's surface. About 49 miles west of Cairns — and approximately 53 miles southwest of Port Douglas — is the Mareeba Tropical Savanna & Wetlands Reserve. Perched on the fringe of the Australian Outback, the reserve is spread out across 5,000 acres and is interlaced with 12 lagoons, creeks and channels. Home to 204 species of birds and more than 20 different types of mammals, the reserve will delight any wildlife enthusiasts.

If you only have a day to spend on the reserve, you can follow a free, self-guided interpretive walk around the sanctuary or pay extra for various activities, like a boat tour or guided walk. But to truly experience the spectacular environment, we recommend you take the Sunset Reserve Safari. Sip billy tea in the bush as you observe even more of the outback's wildlife, and then catch an awe-inspiring outback sunset while noshing on cheese and wine. All tours and activities start at the Visitors Centre in Clancy's Lagoon, which is also where you can park your car for the day. You can stay overnight at the Jabiru Safari Lodge, which sits directly on the reserve and offers safari-style tents for guests. Though accommodations for families can run pretty steep, previous visitors say the experience of waking up to the sounds of the outback is a memorable one. The reserve is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. During the region's wet season (January through March) the reserve is closed. For more information on tour times and prices, visit the reserve's website.

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