Fortunately for you, this lot come recommended by fellow backpackers.

Meet the finalists for ‘Queensland: Best Tour/Activity’ at this year’s Golden Backpack Awards…


Awesome Whitsundays

 Awesome Whitsundays has developed a selection of fantastic Whitsunday experiences and activities that really make the most of this incredible part of the world, including the stunning Whitsunday Islands, Whitehaven Beach and the Great Barrier Reef. You’ll experience this fantastic region with an assortment of quality day trips including the Camira Sailing Adventure to Whitehaven Beach, the Great Barrier Reef Adventures day trip, and days to explore the picturesque islands.


AJ Hackett

 AJ Hackett has been throwing people off bridges since 1988 – starting out with a couple of Kiwi blokes in pursuit of the ultimate adrenaline buzz. Back in the 1980s, AJ Hackett – a young Auckland builder with a love of thrill-inducing sports – discovered a ritual by Pentecost Islanders by which men throw themselves off 35 metre-high wooden towers, with their ankles attached to vines. Inspired, AJ Hackett has since jumped more than 1million people.  As well as bungy jumping, AJ offers bridge climbing, zip-riding and a go on the world’s biggest swing. The crazy team help get the buzz going, and they are proud New Zelanders, proclaiming to be “Kiwi-as Bro!”


Cairns Wakeboarding

 Cairns Wakeboarding is all about a glorious day out on Lake Tinaroo; simple really. Pick from numerous fun watersports  – wakeboard, wakesurf, waterski, stand-up paddle board, tube, wakeskate, or fish –  make great new friends, listen to awesome tunes, feast on delicious home-cooked food, sail on an impressive Nautique boat, and take in the sights of a stunning lake and rolling green hill backdrop. A 9am courtesy pick-up from Cairns allows a relaxed start to the day while complete instruction and safety gear is supplied.



Travelling with Contiki isn’t about ticking the boxes, but those eye-opening moments in time that stay with you for life. Its tour managers are travellers; they live and breathe Australia, so they have tons of tips to share for amazing local experiences. They’re right there with you when you need them; and when you don’t, they’re taking care of all the gritty details – getting you checked-in to your hotels, arranging meals and sightseeing – giving you plenty of space to make it what you want. Contiki offers lots of exclusive experiences – look out for the ‘Only Contiki’ symbol on each itinerary.


Deep Sea Divers Den

 Deep Sea Divers Den has operated from Cairns for more than 30 years. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced diver or snorkeller, your safety and enjoyment is on the top of the team’s list when you visit the Great Barrier Reef with Deep Sea Divers Den. All its Cairns diving training facilities are under one roof, which is one of the many reasons Deep Sea Divers Den has earned its PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Centre status and PADI Career Development status – one of the highest ratings awarded to any dive store as recognition of continued diver training excellence.


Down Under Cruise and Dive

Down Under Cruise and Dive is located in Australia’s far tropical North Queensland in the township of Cairns, the gateway to the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef and Daintree National Parks. With exclusive moorings on the Outer Reef and world-class, state-of-the-art diver training facilities, Down Under Cruise and Dive offers daily reef tours, snorkel tours, learn to dive courses, Cape Tribulation tours and discounted tour packages to people of all ages and nationalities.


Down Under Tours

 Down Under Tours abide by the motto ‘Our People make the difference’. From the accommodating driver/guides and dynamic personalities working on the ‘front line’ to the friendly reservations staff, operations team and dedicated administrative people working behind the scenes. It seems to be working, as the Cairns-based provider is continuing to grow in staff numbers and popularity.


Drop Bear Adventures

 Drop Bear Adventures is a young, innovative local company. The personable team want you to love your Fraser Island getaway as much as they love providing it to you, saying, “With us you’re a person, not just a bum on a seat.” With character-full guides who love and know Fraser Island so well, the team pride themselves on excellent customer service, asking guests for feedback and henceforth perfecting the ultimate Fraser Island experience.


G Adventures

 G Adventures has grown from a one-man show nearly 25 years ago to a company of more than 1,350 staff worldwide, and from offering a handful of trips in Latin America to hundreds of adventures spanning the globe. What hasn’t changed is G-Adventures’ passion for making sure you get behind the scenes to experience the real world in an authentic and sustainable manner. Offering an inspiring selection of affordable small-group tours, safaris and expeditions, the award-winning trips embrace authentic accommodation, exotic cuisine and local transport to put travellers on a first-name basis with the planet’s people, cultures, landscapes and wildlife.


Pro Dive Cairns

 Australia’s leading and multi-awarded-winning Great Barrier Reef cruise operator, Pro Dive Cairns has been in operation since 1983. It specialises in PADI scuba diving courses – from beginner through to professional level – and live-aboard dive trips to the Outer Great Barrier Reef. The team can also assist you with booking anything from one-day dive trips from either Cairns or Port Douglas to extended live-aboard trips to the popular Cod Hole and Coral Sea.


Raging Thunder Adventures

 Raging Thunder Adventures has been operating since 1984 with its first white water rafting trip on the Tully River. Over the years the company has expanded its product range to include an afternoon rafting tour on the Barron River, hot air balloon rides offering scenic flights above the Atherton Tablelands, and a daily high-speed catamaran transfer to Fitzroy Island where you can sea kayak and snorkel. Chat to the friendly staff online or visit the retail store located next to McDonald’s on the Cairns Esplanade.


Skydive Australia

 The East Coast of Australia has always been a wonderful skydiving destination with beautiful beaches and subtropical countryside. The panoramic views are simply breathtaking. Skydive Australia’s operations have been fine tuned over the past 30 years. Its instructors are accredited by the Australian Parachute Federation – the governing body of skydiving within Australia – and each have thousands of skydives to their credit. Skydiving is an experience like no other, and these guys are the pros. The company has one of the best safety records in the world, which is good to know…


True Blue Sailing/Atlantic Chopper

 True Blue Sailing offers trips on the Atlantic Chopper, a 35m, three-level, 21-cabin boat, which will take you on a two-day, two night excursions of the amazing Whitsunday Islands, part of the Great Barrier Reef marine park. With sun tan decks, a spa and a waterslide, you’ll feel like you could give Simon Cowell a run for his money. By day, laze on beaches and snorkel or dive in the Great Barrier Reef, and by night play games and watch a show with plenty of ‘audience participation’. We suspect plenty of drinking will also be involved.


Uncle Brian’s Tours

 Uncle Brian’s Atherton Tablelands and Waterfall Tour is a fantastic, fun-filled journey through North Queensland’s spectacular Atherton Tableland’s Region. Join “Gus the Wonder Bus” on a day’s journey through this spectacular area. The diverse scenery of the Atherton Tablelands stirs the imagination with rolling grassy hills contrasting against deep rainforest gullies and dense eucalypt mountains. Majestic, cascading waterfalls, volcanic craters and birdlife of every description play in the treetops. The rest of the world is forgotten in this timeless part of the world, and Uncle Brian’s Atherton Tablelands & Waterfalls Tour showcases the best of far north Queensland’s amazing wildlife and scenery.


Whitsunday Sailing Adventures

 Whitsundays Sailing Adventures is dedicated to offering you quality live-aboard sailing adventures in the spectacular Whitsunday Islands of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.  Only eight of The Whitsundays 74 islands are inhabited and they are all surrounded by one of the world’s seven natural wonders, the Great Barrier Reef. This magic region will have you spellbound – pristine beaches, lush rainforests and dazzling waterways.