This tour offers access to all the major habitats to be found in southern Queensland short tour. Starting in the Freshwater Wetlands close to the airport we move onto the nearby mangroves, salt marsh and tidal flats which can be access by pathways and broad walks. Moving inland we travel through tall eucalyptus forest and farmland before climbing up into the subtropical rainforest and wet eucalyptus forest of the Lamington plateau. Here a network of walking trails lead us through the forest and often take us to beautiful panoramic lookouts.
From here we move inland first visiting the Lockyer Valley, an area of rich farmland with a number of wetland areas and patches of remnant woodland. Our next stop will be the area around Stanthorpe in the Granite Belt where the dry forest of Girraween and Sundown national parks give us our first introduction to the birds of inland Australia. Our final destination in Queensland’s far south west and the Channel Country of the Warrego Floodplains where we will base in the outback town of Cunnamulla. The nearby Bowra Station is a great place to see all the local specialities and we will spend the next two days exploring the mulga scrub before heading back to the airport for a flight back to Brisbane.
Accommodation in the Green Mountains is at the famous and comfortable O’Reillys Rainforest Lodge and is of a high standard with 24 hour electricity and air conditioning available in all rooms. Elsewhere accommodation is in comfortable motels with private bathrooms.
This is an easy tour which can be easily adjusted to suit almost all fitness levels. Most walks are easy strolls on well maintained tracks, though for the more adventurous more strenuous hikes can be introduced. There will be some long distance driving and roads are well maintained.
- 3 nights accommodation
- Meals as itinerary (check PDF itinerary)
- Transport including fuel
- Guide services of tour leader
- Site & entry fees
- Travel insurance and other emergencies
- Visa fees and entry clearing fees
- Flights (Domestic or International)
- Drinks & Snacks
- Items of a personal nature
Day 1 - Brisbane to Green Mountains. Birding along the way
Starting on the edge of Moreton Bay where freshwater wetlands, tidal mudflats and mangroves all have distinctive birds we head up to O’Reilly’s on the Lamington Plateau. Koalas, Pretty-face (Whiptail) Wallaby and Red-necked Pademelon may also be seen on our way up into the mountains.
Day 2 - Explore Green Mountain area (1)
Staying at O’Reillys Guest House means you are ideally situated to explore the Green Mountains area. Albert’s Lyrebird, Noisy Pitta, Logrunner and the stunning Regent Bowerbird can all be seen within walking distance of the lodge.
Day 3 - Explore Green Mountain area (2)
While some elements of the days schedule will be similar to that of the previous day we will drive to other parts of the plateau to look for Paradise Riflebird, Shining Bronze Cuckoo and Wedge-tailed Eagle.
Day 4 - Canungra & Lockyer Valley birding before heading to Toowoomba
From O’Reilly’s s head back down towards Canungra and then out to the rich farmlands of the Lockyer Valley with its many dams, reservoirs and wetland sites which are home to a good variety of waterfowl including Plumed Whistling Duck, Yellow-billed Spoonbill and sometimes Blue-billed Duck and Cotton Pygmy Goose. The variety of raptors and parrots that can be seen is also appealing. The night will be spent in Toowoomba.
Day 5 - Toowoomba to Stanthorpe
We start the day by concentrating on the forest and woodland birds between Helidon and Lockyer Waters. Target species will include Grey-crowned Babbler, Noisy Friarbird, Fuscous Honeyeater and Variegated Fairywren with a chance of Speckled Warbler, Little Bronze-Cuckoo and (in season) Channel-billed Cuckoo. Square-tailed Kite can sometimes be seen gliding over treetops. Double-barred Finch, Striated Pardalote and Blue-faced Honeyeater are all possible in open habitats. After lunch we will drive south to Stanthorpe, often the coldest town in Queensland, stopping occasionally for raptors, parrots and grassland birds including Musk Lorikeet, Eastern Rosella and Horsfield’s (Singing) Bushlark.
Day 6 - Stanthorpe & Girraween National Park birding
Explore the Stanthorpe area including Girraween National Park looking for Dusky Woodswallow, Diamond Firetail and Brown Treecreeper, Turquoise Parrotand Yellow-tufted Honeyeater. We will spend time in the patches of mixed woodland, hoping to add more bush birds such as Scarlet Robin, Little Lorikeet and White-eared Honeyeater and water storages for waterbirds not yet seen on the tour.
Day 7 - Sundown National Park birding (1)
Today we head inland towards Sundown National Park where our targets will include, birds missed around Stanthorpe plus Hooded Robin and perhaps Painted Buttonquail. This area is also good for Blue-bonnet and other parrots.
Day 8 - Stanthorpe to St George
Heading westwards through the Brigalow Belt country to St George; on the way we hope to see Square-tailed Kite, Common Bronzewing, Apostlebird and White-winged Chough, the latter two being mud-nesters. White-breasted Woodswallowand noisy Little Corella are both possible. Later as we reach the Mulga Lands we hope to see Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo as we pass through the riverside towns. Spotted Bowerbird and Red-winged Parrot are possible in each Mulga Lands town.
Day 9 - Bowra sanctuary birding (1)
With an early start, we will drive 30-45 minutes into Bowra Sanctuary to seek the elusive Chestnut-breasted Quail-thrush, which commonly calls at sunrise. After breakfast, we will look for Splendid Fairy-wren, Chestnut-rumped Thornbill and White-browed Treecreeper. Depending on recent rainfall, seasonal visitors such as Rufous Songlark, Crimson Chat and White-browed Woodswallow may be possible. Budgerigar, Black-breasted Buzzard, and Grey Falcon are all possible. Later, we will hunt for Hall’s Babbler before ending the day at the hot bore overflow beside the visitor facilities where flocks of Plum-headed Finch and Zebra Finch frequently gather. Bourke’s Parrot come to drink at sunset.
Day 10 - Bowra sanctuary birding (2)
Again birding Bowra. Effort will focus on target species missed the previous day and on complementary habitats. Additional species we may find include Australian Bustard, Spotted Harrier, White-winged Fairy-wren, Red-backed Kingfisher, White-backed Swallow, Chestnut-crowned Babbler, Red-capped Robin, Crested Bellbird and White-fronted Honeyeater, Black-eared Cuckoo and Black Honeyeater. Red Kangaroo, Australia’s largest macropod, should also be seen. Night-spotting may yield Spotted Nightjar and Barking Owl.
Day 11 - Fly back to Brisbane
On our last day there is a chance for some final birding around Cunnamulla and/or the near side of Bowra Sanctuary after checking out of our motel. A flight back to Brisbane ends the tour.