Tour overview

[23rd – 29th August 2019]

A short 7 day trip visiting two of the major bird and wildlife areas of Cape York.

Travelling from Cairns to Iron Range allows a good look at the different habitats that can be seen in this northernmost part of Australia. Mangroves, heathland, rainforest, vine forest, savannah and wetlands offer lots to look at. Iron range has a number of bird species that cannot be seen elsewhere in Australia such as the New Guinea “specials” like Eclectus ParrotPalm Cockatoo and Yellow-billed Kingfisher and the Cape York endemics such as Golden-shouldered Parrot.


While there is a variety of accommodation available from backpacker to more luxurious with ensuites. On this tour we will be staying at Musgrave Roadhouse, rooms here vary from en suite motel type rooms to more basic rooms with shared bathrooms. Both room types have air conditioning.

In Lockhart River we will be staying at either Portland House or Iron Range Cabins. Portland House has air-conditioning in the bedrooms but the bathroom is shared by the whole group. Iron Range Cabins has comfortable self-contained accommodation close to the airfield and the national park entrance at Lockhart River.


While there are no long hikes up steep trails there are long distances to travel along dirt roads which, in some areas may be poorly maintained. A 4WD is essential for this trip.


AUD$3,475.00 per person Twin Share.




Approximately an additional AU$375.00 – AU$420.00 per person depending on time of booking. We will buy these for you to ensure that everyone is traveling on the same flights.


  • 6 nights accommodation
  • Meals as itinerary (check PDF itinerary)
  • Transport including fuel, site fees
  • Guide services

Not Included

  • Flights
  • Travel insurance and other emergencies
  • Drinks
  • Snacks
  • Laundry
  • Items of a personal nature
Download pdf brochure

Day 1 - Cairns to Musgrave

Travel from Cairns to Musgrave birding along the way for dry country birds such as Great Bowerbird. The late afternoon will be spent searching for Golden-Shouldered Parrot.

Day 2 - Birding Lakefield National Park

Full day birding in Lakefield National Park. There are a number of lagoons with waterbirds, and the grasslands hold many finches including the Star Finch. If we are lucky the Red Goshawk may show itself.

Day 3 - Musgrave & Portland Roads birding

Early morning birding around Musgrave before traveling to Portland Roads via Iron Range National Park. Chances for Palm Cockatoo and other local specials on the way.

Day 4 - Iron Range birding (1)

Birding the tropical rainforest and woodlands around Iron Range. Visit the nesting tree of the Eclectus Parrots, and should see many other of the New Guinea specials such as Trumpet Manucode and Yellow-billed Kingfisher.

Day 5 - Iron Range birding (2)

Day spent birding around Iron Range National Park with visits to a number of different sites in search of Green-backed Honeyeater, Northern Scrub-robin and other skulkers.

Day 6 - Portland Roads & Chilli Beach birding

Start the day around Portland Roads, where we can see the Fawn-breasted Bowerbird and Mangrove Robin. In the afternoon a visit to Chilli Beach should provide a good selection of new species and we can observe the spectacular swirling flight of thousands of Metallic Starlings coming in to roost on dusk. In the evening we can try some night spotting with chances of Marbled Frogmouth and Rufous Owl.

Day 7 - Lockhart River birding before flight back to Cairns

After breakfast we bird the local area before making our way to the Lockhart River airport for the flight back to Cairns.

Download pdf brochure