[15th – 20th December 2019]
A 6 day trip exploring this great destination. You can choose whether you wish to look at all aspects of natural history or concentrate on a specific one such as birds. This tour visits the wide variety of habitats found in this region and includes a spotlighting trip looking for tree kangaroos, possums and other nocturnal birds and animals. A ride on Skyrail up to Cassowary House is an optional extra. Staying in comfortable lodges and led by experienced and expert guides this is a great way of maximising your North Queensland wildlife experience.
Accommodation is in a variety of lodges and motel type rooms. Fans are provided in the rooms with air conditioning usually only on the coast.
This is an easy tour the pace of which can be managed to suit you. Transport is in a comfortable 4WD vehicle.There is the possibility of rain throughout the year but we will have come to the end of the “Wet Season” and it so it should not be too hot and humid and usually any rain will be at night. The temperature will drop considerably in the evenings especially at higher altitudes.
2019 Tour Cost:
2019 Single Supplement:
- 5 nights accommodation
- Meals as itinerary (check PDF itinerary)
- Transport including fuel
- Site fees
- Guide services of the tour leader
- Travel insurance and other emergencies
- Items of a personal nature
Day 1 - Arrive Cairns
This is your arrival day in Cairns. Your guide will pick you up from the airport or your hotel in the morning and the balance of the day will be spent exploring some of the Cairns sites. These may include the famous Esplanade for shorebirds, the mangroves for mangrove species, the Centenary Lakes for bush and wetland birds, the Botanic Gardens and perhaps, Redden Islands Yorkey’s Knob, Dillon Road and Cattana Wetlands and more depending on time available and the weather.
Day 2 - Cassowary House & Mareeba area birding
Start the day at Cassowary House where all the low to mid level rainforest birds occur including Southern Cassowary, Victoria’s Riflebird, Spotted Catbird, Macleay’s Honeyeater, Black Butcherbird, Wompoo, Superb and Rose-crowned Fruit Dove plus some interesting mammals including the delightful Musky Rat Kangaroo.
After a morning around Cassowary House you will head over to Mareeba for some dry country birds including Squatter Pigeon, Red-tailed Black Cockatoo, Red-backed Fairywren, Pale-headed Rosella, Red-winged Parrot and a variety of babblers, finches and mannikins.
Day 3 - High Altitude birding sites
Today you will visit the high level Tablelands sites such as Mt Hypipamee for Golden Bowerbird, Bridled Honeyeater and Fernwren. This is also a good day to see Platypus and perhaps Tree Kangaroo. Some evening spotlighting for mammals and nightbirds can be done today.
Day 4 - Mid altitude birding sites
Today you will be birding the mid level Tablelands sites including Hasties Swamp for wetland birds including Brolga, vast flocks of Wandering and Plumed Whistling Ducks, plus Pink-eared and Freckled Ducks, The Curtain Fig for Bowers Shrikethrush and a variety of monarchs, and the Crater Lakes for Chowchilla and Tooth-billed Catbird will also be visited. Some evening spotlighting for mammals and nightbirds can be done today.
Day 5 - Daintree, Mt Lewis & Mt Molloy
An early start for the Daintree dawn bird cruise. At this time of year you can hope for Little Kingfishers, Papuan Frogmouth and Great-billed Heron amongst the birds to be seen.
Weather and road conditions permitting you will then head up Mt Lewis giving you a second chance for any birds missed the previous day. You will head back to Cairns arriving mid - late afternoon.
Day 6 - Michaelmas Cay
Today there is a boat trip out to Michaelmas Cay where there are breeding colonies of noddies and terns. Brown Booby, Brown Noddy, Silver Gull, Lesser Crested, Black-naped and Bridled Terns should all be there and if you are lucky you will also see Roseate Tern and Black Noddy. On return to dry land your guide will either deliver you to your Cairns hotel or to the airport and then say goodbye to you before heading home.