Tropical Queensland is Australia’s ultimate wildlife destination. Beginning in Cairns, we’ll enjoy the wealth of waterbirds in the mangrove-lined bay then take a boat trip out to Green Island and Michaelmas Cay on the Great Barrier Reef to enjoy corals, colourful fish and birdlife. Inland, we’ll explore the Atherton Tablelands, looking for endemic birds in the rainforest around the beautiful crater lakes of Barrine and Eacham, and spotlight for rarely seen mammals. We’ll explore the magnificent Daintree Rainforest on foot and by boat looking for birds such as Great-billed Heron and Papuan Frogmouth. We conclude our tour in Lamington National Park, Australia's most extensive tract of subtropical rainforest, where an exceptional diversity of birds may be found.
- Diverse & colourful birdlife, including many endemics
- Wompoo Fruit Dove, Atherton Scrubwren, Chowchilla & Victoria's Riflebird
- Visit the Great Barrier Reef
- Sooty, Bridled, Black-naped, Crested & Lesser Crested Terns
- Brown Boobies, Great & Lesser Frigatebirds, plus Common Noddy at Michaelmas Cay
- Duck-billed Platypus, tree-kangaroos, possums, pademelons & gliders
- Southern Cassowary possible at Daintree & Azure Kingfisher
- Stay in small, locally owned lodges
- Butterflies include Ulysses & Australia’s largest endemic species, Cairns Birdwing
- Led by a popular & expert Australian naturalist tour leader
All included (except first lunch and dinner in Cairns)
All accommodation in a variety of comfortable hotels, lodges and chalets, all rooms with private facilities.
Yellow-bellied Sunbird (Tourism Queensland)
Day1/2 Depart London / in flight
Day 5/7 Atherton Tableland
Day 8/9 Daintree National Park
About the region
Our tour begins with an exploration of Trinity Inlet (near Cairns) and its mangrove-lined shores. Within the same region we also visit Michaelmas Cay, a National Park renowned as a nesting site for terns and noddies.
The Atherton Tableland is an area of upland dairy farming country broken by pockets of high altitude rainforest, deep volcanic lakes and wetlands. After three nights there, we move on to the Daintree area, including a visit to Cape Tribulation. The primeval forest here occupies only a tiny fraction of Australia, yet is home to a disproportionately high percentage of native mammals, birds and butterflies.
The tour ‘in a nutshell’
A 13-day holiday focusing on the rich bird life and unusual nocturnal mammals of Cairns, the Atherton Tablelands, Daintree National Park and the Great Barrier Reef.
What birds might I see?
The Michaelmas Cay area holds large numbers of breeding and resting seabirds. We’ll look for ground-nesting Sooty Terns, as well as Bridled, Black-naped, Crested and Lesser Crested Terns, plus smaller numbers of visiting Brown Boobies, Great and even Lesser Frigatebirds and the Common Noddy. The cay also attracts a variety of migrant waders.
As we travel north towards the Atherton Tableland, common species include Rainbow and Scaly-breasted Lorikeets, Emerald Doves and the elusive Wompoo Pigeon. Other possibilities include Little Shrike Thrush, Black Butcherbird, Large-billed Scrubwren, Victoria's Riflebird (one of Australia's birds-of-paradise), Lovely Fairy Wren, Macleay’s Honeyeater and Spotted Catbird.
At Daintree we’ll search for elusive species such as the Great-billed Heron, Papuan Frogmouth and Little Kingfisher, as well as many resident species such as the Darter, Little Pied Cormorant, Large-billed Gerygone, and Azure Kingfisher. A walk at the Jindalba section of the Daintree National Park offers a good opportunity of seeing the Southern Cassowary, providing there is a good quantity of fruit on the ground.
A chance to see some of the region’s unusual mammals including Musky Rat Kangaroo, Platypus, possums, pademelons and, with luck, Lumholtz’s Tree-Kangaroo.
We’ll enjoy a wonderful variety of flora, and the region has some truly beautiful butterflies such as the brilliant blue Ulysses and the Cairns Birdwing – Australia’s largest endemic butterfly species.