For friendly, expert advice call: +44 (0) 1962 733051

Australia - Queensland

Tour Code: AUS01

A 13-day holiday focusing on the rich birdlife and unusual nocturnal mammals of Cairns, the Atherton Tablelands, Daintree National Park and the Great Barrier Reef.

13 days from £3995(inc flights) Land Only Price: £3085 SRS: £850


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

Food

All included (except first lunch and dinner in Cairns)

Accommodation

All accommodation in a variety of comfortable hotels, lodges and chalets, all rooms with private facilities.

Yellow-bellied Sunbird (Tourism Queensland)

Yellow-bellied Sunbird (Tourism Queensland)

Outline Itinerary Download

Day1/2 Depart London / in flight

Day 3 Cairns

Day 4 Michaelmas Cay

Day 5/7 Atherton Tableland

Day 8/9 Daintree National Park

Day 10/11 Julatten

Day 12 Depart Cairns

Day 13 Arrive London

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.

Anything else?

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.

Mangroves at dawnCairns BirdwingNaturetrek Group (Andrew Rest)Red-browed FinchBay Village swimming poolBay Village apartmentsTawny Frogmouth (Andrew Rest)Eagle Ray (Brian W Jones)Green TurtleGreat Barrier ReefNesting Seabirds (Andrew Rest)Common Noddy (Andrew Rest)Yellow-backed Fusilier (Andrew Rest)Pied Imperial Pigeon (Andrew Rest)Bush Stone-Curlew (Andrew Rest)Australian Pelican (Andrew Rest)Squirrel Glider (Andrew Rest)Pale-headed Rosella (Andrew Rest)Queensland Coastline (Andrew Rest)Common Brushtail Possum (Andrew Rest)Common Brushtail Possum (Andrew Rest)Australian White Ibis (Phil Shaw)Azure Kingfisher (Phil Shaw)Bar-banded Rail (Phil Shaw)Barred Cuckoo-shrike (Keith & Lindsay Fisher)Red Mill HouseRed Mill House roomsBlue-faced Parrot Finch (Keith & Lindsay Fisher)Double-eyed Fig Parrot male (Keith & Lindsay Fisher)Figbird (Phil Shaw)King Parrot (Phil Shaw)Noisy Pitta (Keith & Lindsay Fisher)Herbert's Rock Wallaby (Andrew Rest)Papuan Frogmouth (Keith & Lindsay Fisher)Buff-breasted Paradise Kingfisher (Keith & Lindsay Fisher)CassowaryDaintree ForestDouble-eyed Fig ParrotDuck-billed PlatypusPapuan FrogmouthTree Kangaroo, Australia (Susan Flashman)Yellow-bellied Sunbird (Tourism Queensland)
Anon
Now that we're back in the UK again I'd just like to say a big big thank you for the arrangements that you made for us everything went very smoothly. The holiday more than fulfilled our expectations and we both want to go back again one day, once again many thanks
G.R.
Cheshire
Carol is one of the best leaders we have had. Most energetic and full of bird knowledge. I especially loved the places we stopped - the complete opposite of the 'costa del anywhere' rooms you get in the big hotels.
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DeparturesAvailableCost

Sat 28th October 2017 - Thu 9th November 2017

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£3995

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Flights: Flights are included in the tour costMore info

Regional Departures: Regional Departures are available. Call 01962 733051 for detailsMore info

Land only cost: £3085 More info

Room sharing options: More info

Visiting: Australia

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Georgie Head
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01962 733051

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Tour Reviews

Now that we're back in the UK again I'd just like to say a big big thank you for the arrangements that you made for us everything went very smoothly. The holiday more than fulfilled our expectations and we both want to go back again one day, once again many thanks
Anon,