Golden Bowerbird Tour

6 Day Tour

6 birdwatchers maximum
Cairns – Kingfisher Park (Julatten) – Yungaburra (Tablelands) – Mission Beach – Cairns

The Wet Tropics World Heritage area between Cooktown and Townsville is one of the best and most famous birding regions in Australia. 14 species of birds are endemic to the highland and lowland rainforests, which receive the highest rainfall of the Australian mainland. That accounts for its natural beauty, clear creeks with Platypus and a large number of endemic frogs and possums.

This tour has even more to offer, as we visit woodland areas with some special birds in mind.

Day 1

Your tours starts in Cairns, pick-up time from your accommodation is around 7.30 am. After a brief visit to the Cairns Esplanade for waders we drive to Julatten and the Kingfisher Birdwatchers Lodge in the northern part of the Tablelands. This spot is well known for its bird life and, and the rooms are set in lush rainforest with birds present at your fingertips.

We also travel to rainforests on nearby Mt Lewis, which is one of the best birding areas for a lot of endemics and one of the best spots for the Blue-faced Finches. These Finches are usually present between November and May.

Accommodation: Kingfisher Birdwatchers Lodge, Julatten

Day 2

We leave Julatten very early and drive down to the coast. On the Daintree River we take the well- known River Cruise with Murray Hunt (formally Chris Dahlberg’s tour), who specialises in tours for birdwatchers. Highlights are Great- billed Herons and Little Kingfishers, and it’s not uncommon to see 40 species of birds.

Later in the day, near Mt Carbine, we look for Bustards, Squatter Pigeons, Red-tailed Black Cockatoos and other open woodland birds. At night we look for nocturnal birds in the surrounding area.

Accommodation: Kingfisher Birdwatchers Lodge, Julatten

Day 3 + 4

After an early morning excursion we move towards Yungaburra in the southern part of the Tablelands. Places like Lake Barrine, Mt Hypipamee and Hastie’s Swamp are the spots for the endemic highland rainforest birds and many others.

At night we look for Gliders and Rainforest Possums with possible nocturnal birds always on our minds. Most birding regions are between 700 and 1000 metres above sea level, so temperatures can be 10 degrees Celsius lower than coastal Cairns and Mission Beach.

Accommodation: Yungaburra Park Motel, Yungaburra

Day 5

After visiting the dry high altitude woodlands near Herberton we drive down to the coast. The Cassowary is our main objective in the lowland rainforests at Mission Beach, the stronghold for this endangered species.

We walk in the lowland rainforests amongst spectacular Fan Palms looking for Noisy Pittas, White-eared Monarchs and other target species. The coast might show us Beach Thick-knees.

Accommodation: Rainforest Motel, Mission Beach

Day 6

We leave Mission Beach and travel north towards Cairns. Depending on time we’ll visit Eubenangee Swamp and/or the mangroves at Edmonton. Depending on time and tides it may be possible to visit the Esplanade and/or the Botanical Garden before I return you to the accommodation of your choice. The tour ends in the late afternoon.  

Transport is in a 6 (forward-facing) seater Toyota 4WD troop carrier, and we carry a satellite phone and a First-Aid Kit. Six birdwatchers are maximum on this excellent tour. We always search and concentrate on the endemic and special birds of each region and have generally great views of them.

Of course we also enjoy looking at all the other birds encountered.

Note: No Reef Trip is planned on this tour, as you could easily do it yourself at lower costs. There are 3 companies visiting Michaelmas Cay daily.