Great Northern Birding Tour

NOTE: This Tour is currently not being offered!

17 Day Tour
8 birdwatchers maximum
Cairns – Atherton Tablelands – Mission Beach – Bamaga (Cape York) – Darwin – Kakadu National Park – Katherine – Darwin.

NOTE: This itinerary can also operates in reverse,
depending on the timetable of adjacent tours.

Day 1

Today we meet and visit local areas like the Botanical Garden and the Esplanade, which at the right tide produces a great variety of waders. Another great spot is one of the cemeteries to look at the numerous Bush Stone-Curlews and more.

Accommodation: All Seasons Sunshine Tower, Cairns

Day 2

The whole day is spent at Michaelmas Cay. This important seabird island is well known for the thousands of Noddies, Sooty Terns, Brown Boobies, Lesser Crested Terns, Frigatebirds and many more. Unusual sightings of Red-footed and Masked Boobies are always possible. Of course swimming and snorkelling are also on the agenda.

Accommodation: All Seasons Sunshine Tower, Cairns

Day 3 & 4

We drive via a few good birding spots to Yungaburra, a central location on the Atherton Tablelands. Around the Crater Lakes we look for Tooth-billed Bowerbirds, Fernwrens, Chowchillas and many more. At night we visit forests which harbour up to five different species of Possums, plus the chance of some owls.

The northern part of the Tablelands is fairly dry and offers different species of birds. White-browed Robins, Black-throated Finches and Pardalotes are found in these regions, and a visit to Mt Lewis should show us in the rainforest among others the Satin Bowerbird, Golden Bowerbird and Atherton Scrubwren among others.

Accommodation: Yungaburra Park Motel, Yungaburra

Day 5 & 6

In the southern part of the Tablelands we have another chance of seeing the Golden Bowerbird, and we also look out for Bridled Honeyeaters, Mountain Thornbills and Grey-headed Robins. In the woodland close-by we usually find the Yellow Thornbills, White-cheeked Honeyeaters, Fuscous Honeyeaters and Red-backed Fairy-wrens.

After lunch we drive down to the coast to Mission Beach, the best area for the elusive Cassowary. Several times we walk in the lowland rainforests with its spectacular Fan Palms, where also our nocturnal searches for Lesser Sooty Owl and Rufous Owl take place.

Accommodation: Castaways Beach Resort

Day 7 – 10

On day 7 we drive very early to Cairns to catch the plane from Cairns to Bamaga. We arrive at Bamaga about midday. Resort Bamaga is owned and operated by the Aboriginal Community. The area has magnificent beaches, which are fringed by the lush rainforest and provide a spectacular wilderness setting.

We have no set itinerary during our stay, but we visit the rainforest at day and night, woodland, mudflats and beaches, visit an off-shore Island and do a tour to the woodland and riverine forests at the Jardine River. There are numerous highlights in this region, and the Palm Cockatoo, Magnificent Riflebird, Pale White-Eye and Yellow-billed Kingfisher are just some of them.

Accommodation : Resort Bamaga

Day 11

We leave Bamaga and fly to Cairns. We usually have a few hours to go birding (or shopping) before we fly to Darwin, where we arrive at about 8.00 pm.

Accommodation: Frontier Darwin, Darwin

Day 12 & 13

We drive to Cooinda via Fogg Dam, where we look for White-browed Crakes and Rainbow Pittas . During our stay we visit several locations to look for Banded Fruit-Doves, Sandstone Shrike-thrushes and Chestnut-quilled Rock-Pigeon to name just a few. A boat trip in the afternoon shows us the multitude of waterbirds and crocodiles on ‘Yellow Water’.

Accommodation : Gagudju Cooinda Lodge, Kakadu N.P

Day 14 & 15

A last stop, before we leave Kakadu N.P., is Gunlom area, where we look for the uncommon White-throated Grasswren. We arrive at Katherine and spend the next days looking for Gouldian Finches and Hooded Parrots, but of course as usual we enjoy looking at all birds present. A visit to Katherine Gorge is also planned as is a trip to the nesting site of the Red Goshawk.

Accommodation: Knott’s Crossing Resort, Katherine

Day 16

On this day we travel via a river with remaining waterholes, where we could expect up to 35 species of birds coming in to drink, to Darwin. The afternoon is spend birding in the local area.

Accommodation: Frontier Darwin, Darwin

Day 17

In the morning we look for the Chestnut Rail and other mangrove birds. The tour ends around midday.