Includes Great Barrier Reef and Daintree River cruise.
The Wet Tropics Bioregion has the greatest diversity of flora and fauna found anywhere on the Australian Continent. It is a scenic tropical area with a warm climate and great diversity of habitats within easy reach.
This is the richest avifaunal region in Australia, with 13 endemics and over 400 species recorded. On this tour we hope to find all the local endemics, including Lesser Sooty Owl, Fernwren, Atherton Scrubwren, Mountain Thornbill, Bridled Honeyeater, Mcleay’s Honeyeater, Grey-headed Robin, Chowchilla, Bower’s Shrike-thrush, Pied Monarch, Victoria’s Riflebird, Tooth-billed Bowerbird and Golden Bowerbird.
We also hope to see a number of the specials found in the Northern Tropics, such as Southern Cassowary, Black-necked Stork, Great-billed Heron, Red-necked Crake, Superb Fruit-Dove, Papuan Frogmouth, Buff-breasted Paradise Kingfisher, Little Kingfisher, Lovely Fairy-wren, Yellow Spotted Honeyeater, Brown-backed Honeyeater, Yellow-breasted Boatbill, Mangrove Robin, Barred Cuckoo-shrike, Spotted Catbird and the Blue-faced Parrot-Finch.
Michaelmas Cay is a seabird breeding sanctuary with easy access. On a trip to the cay it is possible to see a number of species of seabirds, such as terns, boobies and frigatebirds. In addition, there is a huge diversity of reef life to observe including fish, coral, sharks, turtles, and occasionally dolphins.
This is an exceptional area for mammals and we have the opportunity to view Platypus, bandicoots, many species of possum including local endemics Green Ringtail, Herbert River Ringtail and Lemeroid Ringtail. There are several macropods possible, including very localised Musky Rat Kangaroo and Lumholtz’s Tree Kangaroo. Our spotlighting trips may also produce some rarely seen native rodents.
There is also the chance to observe a wide range of other wildlife with spectacular butterflies, interesting amphibians, and awesome reptiles. On our tours we like to appreciate the entire ecology of the area and cater for special interests.
The tour begins with a days birding around Cairns and the tropical lowlands. We visit a number of habitats, including the Cairns Esplanade which is famous for migratory waders. In the afternoon we travel up the coastal ranges to the Atherton Tablelands and our accommodation at Chambers Wildlife Lodge.
After a morning around the lodge, where Victoria’s Riflebird is common, we visit many of the best birding sites on the Southern Tablelands. At dusk we look for Platypus, and later in the evening there is an opportunity to go spotting for owls and nocturnal creatures. We stay a second night at Chambers Wildlife Lodge.
Today we bird high elevation rainforest in search of local endemics like Golden Bowerbird and Chowchilla. There is also the chance to visit wetlands and volcanic crater lakes and search for Lumholtz’s Tree Kangaroo. We can check the nocturnal viewing area at our accommodation, Chambers Wildlife Lodge.
We travel north across the Tableland visiting some drier habitats where we search for the Australian Bustard and other dry-land species such as finches, honeyeaters, parrots, and cockatoos. Later we reach Kingfisher Park, Julatten, where we stay for two nights.
In the morning there is excellent birding around the lodge grounds, with the chance of Red-necked Crake and many other specials. After lunch we visit Mt Lewis for local endemics and Blue-faced Parrot Finch. There will be a night walk in the grounds of Kingfisher Park where we stay.
We take an early morning boat trip on the beautiful Daintree river, in search of Great-billed Heron, Little Kingfisher and many others. During the day we bird our way back to Cairns, visiting many coastal habitats along the way. Overnight at a Cairns hotel.
There is a full day boat trip to Michaelmas Cay and the Great Barrier Reef. Many seabirds breed on the cay and can be approached quite closely. There are great photographic opportunities. In the afternoon the boat visits the outer reef and the snorkelling is fantastic. Tour concludes late afternoon in Cairns.