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  • Lumholtz Tree Kangaroo

  • Ulysses Butterfly

  • Southern Cassowary

  • Saltwater Crocodile

  • Boyd's Forest Dragon

FNQ Nature Tours

5 Day Birdwatching North Queensland

From: $1,220 USD

Duration: 5 days/ 4 nights

Type: Private Charter.

Departs: On Request

Interests: Birds.

This World Heritage Listed area is the world's oldest continually surviving rainforest and where the world’s songbirds emerged. With more than 450 Avian Species recorded (more than half of Australia's total bird count), including 12 Endemics, it’s Australia’s twitching mecca!

  • The Wet Tropics stretch from Townsville to Cooktown, encompassing approximately 9000sq. km of rainforest interspersed with farmland, rivers and tropical savannah, not to mention coastline and coral cays. Such an array of habitats explains the region’s high diversity of flora and fauna.

  • You don’t have to venture far from Cairns to enjoy a rich bird watching experience in a variety of environments.

  • The region is famous being home to bowerbirds, kingfishers, riflebirds, fruit doves and the endangered Southern Cassowary.  The FNQ Nature Tours team along with local birding experts, bring a vast variety of birding hotspots in Far North Queensland to life for you with this exceptional multi-day birding experience.


*Private Tour Available Year Round on Request

Upcoming Shared Group Departure Dates
Maximum 6 guests. 

  • 7 May 2024
  • 4 June 2024
  • 16 July 2024

About FNQ Nature Tours:

After ten years of guiding nature and wildlife safaris in Northern Australia, James Boettcher established FNQ Nature Tours in 2015, with a firm belief that tourism is the key to the protection and conservation of this World Heritage area. The company offers tours designed for nature minded travellers desiring a personal, educational and interactive guided experience, whilst sharing the necessity of protecting the natural wonders and biodiversities of this world famous region.

Price per person, based on twin share, including touring & listed meals. Pricing is subject to availability and all prices, itineraries and routings are subject to change without notice. Currency fluctuations may affect prices as quotes based on AUD. Prices are current at time of posting (1/11/2023) and may differ when you book your travel. Please contact us for our current pricing and itinerary details**

 

Download Tour Birdlist

Itinerary

Tour day-by-day

  • Day 1: Daintree & Cape Tribulation

    A trip to the Daintree is not complete without visiting the famous beach where the "Rainforest meets the reef". This famous valley resembles a giant amphitheatre with a semicircle of hills dominated by Mt Sorrow (850m) and Mt Hemmant (1000m). The south-eastern rainfall trapped by this valley results in a lush tropical climate with high temperatures, humidity and rainfall. Renowned for its scenic landscape, remote beaches and wildlife viewing opportunities!

    Several mangrove and rainforest boardwalks are available to allow us the maximum opportunity to observe birds. Cape Tribulation is one of the best spots to obverse the iconic Southern Cassowary as well as the Leaden flycatcher, Yellow-breasted Boatbill, Pied Monarch, Wompoo Fruit Dove, Shinning Flycatcher, Azure Kingfisher, Pacific Heron, White-bellied Sea-eagle and Little Shrike Thrush

    The afternoon will be spent exploring the surroundings of Kingfisher Park, our accommodation for the next two evenings.

    Kingfisher Park Birdwatchers Lodge is a small family-run business set in an internationally renowned sanctuary. The lodge offers accommodation to bird-watchers and nature lovers from mid April to mid January. The property is owned and operated by professional guides and naturalists Carol and Andrew Iles, who have worked in the area since 1999. Set in Tropical Far North Queensland, one of the best birding areas in Australia, the Lodge is especially famous for its population of breeding Buff-breasted Paradise Kingfisher which are found in the grounds between November and April. There are many resident birds at the lodge including Noisy Pitta, Red-browed Finch, Macleay's, Yellow-spotted and Graceful Honeyeaters, Pale-yellow Robin, Little Shrike-thrush, Yellow-breasted Boatbill, Black-faced & Spectacled Monarch, Cicadabird and Spotted Catbird

    The Lodge is a Land for Wildlife sanctuary with good populations of birds, mammals, reptiles and plants. Around 230 bird species have been recorded within a 1½ km radius of the Lodge and its grounds and all of the 13 Wet Tropics endemic birds can be found within a 15km travel distance.

    They are also famous for the Red-necked Crake which can often be seen down near the creek or Crake Pond, they also have Pale-vented Bush Hen on the property that can be found near any long grass in the area. They also have a resident Platypus in the stream at the bottom of the property.

    Overnight stay at Kingfisher Park Birdwatchers Lodge 

  • Day 2: Daintree, Julatten, Mt Lewis

    This is one of the best examples of a tropical river with rainforest growing right to the water's edge, which provides for some great birding. The river is most famous for the great-billed heron and little kingfisher. The heron, one of the world's largest, was always a 'phantom' bird for birdwatchers. Twenty years ago, it was rarely seen. Once birding tours commenced on the river, exploring the small rainforest and mangrove creeks that ran from it, the bird was seen more regularly. Even now, however, it remains elusive and can melt into the shadows of the rainforest or mangroves right before your eyes.

    A pre-dawn cruise will provide the best conditions for those wishing to see the river at its most stunning, as well as the greatest chance to see some of the most sought-after birds of the river. Referred to in many 'birding' reference books, this famous cruise has been the highlight for many birdwatching enthusiasts in Far North Queensland. Key target species include Great-billed Heron, Papuan Frogmouth, Little Kingfisher, Azure Kingfisher, Black Bittern, Saltwater Crocodile, Green Tree Snake, Water Dragon and butterflies.

    The afternoon will be spent exploring the area of Mount Lewis. A 30 minute drive from the lodge is perhaps the best place in Australia to see the magnificent Blue-faced Parrot Finches which can be found during the wet season months from November to April. The mountain is also a great place to see Victoria's Rifiebird, Bower's Shrike-thrush, Bridled, Lewin's Honeyeaters, Mountain Thornbill, Topknot Pigeon, Brown Cuckoo-Dove, Wompoo and Superb Fruit-Doves.

    Optional Spotlighting

    Spotlighting can also be very rewarding with Barking, Sooty (Lesser) and Barn Owls, Papuan Frogmouths are usually heard Calling and Boyd's Forest Dragon and Northern Leaf-tailed Gecko are also common. Also keep an eye out for Stripped & Green Ring-tailed Possum, White-tailed Tree rat and also Long-nosed and Northern Brown Bandicoot.

    Accommodation at Crater Lakes Rainforest Cottages

  • Day 3: Shared Earth Reserve

    FNQ Nature Tours has exclusive access to the Forever Wild Shared Earth Reserve. Forever Wild work to protect Earth's last great wildernesses for societal well-being, for biological diversity and its evolutionary potential, for our cultural record and economic values. The reserve encompasses 5000 acres of lagoons, trails, bird hides permanent lakes, swamps, billabongs, and creeks including an incredible mosaic of old-growth savanna woodland. The site is incredibly diverse, and the property has some of the highest avian diversity anywhere in Australia. Boasting over 220 species recorded, the highest bird count in a single day is 98 species, and there is a healthy population of the endangered Northern Quoll

    The diverse range of birdlife and wildlife include Quails, Magpie, Geese, Black Swans, 11 different duck species and three different Grebes, Darters and Cormorants, Pelicans, Crakes, Rails, Swamphens, Moorhens, Coots, Herons, Egrets, Bitterns, Ibis, Spoonbills, Storks (Jabiru), Cranes including Brolga, Sarus Crane, Bustards, Sandpipers, Godwits, Common Greenshank, Stints, Jacanas which thrive on the water lilies, Curlews, Stills, Avocets, Lapwings, Plovers, Dotterels, Terns.

    Both the Laughing Kookaburra and Blue Winged Kookaburra are regularly seen.  Bee-eaters, Dollarbirds, Tree Creepers and Pardalotes are well represented as well as numerous Honeyeaters, Robins, Thrushes, Monarchs, Fly Catchers and Wagtails are seen throughout the Wetlands.

    Accommodation at Chambers Wildlife Lodge

     

  • Day 4: Atherton Tablelands, Hasties Swamp & Mt. Hypipamee

    The Atherton Tablelands is the high-altitude counterpart of the coastal Daintree Rainforest. Offering freshwater creek trails and walking tracks into mesophyll vine forest and outstanding remnants of the regions volcanic history

    Hasties Swamp is a large seasonal wetland renowned for its diverse range of resident and migratory birds. Over 220 species have been identified and a large bird hide, with informative identification signs, offers excellent waterbird viewing opportunities.

    One of the highlights of the Atherton Tablelands is Mount Hypipamee National Park, this is one of the best places to see the magnificent male Golden Bowerbird which have Bowers in the area. It's also a great place for Southern Cassowary. Other birds that can be found in the general area are Eastern Spinebill, Grey-headed and Pale-yellow Robin, Lewin's and Bridled Honeyeater, Chowchilla, Spotted Catbird and Tooth-billed Bowerbirds.

    Mount Hypipamee is also great for spotlighting. We have encountered Green Ringtail, Herbert River Ringtail, Lemuroid Ringtail and Brushtail Possums here. Lumholtz Tree Kangaroos too if you're lucky!

    Accommodation at Chambers Wildlife Lodge

  • Day 5: Crater Lakes & Yungaburra

    Lake Barrine and Yungaburra are outstanding locations to visit for all nature lovers. Several walks are available offering great wildlife and bird watching opportunities. From 30 minutes to two hours, tailored to our target species of the day.

    These include Tooth-billed Bowerbird, Spotted Catbird, Victoria's Riflebird, Double-eyed Fig-Parrot, Australian King Parrot, White-throated Treecreeper, Yellow-throated Scrubwren, Eastern Spinebill, Lewin's Honeyeater, Bridled honeyeater, Dusky Honeyeater, Scarlet Honeyeater, Brown Honeyeater, Macleay's Honeyeater, Chowchilla, Eastern Whipbird, Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike, White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike. Barred Cuckoo-shrike. Pale-yellow Robin, Grey-headed Robin, Black-faced Monarch, Spectacled Monarch and Grey Fantail.

    Peterson Creek Wildlife & Botanical Walking Track is located in the heart of Yungaburra where we may be able to view platypus or the rare Lumholtz Tree-Kangaroo

    How you'll be making a positive impact

    We have aligned our sustainability vision with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

     

    E-WEB-Goal-15Citizen Science with FNQ Nature Tours

    FNQ Nature Tours contributes observations of flora & fauna via iNaturalist, the world’s leading global social biodiversity network. This platform allows our team to create research-quality citizen science data that enables a more detailed picture of our national biodiversity, and assists bodies such as the CSIRO, ecologists and other decision makers to deliver better outcomes for the environment and our species.

    Our guides record observations with iNaturalist Australia by using the iNaturalist app on mobile phones or desktop computers. An observation records an encounter with an individual organism at a particular time and location in Far North Queensland. We require photos to be attached to observations for them to become research grade and added to the Atlas of Living Australia.

    This is where you can greatly assist us in capturing images out on tour! Although we make broader observations that we think are valuable to the local scientific community, we have identified the following species to track when we are exploring Far North Queensland by vehicle or on foot. 

    Key species we're looking out for include:

    • Black-throated Finch
    • Grey Goshawk (white morph)
    • Lesser Sooty Owl
    • Southern Cassowary
    • Red-necked Crake
    • Lumholtz’s Tree-Kangaroo
    • Green-eyed Tree Frog
    • Boyd’s Forest Dragon
    • Great-billed Heron 

    E-WEB-Goal-07Solar-powered Daintree River Cruise

    FNQ Nature Tours have a preferred arrangement with Solar Whisper for their Daintree River Cruises, which uses solar panels on the boat’s roof to provide the overwhelming majority of energy used, and an extremely quiet experience with no exhaust, fume, wake.

    E-WEB-Goal-17Developing Partnerships To Meet Sustainability Goals

    FNQ Nature Tours have developed a number of partnerships with key environmental organisations in Far North Queensland, including FNQ Wildlife Rescue, Bush Heritage, Forever Wild, Australian Quoll Conservancy, Tolga Bat Hospital, Tree Roo Rescue and Wildlife & Raptor Care Queensland.

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