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Featured Wildlife Journeys

  • Lumholtz Tree Kangaroo

  • Ulysses Butterfly

  • Southern Cassowary

  • Saltwater Crocodile

  • Boyd's Forest Dragon

FNQ Nature Tours

4 Day Nature, Wildlife & Conservation Safari

From: $2,770 AUD

Duration: 4 days/ 3 nights

Type: Groups, Private Charter, Shared.

Departs: On Request

Interests: Birds, Fish & Marine Invertebrates, Land Mammals & Marsupials, Reptiles & Amphibians.

Explore Far North Queensland, a tropical haven of ancient rainforests, savannah and woodlands with an abundance of Australian wildlife and plants. The Daintree Forest is 1200 square kilometres and believed to be 180 – 135 million years old, the oldest continually-surviving tropical rainforest in the world.

  • Get exclusive access to the Forever Wild Tropical Wetlands Shared Earth Reserve, a landscape of old growth savannah woodlands, lakes, swamps and creeks.

  • Contribute to a conservation and research project surveying threatened Spot-tailed Quolls at Danbulla or Mt Lewis National Parks.

  • With more than 450 Avian Species recorded across this area and surrounds (more than half of Australia's total bird count), including 12 Endemics, it’s Australia’s twitching mecca!

 

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 (1/4/2021) and may differ when you book your travel. Please contact us for our current pricing and itinerary details**

Itinerary

Tour day-by-day

  • Day 1: Daintree Rainforest & Cape Tribulation

    Head north from Cairns on the scenic Great Barrier Reef Drive. Learn about unique habitats and observe the changes in biodiversity as we get closer to the Daintree tropical rainforest, part of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. The Daintree is an  ancient tropical rainforest spanning 120,000 hectares, the largest tropical rainforest in Australia. 

    We walk the Jindalba nature trail, for magnificent scenery and plentiful wildlife.  We search for Southern Cassowary, Wompoo Fruit Dove, Yellow-breasted Boatbill, Spectacled Monarch, Spotted Catbird, Pale-yellow Robin & Boyd’s Forest Dragon.

    Our second walk for the day follows the pretty Oliver Creek. This walk passes through a range of fascinating plantlife including a stunning hollowed-out strangler fig, a cluster of giant fan palms, some paperbark and pandanus trees, before opening into diverse and interesting mangroves. This rainforest to mangrove ecotone is incredibly diverse. We have a chance of spotting Azure Kingfisher, Shining Flycatcher, Black Butcherbird, Mangrove crabs, Golden Orb Spider and Boyd’s Forest Dragon. 

    We highly recommend a swim in the azure waters of Emmagen Creek before dinner.

    Dinner – we’ll dine tonight at eco-friendly Heritage Lodge.

    After dinner check in at nearby Daintree Eco-Lodge, situated in the heart of magnificent rainforest. 

    Accommodation: Daintree Eco-lodge
    Meals included: Lunch & dinner (Breakfast not included)

  • Day 2: Daintree River & Forever Wild Shared Earth Reserve

    We start early to maximise our wildlife viewing on the Daintree River. A short drive of 30 minutes will have us at our cruise location.

    Private Daintree Cruise

    Cruise the Daintree River with the dawn light, spotting wildlife on a quiet, clean solar electric boat with zero impact on the environment. On this private two hour cruise photograph wild Saltwater Crocodiles, Green Tree Pythons, Spectacled Flying-Fox and birds including Great-billed Heron, Pacific Baza, Papuan Frogmouth, Large-billed Gerygone, Olive-backed Sunbird and possibly Noisy Pitta, Black Bittern or Barred Cuckooshrike.

    Lunch – at the Highlander Tavern, located in the mountains of the Port Douglas Hinterlands

    We spend the afternoon on the Forever Wild Shared Earth Reserve. Here we will survey for birds, including the threatened Black-throated Finch. Sightings of Chestnut-breasted Mannikin, Grey-crowned Babbler, White-throated Gerygone, Yellow Honeyeater, Red-backed Fairywren, Great Bowerbird, Pale-headed Rosella, Red-winged Parrot, Black-necked Stork (Jabiru) and Brolga are likely, and possibly even Sarus Crane! The reserve is also home to Agile Wallabies, Eastern Grey Kangaroos, Common Wallaroos, some spectacular dragonflies including Graphic Flutterer and Scarlet Percher, and even the famous Frilled (Frill-necked) Lizard!

    Check in at Chambers Wildlife Lodge for two nights. Hidden in 1200 acres of Lake Eacham’s highland rainforest in the beautiful Waterfalls and Crater Lakes district of the Atherton Tablelands, and pioneers in eco-tourism.

    The lodge focusses on birdwatchers, wildlife enthusiasts, naturalists and photographers.

    Accommodation: Chambers Wildlife Lodge (2 nights) Meals included: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

  • Day 3: Spotted-tailed Quoll

    Work alongside expert quoll researchers Justin McMahon and Alberto Vale, checking camera traps, documenting food sources and locations of Spotted-tailed Quolls. We will be entering research locations not accessible to the public. The chance of seeing quolls is very low (they are nocturnal, and we will be there in daytime), but our participation in the study will provide valuable data and funding. You will learn so much about them on the day that your chances of seeing them in future are increased. Alberto and Justin are the region’s leading experts on Spotted-tailed Quolls. Their research has resulted in 8 publications in the last 2 years.

    About Spot-tailed (Tiger) Quolls:

    • The Spotted-tailed Quoll Dasyurus maculatus is one of the largest carnivorous marsupials in the world,
    • Spotted-tailed Quoll subspecies gracilis of North Queensland is now critically low and at real risk of extinction,
    • This subspecies of quoll is genetically distinct from other Tiger Quolls, and has suffered an estimated 20% loss of geographic range in recent years,
    • Recommended conservation actions for this subspecies include rigorous monitoring at known sites, surveying for unknown populations, and relocations into historic sites,
    • We will be working with researchers and a not for profit that are taking action on the recommendations.

    About the Australian Quoll Conservancy (AQC)
    The Australian Quoll Conservancy are a new not for profit, active in North Queensland and Victoria. They use non-invasive monitoring methods and aim to increase awareness of the quoll species of Australia, all of which are threatened.

    How does this trip contribute to Quoll Conservation? See above, and also:

    • This portion of the tour is not-for-profit with ALL proceeds going directly to AQC.
    • Extra contributions are welcomed; a thermal imaging camera and new computer GPS system are needed.
    • You will also gain exclusive access to social media images and content as a result of your visit. Your Guide will provide more information.

    Back to Chambers Wildlife Rainforest Lodge.  Take a rest in preparation for the night walk or explore the beautiful surrounds of Chambers Wildlife Lodge. There are several walks available at the Lodge where you might find birds such as the Eastern Whipbird, Wompoo Fruit Dove, Peaceful Dove and Australian Brush Turkeys.

    A wildlife tour in Far North Queensland is not complete without a night walk to experience the overall diversity of wildlife in the Wet Tropics. Seeing wildlife in the daytime is just the start – most mammals and some reptiles have adopted a nocturnal lifestyle to avoid the heat of the day in the tropical climate. Observations may include the Lemuroid Possum, Green Ringtail Possum, Lumholtz’s Tree Kangaroo, Green-eyed Tree Frog, Leaf-tailed Gecko or perhaps Platypus.  We will also be on the lookout for signs of Tiger Quolls!

    Accommodation: Chambers Wildlife Rainforest Lodge (2nd night)
    Meals included: breakfast, lunch & dinner

  • Lake Barrine, Yungaburra & Cairns

    Optional birding at famous Hasties Swamp. This large seasonal wetland is famous amongst birders for its range of resident and migratory birds. Over 260 species have been recorded.  With a large bird hide, you will have excellent waterbird viewing and photography opportunities. Sightings may include Magpie Geese, Comb-crested Jacana, Intermediate Egret, Plumed Whistling-duck and possibly Latham’s Snipe. Bush birds could include Scarlet, Brown & White-cheeked Honeyeater and many others. 

    After Hasties Swamp we take a walk at Lake Barrine.  Several walks are available offering great wildlife and bird watching opportunities, varying from 30 minutes to 2 hours. Birds such as Bower’s Shrikethrush, Yellow-breasted Boatbill, Pied Monarch and Chowchilla are regularly seen, and occasionally a Southern Cassowary. Reptiles could include Eastern Water Dragon, Spotted Tree Monitor, Boyd’s Forest Dragon and Eastern Saw-shelled Turtle. Musky Rat-Kangaroo and Lumholtz’s Tree-Kangaroo are also possible. Afterwards, we will toast our wildlife spotting achievements over some local tea or coffee at the famous Tea House.

    We take a cruise on the lake to spot reptiles such as Jungle Carpet and Australian Scrub Pythons, Saw-shelled or Macquarie Turtles, Australian Long-finned Eels, archerfish and birds including Australian Swiftlet and White-bellied Sea-Eagle. 

    Lunch is included at the Tea-House – food options are many and the view is pretty special too!

    Nearby, at Yungaburra, we take a walk to a special spot to search for Platypus. This is a great chance to get a good photo of this difficult subject.  This location is also home to a family of Lumholtz’s Tree Kangaroo. We will be making a donation to a charity that cares for injured tree kangaroos. We will also visit an ancient fig tree.

    1630 Return to Cairns – Drop off in Cairns or at the airport.

    Accommodation: not included
    Meals included: Breakfast, morning tea, and lunch

    Day 5 – Optional Great Barrier Reef Tour
    Get picked up from your accommodation in Cairns and join your group for a day out on the reef to explore one of the 7 wonders of the natural world and World Heritage Area by boat.

    Note: This itinerary is subject to change without notice and is dependent on weather, road and sea conditions, fire and on the regulatory requirements of Government(s) and/or its Agencies eg, National Parks Service. Activities may also be modified or curtailed dependent on the health of participants and the ability or otherwise of sub-contractors to provide activities. We will not provide compensation to participants who are unable to undertake activities described in this itinerary or who become injured or sick during the journey. Nor will Echidna Walkabout reimburse monies for any activities that are modified or cancelled as a result of all or any of the above. The same proviso is in place if, due to vehicle or boat breakdown or for any other reason, we are unable to meet your scheduled flights or other ongoing activities.

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