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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: $2,100 USD

Duration: 4 days/3 nights

Type: Groups, Private Charter, Shared.

Departs: On Request

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 up to 180 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 and meet with Wildlife & Raptor Care Queensland and Tree Roo Rescue.

  • 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 (1/4/2022) and may differ when you book your travel. Please contact us for our current pricing and itinerary details**


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.

    After a delicious lunch, explore the Cape Tribulation area. 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. This walk passes through a range of fascinating plantlife, providing the chance to spot the Azure Kingfisher, Shining Flycatcher, Black Butcherbird, Mangrove crab, Golden Orb Spider and Boyd’s Forest Dragon. 

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

    Accommodation: Heritage Lodge

  • Day 2: Daintree River & Atherton Tablelands

    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.

    Daintree Afternoon - Solar Whisper - David White - FNQ Nature Tours“We look for crocodiles, sure, but we also keep our eyes open for tree snakes, pythons, birds and flying foxes. A highlight is watching the fruit bats. On a hot day, they come and skim the water before heading out. Seeing thousands of flying mammals all around us is an amazing sight.” David White - Wildlife Cruise Guide

    Lunch is held at the Daintree Tea House. With 30 years in operation, they have mastered the art of perfection. Lunch has an exotic theme with the outside dining area secluded in the rainforest with beautiful views of tropical rainforest and continuous sounds of birds and nature. A fruit tasting presentation is often a part of their wonderful service.

    Wildlife & Raptor Care Queensland (WARCQ)

    Amber Dahlberg is the founder and coordinator of WARCQ, is a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation organisation based in Julatten in Far North Queensland. The WARCQ rescue and rehabilitate, mammals, marsupials, birds, owls and Australian raptors. At present, the WARCQ facilities comprise a purpose-built 15m care and flight aviary for raptors and birds of prey as well as a treatment clinic and other support services. Guests will meet Amber and gain insight into her lifelong passion of educating the public through caring for injured and rehabilitated wildlife.

    Next stop is the incredible Curtain Fig Tree, one of the most incredible trees you will see in your life. This ancient fig tree is an epic rainforest survivor with a very complex ecosystem surrounding its lifecycle. The birdlife that can be heard in the surrounding forest is quite amazing here. The next stop is tje Chambers Wildlife Rainforest Lodge, hidden in 1200 acres of Lake Eacham’s lush, tropical highland rainforest in the beautiful Waterfalls and Crater Lakes district of the Atherton Tablelands. 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.

    Night spotting in the Northern Daintree

    A wildlife tour in the Far North Queensland is not complete without a night walk. A large portion of the local wildlife has adopted a nocturnal lifestyle to avoid the heat of the day in the tropical climate. We often visit 2 sites to experience the overall diversity of nocturnal wildlife in the Wet Tropics.

    Accommodation: Chambers Wildlife Lodge


  • Day 3: Spotted-tailed Quoll & Shared Earth Reserve

    Become a citizen scientist for a morning, with the exclusive opportunity to work alongside the Australian Quoll Conservancy.This group conducts valuable research that will aid in the preservation of Far North Queensland’s endangered wildlife.

    This behind-the-scenes tour provides a unique opportunity to enter research locations not accessible to the public. Guests will join our researchers and other team members as they check camera traps and motion detection areas to catalogue sightings, document food sources, locations and behaviours and search for evidence of Spotted-tailed Quolls.

    About Spotted-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.

    After lunch in Mareeba, we spend the afternoon on the Forever Wild Shared Earth Reserve (SER). The wildlife on the Tropical Wetlands SER 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. We know the property is critical habitat for the endangered Northern Quoll. 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!

    Accommodation: Chambers Wildlife Lodge 

  • Day 4: Lake Barrine, Yungaburra & Cairns

    The day starts with meeting Dr Karen Coombes, Director and Chair Founder of Tree Roo Rescue, a non for profit organisation that rescues and rehabilitates orphaned, injured, or displaced tree-kangaroos for release back into the wild, or when release is not possible, for life in captivity as breeding animals in zoos for education and conservation. Karen will accompany guests to a neighbouring forest where a wild population of Lumholtz’s Tree Kangaroos reside and provide behavioural interpretation.

    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.

    The next stop includes a lakeside lunch 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. 

    The final stop is the Tolga Bat Hospital, who have been awarded for offering one of Australia’s leading and most innovative ecotourism experiences. A short visit to this site to observe this community group that works for the conservation of bats and their habitat through rescue and landcare work, advocacy, education and research.

    1730 Return to Cairns – Drop off in Cairns or at the airport.

    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.

  • Tour details:

    Group Size: Minimum of 4 guests, Maximum of 6 guests
    Pick-up and Drop Off Point: Cairns/Northern Beaches/Port Douglas

    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-15Rescuing the Wildlife of Far North Queensland

    FNQ Nature Tours’ guides are active and passionate volunteers for
    Far North Queensland Wildlife Rescue Association; a not for profit, incorporated volunteer organisation operating under permit from the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection.

    During designated times when they are ‘on call’, the team has performed numerous rescues of injured, orphaned or trapped wildlife including Bush Stone-curlews, monitors and pythons.

    As part of the 4 Day Nature, Wildlife & Conservation Safari experience, FNQ Nature Tours connects guests with several important rescue and rehabilitation organisations including Wildlife & Raptor Care Queensland (rehabilitating mammals, marsupials, owls and Australian raptors), Tree Roo Rescue (rehabilitating orphaned, injured, or displaced tree-kangaroos for release back into the wild) and the Tolga Bat Hospital.

    E-WEB-Goal-04Connecting with Australian Quoll Conservancy & Tree Roo Rescue

    As part of FNQ Nature Tours' 4 Day Nature, Wildlife & Conservation Safari, guests spend some time with wildlife experts such as Alberto Vale from Australian Quoll Conservancy and Dr Karen Coombes from Tree Roo Rescue. These experiences give guests an incredible and rare insight into the conservation work going on behind-the-scenes for some of Australia's endangered wildlife species.


    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-04Red-filtered Flashlights for our Nocturnal Beauties

    White torches or spotlights can significantly disturb our marsupials, due to the greater sensitivity of their pupils to light compared with humans. FNQ Nature Tours use, and share with guests the importance of using, red-filtered spotlights.


    Although spotlighting is a fantastic means of revealing some of Australia’s most endearing creatures, white torches or spotlights can significantly disturb our marsupials, due to the greater sensitivity of their pupils to light compared with humans. High-powered spotlights effect the ability for pupils to function properly for extended periods of time, leaving them blinded temporarily.

    For this reason, we share with guests the importance of using red-filtered spotlights along with prohibiting flash photography. 

    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.

    Forever Wild, Australian Quoll Conservancy, Tolga Bat Hospital, Tree Roo Rescue and Wildlife & Raptor Care Queensland are all supporte financially via special touring experienecs provided by FNQ Nature Tours.

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