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Atherton Tablelands Spotlighting Tour

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Tour Details

An evening tour which takes you up into the Highlands behind Cairns looking for some of the unique fauna of this region.  The itinerary can vary due to weather, animal movements and the special requests of clients. There are some different destinations that can be used for spotlighting and so the actual itinerary may vary due to the time of year, local conditions and what clients want to see.


AU$190.00 per person (minimum 2 people)

Pick up time

6:30pm from your accommodation

Drop off time

10:30pm – 11:00pm at your accommodation

Price Includes

  • Tour Guide
  • Entrance Fees
  • Transport in comfortable 4WD air-conditioned vehicle

Price Excludes

  • Dinner
  • Drinks


  • Complimentary Water
What to Expect

An exciting wildlife tour with an experienced wildlife guide. We will visit some different sites some of which are on private land with restricted access on the Southern Tablelands above Cairns.

We suggest you bring with you:

  • comfortable covered walking shoes - while there are no major hikes during this tour there will be some walking on potentially rough paths
  • Lightweight long-sleeved shirt and long trousers- some rainforest plants can be rather scratchy
  • Lightweight raingear
  • Jumper or sweatshirt for higher altitudes particularly in winter
  • Hat
  • Sunblock
  • Insect repellent
  • Camera and binoculars
Sample Itinerary

6:30pmPick up from accommodation

After being picked up from your accommodation you will head up the Range and onto the Tablelands above Cairns.

Evening ActivitiesSpotlighting

We will be looking for nocturnal birds as we travel including the Pacific Barn Owl. Most of the mammalian fauna of Australia is nocturnal and we will be keeping our eyes open as we go for kangaroos and wallabies. Many of these can exhibit suicidal tendencies and hurl themselves at vehicles when spooked or dazzled by the lights, which is why they are such a common roadkill in Australia.

While some snakes are diurnal hunters, others hunt at night. They also like to soak up the heat from the roads and it is often possible to see them enjoying a rest on the tarmac which still retains the heat from the day. Boigu and Pythons are particularly keen on this and a number of snakes lose their lives due to a lack of road sense.

Looking for eyeshine is one of the best ways to pick up animals at night. Although most eyeshine tends to be tiny spiders we are often rewarded by a variety of possums including, Striped, Green Ringtail, Common Ringtail, and Common Brush-tailed Possums. Sugar Gliders, Brown and Long-nosed Bandicoots, Fawn-footed Melomys, Antechinus and Uromys, the Giant White-tailed Rats are also a possibility. Platypus and Tree Kangaroos are also a possibility but in recent years these have been better seen during the day. Frogs however are better seen at night and during the wetter months can be deafening in the cacophony of sound they make after rain.

10:30pm - 11:00pmDrop off at your accommodation

Drop off at your Kuranda or Cairns accommodation.