A full day guided tour that visits a variety of different habitats in the Highlands above Cairns looking at the whole range of local wildlife from birds to mammals, butterflies and other insects, reptiles and if we are lucky frogs. The actual itinerary will vary depending on weather, time of year, animal movements and the special requests of clients. While most Australian mammals are nocturnal we hope to see Platypus and a variety of kangaroos including the bizarre Tree Kangaroo and a roost of Flying Foxes are amongst the mammals we hope to see.
AU$380.00 per person (minimum 2 people)
7:00am from your Cairns or Kuranda accommodation
4:30pm – 5:00pm at your Cairns or Kuranda accommodation
An exciting full day wildlife tour with an experienced wildlife guide. We will visit a number of different ecosystems some of which are on private land with restricted access spread over the southern Tablelands above Cairns.
We suggest you bring with you:
After being picked up from your accommodation you will make your way up the Kuranda Range.
Your first stop is likely to be Cassowary House where the Musky Rat Kangaroo can often be seen. A Gondwana relict this is Australia’s smallest macropod and its only fully diurnal one. We would also hope to see Victoria’s Riflebird, one of Australia’s 4 Birds of Paradise and other birds that come to feed right near the house verandahs. If we are lucky we will also see the iconic Cassowary which visits the property on a regular basis. This is also a good place for the Cairns Birdwing and Ulysses Butterflies.
The dry country around Mareeba is good for kangaroos and here we will hope to see the Eastern Grey Kangaroos and the Mareeba Rock Wallaby. We may also see Agile Wallaby if we are lucky. The impressive Red-tailed Black Cockatoo, Kookaburras and other bush birds live in this area. Watch the less travelled roads as we drive along keeping your eyes open for a Frilled Lizard or a sunbathing snake.
As you head towards Atherton if it is winter, stately Cranes can often be seen in the cut cane fields beside the road. During the summer the cane grows tall and most of the Sarus cranes fly to the Gulf of Carpentaria to breed. Keep your eyes open as we pass through patches of rainforest for fruit bat camps as there is often one near Tolga.
Beyond Atherton you may visit Hasties Swamp – a very busy wetland area or perhaps the spectacular Curtain Fig. This is an excellent venue for spotlighting but during the day we sometimes see Tree Kangaroos. These unlikely arboreal mammals are most active at night but we have a few sites where we often see them during the day as well. We also have a few different sites for platypus, some of which are very close by, and we will be visiting at least one of these today.
At the end of what we hope will be an excellent day we will return you to your hotel.
These bizarre aquatic mammals belong to one of two families of egg laying mammals – the other is the echidnas which are also found in Australia. The male platypus has a poisonous spur on its hind leg – no other mammal is equipped with poison barbs. They can be found in practically any clean stream on the Tablelands but are shy and crepuscular so are difficult to see.
We hope to see a number of kangaroos on this tour ranging from the diminutive rainforest Musky Rat Kangaroo to the second largest of Australia’s kangaroos – the Eastern Grey Kangaroo. We should also see the locally endemic Mareeba Rock Wallaby, Agile Wallaby and if we are lucky the Red-legged Pademelon though this small wallaby is usually seen only in the rainforest at night.
Flying Foxes or Fruit bats roost communally in large camps during the day where they squabble and flap about. We hope to see, hear and smell one today. At night the bats disperse from the camps to forage on the nearby fruit. Unfortunately they do not distinguish between rainforest fruits and orchard fruits. Tablelands fruit farmers are not very keen on flying foxes!