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Cape York Iron Range – Fly in Fly Out

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Tour Details

For those with limited time or who want to go Wet Season birding in Iron Range a 4-5 day Fly In/Fly Out tour can be arranged.

This tour allows us to have a good look at the different habitats that can be found around the Iron Range area. Iron Range is the furthest south many species get in Australia. These are the “New Guinea” specials such as Eclectus Parrot, Palm Cockatoo and Yellow-billed Kingfisher and during the Wet Season the Papuan (Red-bellied) Pitta is a big draw.

Tour Cost

AU$2,630.00 per person (group of 4)

Single Supplement

AU$360.00

Flight Cost

Approximately AU$840.00 (return airfare from Cairns to Lockhart River)

Departure & Return Location

Cairns, Queensland, Australia (Google Map)

Departure Time

7:30am  – 8am from your hotel in Cairns

Price Includes

  • Tour Guide
  • Transport in an air conditioned 4WD vehicle sourced locally.
  • 4 nights accomodation - a stay of a different would mean a different cost.
  • Meals as per itinerary
  • Entrance fees & permits

Price Excludes

  • Personal drinks and snacks
  • Phone and internet charges
  • Anything not covered above

Complementaries

  • Complimentary Water in vehicle.
What to Expect

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 and the tracks can get rather muddy in the Wet Season.
  • Lightweight long-sleeved shirt and long trousers - some rainforest plants can be rather scratchy
  • Lightweight raingear
  • Hat
  • Sunblock
  • Insect repellent
  • Camera and binoculars

Difficulty 

This is not a difficult tour and suitable for anyone with a moderate level of fitness. The return flights mean that participants are spared the 2 day drive up the Cape  which is often impassable during the Wet.

Accommodation

At Iron Range this is either in air-conditioned en suite cabins or in a very pleasant house with air-conditioned bedrooms but a shared bathroom.

Itinerary

Day 1Cairns to Lockhart River

Today we fly from Cairns to Lockhart River. The time of departure will depend on the day of travel as flight times vary from day to day. On arrival we will collect our vehicle and then check into our accommodation before heading out for an afternoon’s birding around the local area. Palm Cockatoo is often one of the first birds we see on arrival at Lockhart. River, A visit to the local sewage ponds can be productive so we may well call in there. We will also be looking for Green-backed Honeyeater, White-streaked Honeyeater and Tropical Scrubwren.

Day 2Rainforest & Woodlands birding

Today we spend a full day birding the tropical rainforest and woodlands around Lockhart River. We are likely to visit Cooks Hut, the camp ground and Gordon Creek looking for the area specialities such as Eclectus Parrots, Trumpet Manucode, Frill-necked Monarch, Magnificent Riflebird and Yellow-billed Kingfisher.

Day 3Lockhart birding

Another day around the Lockhart area but today we will be concentrating on any of the skulkers we did not see yesterday, Black-eared Catbird, Yellow-legged Flycatcher, White-faced Robin and Northern Scrub Robin can fall into this category. In the evening we can do some spotlighting for Marbled and Papuan Frogmouth and Rufous Owl. If we are lucky will also see Cuscus, there are two species of this wonderful prehensile-tailed animal for us to look for here.

Day 4Lockhart River, Portland Roads & Chilli Beach

If necessary we will spend the morning around Lockhart. In the Wet Season we will be particularly looking for Papuan Pitta and Black-faced Monarch if we haven’t already seen them. However in the afternoon we will travel over to the coast and the area around Portland Roads where we we will look for the bowers of the Fawn-breasted Bowerbird and, if everything goes to plan, see the birds as well. Mangrove Robin can also be seen in this area and the nearby Chilli Beach usually gives us a variety of shorebirds and if we are lucky some seabirds as well. In the evening large flocks of Metallic Starlings can be seen wheeling along the coast.

Day 5Morning birding & flight back to Cairns

Depending on our flight time we will spend time chasing any missing birds, perhaps visit the local Arts Centre in Lockhart River or take a last look at the seabirds off Chilli Beach, before heading to the airfield for our flight back to Cairns.

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