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Wet Tropics Birding Tour

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Birding and wildlife watching in the Wet Tropics  is a great experience. With 14 local endemic birds and a great supporting cast of birds and other wildlife this area is a must for anyone with an interest in birds or natural history.

Tour Details

The Wet Tropics around Cairns has 14 local endemic birds and a great supporting cast of birds and other wildlife. It is a must visit place for anyone with an interest in birds or natural history. With an enormous range of habitats in a remarkably small area ranging from the dry country around Mareeba to the coastal sandflats, mangroves and river mouths of the coast,  lush rainforest spreading from the coast right up to the highlands of Mt Lewis and Mt Hypipamee, it is no wonder that this area has a larger avifauna than any other area of Australia. It also has a good mammalian fauna, some great butterflies and other insects, reptiles and  amphibians.  As an added bonus the Great Barrier Reef is easily accessible  with a variety day trips and live-aboards on offer.

Tour Cost

AU$4375.00 per person (group of 6)

Single Supplement



There are no internal flights on this tour.

Departure & Return Location

Cairns, Queensland, Australia (Google Map)

Departure Time

As arranged at time of booking.

Price Includes

  • Guide/Driver
  • Transport in a comfortable, air conditioned 4WD vehicle
  • 6 nights accomodation
  • Entrance fees & permits
  • Meals as per itinerary
  • Boat fees

Price Excludes

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


  • Complimentary water in vehicle
What to Expect

This area has recorded over 250 species of birds including 14 local endemics. It also has a number of iconic mammals such as the iconic platypus, echidnas, a number of different species of kangaroo including the. bizarre tree kangaroo, bandicoots and a variety of possums and gliders plus some amazing butterflies and other insects, reptiles and amphibians.

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


This is an easy tour and the pace can be managed to suit participants There is a good possibility of rain throughout the year. Winters have warm days and cool to cold nights while summer days are often hot and humid but the temperature drops considerably at nights especially at higher altitudes.


This is primarily in bird and wildlife friendly lodges with en suite rooms and a mid range hotel in Cairns.


Day 1Arrive Cairns

Depending on your arrival time in Cairns you will meet with guide and spend the rest of the day exploring the Cairns sites. These include the famous Esplanade for shorebirds, the mangroves for Mangrove Robin and Collared Kingfisher, the Centenary Lakes for kingfishers and crakes and the cemetery for the Bush Stone Curlews. Cattana Wetlands, Redden Island and Yorkey’s Knob are amongst other sites you can visit depending on the time available, tides, weather and bird movements.

Day 2Kuranda/Mareeba local area

Spend the early morning around Cassowary House looking for CassowaryVictoria’s Riflebird, Black Butcherbird, Macleay’s Honeyeater, Spotted Catbird, Musky Rat-kangaroo and other rainforest species. Later travel out towards Mareeba where the dry country holds Red-tailed Black Cockatoos, Pale-headed Rosellas, Squatter Pigeons, Black-throated Finches, Rufous Owls and more. The Mareeba area is also a good place for macropods with Eastern Grey Kangaroo and the delightful Mareeba Rock Wallaby.

Day 3Mid Altitude sites

Head up onto the Tablelands for the mid altitude birding sites such as Hastie’s Swamp for wetland birds including huge flocks of Plumed and Wandering Whistling Ducks and a variety of crakes, egrets and herons, the impressive Curtain Fig which is good for monarchs, Bowers Shrikethrush and Lewin’s Honeyeater and Lake Barrine for Tooth-billed Catbird, and Chowchilla. Evening spotlighting for mammals and more can occur today if required.

Day 4High Altitude sites

Head up to the high altitude Tablelands birding sites such as Mt Hypipamee for Golden Bowerbird, Mountain Thornbill, Fernwren and a good chance of platypus and Tree Kangaroo. On wet days a slow drive along the higher Tablelands roads can be good for Bushhen and Buff-banded Rail while on sunny days you may be lucky enough to see Blue-faced Parrotfinch .

Day 5Biboura, Brady's Lagoon, Lake Mitchell & Mt Carbine

Slowly driving north we will check the side roads around Biboura for Brown Treecreeper and Red-backed Fairywren then depending on the time of year and water levels may stop off at Brady’s Lagoon and Lake Mitchell. A trip up as far as Mt Carbine can give us Apostle Birds, Tawny Frogmouth and Australian Bustard and Abattoir Swamp is good for honeyeaters.

Day 6Daintree Cruise & Mt Lewis

An early start today sees us on the Daintree dawn bird cruise for Great-billed Heron, Little Kingfisher, Black Bittern (summer only), Papuan Frogmouth and perhaps Saltwater Crocodile. After a late breakfast drive up the track to Mt Lewis for a second chance of any mid and high altitude birds missed earlier. We will drive slowly back to Cairns arriving mid to late afternoon.

Day 7Michaelmas Cay

Today is a complete change as we take a boat trip out of Cairns to Michaelmas Cay for breeding noddies and terns. There will be plenty of time to snorkel and a glass-bottomed boat tour and snorkel gear are included in this trip. At the end of the day you will be returned to your hotel or the airport in time for your evening flight out.