Southwest Queensland Wildlife Tour to the Outback
This is a 6-day Outback Wildlife Tour in Southern Queensland which will take you way out west to wide-open spaces, wonderful sunsets, clear starry skies, red sands, red kangaroos, grey kangaroos, echidnas, shingleback lizards, sand monitors, emus, flocks of wild budgerigars, Major Mitchell cockatoos (pink with red and yellow crests), colourful outback parrots, flocks of budgerigars and finches, wood swallows, bee-eater, apostlebirds, coughs, black kites and many other birds in the true outback ecosystems of Bowra and Currawinya National Park.
Accommodation is comfortable but basic (no tv or swimming pool, except first and last nights in St George): the route maximises wildlife and wilderness and generally steers clear of usual tourist destinations. Option for 8-day 7 nights tours.
Please note there is an 8-day option for this tour which may be of interest as well. Please complete the enquiry form to learn more about that tour.
Alternative Tour Name: Araucaria Outback Tour
Leave Brisbane around 9.00am, visit a small zoo in Ipswich to see bibles and other creatures we won't see in the wild. Head on west stopping for any birds, reptiles or other creatures we might see along the way, lunch at the small isolated settlement of Moonie, and on to St George. We have usually seen a few parrots, emus, kites, lizards, grey kangaroos and other wildlife by now,
We take a late afternoon walk along the river looking for parrots, honeyeaters and other birds.
Dinner at a good local pub and overnight in a motel in St George
We set out soon after dawn to the long bridge across the Balonne River, usually seeing parrots, waterbirds and raptors. One guide will take the vehicle across the bridge, the rest ion the group walking across with the other guide, thus walking into what we consider the true outback - no more crops of cotton or sorghum or anything else - into many kilometres of semi-arid woodlands and red soils, seeing emus, red kangaroos, Major Mitchell cockatoos, and more. After a good lunch in Cunnamulla we continue on to Eulo to check in at the historic Queen Hotel and do some birdwatching around town and nearby waterholes. Only two rooms have private ensuite.
Dinner and overnight in Eulo
We leave before dawn with a picnic breakfast to enjoy beside a waterhole, watching for kangaroos, parrots and other wildlife coming to drink in the early light
We continue through the varied habitats of Currawinya NP, including two enormous Ramsar-declared lakes (one saltwater and one freshwater) if the entry track isn't flooded, with a picnic lunch along the way
Dinner and overnight at the tiny border town of Hungerford, at a hotel the was once regularly visited by the Cobb&Co. Bathroom is in a small building out the back, often harbouring frogs and geckos and a variety of attractive moths.
Alternatively, if guests desire, we can campout by the river, either in hammocks under the stars or in tents
Breakfast at dawn and a last exploration of Currawinya NP before heading back through Eulo to Cunnamulla and Bowra Station, formerly a large cattle station but long known as a birding hotspot, and now owned by the Australian Wildlife Conservancy, where we seek a great diversity of birds including Hall's babbler, crimson chat, woodswallows, Bourke's parrots, brolgas and many more
Overnight in shearer's quarters near a lagoon visited by many waterbirds, finches, parrots and others - basic but comfortable rooms, fully equipped kitchen bathroom in separate small building.
Dawn watch at lagoon for emus,, Major Mitchell cockatoos, flock of budgerigars and other birds.
Visit other waterholes and other habitats to continue looking for birds, kangaroos and reptiles
Head into Cunnamulla for a great pub lunch and back to St George for the night (unless we are doing the 8-day version, in which case we spend another two night at Bowra
Visit a large reservoir near St George for further birdwatching, then make our way back to Brisbane, stopping along the way for any further wildlife we may see.
Wildlife species expected to see:
Red kangaroo Eastern Grey kangaroo, Western grey kangaroo, Brolga, wedge tailed eagle, black kite, whistling kites, others, Major Mitchell cockatoo, Bourke’s parrot, red-romped and various other parrots, Spotted bowerbirds, Chats, honeyeaters, woodswallows, babblers, apostle bird, coughs, Dragons, monitors, shingback skinks, geckos, pythons, freshwater turtles, other reptiles and frogs
What is included?
- All travel, guiding and accommodation, three meals most days, lunch and dinner on first day, breakfast and lunch on final day, morning teas, snacks, large water containers for re-filling drink bottles
What is not included?
- Internation Flight tickets
- Travel Insurance
- Alcohol other than one drink pr lunch or dinner when in town, additional snacks, souvenirs
The birdwatching day-trip has been designed and usually led by a zoologist (Ronda) with several decades experience of research on bird ecology and behaviour in southeast Queensland and elsewhere in Australia. Our other main guide is Ronda’s son Darren, a keen amateur naturalist who has been exploring our forests for a lifetime and very knowledgable. While designed to maximise the number of species seen in a variety of habitats (from wetlands to rainforest) the focus is on birds as part of the ecosystem and how their behaviour reflects this, not on dashing from one bird to the next or finding obscure species for life-lists. Many of our guests do add substantially to their lifelists as well: it’s just not our major focus. We happily cater for novice birdwatchers, bird photographers and for general nature enthusiasts for whom birds are just part of the delight and fascination with wild areas. Although some of our guests request tours with no children (which we respect), we do encourage families on other days, and also lead child-focussed tours with various games included to help children (and their parents!) learn about our birds). We understand that not all bird-lovers are physically fit, and can easily adjust our tours to include as little walking as possible while still seeing many birds. We abide by environmental standards, which includes not only waste reduction, fuel efficiency etc. but also minimising our impact on the birds and other wildlife we find. Since our own research is on-going and we also add information to other databases, guests are very welcome to engage in a bit of citizen science along the way. Special interests can be catered for with advance notice. We have attended food safety courses and are even more strict than usual in hygiene since Covid-19, adopting social distancing, applying disinfectants to bus seats and handles between tours and always travel with hand sanitiser.