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Birds of Far North Queensland Tour, Australia - 8 Days

Birds of Far North Queensland Tour, Australia

Birdwatching Tour in the Tropical Far North Queensland, Australia

This 8-day Birds of Far North Queensland Tour which is moderately-paced trip available as a set departure (or on request) takes you through Tropical Far North Queensland, without doubt, one of the best locations for birdwatching in Australia with over 200 species possible - most of them endemics - yet maintaining a relaxed pace.

A variety of tropical habitats including rainforests, palm-fringed beaches, mangrove-lined mudflats, savannahs, and cool mountain ranges result in a bird diversity unparalleled elsewhere in the country.

Commencing in Cairns, we’ll bird the local area and head to the well-known Atherton Tablelands where our lodge's tropical gardens and streamside forests are sure to impress. But the most exciting part of this birdwatching Australia tour is when we traverse the remote, unique Cape York Peninsula, with its under-explored savannah woodlands and bird-rich rainforests.

During this Birds of Far North Queensland Tour throughout Tropical Far North Queensland, we aim to find all local specialties. Expect over 200 species, most of which are endemics, and other important birds this area is well-known for such as Magnificent Riflebird, Frill-necked Monarch, Blue-faced Parrot-finch, Lovely Fairy-wren, White-streaked Honeyeater, Papuan Frogmouth, nesting Red Goshawks, Palm Cockatoo, Eclectus Parrot, Yellow-bellied Kingfisher and many more, including of course the rare Southern Cassowary.

We’ll have rare access to Goldenshouldered Parrot nesting sites and will also explore the remote Lakefield region. In the evenings, if you like, we’ll go night spotting for owls and mammals; and this Australia birdwatching tour spends no less than two days in the Iron Range rainforests, one of Australia’s premier and unique ecosystems. From tall forest to heath to coastal bush, Iron Range has a diversity of habitat and a range of wildlife found nowhere else on the planet.

We target gems such as Marbled Frogmouth, Large-tailed Nightjar We’ll also look for mammals such as Bandicoot, Sugar Glider, Northern Striped Possum, Red-necked Wallaby, and Tree Kangaroo. Enquire now for the full itinerary and checklist!

Birds of Far North Queensland Tour highlights include:

  • Watch the magnificent Palm Cockatoo Cockatoo "drumming" on a tree branch, using a small stick
  • Get up close and personal (not too close!) with the ancient Southern Cassowary
  • Observe the elusive Goulden-shouldered Parrot at its nest in a tall termite-mound2
  • Marvel at the rich birdlife of the 180-million-year old Daintree Rainforest from aboard an electric boat on the Daintree river
  • Enjoy a very pleasant climate - the tropical dry season; beautiful scenery; yet a sense of adventure remains as we explore off-the-beaten-track locations

Please note: this tour is also available as a private tour on request and subject to availability.  Please complete the enquiry form and let us know your preferred dates to travel.

You might be interested in a tour in a different part of Australia: our 13-days Bird Watching Australia Great Southern Tour

Alternative Tour Name: Tropical & Far North Queensland Australia birding tour
Day 1
Day 1 - Arrive in Cairns, Qld

Arrive in Cairns. Make your own way to Cairns and to our hotel (included) where we will meet for dinner & introductions. Accommodation: Cairns Plaza Foreshore Hotel (en-suite rooms; meals: D).

Day 2
Day 2 - Cairns to Atherton Tablelands

The tropical habitats surrounding Cairns contain some of Australia’s richest bird- and wildlife. We’ll start the day with a visit to the foreshore with coastal mudflats and man-groves to look for Shining Flycatcher, Mangrove Robin, Large-billed Gerygone, Collared Kingfisher, Striated Heron, Varied Honeyeater and Olive-backed Sun-bird. We should also see Rainbow and Scaly-breasted Lorikeet, Pied Imperial-pigeon, Australian Swiftlet, Spangled Drongo and Figbird.

One of the main tar-gets of the day will be the endangered Southern Cassowary. This large, flight-less, dinosaur-like creature can be surprisingly elusive! While looking for it, we should also encounter Black-faced Monarch, Graceful- and Yellow-spotted Honeyeater, Green Pygmy Goose, White-browed Crake and more. We will then head into the hinterland of Cairns: the Atherton Tablelands, where we may see Brolga and Sarus Crane. After a delightful days’ birding we will arrive at the Chambers Wildlife Rainforest Lodge, hidden in lush, tropical highland rainforest in the beautiful waterfalls and crater lakes district.

The lodge has resident Platypus, Brush Turkey mounds, and Tooth-billed Bowerbird bowers as well as a good chance to view Victoria’s Riflebird. After dinner we’ll look for mammals such as Sugar Gliders, Striped Possums and Bandicoots. Accommodation: Chambers Wildlife Lodge, Yungaburra (en-suite rooms; meals: B, L, D).

Day 3
Day 3 - Atherton Tablelands

We’ll visit the spectacular Curtain Fig Tree, where there are regular sightings of Double-eyed Fig-Parrot, Wompoo Fruit-Dove, Spotted Catbird, White-throated Treecreeper, Lewin’s and Macleay’s Honeyeater, Large-billed Scrub-wren, Mountain Thornbill, Brown Gerygone, Eastern Whipbird, Little and Bower’s Shrike-thrush, Black-faced, Spectacled and Pied Monarch, Yellow-breasted Boatbill, Pale-yellow and Grey-headed Robin and Metallic Starling. We then head to wonderful Mount Hypipamee.

Around the main carpark and picnic area, there is a chance of Golden Bowerbird, particularly in fruiting trees, as well as Southern Cassowary, Tooth-billed Bowerbird, Spotted Catbird, Lewin’s and Bridled Honeyeater and the rainforest specialists: Fernwren, Emerald Dove, Chowchilla, Atherton and Yellow-throated Scrub-wren, Mountain Thornbill, Brown Gerygone and Pale-yellow Robin. Other birds we are likely to encounter include Australian Brush Turkey, Orange-footed Scrubfowl, Superb and Wompoo Fruit-dove, Double-eyed Fig Parrot, Figbird, Black Butcherbird, Green Oriole and Noisy Pitta, amongst others.

Later in the afternoon we bird the tropical gardens and streamside forests in the vicinity of the Chambers Wildlife Lodge which is set in lush tropical surroundings and caters exclusively to naturalists and bird-watchers. It is a tremendous birding area, and the also the perfect base for birding the wider district. After dark we will do some spotlighting for Tree Kangaroo, owls and nightjars. Accommodation: Chambers Wildlife Lodge, Yungaburra (en-suite rooms; meals: B, L, D).

Day 4
Day 4 - Atherton Tablelands to Mossman

We spend the morning birding and photographing the wonderful grounds of the lodge and its surrounding areas of farmland, creeks, woodland and rainforest which offers an array of tropical bird species.

Within the lodge grounds we may see Victoria’s Riflebird and Spotted Catbird on the feeders, and Wompoo and Superb Fruit Dove, Scaly-breasted Lorikeet, Topknot Pigeon, Emerald Dove, Tooth-billed Bowerbird, Atherton Scrubwren, White-throated Treecreeper, Macleay’s and Bridled Honeyeater, Yellow-breasted Boatbill, Spectacled and Black-faced Monarchs are all resident.

At night, we may also find Sooty Owl, and mammals such as Long-nosed Bandicoot, Sugar Glider, Northern Striped Possum and Red-necked Wallaby. We should see the impressive bowers of Golden Bowerbird. In the afternoon we‘ll bird our way towards the Daintree area in preparation for our Daintree river boat trip tomorrow. Accommoda-tion: Demi View Motel, Mossman (en-suite rooms; meals: B, L, D).

Day 5
Day 5 -Daintree River to Musgrave

This morning we’ll take the “Daintree Eco Cruise” which should be a highlight of the trip, to see Estuarine Crocodile and birds including Papuan Frogmouth, Azure and Little Kingfisher, Great-billed Heron, Radjah Shelduck, Double-eyed Fig-parrot, Large-billed Gerygone and a good chance of Great-billed Heron.

Birding the areas around Daintree rainforest we’ll be looking for Shining Flycatcher, Bar-shouldered Dove, Pacific Koel, Scaly-breasted Lorikeet, Hornbill Friarbird and Dusky Honeyeater.

Following a visit to Mt Lewis targeting the elusive Fernwren and Blue-faced Parrotfinch, we turn north, to commence our trek up the Cape York Peninsula. The Peninsula Development road traverses a range of habitats. Late afternoon birding in the Lakefield region we’ll look for Black-backed Butcherbird, Star Finch, Black-throated Finch, Bar-breasted and Rufous-throated Honeyeater.

We’ll stay out for dusk, having a good chance to pick up some great night birds including, with luck, Grass Owl. Accommodation: Musgrave Roadhouse (en-suite rooms; meals: B, L, D).

Day 6
Day 6 - Musgrave to Iron Range

We depart early to go birding in the northern sections of the Lakefield region, searching for two major targets: the beautiful and very restricted Golden-shouldered Parrot and the rare Red Goshawk. Both species will take some time to track down.

Other good birds we’ll come across include Rufous-throated and Rufous-banded Honeyeater, Star Finch, Black-breasted Buzzard and Black-necked Stork. After lunch we drive the Peninsula Development road through Coen to the rainforests of Iron Range, where we’ll arrive at the end of the day. Accommodation: Iron Range cabins (meals included: B, L, D.)

Day 7
Days 7 & 8 -Iron Range National Park

We’ll spend two full days in the rainforests of the Iron Range, one of Australia’s premier and unique ecosystems. From tall forest to heath to coastal bush, Iron range has a diversity of habitat and a range of wildlife found nowhere else on the planet.

We target gems such as Marbled Frogmouth, Large-tailed Nightjar, Yellow-bellied Kingfisher, Red-cheeked Parrot, Brown Booby, a variety of Terns, Black-eared Catbird, Fawn-breasted Bowerbird, Green-backed Honeyeater, Grey Whistler, Northern Scrubrobin, Magnificent Riflebird, Trumpet Manucode, Tawny-breasted and White-streaked Honeyeater, White-eared and Frill-necked Monarch, Trumpet Manucode, Lemon-bellied & Yellow-legged Flycatcher, White-faced Robin, Lovely Fairywren and the highly sought-after Palm Cockatoo and Eclectus Parrot and many more.

At some stage we head to the other side of the Iron Range and adjacent coasts, around the scenic settlement of Portland Roads. Here we’ll search for Spotted Whistling-duck, Tropical Scrubwren, Double-eyed Fig-Parrot, Mangrove Robin, Eclectus Parrot, Frill-necked Monarch, Tooth-billed & Fawn-breasted Bowerbird, Green-backed and Varied Honeyeaters plus any birds we may have missed earlier.

We’ll spend two full days exploring this magnificent region and will check the roads and forest at night for Common Spotted Cuscus and other nocturnal mammals before returning to our accommodation. Accommodation: Iron Range Cabins (en-suite cabins; meals included: B, L, D).

Day 9
Day 9 - Iron Range to Cairns

A final morning birding the rainforests of Iron Range picking up any species still needed and no doubt seeing more of the species we’ve seen on previous days. Then it’s time to say goodbye to your guide who will drop you at Lockhart River airport for your flight back to Cairns (not included in price; approx. AU$600; we will book at group rates and add to your bill). Tour ends (meals included: B, L). (Please liaise with us re. flight times before booking onward travel out of Cairns)

Wildlife Species expected to see:

Magnificent Riflebird, Frillnecked Monarch, Blue-faced Parrot-finch, Lovely Fairy-wren, White-streaked Honeyeater, Papuan Frogmouth, Red Goshawk, Palm Cockatoo, Eclectus Parrot, Red-cheeked Parrot, Yellow-bellied Kingfisher, Black-faced Monarch, Graceful- and Yellow-spotted Honeyeater, Green Pygmy Goose, White-browed Crake and many more, including of course the rare Southern Cassowary. We’ll have rare access to Goldenshouldered Parrot nesting sites, and we’ll go night spotting for owls and mammalssuch as Bandicoot, Sugar Glider, Northern Striped Possum, Red-necked Wallaby and Tree Kangaroo.

What is included?

  • All meals commencing with Dinner the evening before departure and finishing with Lunch on the last day.
  • Drinking water, tea and/or coffee
  • Accommodation in private rooms
  • Most times with en-suites although on some nights only basic rooms with shared facilities are available
  • Upgrades to rooms with en-suites may be possible subject to availability
  • Transport using a comfortable and reliable 4WD vehicle
  • Expert guiding
  • Any entry fees
  • Taxes

What is not included?

  • Your own travel insurance
  • Travel to & from departure and finish points
  • Pre- & post trip accommodation, any meals before the first dinner and after the last lunch
  • Drinks except where provided
  • Personal expenses
  • Laundry, minibar, wi-fi where it's not free, any additional activities that you want to do but that aren't specifically included in the itinerary
  • Tips
  • Flight back from Iron Range to Cairns (we will arrange at group rates and add to your bill)
  • Anything that is not mentioned in "what is included".

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Why book with Bellbird Birding Tours?

Bellbird Birding Tours has 20 years experience in providing top-quality small-group birding trips throughout Australia and beyond. We offer a wide selection of scheduled tours with regular departures and fully customisable privately guided tours of any duration. We specialise in difficult-to-find bird species and off-the-beaten track locations while not omitting the popular birding areas. We can adjust any scheduled itinerary into a private tour to suit your wish-list and we are also happy to design a custom guided birding tour from scratch for you. Our tours are led by our passionate and experienced professional bird guides and with the help of local experts.

What to bring?

Please travel light. Binoculars, camera, mobile phone, chargers, power adaptors (if you’re an international guest), strong insect repellent, sunscreen, personal medications, travel umbrella, hat, water bottle, hand sanitizer. Sturdy footwear recommended. Scopes, super-telephoto lenses with tripods, and heavy suitcases are discouraged.


Lightweight long pants, t-shirt and long-sleeved shirt, over the top of which you can wear layers that can be taken off as necessary, including a rain-proof jacket. Neat casual attire for dinners. Shorts and sandals or thongs (flip-flops) are acceptable for non-birding time.

Do you offer a single supplement option?

Yes, a single supplement is available at a surcharge. Please enquire.

Can you book accommodation or add-ons for us before or after the tour?

Yes, we can book rooms and transport for you as well as other activities such as a visit to the Great Barrier Reef (not only known for its marine aquatic diversity but also with colonies of seabirds on small islands!)

Join Our Fixed Tour Starting Date

Tour Dates Tour Availability From Price Spaces Left
03/08/2023 - 10/08/2023 guaranteed AUD 4,799
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11/08/2023 - 18/08/2023 guaranteed AUD 4,799
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You can send your enquiry via the form below.

8 Days

Price & Availability

AUD4,799 / per person
Single Supplement AUD 700
Group Discount Available
Group Discount Guide
Refer to Group Discount Terms
This tour is operated by: Bellbird Birding Tours
4.79 based on 11 reviews

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Operator Review Summary

4.79 Based on 11 reviews

Tour Facts

  • Cairns region and Cape York, Queensland
  • Set Departure
  • Set Departure Tour
  • Birds
  • 4-8 pax
  • 8 days
  • July to Sept
  • +15 years
  • Moderate
  • No
  • English
  • Cairns Airport / Contact us to know
  • Cairns Airport / Contact us to know