Inala’s Cape York Specials Tour - Special and endemic birds of the Cape York Peninsula - 31 May to 9th June 2020
This tour visits some of the most remote, bird-rich areas in Australia. In the country's far north eastern corner, the distinctive Cape York peninsula juts out into the tropical water of the Coral Sea and is home to the largest unspoilt patch of rainforest on the continent. This adventure includes 4 full days birding in the Iron Range National Park for a host of species found nowhere else in Australia including Palm Cockatoo, Frill-necked Monarch and White-faced Robin. We also explore the riches of Lakefield National Park where Golden-shouldered Parrot and Red Goshawk will be likely highlights. And we also bird in the area around Julatten, a region widely regarded for it's abundance of species. Simply put, this tour is hard to beat: it covers the highlight areas in this region and we travel at a comfortable pace. This tour is also one of our best sellers and you are welcome to join us on this next trip.
This itinerary has been designed to adjoin our Outback Queensland birds, mammals and dinosaur tour. We have added an additional night in Cairns to allow participants to join both sections if they wish.
Day 1. Sun 31 May 20. Arrive Cairns
Day 2. Mon 1 June 20. Cairns to Julatten
Day 3. Tue 2 June 20. Julatten area.
Day 4. Wed 3 June 20. Julatten to Musgrave.
Day 5. Thu 4 June 20. Musgrave-Lakefield National Park
Day 6. Fri 5 June 20. Musgrave to Lockhart River.
Day 7. Sat 6 June 20. Lockhart River.
Day 8. Sun 7 June 20. Lockhart River.
Day 9. Mon 8 June 20. Lockhart River.
Day 10. Tue 9 June 20. Fly Lockhart River to Cairns. Depart Cairns.
B- breakfast; L- lunch; D-dinner.
Day 1. Sunday 31st 2020. Arrive Cairns.
Arrive Cairns Airport and own transfer to the Cairns hotel in time to meet the group at 18:00 for a welcome dinner and briefing on the tour. Participants continuing from the Inala Outback Queensland tour will fly Mount Isa to Cairns with Steve, arriving after dinner this evening.
Accommodation: Cairns (en suite rooms). Meals included: D.
Day 2. Monday 1 June 2020. Cairns to Julatten.
The group will meet this morning at breakfast. There is plenty to see in and around Cairns. A wealth of tropical habitats here supports one of the richest assemblages of birds and wildlife in Australia. Not far from the town centre are the Botanical Gardens with adjoining wetlands and conservation areas, offering a fine mix of water and bush birds. Australian Brush Turkey, Orange-footed Scrubfowl, Superb and Wompoo Fruit-Doves, Double-eyed Fig Parrot, Australasian Figbird, Black Butcherbird, Green Oriole, the stunning Noisy Pitta and Lovely Fairy-wren may all been seen here as might Spectacled Flying Fox. In the wetlands of the area we will search for Comb-crested Jacana, Radjah Shelduck, Green Pygmy Geese, White-browed Crake and the handsome Crimson Finch. Nearby mangrove habitat is home to Mangrove Robin, Shining Flycatchers and the odd-looking Beach Stone-Curlew. This afternoon we will travel to our accommodation at Julatten.
Accommodation: Julatten (en suite cabins). Meals included: B, L, D.
Day 3. Tuesday 2 June 2020. Julatten area.
Today will be a full day exploring the Julatten area. Birds here include Golden Bowerbird, Tooth-billed Bowerbird, Chowchilla, Bridled Honeyeater, Mountain Thornbill, Fernwren, Bower’s Shrike-thrush, Grey-headed Robin, Atherton Scrubwren, the rare and localised Blue-faced Parrot-finch, Red-necked Crake, Noisy Pitta, Yellow-breasted Boatbill, Graceful, Yellow-spotted, Brown & Dusky Honeyeaters, Leaden Flycatcher, localised North Queensland race of Bassian Thrush, Grey-headed Robin, Yellow Oriole, Spangled Drongo, Little Bronze-Cuckoo, Little Shrike-thrush, Emerald Dove, White-cheeked Honeyeater, Cicadabird, Red-browed Finch, Papuan Frogmouth & Pale-vented Bush-Hen.
Accommodation: Julatten (en suite cabins as for last night). Meals included: B, L, D.
Day 4. Wednesday 3 June 2020. Julatten to Musgrave.
This morning if time permits, we will travel up the famous Mt Lewis Road and search for some high-altitude rainforest specialists such as Golden Bowerbird, Tooth-billed Bowerbird, Chowchilla, Bridled Honeyeater, Mountain Thornbill, Fernwren, Bower’s Shrike-thrush, Grey-headed Robin, Atherton Scrubwren and Blue-faced Parrot-finch. We will then travel to Musgrave, our home for this evening.
Accommodation: Musgrave (en suite rooms). Meals included: B, L, D.
Day 5. Thursday 4 June 2020. Musgrave and Lakefield National Park.
Today we have a full day to explore the riches of Lakefield National Park and surrounds. Gallery rainforest, open tropical woodland, grasslands, and extensive wetlands, home to vast numbers of waterbirds, are the main habitats we will explore today. With a number of target species in mind we will make a pre-breakfast foray for one of our star birds of the trip, the stunning Golden-shouldered Parrot. Interestingly, this endangered and brilliantly coloured bird makes its nest in termite mounds, a landscape feature of this area. As with the Iron Range, this area is rich in species, many of which are only (or easiest) found here. Red Goshawk, Black-backed Butcherbird, Bar-breasted, Rufous-throated, Yellow-tinted and Scarlet Honeyeaters, Red-browed Pardalote, the distinctive Cape York race of Brown Treecreeper, Northern Fantail, Emu, Great Bowerbird, Pale-headed Rosella, Red-winged Parrot and Lemon-bellied Flycatcher are all species we may find. Finches are a feature here too, with possible species including the delightful Star Finch and Masked and Black-throated Finches. Wetlands species includes the likes of Magpie Goose, Green Pygmy-goose, Radjah Shelduck, Comb-crested Jacana and Wandering Whistling-duck. We will also look for a range of mammals including Antilopine Wallaroo, Agile Wallaby, and if we are fortunate, Cape York Rock Wallaby.
Accommodation: Musgrave (en suite rooms). Meals included: B, L, D.
Day 6. Friday 5 June 2020. Musgrave to Lockhart River.
Today will be mostly a day of travel but we will do some birding towards Lakefield National Park hoping to pick up any birds we might be missing (such as Red Goshawk) before heading north. Our target for this evening is Lockhart River in the Iron Range National Park.
Accommodation: Iron Range (en suite cabins). Meals included: B,L,D.
Days 7-9. Saturday 6,Sunday 7, Monday 8 2020. Lockhart River, Cape York Peninsula.
Iron Range National Park contains the most extensive example of lowland tropical rainforest remaining in the country, and its avifauna is indicative of a time when Australia and Papua New Guinea were connected during the last Ice Age and we will spend 3 days exploring this amazing area. There are around 18 species of bird restricted to Cape York Peninsula that have more extensive distributions in PNG, and it’s these we will be concentrating on whilst we are here. These birds are as follows: Palm Cockatoo, Eclectus Parrot, Red-cheeked Parrot, Chestnut-breasted Cuckoo, Yellow-billed Kingfisher, Green-backed, Tawny-breasted and White-streaked Honeyeaters, Northern Scrub-robin, White-faced Robin, Yellow-legged Flycatcher, Tropical Scrubwren, Frilled-necked Monarch, Trumpet Manucode, Fawn-breasted Bowerbird and the incredible Magnificent Riflebird. Other specialties in this region are almost as good, with birds like Southern Cassowary, Spotted Whistling-Duck(rare), Double-eyed Fig-parrot (race marshalli), White-eared Monarch, White-browed Robin, Sooty & Bridled Terns, Common Noddy, Great Frigatebird, Rose-crowned Fruit-dove, Forest Kingfisher, Grey Goshawk, Eastern Reef Egret, Beach Stone-curlew, Grey Whistler, Pacific Baza, the small northern race of Brown Goshawk and Pied Heron. Red-headed Honeyeater, Striated Heron, Large-billed Gerygone, Mangrove Robin, Varied Honeyeater and Little Kingfisher can be found in the Mangroves in the coastal areas. A night drive with spotlight may reveal Marbled & Papuan Frogmouths, Rufous Owl, Large-tailed Nightjar, Spotted Nightjar and Masked Owl. There are a few mammal specialties here as well with the chance of Spotted & Common Cuscus, Striped Possum, Northern Quoll, Red-cheeked Dunnart, Rufous Spiny Bandicoot, Red-legged Pademelon and Cape York Melomys. At night we may be lucky enough to see some of the tube-nosed and blossom-feeding bats around Portland Roads, as well as flying foxes of various species. Some encampments of Little Red and Black Flying-fox can number literally in the millions.
Accommodation: Iron Range (en suite cabins). Meals included: BLD each day.
Day 10. Tuesday 9 June 2020. Fly Lockhart River to Cairns and depart.
This morning you will travel to Lockhart River airport and transfer to your flight to Cairns. The guides will say goodbye to you here as they will need to drive back to cairns in the vehicles over the next 2-3day period. On arrival at Cairns airport, transfer to your onward flight.
Accommodation: none. Meals Included: B
PRICING AND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
Tour Price: AU$ 6,560.00 per person twin share based on a minimum of 4 participants (1 Guide in 1 4WD vehicle)
Single supplement: AU$750
Tour Size: Up to max 9 participants and 2 guides in 2 x 4WD vehicles.
Price includes: All accommodation as per the itinerary (now 9 nights), specialist guide and transport, the flight from Lockhart River to Cairns and meals, entrance fees and activities as mentioned in the above itinerary.
Price does not include: International and domestic airfares except the Lockhart River- Cairns flight, alcoholic beverages, snacks, internet, gratuities, laundry or other items of a personal nature.
Price for both Cape York and Outback Queensland sections: $13,250 per person twin share and $1600 single supplement (over $300 discount for joining both sections).
Meals and drinks: Breakfast generally consists of a continental style breakfast with cereal, fruit and yoghurt and tea/coffee. Full cooked breakfast is not generally offered at most locations. Lunch will generally consist of a packed lunch style meal eaten in the field, with sandwich/filled roll, fruit, and a drink. Dinner usually consists of several options for main with the choice of either an appetiser or dessert. Drinks (soft and alcoholic) are generally not included but at lunches and breakfasts juice may be made available.
The itinerary: Whilst we aim to follow the itinerary as planned, please note that the itinerary provided should only be used as a guideline. Depending on individual trip circumstances, weather, and local information, the exact itinerary may not be strictly adhered to. The guides reserve the right to make changes to the itinerary as they see fit.
Remoteness: Please note that for much of this tour we will be birding in a wonderful yet remote part of Australia. Most of the roads are unsealed and rough and travel will be in 4WD vehicles. If you have medical conditions or health concerns it is important you make us aware of these in advance of this tour.