Inala Cape York Queensland Tour 8-15 June 2021
Itinerary prepared by Tonia Cochran, Inala Nature Tours, 12 January 2020.
This tour has been designed to link with our Inala Gulf Country Outback Queensland tour 14-28 June 2021.
Day 1. Tue 8 June 21. Fly Cairns to Lockhart River.
Day 2. Wed 9 June 21. Lockhart River.
Day 3. Thu 10 June 21. Lockhart River.
Day 4. Fri 11 June 21. Lockhart River.
Day 5. Sat 12 June 21. Lockhart River to Musgrave.
Day 6. Sun 13 June 21. Musgrave-Lakefield National Park
Day 7. Mon 14 June 21. Musgrave to Cairns.
Day 8. Tue 15 June 21. Depart Cairns.
B- breakfast; L- lunch; D-dinner.
Day 1. Tuesday 8 June 2021. Fly Cairns to Lockhart River, Iron Range National Park.
This morning we will board a flight to Lockhart River on the boundary of one of Australia’s most treasured, yet remote, birding destinations: Iron Range National Park. This park protects the largest area of lowland rainforest in Australia and is home to a host of range restricted species found nowhere else in the country. The forests and woodlands of the Iron Range teem with birds and, hemmed by white-sand beaches and turquoise waters, there can be few places on earth as delightful to bird. On arrival in Lockhart River we will settle into our accommodation and make our way into the forest to enjoy our first thrilling afternoon birding in Cape York.
Accommodation: Lockhart River (en suite cabins). Meals included: L, D.
Days 2 - 4. Wednesday 9, Thursday 10 & Friday 11 June 2021. Iron Range National Park.
We have 3 full days to explore this rich corner of Australia. Our time will be spent searching for the many area specials, as well as several interesting mammals and reptiles. We will bird a diverse mosaic of habitats from verdant monsoon rainforest and tropical woodland, to wetlands and a variety of coastal habitats. The selection of birds is impressive with no shortage of outstanding species including two members of the Bird-of-paradise family - Magnificent Riflebird and Trumpet Manucode – and other showy species like the raucous Palm Cockatoo, Red-cheeked Parrot, Eclectus Parrot, Yellow-billed Kingfisher and Frill-necked Monarch. Additional range-restricted species include White-streaked, Tawny-breasted and Green-backed Honeyeaters, Yellow-legged Flycatcher, Fawn-breasted Bowerbird, Chestnut-breasted Cuckoo, Northern Scrub-robin and White-faced Robin. The area is also rich botanically, and several fig tree species are found here attracting frugivores like Wompoo, Superb and Rose-crowned Fruit-Doves, and the endearing Double-eyed Fig-parrot. Another regular, but often nocturnal, visitor to fig trees is the delightful Spotted Cuscus, an arboreal marsupial with woolly fur, and bizarre orange eyes. Other nocturnal mammals we may find are Striped Possum, Rufous Spiny Bandicoot and Sugar Glider, and we will also spotlight for Rufous and Masked Owl, Marbled Frogmouth and Large-tailed Nightjar.
Accommodation: Lockhart River (en suite cabins as for last night). Meals included: B, L, D.
Day 5. Saturday 12 June 2021. Iron Range National Park to Musgrave.
This morning we begin the journey south leaving this fabulous park via the rich heathlands of the Tozer’s Gap area. While we have a big drive today there will be plenty to see en route, and we will make regular stops for comfort breaks and birds. Passing through endless miles of great birding habitat, we will spend the day on the blandly named Peninsula Development Road, one of the most remote roads in Australia, and the only road connecting the settlements of Cape York with the rest of the country. In the mid to late afternoon we will arrive in Musgrave on the edge of the spectacular Lakefield National Park. We will settle into our accommodations and if time permits enjoy some birding in the area.
Accommodation: near Musgrave (cabins). Meals included: B, L, D.
Day 6. Sunday 13 June 2021. 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. Not forgetting mammals we will be on the lookout for Antilopine Wallaroo, Agile Wallaby, and if we are fortunate, Cape York Rock Wallaby.
Accommodation: near Musgrave (cabins). Meals included: B, L, D.
Day 7. Monday 14 June 2021. Musgrave to Cairns.
Today we continue the journey south through this vast area of tropical woodland. En route we’ll be on the lookout for species like Pheasant Coucal, Grey-crowned Babbler, Banded Honeyeater, Little & Black-faced Woodswallow, Silver-crowned & Little Friarbirds, White-winged Triller and Double-barred Finch. We will then head towards Cairns, arriving late afternoon. This evening at dinner we will meet participants joining the Inala Gulf Country/Outback Queensland tour.
Accommodation: Cairns (en suite rooms). Meals included: B, L, D.
Day 8. Tuesday 15 June 2021. Depart Cairns.
For those participants continuing onto the Gulf Country/ Outback Queensland tour: Please refer to that tour for further details.
For those participants leaving us this morning, please make your own arrangements for your departure after breakfast at a time that suits your flight arrangements. Accommodation: none. Meals included: B.
PRICING AND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
Tour Price: AU$ 5,575 per person sharing based on a minimum of 4 paying participants with one specialist guide/driver in one vehicle and 8 to 9 people with 2 guides in 2 x 4WD vehicles.
Single supplement: AU$650
We would be pleased to offer a discounted price of AUD$14,000 per person twin share (normally $14,630) and $1,700 single supplement for participants who choose to join both Cape York and Outback Queensland sections.
Price includes: All accommodation as per the itinerary, specialist guide and transport, the flight from Cairns to Lockhart River and meals, entrance fees and activities as mentioned in the above itinerary.
Price does not include: International and domestic airfares except the Cairns to Lockhart River flight, airport transfers, alcoholic beverages, snacks, internet, gratuities, laundry or other items of a personal nature.
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.