Queensland Wet Tropics Tour 1- 8 Oct 2020 ( With Lamington National Park/O'Reillys Extension 8 -11 Oct)

Blue-faced Parrot-finch by Alfred Schulte
Blue-faced Parrot-finch by Alfred Schulte
Tour date: 
Thursday, 1 October 2020 to Thursday, 8 October 2020
Duration: 
8 days
Price: 
AUD$4,200 per person twin share. Single supplement: $545 (Extension Tour AUD$1,950 ppts. ss: $300)
Highlights: 
Abundant wildlife in the Cairns area. Atherton Tablelands endemics. Great birds and mammals including Cassowary, Golden Bowerbird, Lumholtz’s Tree Kangaroo & Platypus. Great Barrier Reef trip.
Overview: 

Tropical Queensland offers some of Australia’s most bird-rich landscapes. We have combined some of our favourites in this tour, offering you an excellent cross-section of wildlife experiences, from searching for the magnificent Southern Cassowary, to exploring the lush forests of the Atherton Tablelands searching for upland endemics.

The optional 4 day extension tour takes you to the iconic Lamington National Park where we are based for three nights at O’Reilly’s in the centre of the National Park and will be looking for repmarkable birds such as the Albert's Lyrebird, Paradise Riflebird and Satin and Regent Bowerbirds.

Start Location: 
Cairns QLD
Australia
Finish location: 
Cairns QLD
Australia

Queensland Wet Tropics Tour 1- 8 Oct 2020

Tropical Queensland offers some of Australia’s most bird-rich landscapes. We have combined some of our favourites in this tour, offering you an excellent cross-section of wildlife experiences, from searching for the magnificent Southern Cassowary, to exploring the lush forests of the Atherton Tablelands searching for upland endemics.

The optional 4 day extension tour takes you to the iconic Lamington National Park where we are based for three nights at O’Reilly’s in the centre of the National Park and will be looking for repmarkable birds such as the Albert's Lyrebird, Paradise Riflebird and Satin and Regent Bowerbirds.

ITINERARY OUTLINE:
Main Wet Tropics Tour:
Day 1. Thu 1 Oct 20. Arrive Cairns.
Day 2. Fri 2 Oct 20. Cairns area.
Day 3. Sat 3 Oct 20. Cairns to Atherton Tablelands.
Day 4. Sun 4 Oct 20. Atherton Tablelands.
Day 5. Mon 5 Oct 20. Atherton Tablelands.
Day 6. Tue 6 Oct 20. Atherton Tablelands to Daintree.
Day 7. Wed 7 Oct 20. Daintree River Cruise to Cairns.
Day 8. Thu 8 Oct 20. Depart Cairns

Lamington National Park/ O’Reilly’s Extension:
Day 8. Thu 8 Oct 20. Fly Cairns to Brisbane. Travel to O’Reilly’s.
Days 9 & 10. Fri 9 & Sat 10 Oct 20. Lamington NP and O’Reilly’s
Day 11. Sun 11 Oct 20. O’Reilly’s-Brisbane and depart.

DETAILED ITINERARY:
B- breakfast, L- lunch and D-dinner.

Day 1. Thursday 1 October 2020. Arrive Cairns.
Arrive in Cairns today. Free time to settle in before meeting at 6:30pm for a welcome dinner and orientation.
Accommodation: Cairns hotel (en suite rooms). Meals included: D.

Day 2. Friday 2 October 2020. Cairns area.
We will meet again this morning for breakfast before taking a walk along The Esplanade to look for local specialties like Varied Honeyeater, Torresian Imperial Pigeon, Rainbow Lorikeet, Mangrove Robin, Torresian Kingfisher, Rose-crowned Fruit-dove and Olive-backed Sunbird. We will be able to see several different shorebirds out on the extensive mudflats here, such as Far Eastern Curlew, Great Knot, Sharp-tailed Sandpiper and Terek Sandpiper. There should also be Gull-billed Tern, Australian Pelican, Eastern Osprey and maybe an Eastern Reef Egret or two. Nearby botanic gardens hold several different species and we will look for Black Butcherbird, Cicadabird, Brown-backed Honeyeater, Australian Brush-turkey, Australasian Darter, Azure Kingfisher, Radjah Shelduck, Magpie Goose, Bush Stone-curlew, Helmeted Friarbird, Large-billed Gerygone and Orange-footed Scrubfowl. Late in the afternoon we will visit a local park to see whether the resident pair of Rufous Owl is in residence.
Accommodation: Cairns hotel (en suite rooms). Meals included: B,L,D.

Days 3-5. Saturday 3 to Monday 5 October 2020 inclusive. Cairns to Atherton Tablelands.
After a pre-breakfast walk, we will head south of Cairns to look for one of Australia’s most amazing & prehistoric-looking birds, the Southern Cassowary. If our good fortune is in, we should see at least one or two of these stately ratites on the roadside at a coastal rainforest location on our way. Other birds seen here recently include Lovely Fairy-wren, Macleay’s Honeyeater, White-bellied Sea-eagle and Pheasant Coucal.
From here we will head up towards the famous Atherton Tablelands, where with a few road-side stops we should pick up birds like Yellow-spotted & Graceful Honeyeaters, Australian Swiftlet, Little Shrike-thrush, Australasian Figbird, Rainbow Bee-eater, Metallic Starling, White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike, Mistletoebird and Masked Lapwing to name a few.
Reaching our destination for the next four nights near the Crater Lakes National Park we will settle in and have a good look around. Surrounded by high altitude rainforest, our accommodation has a plethora of visitors to the gardens and fruiting trees, and birds like Victoria’s Riflebird, Spotted Catbird, Grey-headed Robin, Barred Cuckoo-shrike, Wompoo Fruit-Dove, Superb Fruit-Dove, Pale Yellow Robin, Scarlet Honeyeater, Eastern Spinebill, Red-browed Finch and Olive-backed Oriole are all regular visitors.
Over the next few days, using this as our base we will explore the wide variety of habitats that are within our reach here on the Atherton Tablelands. With high altitude rainforest, tropical savannah woodlands, grassland & agricultural fields, wetlands and swamps to explore, we will be looking at birds like Brolga, Sarus Crane, Great Crested Grebe, Plumed Whistling-Duck, Nankeen Night-heron, Yellow-billed Spoonbill, White-necked Heron, Black-necked Stork, Buff-banded Rail, White-headed Pigeon, Pacific Baza, Spotted Harrier, Lesser Sooty Owl, the rainforest-inhabiting race lurida of Southern Boobook (a possible future spilt - Little Red Boobook), Tooth-billed Catbird, Fernwren, Bridled Honeyeater, Atherton Scrubwren, Fairy & Brown Gerygones, Mountain Thornbill, Chowchilla, Bower’s Shrike-thrush, Double-eyed Fig-Parrot, Black-faced, Pied, Spectacled & White-eared Monarchs, Shining Bronze-cuckoo, Fan-tailed Cuckoo and Grey-headed Robin.
Mammals in the area we will have a great chance of seeing include Striped Possum, Sugar Glider, Long-nosed Bandicoot, Musky Rat Kangaroo, Green Ringtail Possum, Red-legged Pademelon, Agile Wallaby and Giant White-tailed Rat.
Accommodation: Atherton Tablelands (en suite cabins). Meals included: B,L,D.

Day 6. Tuesday 6 October 2020. Atherton Tablelands to Daintree.
After a final morning’s birding in the rainforest looking for any bird species we may still be missing, we will leave the higher latitude rainforests of the tablelands and head north to the Daintree River region, via a range of open woodland habitats and tropical savannahs. Birds we hope to connect with today include Australian Bustard, Black-necked Stork, Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Squatter Pigeon, White-throated Honeyeater, Grey-crowned Babbler, Noisy & Little Friarbirds, White-throated Gerygone, Red-winged Parrot.
Our destination for the evening will be the famous Daintree River area and our accommodation will overlook this iconic waterway, where the following morning we will take an early cruise.
Accommodation: Daintree Village. (en suite cabins). Meals included: B,L,D.

Day 7. Wednesday 7 October 2020. Daintree River cruise to Cairns.
This morning we will enjoy a boat cruise on the Daintree River where we may enjoy sightings of Azure & Little Kingfisher, Large-billed Gerygone, Black Bittern Pacific Baza, Varied Triller, Shining Flycatcher, Chestnut-breasted Mannikin, Brown-backed Honeyeater and Fairy Martin, as well as a chance of the rare & localised Great-billed Heron. Additional species we may see in the area include Bar-shouldered Dove, Pacific Koel, Papuan Frogmouth, Scaly-breasted Lorikeet, Helmeted Friarbird, Dusky Myzomela & White-breasted Woodswallow.
Reptiles to see include Saltwater Crocodile, Amethystine Python & Common Tree Snake.
We will then make our way back to Cairns where, depending on what species we have yet to see, we will spend the rest of the afternoon exploring.
Accommodation: Cairns hotel (en suite rooms). Meals included: B,L,D.

Day 8. Thursday 8 October 2020. Depart Cairns.
Depart Cairns airport this morning for your onward travels. Those participants joining the Lamington NP/O’Reilly’s extension will travel to the Cairns airport to connect with their flight to Brisbane and onward travels.
Accommodation: none Meals included: B.

Lamington National Park/ O’Reilly’s Extension

Day 8. Thursday 8 October 2020. Brisbane to O’Reilly’s.
For those participants that are continuing from the Wet Tropics tour, we will transfer to Cairns airport for our flight to Brisbane (not included in tour price). then travel to O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat on the plateau in the World Heritage listed Lamington National Park, deservedly one of the best-known birding locations in Australia, and home to a rich assemblage of both birds and mammals. This afternoon there will time enough for a first stroll in our lush rainforest surroundings.
Accommodation: O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat (en suite rooms). Meals included: D.

Days 9 & 10. Friday 9 & Saturday 10 October 2020. O’Reilly’s - Lamington National Park.
We have two full days to explore the areas around the lodge for birds and wildlife. Many of Australia’s best-known bird families are represented here, as are a range of the country’s endemic and most striking species, some of which occur right in the lodge grounds. You don’t have to venture far to see King Parrot, Crimson Rosella, Lewin's Honeyeater, the handsome Eastern Spinebill and Superb Fairy-wren. Additional birding highlights include Australian Brush-turkey, Wonga and Topknot Pigeon, the stunning Noisy Pitta, sought-after Albert’s Lyrebird, Green Catbird, the gaudy Regent Bowerbird, Logrunner and Paradise Riflebird (displaying, with luck!). The area is also good for mammal watching and by night we may see Mountain Brushtail Possum, while by day Red-legged and Red-necked Pademelon are regularly encountered.
Accommodation: O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat (en suite). Meals included: B, L, D.

Day 11. Sunday 11 October 2020. O’Reilly’s (Lamington National Park) to Brisbane and depart.
This morning we will leave O’Reilly’s and wind our way down the mountain to return to Brisbane airport for our flights departing to our homeward destinations.
Accommodation: none Meals included: B.

PRICE FOR MAIN TOUR
Group size:
6-8 participants and 1 Inala guide
Tour Price: AUD$4,200 per person twin share. Single supplement: $545

Inclusions: Accommodation for each night of the tour, specialist guiding and transport for day and night tours as outlined in the itinerary, all meals (B, L, D) and activities outlined in the itinerary, National Park entry fees.

Exclusions: any international and domestic airfares, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and expenses of a personal nature (snacks, travel insurance, internet, laundry, tips etc).
 

PRICE FOR LAMINGTON NP/O’REILLY’S EXTENSION
Group size:
6-8 participants and 1 Inala guide
Tour Price: AUD$1,950 per person twin share. Single supplement: $300

Inclusions: Accommodation for each night of the tour, specialist guiding and transport for day and night tours as outlined in the itinerary, all meals (B, L, D) and activities outlined in the itinerary, National Park entry fees.

Exclusions: any international and domestic airfares (best to book those as a group ticket your end as for this year), alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and expenses of a personal nature (snacks, travel insurance, internet, laundry, tips etc).

Please note: We would be pleased to offer a discounted price of AUD$5,750 per person twin share (normally $6,150) for participants who choose to join both sections of the above tour.

Please note:
• 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.

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