Reptiles & amphibians, birds and mammals of South-eastern Queensland
November 21st - 30th 2020
We are thrilled to be offering this new tour with a new focus, led by Inala guide, professional wildlife biologist and author Angus McNab. This tour showcases the very best of south-eastern Queensland’s wildlife, with a focus on the reptiles and amphibians, but also including the chance to see a large number of birds and mammals. We also visit some stunningly scenic locations which include iconic places such as O’Reilly’s in Lamington National Park and other areas renowned for their natural values but are not on many tour itineraries such as Girraween NP and Bunya Mountains.
This tour has been designed to link with the Inala NSW Parks Natural history tour (16-21 November 2020) so please contact us if you are interested in joining both.
ITINERARY OUTLINE FOR MAIN TOUR:
Day 1. Sat 21 Nov 20. Arrive Brisbane.
Day 2. Sun 22 Nov 20. Brisbane to Lamington National Park
Day 3. Mon 23 Nov 20. Lamington National Park
Day 4. Tue 24 Nov 20. Lamington to Main Range National Park
Day 5. Wed 25 Nov 20. Main Range National Park to Girraween National Park
Day 6. Thu 26 Nov 20. Girraween National Park
Day 7. Fri 27 Nov 20. Girraween National Park to Dalby
Day 8. Sat 28 Nov 20. Dalby to Bunya Mountains.
Day 9. Sun 29 Nov 20. Brush-tailed Rock Wallaby/ Brisbane Rainforest.
Day 10. Mon 30 Nov 20. Depart Brisbane.
B- breakfast, L- lunch, D-dinner
Day 1. Saturday 21 November 2020. Arrive Brisbane.
Today has been set aside as an arrival day. Own arrangements for arrival at the hotel and meet this evening for a welcome dinner, where you will meet Angus and have a chat about the tour itinerary. Those participants also joining our NSW Park natural history tour will fly from Sydney to Brisbane this afternoon.
Accommodation: Brisbane hotel (en suite room). Meals included: D.
Day 2. Sunday 22 November 2020. Brisbane to Lamington National Park.
This morning we will make our way from the city of Brisbane to Lamington National Park (around 2 hours’ drive), which contains the largest tract of subtropical rainforest in Australia, including large stands of magnificent Antarctic Beech Nothofagus (Lophozonia) moorei that defines Australia’s connection with Gondwana. This 212km² UNESCO World Heritage site is extremely biologically diverse, with over 60 reptiles and 30 amphibians and a rich assemblage of birds and mammals. We will spend the day walking around the tracks close to our accommodation which are full of birds and reptiles during the day. Reptile species we should see today include Southern Angle-headed Dragons, Scute-snouted Skinks, Land Mullets, Shade skinks, Water Skinks, Tyron’s Skink, Carpet Pythons and Rough-scale Snake. We should also see a huge variety of birds like Crimson Rosellas, King Parrots, Australian Logrunner, Red-browed Finch, Green Catbird, Paradise Riflebird Regent and Satin Bowerbirds. We will take a break in the late afternoon to watch the Red-necked Pademelons and Whiptail Wallabies feed on the lawns before an early dinner. At dusk we will head to the botanical gardens in search of nocturnal reptiles and amphibians such as Southern leaf-tailed gecko, Sandpaper Frogs, Hip-pocket Frog and Red-eyed Treefrogs as well as nocturnal mammals including Mountain or Short-eared Brushtails (Bobuck), Ringtail Possums, Sugar and Greater Gliders. Brown Antechinus and Fawn-footed Melomys.
Accommodation: O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat (en suite rooms). Meals included: B, L, D.
Day 3. Monday 23 November 2020. Lamington National Park.
Today we have a full day to explore the areas further from the lodge, particularly targeting tracks that cross streams in search of reptiles of the genera Saproscincus, Eulamprus, Karma, Coeranoscincus and if not previously found, Southern Angle-headed Dragons. There are plenty more birds to see, including Albert’s Lyrebird, Yellow-throated Scrubwren, Eastern Whipbird, Wompoo, Wonga, Topknot and White-headed Pigeon, Rose Robin and the stunning Noisy Pitta. We should also see Red-legged Pademelon in the forest. After another early dinner we will spotlight for herps and mammals we missed the previous night. We will also try for the endangered Fleay’s Barred Frog.
Accommodation: O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat (en suite room) as for last night. Meals included: B, L, D.
Day 4. Tuesday 24 November 2020. Lamington National Park) to Warwick via Main Range NP.
This morning we will leave O’Reilly’s after another look around for anything we have missed so far, and head to Main Range National Park (around 3 hours drive). This 348km² the park encompasses mountains, scenic views, and a diverse array of walks, all within the Gondwanan Rainforest of Australia World Heritage Area. A diversity of habitat types within the park, which includes subtropical and cool temperate rainforest, wet and dry sclerophyll forest, and montane heath, provides the opportunity to encounter any of the 50 reptiles and 30 amphibians that occur within the park. We will take one of the shorter walks here looking for a range of species, before heading to Warwick to drop our bags, have lunch and a break. This afternoon we will head to Goomburra for some afternoon birding along the creeks and around the campground. We will also take another night tour to see nocturnal creatures. Target species today include Blackish Blind Snake, Carpet Python, Dwarf Crowned Snake, Elf Skink, Pink-tongued Skink, Rough-scaled Snake, Graceful Tree Frog, and another chance at Fleay’ s Barred Frog and Red-eyed Tree Frog. We should also see a range of possums and gliders here.
Accommodation: Warwick (en suite rooms). Meals included: B, L, D.
Day 5. Wednesday 25 November 2020. Warwick to Girraween NP.
Today we leave the rainforest and head to the granite boulders of Girraween National Park (around 2 hours’ drive) where we can experience an incredibly different set of reptiles. Dry woodlands and extensive boulders provide us the opportunity to see several saxicoline (rock living) species both during the day and the night. The herpetofauna of this region is unique amongst Queensland’s already special reptiles, as they are the only species that can survive winters under snow. On arrival we will take some short walks through the national park to search for for Cunningham’s Skink and relax near the stream with Bell’s Turtles. We will also have time to bird, with Double-barred Finch, Turquoise Parrots, Yellow-tufted Honeyeater and quail being possibilities during the morning. We will once again head out after dark, for some night-time spotlighting to search for Granite-belt Leaf-tailed Geckos, Granite-belt Thick-tailed Geckos, Lesueur’s Velvet Geckos and Stream Frogs.
Accommodation: near Girraween NP (en suite rooms). Meals included: B, L, D.
Day 6. Thursday 26 November 2020. Girraween NP.
We will spend a second day in the Park today in search of more birds and reptiles. Activities can include a hike up to a viewpoint to see Cunningham’s Skinks. This is also a good opportunity to have a rest and explore locally around the accommodation after all these night excursions!
Accommodation: near Girraween NP (en suite rooms). Meals included: B, L, D.
Day 7. Friday 27 November 2020. Girraween National Park to Dalby.
We will spend the morning looking for basking skinks and birds in Girraween NP before moving to another new habitat type into the Brigalow Belt Bioregion (around 3.5 hours of driving) where we will again find ourselves within range of an entirely new herpetofauna. This endangered habitat is home to many reptiles and amphibians and is an area that flourishes after rain. Hot dry conditions limit activity during the day but provide for excellent conditions for spotlighting at night, as many of the area’s reptiles spend their days underground. We will have a relaxing afternoon around Lake Broadwater, where we should find a good range of waterbirds and waders including Red-kneed Dotterels, and dry woodland birds. We should also find several species of skinks, and macropods. After dinner tonight we will return to Lake Broadwater to spotlight for Spotted Black snakes, Grey Snakes, Blue-bellied Black Snake, Robust Velvet Gecko, Golden-tailed Gecko, burrowing frogs, Holy Cross Frogs, Salmon-striped Frogs, Yellow-footed Antechinus, owls and anything else we can find.
Accommodation: Dalby (en suite rooms). Meals included: B, L, D.
Day 8. Saturday 28 November 2020. Bunya Mountains.
In the morning we can try for Condamine Dragons and then drive out to Bunya Mountains. Leaving the Brigalow we’ll head to an isolated patch of the South-east Queensland Bioregion in the Bunya Mountains (1.5 hours). We will spend the day walking trails and enjoying the cool mountain areas in search of endemic Bunya Sun Skinks and Tiger Snakes, Swamp and Red-necked Wallaby, and fruit-doves, gerygones, thornbills, catbirds and rainforest species. This area is also one of the last refuges of the Bunya Pine, the last surviving species of the genus Araucaria in the Bunya group (fossils of this group can be found in South America and Europe). This group was diverse and widespread in the Mesozoic Era (particularly 150-200 million years ago). These trees grow to a height of around 45m and produce football-sized cones containing edible kernels which were used as a traditional indigenous food source. After dark we will watch the bats come out of the old buildings in the area and spotlight along some streams for more nocturnal fauna. Accommodation: near Bunya Mountains (large houses with several bathrooms and bedrooms (en suite rooms wherever possible). Meals included: B, L, D.
Day 9. Sunday 29 November 2020. Brush-tailed Rock Wallaby - Brisbane.
This morning we will spend more time exploring in the Bunya Mountains, before heading to Crow’s Nest to search for skinks, birds and Brush-tailed Rock Wallabies. We can take our time and slowly make our way back to Brisbane (travel time around 2.5 hours). We will also have the opportunity to take a final night drive and spotlight in an amazing area of wet forest and rainforest close to the city of Brisbane’s for our last night of ‘herping”. Targets today include Tiger Snake, Small-eyed Snake, Death Adders, Bandy-bandy, Velvet Geckos, Clouded Gecko, Great Barred Frog, Tusked Frog, Graceful Tree Frog, Dusky Toadlet and Brush-tailed Rock Wallaby.
Accommodation: Brisbane (en suite rooms). Meals included: B, L, D.
Day 10. Monday 30 November 2020. Depart Brisbane.
Those leaving us this morning will make their own arrangements to transfer to Brisbane Airport for their departure.
Accommodation: none. Meals included: B.
Group size: 6-8 people + specialist Inala guide Angus McNab
Tour Price: $5,500 per person sharing for a minimum group size of 6 people
Single supplement: $800
Price includes: 9 nights’ accommodation, specialist guide and transport, meals, entrance fees and activities as mentioned in the itinerary and GST.
Price does not include: Airfares, gratuities, alcoholic beverages, snacks, internet, laundry, or other items of a personal nature.
$800 off total twin share price for those participants who join both this SE Queensland and adjoining NSW Parks and Reserves Inala tours.
Please click here to open a separate online doc which answers many of the questions you may have about joining an Inala small-group tour, from the structure of an average day to the pace, activity level, meals, rooms etc .......