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Featured Wildlife Journeys

Red-tailed Black Cockatoo

Australasian Gannet

Eastern Yellow Robin

Campbell Albatross

Wedge-tailed Eagle

Black-necked Stork (Jabiru)

  • Waterbirds & Waders
  • Wildlife Interests

Australia has the most endemic bird species of any country on earth.

Birdwatching tours in australia.

Of all the world's  birding tour destinations, Australia consistently ranks as one of the most exotic and fascinating. 

The geological evolution of the Australian continent has shaped the extraordinary variety of birds, estimated at 828 species (45% of which are endemic) at present. In fact, it has recently been determined that no other continent has contributed so greatly to the evolution of birds, with the majority of the world’s species having Australian ancestry. Birdwatchers across the world are continually captivated by the sights, stories and sounds of Australian species along with the opportunity to photograph them in their natural habitats. There is no doubt that Australia is one of the iconic destinations when it comes to  bird watching experiences.

Australia is the birthplace of glorious songbirds and alluring parrots, with the evolutionary process contributing to the development of birds that are generally more intelligent, aggressive, loud, melodious and socially cooperative. It is also home to a range of bird families unique to the Australasian region including megapodes (mound builders), butcher birds, bowerbirds, lorikeets, lyrebirds, Australian creepers, wrens, honeyeaters and iconic cockatoos. Australia is also one of the best places to watch raptor birds as they hunt down prey and soar across breathtaking horizons.

With so many species spread across stunning and diverse habitats including tropical rainforests, coral reefs, coastal heaths, wetlands and swamps, grasslands, sandy and stony deserts and Eucalypt woodlands, it is little wonder why Australia is recognised across the globe as a birdwatchers paradise.

Wondering where the best places across Australia are to watch birds? Below you will see a list of  bird watching tours in Australia listed by season ,  that are part of the Australian Wildlife Journeys group. Our range of experienced guides accommodate many of the most popular Australian   birdwatching  regions and wildlife sites throughout the country. 

We invite you to bring your camera and binoculars, so we can share our knowledge and passion with you on these  birding tours of Australia, which also feature beautifully appointed accommodation options, outstanding culinary offerings and fabulous hospitality. 

Search for birding tours using the seasonal viewing opportunities calendar further down the page or by using the search toolbar directly below:

Find a tour

best bird watching tours australia

  • Southern Eyre Peninsula Birdwatching

From $1,780 AUD

3 days/2 nights

Home to 270 species of birds and 1900 native plant species, this tour across the Southern Eyre Peninsula traverses coastal dune shrublands, mallee woodlands, sandflats, saltmarsh, subcoastal and clifftops. There are opportunities to observe waders and seabirds including Little Pied and Black Cormorants, Grey and Chestnut Teal Ducks, Pink Eared...

best bird watching tours australia

  • Kakadu Birding Tour

From $3,280 AUD

The World Heritage Listed Kakadu National Park is one of the most pristine environments left on the planet and the combination of soil floodplains, paper bark swamps, savannah woodlands, monsoonal rainforests and river mangroves make this one of the world’s great birdwatching sites. There is an immense concentration of birds,...

best bird watching tours australia

Sydney Wildlife Safari

From $420 AUD

Full Day - Sydney

Venture to the pristine bushland of the Southern Highlands, just 90 minutes from Sydney, to observe several of Australia's most iconic species in the afternoon and evening. With the help of a knowledgeable and passionate naturalist guide, you will have the chance to spot Eastern Grey Kangaroos, Emus, wallabies, cockatoos,...

best bird watching tours australia

Daintree Afternoon & Nocturnal

From $400 AUD

A visit to the ‘oldest continually growing rainforest in the world’ at night is the feature of this full day tour, encompassing the World Heritage Listed Daintree National Park and Cape Tribulation area. Leaving early afternoon, guests will experience the region's incredible array of landscapes including waterfalls, mountain ranges, idyllic...

Viewing opportunities that include birds

best bird watching tours australia

June,July,August, Margaret River

Augusta - Winter Sightings by Bird Group

How to find these species.

Daniel Mantle

Daniel Mantle , Birding Specialist Guide

Suggested Tour: Deep Water Augusta Birdwatching

Duration: Full day Type:  Shared - set departure dates.

Following the very successful winter seabird trips ('pelagics') run from Augusta in 2021 and 2022, we have organised two further pelagics departing from Augusta this July. These will be run back-to-back on Saturday 20th and Sunday 21 July and will have 4 experienced seabird guides on board.

Full Itinerary & Booking

Tours in Margaret River related to Birds

  • Augusta Whale Watching

best bird watching tours australia

Black-necked Stork

March,April,May, Frankland Islands National Park

Frankland Islands - Autumn Sightings by Bird Group

Suggested tour: frankland islands reef cruises day tour.

Duration: Full Day Type: Shared or Private 

Spend the day at one of the most beautiful snorkelling locations on the Great Barrier Reef, with the opportunity to experience World Heritage-listed rivers, rainforests and reefs. Leave the crowds behind and enjoy exclusive access to the hidden treasure that is the Frankland Islands National Park.

Full Itinerary

Tours in Frankland Islands National Park related to Birds

  • Frankland Islands Reef Cruises Day Tour

best bird watching tours australia

Buff Banded-Rail

September,October,November, Frankland Islands National Park

Frankland Islands - Summer Sightings by Bird Group

best bird watching tours australia

Australian Figbird

June,July,August, Frankland Islands National Park

Frankland Islands - Winter Sightings by Bird Group

best bird watching tours australia

Beach Stone-Curlew

January,February,December, Frankland Islands National Park

best bird watching tours australia

Victoria's Riflebird

September,October,November, Cairns

Cairns & Far North Queensland - Common Spring Sightings by Bird Group

James Guide 01

“Spring heralds a time of exuberance in nature. It's a cacophony of calls, courtship, and vibrant activity in the rainforest. The dawn chorus reaches its peak in spring, creating a symphony of sounds that is a joy to experience. Venturing on our private Tablelands tour onto the Atherton Tablelands, we are treated to the captivating Noisy Pitta, producing delightful sounds amidst the colorful understory of the rainforest. It's an opportune moment for cassowaries, with the Southern Cassowary, unique to the Wet Tropics, possibly showcasing its young. In the savannah's understory, the Crimson Finch and Red-backed Fairywren add splashes of color to the landscape."

James Boettcher , Tour Guide

Suggested tour: Tropical Wetlands Birdwatching

Duration:  Full day Type:  Groups, private charter, shared Departs: On request

FNQ Nature Tours has exclusive access to the Shared Earth Reserve, encompassing 5000 acres of lagoons, trails, bird hides and dirt roads containing an abundance of bird watching opportunities. With more than 450 Avian Species recorded across this area and surrounds (more than half of Australia's total bird count), including 12 Endemics, it's Australia's twitching mecca! Full Itinerary

This is the loudest time of year, with breeding season in full swing for most species. The dawn chorus is deafening, with the wonderful sounds of the  Noisy Pitta  and the  Yellow Oriole,  while courtship displays from the  Victoria’s Riflebird  can be observed. The colourful  Buff-breasted Paradise Kingfisher  returns from New Guinea to breed, while the  Channel-billed Cuckoo ,  Brush Cuckoo  and the  Common Koel  announce the arrival of spring with their own choruses. The understory of the rainforest is popping with colour, as the endangered  Southern Cassowaries  are out with their young chicks. The growth of grass seed provides food for the smaller species such as the  Crimson Finch ,  Red-browed Finch  and  Red-backed Fairywren .

Tours in Cairns related to Birds

  • Tropical Wetlands Birdwatching
  • 5 Day Birdwatching North Queensland

best bird watching tours australia

Satin Bowerbird

June,July,August, Cairns

Cairns & Far North Queensland - Common Winter Sightings by Bird Group

“Winter emerges as the 'golden time of the year' for birdwatching. The cool morning and afternoon weather prompts birds to ascend higher into the trees, creating a perfect viewing opportunity. As the melaleucas and gums bloom, the early morning hours reveal a flurry of activity, with numerous honeyeaters, including the Eastern Yellow Robin, Pale-yellow Robin, Leaden Flycatcher, Lemon-bellied Flycatcher, and the Shining Flycatcher. Pardalotes are a common sight, with three species - the Striated, Spotted, and Red-browed Pardalote. Transitioning from savannah to rainforest, bowerbirds like the Tooth-billed and Golden Bowerbird showcase elaborate courtship displays."

Due to the cooler winter temperatures, birds like the Grey Goshawk   and Rufous Owl  spend more time higher in the rainforest canopy in direct sunlight, which provides great photography opportunities. The flowering of Melaleucas and Eucalyptus brings a lot of activity, with numerous honeyeaters including  Blue-faced Honeyeaters ,  Yellow-tinted Honeyeaters  and  Lewin's Honeyeaters . This flowering also brings out insects and hence insect-eaters like  Eastern Yellow Robins ,  Satin Flycatchers  and  Lemon-bellied Flyrobins . Other species on display are  Spotted Pardalotes ,  Striated Pardalotes  and  Red-browed Pardalotes . Courtship displays from  Tooth-billed Bowerbirds  are iconic encounters within the rainforest habitat.

best bird watching tours australia

Sacred Kingfisher

March,April,May, Cairns

Cairns & Far North Queensland - Autumn Sightings by Bird Group

“It's an exceptionally delightful time to be here. The wet season has just concluded, resulting in an abundance of greenery and stunning, explosive scenery that is ideal for bird life. Embarking on our Daintree tour, cruising along the river on our private solar electric boat, we may encounter the enchanting Wompoo Fruit Dove or the elegant Rose-crowned Fruit Dove. Along the Daintree River, we witness the Azure Kingfisher and Sacred Kingfisher, recently arrived from the southern regions, engaging in crab fishing. The Eastern Yellow Robin, Pale-yellow Robin, Olive-backed Sunbird, and the vibrant Leaden and Lemon-bellied Flycatchers are all remarkably active during this season."

The  Sacred Kingfisher  migrates from the southern states of Australia, which can be seen along the Daintree River feeding on fish and crabs. The beautiful, vibrant colours of the rainforest are evident at this time of year following the wet season, with  Eastern Yellow Robins ,  Wompoo Fruit Doves  and  Rose-crowned Fruit Doves  are common encounters. Other birds found at this time include insect-eaters such as the  Leaden Flycatcher ,  Shining Flycatcher and Lemon-bellied Flyrobins . The Daintree also provides critical habitat for the endangered  Southern Cassowary , which can be found throughout the year.

best bird watching tours australia

Buff-breasted Paradise Kingfisher

January,February,December, Cairns

Cairns & Far North Queensland - Summer Sightings by Bird Group

“Far North Queensland experiences abundant rainfall, especially in summer, making it a haven for birdlife. At the onset of summer, the Mareeba wetlands witness the arrival of brolgas, numbering anywhere from 150 to 200. Agriculture on the tablelands provides ample viewing opportunities. The awe-inspiring Buff-breasted Paradise-Kingfishers arrive from New Guinea during their nesting season, seeking arboreal termite mounds for egg-laying. The landscape comes alive with flowering, attracting insect-eating birds like the Eastern Yellow Robin, Pale-yellow Robin, Lemon-bellied Flycatcher, and the stunning Spectacled Monarch."

As many as 200  Brolgas  are often observed feeding in the wetlands and agricultural regions. The colourful  Buff-breasted Paradise Kingfisher  returns from New Guinea to begin nesting, where they lay eggs in arboreal termite mounds. As many plants and trees begin to flower, insect activity increases which attracts the insect-eating birds such as  Shrike-thrushes ,  Shining Flycatchers ,  Grey-headed Robins and  Spectacled Monarchs .  Chestnut-breasted Mannikins ,  Crimson Finches  and  Red-backed Fairywrens  can also be observed feeding on grass seeds.

best bird watching tours australia

Red-capped Robin

September,October,November, Mungo National Park

Mungo - Spring Sightings by Bird Group

Roger Smith

Roger Smith , Tour Guide

Suggested Tour: Private Mungo Outback Journey

Duration: 4 Days/3 Nights Type: Private 

This private outback adventure explores the magnificent Lake Mungo in the Willandra Lakes World Heritage Area. The region has been continuously occupied by Aboriginal People since that time, the longest known occupation of any land by any people on earth.

Tours in Mungo National Park related to Birds

  • Private Mungo Outback Journey

best bird watching tours australia

Mallee Ringneck

March,April,May, Mungo National Park

Mungo - Autumn Sightings by Bird Group

best bird watching tours australia

Mulga Parrot

June,July,August, Mungo National Park

Mungo - Winter Sightings by Bird Group

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Tasmanian Native Hen

June,July,August, Tasmania

Tasmania - Winter Sightings by Bird Group

Guides - Elise

“The winter provides fanstastic access to many of our endemic birds in the woodlands and Eucalypt forests, including Forty-spotted Pardalotes, Green Rosellas, Tasmanian Thornbills, Dusky Robins, Yellow Wattlebirds along with Strong-billed, Yellow-throated and Black-headed Honeyeaters. Native Tasmanian Hens also begin breeding in July with hens laying around five eggs and there racous displays are always a treat for guests.

Other bushbirds that are popular with visitors at this time include Spotted Pardalotes, Crescent and New Holland Honeyeaters, Brush Bronzewings, Golden Whistlers and Eastern Spinebills and Flame Robins that generally move into lower and more open areas at this time."

Elise Tardieu , Specialist Guide

Suggested Tour: 9 Day Western Wilderness & Wildlife Encounter

Duration:  9 Days/8 Nights Type: Private, Shared Departures

On the east coast, experience a mix of beautiful eucalypt forests, spectacular coastlines, and tranquil bays, including Maria Island, Freycinet Peninsula, Bay of Fires and Cataract Gorge. On the west coast, visit incredible alpine regions, the contrasting east and west coastlines, Cradle Mountain National Park, quaint fishermen villages and old mining towns.

Tours in Tasmania related to Birds

  • 9 Day Western Wilderness & Wildlife Encounter
  • 1 Day Birdwatching Mt Field National Park
  • 4 Day Private Tour Tasmania Wildlife Encounter

best bird watching tours australia

Little Penguin

January,February,December, Tasmania

Tasmania - Summer Sightings by Bird Group

“Little Penguins breed along the coastline during the summer months and we get special access to these incredible seabirds at Bicheno. Along our east coast it's also a terrific time to spot nesting shorebirds, with Kelp Gulls, Pacific Gulls, Silver Gulls, Pied Oystercatchers, Hooded Dotterels, Crested Terns and Fairy Terns the most commonly sighted.

A number of migratory waders arrive in Tasmania over the summer months after long journeys from the Arctic Circle including Short-tailed Shearwaters, Eastern Curlews, Curlew Sandpipers, Ruddy Turnstones, Red-necked Stints and Common Greenshanks. On our inland tours covering the rainforests and sub-alpine regions, Black Currawongs, Green Rosellas, Olive Whistlers and Pink Robins are target species we often spot with our guests."

best bird watching tours australia

Pacific Gull

September,October,November, Tasmania

Tasmania - Spring Sightings by Bird Group

“Spring sees a number of migrant birds arrive after their flight from the mainland across Bass Strait. The calls of cuckoos are prevalent, with Fan-tailed, Pallid and Shining Bronze Cuckoos migrating to our isle, and laying their eggs in the nests of Superb Fairy-wrens, Satin Flycatchers and Yellow-rumped Thornbills.

Welcome Swallows, Tree Martins, Dusky Woodswallows, Striated Pardalotes, Grey Fantails and Silvereyes are other welcome visitors, along with the vividly coloured Swift Parrot that breed at the same time as the flowering of the Tasmanian Blue Gums. Another one of the world's great wildlife migrations occurs between September and April, along Bass Strait and the southeast coast of Tasmania, as the region comes alive with 18 million Short-tailed Shearwaters."

best bird watching tours australia

Beautiful Firetail

March,April,May, Tasmania

Tasmania - Autumn Sightings by Bird Group

“By April, we see millions of Short-tailed Shearwaters leave the Tasmanian coast on their migration flight to the sub-Arctic region around Alaska, along with other migratory waders such as, Ruddy Turnstones, Red-necked Stints, Common Greenshanks and Eastern Curlews also departing at this time.

Beautiful Firetails can be seen feeding on the ground on various seeds, being most prevalent in coastal areas. Although this species is also located on the mainland, it is most prolific in Tasmania and the Bass Strait islands. Another well known endemic is the Green Rosella, Australia's largest rosella. This beautifully coloured bird occurs throughout a wide range of forest types, from the mountains to the coast."

best bird watching tours australia

Wandering Albatross

January,February,December, Bremer Bay

Bremer Bay - Summer Sightings by Bird Group

Suggested tour: bremer bay bird expedition.

In December a series of birdwatching trips out to the Bremer Canyon with experienced seabird guides. This is a rare opportunity to use Naturaliste Charter's whale watching catamaran, the Alison Maree, before the start of the main Orca tour season.

Tours in Bremer Bay related to Birds

  • Bremer Canyon Killer Whale Expedition

best bird watching tours australia

March,April, Bremer Bay

Bremer Bay - Autumn Sightings by Bird Group

Suggested tour: bremer canyon killer whale expedition.

Duration: Full day Type:  Shared

The Bremer Canyon has become one of the most sought-after whale watching expeditions across the globe, with over 100 Killer Whales (Orcas) returning to the submarine canyon each year from December to April; the only place in Australia where you can regularly encounter Killer Whales in the wild.

best bird watching tours australia

September,October, Hervey Bay

Hervey Bay - Spring Sightings by Bird Group

Suggested tour: ultimate hervey bay whale watching.

Duration: 3 hours Type: Shared or Private 

Explore the world's first declared Whale Heritage Site at Hervey Bay, known for coming alive with thousands of Humpback Whales between July and October. This region is known for having some of the most active and inquisitive whales found anywhere across the globe, with breaches, whale songs and muggings common practice.

Tours in Hervey Bay related to Birds

  • Ultimate Hervey Bay Whale Watching

best bird watching tours australia

Brown Booby

July,August, Hervey Bay

Hervey Bay - Winter Sightings by Bird Group

  • Hervey Bay Private Charter

best bird watching tours australia

Royal Spoonbills

March,April,May, Hervey Bay

Hervey Bay - Autumn Sightings by Bird Group

Suggested tour: hervey bay nature cruise.

Duration: 2 hours Type: Shared or Private 

Explore the best of the Great Sandy Marine Park in the spectacular morning light, led by knowledgeable Marine Naturalists. The region's remarkable mix of picturesque bays, seagrass meadows, salt marshes, mangroves and sandy beaches provide habitat to abundant birdlife, turtles and dolphins.

  • Hervey Bay Nature Cruise

best bird watching tours australia

January,February,December, Hervey Bay

Hervey Bay - Summer Sightings by Bird Group

best bird watching tours australia

White-eared Honeyeater

September,October,November, Kangaroo Island

Kangaroo Island -  Spring Sightings by Bird Group

Blair Wickham - Guide - Exceptional Kangaroo Island

Blair Wickham , Tour Guide 

Suggested tour: Kangaroo Island Birding Tour (Wild About Birds)

Duration: 3 Days/2 Nights Type: Private only Departs: On request This three day Kangaroo Island birdwatching and wildlife tour is presented with an indicative itinerary. Opportunities vary throughout the year and each season is slightly different in terms of natural cycles. The experience delivered is customised according to the season and fine-tuned to meet the interests of guests once they arrive on the Island. Full Itinerary

Tours in Kangaroo Island related to Birds

  • Kangaroo Island Birding Tour

best bird watching tours australia

June,July,August, Kangaroo Island

Kangaroo Island -  Winter Sightings by Bird Group

"Welcome rains after a dry summer and autumn spurs birds into nesting. Black Swans pull together large nests and start incubating, with both parents sharing the load of raising the cygnets. In Flinders Chase National Park, Cape Barren Geese nest in native iris tussocks with parents keeping an eye out for predatory Australian Ravens and Wedge-tailed Eagles. It's always a delight seeing  Scarlet R obins when we visit sheoak woodlands, waiting for insect activity and drop to the ground in a flash."

Duration: 3 Days/2 Nights Type: Private only Departs: On request

This three day Kangaroo Island birdwatching and wildlife tour is presented with an indicative itinerary. Opportunities vary throughout the year and each season is slightly different in terms of natural cycles. The experience delivered is customised according to the season and fine-tuned to meet the interests of guests once they arrive on the Island.

best bird watching tours australia

Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo

March,April,May, Kangaroo Island

Kangaroo Island -  Autumn Sightings by Bird Group

"As the days begin to cool in Autumn/Fall, the endemic and endangered Kangaroo Island Glossy Black-Cockatoos begin selecting their nesting hollows in large Sugar Gums in preparation for their annual breeding season from April to June. Larger Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos aggregate post breeding, with flocks of over 100 birds sometimes seen. Black Swamp in Flinders Chase National Park comes alive with activity as Cape Barron Geese also choose their nesting territories."

  • Flinders Chase Focus
  • Island Life

best bird watching tours australia

January,February,December, Kangaroo Island

Kangaroo Island -  Summer Sightings by Bird Group

Blair Wickham - Guide - Exceptional Kangaroo Island

“As natural water catchments dry up in the summer months, the Kangaroo Island's birds tend to congregate around fresh inland lagoons, and coastal marine esturaries, where food and water is more accessible. As Kangaroo Island locals, we have some secret locations where we can rely on encounters with Black Swans, Yellow-billed Spoonbills, Common Greenshanks and Freckled Ducks, to name a few. Broad beaches like Seal Bay are populated by large flocks of Crested Terns with smart black caps, often accompanied by a couple of massive Caspian Terns, identified by their bright red bills, contrasting the yellow bills of the Crested Terns."

Blair Wickham , Tour Guide

best bird watching tours australia

Regent Parrot

September,October,November, Riverland, South Australia

Riverland - Spring Sightings by Bird Group

Guides - Tony Sharley

The Rainbow Bee-eaters are fascinating as you can set your clock by them. They arrive from northern Australia in the first week of October and stay until the first week in April. They come here to breed and dig out tiny tunnels in the sandy cliffs found on either side of the river valley. They build their nests inside those tunnels."

Tony Sharley , Lead Guide

Suggested Tour: Murray River Safari

Duration: 4 Days/3 Nights Type: Shared 

Experience the diverse wildlife offerings where Australia's river oasis meets the outback. This multi-activity wildlife safari along Australia's greatest river includes guided walks, canoeing, an outback drive and open back cruising, combined with luxurious houseboat accommodation and superb dining including local wines.

Tours in Riverland, South Australia related to Birds

  • Murray River Safari

best bird watching tours australia

Royal Spoonbill

June,July,August, Riverland, South Australia

Riverland - Winter Sightings by Bird Group

Suggested tour: murray river walk.

Immerse yourself in four easy days of hiking along Australia's greatest river. Exploring this river oasis that brings life to the outback, friendly guides will share the region's incredible birdlife, marsupials and reptiles.

  • Murray River Walk

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Australasian Darter

March,April,May, Riverland, South Australia

Riverland - Autumn Sightings by Bird Group

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Scarlet Robin (Female)

January,February,December, Maria Island

Maria Island - Summer Sightings by Bird Group

Ben Brown Guide

“The endemic Forty-spotted Pardalote can be seen living in community groups around our wilderness camps, enjoying the flowering White Gums forests. We also keep an eye out for the Black-headed and Strong-billed Honeyeaters around the browntop stringybarks.

A number of migrants from the mainland can be seen on the island including Swift Parrots, Fan-tailed Cuckoos, Satin Flycatchers, Yellow-rumped Thornbills, Tree Martins and Dusky Woodswallows."

Ben Brown , General Manager Operations

Suggested Tour: The Maria Island Walk

Duration:  4 Days/3 Nights Type:  Shared  Available:  October - late April 

This four day guided walk across magnificent Maria Island, combines intimate wildlife encounters, fascinating history, pristine white sand beaches, and locally sourced gourmet food.

Tours in Maria Island related to Birds

  • The Maria Island Walk

best bird watching tours australia

Green Rosella

March,April,May, Maria Island

Maria Island - Autumn Sightings by Bird Group

“Residents of the island that can be sighted in the lead up to winter include Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos, Cape Barren Geese, Tasmanian Native Hens, Green Rosellas, Grey Fantails, Flame Robins, Golden Whistlers, Eastern Spinebills and the Beautiful Firetail. Pacific, Kelp and Silver Gulls, Crested Terns, Little Pied and Great Cormorants and Australian Pelicans are common sights across our white sandy beaches, feeding on small surface fish, squid, crabs, insects and other aquatic prey. One of the largest eagles in the world with wingspan of 2.3m, the Tasmanian subspecies of the Wedge-tailed Eagle are often seen soaring in pairs around the island's peaks."

Duration:  4 Days/3 Nights Type:  Shared

Available:  October - late April 

best bird watching tours australia

White-bellied Sea Eagle

September,October,November, Maria Island

Maria Island - Spring Sightings by Bird Group

Spring is also the time we see the incredible migration of Short-tailed Shearwaters,  with Bass Strait and the south east coast of Tasmania coming alive with 18 million individuals, commonly seen from the cliffs and beaches on the island."

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June,July,August, Maria Island

Maria Island - Winter Sightings by Bird Group

Suggested tour: maria island winter escape.

Duration:  3 Nights/2 nights Type:  Shared

Available:  June - late August

The 'Maria Island Winter Escape' is a three day lodge based experience which explores the beautiful and historic northern end of the island featuring abundant marsupials.

  • Maria Island Winter Escape Walk

best bird watching tours australia

June,July,August, Eyre Peninsula

Eyre Peninsula - Winter Sightings by Bird Group

Guides - Fran Solly v2

"We take guests out to Big Swamp over this season, to see a wide variety of waterbirds, with many commencing their nesting season. Black Swans, Grey Teal Ducks, Chestnut Teal Ducks, Pink Eared Ducks, Musk Ducks, Black Winged Stilts, Banded Plovers and Cape Barren Geese are all possible encounters.

Across Coffin Bay National Park, there are active Osprey and White-bellied Sea Eagle nests, with pairs often seen fishing along the cliffs and sandy white beaches.  The area is also home to Caspian Terns, Hooded Plovers, Red Capped Plovers, Red Necked Stints, Golden Whistlers, Masked Lapwings, Emus and Wedge-tailed Eagles.  There is also a chance to see the elusive Southern Emu-Wren and a remnant flock of Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos."

Fran Solly , Birding Specialist Guide

Suggested Tour: Southern Eyre Peninsula Birdwatching

Duration: 3 Days/2 Nights Type: Private, Shared Departures available seasonally

Home to 270 species of birds and 1900 native plant species, this tour across the Southern Eyre Peninsula traverses coastal dune shrublands, mallee woodlands, sandflats, saltmarsh, subcoastal and clifftops.

Tours in Eyre Peninsula related to Birds

best bird watching tours australia

September,October,November, Eyre Peninsula

Eyre Peninsula - Spring Sightings by Bird Group

"White-bellied Sea Eagles and Osprey nest along our spectacular coastal cliff habitats and rocky offshore islands, with young typically fledging late in Spring.

It's an amazing time to spot many of our bushbirds in the national parks, including Striated Pardalotes, Western Yellow Robins, Western Whistlers, White-Browed Babblers, Red Wattlebirds, Black-faced Cuckoo Shrikes, New Holland Honeyeaters, Brown-Headed Honey Eaters along with Port Lincoln and Rock Parrots. We also spend some time looking for some of the rarer species including Scarlet Robins, Diamond Firetails, Southern Emu-wrens and Western Whipbirds and the migratory Wood Sandpiper and Latham's Snipe."

Duration: 3 Days/2 Nights Type: Private, Shared Departures available seasonally

best bird watching tours australia

Black-shouldered Kite

January,February,December, Eyre Peninsula

Eyre Peninsula - Summer Sightings by Bird Group

“Summer is the nesting season for Pied Oystercatchers, Hooded Dotterels, Red-capped Plovers so we explore several local beaches on the peninsula at this time, whilst keeping a lookout for the migratory Common Greenshank after their enormous flights from the Northern Hemisphere.

A visit to Big Swamp provides sanctuary for Black Swans, Grey Teal Ducks, Chestnut Teal Ducks, Pink Eared Ducks, Musk Ducks and Black Winged Stilts and at Mikkira and Lincoln National Park, Port Lincoln (Australian Ringneck) Parrots, Common Bronzewings, Striated Pardalotes, Spiney-Cheeked Honeyeaters and White-Browed Scrubwrens abundant. Pallid Cuckoos also migrate to the peninsula over the Summer."

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Port Lincoln Parrot

March,April,May, Eyre Peninsula

Eyre Peninsula - Autumn Sightings by Bird Group

“A small flock of remnant Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos aggregate post breeding during the Autumn and Port Lincoln (Australian Ringneck) Parrots, Australian Magpies, Galahs, Red Wattlebirds, Black-Faced Cuckoo-shrikes, Masked Lapwings, Western Whistlers and an occasional Scarlet Robin can be seen across Port Lincoln National Park and Mikkira.

It's always a joy to showcase the rugged cliffs along the Great Australian Bight to view Osprey and White Bellied Sea-Eagles along with other raptors including kites and Swamp Harriers.  In beautiful Memory Cove, birds that may be encountered include Purple-Gaped Honeyeaters, Striated Pardalotes, Spiney-Cheeked Honeyeaters, Dusky Woodswallows, Western Yellow Robins, Blue-breasted Fairy-wrens and White-Browed Scrubwrens.

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March,April,May, Kakadu & Arnhem Land

Kakadu & Arnhem Land - Autumn Sightings by Bird Group

Lords Sab Lord Guide Bio 01

"By the end of the northern tropical summer (locally known as the wet season), native speargrasses have grown up to three metres high, providing plenty of seeds for Red-winged Parrots, Double-barred, Star, Crimson and Long-tailed Finches to feed upon. After their migration from southern areas, large flocks of Red-tailed Cockatoos can be heard screeching and flashing their vibrant banded tails, as they migrate from southern areas in flocks of up to one hundred birds. The Dollarbird is also commonly seen feeding insects before making the flight to the islands of New Guinea to spend the winter."

Sab Lord , Tour Guide

Suggested tour: Kakadu Birding Tour

Duration: 3 Days/2 Nights Type:  Groups, Private Charter Departs: On request

The World Heritage Listed Kakadu National Park is one of the most pristine environments left on the planet and the combination of soil floodplains, paper bark swamps, savannah woodlands, monsoonal rainforests and river mangroves make this one of the world's great birdwatching sites, with over 280 species found across the region.

Tours in Kakadu & Arnhem Land related to Birds

  • Three Day Kakadu & Arnhem Land
  • Ultimate Luxury Safari Adventure

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Magpie Geese

June,July,August, Kakadu & Arnhem Land

Kakadu & Arnhem Land - Winter Sightings by Bird Group

"Magpie Geese are spread far and wide over the pristine floodplains at this time including Bamurru, having laid their eggs with a typical clutch of 5-14 eggs. Some males mate with two females, all of which raise the young, unlike other polygamous birds. We often see White-bellied Sea Eagles, Brahminy and Whistling Kites target newly hatched chicks from the skies above, with one of the best opportunities to see their aerial skills at Yellow Waters. The alluring Azure Kingfisher also waits patiently along the waterways across both Kakadu & Arnhem Land on its fishing missions. We also stop across different areas to witness huge flocks of Plumed Whistling, Wandering Whistling and Spotted Whistling Ducks, all plucking on tropical grasses in between uttering their high pitched whistles."

best bird watching tours australia

Comb-crested Jacana

September,October,November, Kakadu & Arnhem Land

Kakadu & Arnhem Land - Spring Sightings by Bird Group

"As the end of the dry season approaches, the shrinking floodplains bring together a higher concentration of waterbirds, providing excellent opportunities to spot several duck species, egrets, Royal Spoonbills, Black-winged Stilts and the Black-necked Storks (locally known as the Jabirus).

One of the most famous meeting rituals in the bird kingdom is common at this time as Brolgas gather in the wetlands across the region. The Blue-winged Kookaburra changes its diet with the drier conditions and we are fortunate to have a family group adjacent to our Kakadu Tented Camp."

best bird watching tours australia

Abbott's Booby

March,April,May, Christmas Island

Christmas Island -  Autumn Sightings by Bird Group

Suggested tour: christmas island birdwatching.

Duration:  8 Days/7 Nights Type:  Groups, Private Charter Departs:  On request

Christmas Island is one of Australia's best birdwatching destinations. An internationally renowned seabird rookery, the island attracts about 80,000 nesting seabirds every year. You will have the opportunity to see the world's rarest booby and frigatebird.

full itinerary

Tours in Christmas Island related to Birds

  • Christmas Island Birdwatching
  • Bird & Nature Week Christmas Island
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Christmas Island Goshawk

January,February,December, Christmas Island

Christmas Island -  Summer Sightings by Bird Group

best bird watching tours australia

Java Sparrow

June,July,August, Christmas Island

Christmas Island -  Winter Sightings by Bird Group

best bird watching tours australia

Red-footed Booby

September,October,November, Christmas Island

Christmas Island -  Spring Sightings by Bird Group

best bird watching tours australia

Shining Bronze Cuckoo

September,October,November, East Gippsland

East Gippsland -  Spring Sightings by Bird Group

Roger Smith

Suggested tour: East Gippsland Wildlife Journey

Duration:  4 Days/3 Nights Type:  Shared, Private

Venturing across East Gippsland's magnificent lush rainforests, coastal heathlands, giant eucalypt groves, white sandy beaches and pristine rivers and estuaries, this four day immersive adventure offers you encounters with an incredible array of species.

Tours in East Gippsland related to Birds

  • East Gippsland Wildlife Journey

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King Parrot

January,February,December, East Gippsland

East Gippsland -  Summer Sightings by Bird Group

Roger Smith

Powerful Owl

March,April,May, East Gippsland

East Gippsland -  Autumn Sightings by Bird Group

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Birding Tour Australia: from the Outback to the Wet Tropics

Go to: Australia Birding Tours | Birding Tours in Australasia | All our birding tours

Dates and Costs:

29 October – 15 November 2024

Spaces Available:  This trip is full but please consider booking the 2025 departure.

Price: AU$16,307 / $11,421 / £8,975 / €10,643 per person sharing (5-8 participants).

Single Supplement: AU$2,088 / $1,463 / £1,149 / €1,363

* Please note that currency conversion is calculated in real-time, therefore is subject to slight change. Please refer back to  base  price when making final payments.

29 October – 15 November 2025

Price: AU$16,500 / $11,556 / £9,081 / €10,769 per person sharing (5-8 participants).

Single Supplement: AU$2,297 / $1,609 / £1,264 / €1,499

29 October – 15 November 2026

Price: AU$17,530 / $12,278 / £9,648 / €11,441 per person sharing (5-8 participants).

Single Supplement: AU$2,525 / $1,768 / £1,390 / €1,647

Recommended Field Guide

(Please also read our blogs about recommended field   guides for the seven continents here )

Tour Details

Duration : 18 days Group Size : 5 – 8 Tour Start : Melbourne, Victoria Tour End : Cairns, Queensland

Price includes:

All accommodation (as described above from Day 1 through Day 17) Meals (from dinner on Day 1 until breakfast on Day 18) Expert tour leader National park/birdwatching reserve/protected areas entrance fees Boat trips on the Daintree River and the Great Barrier Reef Private transportation during the tour

Price excludes:

International flights Airport transfers Domestic flights within Australia during tour (Required Melbourne-Brisbane and Brisbane-Cairns. We can book these for you and provide costs to ensure that everyone is on the same flight – estimate about AU$800) Any pre- or post-tour accommodation, meals, or birding/sightseeing/etc. excursions Visa if required Items of a personal nature, e.g. gifts, laundry, internet access, phone calls, etc. Any pre- or post-tour accommodation, meals, or birding/sightseeing/monument excursions Soft/alcoholic drinks (drinking water is safe from the taps, please bring a refillable water bottle) Personal travel insurance Gratuities (please see our tipping guidelines blog )

Eastern Australia : from the Outback to the Wet Tropics October 2024/2025/2026

Australia, the island continent, is a remote landmass that drifted away from Antarctica tens of millions of years ago. Without significant volcanic activity and other mountain-building forces it is also the flattest continent, with the world’s oldest soils. Despite its lack of topography this incredible landmass is one of extremes. The Outback, the continent’s core, is a vast and hostile desert with unpredictable weather patterns that sometimes flush the landscape green. Along the edges more regular precipitation allows ancient rainforests, heathlands, and fire-resistant sclerophyll woodlands to grow. Due to its long isolation and harsh environments Australia is now home to birds of a different feather, including eight endemic bird families and a further seven shared only with neighboring New Guinea. About 300 bird species are endemic to Australia, making it second only to Indonesia in this regard. Throughout this country’s every extreme its amazing avifauna has shown the adaptability and resiliency to survive in even the most challenging environments. In addition, this avifauna is just dripping with charismatic species, from bowerbirds to parrots to fairywrens to kookaburras to cassowaries to lyrebirds. Throughout the course of this small-group tour we sample habitats ranging from the arid plains north of Deniliquin to the wet rainforests of the Atherton Tablelands in search of as many of these wonderful birds as possible, while also appreciating the many other unique plants and animals along the way.

The incredible birds and wildlife of eastern Australia: a virtual birding tour by  Andy Walker  (who guides our Australian tours). This presentation was part of the highly recommended  SE Arizona birding festival  hosted by the  Tucson Audubon Society  (also see their YouTube channel  here ).

Outback birding tours

Our journey begins at the cosmopolitan city of Melbourne, Victoria in southeast Australia, visiting coastal heathland for several localized habitat specialists such as Gang-gang Cockatoo and Beautiful Firetail . Farther north and west towards the interior, arid mallee vegetation and saline lakes provide habitat for the mound-building Malleefowl , the impossibly blue Splendid Fairywren , the gorgeous Pink Cockatoo , among a host of other species. On one evening we make a special effort to observe the monotypic Plains-wanderer in the dry plains north of Deniliquin in New South Wales.

Outback birding tours

Following our time in New South Wales we will swing southeast through the sclerophyll forests of Chiltern and the temperate forests near Melbourne for targets such as Turquoise Parrot and Superb Lyrebird .

After an internal flight from Melbourne to Brisbane, Queensland, we drive up to the famous O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat, nestled within a large tract of subtropical rainforest, for a totally new set of stunning birds such as Paradise Riflebird , Regent Bowerbird , Satin Bowerbird , Noisy Pitta , Albert’s Lyrebird , and Australian Logrunner .

On the last leg of our journey we visit the Wet Tropics of far northern Queensland to explore one of the world’s most ancient rainforests for key species such as Southern Cassowary and Buff-breasted Paradise Kingfisher . We also take a day trip to the Great Barrier Reef, where the colors and diversity of the fish and corals rival those of the birds, with a chance to swim with Green Turtles . Evening spotlighting sessions on many of these nights should also produce a host of endearing and unusual nocturnal birds and mammals, which may include Papuan Frogmouth and Barking Owl . Other target birds in the north include Great-billed Heron , Australian Bustard , Victoria’s Riflebird , Tooth-billed Bowerbird , Great Bowerbird , Golden Bowerbird , Fernwren , and Chowchilla to name a few.

Outback birding tours

During our time in Australia, we will also look for some of the country’s incredible and unique animals, including Platypus , Short-beaked Echidna , Koala , Red Kangaroo , Eastern Grey Kangaroo , Common Ringtail Possum , Common Brushtail Possum , Musky Rat Kangaroo , and Common Wombat . The birds in Australia are incredible, but so are the mammals, reptiles, and amphibians that we will see; they combine to result in an awesome wildlife-filled experience. This continent is a naturalist’s dream!

Sometimes we do this tour in the reverse order shown in this itinerary. Please confirm the route for your tour with us before purchasing your flight tickets.

For those wishing to continue exploring Australia (and we fully recommend it), this tour can be combined with our Birding Tour Australia: Tasmania Bird Tour – Tasmanian Endemics and the Orange-bellied Parrot tour.

  Itinerary (18 days/17 nights)

Day 1. arrival in melbourne.

Non-birding day with your arrival into Melbourne airport, the rest of the day will be at your leisure. We will meet in our hotel near the airport for an evening welcome dinner together.

Overnight: Melbourne Airport Hotel

Outback birding tours

Day 2. Melbourne to Aireys Inlet

Over the course of the day we will enjoy some of Australia’s common and widespread, yet beautiful and interesting birds, such as Magpie-lark , Rainbow Lorikeet , Sulphur-crested Cockatoo , Willie Wagtail , Laughing Kookaburra , and Australian Magpie .

We will drive around Melbourne to the world-famous Werribee Western Treatment Plant area along the coast. Included in the Ramsar list of Wetlands of International Importance in 1983, this extremely rich, huge area contains a network of sewage treatment lagoons, unmodified saltmarsh, creeks, and lakes, which host large numbers of both sedentary and migratory waterbirds. We will navigate a series of roads around this area, where water levels permit. Among a wide assortment of other species Freckled Duck , Pink-eared Duck , and Musk Duck will be top priorities, as well as the secretive Australian Crake and the highly localized Striated Fieldwren . The area is often great for raptors, and we may find Black-shouldered Kite , Wedge-tailed Eagle , Australian Hobby , and Brown Falcon .

We then continue southward along the coast to Aireys Inlet for the night. Along the way a few stops may produce Southern Emu-wren , Black-tailed Nativehen , Black-fronted Dotterel , Cape Barren Goose , and White-winged Chough . Maybe we will even spot our first Eastern Grey Kangaroo along the way!

Overnight: Aireys Inlet

Outback birding tours

Day 3. Aireys Inlet to central Victoria

Composed of dense, low shrubs and scattered, twisted trees, coastal heathland occurs on impoverished soils with poor drainage. Despite the nutrient-poor soils, this habitat boasts a high diversity of plants as well as a unique community of birds that depend on them. We spend most of the morning exploring the scenic coastal heathlands of southwest Victoria, seeking out some of these species, such as Southern Emu-wren , Beautiful Firetail , and Rufous Bristlebird . Areas of taller vegetation may host the endearing Gang-gang Cockatoo , while a sea watch may yield Black-browed Albatross , Australasian Gannet , and other pelagic birds offshore.

As the day progresses, we drive inland into central Victoria for our first taste of box-ironbark forest, a habitat endemic to Australia. Because the component tree species in this habitat are such prolific flower and nectar producers, there is a correspondingly high diversity of nectar-feeding honeyeaters and lorikeets, including the normally scarce and local Purple-gaped Honeyeater , White-fronted Honeyeater , and Purple-crowned Lorikeet .

Overnight: Inglewood

Day 4. Central Victoria to Ouyen

After some brief morning birding around Inglewood we continue to the Ouyen area in northwestern Victoria. Along the way we will stop at Lake Tyrrell, a salt-crusted and mostly dry lakebed surrounded by saltbush and samphire. Despite its unlikely appearance this low vegetation is home to several charismatic birds, such as Orange Chat , White-winged Fairywren , and Eastern Bluebonnet , which we will target during our time here.

Founded in 1921, Wyperfeld National Park protects a significant tract of semi-arid mallee woodland and heathland. Depending on local conditions we may visit this site as we are passing. High on our list of priorities here would be the appropriately named Malleefowl , Southern Scrub Robin , Splendid Fairywren , and Southern Whiteface , and other birds of the dry Australian interior are also possible.

Outback birding tours

In the late afternoon we will arrive in Ouyen in the mallee habitat. Due to the number of secretive and highly sought birds here we will spend two nights and days birding the area, giving us plenty of time to try and connect with some of the arid area’s great birds like Malleefowl , notable for incubating its eggs in large nesting mounds.

Overnight: Ouyen

Day 5. Birding Hattah-Kulkyne National Park

As one of Australia’s largest and most pristine mallee reserves, Hattah-Kulkyne National Park boasts a wide variety of bird species that are much more difficult to see elsewhere, such as Mallee Emu-wren and Striated Grasswren . We will spend the full day birding within and around the park and town. In addition to the species mentioned above we will be looking for one of the most spectacular parrots in all of Australia, Pink Cockatoo . Hopefully the cockatoo will be accompanied by a rich and colorful supporting cast of dry-country specialties, such as Regent Parrot , Mulga Parrot , Crested Bellbird , and Emu . Possibly we will have our first look at the huge Red Kangaroo here too.

Outback birding tours

Day 6. Hattah-Kulkyne National Park, travel to Deniliquin, and Plains-wanderer night trip

We will have another morning birding in the wonderful Hattah-Kulkyne National Park, where we will continue to seek out the area’s specialties, maybe including White-winged Chough , Apostlebird , Chestnut Quail-thrush , and many more. As the morning progresses, we will head out of Victoria into neighboring New South Wales. We will likely stop at Lake Tutchewop along the way, which, depending on water levels, may hold the elegant Red-necked Avocet and the dapper Banded Stilt .

Outback birding tours

We will have a long day today, because during the evening we will go out to search for the bizarre Plains-wanderer , the sole representative of an endemic Australian family, most closely related to the shorebirds (but its closest living relatives are thought to be the seedsnipes of South America!). Although this species is the star attraction of this site, we may also encounter other birds, such as Inland Dotterel , Banded Lapwing , Stubble Quail , Little Buttonquail , Eastern Barn Owl , or Australian Owlet-nightjar on this nocturnal foray.

Overnight: Deniliquin

Day 7. Transfer to Wangaratta via Gulpa Island

After a late night we allow ourselves to sleep in before continuing our journey to Wangaratta via Gulpa Island and various other sites in the Riverina bioregion. Targets on this more laid-back day include the vivid Superb Parrot , the elusive Gilbert’s Whistler , and the striking White-backed Swallow as we aim to arrive in Wangaratta in the midafternoon. We will start looking for some of the birds listed for Day 8 if time permits.

Overnight: Wangaratta

Day 8. Wangaratta to Healesville

We will spend the morning birding in the beautiful woodland around the Warby-Ovens National Park which protects what is arguably the best flora and fauna assemblage of box-ironbark forest and woodland in Australia and forms an important link between the foothills of the Australian Alps with the plains of the Murray River. The trees which define this habitat produce an abundance of nectar when flowering, attracting birds from far and wide. The sounds of birds can be almost deafening during these times! Targets attracted to these blooms include Little Lorikeet , Black-chinned Honeyeater , and Painted Honeyeater . Elsewhere in the forest we search for the rainbow-like Turquoise Parrot , the bark-peeling Eastern Shriketit , the ground-dwelling Speckled Warbler , and more. We may even come across the unusual Short-beaked Echidna here.

After lunch we continue our journey southward to the town of Healesville near the city of Melbourne for the night. Here we will have a chance for some evening spotlighting for birds such as Greater Sooty Owl and mammals, possibly possums and gliders.

Overnight: Healesville

Outback birding tours

Day 9. Birding near Melbourne and conclusion of the “Outback” part of the tour

We spend most of the day at Bunyip State Park, about 40 miles (60 kilometers) east of Melbourne, birding wet sclerophyll forest and swampy heathlands. Within these mossy forests we hope to find several of Australia’s most charismatic and emblematic birds. Superb Lyrebird , an unrivalled mimic and the world’s largest songbird, will be chief among our targets. The forest and heathland communities are also home to Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo , Pilotbird , Olive Whistler , Eastern Whipbird , Flame Robin , Rose Robin , Pink Robin , Red-browed Treecreeper , Australian Rufous Fantail , and more. It is sure to be a wonderful end to the birding on this part of the tour. We will continue back to Melbourne, thus completing our circuit of Victoria, where we will spend the night in an airport hotel ahead of an early flight the next day.

Overnight: Melbourne

best bird watching tours australia

Day 10. Transfer from Melbourne to Brisbane and to Lamington National Park

After an early morning flight we arrive in Brisbane, the state capital of Queensland, to continue our tour. We first stop at a few mangrove sites near the airport itself, searching for the endemic Mangrove Honeyeater and Mangrove Gerygone . Nearby wetland sites often hold the elusive Spotless Crake , and we could obtain our first sightings of Comb-crested Jacana , Red-backed Fairywren , Torresian Kingfisher , and more while we search for them.

Afterwards we drive to the world-famous O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat at Lamington National Park. A colorful and interesting suite of birds attends the lodge gardens here, including Crimson Rosella , Australian King Parrot , Regent Bowerbird , Satin Bowerbird , Australian Brushturkey , and Wonga Pigeon . These birds are unusually tame and provide excellent opportunities for photography and our time here is always a major tour highlight.

Overnight: Lamington National Park

Outback birding tours

Day 11. Full day birding Lamington National Park

Situated in the heart of Lamington National Park, O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat is well-known for its rainforest location, diverse wildlife, and interesting history. Using the lodge as our base we spend the full day exploring the verdant network of subtropical rainforest trails in search of several spectacular birds unique to the area. Albert’s Lyrebird , Australian Logrunner , and Noisy Pitta inhabit the forest understory, while birds in the mid-story and canopy include Paradise Riflebird , Topknot Pigeon , Black-faced Monarch , and Green Catbird . We will make a concerted effort to see all of these species during our stay as well as leaving time to enjoy the site’s good variety of mammals, a good number of which only come out at night.

Day 12. Transfer from Brisbane to Cairns, birding the Cairns Esplanade

We will have a pre-breakfast birding walk into the forest near our accommodation once again, where we will keep searching for new and interesting species, maybe finding a cryptically plumaged Bassian and Russet-tailed Thrushes or the gorgeous and rather cute Rose Robin . After another sumptuous O’Reilly’s breakfast, we drive off the mountain and head back toward the city in time to make our flight farther north on our tour of the Australian east coast.

When we arrive in Cairns, depending on the tide time, we might make the short jaunt from our hotel to the Cairns Esplanade to enjoy its variety of shorebirds, from the hulking Far Eastern Curlew to the dainty Terek Sandpiper . We are sure to see plenty of Torresian Imperial Pigeons , Australasian Figbirds , and Metallic Starlings flying around near our accommodation.

Overnight: Cairns

Outback birding tours

Day 13. Cairns birding and travel to Mission Beach

We will spend the morning birding at sites around Cairns, and may include visits to the Cairns Esplanade, Cairns Botanical Garden, and Cairns Centenary Lakes. We may also visit some sites a little further out of town, time permitting. A large list of species is possible featuring a wide range of birds. If the tidal situation is right, we can expect a lot of shorebirds, likely to include Great Knot , Curlew Sandpiper , Grey-tailed Tattler , and with luck, Beach Stone-curlew . In and around the trees along Cairns Esplanade, we may find Nankeen Night Heron , Bush Stone-curlew , Double-eyed Fig Parrot , Varied Honeyeater , Yellow Honeyeater , and Hornbill Friarbird . Forested areas here may hold Orange-footed Scrubfowl , Australian Brushturkey , Brush Cuckoo , and Grey Goshawk .

After lunch we will commence our journey south towards Mission Beach. We will likely make a stop at Etty Bay along the way. Our main target in this area is the humongous and rare Southern Cassowary , the largest bird in Australia by weight.

Overnight: Mission Beach

Day 14. Birding near Mission Beach, travel to Lake Eacham

We will spend some time in the morning looking for Southern Cassowary . There are often other great birds to be found around Mission Beach, and we will try to locate these during the morning before departing and heading up into the Atherton Tablelands. Some other birds we might find while looking for the ancient dinosaur-like bird, might include Australian Swiftlet , Fairy Gerygone , Yellow-spotted Honeyeater , Spectacled Monarch , Black Butcherbird , Green Oriole , and Dusky Myzomela .

We will have a long day today, because during the evening we will go out to search for the bizarre Plains-wanderer , the sole representative of an endemic Australian family, most closely related to the shorebirds (but its closest living relatives are thought to be the seedsnipes of South America!). Although this species is the star attraction of this site, we may also encounter other birds, such as Inland Dotterel , Banded Lapwing , Stubble Quail , Eastern Barn Owl , or Australian Owlet-nightjar on this nocturnal foray.

Outback birding tours

By mid-morning it will be time to leave the coast behind. We will spend the course of the next two days visiting a variety of sites on the Atherton Tablelands, a fertile plateau hosting several habitats from high altitude rainforest to drier eucalypt woodland. Although we will keep our itinerary flexible, based on our growing trip list, we will likely spend time birding the cooler wet forest of Mount Hypipamee National Park, Lake Barrine, and the Curtain Fig Tree for species including Tooth-billed Bowerbird , Golden Bowerbird , Wompoo Fruit Dove , Grey-headed Robin , Chowchilla , and more. We can, with some luck, also find Victoria’s Riflebird and Spotted Catbird in the gardens of our accommodation at Lake Eacham, a wonderful spot itself.

Nocturnal activity is also often exciting here, and we will be sure to spend some time looking for a range of possums, gliders, and more, as well as for the diurnal Musky Rat Kangaroo . Here we will also have a search for the bizarre Platypus and unusual (and rather rare) Lumholtz’s Tree Kangaroo .

Overnight: Lake Eacham

Day 15. Birding in the Atherton Tablelands

The early morning activity around our accommodation is usually a wonderful experience and we will look for, and listen to Spotted Catbird , Victoria’s Riflebird , Yellow-breasted Boatbill , Australian Golden Whistler , Grey-headed Robin , Superb Fruit Dove , Wompoo Fruit Dove , Brown Cuckoo-Dove , Macleay’s Honeyeater , Scarlet Myzomela , and Forest Kingfisher .

Outback birding tours

During the day we will visit the wetter higher elevations of the Atherton Tablelands, possibly trying to locate the shy Chowchilla and other targets like Atherton Scrubwren , Mountain Thornbill , Tooth-billed Bowerbird and Golden Bowerbird . We will also look for any wetland sites that might support Magpie Goose , Sarus Crane , Brolga , Wandering Whistling Duck , or Plumed Whistling Duck and potentially shorebirds and other waterfowl (depending on water levels here and in other parts of Australia).

In the afternoon we will make our way northward into the much drier part of the Atherton Tablelands, stopping at various sites, which may include Granite Gorge Nature Park and Mareeba town. There will be no shortage of potential targets, such as Australian Bustard , Squatter Pigeon , Red-winged Parrot , Red-tailed Black Cockatoo , Spotted Harrier , Blue-winged Kookaburra , Great Bowerbird , and Double-barred Finch . After a long day of birding, we will arrive at our accommodation.

Overnight: Mareeba

Outback birding tours

Day 16. Mareeba, Daintree River Cruise, and travel to Cairns

We will have a long day today. We will spend the early morning birding near to Mareeba and will make our way to the base of Mount Lewis. We will make a few stops along the way, for species such as Yellow-bellied Flyrobin and White-browed Robin . At the base of Mount Lewis, we will look for Lovely Fairywren , Superb Fruit Dove , Northern Fantail , and Buff-breasted Paradise Kingfisher .

In the afternoon we will start the journey down to the Daintree River, where we will have a late-afternoon boat cruise. By scanning the sandy banks and lush riverside vegetation from the comfort of our boat we will keep a sharp eye out for the bulky Great-billed Heron , family groups of Shining Flycatcher , the cryptically camouflaged Papuan Frogmouth , and flocks of the diminutive Double-eyed Fig Parrot – maybe even the rare Little Kingfisher .

We will stop for some dinner on our way back to Cairns, where we will arrive in the early evening and head to bed after what will have been a long and tiring, but bird-filled day.

Outback birding tours

Day 17. Great Barrier Reef trip

We will spend the final full day of the tour on an enjoyable and relaxing boat trip to the Great Barrier Reef. The Great Barrier Reef is an ecosystem of many superlatives that no words can do justice. After an early breakfast we board a boat that will take us out to experience this incredible reef system. Our first stop is Michaelmas Cay, a tiny islet that hosts an impressive number of nesting seabirds. Sooty Tern , Brown Noddy , and Greater Crested Tern dominate, but Lesser Crested Tern , Black Noddy , and Black-naped Tern are also possible. Brown Booby and occasionally Red-footed Booby can be seen perched on man-made structures, while marauding Great and Lesser Frigatebirds often soar overhead. We will spend some time here enjoying the spectacle. Weather and sea conditions permitting, we should be able to land on the cay to get close-up views of these seabirds. There is also the likelihood of snorkeling here, but for this part of our reef trip the focus is really on the birds, though we will also keep our eyes peeled for dolphins and sea turtles.

Outback birding tours

After lunch the boat usually moves across to Hastings Reef, where there will be an option to snorkel, scuba dive, or take a glass bottom boat tour, all three options giving a wonderful opportunity to observe the plethora of shockingly colorful life below the surface. When we return to shore in the middle of the afternoon we will amble back to our hotel, looking for any birds along the Cairns Esplanade as we go (tide dependent).

Day 18. Transfer to Cairns Airport , tour concludes

Non-birding day with your departure from Cairns Airport.

Overnight: Not included

Please note that the itinerary cannot be guaranteed as it is only a rough guide and can be changed (usually slightly) due to factors such as availability of accommodation, updated information on the state of accommodation, roads, or birding sites, the discretion of the guides and other factors. In addition, we sometimes have to use a different international guide from the one advertised due to tour scheduling.

Outback birding tours

Plains-wanderer

Outback birding tours

Southern Cassowary

Outback birding tours

Pink Cockatoo

Outback birding tours

Gang-gang Cockatoo

Outback birding tours

Buff-breasted Paradise Kingfisher

Outback birding tours

Albert's Lyrebird

Outback birding tours

Regent Bowerbird

Outback birding tours

Spotted Pardalote

Outback birding tours

Mallee Emuwren

Outback birding tours

Diamond Firetail

Outback birding tours

Hooded Plover

Outback birding tours

Beach Stone-curlew

Outback birding tours

Australian Bustard

Outback birding tours

Victoria's Riflebird

Outback birding tours

Wonga Pigeon

Map of birding tour in Australia: from the Outback to the Wet Tropics October 2024/2025/2026

Eastern Australia: From the Outback to the Wet Tropics Trip Report, October 2023

30 october – 16 november 2023, by andy walker.

DOWNLOAD TRIP REPORT

This Eastern Australia birding tour started in Melbourne, Victoria on the 30 th  of October 2023 and ended in Cairns, Queensland on the 16 th  of November 2023. This Australian bird tour focused on Australian endemic birds and Australian endemic bird families found in Victoria (including a brief foray into New South Wales) and southern and northern Queensland.

 eastern australia report

Plains-wanderer  was a big target on our Eastern Australia birding tour and proved a massive highlight, with three birds seen well. They formed part of an incredible evening birding session early in the tour, which was a tour highlight in its own right.

We recorded 379 bird species on this Australian birdwatching tour (three of these were heard only). The list of highlight birds seen is very long and included some of the best birds in Australia, including  Southern Cassowary ,  Emu ,  Magpie Goose ,  Malleefowl ,  Spotted Nightjar ,  Tawny Frogmouth ,  Sarus Crane ,  Brolga ,  Red-chested Buttonquail ,  Banded Stilt ,  Plains-wanderer ,  Black-necked Stork ,  Great-billed Heron ,  Wedge-tailed Eagle ,  Grey Goshawk ,  Greater Sooty Owl ,  Lesser Sooty Owl ,  Buff-breasted Paradise Kingfisher ,  Red-backed Kingfisher ,  Laughing Kookaburra ,  Blue-winged Kookaburra ,  Cockatiel ,  Glossy Black Cockatoo ,  Gang-gang Cockatoo ,  Pink Cockatoo ,  Superb Parrot ,  Budgerigar ,  Noisy Pitta ,  Albert’s Lyrebird ,  Superb Lyrebird ,  Green Catbird ,  Golden Bowerbird ,  Regent Bowerbird ,  Lovely Fairywren ,  Mallee Emu-wren ,  Painted Honeyeater ,  Macleay’s Honeyeater ,  Rufous Bristlebird ,  Australian Logrunner ,  Pied Monarch ,  Apostlebird ,  Paradise Riflebird ,  Victoria’s Riflebird ,  Flame Robin ,  Red-capped Robin ,  Bassian Thrush , and  Diamond Firetail .

In addition to the great birds seen, we also found a nice selection of other animals, including 40 species of mammals, featuring highly sought species such as  Koala ,  Platypus ,  Red Kangaroo , and  Lumholtz’s Tree Kangaroo , 23 species of reptiles including  Saltwater Crocodile  and  Boyd’s Forest Dragon , and numerous gorgeous butterflies, moths, dragonflies, and plants. Lists of birds and other plants and wildlife recorded during this Australian bird tour follow the report.

eastern australia report

Regent Bowerbird  showed well while we were birding at O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat.

Detailed Report

Day 1, 30 th  october 2023.  arrival in melbourne.

We arrived in Melbourne, Victoria in the late afternoon after completing our successful  Tasmania bird tour , (trip report  here ). We had a delicious group welcome meal in the evening, discussing the plans for the coming few weeks of birding in Victoria, New South Wales, and southern and northern Queensland, Australia. The excitement was building.

Day 2, 31 st  October 2023. Birding Melbourne to Healesville

We headed through the northern suburbs of Melbourne, making a brief stop at a parkland, where we got some of the common Australian birds under our belt, with species such as  Rainbow Lorikeet ,  Eastern Rosella ,  Australian Magpie ,  Pied Currawong ,  Grey Currawong ,  Noisy Miner ,  Red Wattlebird ,  Little Raven , and  Magpie-lark  all seen well, it was a great introduction.

eastern australia report

A pair of  Rainbow Lorikeets  were busy allopreening and allowed great views. A common but attractive bird in eastern areas of Australia and always a popular bird at the beginning of a tour.

Commencing our journey away from Melbourne city, we visited the beautiful  Dandenong Ranges National Park , where we found our main target, the vocally magical  Superb Lyrebird . While we were walking around the impressive and huge forest, we picked up many birds, including  Crimson Rosella ,  Australian King Parrot ,  Sulphur-crested Cockatoo ,  Long-billed Corella ,  Australian Golden Whistler ,  Eastern Yellow Robin ,  Large-billed Scrubwren ,  White-browed Scrubwren ,  Grey Fantail ,  Eastern Spinebill , and  White-throated Treecreeper .

After a wonderful lunch, we visited a wetland site, where we found  Australasian Darter ,  Little Pied Cormorant ,  Little Black Cormorant ,  Australasian Grebe ,  Dusky Moorhen ,  Eurasian Coot ,  Australasian Swamphen ,  Pacific Black Duck ,  Chestnut Teal ,  Grey Teal ,  Maned Duck ,  Masked Lapwing ,  Galah ,  Little Corella ,  Shining Bronze Cuckoo ,  Little Wattlebird , and a pair of  White-winged Trillers . We then moved across to a sandy hillside, where we found six beautiful orchid species, including  Large Flying Duck Orchid ,  Eastern   Mantis Orchid , and  Purple Beard Orchid . After enjoying these great plants (and a few  White-winged Choughs ), we continued our drive to our accommodation for the night in Healesville, picking up  Black-shouldered Kite ,  Yellow-billed Spoonbill , and  White-necked Heron  along the way.

After a wonderful dinner at our lodge, featuring minor distractions from  White-naped Honeyeater ,  Yellow-faced Honeyeater , and  Eastern Spinebill , we went out for a rather enjoyable night walk. Top highlights from the walk included excellent looks at a  Greater Sooty Owl , along with very good sightings of both  Greater Glider  and  Yellow-bellied Glider . It had been some start to this Australian birding tour!

eastern australia report

We enjoyed some excellent views of  Greater Sooty Owl  while out on a night walk.

Day 3, 1 st  November 2023. Healesville to Chiltern

After breakfast we birded around our accommodation at Healesville, enjoying sightings of  Gang-gang Cockatoo ,  Australian King Parrot ,  Crimson Rosella , and  Spotted Pardalote . We then drove up into Toolangi State Forest, where we found  Flame Robin ,  Rose Robin ,  Red-browed Treecreeper ,  Satin Flycatcher , and more  Gang-gang Cockatoos .

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Several  Gang-gang Cockatoos  were present in a small woodland.

After warming ourselves up with a hot drink, we visited the  wetlands near Yea , where we added plenty of new birds to our growing list. Some of the top highlights included  Bell Miner ,  Striated Pardalote ,  Leaden Flycatcher ,  White-throated Gerygone , and  Little Eagle . Driving north, we made our way to the  Warby-Ovens National Park , a beautiful region. Here we had brief sightings of  Turquoise Parrot , but also had great looks at  Red-capped Robin ,  Hooded Robin ,  Leaden Flycatcher ,  Western Gerygone ,  Varied Sittella ,  Rufous Songlark , and  Rufous Whistler .

eastern australia report

Red-capped Robin  was also added to our rapidly growing Australasian Robins family list.

As we explored the area further, we found  Crested Pigeon ,  Galah ,  Eastern Rosella ,  Sacred Kingfisher ,  Laughing Kookaburra ,  White-winged Triller , nesting  Restless Flycatchers ,  Willie Wagtail ,  Grey Fantail ,  Wedge-tailed Eagle ,  Whistling Kite ,  Brown Falcon ,  Nankeen Kestrel ,  Dusky Woodswallow , and  Diamond Firetail .

Day 4, 2 nd  November 2023.  Chiltern to Deniliquin                                         

A very long day, but one of the most enjoyable of the whole tour. We spent the morning birding around  Chiltern-Mt. Pilot National Park  and  Warby-Ovens National Park , and the birding was great. We had excellent views of  Painted Buttonquail ,  Pallid Cuckoo ,  Sacred Kingfisher ,  Red-rumped Parrot ,  Olive-backed Oriole ,  White-throated Treecreeper ,  Brown Treecreeper ,  White-winged Chough ,  Yellow-tufted Honeyeater ,  Fuscous Honeyeater ,  Black-chinned Honeyeater ,  Speckled Warbler ,  Jacky Winter , and  Rufous Songlark . We also spotted  Eastern Grey Kangaroo  and  Swamp Wallaby .

eastern australia report

An attractive  Yellow-tufted Honeyeater  from Chiltern-Mt. Pilot National Park.

After lunch we took a look at the mighty Murray River, here we found  Nankeen Night Heron ,  Whistling Kite ,  Crimson  (Yellow)  Rosella ,  Noisy Friarbird , and  Little Friarbird . We then completed our drive from Victoria to Deniliquin, New South Wales.

Our late afternoon and evening birding was simply sensational. We stopped at some bushland that was featuring lots of flowering plants, just north of Deniliquin, where we found  Australian Owlet-nightjar ,  Horsfield’s Bronze Cuckoo ,  Black-shouldered Kite ,  Black Kite ,  Rainbow Bee-eater ,  Greater Bluebonnet ,  Black Honeyeater ,  Singing Honeyeater ,  Striped Honeyeater ,  Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater ,  Pied Butcherbird ,  Australian Raven , and  Mistletoebird . Driving north we picked up our first family group of  Emus  and shortly after had close perched views of a pair of  Wedge-tailed Eagles , with other species seen including  Black-tailed Nativehen ,  Australian Crake ,  Red-kneed Dotterel ,  White-winged Fairywren ,  Singing  (Horsfield’s)  Bush Lark ,  Fairy Martin ,  Brown Songlark , and  Australian Pipit .

After our picnic dinner it was time for the main event, our night birding around a section of the  Hay Plains , and it was amazingly successful. During almost three hours of spotlighting, we found 17 species of birds and ten species of mammals. The highlight birds were three  Plains-wanderers  (one female and two males), the main target of our night trip which showed very well (see the trip report cover image). The supporting cast was rather special too, and featured  Red-chested Buttonquail ,  Little Buttonquail ,  Stubble Quail ,  Banded Lapwing ,  Tawny Frogmouth ,  Australian Owlet-nightjar ,  Eastern Barn Owl ,  Australian Boobook ,  Brown Songlark , and  Singing  (Horsfield’s)  Bush Lark . Mammal highlights included  Red Kangaroo ,  Western Grey Kangaroo ,  Fat-tailed Dunnart , and  Common Brushtail Possum .

eastern australia report

A massive bonus bird during our spotlighting session was this gorgeous adult female  Red-chested Buttonquail .

Day 5, 3 rd  November 2023.  Deniliquin to Ouyen                                             

After our late-night birding session the previous day, we made a later start today. After a relaxed breakfast in Deniliquin we birded near town, finding a number of parrots, including our main target for the morning,  Superb Parrot . We also enjoyed sightings of  Sulphur-crested Cockatoo ,  Little Corella ,  Long-billed Corella ,  Galah ,  Crimson  (Yellow)  Rosella ,  Eastern Rosella ,  Red-rumped Parrot , and  Rainbow Lorikeet . Other birds here included  Noisy Friarbird, Little Friarbird ,  White-plumed Honeyeater ,  Brown Treecreeper , and  Sacred Kingfisher .

A  wetland near the town of Kerang  was absolutely heaving with birds and was a special sight to see. We added loads of new birds to our list, including some good ones. Highlights here were  Australian Pelican ,  Black Swan ,  Australian Shelduck ,  Pink-eared Duck ,  Hardhead ,  Hoary-headed Grebe ,  Great Cormorant ,  Glossy Ibis ,  White-necked Heron ,  Great Egret ,  Royal Spoonbill ,  Banded Stilt ,  Pied Stilt ,  Red-necked Avocet ,  Black-tailed Nativehen , and  Whiskered Tern  (along with lots more). A few small passerines were noted along the edge of the wetland, such as  White-winged Fairywren  and  White-fronted Chat .

We continued our journey to Ouyen, where we arrived in the evening. Along the way we spotted  Cockatiel ,  Budgerigar ,  Greater Bluebonnet ,  Spotted Harrier ,  White-browed Woodswallow ,  Masked Woodswallow ,  Black-faced Woodswallow ,  Southern Whiteface ,  Rufous Fieldwren ,  Chestnut-rumped Thornbill , and  Australian Raven .

Day 6, 4 th  November 2023.  Birding Hattah-Kulkyne National Park            

We had an early morning birding session near Ouyen, where we found a beautiful pair of  Rainbow Bee-eaters  looking glorious in the morning light. We also found our first  Purple-backed Fairywrens  and  White-browed Babblers  of the tour here.  Brown Goshawk ,  Fairy Martin ,  White-browed Woodswallow , and  Masked Woodswallow  were overhead. Nearby, a  Peregrine Falcon  was perched up on a building and showed well.

eastern australia report

A pair of  Rainbow Bee-eaters  showed well in the glorious early morning sunlight.

After breakfast we spent the rest of the day birding in the mallee habitats of  Hattah-Kulkyne National Park  and connected with a range of specialized and localized species with the highlights including  Malleefowl  and  Mallee Emu-wren . There were plenty of other good birds picked up across the day, such as  Emu ,  Regent Parrot ,  Mulga Parrot ,  Australian Ringneck ,  Budgerigar ,  Splendid Fairywren ,  White-eared Honeyeater ,  Yellow-plumed Honeyeater ,  Shy Heathwren ,  Inland Thornbill ,  Crested Bellbird ,  Gilbert’s Whistler ,  Australian Raven ,  Apostlebird ,  Southern Scrub Robin , and  Chestnut-crowned Babbler .

After an early dinner we took a short drive from our accommodation and had the most incredible views of a pair of  Pink Cockatoos , (formerly and until recently known as Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo). They dropped out of a tree and drank from a puddle at the side of the road a mere few meters in front of us, displaying their fantastic colorful crests! After the excitement of the cockatoo, we moved to a waterhole where, after a beautiful sunset, we found our main target, a  Spotted Nightjar  and then a  Marble-faced Delma  (an uncommon legless lizard). It had been another great day of birding in Australia.

eastern australia report

The views of  Pink Cockatoo  were simply incredible. What a stunning bird.

Day 7, 5 th  November 2023.  Ouyen to Inglewood                                             

We left Ouyen in the early morning but didn’t get far from our accommodation before we made a stop to enjoy a pair of  Fairy Martins  sat on a phone wire. A couple of minutes later we found ourselves watching a pair of  Pink Cockatoos , possibly the same pair we saw the previous evening. Further prolonged views of this most attractive of cockatoos were enjoyed by everyone. As we left Ouyen we found two more of our regional targets, firstly  Red-backed Kingfisher  and secondly  White-backed Swallow . Both showed well, but the kingfisher was extra showy, perching close to us.

We moved down to the  Sea Lake area , where, after breakfast, we visited an attractive pink lake. Here we enjoyed sightings of  Rufous Fieldwren ,  White-winged Fairywren ,  Brown Falcon ,  Little Eagle , and  Orange Chat .

In the late morning we made the majority of our drive to Inglewood, our base for the night. We stopped at  Mount Korong  where we saw  Spotted Harrier ,  Peregrine Falcon ,  Painted Honeyeater , and several  Diamond Firetails  and many other birds. Closer to Inglewood we found a waterhole that was, for a while, heaving with honeyeaters. We found  White-fronted Honeyeater ,  White-eared Honeyeater ,  Yellow-plumed Honeyeater ,  Yellow-tufted Honeyeater , and  Brown-headed Honeyeater . However, the activity was suddenly curtailed by an unseen raptor that flew through the area. We moved on to a different patch of bush, where we saw  Western Whistler ,  Gilbert’s Whistler ,  Purple-backed Fairywren ,  Inland Thornbill , and  Collared Sparrowhawk .

eastern australia report

Diamond Firetail  is an attractive finch and we had good views of several birds coming to drink at a waterhole.

Day 8, 6 th  November 2023.  Inglewood to Aireys Inlet                                   

We left Inglewood in the early morning and made our way to a nearby seasonally flooded swamp. We spent a couple of hours scanning the area, finding several new birds and improving views of several others, including  Red-kneed Dotterel ,  Black-fronted Dotterel ,  Masked Lapwing ,  Black-tailed Nativehen ,  Royal Spoonbill ,  Yellow-billed Spoonbill ,  Australian Shelduck ,  Australasian Grebe ,  White-necked Heron ,  White-bellied Sea Eagle ,  White-breasted Woodswallow , and  Rufous Songlark . We even had a great view of a  Yellow-footed Antechinus  out in the open.

After the wetland birding and breakfast we visited a couple of different blocks of forest, finding  Brown Goshawk ,  Crimson Rosella ,  Eastern Rosella ,  Eastern Spinebill ,  Yellow-tufted Honeyeater ,  Fuscous Honeyeater ,  Yellow-faced Honeyeater ,  White-browed Babbler ,  Black-faced Cuckooshrike ,  Grey Shrikethrush ,  Olive-backed Oriole ,  Masked Woodswallow ,  White-browed Woodswallow ,  White-winged Chough ,  Spotted Pardalote ,  Weebill ,  Striated Thornbill ,  Buff-rumped Thornbill ,  Varied Sittella ,  Mistletoebird , and  Scarlet Robin .

eastern australia report

Scarlet Robin  gave us some good views.

After lunch we made the journey down to Aireys Inlet. We stopped at the town of Lara along the way, where we had a great birding session. Top sightings here included Cape Barren Goose ,  Latham’s Snipe ,  Australian Crake ,  Australasian Swamphen ,  Royal Spoonbill ,  Musk Lorikeet ,  Purple-crowned Lorikeet ,  Little Grassbird ,  Australian Reed Warbler ,  Golden-headed Cisticola ,  European Goldfinch ,  European Greenfinch , and  Eurasian Tree Sparrow .

Day 9, 7 th  November 2023.  Aireys Inlet to Melbourne                                  

The final day of our Victoria birding circuit (which included a brief foray into New South Wales), saw us start the day with some birding at  Aireys Inlet . We found our target  Rufous Bristlebird , with several birds seen briefly at first, with lots of song, but then a pair of birds showed well in the scrub. A few  Australian Gannets  were noted offshore here. Because everyone on this tour had taken part in our Tasmania bird tour immediately prior to this tour, we opted to skip our usual other birding sites and target birds in the area as several of the usual target birds had already been seen well on the Tasmania tour. This decision allowed us to spend some extra time in the wonderful and bird-filled  Werribee Western Treatment Plant  (WTP).

Birding at Werribee WTP was excellent and we recorded over 85 species across a few hours at the site. The list of highlights is long (see the eBird list  here ), and included  Brolga ,  Cape Barren Goose ,  Musk Duck ,  Blue-billed Duck ,  Pink-eared Duck ,  Australasian Shoveler ,  Australian Crake ,  Baillon’s Crake ,  Buff-banded Rail ,  Banded Stilt ,  Red-capped Plover ,  Sharp-tailed Sandpiper ,  Curlew Sandpiper ,  Red-necked Stint ,  Common Greenshank ,  Marsh Sandpiper ,  Black-tailed Godwit ,  Bar-tailed Godwit ,  Pied Cormorant ,  Royal Spoonbill ,  Yellow-billed Spoonbill ,  Glossy Ibis ,  Australian Pelican ,  Great Crested Grebe ,  Hoary-headed Grebe ,  Australasian Grebe ,  Whiskered Tern ,  Swamp Harrier ,  White-fronted Chat ,  Golden-headed Cisticola ,  Australian Reed Warbler ,  Little Grassbird ,  Brown Songlark , and  Fairy Martin . Wildfowl and shorebirds were present in the thousands, and it was a seriously impressive sight. We could have easily spent a week going around the site!

After our birding at Werribee WTP, we said farewell to our local guide, Simon, who had once again given us some once-in-a-lifetime birding memories and a fun trip.

eastern australia report

Rufous Bristlebird  was skulking in the undergrowth but came out a couple of times for some quick photos.

Day 10, 8 th  November 2023.  Melbourne to Brisbane, Brisbane birding and travel to O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat                                                                                                                 

We departed Melbourne for our flight to Brisbane in southern Queensland. Everything went smoothly and we arrived in the late morning. After collecting our vehicle, we took a short drive to the beach, where we had a picnic lunch and found the localized duo of  Mangrove Honeyeater  and  Mangrove Gerygone . Our next stop was just to the south of Brisbane, where we found one of the top mammalian targets of the tour,  Koala . We found two of them, a male and a female and got some nice views of these very special animals. To add to the exciting experience here, we also found a pair of  Tawny Frogmouths  at their nest, complete with two young nestlings. Around Brisbane we picked up several other birds, such as  Channel-billed Cuckoo ,  Scaly-breasted Lorikeet ,  Brown Cuckoo Dove ,  White-bellied Sea Eagle ,  Brahminy Kite ,  Torresian Crow ,  Grey Butcherbird , and more.

We left the city behind to commence our drive up into the mountains for our stay at O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat. Along the way, we made a brief stop to look at a roost of  Grey-headed Flying Foxes  and  Little Black Flying Foxes . As we made the final ascent up the mountain we spotted a pair of  Glossy Black Cockatoos ,  Wonga Pigeon ,  Red-necked Wallaby  and  Whiptail Wallaby . As we checked in to our accommodation, we were distracted by the magical sight of four  Regent Bowerbirds  (see photo in the trip report summary) sitting right in front of us. Add in the  Australian King Parrots  and  Crimson Rosellas  all around us and it was a pretty impressive welcoming committee!

Day 11, 9 th  November 2023.  Birding at O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat

We had a sensational day of birding at O’Reilly’s in  Lamington National Park . We had an early start to maximize our time here and were handsomely rewarded. The first bird we saw in the morning was the highly localized  Albert’s Lyrebird . It was a brief sighting of a shy bird, so we were left wanting a bit more. We moved to our next spot, where we had some really good views of several  White-headed Pigeons , along with  Eastern Yellow Robin  and  Australian Brushturkey . Both  Regent Bowerbird  and  Satin Bowerbird  were seen very well, as were  Australian King Parrot  and  Crimson Rosella .

eastern australia report

Satin Bowerbird  is easily found at O’Reilly’s Rainforest retreat and looks gorgeous in the correct light.

Entering the forest, we focused on the lyrebird and enjoyed a remarkable sighting of a pair of  Albert’s Lyrebirds . The female gave some prolonged views as she foraged on the ground, then the male of the pair walked in, before it bounced up and flew high into a tree, where it continued to forage in a bird’s-nest fern, a remarkable and rarely seen behavior. After the lyrebird, which we watched for quite a while, we then also saw a pair of  Noisy Pittas . As we walked to the restaurant for breakfast, we noted  Wedge-tailed Eagle ,  Topknot Pigeon ,  Pied Currawong ,  Scarlet Myzomela ,  Eastern Spinebill , and  Red-browed Finch .

After breakfast we took a forest walk where we concentrated on good views of the local birds, and these included common birds like  Grey Shrikethrush ,  White-browed Scrubwren ,  Yellow-throated Scrubwren ,  Large-billed Scrubwren ,  Brown Gerygone ,  Brown Thornbill ,  Australian Golden Whistler , and  Eastern Yellow Robin . Highlights during this birding session included excellent sightings of  Paradise Riflebird  (a male giving prolonged views),  Eastern Whipbird ,  Rufous Fantail ,  Black-faced Monarch ,  Australian Logrunner ,  Green Catbird , and  Bassian Thrush , not to mention the parrots and bowerbirds also enjoyed all morning! We found a giant  Land Mullet  (a very large skink) and just before lunch we saw our first  Bush Stone-curlew  of the tour.

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With patience, it is possible to get great views of the interesting  Australian Logrunner  in the forest at O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat.

After a bit of a break in the early afternoon we headed back out onto the trails at O’Reilly’s for a brief walk. Again, we enjoyed many of the common birds of the area, but also spent time watching a female  Paradise Riflebird  and several  Green Catbirds  foraging in the tall rainforest trees. A  Wonga Pigeon  was walking around on a lawn, and we again had sightings of  Albert’s Lyrebird . After another wonderful dinner at O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat, we took a walk back to our accommodation, finding  Short-eared Brushtail Possum ,  Common Ringtail Possum ,  Red-legged Pademelon , and a roosting  Russet-tailed Thrush !

Day 12, 10 th  November 2023.  Birding at O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat, travel to Brisbane then flight to Cairns.

We woke to a damp morning and were instantly grateful for the beautiful day we’d had yesterday, along with all of those great birds. As usual at O’Reilly’s, the great birds are never too far away, and right outside our rooms this morning we found several male  Regent Bowerbirds ,  Satin Bowerbird ,  Australian King Parrot ,  Crimson Rosella , and best of all, a very showy male  Paradise Riflebird . After a short walk, where we improved our views of  Bassian Thrush , we had breakfast and reluctantly departed to Brisbane.

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Paradise Riflebird  gave some very close views at O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat.

Once back in Brisbane we caught our flight to Cairns in Far North Queensland. A whole new set of birds was awaiting us and after checking into our beachside hotel we had a brief birding session on the famous Cairns Esplanade where we found  Australian Swiftlet ,  Torresian Imperial Pigeon ,  Australasian Figbird ,  Hornbill Friarbird , and  Varied Honeyeater . The tidal state was not conducive for shorebirds, but there were three  Black-fronted Dotterels  and a pair of  Masked Lapwings  near our dinner restaurant.

Day 13, 11 th  November 2023.  Great Barrier Reef trip and travel to Mission Beach

A walk along the Cairns Esplanade prior to our  Great Barrier Reef  boat trip gave us a few good birds, such as  Pacific Golden Plover ,  Great Knot ,  Bar-tailed Godwit ,  Curlew Sandpiper , and  Australian Pelican  along the beach, with  Torresian Imperial Pigeon ,  Nankeen Night Heron ,  Peaceful Dove ,  Australasian Figbird , and  Brown Goshawk  all also recorded. There was also a gathering of several  Bush Stone-curlews  in a car park!

The reef trip was, as always, an enjoyable day with lots of interesting birds seen well, such as  Bridled Tern ,  Sooty Tern ,  Greater Crested Tern ,  Lesser Crested Tern ,  Brown Booby ,  Brown Noddy , and more (many of these birds breeding on Michaelmas Cay). In addition to the great views of the seabirds, we also enjoyed sightings of  Leatherback Turtle , and some spectacular reef fish. After getting back to Cairns in the mid-afternoon, we drove south to Mission Beach for the night and enjoyed a celebratory dinner together.

Day 14, 12 th  November 2023.  Birding Mission Beach and Atherton Tablelands

Another enjoyable day seeing some of the top birds and wildlife found in Australia. We started the day in Mission Beach, where we quickly found a  Southern Cassowary . It was a brief view of a male slowly crossing a road right in front of us before it just melted away into the forest. Incredible, and a sighting that won’t be forgotten anytime soon. After enjoying the  Southern Cassowary  sighting in Mission Beach, we picked up several other birds, such as  White-throated Needletail ,  Bar-shouldered Dove ,  Pheasant Coucal ,  Brush Cuckoo ,  Bush Stone-curlew ,  Osprey ,  Red-tailed Black Cockatoo ,  Azure Kingfisher ,  Forest Kingfisher ,  Yellow-spotted Honeyeater ,  Brown-backed Honeyeater ,  Dusky Myzomela ,  Varied Triller ,  Fairy Gerygone ,  Olive-backed Sunbird , and an impressive nesting colony of the vociferous  Metallic Starlings .

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Yellow-spotted Honeyeater  was heard and seen plenty of times during the day.

After leaving the coast in the middle of the morning, we stopped in at some rainforest, where we had sightings of  Grey Goshawk ,  Spectacled Monarch ,  Pied Monarch ,  Victoria’s Riflebird  (very briefly),  Rufous Shrikethrush ,  Barred Cuckooshrike ,  Cryptic Honeyeater , and  Pale-yellow Robin .

We enjoyed some lunch at  Lake Eacham , and afterwards took a short walk through some more rainforest, where we saw  Tooth-billed Bowerbird ,  Spotted Catbird  (briefly),  White-throated Treecreeper ,  Oriental Dollarbird ,  Grey-headed Robin , and  Macleay’s Honeyeater .

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The range-restricted  Tooth-billed Bowerbird  gave some good views at his bower.

After checking into our rainforest accommodation, we visited a quiet river, where we found another of the most-wanted animals in Australia, the  Platypus . We enjoyed prolonged views as one foraged right in front of us. We saw quite a few interesting mammals here and back at our accommodation in the late-afternoon and evening, including  Agile Wallaby ,  Red-necked Pademelon ,  Musky Rat Kangaroo ,  Yellow-footed Antechinus ,  Bush Rat ,  Long-nosed Bandicoot ,  Spectacled Flying Fox , and  Sugar Glider .

Day 15, 13 th  November 2023.  Birding the Atherton Tablelands

We spent the day birding in the  Atherton Tablelands , visiting a few different sites and habitats. In the morning, around our accommodation, we found  Victoria’s Riflebird ,  Spotted Catbird ,  Tooth-billed Bowerbird ,  Barred Cuckooshrike ,  White-bellied Cuckooshrike ,  Wompoo Fruit Dove ,  Brown Cuckoo Dove ,  Grey-headed Robin ,  Rufous Shrikethrush , and more.

After breakfast we moved across to the  Curtain Fig Tree National Park  where we marveled at the giant and impressive fig tree, complete with an attractive  Boyd’s Forest Dragon  and showy male  Australian Golden Whistler . Nearby we found  Brolga ,  Sarus Crane ,  Spotted Harrier ,  Black Kite ,  Whistling Kite ,  Black-shouldered Kite , and  Brown Falcon . A real treat was a  Feral Dog  (Dingo) which came purposefully through our view before disappearing into some tall vegetation.

Our next stop was the wonderful  Hasties Swamp  where we were greeted by thousands of  Plumed Whistling Ducks  and the highly anticipated  Magpie Goose . Seeing and hearing vast numbers of these birds is always a thrill. At the swamp, we also found  Wandering Whistling Duck ,  Hardhead ,  Grey Teal ,  Great Egret ,  Intermediate Egret ,  Nankeen Night Heron ,  Sarus Crane ,  Brolga ,  Australian Pelican ,  Royal Spoonbill ,  Australasian Darter ,  Red-kneed Dotterel ,  Black-fronted Dotterel ,  Sharp-tailed Sandpiper , and  Forest Kingfisher .

eastern australia report

Forest Kingfisher  was glowing!

After lunch and a short break, we visited a small patch of rainforest, where, with a lot of searching, we found a family group of the tough-to-see,  Lumholtz’s Tree Kangaroos . Another mammalian Australian tour highlight, for sure. After our dinner we went on a night safari, looking for birds, reptiles, and mammals, and it was highly successful. During a visit to some rainforest, we saw  Lesser Sooty Owl ,  Bush Stone-curlew ,  Striped Possum ,  Green Ringtail Possum ,  Common  (Coppery)  Brushtail Possum ,  Long-nosed Bandicoot ,  Giant   White-tailed Rat ,  Red-legged Pademelon ,  Northern   Leaf-tail Gecko ,  Boyd’s Forest Dragon , and  Amethystine Python .

Day 16, 14 th  November 2023.  Birding the Atherton Tablelands and Mareeba area

We started our day birding at Lake Eacham, getting the morning started with great views of  Victoria’s Riflebird ,  Spotted Catbird ,  Superb Fruit Dove ,  Pacific Emerald Dove ,  Double-eyed Fig Parrot ,  Barred Cuckooshrike , and many more top-quality birds.

After breakfast we left Lake Eacham for Mount Hypipamee. A stop along the way gave us  Tawny Grassbird ,  Golden-headed Cisticola ,  Chestnut-breasted Mannikin , three huge  Channel-billed Cuckoos , and the goliath  Wedge-tailed Eagle  at close range. On arrival at our next rainforest birding patch, we headed into the forest and staked out a  Golden Bowerbird  bower. We got brief views of an adult male, followed by a female, and then an immature male that gave brilliant prolonged and close views. Further exploration of the forest resulted in sightings of  Amethystine Python ,  Bridled Honeyeater ,  Bower’s Shrikethrush ,  Mountain Thornbill ,  Atherton Scrubwren ,  Pied Monarch ,  Pale-yellow Robin ,  Pacific Baza , and  Peregrine Falcon .

eastern australia report

Victoria’s Riflebird  was the second bird-of-paradise enjoyed on this Australian bird tour.

After lunch we came off the fertile  Atherton Tablelands  and down into the drier zone around the small town of Mareeba. We visited Granite Gorge, where we had excellent close looks at the rather cute  Mareeba Rock Wallaby , but also found some good birds, with the highlights (of which there were many), including  Great Bowerbird  (meticulously attending to his bower),  Squatter Pigeon ,  Pale-headed Rosella ,  Wedge-tailed Eagle ,  Green Oriole ,  Olive-backed Oriole ,  Yellow Honeyeater ,  Leaden Flycatcher , and more.

After checking into our accommodation on the edge of town, we birded at a site just outside Mareeba, where we added a few new species to our list, such as displaying  Australian Bustards ,  Australian Hobby ,  Red-backed Fairywren , and  Blue-winged Kookaburra .

Day 17, 15 th  November 2023.  Birding from Mareeba to the Mount Lewis area, Daintree River dusk boat trip, and travel to Cairns

We spent the morning birding in the dry habitats near Mareeba, where we saw  Red-winged Parrot ,  Red-tailed Black Cockatoo ,  Lemon-bellied   Flyrobin ,  White-throated Honeyeater ,  Yellow Honeyeater ,  Brown Honeyeater ,  Brush Cuckoo ,  Sacred Kingfisher , and  Blue-winged Kookaburra . An area of swamp was full of birds, including the giant  Black-necked Stork  and  Brolga , along with  Radjah Shelduck ,  Red-kneed Dotterel , and lots more, including numerous  Black Kites  and  Whistling Kites .

We followed up the dry country birding with some time in mixed eucalyptus and rainforest (which was also actually quite dry this year), where we found  Lovely Fairywren ,  Northern Fantail ,  Rufous Fantail ,  Superb Fruit Dove ,  Pale-yellow Robin , and  Yellow-breasted Boatbill .

eastern australia report

A pair of  Lovely Fairywrens  were enjoyed on our final full day of birding on this Australian bird tour, this male showed very well.

In the afternoon, we had a final couple of rainforest patches to check, and we were successful in finding a pair of  Papuan Frogmouths  and then the spectacular  Buff-breasted Paradise Kingfisher , the latter a fresh arrival from New Guinea and staking a claim to his summer breeding territory.

The final birding of the day was on the  Daintree River , where we enjoyed a dusk boat cruise, adding several new species for the tour, and improving views and photos of others, including  Spotted Whistling Duck ,  Radjah Shelduck ,  Papuan Frogmouth ,  Great-billed Heron ,  Black Bittern ,  Azure Kingfisher ,  Brahminy Kite ,  Pacific Koel ,  Green Oriole ,  Shining Flycatcher ,  Wompoo Fruit Dove  (on a nest), and plenty more. Additional highlights included  Green Tree Snake  and  Saltwater Crocodile  sightings.

After enjoying our Daintree River boat trip, we drove back to Cairns for the final night of the tour. During our drive back to Cairns we discussed possible “bird of the trip” candidates, and it was very hard to pick a top bird given all the high-quality birds we’d seen over the previous weeks. Some of the favorites included (in no particular order!);  Pink Cockatoo ,  Red-backed Fairywren ,  Southern Cassowary ,  Plains-wanderer ,  Golden Bowerbird , and  Red-chested Buttonquail .

Day 18, 16 th  November 2023. Birding Cairns Esplanade and t our concluded with departure from Cairns

We had a final breakfast in Cairns and said goodbye to Steve, who had been an excellent and incredibly knowledgeable local guide during our time in Queensland. We had a final, short birding session along Cairns Esplanade as the tidal situation was perfect. Numbers of shorebirds were lower than is often the case at this time of year, but we added several new species for the tour, including  Pacific Reef Heron ,  Australian Tern ,  Caspian Tern ,  Far Eastern Curlew ,  Eurasian Whimbrel , and  Grey-tailed Tattler . We also gained some very close views of other species seen previously, such as  Bar-tailed Godwit ,  Common Greenshank ,  Curlew Sandpiper ,  Pied Stilt ,  Black-fronted Dotterel ,  Silver Gull , and  Little Tern .

With our final birding session complete it was time for saying goodbye. It had been an incredibly fun tour, with lots of laughs along the way, as well as been packed full of some of the best birds of Australia and some of the most wanted mammals on the continent. A huge thank you to everyone for making this such a fantastic tour, I look forward to traveling with you all again soon. Trip lists for birds, other wildlife, and interesting plants follow.

eastern australia report

Buff-breasted Paradise Kingfisher  was a final highlight of the rainforest element of this Australian birding tour.

Bird List  –  Following IOC (13.2)

Birds ‘heard only’ are marked with (H) after the common name, all other species were seen. The following notation after species names is used to show conservation status following  BirdLife International : EN = Endangered, VU = Vulnerable.

Mammal List

Reptile list, notable other taxa list.

This is a sample trip report. Please email us ( [email protected] ) for more trip reports from this destination.

Birding Tour Australia:  Eastern Australia – From The Outback To The Wet Tropics

Tour-specific information.

GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT AUSTRALIA CAN BE READ HERE

TOUR OUTLINE

This is a comprehensive birding tour of eastern Australia . The first leg of our eastern Australian bird tour starts in Melbourne, Victoria. It makes a circuit around the southeastern Australian state (including a brief foray into southern New South Wales, where we will make a nocturnal trip for the monotypic and extremely rare Plains-wanderer ) before returning to Melbourne. The second leg of the tour sees us flying from Melbourne to Brisbane in southern Queensland; here, we will visit the fantastic O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat . After our birding in Lamington National Park, we will fly north from Brisbane to Cairns (Far North Queensland) for the third and final leg of the tour. From Cairns, we will make a circuit of the fertile and rainforest-clad Atherton Tablelands and the adjacent dry country lower down in the foothills. While in Queensland, our tour also includes a boat trip to the Great Barrier Reef and a boat cruise along the Daintree River. We will finish up our eastern Australian birdwatching tour back in Cairns, where the tour will conclude.

This is our most popular Australian birdwatching tour. There are a lot of simply incredible birds possible on this eastern Australia birding tour (which also combines perfectly with our Tasmania bird tour, which many people choose to do). Top highlights include Southern Cassowary , Malleefowl , Superb Lyrebird , Albert’s Lyrebird , Brolga , Rufous Scrubbird , Regent Bowerbird , Satin Bowerbird , Golden Bowerbird , Great Bowerbird , Green Catbird , Paradise Riflebird , Victoria’s Riflebird , Australian King Parrot , Gang-gang Cockatoo , Pink (Major Mitchell’s) Cockatoo , Superb Parrot , Shy Heathwren , Striated Fieldwren , Mallee Emu-wren , Superb Fairywren , White-winged Fairywren , Striated Grassbird , Australian Logrunner , Chowchilla , Painted Honeyeater , and Diamond Firetail . This Australian bird tour also offers some excellent and emblematic Australian mammals, such as Platypus , Short-beaked Echidna , Koala , Lumholtz’s Tree Kangaroo , and Red Kangaroo . A high-quality list of reptiles, amphibians, and other critters can be enjoyed too. This is the best birding tour if you’ve never visited Australia before.

The Victoria section of this Australian bird tour may run in reverse to the order advertised in the itinerary, based on the availability of accommodation and local guides. On some occasions, we need to run the tour in reverse, e.g., starting in Cairns and ending in Melbourne with Brisbane in the middle. We will go to exactly the same places but just in the opposite order shown in the online itinerary. Please confirm the order of the route with us prior to purchasing your international flight tickets for the start and end of the tour.

DAILY ACTIVITIES, PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS, AND TOUR PACE

Our comprehensive eastern Australia birding tour moves at quite a fast pace. We will cover a lot of ground on this Australian birdwatching tour, with a big overland circuit of the western side of Victoria (starting and ending at Melbourne airport) and including a trip into southern New South Wales at Deniliquin. In Victoria, we will visit the towns of Healesville, Wangaratta, Ouyen, Inglewood, and Airey’s Inlet. We will take two domestic flights during our bird tour, Melbourne to Brisbane and Brisbane to Cairns. There will be less driving in Brisbane (southern Queensland) as most of our time will be spent on foot around O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat, once we get there, after some birding in the Brisbane mangroves. In northern Queensland, we will take a boat trip onto the Great Barrier Reef, then make a circuit from Cairns south along the coast to Mission Beach, before coming inland and up onto the fertile Atherton Tablelands. After birding the tablelands, we will drop down to the dry north for a different set of birds, before finishing up back at Cairns after a boat cruise along the Daintree River. There is less driving in northern Queensland than in Victoria. This Australian bird tour will cover a wide range of habitats and a big trip list of 375 – 400 bird species should be expected.

In Victoria, we will have long drives of 4 – 6 hours on most days to get between different birding areas. In Queensland, we will have drives of 2 – 3 hours. We will usually have a pre-breakfast early morning birding session and then, after breakfast, do a little more birding in our local area before the heat increases and bird activity drops. We then move off to our next area. We will usually aim to make the drives across the middle of the day and break them up with lunch stops and restroom/coffee breaks.

The tour is generally considered easy to moderate in terms of physical exertion. However, the inland temperatures during the day, even during the spring period, could get high (see the “Weather” section below), so dehydration needs to be always considered a possibility, as does heat stroke and sunburn, etc.

In Victoria, we tend to make short and productive walks from our vehicle in a loop of up to 0.6 – 1.2 miles (1 – 2 kilometers/km), and we may make several of these a day. On a couple of occasions in Victoria, we are likely to make slightly longer walks of 2.5 miles (4 km). In Lamington National Park, we will spend most of our time on foot walking around the forest trails and roads (as well as mooching around the excellent retreat gardens). We will usually make a pre-breakfast walk of 1.2 miles (2 km), a post-breakfast walk of 3.5 – 5 miles (6 – 8 km), and then a late afternoon walk of a similar distance. All walks at O’Reilly’s are totally optional. If you’d rather sit in the garden soaking up the wonderful birds on offer, such as Crimson Rosella , Australian King Parrot , Regent Bowerbird , and Satin Bowerbird , that’s totally fine. In the tropical north of Queensland, we will make short walks of 0.6 – 1.2 miles (1 – 2 km) at different sites, and we might make several of these a day. We usually walk from our hotel to the quay to meet our reef trip boat, this is 0.6 miles (1 km). The trail at Mount Lewis is the hardest trail as it involves some incline and maneuvering around fallen trees and some rocks, but it’s still relatively easy, and we will take it at a slow birding pace. Walking in Victoria is often on fairly flat but rough (uneven) ground with rabbit holes and loose rocks, so care needs to be taken. In some areas, such as the mallee habitats, we will be walking in very spiky spinifex grass. Snakes should always be considered when on foot on the whole tour route.

We will make a few general nighttime trips for nocturnal birds and wildlife during the tour (weather permitting), as well as the specific Plains-wanderer trip (see details below). Most owling/mammal-watching sessions will last an hour or so, usually after dinner, and these are all optional.

TRANSPORTATION

We will use 12-seater minibuses on this tour; these will be collected in each city we arrive in and dropped back off there on our return. There will be limited baggage space, so please pack as lightly as possible for the tour (including within the seating area). We will have some long drives on the tour, particularly in Victoria (often on long straight roads). Some of the drives, particularly in Queensland, will involve long and windy mountain roads, so if you suffer from motion sickness, you might want to be prepared for that (e.g., the drive up to and down from O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat, the drive up and down Mount Lewis, and as we climb up and drop off the Atherton Tablelands). When we make our Plains-wanderer trip, the group might get split into two vehicles with our local guides; these might be 4×4 Toyota Hilux / Landcruiser-type vehicles. See the “Plains-wanderer Trip” section below for more information.

We will make two boat trips on this tour, see the “Boat Trips” section below, and we will also take two domestic flights during this tour, see the “Domestic Flights” section below.

We will take a boat trip out onto the Great Barrier Reef. This is not a private reef trip, and there will be up to around 30 participants on the boat. This is one of the smaller boats that goes to the reef, and it is usually the first boat there, which means we will likely get to Michaelmas Cay prior to too much disturbance. The boat has a no-shoe policy, so footwear should be removed upon entering. We will be out on the water from around 07:30 hrs. to around 15:00 hrs.

The boat has toilets, and we will have meals (a morning snack and lunch) and drinks onboard. You will need to bring your own personal water supply for the day, though additional drinks can be purchased throughout the day whilst on the boat. We will get on and off the boat in Cairns Marina, so this is a dry boarding/disembarking. There are opportunities for diving and snorkeling while on this trip – which is highly recommended. The reef trip company does not supply towels; usually, our hotel in Cairns will allow us to take a beach towel for the day for a small deposit.

The boat has a medium-sized lounge with air-conditioning as well as a top deck with seating (no aircon here, but there is often a cooling breeze). It is very easy to get sunburnt on this trip, so please bring plenty of suncream, as well as sunglasses (strong glare) and a sunhat. Swimwear is best worn on the boat as a base layer, and the reef trip company will provide wetsuits (necessary in “stinger season” – which refers to jellyfish present at certain times of the year). The reef trip company provides snorkeling equipment (including a limited supply of prescription masks – for a deposit payable/held on credit card). The reef trip company provides a health and safety questionnaire on arrival, and it is essential that you fill this out with the correct information. The reef trip company’s word on the boat is final, and your health and safety is their (and our) paramount concern.

We will usually try and land on Michaelmas Cay to observe the breeding birds at close range; however, if tidal or weather conditions prevent us from doing so, we will try and circumnavigate the island in a smaller glass-bottomed boat. The exact activities of the day are totally weather and tide-dependent. If you suffer from motion sickness, you may need to take medication for this trip. If we do land on Michaelmas Cay, it will be a wet landing and re-entry, usually up to ankles, rarely your knees; the boat can usually land against the sandy beach.

We will also take a boat trip on the Daintree River during the tour; this is a small boat, like a speedboat. We will journey along the wide Daintree River and then enter smaller, narrower tributaries that take us close into the mangroves, where we are seeking the rarer and more secretive species. The boat has a pop-up cover for the sun, but this inhibits viewing, so we usually try not to use it. We will be exposed to the elements on this trip, so a sunhat, sunglasses, and sunscreen are essential (as well as potentially a rain jacket/poncho if the weather looks threatening). Note on the larger river section we might move quite quickly, so watch out for your hat blowing off! The boat trip is usually around two hours in duration and often starts at dawn or ends at dusk, mainly depending on the tidal situation. Do not dangle your hands out of the boat into the water – there are Saltwater Crocodiles here – see the “Safety” section below.

If you’d like further information on either of these boat trips, please contact us .

DOMESTIC FLIGHTS

This tour requires two domestic flights (Melbourne to Brisbane and Brisbane to Cairns). The costs for these flights are not included in the tour cost. Once we confirm the tour, we will purchase flight tickets for everyone in the group at the same time to ensure we are all on the same flights. The additional cost of flights will be added to your tour balance payment, which is due no later than two months prior to departure. Please refer to the Australia general information document regarding important information on baggage allowance (including carry-on allowance). We usually try and make our domestic flights with Qantas or Virgin Australia as we have found they offer the best service.

PLAINS-WANDERER TRIP

While in Deniliquin in New South Wales, we will take a nocturnal trip to look for Plains-wanderer . Depending on the local situation on the vast grass plains these birds inhabit, we may drive around looking for the birds, or walk around to try and locate them. We are usually out searching from dusk until around midnight on this night and return to our accommodation after 1 a.m. (the following day usually gets a later start than usual!).

Walking around at night can be particularly disorienting, so it is essential the group always stays together. Small torches/head torches are essential for seeing where you are putting your feet, and if you have any balance/walking issues, a walking stick/hiking pole is also mandatory. It is very easy to trip and fall in this environment, so extreme care must always be taken. A decent supply of insect repellant is recommended for this trip as it can be quite buggy in some years. This trip is totally optional and if you would rather sit it out, that is fine, though this is one awesome and unique bird, so we do recommend joining the exploration if possible.

On this evening, we usually buy some food from a local bakery or supermarket and create a picnic dinner to be eaten on site or in our hotel rooms prior to departure.

Please pack as lightly as possible for this tour, noting the expected weight allowance of the domestic flights detailed above (and in the general information document on Australia) and the limited space inside vehicles. A medium, soft-sided, and robust duffle bag is likely to work best for packing in the tour vehicles and on the planes we will use. You will be expected to load and unload your own bags into and out of vehicles and as we move around airports. A lighter bag is likely to get less tiresome as we move around a lot on this tour, with lots of loading, unloading and repacking required.

We recommend a daypack is used to keep items that you wish to use daily when in the vehicle or when birding in the field (such as binoculars, camera, notebook, field guide, personal supply of water, snacks, umbrella, rain jacket, extra layers of clothing, etc.).

ACCOMMODATION

In Victoria and New South Wales (for one night), we mainly stay in hotels or motels, and in some locations, we stay in caravan sites, utilizing motel-type rooms. We usually change accommodations every night for this section of the tour, except for when we are in Ouyen, Victoria, in the mallee, where we spend two nights. We try to stay in the best accommodation available along our route, but these might still be fairly basic in some remote locations. All accommodation has ensuite bathrooms. At Melbourne airport, we will stay in an airport hotel. Most of the accommodation has Wi-Fi. Some of the accommodation offers breakfast, and we often get these delivered to our rooms the night before or in the morning itself. In some locations, we will eat breakfasts in cafés in nearby towns.

In southern Queensland, we will stay at the wonderful O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat for two nights. This is more upmarket accommodation than everywhere else we stay on the tour. This accommodation has ensuite bathrooms and is set in wonderful grounds for birding. We will eat breakfast and dinner in the retreat’s dining room and will have lunches in the café. There is free Wi-Fi in the lodge (usually just in the reception, bar, and restaurant areas).

In northern Queensland, we will stay at a nice hotel on the Cairns esplanade at the start and end of our circuit (luggage can be stored here until our return). For our circuit of northern Queensland, we will stay in a couple of hotels/motels as well as the excellent Chambers Wildlife Rainforest Lodges (top-quality birds and wildlife right outside our rooms). Our accommodation has been chosen for the best access to quality birding areas. All accommodation has Wi-Fi and private ensuite bathrooms. We usually eat meals in nearby towns, rather than at our accommodation, e.g., in nearby cafés or restaurants/pubs.

Because this eastern Australia birding tour covers a vast area, including spring in Victoria as well as tropical Far North Queensland, you should expect quite a temperature range, and suitable clothing will be required.

In Victoria and New South Wales during the time of our tour, nighttime temperatures could drop as low as 46 degrees Fahrenheit ( o F) (8 degrees Centigrade/ o C); however, we have occasionally had colder. Daytime temperatures in the south could peak at 59  o F (15  o C), and at higher elevations (e.g., the hills around Melbourne and along the Great Ocean Road), it could take a while to reach that temperature. If there is a southerly wind blowing, it can feel much colder with the wind chill (the wind will be coming from Antarctica !). Daytime temperatures in central and northern Victoria and southern New South Wales can reach 86  o F (30  o C); on occasion (particularly if there is a warming wind coming from the northwest), the temperatures can be hotter than this.

In southern Queensland (e.g., Brisbane), it will likely be around 86  o F (30  o C) and usually feels hotter than we will have experienced earlier in the tour, potentially a little more humid too. Up at O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat, we will be at around 3,300 feet (1,000 meters); therefore, the temperatures are lower (it can feel cold here at night), and during the day, it is likely to be around 68 – 77  o F (20 – 25  o C).

Northern Queensland (e.g., Cairns) will see similar temperatures to those of Brisbane, but it will be more humid, particularly when we are inside the forest. It will be a touch cooler on the Atherton Tablelands as we will be higher up, and it usually takes a while for the sun’s rays to warm us up – particularly at Chambers Wildlife Rainforest Lodges, where we are situated in a bit of a bowl. At Mareeba, it will be a similar temperature to Brisbane and Cairns but much drier. It will be very hot at Michaelmas Cay (e.g., 95  o F / 35  o C), with no shade.

The sun is strong across Australia, and care should be taken to avoid sunburn and dehydration.

We do not recommend walking around Cairns at night on your own for personal safety reasons. We will usually walk from our chosen restaurant in Cairns to our nearby hotel in the dark, but we will do so as a group. Please do not leave valuables (or anything at any time) inside the vehicle when it is parked to help reduce the risk of anyone breaking into the vehicle. Please keep a close watch on your possessions (e.g., bags, wallet, optics, etc.) when we are out and about in the city.

During the Far Northern Queensland section of this eastern Australian bird tour (e.g., once we start the Cairns section of the tour), we need to take care due to the presence of Saltwater Crocodiles that can occur in or near the smallest waterbodies; they can also be found up to 0.6 miles (1 km) away from water. At times, we will be birding within habitats that crocodiles inhabit, such as rivers (including inland rivers – “crocs” can occur over 124 miles (200 km) from the coast), coastal mangroves, and wetlands. Please do not stand close to the water’s edge or go anywhere near water at night. Crocodile warning signs are often in place and should always be adhered to. Please refer to the Croc Wise website for more information. We usually only see crocodiles when on our Daintree River boat cruise, but we could come across them in other locations, so it is best to read the information and be prepared (and do not dangle your hands in the water on the river cruise!).

Other general safety information, as referred to in the Australia general information document, should be considered, e.g., regarding snakes, etc.

WHAT TO BRING: CLOTHING AND OTHER ITEMS

The following is a list of useful items to bring on this eastern Australian birding tour and should be read in conjunction with the Australia general information document.

  • A field guide to the birds of Australia. See the general information for our recommendations for this tour.
  • Hiking pole or walking stick to help on the tracks and trails. While probably not necessary for everyone, a walking stick is compulsory for anyone who is unsteady walking , as we feel this is a safety issue. We don’t want anyone slipping on the trails or anywhere else. Please discuss with us if you are unsure whether you will need one or not.
  • Torch (flashlight) and/or headlamp (headtorch), and spare batteries, necessary for when we are making nocturnal walks and when on our Plains-Wanderer
  • High-concentration DEET insect repellant or similar.
  • A flynet for your face is very useful in some years.
  • A small personal first aid kit. See the suggested items from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), here .
  • Lightweight hiking boots are likely the best footwear for this tour. A set of sandals (flip-flops) and/or trainers would be useful for walking around some of the accommodations but are not suitable for birding time (consider snake bites, mud, slips, trips, falls, etc.).
  • Quick-drying birding clothes (in suitable colors) are the best for this tour, and a good selection of clothing layers (including sweater/jumper/fleece/coat) are also recommended for time at the higher elevations and due to the potential for cool or even cold mornings in Victoria and at elevation in southern Queensland.
  • Light rain jacket/poncho (and small umbrella) as rain could fall at any time and any location. Spring in Victoria could see rain showers or prolonged periods of rain if a weather system moves through. In Queensland, there is a slim chance of a tropical rainstorm (usually in the afternoon or at night, if at all). Thunderstorms (including hail) are not uncommon at the time of year we will be in Queensland.
  • Some of the places we stay have swimming pools, and we will have excellent and highly recommended swimming opportunities on the Great Barrier Reef, so swimwear is recommended. The reef trip company provides snorkeling gear.
  • A small hand towel or washcloth can be handy for cleaning and drying things when in the rainforest and also removing dust in drier areas. Not essential, but it can be useful.
  • A dry bag to keep valuable documents in, such as passports, cell phones, wallets, etc., as well as cameras, if it rains or is dry and dusty.

Birding Ecotours

Download Eastern Australia The Outback tour Information

AUSTRALIA GENERAL INFORMATION

Andy Walker is one of the truly exceptional guides in the world of birding. His skill at hearing and then finding birds is amazing. Couple this with an innate sense of getting his clients into the best possible position to both see and photo the given bird elevates him from "competent" to "top notch." I have been with Andy twice and intend to search him out again.

Took the "Eastern Australia: from the Outback to the Wet Tropics" tour, my first with Birding Ecotours. Itinerary fit my needs to a "T". Birds were spectacular and guides made a special effort at each stop to find the unique birds. Also bagged some fascinating fauna including tree kangaroo, platypus, koala, and echinda. Andy Walker was an excellent guide. He is personable with a great sense of humour. His ability to adapt to changing circumstances was excellent. He and his local guide knew the birds and terrain very well, optimized our birding time at each locale by knowing what key species occurred at each, and took pains to be sure everyone got on each bird.

This is the best tour I've been on in my many years of international birding! Excellent guides, good food, great accommodations! Andy was the best guide I have ever had. Knew the birds cold, was able to call them in for photo ops, great on keeping us on schedule and getting where we needed to be, when we needed to be there. Can't say enough good things about Andy.

Andy Walker was absolutely excellent. Knowledgeable, affable, organized, sense of humor, and attentive to everyone. I would go anywhere with Andy.

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Birdwatching in Australia

Pack your binoculars for a close-up view of Australia’s incredible birdlife.

By Carolyn Beasley

We’ve got dazzling desert finches, aristocratic black swans, and the hefty, flightless emu. Migratory wading birds from Europe drop in for visits and 56 types of parrot chatter through every landscape. Australia is home to some 830 species of birds; an unusual bunch, with almost half of them occurring nowhere else.

You won’t need to go far to encounter our feathered friends. Even in urban areas you can’t miss the laugh of a kookaburra, or the screech of a hundred cockatoos. Whether you prefer tours or a self-drive safari, here’s how to plan your Australian birding adventure.

Near Sydney

Sooty Terns flying over Lord Howe Island with views across to the Admiralty Islands © Zach Sanders

Lord Howe Island, New South Wales © Zach Sanders

Ranger looks through binoculars at White Lily Lagoon in Rinyirru (Lakefield) National Park © Tourism Australia

Early mornings are great for birdwatching. Most birds are more active then and will call more often, making them easier to find.  

Centennial Parklands in Sydney’s eastern suburbs provides a great introduction to the birds of Australia, with more than 120 species living in the parks and gardens dotted around the city. Join a ranger for a tour or take a leisurely stroll among the kookaburras, cockatoos, cheeky rainbow lorikeets and the purple swamphen. 

A short domestic flight away is Lord Howe Island , where the birds have no predators and are relatively fearless. The island hosts at least 168 types of resident and visiting birds, including breeding seabirds in their thousands. Conservation efforts have seen the endemic Lord Howe Island woodhen recover from near extinction, so you can enjoy the sight of these flightless rail birds for generations to come.

Near Melbourne

Penguins walking on the beach at Phillip Island Nature Park © Tourism Australia

Penguins, Phillip Island Nature Park, Phillip Island, Victoria © Tourism Australia 

Phillip Island , less than two hours’ drive south of Melbourne , has a special place in the heart of locals and visitors alike. Each day at sunset it’s penguin parade time, as the world’s smallest (and cutest) penguins shuffle and toddle from the ocean to their burrows. Join a guided tour to see this adorable event for yourself.

About an hour’s drive east of Melbourne , the Dandenong Ranges National Park is an ideal place to spot brilliant green and red king parrots and impressive yellow-tailed black cockatoos. 

As unusual as it sounds, serious twitchers should head to Melbourne’s water treatment facility, Western Treatment Plant , where the artificially enhanced wetland supports thousands of shorebirds. Expect giant flocks of pink-eared ducks, red-necked stints and migratory sandpipers. During winter, search for the critically endangered orange-bellied parrot. Self-guided visits require a permit, so it’s best to book a tour with a specialist guide.

Near Brisbane

King Parrot on a brance in Lamington National Park © Tourism Australia

King Parrot, O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat, Lamington National Park, Queensland © Tourism Australia 

A superb lyrebird in Croajingolong National Park © Echidna Walkabout

The pheasant-sized lyrebird loves to copy other birds’ calls. These avian pranksters can even mimic human noises, like car alarms.

In the Scenic Rim hinterland region west of Brisbane and the Gold Coast , UNESCO World Heritage-listed Lamington National Park has rainforest reminiscent of the ancient Gondwana continent. Choose one of the hiking trails, looking out for the glossy sheen of the satin bowerbird and the star of the show, the Albert’s lyrebird with its ornate tail. 

Drop in or stay at O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat , a historic lodge offering guided early morning bird walks that feature whipbirds and the scrub wrens. Families will love the wild bird feeding area for close encounters with outrageously coloured rosellas, king parrots and the spectacular gold and black regent bowerbird.

Near Cairns

A Southern Cassowary in Daintree National Park © FNQ Nature Tours

Southern Cassowary, FNQ Nature Tours, Daintree National Park, Queensland © FNQ Nature Tours

In Australia’s tropical north-east , Cairns is the gateway to Queensland’s Daintree Rainforest , the world’s oldest tropical rainforest. The southern cassowary, the world’s third largest bird, can be found searching for fruit within the rainforest at Cape Tribulation or perhaps in the grounds of the Daintree Discovery Centre. If you’re lucky, you may see the father bird leading his chicks. Other highlights include kingfishers around the creeks and the noisy pitta.

Don’t miss the chance to visit the Great Barrier Reef and its islands while you’re in Cairns, where you’ll find seabirds like terns and boobies. Michaelmas Cay is a raucous place, hosting up to 20,000 breeding pairs of seabirds including sooty terns, common noddies, lesser crested terns and brown boobies. The island is a national park, with only a few tour companies permitted to visit.

Near Hobart

Inala Nature Tours, Bruny Island, TAS © Tourism Australia

Inala Nature Tours, Bruny Island, Tasmania © Tourism Australia

Tasmania is an island state of towering forests, bucolic farmland, and a birdwatcher’s paradise. Just over an hour south of the capital Hobart , Bruny Island is one of the best places to spot the endangered and endemic forty-spotted pardalote. Booking a tour with an experienced company like Inala Nature Tours will vastly improve your chances of finding this tiny and wonderous bird.

On Maria Island , north-east of Hobart, Cape Barren geese were introduced from elsewhere in Tasmania, along with other animals, to create a living Noah’s Ark. Today, these wild geese roam the pastures of the island , almost unafraid of humans. Endemic species live here too, like the green rosella, and look out for the Tasmanian native-hen running past at top speed, affectionately known to locals as the “turbo chook.”

Near Adelaide

A yellow-tailed Cockatoo in a tree on Kangaroo Island © Exceptional Kangaroo Island

Yellow-tailed Cockatoo, Cygnet River, Kangaroo Island, South Australia © Exceptional Kangaroo Island

A short hop from the coast of Adelaide is Kangaroo Island , one of the best places in Australia for wildlife, including the feathered kind. Here, you’ll find the Kangaroo Island glossy black cockatoo, the only place where this subspecies is found. Join an in-depth tour to learn about cockatoo conservation and find other birdlife, ranging from seabirds to honeyeaters. 

Three-hours’ drive north-west of Adelaide is Gluepot Reserve , a former sheep station located in semi-arid country. The reserve is owned by not-for-profit organisation BirdLife Australia , and is run by volunteers. A long list of birds can be seen here, including the malleefowl, the pastel pink Major Mitchell’s cockatoo, and the chestnut quail-thrush. The best way to visit Gluepot is with a guide who knows the habitats to search for each bird.

Emus in a field near Exmouth © Tourism Western Australia

Emus, Exmouth, Western Australia © Tourism Western Australia

The vast west coast of Australia is sparsely populated, and birds can be seen from north to south. In the country’s north-west, the town of Broome is a two-and-a-half hour flight from Perth , and is the gateway to the wild Kimberley region. The Broome Bird Observatory is the self-proclaimed shorebird capital of Australia, where you’ll also see red-collared lorikeets, great bowerbirds and the rare yellow chat.

Halfway between Broome and Perth, the tourist town of Exmouth on Ningaloo Reef is a great place to see Australia’s largest bird, the emu, potentially sashaying around a caravan park or flouncing undeterred down the main street. To the south, offshore from the town of Geraldton, the Abrolhos Islands are one of Australia’s most important seabird nesting sites. The islands are best visited on a multi-day boat trip with informed nature guides, such as the Eco-Abrolhos.

Near Darwin

A flock of birds flying over wetlands at Bamurru Plains © Lords Kakadu & Arnhemland Safaris

Bamurru Plains, Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory © Lords Kakadu & Arnhemland Safaris

A magpie goose flying above wetlands in Bamurru Plains © Bamurru Plains

The best time to see birds near Darwin is during the drier months of May to October. As flooded rivers contract, the birds become concentrated in smaller areas.

Just two hours’ drive south-east of Darwin in the Northern Territory is Australia’s largest national park. Kakadu National Park is home for thousands of birds such as the brolga – which engages in elaborate dance routines – flocks of thousands of magpie geese and the striking black-necked stork (also known as the jabiru). A specialist bird guide can help you find the best places in this vast wonderland so you can make the most of your time.

Near Canberra

Two visitors walking through Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve in Canberra © VisitCanberra

Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory © VisitCanberra

Canberra , Australia’s capital city, is known as the “bush capital” – and the Australian National Botanic Gardens is a great place to spot some Aussie bush birds, perhaps on a tour . Keep an eye out for the incredible fairy-wren; the iridescent blue male appearing digitally enhanced. Also look for the endearing grey and red gang-gang cockatoos, as well as the Australian wood ducks. 

Another popular nature spot is Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve , southwest of the city. Here, blue and red rosellas flit between trees, emus stroll through grasslands, and iconic animals such as kangaroos and even platypus can be spotted as a bonus Australian wildlife encounter .

More articles like this

Two sea lions on the beach at Seal Bay Conservation Park in Kangaroo Island © Exceptional Kangaroo Island

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Wild Watch Australia

Bird Watching Tours

Bird Watching Tours

Private tours with tailor-made itineraries.

Tour suggestions    .

Wild Watch Australia offers a wide range of bird watching tours as well as wildlife, rainforest and photography tours, either scheduled or tailor-made to suit your interests. Tours are usually fully accommodated and all-inclusive but can also be with guiding only, either in vehicles approved for commercial tours or in the clients own vehicle. These can be from one day to several days or even several weeks in duration either in the tropical north Queensland region or inter-state. Other destinations include the Northern Territory, Darwin, Kakadu/Litchfield NPs, Lamington NP, Tasmania, Victoria, the Grampians, Little Desert, Hattah-Kulkyne, Wyperfeld and South Australia etc.

All tours are led by experienced professional naturalist, Jonathan Munro .

The tropical North Queensland/Cape York regions. A wide range of destinations and habitats are offered in this area including Cairns, Daintree, Southern Tablelands; Atherton and Evelyn Tablelands/Cairns Highlands, Ravenshoe and the Misty Mountains, Kuranda, Yungaburra, Ingham, Lucinda, Halifax, Moresby Range/Etty Bay, Cooktown, Cape York/Lakefield/IronRange NPs, Valley of Lagoons, the Gulf Savannah, Georgetown, Normanton/Kurumba and Lawn Hill.

Scheduled Bird Watching and Wildlife Tours….

Queensland wet tropics diversity tour.

10-day/9-nights Fully-accommodated/all-inclusive. Dates: 16th – 25th August, 2020 Includes early morning 2 hour Daintree River cruise and full day trip to Michaelmas Cay and Hastings reef on the Outer Great Barrier Reef.

Price: AUD$4,500.00 per person. Single supplement AUD$630.00. maximum 8 persons

Western Gulf Savannah; Georgetown, Normanton, Karumba and Lawn Hill.

10-days/9-nights. Fully-accommodated/all-inclusive.

Price: AUD$5,500.00 per person. Single supplement AUD$790.00

Iron Range/Lakefield/Musgrave.

Fly/Drive. 8-days/7-nights. Full-accommodated/all-inclusive.

Price: AUD$5,500.00 per person. Single supplement AUD$550.00.

Outback Gulf Savannah and Wetlands Bird Watching and Wildlife tour.

5-days/4-nights. Fully-accommodated/all-inclusive.

Price: AUD$ TBA

Some suggestions, which make the most economical and productive use of time in the tropical North Queensland and Cape York regions include the following:

Bird Watching and/or Bird Photography Tours in the Tropical North Queensland region

Fully accommodated 4-days/3-nights

Regions include:

Cairns, Atherton Tablelands, Warrigal Highland Rainforest Preserve, Misty Mountains and Daintree regions. Includes 2 hour early morning Daintree River Birding cruise. Accommodation at two locations.

Species include:

Golden Bowerbird, Tooth-billed Bowerbird, Victoria’s Riflebird, Chowchilla, Bower’s Shrike-thrush, Pied Monarch, Atherton Scrubwren, Fernwren, Macleay’s and Bridled Honeyeater etc.

Tropical North Queensland Endemics Tour

Fully accommodated 7-days/6-nights. Accommodation in 4 locations.

Areas covered include:

Cairns, Ingham, Atherton Tablelands/Cairns Highlands, Warrigal Highland Rainforest Preserve, Ravenshoe, Misty Mountains, Julatten, Carbine Tablelands and Daintree regions. Includes 2 hour early morning Daintree River Birding cruise. Add a day for Great Barrier Reef trip to Michaelmas Cay, the seabird island refuge and marine park. We would expect 225-240 species in peak season on a 7-day tour

Species include:

Cassowary, Emu, Golden, Satin, Great and Tooth-billed Bowerbirds, Victoria’s Riflebird, Wompoo, Superb and Rose-crowned Fruit-doves, Crimson Finch, White-browed Robin, White-browed Crake, Black-necked Stork, Australian Bustard, Lesser Sooty and Rufous Owl, Brolga and Sarus Cranes, Blue-faced Finch, Noisy Pitta, White-eared Monarch, Red-backed and Lovely (Fairy) Wrens etc.

Cairns and near Atherton Tablelands

Full-day. Lowlands, foothills and uplands.

Habitats include:

mud flats and mangroves along Cairns Esplanade and forshore, freshwater lagoons and swamp, feather palm and paperbark forest, upland rainforest, dry sclerophyll woodland and savannah woodland. Includes lunch at the Mareeba Wetlands

Barred Cuckoo-shrike, Double-eyed Fig-parrot (race Macleayana), Crimson Finch, Chestnut-breasted Mannikin, Little and Forest Kingfishers, Mangrove Robin, White-breasted Wood-swallow, Olive-backed (Yellow-bellied) Sunbird, Rainbow and Scaly-breasted Lorrikeets, Black Butcherbird, Yellow Oriole, Metallic Starling, Rainbow Bee-eater, Magpie-lark, Spangled Drongo, Bar-shouldered Dove, Pied Imperial Pigeon, Brown-backed and Varied Honeyeaters, Green Pygmy-goose, Comb-crested Jacana, Australian Darter, Brush Turkey, Tawny Frogmouth, Osprey, Welcome Swallow, Helmeted Friarbird and Peregrine Falcon.

Daintree and Northern Tablelands

3-days/2-nights. Includes 2 hour Daintree River birding/wildlife cruise.

Riparian/riverine, mangrove, estuarine, lowland and upland rainforest, dry sclerophyll woodland and freshwater wetlands

Great-billed Heron, Striated Heron, Double-eyed Fig-parrot (race Macleayana), Yellow Oriole, Wompoo Fruit-dove, Brown Cuckoo-dove, Little, Azure Forest and Sacred Kingfishers, White-eared Monarch, Lovely Wren, Shinning Flycatcher, Papuan Fromouth, Black-necked Stork, Cattle Egret, White-breasted Sea-eagle, Brahminy Kite, Osprey, Grey-crowned Babbler, Apostlebird, Galah, Blue-faced Honeyeater, Pale-headed Rosella, Red-tailed Black-cockatoo and in season Black Bittern, Pied Imperial Pigeon, Buff-breasted Paradise-kingfisher, Channel-billed Cuckoo, Koel etc.

Ravenshoe and the Misty Mountains

Fully accommodated 3-days/2-nights at ‘The Pond Cottage’.

Highland Rainforest, Wet and Dry Sclerophyll Woodland, Savannah/Savannah Woodland extensive freshwater wetlands, billabongs and riverine. Warrigal Highland Rainforest Preserve and surrounding region.

Victoria’s Riflebird, Golden, Satin, Tooth-billed and Great Bowerbirds, Little Lorrikeet, Chowchilla, Bower’s and Grey Shrike-thrush, White-throated (Little) and Brown (Black-backed) Treecreepers, Grey Goshawk, Pacific Baza (Crested Hawk), Pale-headed and Crimson Rosellas, King Parrot, Red-winged Parrot, Bridled, White-cheeked, Fuscous, Scarlet, and Macleay’s Honeyeaters, Eastern Spinebill, Varied Sitella, Crested Shrike-tit, Red-tailed Black-cockatoo, Owlet Nightjar, Apostlebird, Grey-crowned Babbler, Topknot and White-headed Pigeons, Wompoo Fruit-dove, Eastern Yellow, Pale-yellow and Grey-headed Robins, Fernwren, Atherton Scrubwren, White-browed Scrubwren, Painted Button-quail, Bassian and Russet-tailed Thrushes, Black-faced and Pied Monarhs, Mountain and Buff-rumped Thornbills, Common Bronzewing and Squatter Pigeons, Wedge-tailed Eagle, Brolga and Sarus Cranes, Australian Bustards, Emu, Magpie Geese, Green and Cotton Pygmy-geese, Hardheads and whistling ducks etc

Lakefield National Park and Musgrave

Fully accommodated 5-days/4-nights.

extensive freshwater wetlands (billabongs), floodplain, savannah, savannah woodland, monsoon (gallery) forest, riverine/riparian, mangroves and the inter-tidal zone.

Golden-shouldered Parrots, possible Palm Cockatoo, Black-backed Butcherbird, Red Goshawk, Black-breasted Buzzard, Emu, White-streaked, Banded, Red-headed, Rufous-throated, Rufous-banded and Bar-breasted Honeyeaters, Star, Masked, Black-throated, the white-bellied form of Crimson Finch and occassional Gouldian Finches, Red-browed Pardalote, Comb-crested Jacana (the Lotusbird), Radjah Shelducks, Wandering and Plumed Whistling ducks, Pink-eared Duck, Common Bronze-wing, Black-necked Stork, Black-winged Stilt, Australian Pratincole, Oriental Plover, Southern Boobook, Barking and Grass Owls, Papuan Frogmouth, Owlet, Large-tailed and Spotted Nightjars, White-breasted Sea-eagle, Wedge-tailed Eagle, Brolga and Sarus Cranes and numerous waders

Iron Range and Lakefield National Park

Fly one way, drive the other. Fully accommodated 8 days/7-nights. 4-nights Iron Range, 3-nights Musgrave.

Fly-in/Fly-out. Fully accommodated 5-days/4-nights.

monsoon (gallery) forest, riparian/riverine, estuarine, heathland, dry sclerophyll woodland, mangroves, freshwater lagoons and paperbark swamps.

Palm Cockatoo, Eclectus Parrot, Red-cheeked Parrot, Double-eyed Fig-parrot (race Marshalli) , Magnificent Riflebird, Trumpet Manucode, Yellow-billed and Azure Kingfishers, Fawn-breasted Bowerbird, Marbled Fogmouth, Red-bellied and Noisy Pittas, Frilled and Black-winged Monarchs, Chestnut-breasted Cuckoo, White-faced Robin, Green-backed, Tawny-breasted and White-streaked Honeyeaters, Tropical Scrubwren, Mangrove Robin, Collared Kingfisher and Grey Goshawk.

Lower Cape York Bird Watching Tour

Fully accommodated, 7-days/6-nights. Daintree, Cooktown and Lakefield National Park. Accommodation in three locations. Includes early morning 2 hour Birding Daintree River cruise .

riparian/riverine, mangrove, estuarine, lowland and upland rainforest, dry sclerophyll woodland and freshwater wetlands.

Great-billed Heron, Striated Heron, Double-eyed Fig-parrot, Noist Pitta, Yellow Oriole, Wompoo Fruit-dove, Brown Cuckoo-dove, Little, Azure Forest and Sacred Kingfishers, White-eared Monarch, Lovely wren, Shinning Flycatcher, Papuan Fromouth, Black-necked Stork, Cattle Egret, White-breasted Sea-eagle, Brahminy Kite, Osprey and in season Black Bittern, Pied Imperial Pigeon, Buff-breasted Paradise-kingfisher, Channel-billed Cuckoo, Koel etc. Habitats for Lakefield/Lotusbird Lodge include extensive freshwater wetlands (billabongs), savannah, savannah woodland, monsoon (gallery) forest, riverine/riparian, mangroves and the inter-tidal zone.

Species also include Golden-shouldered Parrots, possible Palm Cockatoo, Black-backed Butcherbird, Red Goshawk, Black-breasted Buzzard, Emu, White-streaked, Red-headed, Bar-breasted and Banded Honeyeaters, Star, Masked, Black-throated, the white-bellied form of Crimson Finch and occassional Gouldian Finches, Red-browed Pardalote, Comb-crested Jacana (the Lotusbird), Radjah Shelducks, Wandering and Plumed Whistling ducks, Pink-eared Duck, Common Bronze-wing, Black-necked Stork, Black-winged Stilt, Australian Pratincole, Oriental Plover, Southern Boobook, Barking and Grass Owls, Papuan Frogmouth, Owlet, Large-tailed and Spotted Nightjars, White-breasted Sea-eagle, Wedge-tailed Eagle, Brolga and Sarus Cranes.

Please Note:

*** Please note that a number our bird species migrate to south-east Asia and beyond. Most do not return to the Tropical North Queensland region until around the end of August/early September and depart again in late February to mid-March depending on weather conditions prevailing at the time. There are exceptions; the Buff-breasted Paradise-kingfisher seldom arrive before the first week in November and most adults have usually departed by late February/early March. The Red-bellied Pitta of the monsoon forests of Iron Range/Cape York frequently arrive very late around early to mid-December. A few individuals appear to over-winter as we have found and photographed them in August and September. We have not however, heard over-wintering birds calling……!

Georgetown and the Gulf Savannah

Fully accommodated 4-days/3-nights. Can be added to 1, 2 or 5.

savannah/savannah woodland, freshwater wetlands etc.

Species possible include:

Masked, Black- throated, Zebra, Double-barred, Plum Headed and occassionally Gouldian Finches, Pictorella Mannikin, Red-backed Kingfisher, Varied Lorrikeet, Cockatiel, Budgerigar, Squatter and Spinifex Pigeons, Ground Cuckoo-shrike.

Lawn Hill, Normanton/Kurumba, Georgetown and the Western Gulf Savannah.

Fully accommodated 10-days/9-nights

 Wetlands and Waterbirds Tour

Valley of Lagoons and Minnamoolka Swamp.

best bird watching tours australia

An Australian wildlife tour will open your eyes to a whole new world of nature. From glowing red cliffs, to sugar sand beaches, the outback, to the coral reefs, Australia has it all. And with wildlife so varied and unique — think kangaroos, potoroos, and cockatoos — it’s no wonder Australia beckons nature enthusiasts from around the world. We are pleased to offer Australian birding tours and Australian nature tours to the heart of wild Australia. If one of our Australia tours or other Australasian nature tours catches your eye, contact one of our travel planners today.

Guided Group Tours

Group travel is rewarding and fun! With more eyes you see more species. Travel Planners of Naturalist Journeys have been creating memorable journeys for 40+ years. We offer you small-group birding and nature tours, limited to just 8-13 persons led by expert guides. Learn and explore with like-minded people, enjoy local food and culture, and immerse yourself in birding and nature.

Kangaroo, Australia, Australia Nature Tour, Australia Wildlife Tour, Australia Birding Tour, Naturalist Journeys

Conservation Corner

We value conservation – it is at the heart of our work. All Naturalist Journeys’ tours support local conservation projects. Browse the links below to learn more about positive local work to save and conserve the wildlife and landscapes we visit.

Western Australia Forest Alliance Over 70% of Australia’s landscape is privately held, and Karri forest logging poses a threat to local wildlife species. To counter that threat the Western Australia Forest Alliance , a coalition of community organizations, is dedicated to the protection of Western Australia’s forests and woodlands. Birds in Danger Current threats to Australian birds include coastal development, habitat fragmentation, breeding habitat disturbance, fire and burning, inadequate and poorly timed water flow in managed rivers, invasive species, and predicted impacts of climate change. A broad partnership of bird conservation organizations developed an action plan titled Birds in Danger to turn the tide for threatened species. Bush Heritage Australia Bush Heritage Australia is one of the country’s oldest conservation organizations, dedicated to preserving Australia’s unique wildlife and wild lands. Through land purchase and conservation partnerships, they currently protect over 6-million hectares of the most ecologically important, threatened, and biodiverse lands in the country. BirdLife Australia BirdLife Australia are watchdogs for bird conservation across the nation.

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Birding Tours Australia

Christmas Island & Cocos-keeling Islands

Torres strait – boigu, saibai, dauan and ugar, upcoming pelagic expeditions, local tours, birding tours australia, australia’s local and offshore wildlife and birdwatching specialists.

Australia has about 900 endemic/migratory species and our tour area is home to over 300 of these at different times of the year. Our 1 or 2 day tours are an excellent way of seeing many of Australia’s unique bird species.

Birding Tours Australia operates several specific trips around Newcastle, The Hunter Valley and Sydney. Newcastle sits just north of Sydney and is surrounded by easily accessible and superb birding habitat once you’ve escaped the Sydney city area.  We can also organise custom tours around New South Wales, anywhere in Australia or in fact anywhere in our local part of the world (PNG, Solomons, Lesser Sundas, New Britain & New Ireland).  Our customised tours in recent years have ranged from 1 day to 6 weeks.  No Australian bird is too hard for us to look for.  Whether you need to see specific Australian endemics or families we can organise your logistics and itinerary without fuss.  We can even organise a private Night Parrot search if you’re dedicated enough!

We also specialise in Australia’s offshore territories and conduct tours to Christmas Island, Cocos-keeling Islands, North Keeling, Lord Howe and Norfolk as well as the Torres Strait Islands of Boigu, Dauan and Saibai, as well as several pelagic trips.

Explore our Tours

All our tours can be conducted at a pace to suit your needs from relaxed to extreme, but all will concentrate on locating as many species as possible across various habitats.

Imperial Pigeon

Christmas & Cocos Islands

Australia’s remote indian ocean territories.

Red-capped Flowerpecker (R.Baxter)

Torres Strait

Visit australia’s two most northerly inhabited islands.

Blue Petrel

Pelagic Expeditions

Remote sea birding expeditions.

Gouldian Finch

Incredible birdlife on our doorstep

Meet your guides.

Your tour guides are well known Australian birders Richard Baxter & Phil Hansbro. They are both young (relatively!!!), fit & very knowledgeable about the local birds. They are extremely friendly, helpful & approachable.

Richard Cocos

Richard Baxter

As well as an avid birder Richard is an exceptional organizer and will make sure that everything goes to plan on what ever trip you participate.

phil

Phil Hansbro

Phil’s high level identification expertise stems from working with these birds in Australia and in over 60 countries spanning every continent.

Birdwatch Australia

Birdwatch Australia

Birdwatching tours in australia.

best bird watching tours australia

Birding Tours South Australia

South Australia has over 450 species of birds which makes it such an amazing place to go birdwatching. We offer a half-day tour, full day tour and overnight birdwatching tour; all in different regions of the state. All the tours are completely private being only the guide and you and your guests, which means we can get really up and close with the birds and wildlife! No tour buses or multiple groups means that you can learn more, see more and customise the birding tour to your liking. Plus, as part of the tours you’ll get all the photos taken on the day completely free!

Deep Creek Birding Tour

Coorong birding tour, gluepot reserve tour, birds in adelaide.

Adelaide and the surrounding regions of South Australia is home to a huge variety of birdlife making it an ideal place for twitchers to explore. Adelaide is home to gorgeous birds like fairy wrens, lorikeets, flycatchers, kookaburras, nightowls, rosellas, eagles and so much more! The further state provides ample opportunities for birding and wildlife spotting and Birdwatching Australia is here to help you with our private guided tours. With tours in Deep Creek National Park, Coorong National Park and Gluepot Reserve; we are aiming to bring as much diverse experiences to the birdwatching community and people looking at trying a birdwatching tour. These places have been chosen for their diverse species lists and exciting landscapes, making for great outtings. 

Bird Photography Tours Australia

Having worked with professional wildlife photography in Australian Tourism industry we have had a blast taking wildlife and birdlife photos over many years. We wanted to bring our passion of bird photography and Australian travel together to create private small-group guided birding tours where guests can be shown the best spots for capturing photos. Whether you want a photo of a White-Bellied Sea Eagle or want to get close to some Royal Spoonbills; there is a tour to suit you.

best bird watching tours australia

Birdwatching in South Australia

South Australia’s diversity in landscapes and habitats is what makes it such a great home for the variety of birdlife found here. Whether it’s coastal, woodlands, forests, grasslands or deserts the different areas all come with their own collection of birds, wildlife and landscapes to explore.

Birdwatchers Adelaide

Like any place in the world you’re bound to find a few birders in the area. Luckily, in Adelaide we don’t have to travel far for some good exploration and sightseeing trips. I started Birdwatchers Australia to combine my passion of travel and birdwatching, and hopefully provide more people with the joy of birdwatching through quality private tours. These tours let me meet people who are keen birdwatchers and are looking for some guidance on where to find a particular specie, but also meet people who want to get into this hobby and learn more about birds, wildlife and the regions they’re visiting.

best bird watching tours australia

Best birdwatching in South Australia

There are a great spots for birdwatching in SA but I would definetely pick Deep Creek National Park and Coorong National Park as my favourite. I feel these two locations give you so much opportunity to see the widest variety of birds in the most accessible form. Deep Creek and Coorong National Park have such different habitats meaning the list of birds in these areas is very different. Deep Creek’s woodland and dramatic coastline will have you find birds like Honeyeaters, Fairy-Wrens, Thornbills, Wedge Tail Eagles, White Bellied Sea Eagles, Whistlers and Kookaburras.

Whilst Coorong’s shoreline, beaches, sand dunes, lakes and coastal lagoons will have you finding Pelicans, Swans, Egrets, Herons, Spoonbills, Grebes, Terns, Stints, Avocets and even Emus walking the white sand beaches. These two locations make for fantastic outtings and if you’re looking for private guided birdwatching tours then you’re in luck! We chose Deep Creek and the Coorong for our first locations due to the incredible variety that you’ll see and the different sightseeing opportunities these regions offer.

Best birding Spots in South Australia

South Australia is home to plenty of amazing bird watching locations and here are our favourite nine birding spots in the state.

best bird watching tours australia

Deep Creek National Park

best bird watching tours australia

Coorong National Park

best bird watching tours australia

Gluepot Reserve

Private birdwatching tours australia.

Our private birding tours have been created for bird enthuasiasts and amatuers looking to get in the space. Having been on plenty of birding expeditions over the years as my passion grew, I have found my personal favourite locations for seeing certain bird species and best hidden gems for landscape photography. I want to help more twitchers and nature-passionate travelers experience these amazing places and incredible wildlife by creating half-day tours, full-day tours and overnight tours.

best bird watching tours australia

Tours in South Australia

Our goal is to provide the best birdwatching tours in South Australia by keeping the groups small (only you and your guests) and prioritising your tour needs. Whether you want to focus on finding a particular specie or you want to learn more about an area, we can accommodate and customise the tour for your group so you have the best possible experience. With a few tours currently running in South Australia, and looking to expand in different regions across the state, we hope to create a tour option for anyone with a birding or wildlife passion who’s looking for an outdoor expedition.

Affiliate disclaimer:

Please note that Birdwatch Australia is an affiliate to Bellbird Tours to provide clients for the birding tour located at Naiko Retreat. We may receive commission, but at no extra cost for you when you submit the form which goes to Bellbird Tours and end up making a purchase.

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Birdwatching Tours Northern Territory Australia, Darwin Kakadu, Kimberley Logo

NT Bird Specialists Tours

Join the Northern Australian specialists on birdwatching and photographic safaris.

Important Note

 Spaces are limited so get in early.

We’ll design your ideal private itinerary or you can join our genuine small group tours with like-minded guests.

Our specialist bird guide Luke Paterson holds incredible birding skills, acute sight and hearing and excellence in customer service and satisfaction, making him one of Australia's best bird guides and tour operators. Expert local knowledge of the flora and fauna helps Luke Paterson find guests their target species and experiences.

We know there are different kinds of bird watchers, wildlife photographers and nature-lovers, and luckily, we can guide you all.

Advantages of touring with NT Bird Specialists

  • Multi award-winning tour operators and professional bird guiding team
  • Seeking endemic, rare and iconic birds and wildlife in a diverse range of tropical habitats (over 400 bird species in the region)
  • Capturing brilliant photographic moments
  • Safety and comfort from our experienced and professional team
  • Enjoying flexibility during private tours and tailored itineraries
  • Genuine ecotourism, low impact tours that support the environment and local communities
  • Enjoying excellent interpretation and customer services
  • Travelling to stunning remote natural landscapes, largely unpopulated by people
  • Immersing in your surroundings while cruising rivers, wetlands and lakes
  • Fresh, healthy and home-cooked meals
  • Hotels, luxury or camping options to suit everyone's taste
  • Modern spacious and luxurious commercial tourist vehicles
  • Making the most out of daylight hours, optimising time spent in the field
  • Experiencing ancient and modern aboriginal cultures, occupation and rock art sites
  • Exploring World Heritage National Parks
  • Birds! Birds! Birds! Birds! Birds!
  • Assurance of touring with an award-winning Australian Accredited Tourism Business and Licensed Commercial Tour Operator

Tour Categories Select your preferred category

best bird watching tours australia

Bird Watching Tours

Take a look

Birdwatch the best birding locations northern Australia has to offer with our award-winning local expert guide, Luke Paterson.

Find out more

best bird watching tours australia

Photography Tours

Each tour is designed to capture jaw-dropping photos in the tropical outback.

best bird watching tours australia

Wildlife & Nature Tours

Nature-lovers interested in exploring a broad range of unique bird, wildlife and cultural highlights in remote tropical regions will love these tours.

best bird watching tours australia

Group Tours & Calendar

Enjoy affordable Birding and Wildlife adventure tours with like-minded guests.

best bird watching tours australia

Private Tours & Tailored Itineraries

Prefer a private service or already have a target species in mind? Enjoy taking your time or need to get that photo? Have other interests besides birdwatching?

best bird watching tours australia

Sri Lanka - Birdwatching & Wildlife Safaris

Join us to explore world class nature tourism destinations. We know where to find endemic birds and wildlife in Sri Lanka.

best bird watching tours australia

Borneo Birding & Wildlife EcoTours

Join us to explore Asia's best birding and mammal locations with Malaysian Borneo Bird Guides, while staying in Borneo's deluxe and luxury eco resorts.

About our Tours

Our tours are fully accommodated and inclusive of all meals. We dine in natural bush settings and local restaurants and proudly support the locally owned and indigenous businesses that we partner with.

All tours listed can be booked as private itineraries for varying special-interest levels, or we can tailor-make your personalised itinerary to suit your needs. View our international Sri Lanka itineraries too.

Rest assured with our award-winning team, as we combine over 39 years experience in the Northern Territory and Kimberley regions when packaging our genuine small group and custom ecotours, so you have more time to view wildlife and soak up your surroundings in comfort. Our services in special-interest nature tourism are amongst the best on offer. Come and experience it for yourself.

Tour Inclusions

From the moment we pick you up from your hotel in darwin, until we drop you off again..

  • Experienced and professional award-winning bird guide and tour operation
  • Excellence in guiding skill and local natural history knowledge
  • Private tailored itineraries or small groups (maximum 6 or 8 guests). Please enquire for larger group bookings.
  • All accommodation while on multi-day tours
  • All tours and cruises stated in itinerary
  • All meals on tour (please notify us of allergies at time of booking)
  • Cool water, tea and coffee (alcoholic beverages excluded)
  • Hotel pick up and drop off
  • Transport in a comfortable air-conditioned vehicle
  • Take home bird list
  • Spotting scope, binoculars and field guides to share
  • National Park permits and entry fees
  • Emergency communications and first-aid kit
  • Assurance of travelling with an award-winning Australian
  • Accredited Tourism Business and Licensed Commercial Tour Operator and Vehicle

Highlights of touring with NT Bird Specialists

  • Numerous opportunities to capture brilliant photographic moments
  • Enjoying flexibility during private tours
  • Making the most out of daylight hours, optimising time spent in the outback
  • Genuine small group touring

Tour Exclusions

  • Airport taxes
  • Airport transfers
  • Accommodation (that is not specifically listed in the tour itinerary)
  • Internet charges
  • Phone calls
  • Passport and visa fees
  • Food/drinks not stated on the itinerary
  • Evening meal drinks (incl. Alcoholic beverages)
  • Excess baggage and activities
  • Personal shopping
  • anything not specified in your itinerary are excluded from the price of the tour.

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NT Bird Specialists’ Scheduled Departures 2018

best bird watching tours australia

  • Why Choose Us
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Bellbird Tours

Perth Area Guided Birding

privately guided birding tours on request

best bird watching tours australia

Perth Birding Tours

In the far south-west of Australia lies one of the world’s most isolated cities: Perth. To its north are inhospitable outback deserts. To its south is one of Australia’s best birding locations, where a great number of species occur that cannot be found elsewhere in the country, including 15 endemics.

These include Short-billed and Long-billed Black-Cockatoos, Western Corella, Red-capped Parrot, Western Rosella, Western Wattlebird, Western Spinebill, Gilbert’s Honeyeater, Red-winged Fairywren, Red-eared Firetail, Western Thornbill, Western Fieldwren and White-breasted Robin; and the infamous skulking trio: Noisy Scrub-bird, Western Whipbird and Western Bristlebird. Other good species to be found in the wider region include Southern Emuwren, White-cheeked Honeyeater, Western Yellow Robin, Western Whistler, Blue-breasted Fairywren, Rufous Treecreeper and (Western) Crested Shrike-tit, as well as Regent, Elegant & Rock Parrot.

Birdwatching Tour in Western Australia

Let our local guide design your birdwatching day-tour (or longer) around Perth and in the south- west region, taking in a range of habitats in the Perth area, including urban wetlands, jarrah forest and woodlands, the coast and the Swan River. On a day trip, expect to see 80-110 species, including 8-10 endemics, depending on the season and the weather.

A guided birding tour around Perth is the best way to find most, if not all, of the area’s sought-after species. Let us arrange customised private guiding for one or more day, starting from and returning to your accommodation in or near Perth.

Scroll down to contact us for further information, or to check availability and rates for your privately guided Perth birding tour.

Birdlife in Perth

  • Western Corella, Red-capped Parrot, Western Rosella, Western Wattlebird
  • Western Spinebill, Gilbert’s Honeyeater, Red-winged Fairywren, Red-eared Firetail
  • Noisy Scrub-bird, Western Whipbird and Western Bristlebird
  • Western Yellow Robin, Western Whistler, Blue-breasted Fairywren, Rufous Treecreeper

best bird watching tours australia

Enquire for a Perth birding tour

Australian Birdwatching

A guide to birding Downunder

Australian Birdwatching Blog

Uncategorized

 by admin · Published 17/08/2020

Australian Field Guides Author Field Guide Edition Publisher Simpson & Day Field Guide to Birds of Australia 8th Edition Viking (Penguin) Pizzey & Knight The Field Guide to Birds of Australia 9th Edition Harper...

Queensland Guides

 by admin · Published 16/08/2020 · Last modified 17/08/2020

Sicklebill Safaris

Sicklebill Safaris has been specialising in small group & individual bird, wildlife & photographic tours around Australia and to a number of overseas destinations for well over 20 years. We offer a range of ready...

Interstate Companies

 by admin · Published 16/08/2020

Bellbird Birding Tours

Expert bird guiding Specialised birding tours Australia wide Flexible tailored options to suit a range of budgets Bellbird Birding Tours specialises in top-quality small-group birding tours throughout Australasia. First started by Peter Waanders in...

Western Australia Information

Christmas Island

Christmas Island is one of the world’s truly spectacular tropical seabird rookeries.  It’s not just the number and variety of seabirds of their magnificent splendour that make the island so remarkable, but also their...

South Australia Accommodation

 by admin · Published 15/08/2020 · Last modified 16/08/2020

Wings Barossa Bird & Bush Retreat

Peace – Nature – Comfort A 2-storey, 3-bedroom country homestead on 170 acres that’s exclusively yours to enjoy. Birdwatching & bushwalking on your doorstep. Extensive marked trails with abundant wildlife. A total experience – not just...

 by admin · Published 14/08/2020 · Last modified 15/08/2020

Banrock Station

On the shore of the Murray River, in South Australia, Banrock Station is home to a vineyard and the Wine and Wetland Centre for the public to enjoy wines and al-fresco dining, while overlooking...

QLD Activities

 by admin · Published 14/08/2020

Birdworld Kuranda

Birdworld Kuranda is a mixed emersion, free flight exhibit conveniently situated in the heart of Kuranda Village.  It houses over 350 Australian Native and Exotic birds ranging from parrots to finches and waterbirds.  It...

 by admin · Published 05/08/2020 · Last modified 16/08/2020

Inala Nature Tours

With 25 years’ experience, Inala Nature Tours specialises in designing and leading small group and personalised nature tours throughout Australia. Our exceptional birding, wildlife and photography tours are designed and led by Dr Tonia...

Tasmania Accommodation

 by admin · Published 05/08/2020

Inala Country Accommodation

All 12 Tasmanian endemic bird species can be seen when you stay with us at Inala on Bruny Island. Owned by a birder and run for birders, this 1,500 acre “Land for Wildlife” sanctuary is home...

 by admin · Published 05/08/2020 · Last modified 17/08/2020

South Australia Guides

 by admin · Published 29/07/2020 · Last modified 16/08/2020

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best bird watching tours australia

best bird watching tours australia

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  • Eupetidae – Rail-Babbler
  • Eurylaimidae – Broadbills
  • Formicariidae – Antthrushes
  • Fringillidae – Finches, Seedeaters, Euphonias & Allies
  • Furnariidae – Ovenbirds
  • Grallariidae – Antpittas
  • Hirundinidae – Swallows & Martins
  • Hyliotidae – Hyliotas
  • Hylocitreidae – Yellow-flanked Whistler
  • Hypocoliidae – Hypocolius
  • Icteridae – Oropendolas, Orioles, Blackbirds & Allies
  • Ifritidae – Blue-capped Ifrit
  • Incertae Sedis – Uncertain Families
  • Irenidae – Fairy-bluebirds
  • Laniidae – Shrikes
  • Leiothrichidae – Turdoides Babblers, Laughingthrushes, Barwings & Sibias
  • Locustellidae – Grassbirds & Allies
  • Machaerirhynchidae – Boatbills
  • Macrosphenidae – Crombecs, Longbills & African Warblers
  • Malaconotidae – Bushshrikes, Tchagras, Puffbacks & Boubous
  • Maluridae – Australasian Wrens
  • Melampittidae – Melampittas
  • Melanocharitidae – Berrypeckers & Longbills
  • Melanopareiidae – Crescent-chests
  • Meliphagidae – Honeyeaters
  • Menuridae – Lyrebirds
  • Mimidae – Mockingbirds, Thrashers & Allies
  • Mohoidae – O’os
  • Mohouidae – Whitehead, Yellowhead & Brown Creeper
  • Monarchidae – Monarchs, Paradise Flycatchers & Allies
  • Motacillidae – Longclaws, Pipits & Wagtails
  • Muscicapidae – Old World Flycatchers
  • Nectariniidae – Sunbirds & Spiderhunters
  • Neosittidae – Sitellas
  • Nicatoridae – Nicators
  • Notiomystidae – Stitchbird
  • Oreoicidae – Australasian Bellbirds
  • Oriolidae – Old World Orioles, Pitohuis & Figbirds
  • Orthonychidae – Logrunners & Chowchilla
  • Pachycephalidae – Whistlers & Allies
  • Panuridae – Bearded Reedling
  • Paradisaeidae – Birds-of-paradise
  • Paramythiidae – Painted Berrypeckers
  • Pardalotidae – Pardalotes
  • Paridae – Tits & Chickadees
  • Parulidae – New World Warblers
  • Passeridae – Old World Sparrows
  • Pellorneidae – Fulvettas, Ground Babblers & Allies
  • Petroicidae – Australasian Robins
  • Peucedramidae – Olive Warbler
  • Philepittidae – Asities
  • Phylloscopidae – Leaf Warblers & Allies
  • Picathartidae – Rockfowl
  • Pipridae – Manakins
  • Pittidae – Pittas
  • Pityriaseidae – Bristlehead
  • Platysteiridae – Wattle-eyes & Batises
  • Ploceidae – Weavers, Widowbirds & Allies
  • Pnoepygidae – Wren-babblers
  • Polioptilidae – Gnatcatchers
  • Pomatostomidae – Australasian Babblers
  • Prionopidae – Helmetshrikes
  • Promeropidae – Sugarbirds
  • Prunellidae – Accentors
  • Psophodidae – Whipbirds, Jewel-babblers & Quail-thrushes
  • Ptilogonatidae – Silky-flycatchers
  • Ptilonorhynchidae – Bowerbirds & Catbirds
  • Pycnonotidae – Bulbuls
  • Regulidae – Goldcrests & Kinglets
  • Remizidae – Penduline Tits
  • Rhagologidae – Mottled Berryhunter
  • Rhinocryptidae – Tapaculos
  • Rhipiduridae – Fantails
  • Sapayoidae -Sapayoa
  • Scotocercidae – Streaked Scrub Warbler
  • Sittidae – Nuthatches
  • Stenostiridae – Fairy Flycatchers
  • Sturnidae – Starlings, Mynas & Rhabdornis
  • Sylviidae – Sylviid Babblers, Parrotbills & Fulvettas
  • Tephrodornithidae – Woodshrikes & Allies
  • Thamnophilidae – Antbirds
  • Thraupidae – Tanagers & Allies
  • Tichodromidae – Wallcreeper
  • Timaliidae – Babblers
  • Tityridae – Tityras, Becards & Allies
  • Troglodytidae – Wrens
  • Turdidae – Thrushes
  • Tyrannidae – Tyrant Flycatchers
  • Urocynchramidae – Przevalski’s Finch
  • Vangidae – Vangas
  • Viduidae – Indigobirds & Whydahs
  • Vireonidae – Vireos, Greenlets & Shrike-babblers
  • Zosteropidae – White-eyes, Yuhinas & Allies
  • Accipitridae – Kites, Hawks & Eagles
  • Aegothelidae – Owlet-nightjars
  • Alcedinidae – Kingfishers
  • Alcidae – Auks
  • Anatidae – Swans, Geese & Ducks
  • Anhimidae – Screamers
  • Anhingidae – Darters
  • Anseranatidae – Magpie Goose
  • Apodidae – Swifts
  • Apterygidae – Kiwis
  • Aramidae – Limpkin
  • Ardeidae – Herons, Egrets & Bitterns
  • Balaenicipitidae – Shoebill
  • Brachypteraciidae – Ground Rollers
  • Bucconidae – Puffbirds
  • Bucerotidae – Hornbills
  • Bucorvidae – Ground Hornbills
  • Burhinidae – Thick-knees & Stone Curlews
  • Cacatuidae – Cockatoos
  • Capitonidae – New World Barbets
  • Caprimulgidae – Nightjars & Nighthawks
  • Cariamidae – Seriemas
  • Casuariidae – Cassowaries
  • Cathartidae – New World Vultures
  • Charadriidae – Plovers, Lapwings & Dotterels
  • Chionidae – Sheathbill
  • Ciconiidae – Storks
  • Coliidae – Mousebirds
  • Columbidae – Doves & Pigeons
  • Coraciidae – Rollers
  • Cracidae – Chachalacas, Curassows & Guans
  • Cuculidae – Old World Cuckoos
  • Diomedeidae – Albatrosses
  • Dromadidae – Crab Plover
  • Dromaiidae – Emu
  • Eurypygidae – Sunbittern
  • Falconidae – Falcons, Kestrels & Caracaras
  • Fregatidae – Frigatebirds
  • Galbulidae – Jacamars
  • Gaviidae – Divers or Loons
  • Glareolidae – Coursers & Pratincoles
  • Gruidae – Cranes
  • Haematopodidae – Oystercatchers
  • Heliornithidae – Finfoots & Sungrebe
  • Hemiprocnidae – Treeswifts
  • Hydrobatidae – Northern Storm Petrels
  • Ibidorhynchidae – Ibisbill
  • Indicatoridae – Honeyguides
  • Jacanidae – Jacanas
  • Laridae – Gulls, Terns & Skimmers
  • Leptosomatidae – Cuckoo Roller
  • Lybiidae – African Barbets
  • Megalimidae – Asian Barbets
  • Megapodiidae – Megapodes
  • Meropidae – Bee-eaters
  • Mesitornithidae – Mesites
  • Momotidae – Motmots
  • Musophagidae – Turacos, Plantain-eaters & Go-away-birds
  • Numididae – Guineafowl
  • Nyctibiidae – Potoos
  • Oceanitidae – Austral Storm Petrels
  • Odontophoridae – New World Quails
  • Opisthocomidae – Hoatzin
  • Otididae – Bustards, Floricans & Korhaans
  • Pandionidae – Ospreys
  • Pedionomidae – Plains Wanderer
  • Pelecanidae – Pelicans
  • Pelecanoididae – Diving Petrels
  • Phaethontidae – Tropicbirds
  • Phalacrocoracidae – Cormorants & Shags
  • Phasianidae – Pheasants, Grouse, Partridges & Allies
  • Phoenicopteridae – Flamingos
  • Phoeniculidae – Wood Hoopoes & Scimitarbills
  • Picidae – Woodpeckers
  • Pluvianellidae – Magellanic Plover
  • Pluvianidae – Egyptian Plover
  • Podargidae – Frogmouths
  • Podicipedidae – Grebes
  • Procellariidae – Petrels, Diving Petrels & Shearwaters
  • Psittacidae – African & New World Parrots
  • Psittaculidae – Old World Parrots
  • Psophiidae – Trumpeters
  • Pteroclidae – Sandgrouse
  • Rallidae – Rails, Crakes, Gallinules & Coots etc.
  • Ramphastidae – Aracari, Toucans & Toucanets
  • Recurvirostridae – Avocets & Stilts
  • Rheidae – Rheas
  • Rhynochetidae – Kagu
  • Rostratulidae – Painted Snipe
  • Sagittariidae – Secretarybird
  • Sarothruridae – Flufftails
  • Scolopacidae – Woodcock, Snipe, Sandpipers & Allies
  • Scopidae – Hammerkop
  • Semnornithidae – Toucan Barbets
  • Spheniscidae – Penguins
  • Steatornithidae – Oilbird
  • Stercorariidae – Skuas or Jaegers
  • Strigidae – Owls
  • Strigopidae – New Zealand Parrots
  • Struthionidae – Ostriches
  • Sulidae – Gannets & Boobies
  • Thinocoridae – Seedsnipe
  • Threskiornithidae – Ibises & Spoonbills
  • Tinamidae – Tinamous
  • Todidae – Todies
  • Trochilidae – Hummingbirds
  • Trogonidae – Trogons & Quetzals
  • Turnicidae – Buttonquails
  • Tytonidae – Barn & Grass Owls
  • Upupidae – Hoopoes
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  • Fatbirder’s Birding Advice

best bird watching tours australia

Western Australia (WA) is a state occupying the entire western third of Australia. It is bounded by the Indian Ocean to the north and west, the Great Australian Bight and Southern Ocean to the south, the Northern Territory to the northeast and South Australia to the southeast. Western Australia is Australia’s largest state with a total land area of just under a million square miles and is the second-largest country subdivision in the world, surpassed only by Russia’s Sakha Republic – however, a significant part of it is very sparsely populated. The state has about 2.76 million inhabitants, around 10% of the national total. Around 2.2 million of them live in or around Perth in the south-west corner of the state. The central two-thirds of the state is arid and sparsely inhabited. The only significant economic activities are is mining & resources, tourism, agriculture and fisheries.

Most of the state is a low plateau with an average elevation of about 1200 feet and much of the land is covered in soil with low fertility. The southwest coastal area has a Mediterranean climate. It was originally heavily forested. This agricultural region is one of the nine most bio-diverse terrestrial habitats, with a higher proportion of endemic species than most other equivalent regions. Thanks to the offshore Leeuwin Current, the area is one of the top six regions for marine biodiversity and contains the most southerly coral reefs in the world. Average annual rainfall varies from 12 inches at the edge of the Wheatbelt region to 55 inches in the wettest areas near Northcliffe, but from November to March, evaporation exceeds rainfall, and it is generally very dry. Plants are adapted to this as well as the extreme poverty of all soils. Annual rainfall averages less than 10 inches, most of which occurs in sporadic torrential falls related to cyclone events in summer.

An exception to this is the northern tropical regions. The Kimberley has an extremely hot monsoonal climate with average annual rainfall ranging from 20 to 60 inches, but there is a very long almost rainless season from April to November. Eighty-five percent of the state’s runoff occurs in the Kimberley, but because it occurs in violent floods and because of the insurmountable poverty of the generally shallow soils, the only development has taken place along the Ord River. The highest observed maximum temperature in the state was 50.5 °C and the lowest minimum temperature recorded was −7.2 °C, at Eyre Bird Observatory.

The Flora of Western Australia comprises over 11,000 native vascular plant species. They occur within around 1,500 genera from over 200 families; there are also over 1,250 naturalised alien or invasive plant species (weeds). In the southwest region are some of the largest numbers of plant species for its area in the world. Specific ecoregions of Western Australia include: the sandstone gorges of The Kimberley on the northern coast and below that areas of dry grassland (Ord Victoria Plain) or semi-desert (Western Australian Mulga shrublands), with Tanami Desert inland from there. Following the coast south there is the Southwest Australia savanna and the Swan Coastal Plain around Perth, and then farther south the Warren on the southwest corner of the coast around the wine-growing area of Margaret River. Going east along the Southern Ocean coast is the Goldfields-Esperance region, including the Esperance grasslands and the Coolgardie grasslands inland around town of Coolgardie.  

Birding Western Australia

Western Australia covers an area larger than Western Europe. More than 550 bird species have been recorded including 18 endemics and three endemic sub species that may be recognised as full species. There are many other near endemics, migratory species and other highly sought-after species.

Most birders enter Western Australia by flying to Perth. Perth has a surprising number of good birding sites within the metropolitan area or within a two-hour drive. There are a large number of wetlands on the Swan Coastal Plain including Lake Monger, Herdsman Lake, Bayswater (Eric Singleton) Bird Sanctuary, Bibra Lake and Alfred Cove. Most of the southwest endemics can be found at Wungong Gorge and Bungendore State Forest in the Darling Range. Rottnest Island is worth a day trip, and Penguin Island is also worth a visit if you are in the Rockingham area. The best areas for birds are the southwestern corner of the state and the area around Broome and the Kimberley.

Broome is outstanding for the waders, summer migrants and mangrove species and Kununurra is outstanding for the finches, parrots, honeyeaters and water birds. Derby is well worth a day visit from Broome, and Wyndham from Kununurra. The Kimberley coast is spectacular with up to an 11-metre tidal range and some isolated rainforest patches. The Kimberley Coastal Camp is an unforgettable place to visit.

Most of the Western Australian endemics occur in the southwest. A common itinerary is Perth to Dryandra State Forest, to Stirling Range National Park, to Fitzgerald River National Park, to Cheyne Beach and Waychinicup Nature Reserve near Albany, to Cape Leeuwin at Augusta via Mt Barker, Rocky Gully and Manjimup, to Cape Naturaliste and back to Perth. The Stirling Ranges National Park is another excellent area. The Mandurah and Pinjarra areas are very good especially in summer.

Further to the south east there are excellent birding opportunities from Hyden to Norseman, Esperance and the Eyre Bird Observatory. Another common itinerary north of Perth is Perth to Kalbarri National Park, to Monkey Mia at Shark Bay, to Carnarvon, back to Geraldton and across to Cue via Yalgoo and Mt Magnet, and back to Perth via Payne’s Find and Wubin. There are also very good birding areas in the Pilbara such as Port Hedland, Millstream Chichester National Park, Karajini National Park and Cape Range near Exmouth.

Broome Bird Observatory

Cheyne beach / waychinicup, dryandra state forest, kununurra / wyndham, frank o’connor.

(Modified by Fatbirder 2018) | [email protected]

Number of bird species: 646

Number of endemics: 22, avibase - the world bird database, western australian museum.

best bird watching tours australia

Birding Sites Around Perth

Birds of western australia: field guide, common birds of the kimberley, handbook to the birds of western australia, volume 1: non-passerines: emu to dollarbird, handbook to the birds of western australia, volume 2: passerines (blue-winged pitta to goldfinch), pocket field guide to birdlife of western australia, western australian bird notes, eyre bird observatory, macquarie university, nature conservation, birdlife western australia, denmark bird group, western australian naturalists’ club.

Abbreviations Key

*Western Aiustralia National Parks

*western australia nature reserves, np dryandra woodland, np fitzgerald river, np kalbarri, np millstream chichester, np stirling range, np waychinicup nature reserve, nr eric singleton bird sanctuary, nr lake mclarty, nr wadjemup / rottnest island, birdline western australia, birding in western australia, ebird australia, australia-naturally travel, australian geographic, bellbird birding tours, birding ecorours, coates wildlife tours, lake argyle cruises, naturalist journeys, perth birds and bush, rockjumper birding, sicklebill safaris, 2015 [11 november] - chris lotz, 2019 [12 december] - andy walker - southwest, 2022 [09 september] - glen valentine - southwest extension, 2023 [09 september] - birding the wild west, 2023 [10 october - andrew walker, red moon sanctuary, beacon birding sites, hamelin a hotspot for birders, movements and genetics of grey falcons, perth's birds and where to find them, urban birdwatching guide to perth, leeuwin current birding, photographer - marcel de jong.

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To Tropical Birding Australia

Are you a visitor to Australia who wants to experience the finest wildlife, birding and nature photography that the continent has to offer? Maybe you are an Australian targeting rarities in the remote central Outback, or perhaps you prefer to simply dabble around Cairns with a non-birding partner? With over 20 years experience in over 70 countries, we can make it all happen. Our combination of local knowledge and understanding of international expectations, make us your go to company in Cairns and Australia.

We are part of the TROPICAL BIRDING TOURS worldwide family

We do Bird tours Australia, Birding Tours Australia, Birding tours Tasmania, Birding Tours Mt Isa, Bird Watching Tours Australia, Australia Bird Tours, Custom Bird Tours Australia, Bird Watching Tours,  Brisbane Birding, Wildlife Tours Australia, Australian Bird Guide, Bird Photography Tours Australia, Bird Photography Tours Queensland, Birding Brisbane, Cape York Bird Tours, Bird Tours Cape York, Birding Tours Cape York, cape York Birding Tours, Photography Tours Cape York, Iron Range Birding, Lockhart River Birding.

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    Roebuck Bay is one of the most important sites for migratory shorebirds in the world. Spectacular flocks can be seen from BirdLife Australia's Broome Bird Observatory, along with a colourful array of bush birds such as red-collared lorikeets, great bowerbirds and the rare yellow chat. Top birds: yellow chat, white-breasted whistler, eastern ...

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    3. Daintree Rainforest, QLD. More than 400 bird species can be found in the Daintree region of far north Queensland. Keen birdwatchers can see nine out of 10 Australian kingfisher species along with honeyeaters, herons, robins, parrots and cassowaries.