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Queensland

Cassowary
Southern Cassowary Casuarius casuarius ©Andy Walker Website

Birding Queensland

Queensland is the second-largest and third-most-populous state in the Commonwealth of Australia. Situated in the north-east of the country, it is bordered by the Northern Territory, South Australia and New South Wales to the west, south-west and south respectively. To the east, Queensland is bordered by the Coral Sea and Pacific Ocean. The state is the world's sixth largest sub-national entity, with an area of 1,852,642 km2 and a population of 4,750,500, concentrated along the coast and particularly in the state's South East.

Queensland has many areas of natural beauty, including the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast, home to some of the state's most popular beaches; the Bunya Mountains and the Great Dividing Range, with numerous lookouts, waterfalls and picnic areas; Carnarvon Gorge; Whitsunday Islands; and Hinchinbrook Island. The state contains six World Heritage-listed preservation areas: Australian Fossil Mammal Sites at Riversleigh in the Gulf Country, Gondwana Rainforests of Australia, Fraser Island, Great Barrier Reef, Lamington National Park and the Wet Tropics of Queensland.

Nobody, local or foreigner, can really say they've birded Australia until they've spent some quality time in Queensland. As the second largest state and the one with the largest bird list [over 600 species] it should be an essential part of any Australian itinerary. The state boasts some 20 endemic species plus many more specialties including Australian endemics and some exotic northern species shared only with New Guinea. Riflebirds, Bowerbirds, Cassowary, Chowchillas, Pittas, Manucodes, Monarchs, Fruit-doves, Parrots and Kingfishers are just some of the birds that can be enjoyed. Add to this classic mammals like echidnas, platypus, kangaroos and koalas and Queensland becomes the perfect destination for any naturalist.

Queensland is so huge it is difficult to know where to start first so a brief overview of the regions and their geography may be useful. The state can be divided into five key regions each with their particular habitats and attendant species; southeast, northeast, southwest, northwest and the Cape York Region. The eastern regions are separated from the west by the inaptly named Great Dividing Range. The eastern regions are separated by the Tropic of Capricorn. The Cape York Region dominates the extreme north of the state and its bird fauna has strong affinities with New Guinea. Most visitors will arrive in one of the easterly cities, either Brisbane in the south or Cairns in the far north. Both eastern regions boast a World Heritage area, many National Parks, a great diversity of habitats and a correspondingly rich avifauna. Each area, too, has its own endemics.

West of the Divide birders experience the scale of this vast country and see some of the arid vegetation that defines so much of the continent. The scrublands and desert grasslands of the outback should not be ignored as many nomadic wide-ranging species, such as honeyeaters and raptors, may be found there. Care needs to be taken in the outback, as the distance between towns and amenities is great. Travellers should be prepared to be independent and their vehicles need to be reliable. The Cape York Region is still very much a great wilderness that cannot be explored without serious preparation and planning. Access is determined by the seasons; in the Wet roads are virtually impassable. For the adventurous though there are great rewards - a birding trip to the Cape will never be forgotten.

Birding in Queensland is generally quite easy and comfortable. There is a wide range of accommodation and amenities to suit a range of travellers' tastes and budgets. Australia has no shortage of quality field guides having four; each identified by their respective authors; Morcombe, Slater, Simpson & Day and Pizzey and Knight. There are quite a few reputable birding guides and tour operators in Queensland and their local knowledge and experience is worth considering especially when time is limited.

Top Sites

Atherton Tablelands

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The Atherton Tablelands are justly famous for terrific birding - the area is a mix of farmland, bush, scrub, remnant forest etc. with a number of reserves and lakes brilliant for wetland species. It is a very diverse area with consequently diverse avifauna.

Bowra

Website

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Great arid land birding

Cairns Esplanade

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The miles of mud are, in the right seeason, one of the very best places to see waders anywhere in the world. Not only are many thousands of birds present but the diversity of species is astonishing. This really is a must-visit site.

CP Townsville Town Common

Webpage

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This is an area of bush and wetland that, even when it is dry is a marvelous place for wetland species, arboreal birds, passerines and, in particular, for hundreds of Brolga and virtually guarantied bustards.

Daintree

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The heart of the tropical north and a great place to centre your visit upon. The dense rainforest areas are not as alive with birds as one might suppose and hot spots need to be sussed out. Open areas and forest edge are often better birding with top species on hand such as Lesser Sooty Owl and Gould's Shining Cuckoo.

Lake Awoonga

Information

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Feathered, furry or scaled, Lake Awoonga is home to a thriving array of native animals. Most noticeable at Lake Awoonga are the numerous species of birds (almost 200). This means that around 25% of Australia`s bird species can be found in the region. The Southern Squatter Pigeon is listed as vulnerable and of conservation significance and fifteen species are listed on International Migratory Conservation Agreement Lists. Lake Awoonga is arguably one of the most important near-coast bird refuges on the East Coast of Australia.

Mount Molloy & Mount Lewis

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This area bridges the dry and wet areas of Northern Queensland and so are brilliantly diverse in the range of bird species… from Blue-faced Finches to Papuan Frogmouths, Buff-breasted Kingfishers to Golden-headed cisticolas it is one of Australia's very best birding areas.

Contributor

Lloyd Nielsen

2011 Updates

Mt Molloy

lloydnielsen@westnet.com.au

Birding Australia

Ian Clayton

Townsville

bbtours@austarnet.com.au

Number of Species

Number of bird species: 630

State Bird - Brolga Grus rubicunda

Endemics

Number of endemics: 27

Buff-breasted Button-quail Turnix olivii
Golden-shouldered Parrot Psephotus chrysopterygius
Lesser sooty-owl Tyto multipunctata
Australian swiftlet Aerodramus terraereginae
Spotted Catbird Ailuroedus maculosus
Tooth-billed catbird Ailuroedus dentirostris
Golden bowerbird Prionodura newtoniana
Kalkadoon Grasswren Amytornis ballarae
Rusty Grasswren Amytornis rowleyi
Lovely fairywren Malurus amabilis
White-streaked honeyeater Trichodere cockerelli
Yellow-spotted honeyeater Meliphaga notata
Bridled honeyeater Bolemoreus frenatus
Eungella honeyeater Bolemoreus hindwoodi
Yellow honeyeater Stomiopera flava
Macleay's honeyeater Xanthotis macleayanus
Fernwren Oreoscopus gutturalis
Atherton scrubwren, Sericornis keri
Mountain thornbill Acanthiza katherina
Chowchilla Orthonyx spaldingii
Bower's shrikethrush Colluricincla boweri
Pied Monarch Arses kaupi
Frill-necked Monarch Arses lorealis
Victoria's riflebird Ptiloris victoriae
White-browed Robin Poecilodryas superciliosa
Black-throated Finch Poephila cincta
Pale Crimson (White-bellied) Finch Neochmia evangelinae

Useful Reading

A Field Guide to Reptiles of Queensland

By Steve K Wilson | New Holland Publishers | 2015 | Paperback | 304 pages, colour photos, b/w line drawings, colour distribution maps |

ISBN: 9781921517488

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Birds of Brisbane

By Greg Czechura | Queensland Museum | 2008 | Paperback | 68 pages, 138 colour photos, 1 b/w illustration, 1 colour map |

ISBN: 9780977594375

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Birds of Queensland's Birds of Lamington National Park and Environs

(A Guide's Guide) | By Lloyd Nielsen | 1991 | Paperback | 144 pages, b/w illustrations |

ISBN: 0646066099

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Birds of the Wet Tropics of Queensland & Great Barrier Reef & Where to Find Them

By Lloyd Nielsen | 2015 | Edition 2 | Paperback | 397 pages, colour illustrations, colour distribution maps |

ISBN: 9780957988156

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Field Guide to the Birds of Cairns and Tablelands

(English/Japanese) By Jun Matsui | Roppon-Ashi Entomological Books | 2018 | 352 pages, plates with colour photos |

ISBN: 9784829988114

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Pocket Field Guide to Birdlife of Queensland

By Michael Morcombe | Steve Parish Publishing | 2017 | Paperback | colour photos, colour illustrations, colour distribution maps, colour maps |

ISBN: 9781925243321

Buy this book from NHBS.com

The Australian Bird Guide

By Peter Menkhorst, Danny Rogers & Rohan Clarke | Illustrated by Jeff Davies, Peter Marsack & Kim Franklin | Bloomsbury | 2017 | Paperback | 566 pages, ~250 plates with 4700+ colour illustrations; colour distribution maps |

ISBN: 9781472912350

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Where to find Birds in North-East Queensland

Now by Ian Montgomery published as an ebook at: http://www.birdway.com.au

Organisations

BirdLife Australia - Queensland

Website

BirdLife Australia has branches throughout Australia to share local interest and awareness….

BirdLife Bundaberg

Information

BirdLife Bundaberg covers a general area known as the Wide Bay in south east Queensland. Our district is an excellent place to see lots of birds. Our branch has outings at the end of every month except December and January.

BirdLife Capricornia

Information

BirdLife Capricornia has a membership from the Capricorn Coast, Rockhampton, Gladstone and out to the far west towns of Longreach and Winton. We focus on local bird activities such as field trips throughout the area, conservation actions to protect bird life, education activities to inform the local population and joint projects with local conservation groups to reach a wider audience. We also encourage family involvement with junior activities and family friendly day trips.

BirdLife Mackay

Information

BirdLife Mackay (previously MACBOCA) is based in the Central Queensland coastal city of Mackay, 1000km north of Brisbane. Club activities include monthly outings to destinations such as Eungella National Park, Conway National Park, Cape Hillsborough National Park and other sites throughout the area.

BirdLife Northern Queensland

Information

BirdLife Northern Queensland encompassing western and far northern Queensland, the Gulf, Cape York and the Torres Straits. The Branch pursuits include monitoring activities in the Important Bird Areas, education and recreational birding…

BirdLife Southern Queensland

Information

We extend some 400 km down the east coast of southern Queensland from Maryborough to the NSW border and west 1700 km to the NT border past Birdsville…

BirdLife Townsville

Information

Townsville is situated on the coast in tropical north Queensland, Australia roughly 400 kilometres south of Cairns and 1350 kilometres north of Brisbane. BirdLife Townsville has an active membership of about 60, some of who have received national recognition for their work in bird conservation. The members live mainly in the Townsville region and conduct regular bird counts and studies in the local area.

Birds Queensland

Website

(Formerly Queensland Ornithological Society) The objectives of the society are to promote the scientific study and conservation of birds by all means possible, with particular reference to the birds of Queensland..

Birdwatchers of Hervey Bay

Webpage

The Birdwatchers of Hervey Bay are a very friendly group and welcome anyone to join the weekly outings each Wednesday at 7 am (summer) 7.30 am (winter). Outings are advertised each week in the local free newspapers and the venues are varied and diverse. For further information, telephone John Knight (07) 4125 2372

C4 Community for Coastal & Cassowary Conservation

Website

The constant pressure of development on Crown Land at Mission Beach, all of which is now critical cassowary habitat, was the impetus for a group of twelve locals to get together to form Mission Beach's first incorporated conservation group, the Movement for Responsible Coastal Development.

NPAQ National Parks Association of Queensland

Website

NPAQ advocates for the protection, expansion and good management of the protected areas in Queensland; offers a bushwalking and outdoor recreation activity program; and provides opportunities to participate in community conservation and Citizen Science projects.

Queensland Conservation Council

Website

As the states peak non-government environment group since 1969 we coordinate within the conservation sector in Queensland to be a voice for the environment. Our mission is to protect, conserve and sustain Queensland’s unique natural environment, making sure that our wildlife, rivers and landscapes continue to thrive for future generations.

Queensland Wader Study Group

Website

The Queensland Wader Study Group (QWSG) was established in 1992 as a special interest group within Birds Queensland, to monitor wader populations in Queensland and to work towards their conservation.

The Queensland Naturalists' Club

Website

Meets at the Toowong Uniting Church Hall. 82 Sherwood Road, Toowong.

Toowoomba Bird Observers

Facebook Page

Toowoomba Bird Observers is a good active bird club in SE Queensland

Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland

Website

Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland is a community environmental organisation with a wonderfully diverse and postcard dedicated team of members, volunteers, supporters and staff united by a deep passion for wildlife and conservation. We have a proud history in standing up for what we believe in and campaigning for the survival of species and ecosystems. If you see Wildlife Queensland or WPSQ around the place – that’s us, for short!

Reserves

Abbreviations Key

FS Carrowong

Webpage

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Carrowong Fauna Sanctuary is privately funded, locally owned and dedicated to the rehabilitation and conservation of native rainforest wildlife. We know the rainforest, it's where we live, and our original wildlife tours continue to lead the way in rainforest ecotourism. All tours are led by local wildlife specialists. An educational and entertaining experience is guaranteed.

NP Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill)

Webpage

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The park is classiified by BirdLife International as an Important Bird Area. It is home to more than 140 bird species, including the Great Bowerbird, Red-collared Lorikeet, Crimson Finch, Zebra Finch, Kestrel, Spinifex Pigeon, Barking Owl, Brolga, Budgerigars, and the Wedge-tailed Eagle. It supports a large population of the Carpentarian Grasswren and small numbers of the Painted Honeyeater. The rare Purple-crowned Fairy-wren is the park emblem.

NP Crater Lakes

Webpage

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Crater Lakes National Park comprises of two separate sections—Lake Barrine and Lake Eacham. Both sections protect clear, blue crater lakes surrounded by cool rainforest.

NP Daintree

Website

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Daintree National Park is a vast area of tropical rainforest wilderness in Far North Queensland, Australia. This rainforest is of immense biological value to the wider scientific community due to its incredible biodiversity and high levels of endemism – that is its concentration of plant and animal species that are found nowhere else on the planet. Daintree National Park houses the oldest rainforest on the planet – the closest living counterpart to the forests that once covered the ancient supercontinent of Gondwanaland.

NP Danbulla NP & SF

Webpage

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The Tableland Yidinji and Dulguburra Yidinji Aboriginal people welcome you to Danbulla and ask that you respect their special place.

NP Gadgarra

Webpage

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Gadgarra National Park protects a variety of habitats that support species of conservation significance such as the southern cassowary and Herbert River ringtail possum, as well as migratory birds visiting from around the world. The park continues to provide visitor opportunities. The Dulabed and Malanbarra Yidinji people are involved in ongoing park management.

NP Great Sandy

Information

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Great Sandy National Park is divided into two sections. The Cooloola section is situated on the coast between Noosa Heads in the south and Rainbow Beach in the north and covers 18,400 hectares (45,000 acres). The K'gari (Fraser Island) section encompasses almost all of the world's largest sand island, Fraser Island, situated north of Rainbow Beach, covering 56,000 hectares (140,000 acres).

NP Great Sandy - Fraser Island

Website

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The K'gari (Fraser Island) section encompasses almost all of the world's largest sand island, Fraser Island, situated north of Rainbow Beach, covering 56,000 hectares (140,000 acres).

NP Hinchinbrook Island

Webpage

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The cloud-covered mountain spine of the island is cloaked in fragile heath, and patches of lush rainforest and fragrant eucalypt woodlands descend to mangrove-fringed channels. The coastline is adorned with sweeping bays that meet golden beaches and rocky headlands. Rugged mountain streams and thunderous waterfalls dot the landscape and the waters surrounding the island are rich with colourful fringing reefs and lush seagrass beds.

NP Kirrama

Information

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Kirrama National Park is a national park in Minnamoolka, Tablelands Region of Far North Queensland, Australia. The park protects rugged mountain landscapes, lush tropical rainforest and open eucalypt forests. It forms part of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. The park lies with the water catchment area of the Burdekin River. There are a diverse range of plants and animals found in the area.

NP Koombooloomba

Webpage

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Endangered wet schlerophyll forest, dry forest and upland rainforest surrounding Koombooloomba Dam are protected in these parks and are part of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area.

NP Kuranda

Information

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Kuranda National Park provides habitat for the endangered southern cassowary, the rare Lumholtz's tree-kangaroo and the Victoria's riflebird.

NP Lamington

Webpage

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Bird lists with illustrations etc…

NP Little Mulgrave

Information

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The park protects primary , tropical rainforest that thrives along the eastern edge of the plateau of the Atherton Tablelands . It extends from 50 meters above sea level, near the village of Little Mulgrave in the coastal lowlands, to over 1000 meters at the foot of Mount Haig . The tropical vegetation is home to a variety of animals, over 52 different species of birds have been observed.

NP Mount Lewis

Webpage

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Mount Lewis, one high rainforest-clad mountains of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, is a treasure trove of unique and endemic wildlife. The area between the Mount Lewis and Atherton Tableland is especially diverse. The beautiful upland rainforest dates back to the evolution of flowering plants on earth. Some flowers are indicative of Australia’s link with the ancient landmass of Gondwana.

NP Mount Windsor

Information

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NP Mowbray

Information

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Mowbray is a national park in Queensland, Australia, 1441 km northwest of Brisbane. The park forms part of the Wooroonooran Important Bird Area, identified as such by BirdLife International because it supports populations of a range of bird species endemic to Queensland’s Wet Tropics.

NP Tully Gorge

Webpage

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The Aboriginal Traditional Owners of this area—the Jirrbal and Gulnay people—welcome you to Tully Gorge National Park. The Traditional Owners continue their cultural obligations and ask that visitors respect and care for the area.

NRf Bimblebox

Website

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The membership fee is a one-off payment of $10 per person. The Bimblebox Alliance Inc. (TBA Inc) was formed in 2014 with the goal to protect the Bimblebox Nature Refuge and other Protected Areas through conservation and other activities. Bimblebox Nature Refuge is located in western Central Queensland and is one of the few remaining undisturbed ecosystems of this type in the Eastern Desert Uplands bioregion. For more information on the Nature Refuge please contact Paola on phone 07 49853459 or 07 49853474 or email bimblebox@gmail.com.

NRf Mareeba Tropical Savanna and Wetland

Website

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The Reserve, which is a designated Nature Refuge recognised by the QP&WS, is known locally as the Mareeba Wetlands and lies within the traditional Country of the Muluridji people; protecting over 5000 acres of savannas and wetlands and providing a sanctuary for much of tropical Australia's savanna and wetland flora and fauna, as well as its cultural heritage.

SF Abergowrie

Webpage

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Plant-lovers will be spoilt for choice in the rainforest. On the wheelchair-accessible boardwalk on the Rainforest walk, wander amongst fan palms, black beans, strangler figs and bird's nest ferns. Listen and look for all your favourite rainforest birds, such as noisy pittas, wompoo pigeons, emerald doves, orange-footed scrubfowl and spotted catbirds.

SF Cardwell

Webpage

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Rugged mountain scenery, lush tropical rainforest, dry open forest, pine plantations, creeks and waterfalls are protected in Cardwell State Forest in the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area.

WR Tinchi Tamba

Webpage

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Tinchi Tamba Wetlands Reserve is over 380 hectares in size and is part of a network of coastal wetlands on the edge of Moreton Bay. The wetlands are located 19 kilometres north of the Brisbane CBD, between Pine River and Bald Hills Creek and includes tidal flats, mangroves, salt-marshes, melaleuca wetlands, grasslands and open forest.

WR Tyto

Website

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Birding and wildlife in Tyto Wetlands Nature Reserve, Ingham, North Queensland. 230-plus bird species; 12 snakes…

WS Bowra

Webpage

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Bowra supports over 300 species of native vertebrate animals including a number of species near their eastern or western range limits, such as the Striated Grasswren, Blue-Winged Parrot, Desert Spadefoot Toad, Striped Skink, Pebble Dragon and Little Red Flying-Fox. The diversity of species is a consequence of the sanctuary’s location, straddling both the Warrego River Plains and the West Warrego ecological provinces, and the associated suite of habitats. The bird fauna at Bowra is prolific (more than 200 species) and includes nine threatened species. All four species of Australian babblers are present and the rare Grey Falcon breeds on the sanctuary.

WS Currumbin

Website

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Sculptured from seventy acres of Australian bushland, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is home to hundreds of native birds and animals, many of them endangered. Every year hundreds of thousands of local and overseas visitors enjoy a memorable day with nature at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary.

Forums & Mailing Lists

Birdline Central & Southern Queensland

Sightings & News

Birdline Central & Southern Queensland is a site for the reporting of rare or unusual birds outside their normal range, unusually high or low numbers, early or late arrivals or departures for migrant species and interesting behaviour or unusual habitat usage. The BSCQ region covers a large area from south of Ayr to the New South Wales Border and west to the Northern Territory border.

Birdline North Queensland

Sightings & News

Birdline North Queensland is a site for the reporting of rare or unusual birds outside their normal range, unusually high or low numbers, early or late arrivals or departures for migrant species and interesting behaviour or unusual habitat usage. The coverage for the Birdline North Queensland site is from Bowen west to the Northern Territory border and north to the tip of Cape York Peninsula and includes all the offshore islands. We encourage any one with a long list of species to enter them into Eremaea eBird.

Guides & Tour Operators

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

Alan's Wildlife Tours

Tour Operator

Your Naturalist and Guide is Alan Gillanders, specialising in tree-kangaroos, birds and nocturnal mammals on the beautiful Cairns Highlands, North Queensland, Australia. Alan does mammal tours and is the best by far for mammals in the Wet Tropics…

Araucaria Ecotours

Website

We began running ecotours in May 1997, with just one product, the 3-day wildlife tour, in a 5-seater vehicle, advertised by photocopied fliers to backpacker hostels. Soon after, we purchased an 8-seater minibus, started our first website, and achieved eco-accreditation for our tour. Travelers who could not stay in Queensland long enough for our 3-day tour started asking about day-tour possibilities, so we added three of these (bird-watching, bush-walking and Coochiemudlo Island) and soon had advanced eco-accreditation for all four tours. We achieved our first tourism award in 2002 and have won other awards since then. All our tours have now achieved advanced eco-accreditation…

Birding Southern Queensland

Tour Operator

Since the late ‘seventies, I have birded in many regions of the world (although the ‘biodiversity’ of Central and South America still beckons!) and from 1987 to 2014 I made South-East Queensland my home, where I took many ‘Australian’ and ‘overseas’ birders to view the great array of rare and exciting avian-life such as Black-breasted Button-quail, Marbled Frogmouth, White-eared Monarch, Sooty and Powerful Owl (amongst others).

Birdwatching Tropical Australia

Facebook Page

Enjoy a full day bird watching Port Douglas local area, moving from the coast to the higher altitudes of Julatten and Mt Lewis. We search for some of the 430 species of birds found in the Wet Tropics and Cairns region, 12 of which are endemic to the area. Alternativley or as a second day we visit the dry savannah areas and wetlands between Lake Mitchell and Mt Carbine.

Cairns Birdwatching

Tour Operator

From some of the world's smallest parrots and kingfishers to the largest of cuckoo's, to birds that can see in the dark and pigeons more colourful than Amazonian parrots the Daintree region is central to many of the most exciting birds in the world. After breeding in the high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere shorebirds and waders fly longer distances than the international traveller to be here in summer…

Cape York Birding Adventures

Tour Operator

This is a fantastic, personal and comfortable way to see the best of Cape York’s outstanding birdlife and great Australian landscapes. From the tropical rainforests of the Daintree on the East coast to the beautiful red landscapes of Weipa on the Western tip of Cape York. Some of the special birds often encountered include, Star and Black-throat Finch, Golden-shouldered Parrot, Black-backed Butcherbird, Palm Cockatoo, Red Goshawk, Eclectus Parrot, Yellow-billed Kingfisher, Northern Scrubrobin, Yellow-legged Flycatcher, Red-cheeked Parrot, Banded, Rufous-banded, Green-backed and Tawny-breasted Honeyeaters just to name a few.

Cassowary Tours

Website

We specialise in small group birding tours to some of the most exciting locations in Australia including Cape York/Iron Range, Cairns and the Atherton Tablelands, North West Queensland, and the South West…

Close Up Birding Adventures

Tour Operator

From the misty green highlands of the Atherton Tablelands, habitat of many endemic and sought-after species such as Golden Bowerbird and Fernwren, to the heart of Cape York, studded with termite mounds and home to our signature species the Golden-shouldered Parrot, Chook (David Crawford) has a comfortable accommodated tour to suit you….

Daintree River tours

Boat Trips

Dawn And Early Morning Rainforest And Wetland Wildlife Tours. Daintree Valley alone is home to 225 species. Daily dawn river cruises average 50 bird species in winter, and 40 in summer, with regular reptile sightings and nocturnal mammals as an added bonus.

Eyes on Wildlife

Tour Operator

Eyes on Wildlife offers birding and wildlife tours in Far North Queensland, Australia. We have an exceptional biological diversity in which few other regions in the world can compete with. The Great Barrier Reef, Daintree National Park and the Atherton Tablelands are the best known destinations around Cairns, but Far North Queensland has so much to discover it can dazzle even the most experienced naturalist!

Gondwana Guides

Website

Gondwana Guides is a Tour Guiding company owned and operated by Barry Davies specializing in Birdwatching, Wildlife, Bushwalking, Environmental Interpretation and Educational tours. Lamington National Park and the World Heritage Gondwana Reserves of Australia are our backyard but we take tours anywhere in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific….

Sicklebill Safaris

Website

We offer small group tours and customised trips for birding enthusiasts. Whether you are a keen lister, a bird-family specialist, a beginner birder, or just have a general interest in natural history we will have something for you. Join us on a ready made tour, work with us on deciding a guided itinerary especially for you and your group or let us help you plan your "self-drive" trip. We specialise in Australia, New Guinea and the Pacific Region with occasional forays into S. E Asia, Africa and the Middle East…

Tony's Tropical Tours

Tour Operator

4 Day - 3 Night Tour Starting In The Daintree Rainforest Roam through the heart of the DaintreeSwim in crystal clear rainforest waters Stay One Night In Historic Remote Cooktown Stay At Lotus Bird Lodge See Some Of Australia's Unique Wildlife and Birdlife Quinkan Aboriginal Rock Paintings Pickup And Return To Accommodation.

Wild Watch Australia

Tour Operator

WildWatch operates a birding and wildlife (and photography) guiding business out of Cairns. In addition to conducting excursions in the Cairns and Tablelands region, they also run tours to Cape York, Iron Range, Kakadu, Tasmania and most other notable birding spots around Australia.

Trip Reports

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

CloudBirders

Trip Report Repository

CloudBirders was created by a group of Belgian world birding enthusiasts and went live on 21st of March 2013. They provide a large and growing database of birding trip reports, complemented with extensive search, voting and statistical features.

2004 [04 April] Fatbirder - Birding Brisbane

Report

This is a report on a brief sojourn in the Brisbane area as part of a more extensive birding trip in Australasia…

2004 [04 April] Fatbirder - Birding Queensland's Wet Tropics

Report

A week's stay around Cairns and Daintree with some guiding proved productive despite the season…

2012 [10 October] - Janene Luff - Capertee Valley

Report

…The Rufous Songlarks metallic call rang back and forth together with what would be our mainstay over the weekend, the Little Lorikeets (apart from White-plumed Honeyeaters) but we "nailed" them well and truly with great views whilst feeding in the flowering White Box…

2012 [10 October] - Janene Luff - Macquarie Marshes

Report

…We did have beautiful views of a male Golden Whistler in radiant plumage and the female was close at all times. Waratahs bloomed back along the road as a colony of Bell Miners rang out a glorious morning. Lewin's Honeyeater called on departure…

2013 [11 November] - Julian Thomas

Report

...At lunch at the café I kept a close eye on the Crimson Rosellas – rewarding enough in itself, but I’d been warned about their pincer movements, where one approaches from the front, distracting you while another sneaks in from the side and raids your plate. I may have been wise to this, but it left me defenceless when a male Regent Bowerbird came in from the blindside and landed on my hand to pinch part of the fishburger I was holding in it at the time! Not that I minded – I just wish I’d had my camera to hand...

2013 [12 December] - Julian Thomas

Report

…At lunch at the café I kept a close eye on the Crimson Rosellas – rewarding enough in itself, but I’d been warned about their pincer movements, where one approaches from the front, distracting you while another sneaks in from the side and raids your plate. I may have been wise to this, but it left me defenceless when a male Regent Bowerbird came in from the blindside and landed on my hand to pinch part of the fishburger I was holding in it at the time! Not that I minded – I just wish I’d had my camera to hand…

2014 [10 October] - Jay VanderGaast

Report

We kicked things off in Cairns, where birds are simply everywhere, even in the heat of the day. The Esplanade right across from our city hotel is an amazing place, and I just love walking along there, enjoying the birds and all the activity going on. Amid all the joggers, cyclists, skateboarders, picnickers, musicians, etc., we saw a ton of great birds there, including a great variety of shorebirds of course: both Lesser and Greater sandplovers, Terek Sandpiper, Gray-tailed Tattler, and Great Knot, to name but a few. Other Esplanade treats included a gorgeous male Rose-crowned Fruit-Dove in the mangroves, all those busy Torresian Imperial-Pigeons, a sleepy looking Rufous Owl, a pair of Collared Kingfishers, and some confiding Mangrove Robins...

2015 [07 July] - Philip Maher - Atherton Tablelands & Iron Range

Report

Cairns’ famous esplanade was our first port of call, just a stone’s throw from our accommodation, the Mercure Harbourside. While overwintering waders weren’t plentiful, we did pick up bar-tailed godwit, grey-tailed tattler, great knot and eastern curlew. The mangroves to the north end of the esplanade afforded us great views of at least three pairs of mangrove robins and a pair of collared kingfishers. An osprey flew over carrying a fish to its nest.

2015 [12 December] - Joshua Bergmark

PDF Report

Landed bang on time in Cairns at 4pm, and dumped our bags before heading straight for the esplanade. A few trees en route gave us Metallic Starling, White­throated Honeyeater, Hornbill Friarbird and Yellow Honeyeater. Walking north along the esplanade at low tide produced all the expected waders, and searching the northern mangrove edges gave us great views of Torresian Kingfisher, Torresian Imperial Pigeon, Varied Honeyeater and a nearby pair of Double­eyed Fig Parrots feeding at close range, but we unfortunately only heard Rose­crowned Fruit Dove and Mangrove Robin. We attempted to reach a local Rufous Owl roost but we were only halfway there when the monsoon caught up with us, and we decided to stay put under a small hut until it stopped raining just after sunset. Bush Stone­curlews on a field after dinner underneath hundreds of Spectacled Flying Foxes ended the day on a high.

2016 [10 October] - Alan Gillanders

PDF Report

...An early morning pre-breakfast excursion to Cairns Centenary Lakes turned up both the local megapods, numerous ducks, pigeons and Collared Kingfisher (now Torresian). After breakfast we took the road north to cross the Daintree River, stopping for lunch in Mossman and eating it by the river where more birds were heard than seen. The ‘flood debris’ nest of Large-billed Gerygone was a fascination....

2016 [11 November] - Sam Woods

PDF Report

...excellent views of two enormous Southern Cassowary at both Etty Bay and Cassowary House; the hills north of Cairns also yielded a wonderful Noisy Pitta that allowed us to ‘scope it while calling from the forest canopy, and also provided us with our first Yellow-breasted Boatbill, and only White-eared Monarch of the tour; the feeders at Cassowary House also hosted an iridescent male Victoria’s Riflebird and several Spotted Catbirds, both seen to within a meter of us; a beautiful Rose-crowned Fruit-Dove watched calling in the telescope from the mangroves in Cairns; a minimum of four Buff-breasted Paradise Kingfishers were seen in Daintree; a nesting Papuan Frogmouth from a river trip in that area, which shared the headlines on the cruise with a Pied Monarch; several male Australian Bustards strutting in the savannas of the Outback...

2017 [07 July] - Aidan Powell

Report

...The wildlife is amazing, Victoria's riflebirds, spotted catbirds, yellow spotted honeyeaters, hornbill frairbirds and black butcherbirds visited the feeders while Australian brush turkeys,emerald doves and musky rat kangaroos patrolled the forest floor. We saw southern cassowary both mornings we were there, once next to our room and once underneath the main house...

2017 [11 November] - Dion Hobcroft

PDF Report

...Strong winds and showers were not making life comfortable, but they gradually relented as the day progressed. Latham’s Snipe and Tawny Grassbird were, though, both reveling in the rain. At our final stop we had superb views of Speckled Warbler, Varied Sittella, Black-chinned and Fuscous honeyeaters, Little Bronze-cuckoo, a pair of perched primordial Channel-billed Cuckoos, Comb-crested Jacana, and White-throated Gerygone. As we wound up the mountains on the road extensively damaged by “Cyclone Debbie” in March, we found Pretty-faced Wallabies. We settled into the comfortable guesthouse....

Places to Stay

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

Abberton Birders Lodge

Accommodation

Bed, Breakfast and Birding… Set in mature gardens and natural bushland on over 11 riverside acres in the heart of Queensland`s Lockyer Valley, Abberton offers high quality accommodation along with exceptional birding.

Adels Grove

Website

Adels Grove is near Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park in NW Qld….

Atherton Tablelands Birdwatcher's Cabin

Accommodation

Our 35 acres (14 hectares) of forest are on the western side of Mt. Hypipamee National Park (“The Crater”), and we share a 250m boundary with Herberton Range Nat. Park in the Wet Tropics World Heritage area, 25 minutes south of Atherton. The 1000m elevation makes it cooler and less humid than Cairns and Kuranda. The modern, self-contained cabin is the ONLY guest accommodation on the property, set well apart from the main house. Every so often one of our Lumholtz’s Tree-kangaroos shows up right next to the cabin. Cassowaries occasionally wander along the creeks, especially when there is a lot of forest fruit to be found.

Chambers Wildlife Rainforest Lodge

Accommodation

A great many rainforest native bird species are common sightings from your accommodation at Chambers Wildlife Rainforest Lodge.

Cougal Park B&B - (NSW)

Accommodation

Cougal Park Bed & Breakfast on The Lions Tourist Road, in the Border Ranges – part of The Rainforest Way , 36 km north of Kyogle and 6 km south of the Queensland – New South Wales Border. Ideal for your visit to the World heritage Listed Border Ranges national Park…

Daintree Valley Haven

Accommodation

For a peaceful interlude, our beautiful secluded 30-acre property, just a short scenic drive from Daintree Village, offers comfortable self-contained, A/C, bungalows overlooking a small dam which is home to platypus, saw-shelled tortoises and is visited by many water-birds such as the jabiru, buff-banded rail and nankeen night heron. Other birds abound in our tropical gardens and stands of rainforest - sunbirds, paradise kingfishers, wompoo fruit doves, and many, many more. Pick your own tropical fruits or go for a rainforest walk - your peace and privacy is assured!
Fatbirder Recommended

Jabiru Safari Lodge - Mareeba Wetlands

Accommodation

Luxury, African style safari tent cabins, walking trails, boat tours, wildlife safaris and privately guided nature experiences are just 1 & ¼ hours west of Cairns and Port Douglas in Tropical North Queensland and easily accessible by conventional vehicles or with transfers from Cairns available…

Kewarra Beach Resort - Cairns

Accommodation

This is a list of birds which have been sighted within our grounds and along the beachfront. We have compiled this list over the last 20 years with the help of sightings by our Resort guests. Some birds are common, some seasonal migrants and others are rare, one off visitors…

Kilcowera Cattle Station

Accommodation

Kilcowera Station is a bird watcher's paradise with over 160 species of birds catalogued in the area. View the stunning 6,000ha saltwater lake Wyara, the breeding place of thousands of swans, pelicans, ducks, shags and terns…

Kingfisher Bay Resort - Fraser Island

Accommodation

There`s nothing better than arriving at Kingfisher Bay Resort and Village and taking the opportunity to watch birds in their natural habitat – only metres away from your hotel room. Several of our bird watching groups over the last couple of weeks have been fortunate enough to view our magnificent namesake, the Kingfisher. Two species, the Azure Kingfisher (Ceyx azurea) and the Forest Kingfisher (Todiramphus macleayii) are currently nesting nearby the main resort complex.

Kingfisher Park Birdwatcher's Lodge

Accommodation

Kingfisher Park Birdwatchers Lodge is a haven for birdwatchers, photographers, artists and natural history enthusiasts. Tucked away in the cool mountains, in the quiet of the rainforest, our Park provides an ideal base for daily visits to other birdwatching areas in the region.
Fatbirder Recommended

Licuala Lodge - Mission Beach

Accommodation

Breakfast is served on the main upper verandah, from the award winning Queenslander pole home. Spot native wildlife, flora and fauna from this wonderful vantage point. Daily visits from Cassowary!

Lumholtz Lodge - Atherton Tablelands

Accommodation

A naturalist's paradise near the Crater (Mt Hypipamee National Park) -A homestay overlooking 160 acres of lush private rainforest with walking trails. Lumholtz tree kangaroos etc. are residents as well as a great range of rainforest birds, including the Grey-headed Robin, Victoria's riflebird and Tooth-billed bowerbird, all endemic to the area. Cassowaries and platypus close by. Checklist on website. Fully catered meals, wildlife guiding and spotlight tours. Whether one or six people, the Lodge is for your use exclusively. Easy access to all the Tableland habitats [Mareeba wetlands, Hasties and Bromfield swamps, volcanic lakes Barrine, Eacham and Euramoo, and the famous Undara Lava Tubes]…

Mt Barney Lodge - Barney View

Accommodation

"Our market is as varied as our accommodation. We appeal to a wide range of people, from young agile bushwalkers; the nature seeker; school groups; and senior citizens sharing a rock-pool with their toddler grandchild. We are unique in that we can accommodate and provide meals for groups of up to 46 people, or you can self-cater in the fully self-contained facilities."

O'Reilly's Rainforest Guesthouse

Accommodation

The O'Reilly family have been welcoming people into their mountain home for over 85 years. In all, they have introduced three generations of Australians to the rainforest, waterfalls and wildlife of famous World Heritage Lamington National Park near the Gold Coast in South East Queensland…

Red Mill House

Accommodation

The spacious verandahs of Red Mill House are relaxing places to while away the hours reading, chatting and watching the wildlife. A stroll around the 1 ½ acres of garden will offer a variety of flora and fauna. The Little Kingfisher may be seen visiting the pond, or you may bump into a White Lipped Green Tree Frog. A large pool is available to cool off in when the temperature rises. Fatbirder Recommended

Rose Gums Wilderness Retreat

Accommodation

Rose Gums is on the high, rainforest-cloaked eastern edge of the Atherton Tablelands in Tropical North Queensland. Our cool, tropical haven is an ideal base from which you can easily discover the rest of the fascinating Tablelands area. Most attractions are within an easy hour`s drive in any direction. Bromfield Swamp: This extinct volcanic crater is a birdwatchers favourite due to its Brolgas and Sarus Cranes. Hasties Swamp: another popular birdwatching location. There are many more birdwatching sites on the Tablelands. We`ll be happy to direct you.

Sanctuary Retreat - Mission Beach

Accommodation

Sanctuary at Mission Beach is an affordable accredited rainforest eco-lodge at Mission Beach, North Queensland, Australia, half way between Townsville and Cairns. Set on 18 hectares of lush tropical rainforest overlooking the Coral Sea, Sanctuary is as much a refuge for travellers as it is for wildlife…

Silky Oaks Lodge

Accommodation

Surrounded by the lush beauty of the Daintree National Park and overlooking the Mossman River, Silky Oaks Lodge and Healing Waters Spa blends the soothing qualities of the ancient rainforest with the stylish indulgences of a contemporary retreat…

Museums

Queensland Museum

http://www.qm.qld.gov.au

Throughout the history of Queensland, birds have been extensively studied. They are now well-known scientifically and our collection reflects that history. We do not actively collect birds any more but the collection is still used by scientists, artists, law-enforcement and conservation agencies, birdwatchers and the public…

Blogs

Barbara Maslen & Allen Sheathe - Wild Wings & Swampy Things

BLOG

Wild Wings & Swampy Things is the home of Barbara Maslen and Allen Sheather. This 40ha property is a Nature Refuge situated on Barratt Creek in Daintree, Queensland, Australia.

Greg Roberts - Sunshine Coast Birds

BLOG

Birding and other wildlife experiences from the Sunshine Coast and elsewhere in Australia - and from overseas - with scribblings about travel, environmental issues, kayaking, hiking and camping.

John Kooistra - Qld Birder

BLOG

I have loved wild birds and birdwatching from about the age of twelve. I use a Panasonic Lumix FZ100 camera for photography and Nikon Monarch 8x42 binos for observing. - Last updated 2016

Peter Waanders - Bellbird Tour Blog

BLOG

Peter has been an avid birdwatcher since age 10. Born and raised in the Netherlands, Peter obtained a B Sc degree in Environmental Management and has worked in National Park management planning in the Czech Republic, ecological research in the Netherlands and Australia, and natural resource management planning and environmental project management in Australia.

Tom Tarrant - Aviceda's Blog

BLOG

My home town Dayboro is a magnet for frugivorous-birds, every Summer the various figs and ornamental trees become a vast restaurant for numerous species such as Figbird and Koels.

Other Links

Birding Southern Queensland

Website

Tom Tarrant`s splendid birding pages including great photographs from Queensland and world-wide as well as trip reports and much more… so complex a site it opens a tad slowly… but worth waiting for… now split into two sections - east & west.

Cairns Birds

Website

Rare and unusual sightings in the form of a BLOG…

Cairns Skyrail

Website

By financing tropical rainforest research and educating people about rainforest ecology and its importance to our world, TropEco is working to promote the protection and better management of sensitive rainforest environments around the world…

Cooktown Birdwatching

Website

Cooktown is an ideal place for bird watching, because there are four main geographical regions that meet here, each with its own set of special birds – Wet Tropics rainforest, Cape York Peninsula forests, coastal wetlands and mangroves, and the drier woodlands of the Laura and Battlecamp escarpments. Then offshore we have the Great Barrier Reef and islands…

Kuranda Scenic Railway

Website

There's not a postcard around that can capture the beauty you'll witness onboard the Kuranda Scenic Railway. For one and a half fabulous hours, you'll travel onboard historical carriages through some of the lushest rainforest, pass deep gorges, rugged mountains and the spectacular waterfalls.

Mission Beach Cassowaries

Website

Mission Beach supports the highest density of the endangered Cassowary in Australia. The Cassowary is important to the Djiru Traditional Owner culture and community identity. 40% of cassowary habitat at Mission Beach is not protected, much of it occurring on private land.

Photographers & Artists

Photographer - Del Richards

Gallery

Del is a keen photographer and facilitates the opportunity to take your own rewarding images of Australian Birds.

Photographer - Ian Montgomery - [Birdway]

Gallery

Ian Montgomery invites you to share the beauty and fascination of wild birds as seen through his eyes and camera…

Photographer - Tom Tarrant

Gallery

Some lovely pictures of some lovely birds from around the world.