Australian Birding Tours - Top End

Cairns, Kakadu with Lamington extension.

For birders and naturalists Australia is a fantastic destination. With over 750 recorded bird species, of which 320 are endemic and an amazing collection of mammals, reptiles and amphibians. Australia is a vast continent and we have chosen these areas for the great variety of birds and wildlife found here. The tour is planned to be as relaxing as possible by staying close to the best sites and limiting long days of travel to a minimum. We will endeavour to find the specialty birds for each of the areas we visit. While all the birds we hope to find are too numerous to list here they include the world's largest kingfisher, the Kookaburra, the impressive Emu and Southern Cassowary. We will see examples of many of the distinct Australian groups, including buttonquails, treecreepers, pittas, bowerbirds, honeyeaters, flycatchers, megapodes, and some of the most beautiful parrots in the world.


Our tour will take us to the Darwin area with its rivers, swamps and billabongs, home to the Great-billed Heron, Chestnut Rail, Black Butcherbird, Varied Lorikeet, Large-billed Gerygone, Rose-crowned Fruit-Dove and Rainbow Pitta.

We'll explore the wonders of world famous Kakadu National Park, offering some incredible scenery and justly, Australia's first World Heritage Park. The diverse habitats of this area include, towering sandstone escarpments, thick woodlands and mangrove covered tidal flats. The park's specialties include, White-lined Honeyeater, Chestnut-quilled Rock-Pigeon, White-throated Grasswren, Sandstone Shrike-Thrush and the elusive Red Goshawk. Along the eastern edge of the park ancient and modern Aboriginal art decorates the walls of rock shelters and caves, signifying the cultural and spiritual importance of the area to Australia's native people.


In the Cairns region, of the tropical north, are such diverse habitats as coastal mangroves and the Atherton Tablelands. A wonderful assemblage of shorebirds can be found along the Cairns waterfront including Greater and Lesser Sandplovers, Terek and Sharp-tailed Sandpipers, Black-tailed and Bar-tailed Godwits. Doudle-eyed Fig-Parrots are regularly seen in the adjacent park. In the rainforests of the Tablelands area we'll look for Bush-hen, Buff-banded Rail, Tooth-billed Catbird, Golden Bowerbird, Bridled Honeyeater and Atherton Scrubwren. Some of the regularly seen mammals include Platypus, Striped Possum and Red-legged Pademelon. No trip would be complete to this area without a visit to the Great Barrier Reef. We will visit Michaelmas Cay with its thousands of breeding Brown Noddies (and a few Black Noddiess), Sooty Terns, Bridled Terns, Lesser-crested Terns and Brown Boobies. We also have a chance to do a little snorkelling.


An extension to the tour gives an opportunity to explore more of the Cairns area and then fly to Brisbane where we will visit Lamington National Park, the premier sub-tropical rainforest birding locality in southern Queensland. Difficult species to try for here include Sooty Owl, Marbled Frogmouth, Albert's Lyrebird, Rufous Scrub-bird and Eastern Bristlebird. Among the more easily found birds are the Regent and Satin Bowerbirds, Australian Brush-Turkeys and the bold Crimson Rosellas.

For a full itinerary and bird list please contact manu tours.