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AUSTRALIA BIRD AND WILDLIFE PHOTO TOUR

This photo tour focuses on photographing both the birds and mammals of Australia.  We have selected the best locations in Northeast Australia to photograph a wide variety of birds and mammals including many specialty species.  We spend time in the Atherton Tablelands, known for a wide variety of wildlife and birds, then spend 4 nights at a ranche on the edge of the outback and we spend 4 nights at the best birding lodge in Australia, O’Reilly’s near Brisbane.  Habitats range from rainforest to reef to coast to dry forest on the edge of the outback.  A few of the spectacular species you should photograph include Regent, Great and Satin Bowerbirds, King and Red-winged Parrots, Scarlet, Blue-faced and many other Honeyeaters, Laughing and Blue-winged Kookaburras, Platypus, Mareeba Rock Wallaby, Stand Eastern Grey Kangaroo.  These are just a few of the highlights.  Accommodation is comfortable throughout. 

Number of Participants:  Maximum of 6 photographers and 8 total participants. 

Cost and Logistics

$8,950 per photographer, $7,900 per non photographer.  Single supplement of 1,000.  The deposit to reserve your spot is $2,400.  This includes all lodging, accommodation, meals, guiding, entrance fees, drinking water and internal flight from Cairns to Brisbane.  It does not include international flights, other domestic flights, visas, tips, other beverages or items of a personal nature such as laundry and phone calls. 2025 costs: $9,450, nonphotographer $8,750, single supplement 1,200.

Itinerary

October 7th – Arrival to Cairns, transfer to a 4 star hotel near the esplanade. If you want to arrive a day or two early we can arrange your hotel which will be within walking distance of the Cairns waterfront, which is full of shorebirds such as Great Knot, Eastern Curlew etc. 

October 8th – Today we take a boat trip to the Great Barrier Reef.  Michaelmas Cay is full of breeding Noddy, Sooty and Bridled Terns as well as Brown Boobies which are among our targets here, you can spend some time snorkeling as well if you wish.  Accommodation: 4 star hotel in Cairns

October 9th –This morning we do some bird photography on the Cairns waterfront checking for the amazing Beach Stone-Curlew and then stop at Centenary Lakes to photograph waterfowl such as Magpie Geese. Then we will head out to the tablelands spending the afternoon at a reliable spot for the amazing Duck-billed Playtpus.  Hotel: A nice hotel in Yungaburra

October 10th – This morning we will visit Hasties Swamp which is filled with Plumed Whistling Ducks and other waterbirds.  It’s also an excellent location for honeyeaters including the gorgeous White-cheeked. In the afternoon we visit a local park on a lake which has trees which attract large numbers of honeyeaters including the gorgeous Scarlet Honeyeater.  On the lake there are waterbirds including Hardhead and Great Crested Grebe.  Evening mammal photography again at Chambers Lodge.

October 11th – This morning we will visit Mareeba, where there is a large group of Grey Kangaroos which inhabit the local golf course and surrounding area, we also stop and visit the wetlands which is a good spot for Rufous Whistler.  We will have lunch and then head to our next accommodation on the edge of the outback in drier habitat.  Accommodation: Ironbark House and Black Swan Lodge.  These two excellent lodges each have a small number of rooms but they are only 5 minutes from each other.  Afternoon bird photography there. 

October 12th-14th – We spend 3 full days here on the edge of the outback in drier habitat which attracts a large variety of birds.  There is a small pool beside the house which attracts various species such as Pale-headed Rosella, Great Bowerbird, Helmeted and Little Friarbirds, Pied Butcherbird and others.  Wallaroos visit the pool to drink as well.  We will visit a colony of the endangered Mareeba Rock Wallaby and there are many other great birds in the area including Blue-winged Kookaburra, Red-tailed Black Cockatoo and waterbirds such as Australian Wood Duck and Darter.  There are large numbers of birds of prey in the area, the most common being Black and Whistling Kites.  We will spend one morning away from the property photographing Australian Bustards which are sometimes displaying at this time of year.  Accommodation: Ironbark and Black Swan

October 15th – One more morning of photography at Ironbark.  In the garden there are Double-barred Finches and Blue-faced Honeyeaters.  Then in the afternoon we will check out and head back to Cairns where we will do some shorebird in the afternoon.  Great Knots and Black-tailed Godwits are two regular waders here. Accommodation: A nice hotel in Cairns

October 16th – A bit of morning bird photography in Cairns then we check out and take a flight to Brisbane.  After landing we drive to our next lodge O’Reilly’s Rainforest Resort in Lamington National Park. 

October 17th-19th – We have 3 full days of bird photography at O’Reilly’s.  The birds are fed here and are amazingly tame, some of the highlight species include Regent and Satin Bowerbirds, King Parrots, Crimson Rosellas, Superb Fairy Wrens and Pied Currawongs.  O’Reilly’s Rainforest Resort. 

October 20th – We spend the morning photographing at O’Reilly’s.  Walks in the forest produce birds like Logrunner, Scrub-wrens and Eastern Whipbird.  Then we check out and on the way back to Brisbane we visit a Koala rehabilitation center where it’s possible to get natural looking koala shots of captive koalas.  In the late afternoon we have a walk along the waterfront, photograph some waterbirds like Australian Pelican and photograph a colony of Flying Foxes (very large fruit eating bats).  Hotel: A nice hotel near the Brisbane waterfront.  

October 21th – Transfer back to the Brisbane airport for your return flight home.

Jure Novak

Jure Novak

Jure Novak is a full time nature photographer, tour leader and filmmaker from Slovenia. His work is widely published in Slovenia and he is one of the filmmakers of “Wild Slovenia”, a motion picture. Jure is an excellent birder and bird guide in addition to being a very talented photographer. He uses Sony gear.

Frank Pankas

Frank has a great sense of humor and is an entertaining leader.

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