Far North Queensland, Wildlife & Conservation Safari

AT A GLANCE

Dates12–15 July 2022
9–12 August 2022

(If the dates listed are not suitable, please contact our team travel@australiangeographic.com or call 0413 560 210 to enquire about alternative dates if you prefer to travel with your own private party)
Activity LevelModerate.
(This trip requires a moderate level of fitness as it involves some walking, allowing you to really get amongst nature).
Duration4 days, 3 nights
Prices$2875 per person twin share
$500 single supplement
Group sizeMinimum 4, maximum 6 participants
Featuring regionsDaintree, Cape Tribulation World Heritage National Park, Atherton Tablelands.

WHAT TO EXPECT

FAR NORTH QUEENSLAND is a wildlife enthusiast’s paradise! This small group tour explores the rainforest habitat, concentrating on the endemic wildlife found within. We have a firm belief that tourism is the key to the protection and conservation of this World Heritage Area. Our passionate and knowledgeable guides are eager to share the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area with you.

Our tours have a major focus on observing and photographing wildlife. It’s not uncommon for you to observe a southern cassowary, tree kangaroo and platypus on a single tour! The trails and boardwalks we access are the longest and most immersive compared with other commercial operators. In addition, many of our nature viewing locations are on private land or reserves for complete exclusivity. This increases your opportunities to observe wildlife in the wild.

CONSERVATION COMPONENT

THE BEHIND-THE-SCENES TOUR on Day 3 provides a unique opportunity to enter research locations not accessible to the public to observe the endangered spotted-tailed quoll. Justin McMahon and Alberto Vale are our expert research guides and they have been carefully studying these fascinating and mysterious creatures for several years. Join them in the rainforest and take part in their research projects.

  • The spotted-tailed quoll is the largest marsupial mammal in the world!
  • Sadly, their closest cousin, the Tasmanian tiger, is already extinct.
  • Spotted-tailed quoll populations in North Queensland are now critically low and this amazing creature is at real risk of extinction.
  • This precious animal needs our help so that future generations can appreciate their magnificence and beauty.

The Australian Quoll Conservancy (AQC) is a not-for-profit organisation, now in its sixth year of operation. Several Species Recovery Units are now established in Victoria and North Queensland. AQC emphasises the need for the recovery of these species in those areas, with unique, innovative and non-invasive monitoring methods that transcend current Animal Ethics, scientific methodologies and requirement. Guests will join our researchers and other team members as they check camera traps and motion detection areas to catalogue sightings, document food sources, locations and behaviours and search for evidence of visits.

AQC AIMS:

  • To dramatically increase global awareness of spotted-tailed quolls
  • To bridge the gap between tourism and science, allowing a deeper educational journey into the Wet Tropics
  • To undertake and assist with studies into quoll habitats and biology
  • To contribute – not many wildlife experiences allow guests to directly contribute to the prosperity of native animals.

ITINERARY

Day 1: Cairns to Daintree / Cape Tribulation World Heritage Park

Pick ups will commence from your individual Cairns hotel from 7am. Please advise us which hotel you are staying at so we can arrange your pick up. Alternatively, why not let our friendly team help to recommend a hotel for you to stay in Cairns.  Witness the magical Great Barrier Reef Drive as we head north on the scenic coastal highway. Learn about the unique habitats within the local environment and observe the changes in biodiversity as we get closer to the Daintree tropical rainforest.

Walk the Jindalba Interpretive Rainforest Trail. The Daintree is an area of ancient tropical rainforest spanning 120,000 hectares, making it the largest portion of tropical rainforest in Australia. Walk the quiet tracks to witness the complex ecosystems in this World Heritage Area. Jindalba nature trail offers unique and remarkable opportunities to experience the natural scenery and endemic wildlife within the national park. Wildlife sightings may include the southern cassowary, Boyd’s forest dragon, wompoo fruit dove and many more.

Lunch at a local restaurant enroute. After lunch continue to Cape Tribulation (where the rainforest meets the reef). This famous valley resembles a giant amphitheatre with a semicircle of hills dominated by Mt Sorrow (850m) and Mt Hemmant (1000m). The south-eastern rainfall trapped by this valley results in a lush tropical climate with high temperatures, humidity and rainfall. Several walks, scenic lookouts and beach areas are located in the coastal community.

We highly recommend a swim in the azure waters of Emmagen Creek before settling in at Heritage Lodge for our overnight accommodation and dinner for the evening. Heritage Lodge is an environmentally friendly resort set in the heart of a lush coastal rainforest, a short stroll from Cooper Creek for a swim!

Optional night walk – Night spotting in the Northern Daintree: A wildlife tour in Far North Queensland is not complete without a night walk. A large portion of the local wildlife has adopted a nocturnal lifestyle to avoid to heat of the day in the tropical climate. We often visit two sites to experience the overall diversity of nocturnal wildlife in the Wet Tropics.

Accommodation: Heritage Lodge in the Daintree

Lunch and dinner provided.

Day 2: Daintree – Atherton Tablelands

Breakfast at the lodge. An early start today to maximise our wildlife viewing pleasure on the Daintree river. A short drive of 30 minutes will have us at our cruise location for a private 2 hour Daintree River Cruise.  Cruise the beautiful Daintree River with the dawn light, spotting wildlife on a quiet, clean solar electric boat with zero impact on the environment. Get closer to nature… hear, smell & experience without noise & fumes. We have a 99% success rate for spotting crocodiles, excellent bird watching opportunities and other wildlife possibilities such as snakes, frogs and fish and bats. 

Lunch at a local restaurant. After lunch we continue to Shared Earth Reserve (SER) adjacent to the Hann Tableland National Park. The wildlife on the Tropical Wetlands SER is incredibly diverse, and the property has some of the highest avian diversity anywhere in Australia. Boasting over 220 species recorded, the highest bird count in a single day is 98 species. We know the property is critical habitat for buff breasted buttonquail, one of the world rarest birds, and there is a healthy population of the endangered northern quoll. Our group has exclusive access to this site. 

Our accommodation for the night, Chambers Wildlife Rainforest Lodge is hidden in 486ha of Lake Eacham’s lush, tropical highland rainforest in the beautiful waterfalls and crater lakes district of the Atherton Tablelands. Dinner at a local restaurant.

Accommodation: Chambers Wildlife Rainforest Lodge

Breakfast, lunch and dinner provided.    

Day 3: Conservation tour

Breakfast at the lodge. Become a citizen scientist for a day! We are offering an exclusive opportunity to work along-side industry experts and assist in conducting valuable research that will aid in the preservation of Far North Queensland’s endangered wildlife! 

This behind-the-scenes tour provides a unique opportunity to enter research locations not accessible to the public to observe the endangered spotted-tailed quoll. Justin McMahon and Alberto Vale are our expert research guides and they have been carefully studying these fascinating and mysterious creatures for several years. Join them in the rainforest and take part in their research projects. 

Accommodation: Chambers Wildlife Rainforest Lodge.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner provided.    

Day 4: Atherton Tablelands to Cairns

Breakfast at the lodge. Birdwatching at Hasties Swamp, a large seasonal wetland renowned for its diverse range of resident and migratory birds. Over 220 species have been identified and a large bird hide, with informative identification signs, offers excellent water bird viewing opportunities. 

We then continue to Lake Barrine an outstanding location for nature activities. Several walks are available offering great wildlife and bird watching opportunities. Let’s toast our wildlife spotting achievements over some local tea/coffee and the famous tea house scones with jam and cream. The lake cruise is a big highlight to spot reptiles such as water dragons, birds, eels, fish, other reptiles and several Wet Tropics endemic species. Lunch at the Lake Barrine Tea House.

One of our major focus points of the day, spotting wild platypus! Learn about their elusive behavior and take as much time as you need to get that perfect photo! 

In the afternoon arrive at Cathedral Fig Tree. One of the most incredible trees you will see in your life. This ancient fig tree is an epic rainforest survivor with a very complex ecosystem surrounding its lifecycle.  We then return to Cairns arriving late afternoon. Why not stay longer and have some time to explore, or extend your trip at the beautiful Thala Beach Nature Reserve near Port Douglas, ask our friendly team for suggestions.

WHAT’S INCLUDED:

  • 3 nights accommodation as per itinerary
  • Local experienced wildlife guide throughout
  • Sightseeing as per itinerary by private air-conditioned charter vehcile
  • Private boat cruises on Daintree River and Lake Barrine
  • Meals as per itinerary

COST’S DO NOT INCLUDE:

  • Domestic or international airfares
  • Pre-registration, late check-out or day use at hotels other than specified above.
  • Guide services other than specified
  • Meals/beverages other than specified, alcohol
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Optional tours/services

EXTEND YOUR TRIP AND UNWIND AT THE THALA BEACH NATURE RESERVE

Package Inclusions

  • 3 nights accommodation in a deluxe bungalow with full breakfast daily
  • Bottle of chilled Australian sparking wine in room on arrival
  • Onsite guided tours by specialist staff including wildlife walks, bird watching, star gazing & the coconut odyssey

Jungle Walk Bungalow

Twin share $737 per person, Single room $1285 per person.

Located within the forest, Jungle Walk Bungalows combine comfort with the deep green, earthy beauty of the jungle.

Eucalypt Bungalow

Twin share $963 per person, Single room $1639 per person.

Thala’s Eucalypt Bungalows allow you to intimately experience the unique tropical forest in supreme comfort and privacy. Individually positioned up in the headland through the lush Eucalypt forest.

COVID-19

We will maintain the highest level of hygiene and cleaning among our guiding and operational practices, including our vehicles. We encourage the same principles be applied by our customers. We always carry on-board hand sanitiser and our vehicles will be sanitised after every journey. COVID-19 is an evolving situation and we will continue to plan and adapt as circumstances change. Our staff will stay up to date with current advice and guidelines.

CONTACT US

Want to know more or register your interest ?

Send us an email to travel@australiangeographic.com or call 0413 560 210.

We look forward to hearing from you !

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