GALLERY: the richly-coloured finches of Queensland


Queensland has the highest bird populations of any state, the most spectacular residing in the far north expanses of the Wet Tropics and Cape York. The state is also a haven for a diverse and richly coloured group of finches substantial enough that it’s home to the largest specialist bird club in Australia, the Queensland Finch Society, who are dedicated to rehabilitating the states iconic species. According to Gary Fitt, the current president of the society, “there are only three finch species in Australia that don’t occur in QLD, meaning 15 of the 18 species are in QLD.

5 top birdwatching spots in the Wet Tropics


Four hundred and fifty of Australia’s 828 known species of bird can be found in the wet tropics and 12 of them — including the southern cassowary, golden-shouldered parrot and Victoria’s riflebird — are endemics found nowhere else in the world. We’ve selected five birdwatching spots within easy reach of Cairns.