Trip Type : Group Tour
Eastern Australia tour

Eastern Australia

Eagle-Eye Tours
4.9 . Excellent
100%
Travel Style: You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level: Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
15 days
From: $ 5,150 $ 343 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights

  • Visit a diversity of habitats from mangroves to savannas to mature rainforest to discover amazing wildlife, extraordinary birds and unique mammals!
  • Great Barrier Reef cruise to a coral cay and bird sanctuary
  • Daintree River cruise and optional pelagic trip to view a plethora of seabirds
  • Spectucular Lamington NP in attempt to find Albert's Lyrebird
  • Mission Beach which has the largest population of Southern Cassawary
  • A superb country of excellent infrastructure and hospitable people

Short Description

Australia is a naturalist’s dream come true. Australia harbors enormous diversity of habitats, including the world’s longest coral reef (the 1260-mile long Great Barrier Reef).

Our birding tour focuses on eastern Australia, during the dry season. From northeast, where we have a chance for cassowary, bowerbirds and platypus, to the southeast’s lyrebirds, fairy wrens, wallabies, albatrosses and penguins, our tour samples a good portion of Australia’s scenery, avifauna and other wildlife.

Endemism here in Australia is extraordinary; 5 non-passerine families and 15 passerine families are endemic to Australasia, plus diverse marsupials, pigeons (26 species), parrots (53 species) and seabirds (79 species).

A superb and exciting tour with mostly easy birding in comfortable surroundings – truly unforgettable!

Groups are between 25-60 people, typically ~30-40. Usually there will be many opportunities to split off and enjoy meals and excursions in smaller groups. This is the most economical way to travel, saving up to 40% versus booking the same itinerary yourself.
Trip Type Group Tour
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Lodging Level Value - 3 star
Flights & Transport Only ground transport
Start City Cairns
End City Sydney

Trip Includes

  • All accommodations
  • All meals
  • Ground transportation
  • Pelagic boat trip included
  • Guides

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Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Cairns

Arrival in Cairns. We spend the day at local birding locations including Cairns Esplanade and adjacent mangroves, Centenary Lakes and Botanic Gardens. The Esplanade is a hotspot for waders on their southerly migration and often includes unusual species such as Asian Dowitcher. Likely species include Red-capped Plover, Terek & Common Sandpipers, Great Knot, Grey-tailed Tattler, Beach Stone Curlew, Eastern Curlew, Masked Lapwing, Australian Pelican, Royal Spoonbill, Eastern Great, Intermediate, Little and Eastern Reef Egrets, Striated Heron, Australian Pied Oystercatcher, Gull-billed Tern, Silver Gull, Collared Kingfisher, Yellow Oriole, Rainbow Lorikeet, Double-eyed Fig Parrot, Peaceful Dove, Mangrove Robin, and Yellow& Varied Honeyeaters.

Also close to the center of Cairns, Centenary Lakes and the adjacent Botanic Gardens provide habitat for rainforest, fresh water and salt water wetlands. Species expected include Orange-footed Scrubfowl, Australian Brush-turkey, Pacific Black Duck, White-browed Crake, Peaceful Dove, Pied Imperial Pigeon, Papuan Frogmouth, Australian Swiftlet, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Laughing Kookaburra, Rainbow Bee-eater, Black Butcherbird, Yellow-spotted and Brown Honeyeaters, Helmeted Friarbird, Varied Triller, Australasian Figbird, White-breasted Woodswallow, Spangled Drongo, Leaden Flycatcher, Magpie-lark, Metallic Starling and Olive-backed Sunbird. An after-dinner walk along the Esplanade provides a good opportunity to see Bush Stone Curlews. Overnight Cairns.

Day 2: The Great Barrier Reef

Today we take a Great Barrier Reef cruise. From Cairns we board our comfortable vessel, the Ocean Spirit, for a relaxing two hour cruise out to Michaelmas Cay, a true coral cay and bird sanctuary located 40km north-east of Cairns, part of the 2000 km long Great Barrier Reef. Thousands of ground-nesting seabirds occur here: Sooty & Crested Terns, Brown Noddy, Silver Gull, Brown Booby, Greater & Lesser Frigatebirds, with chances of rarer terns and boobies. There will be opportunities for a refreshing dip or snorkel in these beautiful waters. Overnight Cairns.

Day 3: Daintree River Cruise

Our destination today is the Daintree River, where we take a pleasant cruise through farmland and rainforest on the look-out for Great-billed Heron, Little Kingfisher, White-rumped Swiftlet, Cicadabird, Spectacled Monarch, Pied Imperial-Pigeon, Black-necked Stork and Black Butcherbird, and saltwater crocodile. We then drive to Kingfisher Park Birdwatchers Lodge, arriving in time to watch for Blue-faced and Graceful Honeyeaters and Red-browed Finch. Overnight Kingfisher Lodge.

Day 4: Mount Lewis and Kingfisher Lodge

Kingfisher Park Birdwatchers’ Lodge, on the northern edge of the Tableland, caters exclusively to birders. Within the grounds are Wompoo Fruit-Dove, Emerald Dove, Noisy Pitta, Red-necked Crake, Buff-banded Rail, Lesser Sooty Owl, Black-faced Monarch and an array of honeyeaters. Nearby is Mount Lewis covered in upland rainforest where we hope to find Atherton Scrubwren, Fernwren and Mountain Thornbill. Overnight Kingfisher Lodge.

Days 5 and 6: Atherton Tablelands

The Atherton Tableland is a region of beautiful scenery with lakes and waterfalls, green pastures, savanna, open woodlands and scattered wetlands nestled in national parks and state forests, as well as Queensland’s highest mountains rising to over 1600m. Birding can be superb: Sarus Crane, Blue-winged Kookaburra, Forest Kingfisher, Pied Monarch, Chowchilla, Red-backed Fairy-wren, Chestnut-breasted Mannikin, Golden Bowerbird, Tooth-billed and Spotted Catbirds and Victoria’s Riflebird. On our drive, we look in dry eucalyptus country for Australian Bustards, visit wetlands for Green and Cotton Pygmy-Geese and Brolga, and woodlands support Squatter Pigeon, Apostlebird, Great Bowerbird, Black-throated Finch, and the distinctive local race of Brown Treecreeper. We visit Kuranda on one day, where we have a reasonable chance of seeing Southern Cassowary. We stay in Yungaburra, a National Trust village that has a platypus viewing platform. Overnights Yungaburra.

Day 7: Back to Cairns and Cairns Esplanade

We head back to Cairns, stopping occasionally to look for specialties such as Rufous Owl and White-browed Robin. Time permitting, we will check the Esplanade and other locations for any species we might have missed on the first day and any new arrivals. Overnight Cairns.

Day 8: Transfer to Lamington National Park

We catch an early morning flight to Brisbane and drive to the Green Mountains in Lamington National Park. This park covers most of the spectacular Lamington Plateau, a geologically fascinating plateau with deep gorges and caves that drops into the caldera of an extinct volcano and is covered in temperate rainforest. A feature attraction is the amazing Albert’s Lyrebird, and we make a special attempt to find this incredible mimic. Other goodies include Logrunner, Red-browed Treecreeper, Regent Bowerbird, Paradise Riflebird, Rufous Scrub-bird, Marbled Frogmouth among others. At Day's end we arrive at O’Reilly’s Guesthouse for a two night stay. Overnight O’Reilly’s.

Day 9: Lamington Park

We have another full day of birding in the area surrounding O’Reilly’s in Lamington National Park. Overnight O’Reilly’s.

Day 10: Transfer to Brisbane Airport and flight to Sydney

We spend the day transferring to Brisbane airport for an evening flight to Sydney. On arrival we transfer to Wollongong for the night. Overnight Wollongong area.

Day 11: Pelagic Trip

Today we have an all-day optional pelagic trip out of Wollongong to the edge of the continental shelf. Beyond the shelf, the ocean floor drops abruptly to depths of more than 4000 m. We could encounter a plethora of seabirds – shearwaters including Flesh-footed, Fluttering, Short-tailed & Wedge-tailed, Pomarine Jaeger, Great-winged & Solander Petrels, Shy & Wandering Albatrosses, and much more. Once back on land we drive to Kiama. Overnight Kiama.

Day 12: Barren Grounds

We visit coastal heathlands of Barren Grounds Nature Reserve for a chance at the critically endangered Eastern Bristlebird, as well as Powerful Owl, Superb Lyrebird, Fan-tailed Cuckoo, Southern Emu-wren, Brush Wattlebird, Rockwarbler, Pilotbird and Ground Parrot. We then head inland to the Blue Mountains. Overnight in the Blue Mountains.

Day 13: Blue Mountains and Capertee Valley

Wetlands in this area support White-faced Heron, Straw-necked Ibis, Pink-eared & Blue-billed Ducks, Australasian Shoveler, Gray Teal, Hardhead, Hoary-headed & Australasian Grebes, Masked Lapwing, Sacred Kingfisher and Australian Reed Warbler. Dry sandstone hills and open eucalyptus woodland are home to Black-shouldered Kite, Brown Goshawk, Wedge-tailed & Little Eagles, Brown Falcon, Nankeen Kestrel, Painted Button-quail, Common Bronzewing, Peaceful Dove, Galah, Red-rumped Parrot, Horsfield’s Bronze-Cuckoo, Yellow-rumped & Yellow Thornbills, Southern Whiteface, Eastern Shrike-Tit, Painted Honeyeater, Noisy Friarbird, White-browed Babbler, Varied Sittella, White-winged Triller, Olive-backed Oriole, several Woodswallows, Restless Flycatcher, White-winged Chough, Jacky Winter, Hooded Robin, Tree & Fairy Martins, Mistletoebird, Zebra Finch and Australasian Pipit. We may locate Australian Owlet-Nightjar at a daytime roost. Mammals should include Eastern Gray Kangaroo. Overnight in Capertee.

Day 14: Transfer to Sydney

Today we spend time looking for species missed up to now, perhaps Black Duck, Chestnut Teal, Swamphen, Wandering and Plumed Whistling-Ducks, or Fuscous, White-plumed and White-naped Honeyeaters. Overnight Sydney.

Day 15: International flight departs Sydney

Transfer to the airport for flights home.

Availability

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Price From $ 5,150
Price Per Day: $ 343 per day
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  • Deposit Price: $ 300

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238 Eagle-Eye Tours Travel Reviews & Ratings

100%
4.9 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 210
Great 22
Average 5
Disappointing 1
Terrible 0
Value
4.9
Guide
4.9
Activities
4.9
Lodging
4.9
Transportation
4.9
Meals
4.9

Eastern Australia

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Great variety in environments

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Details

Trip Photos

Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

Group Size:

Intimate Group - 12 max

Maximum Number of People in Group: 12

Number of Persons Limit is 12

Cancellation Policy:

Notification of cancellation must be received in writing. Unless otherwise noted, the following policy applies: if cancellation is received up to 120 days prior to departure, full deposit and any payment, less a $100 (USD and CAD) will be refunded. If cancellation is received between 60 and 119 days prior to departure, 50% of the tour fee is not refundable. Thereafter, all deposits and payments are not refunded. Refunds cannot be made to participants who do not complete the tour for any reason.

Additional Information:

Our daily travel schedule varies. Most days involve a full day of birding, usually with a picnic lunch in a prime birding spot. Driving distances vary from short to moderate, with long drives on a few days. We make frequent stops during each day’s travel. You can expect some early morning walks. This tour involves easy to moderate walking and hiking, with frequent short forays away from the van. Most days we return in late afternoon to our accommodation. After-dinner activities are optional.

Climate of these regions changes from seasonably warm to mild as we head further south. October is normally settled, with temperatures in Cairns averaging 75°F (24C) with a humidity of 54%, very pleasant for birding. In Cairns a light jacket is recommended for our trip to the reef in case onshore winds are cool. Most days are warm or hot, dry and sunny, but overcast conditions are frequent with possible rain and high humidity in coastal areas. The sun can be intense, so sunscreen and a brimmed hat are advised. Wet weather protection is recommended with light waterproof pants and jacket ideal.

Our itinerary includes two internal flights, not included in the price of the tour, and one open ocean optional pelagic trip, which might be cool. At Kingfisher Park some rooms have shared bathroom facilities. The list of birds and other wildlife seen will be reviewed each evening, and plans for the next day discussed. Plans could change slightly if reports of vagrant or accidental species, within reasonable driving distance, are received. Spotting scopes will be useful on this trip, especially at coastal locations; the leader will have a scope for the group to share.

Trip ID#:

EasAusEag

Trip Excludes

  • Two internal flights additional ($333)
  • Travel to and from start/end location
  • Travel Insurance
  • Items of a personal nature

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