Often when we hear ‘safari’ we think of journeying to the wide open plains of Africa, but have you considered our very own wildlife rich destinations? From our breathtaking Outback, to the luscious Daintree Rainforest or the mountains of Tasmania there is something for everyone right here at home.
Day 1: Cairns (D)
Arrive in Cairns and transfer to your hotel. Enjoy a Welcome Dinner. Hilton Cairns.
Day 2: Daintree & Cape Tribulation (BLD)
Depart Cairns and enjoy 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 bio-diversity as we get closer to the Daintree Tropical Rainforest.
Stop at Jindalba nature trail which offers an opportunity to experience the natural scenery and endemic wildlife within the National Park. Wildlife sightings may include the boyd’s forest dragon, southern cassowary, wompoo fruit dove, spectacled monarch, majors skink and many more. Enjoy lunch at Whet Restaurant, located in the heart of the Daintree. 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 rainfall trapped by this valley results in a lush tropical climate with high temperatures, humidity and rainfall. There are several walks, scenic lookouts & beaches to discover. Heritage Lodge
Day 3: Maardja & Dubuji Boardwalks (BLD)
After breakfast, join a visit to Maardja Boardwalk and Oliver Creek. The constantly changing scenery and vegetation along this boardwalk are captivating. The Marrdja Boardwalk is a looped walk that begins and ends at Oliver’s Creek, a glistening stream that emerges from beneath the thick rainforest canopy. Next stop is Dubuji Boardwalk – The Place of Spirits. This 1.3km loop track goes through forest, mangroves, fan palms and over spring-fed creek. Spot azure and little kingfishers darting into shallow pools from overhanging branches and watch orange-footed scrubfowl scratching on the forest floor. After lunch, we recommend a swim in the azure waters of Emmagen Creek before settling in at our lodge. Heritage Lodge
Day 4: Tropical Wetlands SER (BLD)
Grab our gear for an early start to maximise our wildlife viewing pleasure on the Daintree River. A short drive of 30 minutes will have us at our cruise location. Cruise the Daintree River with the dawn light, spotting wildlife on a quiet, clean solar electric boat. Get closer to nature – hear, smell & experience without noise & fumes. There is a high success rate for spotting crocodiles, excellent bird watching and other wildlife possibilities on this cruise. After lunch at The Highlander Tavern, visit the Forever Wild Shared Earth Reserve (SER). The wildlife on the Tropical Wetlands SER is incredibly diverse and has some of the highest avian diversity anywhere in Australia, boasting over 220 species. Tonight we stay in exclusive safari tent accommodation with toilet and shower facilities. Enjoy an evening of star gazing and campfire! Glamping at the Tropical Wetlands SER
Day 5: Wildlife Spotting (BLD)
We are up and about exploring the 5000-acre Wetlands Reserve. Contribute to research with your guides by conducting a bird count of the wetlands. Visit Lake Barrine, an outstanding location for nature activities. Several walks are available offering great wildlife and bird watching opportunities. Lunch is at the Tea House then we head to Yungaburra with one of our major focus points of the day, spotting wild Platypus! Learn about their elusive behaviour and get that perfect photo! In the afternoon arrive at the ancient Cathedral Fig Tree, one of the most amazing trees you will see in your life. Check in to your lodge. Chambers Wildlife Lodge
Day 6: Special Highlight – Australian Quoll Conservancy (B)
Today we have an opportunity to work with industry experts & assist with valuable research that will aid in the preservation of FNQ’s endangered wildlife! This behind the scenes tour provides a unique chance to enter research locations not accessible to the public to observe the endangered Spotted-tailed Quoll. Join expert research guides in the rainforest & take part in their research projects. The Spotted-tailed Quoll is the largest marsupial mammal in the world. After this experience, return to Cairns Hilton Cairns.
Day 7: Great Barrier Reef Cruise (BL)
Today you head out to experience the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef on our personal sailing reef and island tour. Sail, snorkel and scuba dive aboard personalised tours with professional crew. Explore Green Island & Pinnacle Reef in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Enjoy lunch onboard. Hilton Cairns.
Day 8: Depart Cairns (B)
After breakfast, transfer to your onward flight.
Day 1: Arrive Darwin
On arrival in Darwin, transfer to your hotel for a day at leisure. Darwin
Day 2: Darwin & surrounds (BLD)
Take a full day bird and wildlife photography tour around Darwin’s urban and rural hotspots. There is the chance to get some pictures of rainbow pittas, macropods, water monitors, kingfishers, finches and so much more. Darwin
Day 3: Adelaide & Mary Rivers (BLD)
Pre-dawn departure for bird and sunrise photography at Fogg Dam. Enjoy a 2.5-hour private photographic cruise on Mary River Wetlands guided by specialist guide Luke Paterson with the chance to photograph kingfishers, waterbirds and other species. Mary River Wilderness Retreat
Day 4: Mary River region and the World Heritage Kakadu National Park (BLD)
Pre-dawn departure for 2.5-hour private photographic cruise on Mary River Wetlands guided by specialist guide Luke Paterson. Lookout for the black-necked stork, raptors, saltwater crocodiles and more. Hotel check-in and lunch, privately guided aboriginal rock art tour and sunset/landscape photoshoot (landscape, rock wallabies, sandstone bird species). Jabiru
Day 5: Kakadu National Park (BLD)
Early departure for 1-2km photographic walk around riverine sandstone outcrops (sandstone and monsoon forest bird species, dragonflies and butterflies), 800m photographic walk-in monsoon forest (little red and black flying foxes, butterflies, saltwater crocodile, Arafura fantail), saltwater crocodile feeding frenzy photo shoot may happen. On an alternate day, rest and photo download period, south alligator floodplain bird photography shoot and walk up to 3km for finches, magpie goose and waders. Jabiru
Day 6: Kakadu – Pine Creek (BLD)
Pre-dawn departure for bird, crocodile and sunrise photography at Yellow Water Billabong – 3-hour private photographic cruise guided by specialist guide Luke Paterson. 5 species of kingfisher, black bittern, brolga, white-bellied sea eagle, plumed whistling ducks, salt and freshwater crocodiles, Asian water buffalo, brumby, sunrise over floodplains and reflections in water, buffet breakfast, travel to the outback gold-mining town of Pine Creek. Set up for evening photography for bush birds (endemic hooded parrot, great bowerbird, galah, Australian bustard). Pine Creek
Day 7: Pine Creek & Nitmiluk N.P. (BLD)
Pre-dawn departure for Gouldian finch photography (may require periods of sitting and waiting low in the bush), breakfast with bush birds at Leliyn/Edith Falls in Nitmiluk National Park (optional swim in plunge pool, photographic opportunity for northern rosella, red-winged parrot, golden orb spider), evening photography for bush birds (cockatiel, black flying fox). Pine Creek
Day 8: Pine Creek to Darwin (BL)
Depart for Gouldian finch photography, slowly make our way back to Darwin stopping for species sightings along the way and lunch at Adelaide River township (varied lorikeet, red-tailed black cockatoo, rufous owl). Hotel drop off and optional farewell dinner with hotel transfers. Darwin hotel
Day 9: Depart Darwin (B)
Breakfast at hotel then transfer to the airport