AUSTRALIA: Herps and Birds of Queensland
HERPS & WILDLIFE
From: $8,250 (See details)
Cost is per person, double occupancy from Cairns, Queensland, Australia (CNS)
4 - 5 Participants
5 spaces available
PRIVATE TOUR OPTION
This tour is available as a private trip for any size group. The tour cost will vary with the number of people and any custom requests.
Highlights of AUSTRALIA: Herps and Birds of Queensland
Description of AUSTRALIA: Herps and Birds of Queensland
Often referred to as “The Land Down Under”, Australia offers a plethora of herps… snakes, lizards, frogs and more, throughout the multitude of habitats we’ll explore. In Queensland there are rainforests, woodlands, wetlands, savanna, desert and coast. Thanks to this diversity, there is also a huge diversity of wildlife.
So many herps! We’ll seek snakes like Australia’s largest, the Scrub Python and our target, the rare Green Tree Python, as well as the quite venomous Coastal Taipan. Lizards like the unusual Chameleon Gecko and Frill-necked Lizard will also be sought.
Birds we hope to see include the tiny, colorful Lovely Fairy Wren and the massive Cassowary standing nearly 6 feet and looking more like a dinosaur.
We’ll also seek the odd Platypus, a mammal that lays eggs and several species of wallabies and possums as well as the rare and endangered Northern Quoll. So many more strange and incredible creatures will be found!
Length of Tour
Day 1 Arrival / BIG4 Cairns Crystal Cascades
Arrival in Cairns and transfer (1-hour) to our accommodations. Lunchtime will be spent getting to know one another, discussing the itinerary and gauging everyone’s personal interests. Our first night will be spent in search of Australia’s largest snake, the Scrub Python (Simalia kinghorni). This particular area is also great for Striped Possums!
Day 2 – 3 Drive to Cedar Park Rainforest Resort
After a 2-hour drive, our next two nights will be spent in the town of Mareeba. Here guests will have the unique opportunity to get up close and personal with some of Australia’s cutest residents, the Mareeba Rock Wallaby’s. Our two nights in this area will be spent in search of some of Australia’s most unique gecko species, including the Northern Leaf-tailed Gecko (Saltuarius cornutus) and the monotypic Chameleon Gecko (Carphodactylus laevis). This particular area is also home to a plethora of native amphibian and mammal species including the Endangered Northern Quoll and the seldom seen Long-tailed Pygmy Possum.
Day 4 Drive to Kingfisher Park Birders Lodge
Today’s 2-hour drive will take up to the world famous ‘Kingfisher Park Birders Lodge’. This area is not only great for spotting rare and unique bird species, but it also happens to be located at the base of Mount Lewis.
The unique high-altitude rainforests of Mount Lewis play host to an incredible amount of cryptic Amphibian and Reptile species in which we will spend our fourth night in search of, this area is also home to some incredibly rare mammal and bird species including the Golden Bowerbird, Lesser Sooty Owl, Blue-faced Parrot Finch and the Daintree River Ring-tailed Possum.
Day 5 Kingfisher Park Birders Lodge
Another early drive of 3.5 hours to head up into the Mount Lewis mist, this time in search of one of Australia’s most infamous elapids, the Red-bellied Black Snake. Our fifth night will be spent at the spectacular Mossman Gorge in search of the beautiful Jungle Python (Morelia spilota cheynei). In this location we will also be in with a chance of seeing one of Australia’s most unique species, the Platypus!
Day 6 Kingfisher Park Birders Lodge
An early rise for the 2-hour drive to the banks of the Daintree River where we will board a boat and cruise the river in search of Saltwater Crocodiles and basking snakes. Our river guide will also point out some rare and unique bird species including the highly sought after Little Kingfisher and Great-billed Heron.
Day 7 Drive to Milkwood Lodge Cooktown
We’ll start our expedition into the Cape York Peninsula with a 3.5 hour drive. The first stop on our journey will be the town of Cooktown. This town is draped in history and luckily for us is also home to a collection of unique endemic species. Our seventh night will see us arrive at the base of the famous Black Mountain.
This mountain is made up by a collection of thousands of individual black boulders (some of which are as large as a house), which play host to 3 species of reptile found nowhere else in the world, the Black Mountain Skink (Liburnascincus scirtetis), Black Mountain Gecko (Nactus galgajuga) and the Black Mountain Boulder Frog (Cophixalus saxatilis). We are likely to turn up all three on the night. We will also keep our eyes peeled for the endemic Godman’s Rock Wallaby who also resides on the mountain!
Day 8 Drive to Green Hoose
Today will be a longer (8.5-hour) drive to make the journey to our final region, the endemic filled Iron Range National Park. This park is quite possibly one of the best herp regions in the country, being home to some of Australia’s most highly sought-after reptile species, including our target for the trip, the spectacular Green Python (Morelia viridis). The drive from Cooktown to Iron Range will be a great opportunity for our guests to get up close to some of Australia’s most famous reptile species, including the Coastal Taipan (Oxyuranus scutellatus) and the Frill-necked Lizard (Chlamydosaurus kingii).
Day 9 – 13 Green Hoose
Our next five days will see us scouring the Iron Range National Park in search of its hidden gems. The list of species we are likely to see during this time is too long to list so I will just name a few. Green Python, Scrub Python, Black-headed Python, Water Python, Coastal Taipan, Northern Tree Snake, Common Tree Snake, Brown Tree Snake, Brown-headed Snake, Black-striped Snake, Northern Death Adder, Saltwater Crocodile, Yellow-spotted Monitor, Canopy Monitor, Mangrove Monitor, Rusty Monitor, Spotted-tree Monitor, Giant Tree Gecko, Hoskin’s Ring-tailed Gecko, Cassowary, Palm Cockatoo, Eclectus Parrot, Magnificent Riflebird, Yellow-billed Kingfisher, Spotted Cuscus, Common Cuscus, Giant White-tailed Rat, Striped Possum…. The list goes on and on.
Day 14 Kingfisher Park Birders Lodge
Today will see us rise with the sun and make our 8-hour journey south towards Cairns, this day will include a lot of driving though we will be sure to break up the trip with plenty of stops to look for reptiles. If we are lucky we may even get the chance to see for one of the world’s rarest parrot species, the critically endangered Golden-shouldered Parrot!
Day 15 Return Home
Today will see us saying our goodbyes before dropping our guests to the Cairns International Airport (or if they are extending their stay they can choose to be dropped at their respective hotels).
Cost is $8,250 per person, based upon double occupancy, from Cairns, Queensland, Australia (Airport code CNS).
This trip ends in Cairns, Queensland, Australia (Airport code CNS).
NOTE: Trip can run with only 2-3 participants, however, cost per person will be $9500.
If a single room is preferred, or we are unable to find a suitable roommate for you, a single supplement fee of $600 will be assessed.
A $1,000 deposit per person is required to hold each space on this tour. Deposit may be made online by clicking the "Book Your Trip Now" button and using any credit card. If you prefer, you may call us at 888-875-9453 to pay by phone. You may also mail us a check, however, remember that all space is held on a first come-first served basis as deposits are received.
If fewer than the minimum number of required participants are registered, we may still be able to run the trip by adding a small-group supplement fee, per person, determined by the number of participants registered.
How to Book
In order to hold your space, click the "Book Your Trip Now" button above and complete the deposit process, including payment of the deposit through our Paypal portal using ANY CREDIT CARD. Upon completion of deposit, please visit our secure, online CLIENT INFORMATION FORM to complete your registration.
For all land-based tours: full payment by check is due 120 days prior to the departure date.
For all boat-based adventure cruises of 7-days or longer: full payment by check is required 180 days prior to departure.
NOTE: If you prefer to use credit card for final payment, a 3% fee may be added to cover the credit card merchant fees we incur.
BIG4 Cairns Crystal Cascades
Cedar Park Rainforest Resort
Kingfisher Park Birder’s Lodge
Activity Level Rating: 3 (Note: 1 is easy and 5 is difficult)
Easy but possibly long walks in some hot conditions. Some long days of driving and long days in the field with early morning departures and night hikes in the same day.
Smoking is not permitted at any time during our tour.
Do not purchase your flights until the trip has been confirmed to go.
Detailed Trip Information
Upon notification that final payment is due (120 days prior to departure for land based tours / 180 days for boat based tours), you will receive a trip package of detailed information for your tour.
Any additional information about the trip, including lodgings, contacts, participants, meeting locations, etc., will sent about 2 weeks prior to the trip departure, or after final payment is received for late registrants.
As with all tours, we highly recommend purchasing Travel Insurance to cover your investment. Please see our section on Travel Insurance.
Passport & Visa
US Citizens may require a visa to enter certain foreign countries. See above for any required visa information.
Participants arriving to the USA from a foreign country may need to get a travel visa to enter the United States. Be sure to check the requirements for your country of origin.
The trip itinerary is developed many months ahead of time. Occasionally, despite our best planning, changes may occur during the trip, or we may be forced to alter our plans. Changes may occur because of weather, road conditions, safety concerns or other circumstances. In these situations, it is the leader(s) responsibility to carefully consider and implement appropriate alternatives. Any additional costs incurred because of changes will be the responsibility of each individual participant. Refunds will not be issued as a result of itinerary changes.
This is a new Wildside tour.