The Wet Tropics stretch from Townsville to Cooktown encompassing approximately of rainforest interspersed with farmland, rivers and tropical savannah, not to mention coastline and coral cays. Such an array of habitats explains the region’s high diversity of flora and fauna. With more than 450 avian species recorded, including 13 endemics, its Australia’s twitching mecca, and you don’t have to venture far from Cairns to enjoy a rich bird watching experience in a variety of environments.

Our birding tours are 100% tailored to our guests. Our three major wilderness and birding areas are the Atherton Tablelands, Daintree Rainforest and Mareeba Savannah Country. All three encompassing unique scenery and birdwatching opportunities. Upon booking this experience, our team will reach out to discuss target species.

Take a private tour with one of our expert guides as we cover a vast variety of birding hotspots in Far North Queensland.

Daintree/Cape Tribulation

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. Renowned for its scenic landscape, remote beaches and wildlife viewing opportunities!

Several mangrove and rainforest boardwalks are available to allow us the maximum opportunity to observe birds. Cape Tribulation is one of the best spots to obverse the iconic Southern Cassowary as well as the Leaden flycatcher, Yellow-breasted Boatbill, Pied Monarch, Wompoo Fruit Dove, Shinning Flycatcher, Azure Kingfisher, Pacific Heron, White-bellied Sea-eagle and Little Shrike Thrush

Combine this with a private dawn wildlife cruise for an additional $300.00 AUD.

The Daintree River is one of the best examples of a tropical river with rainforest growing right to the water’s edge, which provides for some great birding. The river is most famous for the great-billed heron and little kingfisher. The heron, one of the world’s largest, was always a ‘phantom’ bird for birdwatchers. Twenty years ago, it was rarely seen. Once birding tours commenced on the river, exploring the small rainforest and mangrove creeks that ran from it, the bird was seen more regularly. Even now, however, it remains elusive and can melt into the shadows of the rainforest or mangroves right before your eyes.

A dawn cruise will provide the best conditions for those wishing to see the river at its most stunning, as well as the greatest chance to see some of the most sought-after birds of the river. Referred to in many ‘birding’ reference books, this famous cruise has been the highlight for many birdwatching enthusiasts in Far North Queensland. Key target species include Great-billed Heron, Papuan Frogmouth, Little Kingfisher, Azure Kingfisher, Black Bittern, Saltwater Crocodile, Green Tree Snake, Water Dragon and butterflies.


Atherton Tablelands

The Atherton Tablelands is the high-altitude counterpart of the coastal Daintree Rainforest. Offering freshwater creek trails and walking tracks into mesophyll vine forest and outstanding remnants of the regions volcanic history

Hasties Swamp is 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 waterbird viewing opportunities.

One of the highlights of the Atherton Tablelands is Mount Hypipamee National Park, this is one of the best places to see the magnificent male Golden Bowerbird which have Bowers in the area. It’s also a great place for Southern Cassowary. Other birds that can be found in the general area are Eastern Spinebill, Grey-headed and Pale-yellow Robin, Lewin’s and Bridled Honeyeater, Chowchilla, Spotted Catbird and Tooth-billed Bowerbirds

Lake Barrine and Yungaburra are outstanding locations to visit for all nature lovers. Several walks are available offering great wildlife and bird watching opportunities. From 30 minutes to two hours, tailored to our target species of the day.

These include Tooth-billed Bowerbird, Spotted Catbird, Victoria’s Riflebird, Double-eyed Fig-Parrot, Australian King Parrot, White-throated Treecreeper, Yellow-throated Scrubwren, Eastern Spinebill, Lewin’s Honeyeater, Bridled honeyeater, Dusky Honeyeater, Scarlet Honeyeater, Brown Honeyeater, Macleay’s Honeyeater, Chowchilla, Eastern Whipbird, Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike, White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike. Barred Cuckoo-shrike. Pale-yellow Robin, Grey-headed Robin, Black-faced Monarch, Spectacled Monarch and Grey Fantail.

Julatten and Mount Lewis

Julatten, North Queensland, is a true hidden gem for birdwatching enthusiasts. Up in the rainforest hinterland and only a 45 minute drive from Port Douglas, Julatten boasts over 250 recorded bird species, including the infamous summer migrant, the Buff-breasted Paradise Kingfisher.

Mount Lewis, a 30 minute drive from Julatten is perhaps the best place in Australia to see the magnificent Blue-faced Parrot Finches which can be found during the wet season months from November to April. The mountain is also a great place to see Victoria’s Rifiebird, Bower’s Shrike-thrush, Bridled, Lewin’s Honeyeaters, Mountain Thornbill, Topknot Pigeon, Brown Cuckoo-Dove, Wompoo and Superb Fruit-Doves. It is possible that 12 out of the 13 Wet Tropics endemics can be observed here.

Mareeba Savannah/Wetland Country

Several locations offer a wide variety of observations.

FNQ Nature Tours has exclusive access to the Forever Wild Shared Earth Reserve. Forever Wild work to protect Earth’s last great wildernesses for societal well-being, for biological diversity and its evolutionary potential, for our cultural record and economic values. The reserve encompasses 5000 acres of lagoons, trails, bird hides permanent lakes, swamps, billabongs, and creeks including an incredible mosaic of old-growth savanna woodland. 

The diverse range of birdlife and wildlife include Magpie Geese, Black Swans, Darters and Cormorants, Pelicans, Swamphens, Moorhens, Coots, Herons, Egrets, Ibis, Spoonbills, Storks (Jabiru), Cranes including Brolga, Sarus Crane, Bustards, Jacanas which thrive on the water lilies, Curlews, Plovers, and Dotterels. Both the Laughing Kookaburra and Blue Winged Kookaburra are regularly seen.  Bee-eaters, Dollarbirds, Tree Creepers and Pardalotes are well represented as well as numerous Honeyeaters, Robins, Thrushes, Monarchs, Fly Catchers and Wagtails are seen throughout the Wetlands.

The savannah country can often be combined with Mount Lewis/Julatten. Julatten boasts one of the best birding areas in Australia, resident birds can include Noisy Pitta, Red-browed Finch, Macleay’s, Yellow-spotted and Graceful Honeyeaters, Pale-yellow Robin, Little Shrike-thrush, Yellow-breasted Boatbill, Black-faced & Spectacled Monarch, Cicadabird and Spotted Catbird



What’s included:

  • Passionate birding guide
  • Modern airconditioned vehicle
  • Photography tuition
  • Local wet tropics bird-list
  • Sunscreen and Insect repellent
  • First aid kit on board
  • Extra binoculars on board

What to bring:

  • Sun protection advised: hat, sunglasses
  • Binoculars/Camera
  • Good walking shoes
  • Water bottle
  • Day pack for carrying personal items


  • Local passionate bird guides
  • Photography tuition
  • Rich species diversity
  • Atherton Tablelands
  • Daintree
  • Mount Lewis
  • Yungaburra



  • star rating  An outstanding day in the Atherton Tablelands rainforests and
    lake region. Matt and Rowen were perfect guides. Their knowledge about the rainforest wildlife and foliage was amazing.... read more

    February 8, 2023
  • star rating  We cannot recommend this tour enough! Matt was the perfect guide with extensive knowledge about the rainforest and its wildlife. He even personalized the tour after finding out my partner... read more

    December 7, 2022
  • star rating  James Boettcher. what a legend! I had the pleasure of spending 4 days with James, in his absolute element, experiencing his infectious enthusiasm and willingness to impart knowledge.
    ... read more

    December 2, 2022
  • star rating  This was truly exceptional trip - one of the best have taken anywhere or anytime. James took us into the Tablelands, where we saw a variety of animals,including tree... read more

    November 9, 2022
  • star rating  See the crocodiles "scarface" and "elizabeth in their natural habitat, informative walks in the rainforest. James is knowledgeable and personable.

    October 30, 2022
  • star rating  We booked the private tour to celebrate our honeymoon and boy did it not disappoint! James was an incredible tour guide and we learned so much about the wildlife, rainforest... read more

    October 27, 2022
  • star rating  Four of us took a private full day tour with FNQ Tours that included a cruise on the Daintree River, walks in the rainforest and on a beach, lunch and... read more

    October 26, 2022
  • star rating  What an awesome tour this is! Matt was such an enthusiastic and knowledgeable guide who ensured that each guest had the best experience possible. We were able to... read more

    Meg E
    October 20, 2022
  • star rating  An amazing mix of birdlife, mammals and ineresting land forms- from coastal rainforest, and volcanic lakes to drier elevated savannah landscapes. Matt our driver and guide for the 5... read more

    Keith M
    October 3, 2022
  • star rating  We joined this tour following to Sanctuary’s recommendation. Our guide Matt was amazing! Friendly, helpful and fun to be with and also full of amazing knowledge of wildlife... read more

    September 26, 2022



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