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Bird Watching Tours

10 Day Ultimate Top End Birding Adventure Tour

2024 Bookings open

Day by Day Itinerary

Contact Us For Full itinerary
Day 1

We start by taking advantage of the early morning and scope out some of the best birding sites in Darwin. Numerous habitats surrounding the tropical city we explore include mangroves, monsoonal vine forests, garden parks, woodlands and coastal regions to enjoy the myriad of bird species that call these regions home. We look for species such as Mangrove Golden Whistler, Chestnut Rail, Rainbow Pitta, Rufous Owl, and Rufous-banded Honeyeater before returning to our accommodation in Darwin.

Day 2

A pre-dawn departure will lead us to heritage-listed Fogg Dam, a renowned wetland on the edge of the Adelaide River Floodplain. Home to a spectacle of birdlife including ducks, geese, ibis, egrets, kingfishers, cisticolas, finches, raptors, spoonbills, flycatchers, crane and stork species to name a few. We continue on to our accommodation in the Mary River region. Here we will relax and enjoy the birdlife within the grounds before taking to the restaurant for our evening meal.

Day 3

The morning starts with an early morning exploration of the tropical savannah and rocky ridge-lines for raptors (Little Eagle, Black-breasted Buzzard), finches and various honeyeater species. We continue our journey to the World Heritage Kakadu National Park, scanning the savannah woodlands and almighty South Alligator floodplains for Emu, Brolga and Radjah Shelduck. We visit Mamukala wetlands and bird hide before we travel to Jabiru for the rest of the afternoon and our accommodation. Jabiru gives us an opportunity to see Partridge Pigeon, known as ‘Ragul’ in the local aboriginal language.

Day 4

We embark on an early morning departure and explore around the Burrungkuy region to take in some of the more spectacular scenery of World Heritage Kakadu National Park. With easy walks up to 6km in length, it provides us with the best chances to view some of the endemic sandstone species such as White-lined Honeyeater, Black-banded Fruit-Dove and elusive Black Wallaroo. We continue to the north-east of Kakadu ‘stone country’ and take in the stunning vistas of the Arnhem Land Escarpment. Guided around the old occupational site of Ubirr ancient rock art and fascinating species such as Chestnut-quilled Rock Pigeon, and Wilkin’s Rock Wallaby. All before heading back to our accommodation in Jabiru.

Day 5

Today we rise before the sun to join the famous Yellow Water sunrise cruise. Yellow Water has Great-billed Heron, 6 species of kingfisher, Arafura Fantail, Buff-sided Robin, Black-necked Stork and Saltwater Crocodile. After breakfast, we’ll make our way to the Burrungkuy (Nourlangie) region, to look for endemic and sandstone specialists such as Helmeted Friarbird. We’ll travel south to our accommodation in Pine Creek, home to the endemic and illustrious Hooded Parrot.

Day 6

Another big day beckons as we pack our bags and head for Leliyn/Edith Falls in the iconic Nitmiluk National Park. The region is a hot spot for finch species including the much sought after Gouldian, Masked, Long-tailed, Crimson and Double-barred. We also keep an eye out for Northern Rosella and White-throated Gerygone. Continuing south on the Stuart Highway we travel to Katherine and spend the afternoon around the township, checking local birding sites.

Day 7

This morning we continue on the Victoria Highway heading west to the Big Rivers Region. This is cattle farming country, prime finch and parrot territory as we check out the grasslands and watering holes we keep an eye out for mannikins (munias), parrots and bustards. We scan the area searching for one of Australia’s glorious fairywrens, the Purple-crowned Fairywren. A short journey leads us to a rocky walk heading up the escarpment, looking for sandstone specialties including White-quilled Rock Pigeon, Sandstone Shrike-thrush and Short-eared Rock Wallaby. Admiring the amazing morning view from this 3km return moderate walk is well worth the effort. We continue west past the Victoria River to our next destination, Timber Creek.

Day 8

This outback town is great for finding Australian Grass finches such as Gouldian Finch, Star Finch and Zebra Finches, as well as Pictorella Mannikin. We are lucky to have 2 nights and a full day or more birdwatching around Timber Creek and Judbarra National Park before retiring to our air-conditioned ensuite accommodation and enjoying a well-deserved meal and rest in a local restaurant.

Day 9

Today we visit the northern Territory’s best kept secret, Keep River National Park. Here we check the local waterholes and stunning sandstone formations for a number of birds, including Spinifex Pigeon, White-quilled Rock Pigeon, Royal Spoonbill, Brolga, Grey-headed Honeyeater and Peregrine Falcon.
We say goodbye to the Northern Territory and say hello to Australia’s largest mainland state, Western Australia and journey to Australia’s largest man-made lake, Lake Argyle. Having time to either enjoy the iconic Lake Argyle Resort with horizon infinity pool or stroll around the grounds and enjoy the local birdlife.

Day 10

We board an early morning 5-hour private birdwatching cruise on Lake Argyle and embark on an adventure in a truly remarkable environment. Enjoy a picnic breakfast out on the water then venture to one of the many islands within the lake in search for one of the more desired birds of the journey, the Yellow Chat. As we stroll around the island we keep an eye out not only for the Yellow jewels, but also Australian Bustard, Brown Songlark, Australian Pipit, Zebra Finch and various duck species. After the private cruise, we head to our final destination of Kununurra in Western Australia for an afternoon of urban agricultural birding and to bid farewell.

Tour Inclusions & Exclusions

From the moment we pick you up from your hotel in Darwin, until we drop you off again, this birdwatching expedition includes:

• 10 full days touring with multi award-winning tour operator team and specialist bird guide Luke Paterson (owner of NT Bird Specialists – 23 years experience in northern Australia)
• 10 full days private air-conditioned & spacious 4WD commercial tourist vehicle with driver (11 or 18-seater) and purpose-built lockable 4WD trailer
• 9 nights en suite air-conditioned accommodation (boutique aboriginal-owned, 4 star & best available)
• 8 hours of birdwatching cruises – 1 private, 1 public – assisted by your private birding guide Luke
• All meals on tour (10 breakfasts, 10 lunches, 9 dinners) (please notify us of allergies at time of booking) *fresh, healthy, homemade meals
• Unlimited cool water refills, tea and coffee with breakfast, cordials with lunch
• Excellence in guiding skill and local natural history knowledge
• Exclusive itineraries built by local specialists
• All transport, tours and cruises as stated in itinerary

• Hotel pick up and drop off
• Daily hotel transfers
• Up to date printed & digital Australian bird field guides to share
• Communal use of spotting scope
• Access to hire professional photographic and optical equipment *enquire for optional extras*
• Printed bird list
• Airport transfers *with optional extras
• Pre and post-tour booking services *enquire*
• All National Park permits, licenses, accreditations and entry fees
• Emergency communications, COVID-19 hygiene kit, 2 first-aid kit, satellite phone
• Assurance of touring with an award-winning Australian Accredited Tourism Business and Licensed Commercial Tour Operator
• COVID-19 safe accredited operators with flexible booking terms

• Genuine ecotourism, low impact tours that support the environment and local communities
• Excellent interpretation and customer service
• Birds! Birds! Birds! Birds!
And more…
Read our 5 star reviews

*Enquire for pre and post-tour optional extras *we also book guests’ hotels, tours, airport transfers, photography equipment hire*

Very little…

Items before and after your tour:

  • Airfares, Passport & Visas fees, Airport taxes
  • Airport transfers not specified in itinerary
  • Excess baggage
  • Other tours, meals and activities

 

During your tour:

  • Food/drinks not stated on the itinerary *Excludes evening meal drinks & Alcoholic beverages
  • Laundry
  • Personal shopping
  • Internet charges & Phone calls
  • Gratuities
  • anything not specified in your itinerary are excluded from the price of the tour.

*Enquire for pre and post-tour optional extras *we also book guests’ hotels, tours, airport transfers, photography equipment hire*

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NT Bird Specialists’ Scheduled Departures 2018
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