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Bird Watching Tours

10 Day Ultimate Top End Birding Adventure Tour

2023 Registrations open

Day by Day Itinerary

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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 a dawn cruise along the fresh water reaches of the paperbark lined Mary River. Search for species such as Black Bittern, Great-billed Heron and various honeyeater species. We continue our journey in the heat of the day to the World Heritage Kakadu National Park, scanning the savannah woodlands and almighty South Alligator floodplains for Emu, Black-breasted Buzzard, 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, 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 Banded Fruit-Dove and 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 our next accommodation at Victoria River Roadhouse. 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 are welcomed with stunning views of various ranges including the Moray, Bynoe and Stokes. We scan the Cane Grass searching for one of Australia’s glorious fairywrens, the Purple-crowned Fairywren.

Day 8

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. This outback town is great for finches such as Gouldian, Star and Zebra. Before retiring to our accommodation and enjoying a well-deserved meal.

Day 9

We have time for a morning birding session after breakfast, before making our way to 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 facilities or stroll around the grounds and enjoy the local birdlife.

Day 10

We board an early morning cruise and embark on an adventure in a truly remarkable environment, Lake Argyle. 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. We head to our final destination being Kununurra and bid farewell.

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NT Bird Specialists’ Scheduled Departures 2018
Tour DateDurationTour InterestTour NameGroup SizeAvailabilityPrice From (AUD)
18 Sep - 15 Nov
1 - 10 daysBirdwatching / PhotographyBirdwatching Tours or Nature/Bird Photography ToursNT / WA / Outback QLD1-10 GuestsYESEnsuite (twin share)$POA