Grand Australia Part II: Oct 15—Nov 01, 2017

Queensland, Victoria & Plains-wanderer

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Price: $6,495
(Internal flights not included)
Departs: Brisbane
Ends: Melbourne
Tour Limit: 10
Operations Manager: Erik Lindqvist
Download Itinerary: PDF (157.2 KB)

Route Map


Tour Leaders


Dion Hobcroft

Dion Hobcroft has been working for VENT since 2001. He has led many tours (more than 160) to...

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Register for this Tour

Register for this tour by phone (800/328-VENT or 512/328-5221), or by downloading a tour registration form. Signed and completed forms can be faxed, mailed, or scanned and emailed to the VENT office.

Southern Cassowary, female, known as

Southern Cassowary, female— Photo: Dion Hobcroft

We begin Part II of our Grand Australia odyssey in the very lovely Lamington National Park and world-famous O’Reilly’s Guest House, one of Australia’s premier birding hot spots. Set in gorgeous, cool, upland forests, it is a haven for wildlife and spectacular species such as Australian Brush-turkey, Australian King Parrot, flocks of Crimson Rosellas, and Regent Bowerbird—the male is fantastic; furthermore, they all come to feed out of your hand. Within these magnificent forests reside such gems as Albert’s Lyrebird, Paradise Riflebird, Noisy Pitta, and the delightful Rose Robin.

We then continue on to Cairns and the balmy tropics of North Queensland. From our tranquil base at Kingfisher Park we’ll range from the azure waters of the Great Barrier Reef to the magnificent rainforests of the Atherton Tableland. We will wander amidst buttressed roots, woody vines, and countless epiphytes in search of some of Australia’s most desired birds. Imagine seeing a gigantic flightless Cassowary—at a healthy distance, an exquisite male Golden Bowerbird dressing its court, or a pair of weird Chowchillas duetting back and forth.

Albert's Lyrebird, female, at O'Reilly's

Albert’s Lyrebird, female, at O’Reilly’s— Photo: Dion Hobcroft

In Victoria, in the southeast of Australia, we will explore intriguing Mallee habitat with its completely different suite of birds, concentrating our efforts in the Little Desert and Hattah Lakes national parks. These impressively large conservation areas protect some of the finest remaining semiarid Mallee habitat, and some super birds and mammals: huge flightless Emu, the extraordinary mound-building Malleefowl, Regent Parrot, Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo—perhaps the most beautiful member of its family, Mallee Emuwren—rare and very elusive, Southern Scrub-Robin, Gilbert’s Whistler, Shy Heathwren, and Gray Currawong.

Traveling east we will cross into New South Wales and the attractive riverina township of Deniliquin. This is another bird-rich area, and here among the native grasslands, saltbush flats, and river red gums, we will search for a number of localized and difficult to find species: Spotless and Australian Spotted crakes, Black Falcon, Red-rumped and Superb parrots, Budgerigar, White-backed Swallow, White-winged Fairywren, Zebra Finch, and Apostlebird. However, above all, Deniliquin is home to the peculiar, endangered, and highly sought after Plains-wanderer (the only member of its family). We will spend one evening looking for this and a number of other rarely seen species such as Stubble Quail and Little Buttonquail, all of which, with luck, we will be able to study literally at arm’s-length.