Tours in Tropical North Queensland, Cape York & the Western Gulf Savannah.
Wild Watch offers the visitor an unparalleled opportunity to observe some of Tropical North Queensland’s unique wildlife in a diversity of habitats spanning elevations from coral cays within the Great Barrier Reef to highland tropical rainforest at over 1000 metres elevation.
This exceptional diversity of environments encompasses lowland, foothills, upland and highland rainforests, tall wet sclerophyll forest, dry sclerophyll forest, savannah, extensive wetlands, arable lands, mangroves, mudflats, inter-tidal zone and coral cays.
Of particular interest are the World Heritage listed rainforests which are considered to be one of the most ecologically rich and evolutionary significant sites in the world.
Fifty-four vertebrate species are unique to the region, including five endemic possums and two species of tree kangaroos. The charismatic platypus is found throughout most of the region’s freshwater wetlands.
These restricted forests support a unique assemblage of flora and fauna, and contain the highest amounts of biological diversity and endemism within Australia.
Tropical Bird Watching
The Tropical North Queensland region is internationally recognized as a major destination for birdwatchers from around the world.
Over half of Australia’s bird species have been recorded from the eleven distinct habitats which occur from the Great Barrier Reef to the Highland Tropical Rainforests, and all within a 150 kilometre radius of Cairns! Twelve species are locally endemic to the region, mostly occurring in the highland rainforests of the Atherton and Evelyn Tablelands region and all are regularly recorded at Warrigal, our private highland rainforest preserve.
A 4-5 days fully accommodated/all-inclusive tour visiting a diversity of habitats at different elevations, usually averages about 200+ species; a single day 100+ species (full species list available).
Nocturnal Wildlife Spotlighting Tours
These popular tours are conducted in a number of different habitats but primarily at Warrigal, our private highland rainforest preserve. Situated at 1000+ metres elevation in the Misty Mountains, south-west of Cairns, the preserve adjoins Tully Falls National Park and a State Forest fauna sanctuary within the largest single tract of tropical rainforest remaining in Australia.
Warrigal has been used as a scientific research/study site for arboreal mammals and is now recognized as having one of the largest concentrations of rare rainforest ringtail possums in Australia. With favourable weather conditions it is not unusual to observe thirty to forty animals or more in a 1.5 to 2 hours walk during an evening ‘spotlighting’ tour!
Species frequently seen while spotlighting include Lumholtz’s Tree-kangaroo, Lemuroid (including the rare pale morph), Herbert River, Green and Common Ringtail Possums, Coppery Brushtail, Striped and Long-tailed Pygmy Possums, Rufous, Masked, Red Boobook and Lesser Sooty Owls, Chameleon and Northern Leaf-tailed Geckos, Pink-tongued Lizards, Swamp Wallabies, Red-legged Pademelons, Long-nosed and Northern Brown Bandicoots and many other species.
Platypus are mainly nocturnal and crepuscular (active at dawn and dusk) but can occasionally be observed during daylight hours. They are particularly active during winter and early spring when females feed frequently to build up fat reserves in preparation for breeding and egg laying.
Sensitive to sudden noise, vibrations and movements, this secretive animal usually disappears at the first sight or sound of disturbance. On our excursions, we regularly have excellent views of this shy and elusive animal and have often observed interesting interactions between individuals and with other species.
Sunset Kangaroo Tour
Of the forty-nine species of kangaroos that can be found throughout Australia, seventeen occur in the Tropical North Queensland region. Of these, 10 species are relatively common and can be observed on our early morning and afternoon/evening tours. They include Eastern Grey Kangaroos, the red form of Common Wallaroo, Whiptail, Agile and Northern Swamp Wallabies, Mareeba Rock-wallaby and Rufous Bettong.
These species show a habitat preference for open eucalypt woodland and/or rocky outcrops. The rainforest species include Lumholtz’s Tree-kangaroo, Red-legged Pademelon and the primitive Musky Rat-kangaroo which exhibits characteristics of ancestral kangaroos and possums. They range in size from about 500 grams to more than 60 kg.
Wetlands and Waterbirds Tour
We offer the visitor the opportunity to explore a number of different wetland habitats around the North Queensland’s Cairns, Southern Tablelands and Gulf Savannah regions
These diverse tropical wetlands include ephemeral nymphae lagoons, billabongs, paperbark and feather palm swamps, flood plains, deep, permanent, artificial lagoons or tanks, crater lakes or maars, mangroves, mudflats and inter-tidal zone. The ephemeral wetlands often provide excellent viewing of flocks of waterbirds such as Black Swans, Whistling Ducks, Magpie Geese, Brolgas and Sarus Cranes, Black-necked Storks, Spoonbills, Herons, Ibis, Darters and Cormorants.
Iron Range Bird Watching
Tropical Parrot Tour
This popular tour specializes in observing psittacines in their natural habitats. Twelve species occur within the Cairns and Tablelands region including Cockatoos, Brush-tongues, Long-tailed and Broad-tailed Parrots and the diminutive Fig Parrot.
Most species we can regularly observe on our Tropical Birding tours.
Warrigal Highland Rainforest Preserve
Situated at over 1,000 metres elevation Warrigal Highland Rainforest Preserve adjoins the World Heritage listed Tully Falls National Park and the largest single tract of rainforest remaining in Australia. Covering an area of almost 300 acres, the preserve comprises of three main habitat types. Most noteworthy are the climax higland rainforest of types 5a, 8 and 9, wet sclerophyll forest and acacia regrowth. Furthermore there are areas of turkey bush scrub, grassland, two dams, several creeks as well as rocky outcrops on the property. Strategically situated between the rainforest clad Misty Mountains, wet sclerophyll forests and drier savannah woodlands, the preserve and surrounding area are especially rich in wildlife.
With such a diversity of habitats the region is home to many rare, unique and primitive plant and animal species, many of which are endemic to the north Queensland region. The list of species recorded at Warrigal Highland Rainforest Preserve is impressive and includes 242 species of birds, 12 species of possums, 8 species of kangaroos, Platypus, Echidnas, Bandicoots and many others. Warrigal Highland Rainforest Preserve is owned and managed by Wild Watch Australia.