Australia’s Top End (Darwin, NT)

Tour 1

Darwin Area Day Tour

We spend the day around Darwin searching for some of its unique bird life in a range of habitats: mangroves, seasonal wetlands, monsoon forest, beaches, savannah woodlands and billabongs. Every day trip can be tailored to find the birds you wish to photograph. Target species – Emerald Dove, Rose-crowned Fruit-Dove, Red-tailed Black Cockatoo, Rufous Owl, Azure Kingfisher, Little Kingfisher, Rainbow Pitta, Green-backed Gerygone, Red0headed Honeyeater, Grey Whistler, Mangrove Robin, Long-tailed Finch, Masked Finch & Chestnut-breasted Mannikin.

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Tour 2

Top End Short Tour 4 day/3 night

bird photography tour: Darwin – Kakadu – Darwin

Day 1

Pick up from hotel in Darwin and spend the morning photographing birds in the botanical gardens. Lunch at a scenic restaurant before heading east towards Kakadu National Park, stopping along the way at Mamakala Wetlands and the South Alligator Floodplains. After checking in at our hotel in Jabiru we will then head off to Ubirr for the afternoon photographing partridge pigeon, chestnut-quilled rock-pigeon, sandstone shrike-thrush and also the short-eared rock wallaby. After watching the sunset we will head back to our hotel for dinner.

Accommodation – Crocodile Hotel, Jabiru. Meals included: L, D.

Day 2

An early morning to head out to the Nourlangie area, which is great for Partridge Pigeon, Chestnut-quilled Rock Pigeon, Banded Fruit-dove, Helmeted Friarbird & White-lined Honeyater. We will then head south to oCoinda Lodge and spend the late afternoon targeting any birds we might have missed.

Accommodation – Cooinda Lodge, Kakadu National Park. Meals included: B, L, D.

Day 3

We will enjoy a morning cruise on the famous Yellow Waters Billabong, with great opportunities for great-billed heron, little & azure kingfisher and black bittern. After the cruise we will head back to the lodge for lunch and then we will target Red Goshawk, Australia’s rarest bird of prey, which nests in the area. The afternoon is spent around Pine Creek photographing the endemic Hooded Parrot and Partridge Pigeon.

Accommodation – Pine Creek Resort, Pine Creek. Meals included: B, L, D.

Day 4

The morning is spent at a secret waterhole, with our best chance to photograph the spectacular Gouldian Finch, with other birds coming in to drink such as Hooded Parrot, Long-tailed finch, masked finch, double-barred finch, banded honeyeater, great bowerbird and brown quail.

The afternoon is spent driving back to Darwin. Meals included: B, L.

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Tour 3

Top End “The Works” 6 day / 5 night

bird photography tour : Darwin – Kakadu – Katherine – Timber Creek – Darwin

Day 1

Pick up from hotel in Darwin and spend the morning photographing birds in the botanical gardens. Lunch at a scenic restaurant before heading east towards Kakadu National Park, stopping along the way at Mamakala Wetlands and the South Alligator Floodplains. After checking in at our hotel in Jabiru we will then head off to Ubirr for the afternoon photographing partridge pigeon, chestnut-quilled rock-pigeon, sandstone shrike-thrush and also the short-eared rock wallaby. After watching the sunset we will head back to our hotel for dinner.

Accommodation – Crocodile Hotel, Jabiru. Meals included: B, L, D.

Day 2

An early morning to head out to the Nourlangie area, which is great for Partridge Pigeon, Chestnut-quilled Rock Pigeon, Banded Fruit-dove, Helmeted Friarbird & White-lined Honeyater. We will then head south to oCoinda Lodge and spend the late afternoon targeting any birds we might have missed.

Accommodation – Cooinda Lodge, Kakadu National Park. Meals included: B, L, D.

Day 3

We will enjoy a morning cruise on the famous Yellow Waters Billabong, with great opportunities for great-billed heron, little & azure kingfisher and black bittern. After the cruise we will head back to the lodge for lunch and then we will target Red Goshawk, Australia’s rarest bird of prey, which nests in the area. The afternoon is spent around Pine Creek photographing the endemic Hooded Parrot and Partridge Pigeon.

Accommodation – Pine Creek Resort, Pine Creek. Meals included: B, L, D.

Day 4

The morning is spent at a secret waterhole, with our best chance to photograph the spectacular Gouldian Finch, with other birds coming in to drink such as Hooded Parrot, Long-tailed finch, masked finch, double-barred finch, banded honeyeater, great bowerbird and brown quail.
After a morning around Edith Falls we will have lunch in Katherine while the afternoon is present at Victoria River with Purple-crowned Fairy-wrens along the river.

Accommodation – Victoria River Roadhouse. Meals included: B, L, D.

Day 5

The morning will be spent around Victoria River looking for purple-crowned fairy-wrens and finches. We then head west to Timber creek, which is one of my favourite birding areas. There are a huge amount of opportunities for photography here and we’ll spend the rest of the day here until dinner time.

Accommodation –Timber Creek hotel. Meals included: B, L, D.

Day 6

Easy morning birding/photography for Buff-sided Robin, Yellow-rumped Mannikin, Great Bowerbird and Red-backed Kingfisher, Northern Shrike-tit. The afternoon is spent driving back to Darwin. Final dinner.

Accommodation: Hotel in Darwin. Meals included: B, L, D.

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Tour 4

8 Day / 7 Night – Top End Photography Tour

bird photography tour : Darwin – Kakadu – Katherine – Timber Creek – Darwin

Day 1

Pick you up from your accommodation in Darwin between 6 – 7 am. We will spend the morning exploring the many nature reserves around Darwin. The main species we will be targeting are Rufous Owl, Barking Owl, Tawny Frogmouth, Rainbow Pitta, Rose-crowned Fruit-Dove, Bush-stone Curlew, Brown Whistler, Northern Fantail, Forest Kingfisher and Little Corella. We will also spend time in the Mangroves trying to photograph Red-headed Myzomela, Mangrove Gerygone, Mangrove Golden Whistler and Torresian Kingfisher.

Lunch will be had at one of Darwin great Cafes before we spend the afternoon photographing anything we missed in the morning and depending on tides photographing some of the mangrove and shorebird species out at Lee Point and Buffalo Creek.

Accommodation – Mercure Airport Resort, Darwin

Day 2

We head out early to one of Darwin’s best and famous birding spots, Fogg Dam. Targets here include Black-necked Stork, Little Egret, Intermediate Egret, Pied Heron, Comb-crested Jacana, Arafura Fantail, Paperbark Flycatcher, Royal Spoonbill, Crimson Finch and Forest Kingfisher. After our time at Fogg Dam we explore the Adelaide River Flood Plains and maybe Marrakai Tracks before making our way toward the Mary River Region and our accommodation for the night. The afternoon will be spent out on the boats exploring the Mary River, our main targets here will be Black Bittern, Great-billed Heron, White morph Grey Goshawk, Little & Azure Kingfishers and maybe a White-bellied Sea-eagle.

BOAT CRUISE – 3 Hour Boat Cruise in the Afternoon

Accommodation – Mary River Resort, Mary River

Day 3

This morning we will be back out on the boat exploring more of the Mary River. We will be photographing anything we missed the previous afternoon. The hottest and brightest part of the day will be spent driving out to Kakadu National Park stopping along the way at Mamakala Wetlands and the South Alligator Floodplains. After checking in at our hotel in Jabiru we will then head off to Ubirr for the afternoon looking for Partridge Pigeon, Chestnut-quilled Rock-pigeon, Sandstone Shrike-thrush and also the Short-eared Rock Wallaby. After watching the sunset from the spectacular Ubirr lookout we will head back to our accommodation for dinner.

BOAT CRUISE – 3 Hour Boat Cruise in the Morning

Accommodation – Mercure Crocodile Hotel, Jabirur

Day 4

This morning we will enjoy an amazing buffet breakfast at the hotel before heading south along the Kakadu Highway to the Nourlangie, Nawurlandja & Anbangbang areas for the morning, these areas are great for all the Kakadu endemics including Partridge Pigeons, Chestnut-quilled Rock Pigeon, Banded Fruit-doves, Helmeted Friarbird & White-lined Honeyeaters. The afternoon will be spent concentrating on the local endemic birds we missed.

Accommodation – Mercure Crocodile Hotel, Jabiru

Day 5

This morning we will be booked on a 3 hour private photography cruise around the famous Yellow-waters Billabong, this is usually one of the highlights of the tour with usually thousands of water birds to point out lens at. Main targets are Little & Azure Kingfishers, Black Bittern, Nankeen Night-heron, Plumbed & Wandering Whistling-ducks, Black-necked Storks, Green Pygmy-goose and Great-billed Heron. After the cruise we will head back to the lodge for a big brunch before making our way South towards Pine Creek and our accommodation for the night. The afternoon is spent around Pine Creek photographing the beautiful endemic Hooded Parrot and Partridge Pigeon if we haven’t already found one.

BOAT CRUISE – 3 Hour Private Yellow Water Boat Cruise in the Morning

Accommodation – Lazy Lizard, Pine Creek

Day 6

A nice early morning to head just south to set up a bird hide at one of my secret water holes for the morning, this is one of the best chance to photograph the spectacular Gouldian Finch, other birds that come into drink include Hooded Parrots, Long-Tailed Finch, Masked Finch, Double-barred Finch, Banded Honeyeater, Great Bowerbird and Brown Quail. After this we have a 4 hour drive west to the Victoria River Region about 300 km west of Katherine, along the way we will stop at a few secret spots to see what we can find. The afternoon can be spent around Timber Creek searching for the spectacular Purple-crowned Fairy-wren along the river banks we will also be keeping an eye out for Red-backed Kingfishers and maybe even the very elusive Yellow-rumped Mannikin which can sometimes be found in the area.

Accommodation – Timber Creek Hotel, Timber Creek

Day 7

This morning we will be setting up at one of the many great dry season watering holes in the area, possibilities here are Double-barred Finch, Crimson Finch, Long-tailed Finch, Masked Finch, Chestnut-breasted Mannikin, Star Finch, Zebra Finch, Yellow-rumped Mannikin, Pictorella Mannikin and Gouldian Finch. Hopefully have birds coming down to drink in front of us. The afternoon will be spent looking for and photographing Red-backed Kingfisher, Banded Honeyeaters, Black-faced, Masked, White-browed, White-breasted and Little Woodswallow along with Square-tailed Kites, Little Eagles, Black-tailed Tree-creeper and anything else we missed.

– Timber Creek Hotel, Timber Creek

Day 8

What we do this morning will depend on what we need to improve on, we can go back to photograph the Finches or maybe photograph the Purple-crowned Fairywrens again, it will be totally up to you. After breakfast we will then be heading off on our big drive back to Darwin.

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