Heading to North Queensland for winter sun, brolgas and bowerbirds

This is a great time to head north to the Daintree and tablelands of North Queensland – outstanding areas for birdlife, insects and fungi.

Cairns is the main centre for a visit, but moving north we have the Daintree rainforest with numerous access points, trips on the river are available with wildlife everywhere, as well as crocs of course.

From Cairns you can head to the Atherton Tablelands where there are numerous crater lakes where you’ll probably find a variety of birdlife including the golden bowerbird, numerous honeyeaters and the pale yellow robin to name a few.

I take advantage of a local bird guide, Allan Gillander when I’m up that way. He knows the area well and invariably gets me to some wonderful locations. 

One of my favourite locations is the Broomfield Crater where thousands of brolgas come in to roost – a great sight.

My visit to this location was very pleasing with images of groups of birds coming in for the night. In was there again before dawn and reversed the situation. I was amazed to find great numbers of the brolgas had climbed up during the night to be on the edge of the crater.

I soon found out why  – as they took flight for the morning departure to feeding grounds they would dive down into the fog of the crater then appear again as they rose up and away.

From the Atherton a trip further north to Cooktown is worthwhile, passing many locations that are ideal for birdlife, such as swamps teeming with birds, including birds of prey. 

Another spot on this part of the road well worth a visit is with Joe and Will at Bustard Downs.

During September the male bustards are in full mating display.

For what it’s worth, Joe and Will provide outstanding accommodation.

The weather in July, August, and September is super, usually around 25 and always a breeze blowing.