Great Northern Tours

Multiple Locations

Great Northern Tours is a privately owned, four wheel drive tour business who specialise in extended birdwatching tours, as well as scenic, cultural and private charter adventures.

Their base is located in Cooktown, Far North Queensland, with great access to the Cairns region, Atherton Tableland, Cooktown, Cape York Peninsula and the Gulf of Carpentaria.

Operating with a maximum of 'four passengers only' policy, thus ensuring that travelling with Great Northern Tours is both relaxing and memorable. If you are wishing to increase your Australian bird list, love photography, or simply wanting to enjoy a professionally guided tour into some of Far North Queensland's more remote wilderness areas, then please contact them so they can discuss a suitable tour option.

Activities

  • Birdwatching
  • Hiking/Trekking
  • Off Road Driving

Our Tours

Cape York Birding Tour

Cape York birding tour is an eight day, fully accommodated birdwatching adventure.

From the tropical rainforests of the east coast, to the vivid red landscapes of Weipa on the west coast of Cape York. Visiting some of Australia's most iconic birding destinations, including Iron Range (Kutini Payamu) and Lakefield (Rinyirru) National Parks.

Great Northern Tours personal guide, David Mead, will help you locate some very special bird species, including the endangered Golden-shouldered Parrot, Palm Cockatoo, Eclectus Parrot, Fawn-breasted Bowerbird, Yellow-billed Kingfisher, Northern Scrub-robin and the endemic White-streaked Honeyeater, to name a few.

You will travel in a very comfortable, air-conditioned four wheel drive, (four passengers only), from Cairns to Weipa, with all accommodation and meals supplied, including a return flight back to Cairns.

When it comes to birding in the far north, Cooktown is a unique geographical base, due to its access to an incredible array of eco-systems, including wet tropics rainforest, mangrove-lined estuaries, open savanna, sclerophyll and riverine forests and stunning escarpment country.

You may wish to enjoy a casual tour of Cooktown's beautiful scenery, looking through the binoculars and taking in some new birds, or you could be a very keen birder chasing some of the rarer species, specific to the area; like the Silver-crowned Friarbird, White-streaked Honeyeater, Lovely Fairy-wren, Tropical Scrubwren, Northern Fantail, White-browed Robin, or the seasonal visiting Black-winged Monarch and Buff-breasted Kingfisher (Nov-March).

Either way your local birdwatching guide David, will make this half-day adventure tour a rewarding experience.

Great Northern Tours have designed this exciting, birding tour, to take in not only a splendid mixture of rainforest and dry country birding, but also allow visitors to enjoy some of the fascinating history and culture of Southern Cape York. The itinerary structure will have you spellbound from start to finish, a real taste of the Far North's colourful pioneering past, culture and not to mention some incredibly diverse birding opportunities.

On this three day circuit tour, they depart and return to Cooktown travelling through some very contrasting landscapes from the coastal splendour of Cooktown to the open savanna of Cape York.

Day one, you'll head north through Endeavour Valley, Battlecamp Range and the iconic Lakefield (Rinyirru) National Park, an extroadinary conservation area containing a myriad of waterways, billabongs and open savanna.

You will stay overnight at the historical Musgrave Telegraph Station (your base for two nights).

On day two you will explore a local cattle station for the endangered Golden-shouldered Parrot, one of only two Cape York's endemics. The afternoon takes you on to some open grasslands and mangrove tidal systems, for more examples of how richly diverse the birding in this region is.

Day three, you'll head south down the Peninsula Development road, to take a few more breaks at interesting birding locations, not to mention some fascinating escarpment country. Arriving back in Cooktown in the late afternoon.

This is great opportunity to chase some very special birds in a remote and beautiful part of Queensland's arid interior.

From the very beginning of this adventure, you will be enthralled, not only by the stunning landscapes of the 'Outback' but also its impressive birding highlights.

Travelling with a small group in a luxury four wheel drive, whilst overnighting in quality accommodation, certainly is a rewarding and memorable way to bird this wonderful region.

This tour departs from and returns to Cooktown and takes in two iconic national parks, both world-renowned birding hotspots, add in some hidden waterholes on a Cape York working cattle station and you have an incredible mix of Australian landscapes.

You will be visiting some great sites in Lakefield, as you travel right through the park from south to north. You will be targeting Star, Black-throat and Masked Finch, Banded, Rufous-throated, Bar-breasted and Rufous-banded Honeyeaters as well as a huge range of raptors and waterbirds, plus the prospect of finding the very rare Red Goshawk at their seasonal nesting site.

The Cape York endemic Golden-shouldered Parrot will certainly be on the agenda, as you bird some great dry country areas and a local cattle station.

Stage two of this Cape York tour you will be visiting Iron Range (Kutini-Payamu) National Park, simply one of Australia’s best birdwatching experiences.

The park contains the largest remaining lowland rainforest in Australia and is a refuge and stronghold for some very special birds, which can also be found in New Guinea.

North Queensland covers a large expanse of ever-changing landscapes. This fully accommodated, 10 day birdwatching tour is designed to showcase not only this remote and beautiful region, but its outstanding variety of avifauna. A great mixture of birding hotspots are combined in an itinerary that had over 200 bird species sited on their 2016 and 2017 trips. Including target species like the Golden Bowerbird, Victoria's Riflebird, White-breasted Whistler, Painted, Long-tail, Black-throat and Pictorella Finch, Purple-crowned Fairywren, Cloncurry Ringneck and the Kalkadoon Grasswren, not to mention in excess of 20 Honeyeater species and a long list of waders and waterbirds.

Great Northern Tours are excited about offering this (one-off for 2018) adventure, traveling in a luxury four wheel drive, staying in quality accommodation, with great food. Your experienced North Queensland guide David Mead, will ensure your journey is conducted in a relaxed and flexible manner. Visiting many iconic birding sites, including the Atherton Tablelands, Georgetown, Karumba, Burketown, and some very exciting birding in the Mt Isa region.

From the fabulous 'World Heritage Listed' wet tropics, to the spinifex-clad hills of the outback, they believe this well structured itinerary is one of the best birdwatching adventures offered in North Queensland.

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Daintree Discovery Centre

Cow Bay, Douglas Area
From AU$32 - 32
A multi-award winner, the Discovery Centre is nestled in the heart of the rainforest, 10 kilometres north of the Daintree River. The Centre is a 'must see' for anyone visiting the area and where you can experience the rainforest at every level - from the forest floor to the upper most reaches of the canopy.

Skyrail Rainforest Cableway

Smithfield, Cairns Area
From AU$51 - 210
Skyrail Rainforest Cableway is a unique rainforest experience, taking you on an unforgettable journey over and through Australia's World Heritage listed Tropical Rainforests. Spanning seven and a half kilometres in the Barron Gorge National Park, Skyrail Rainforest Cableway glides just metres over the canopy, its comfortable six-person gondola cabins providing spectacular views of the rainforest, tropical Cairns, the Coral Sea and lush Cairns Highlands.

Mossman Gorge Centre

Mossman, Douglas Area
From AU$9.50 - 9.50
Visit Mossman Gorge and experience the Daintree World Heritage Rainforest with pristine waterfalls, mountains and vivid flora and fauna, all the while getting lost in its enchanting stories and rich Indigenous heritage.

Cod Hole Dive Site

Cairns, Cairns Area
Free Entry
Possibly the most well-known dive site in the world can be found roughly 96 kilometres north of Cairns, at Cod Hole. Part of the string of long narrow Ribbon Reefs, Cod Hole is home to a group of very friendly potato cod, reaching up to 100 kilograms, that have become accustomed to divers over the past 30 years.

Lizard Island

Lizard Island, Cook Area
Lizard Island is truly secluded from the rest of the world. With 24 powdery-white beaches and 40 luxurious suites, it is the most northern resort in tropical Queensland and is located directly on the Great Barrier Reef.

Rinyirru (Lakefield) National Park (CYPAL)

Laura, Cook Area
Free Entry
Journey through golden sandstone hills and sweeping grasslands, boat along scenic coastal estuaries and vast river systems, and delight in flower-sprinkled lagoons and shady waterholes. Relish superb fishing, secluded camping, brilliant birdwatching and stunning photography.

Northern Great Barrier Reef

Cairns, Cairns Area
Free Entry
Cairns and Tropical North Queensland is the closest point in Australia to experience the Great Barrier Reef. When travellers visualise themselves on the Great Barrier Reef - they think of Tropical North Queensland.

Mount Lewis National Park

Julatten, Mareeba Area
Free Entry
Mount Lewis, one of the highest rainforest-clad mountains of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, is a treasure trove of unique and endemic wildlife. The beautiful upland rainforest dates back to the evolution of flowering plants on earth.

Cape Tribulation, Daintree National Park

Daintree, Cairns Area
Free Entry
Cape Tribulation, in Daintree National Park, is famed for steep rainforested mountains sweeping down to long sandy beaches and turquoise coastal waters. One of the most biologically diverse areas in the world, this park is part of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area and the coastal waters are within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

Cow Bay

Cow Bay, Douglas Area
After crossing the Alexandra Range visitors encounter the first bit of 'civilisation' north of the Daintree River at Cow Bay, located halfway between the Daintree River and Cape Tribulation and offering great beach and rainforest experiences.
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Note: Information on listed products and services are provided by the operator and were correct at the time of publishing. Rates are indicative based on the minimum and maximum available prices of products and services. Please visit the operator’s website for further information. All prices quoted are in Australian dollars (AUD).