Inala's South-eastern Queensland birds and wildlife
November 23 - December 2, 2022
We are thrilled to be offering this new tour with a new focus, led by Inala guide, professional wildlife biologist and author Angus McNab. This tour showcases the very best of south-eastern Queensland’s wildlife. We also visit some stunningly scenic locations which include iconic places such as O’Reilly’s in Lamington National Park and other areas renowned for their natural values but are not on many tour itineraries such as Girraween NP and Bunya Mountains.
This tour has been designed to link with the Inala NSW Parks Natural history tour (18-23 November 2022) so please contact us if you are interested in joining both.
ITINERARY OUTLINE FOR MAIN TOUR:
Day 1. Wed 23 Nov 22. Arrive Brisbane.
Day 2. Thu 24 Nov 22. Brisbane to Lamington National Park
Day 3. Fri 25 Nov 22. Lamington National Park
Day 4. Sat 26 Nov 22. Lamington to Main Range National Park
Day 5. Sun 27 Nov 22. Main Range National Park to Girraween National Park
Day 6. Mon 28 Nov 22. Girraween National Park
Day 7. Tue 29 Nov 22. Girraween National Park to Dalby
Day 8. Wed 30 Nov 22. Dalby to Bunya Mountains.
Day 9. Thu 01 Nov 22. Brush-tailed Rock Wallaby/ Brisbane Rainforest.
Day 10. Fri 02 Nov 22. Depart Brisbane.
B- breakfast, L- lunch, D-dinner
Day 1. Wednesday 23 November 2022. Arrive Brisbane.
Today has been set aside as an arrival day. Own arrangements for arrival at the hotel and meet this evening for a welcome dinner, where you will meet Angus and have a chat about the tour itinerary. Those participants also joining our NSW Park natural history tour will fly from Sydney to Brisbane this afternoon.
Accommodation: Brisbane hotel (en suite room). Meals included: D.
Day 2. Thursday 24 November 2022. Brisbane to Lamington National Park.
This morning we will make our way from the city of Brisbane to Lamington National Park (around 2 hours’ drive), which contains the biggest tract of subtropical rainforest in Australia, including large stands of magnificent Antarctic Beech Nothofagus (Lophozonia) moorei that defines Australia’s connection with the ancient supercontinent of Gondwana. This 212km² UNESCO World Heritage site is extremely biologically diverse, with a rich assemblage of birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians, including many rare and endemic species. We will spend the day walking along the tracks close to our accommodation where we are likely to see Crimson Rosellas, Australian King Parrots, Red-browed Finch, the spectacular Regent and Satin Bowerbirds, and Gondwanan rainforest endemics like Australian Logrunner, Green Catbird, and Paradise Riflebird. We should also see the prehistoriclooking Southern Angle-headed Dragons, Land Mullets (one of the world’s largest species of skink), and Carpet Pythons. We will take a break in the late afternoon to watch Red-necked Pademelons and Whiptail Wallabies feeding on the lawns before we have an early dinner. At dusk we will head to the botanical gardens in search of nocturnal animals, including owls, possums and gliders, leaf-tailed geckos, and frogs such as the Sandpaper (Fletcher’s) Frogs, Red-eyed Treefrogs and the strange Hip-pocket Frog, which lay their eggs in leaf litter and carry their tadpoles in pouches.
Accommodation: O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat (en suite rooms). Meals included: B, L, D.
Day 3. Friday 25 November 2022. Lamington National Park.
Today we have a full day to explore the areas further from the lodge. There are plenty more birds to see, including Albert’s Lyrebird, which is restricted to a small area of rainforest in SE Queensland and NE New South Wales, Yellow-throated Scrubwren, Eastern Whipbird, Wompoo, Wonga, Topknot and White-headed Pigeons, Rose Robin, and the stunning Noisy Pitta. We might also encounter the land snails on which the pittas feed. Several species here are endemic to the rainforests and are the largest land snails in Australia. We should also see Red-legged Pademelon in the forest. After another early dinner we will spotlight for mammals and frogs, especially the endangered Fleay’s Barred Frog.
Accommodation: O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat (en suite room) as for last night. Meals included: B, L, D.
Day 4. Saturday 26 November 2022. Lamington National Park) to Warwick via Main Range NP.
This morning we will leave O’Reilly’s and head to Main Range National Park (around 3 hours’ drive). This 348km² the park encompasses mountains, scenic views, and a diverse array of walks, all within the Gondwanan Rainforest of Australia World Heritage Area. A diversity of habitat types within the park – from subtropical and cool temperate rainforest in sheltered gullies to wet and dry sclerophyll forest and montane heath – provides the opportunity to encounter a variety of species. This is one of the few places where the Giant Spear Lily Doryanthes palmeri grows. This huge plant, with leaves up to 3 metres long and a flower spike up to 5 metres tall, is one of only two species in the family Doryanthaceae. Both are restricted to eastern Australia. Here we will look for Squatter Pigeon, Speckled Warbler, Black-eared Cuckoo, Turquoise Parrot, Little Lorikeet, Painted Button-quail, Plum-headed Finch, Diamond Firetail, Hooded Robin and the exquisite White-winged Fairywren. We also have a chance of a range of honeyeaters, including Painted (rare), Striped, Black-chinned, Yellow-tufted and Fuscous, as well as a chance of spotting the elusive, endangered Regent Honeyeater. Mammals we might see include Black-striped Wallaby, Red-necked Wallaby and Eastern Grey Kangaroo. This afternoon we will head to Goomburra for some afternoon birding along the creeks and around the campground. We will also take another night tour to see nocturnal creatures. Target species today include Carpet Python, Dwarf Crowned Snake, Pink-tongued Skink, Graceful Tree Frog, and another chance at Fleay’ s Barred Frog and Red-eyed Tree Frog. We should also see a range of possums and gliders here.
Accommodation: Warwick (en suite rooms). Meals included: B, L, D.
Day 5. Sunday 27 November 2022. Warwick to Girraween NP.
Today we leave the rainforest and head to the scenic Girraween National Park (around 2 hours’ drive) where we enter a different landscape. Girraween is part of southern Queensland’s Granite Belt and the rocks here formed about 225 million years ago, when the continent’s edge buckled into mountains. The vegetation is mostly dry woodland and montane heathland, with abundant wildflowers in spring. On arrival we will take some short walks through the national park. Doublebarred Finch, Turquoise Parrots, Yellow-tufted Honeyeater and quail are possibilities during the morning. The rugged geology provides us with the opportunity to see several saxicoline (rock living) reptiles. The herpetofauna of this region is unique amongst Queensland’s reptiles, as they are the only species that can survive winters under snow. (Winter temperatures here regularly drop below 0°C overnight.) We will search for Cunningham’s Skink and relax near the stream in the company of rare Bell’s Turtles. We will once again head out after dark, for some spotlighting to search for unusual species, such as the Granite-belt Leaf-tailed Geckos and Granite-belt Thick-tailed Geckos.
Accommodation: near Girraween NP (en suite rooms). Meals included: B, L, D.
Day 6. Monday 28 November 2022. Girraween NP.
We will spend a second day in the Park today in search of more birds and reptiles. Activities can include a hike up to a viewpoint to see Cunningham’s Skinks. This is also a good opportunity to have a rest and explore locally around the accommodation after all these night excursions!
Accommodation: near Girraween NP (en suite rooms). Meals included: B, L, D.
Day 7. Tueday 29 November 2022. Girraween National Park to Dalby.
We will spend the morning looking for birds and reptiles in Girraween NP before moving into the Brigalow Belt Bioregion (around 3.5 hours of driving) where we will again find ourselves within range of an entirely new flora and fauna. The bioregion is named after Brigalow (Acacia harpophylla), which once dominated the area. We will have a relaxing afternoon around Lake Broadwater, where we should find a good range of waterbirds and waders including Red-kneed Dotterel, Pied Stilt, Pinkeared Duck and Musk Duck. Dry woodland birds include the cheeky Apostlebird, Red-winged Parrot, Grey-crowned Babbler, Red-backed Kingfisher, White-throated and Western Gerygone, Jacky Winter and Dusky Woodswallow. Spring migrants should hopefully include White-winged Triller, Pallid Cuckoo, Rufous Songlark and White-browed Woodswallow. We should also find several species of reptiles and macropods. After dinner tonight we will return to Lake Broadwater to spotlight for owls and other nocturnal birds, Spotted Black snakes, and the rare and beautiful Golden-tailed Gecko. If there has been recent rain, we may also find burrowing frogs and vividly coloured Holy Cross Frogs.
Accommodation: Dalby (en suite rooms). Meals included: B, L, D.
Day 8. Wednesday 30 November 2022. Bunya Mountains.
. In the morning we can try for the rare and cryptic Condamine Earless Dragon, and then drive out to the Bunya Mountains. This area is also one of the few remaining refuges of the Bunya Pine, the last surviving species of the genus Araucaria in the Bunya group. This group was diverse and widespread in the Mesozoic Era (particularly 150-200 million years ago). These trees grow to a height of around 45m and produce very heavy, football-sized cones containing edible kernels used as a traditional indigenous food source. The Bunya Mountains are home to another Araucaria, the Hoop Pine, which also occurs in New Guinea. We will spend the day on walking trails and enjoying the cool mountain areas as we search for fruiting rainforest trees that hopefully bring in Superb, Rose-crowned and Wompoo Fruitdoves, Topknot Pigeons, Brown Cuckoo-dove, as well as Cicadabird, Spangled Drongo, Varied Triller and Australasian Figbird. We will also look for the endemic Bunya Sun-Skink, which lives in the ‘balds’, natural areas of native grassland among the forests. After dark we will watch the bats come out of the old buildings in the area and spotlight along some streams for more nocturnal fauna.
Accommodation: near Bunya Mountains (large houses with several bathrooms and bedrooms (en suite rooms wherever possible). Meals included: B, L, D.
Day 9. Thursday 01 December 2022. Brush-tailed Rock Wallaby - Brisbane.
This morning we will spend more time exploring in the Bunya Mountains, then we will head to a site near Crow’s Nest to search for the Brush-tailed Rock Wallaby, keeping an eye out for birds like Channel-billed Cuckoo, Grey Goshawk, Leaden Flycatcher, Pale-headed Robin, Azure Kingfisher and Scaly-breasted Lorikeet. We can take our time and slowly make our way back to Brisbane (travel time around 2.5 hours). We will also have the opportunity to take a final night drive and spotlight in an amazing area of wet forest and rainforest close to the city of Brisbane’s for our last night. Depending on the weather, we may see a wide range of reptiles including snakes such as the black-and white Bandy-bandy, and frogs such as the Great Barred Frog, the strange Tusked Frog, and several species of tree frog.
Accommodation: Brisbane (en suite rooms). Meals included: B, L, D.
Day 10. Friday 02 December 2022. Depart Brisbane.
Those leaving us this morning will make their own arrangements to transfer to Brisbane Airport for their departure.
Accommodation: none. Meals included: B.
Group size: 6-8 people + specialist Inala guide Angus McNab
Tour Price: $5,550 per person sharing for a minimum group size of 6 people
Single supplement: Price = $850
Combination price of $9,500 (discount of $250 off total twin share price) for joining both our NSW and SE Queensland tours.
Price includes: 9 nights’ accommodation, specialist guide and transport, meals, entrance fees and activities as mentioned in the itinerary and GST.
Price does not include: Airfares, gratuities, alcoholic beverages, snacks, internet, laundry, or other items of a personal nature.
Please click here to open a separate online doc which answers many of the questions you may have about joining an Inala small-group tour, from the structure of an average day to the pace, activity level, meals, rooms etc .......