Grab your binoculars – with close to 1,000 bird species, Australia is a bird watcher’s paradise!
1. Kakadu, Northern Territory
The Kakadu National Park is a wonderland for wildlife and you’ll find 280 species of birds in the park. It’s especially good for waterbirds, who are drawn to the vast wetlands and billabongs. Key species to watch out for include magpie geese, large-billed pelicans and brightly coloured kingfishers.
2. Mission Beach, Queensland
The cassowary is Australia’s second largest bird (after the emu) but is much more exciting to find in the wild. These huge birds stand up to two metres tall and look sort of like an overgrown turkey. The rainforest around Mission Beach in far north Queensland is one of the best places to see them and they sometimes even come onto lawns around town. Keep your distance – they have been known to attack people.
3. Daintree Rainforest, Queensland
More than 400 bird species can be found in the Daintree region of far north Queensland. Keen birdwatchers can see nine out of 10 Australian kingfisher species along with honeyeaters, herons, robins, parrots and cassowaries. Take an early morning cruise along the Daintree River for guaranteed sightings.
4. Broome Bird Observatory, Western Australia
More than 100,000 migratory shorebirds pass through the Broome Bird Observatory each year. Many have flown 6,000 kilometres from China to land on the mangrove-lined shores. The best time to see them is between March and May when thousands of birds will leave together each evening. The yellow chat gets twitchers most excited and some will travel from across the world just to see it.
5. Scenic Rim, Queensland
Around 300 species live in the Scenic Rim region in southeast Queensland and at least half of these are seen on a regular basis. To assist visitors, the local tourist board has established the Feathered Friends Trail, a driving route that takes in places with the highest concentration of birds. You can see every species of raptor (birds of prey) here, including the wedge-tailed eagle, as well as black cockatoos, bowerbirds and lyrebirds.