Tropical Bird Photography Tour

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Tropical Outback Top End Bird Photography Tour

Tropical Bird Photography Tour

9 Day Guided Journey
05-13 August 2022


Embark on our 9 Day ‘Tropical Outback’ Top End Bird Photography Tour to photograph an incredible range of colourful and unique northern Australian birds and wildlife in stunning natural landscapes.

The tour takes in some of the Top End’s most colourful and rewarding bird photography locations. You’ll seek finches, parrots, pitta, bee-eater, kingfishers, raptors, cranes, stork, owls, fairywrens, frogmouth, honeyeaters and more under expert guidance from award-winning guide Luke Paterson.

The private sunrise photography cruises make for the ultimate up-close encounters and a great vantage point to photograph wild birds in their natural habitat in Ramsar-listed wetlands. The dramatic stone country, home to rich and ancient sandstone escarpment houses aboriginal rock art and endemic bird species.

The brilliant photographic opportunities of birds, wildlife and landscapes are many and varied. Bush breakfasts and picnic lunches are eaten in the field, while dinner and species lists are held in a local restaurant and overnight in standard/mid-range accommodation.

This tour explores the regions from Darwin – Fogg Dam – Mary River – World Heritage Kakadu National Park – Pine Creek – Nitmiluk National Park – Katherine – Victoria river – Timber Creek over 9 bird photo-filled days.

(Total touring distance: 2,200 kilometres overland).

Contact us for more information on the Tropical Bird Photography Tour.


Day 1:
Hotel (or airport) pick up before photographing around coastal and monsoon forest reserves in Darwin.

Overnight Darwin CBD, en suite room.

Targets include: Rufous Owl, Rainbow Pitta, Barking Owl, Lemon-bellied Flycatcher (Flyrobin), Australasian Figbird, Red-headed Honeyeater, Red-collared Lorikeet and Forest Kingfisher.

Day 2:
Travel Darwin to Mary River, via the famous Fogg Dam Wetland Conservation Reserve.

Overnight Mary River Wilderness Retreat, en suite bungalow.

Targets include: Crimson Finch, Comb-crested Jacana, Australasian Darter, Rainbow Bee-eater, Arafura Fantail, Broad-billed Flycatcher, Whistling Kite, Grey Whistler and Intermediate Egret.

Day 3:
3 hour private photographic sunrise cruise on Mary River wetlands. Travel to Kakadu National Park via South Alligator Region (Mamukala bird hide).

Overnight in Jabiru township, en suite room.

Targets include: White-bellied Sea-eagle, Black-necked Stork, Azure Kingfisher, Magpie Goose, Purple (Australian) Swamphen, Black Kite, Shining Flycatcher, Striated Heron, Nankeen Night-heron and Wandering Whistling Duck.

Day 4:
Explore Kakadu National Park’s East Alligator region. Visit ancient aboriginal rock art sites, sandstone outcrops and monsoon forest for specialty birds, followed by South Alligator Region and/or Jabiru Region (time permitting).

Overnight in Jabiru township, en suite room.

Targets include: Chestnut-quilled Rock Pigeon, Rainbow Pitta, Pheasant Coucal, Partridge Pigeon, Sandstone Shrike-thrush, Rufous Whistler, Yellow (Green) Oriole, Bush Stone-curlew and Double-barred Finch.

Day 5:
Explore Ramsar-listed World Heritage wetlands in Kakadu National Park. Rise before dawn for a 3-hour private photographic sunrise cruise on the famous Yellow Water billabong in central Kakadu. Travel south through Kakadu before reaching our next destination Pine Creek, where parrots are plentiful.

Targets include: Great Bowerbird, Plumed Whistling Duck, Black Bittern, Great-billed Heron, Little Kingfisher, Glossy Ibis, Royal Spoonbill, Red-collared Lorikeet, Red-winged Parrot and Hooded Parrot.

Day 6:
Journey to Nitmiluk National Park where we will stake out a nearby waterhole in search for finches and parrots. We then continue driving through cattle-farming country to Victoria River Roadhouse.

Overnight Pine Creek township, en suite room.

Targets include: Gouldian Finch, Long-tailed Finch, Australian Bustard, Banded Honeyeater, Northern Rosella, Apostlebird, Grey-crowned Babbler and Purple-crowned Fairywren.

Day 7:
Exploration day of the Victoria River and Timber Creek region in search of inland finch and mannikin species – up to 10 species of grass finch!

Overnight in Timber Creek outback township, en suite room.

Targets include: Gouldian Finch, Pictorella Mannikin (Munia), Striated Pardalote, Golden-headed Cisticola, Long-tailed Finch, Star Finch, Brown Falcon, Yellow-rumped Mannikin (Munia), Budgerigar, Buff-sided Robin and Purple-crowned Fairywren.

Day 8:
We’ll rise early to retarget any species we may have missed or want a second chance at photographing around the Timber Creek region, before returning through the Victoria River Region. We’ll comb the river banks before returning to Pine Creek for endemic and wild parrot photography.

Overnight Pine Creek township, en suite room.

Targets include: Purple-crowned Fairywren, Nankeen Kestrel, Red-backed Kingfisher, Cockatiel, Gouldian Finch, Hooded Parrot, Galah, Pied Butcherbird, Wedge-tailed Eagle and Little Corella.

Day 9:
We finish our inland bird photo shoots at Pine Creek before travelling back through floodplains and rural monsoon forest patches out of Darwin CBD to pick up any missed opportunities or to recapture some favourites.

Bid farewell and finish final species list before a hotel drop off in Darwin.

Price + Inclusions

Tropical Bird Photography TourPrice per person AUD
Twin Share$6,490
Single Supplement$899


  • Experienced & professional specialist guide – Luke Paterson
  • Luxury 4WD tours vehicle or 18-seater 4WD tourist bus
  • 2 x Photography Cruises
  • All Park Entry fees
  • 1 x Aboriginal rock art site
  • All meals whilst on tour (breakfast, lunch, main meal & snacks)
  • Water
  • Take home bird list
  • National Park permits

Maximum 10 passengers


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