Wild Latitudes


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Birding and Natural History in Tropical Australia

Interested in this tour?

Join Wild Latitudes on a grand exploration of Australia’s tropical northern reaches. On this two-week adventure, we’ll get to know the birds, wildlife, and landscapes of both the Wet Tropics of Queensland and the ‘Top End’ of the Northern Territory.

Starting in Cairns on the east coast, we’ll traverse Northern Queensland, an area renowned for its diversity of wildlife and birds. We’ll explore the wetlands, rainforests, and dry bush of the region. We’ll be searching for special birds like Red-tailed Black Cockatoo, Lovely Fairy Wren, Sarus Crane, Black Swan, and Southern Cassowary.

We then fly west and north to the city of Darwin. From this tropical port, we’ll head into the vast wilds of Kakadu National Park. The sultry monsoon forests and sandstone rock formations here are home to a bewildering assortment of birds, amphibians, reptiles, and exotic plants.

This trip is designed to thrill both avid and novice naturalists and birders. You'll see and learn a lot about the wonderful tropical ecosystems of Australia.

EXTENSION TRIP TO TASMANIA: Continue the adventure by joining us on an 8-day journey to the wild island of Tasmania! We’ll search for the region’s 12 endemic bird species as well as mammals like the Tasmanian Devil. A highlight will be an exploration of Cradle Mountain, a breathtaking World Heritage Site.

TRIP LEADERS on EXTENSION: Steve Robertson and Ivan Phillipsen.

Tour Highlights

 Experience the beauty of Queensland's many habitats: rain forests, wetlands, dry tablelands, and it's stunning coast.

 See a myriad of Australian birds and other wildlife, including Red-tailed Black Cockatoos, Laughing Kookaburras, Eastern Red Kangaroos, Wombats, and perhaps even the Southern Cassowary.

 Take an early-morning cruise on the Daintree River, to look for rare birds and crocodiles.

 Experience the rich diversity of birds in the amazing Kakadu National Park.

 See ancient Aboriginal rock art, preserved in Kakadu National Park for thousands of years.

 On the Tasmania Extension Trip: hike the trails and boardwalks of Cradle Mountain, a place of such stunning scenery it is listed as a UNESCO World heritage Site.

 Also in Tasmania: Seek and likely find all 12 of Tasmania's Endemic species of birds, including the highly -sought after Forty-spotted Pardalote.

CairnsDarwinTasmania(Extension Trip)AUSTRALIAN

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-4

From our base in the city of Cairns, Queensland, we'll explore the area in and outside the city, looking for birds and wildlife. We'll also spend a couple days on the Atherton Tablelands to look for special birds and marsupials in forests and Eucalyptus scrub habitats.

Day 5

This morning we search for the amazing Southern Cassowary. After lunch, we'll stroll the markets of Kuranda, a charming town west of Cairns.

Day 6

Today we'll explore the Daintree River by boat, looking for Saltwater Crocodiles and interesting birds. Later, we'll enjoy some free time to enjoy the coastal town of Port Douglas.

Day 7

A travel day. We fly from Cairns on the east coast to Darwin, in the Northern Territory.

Days 8-9

Leaving Darwin, we head southeast along the Arnhem Highway today. We’ll explore a few birding spots on this route as we make our way to the Mary River. The next day we'll look for birds and wildlife in Mary River National Park.

Days 10-12

We have several days to enjoy the amazing Kakadu National Park. This World Heritage Site covers almost 8,000 square miles. The habitats of the park protect rich geological and botanical treasures as well as countless birds and other animals.

Day 13

On our last full day, we'll take a trip into Litchfield National Park to see waterfalls, go for a swim, and see the massive magnetic termite mounds.

Day 14

Many of us will continue on to Tasmania for the extension trip. We'll say our farewells to those who are heading home today.

COST of MAIN TRIP: $4,395


START DATE: September 25, 2022

DURATION: 14 days

GROUP SIZE: Up to 14

TRIP FOCUS: Birding and Natural History


  • Double-occupancy lodging
  • Ground transportation
  • Breakfasts and lunches
  • Excursions and park fees
  • Guiding services

Get the brochure for this tour

The PDF brochure includes:

  • A detailed itinerary
  • Tour Map
  • Registration Info
  • And more!


Ivan Phillipsen, Co-owner of Wild Latitudes, is a passionate naturalist with a background in scientific research. He holds an M.S. in biology and a Ph.D. in zoology. Natural history is Ivan’s true passion and what he is most excited to teach to others. Although he is fascinated by just about every aspect of nature, Ivan is particularly fond of birds, reptiles, amphibians, insects, plants, and geology. Everything is interconnected in nature and Ivan takes a holistic approach when teaching about the natural world.

Dan Van den Broek spent the past 18 years leading birding tours throughout the world, sharing amazing experiences with hundreds of people. He believes that to understand the rich and varied lives of birds opens a window into the interconnectedness of our world. Critical to our understanding of nature and conservation is to consider how people and nature can coexist in a mutually beneficial way and vital to travel is to ensure that people and nature benefit from tourism.

If you love nature travel, you’re in good hands with us

How We Travel

We gauge the success of a tour on how well it was enjoyed by all. Providing a rich, rewarding experience for each individual is our top priority. Our tours generally have an easy pace so that everyone gets to experience all a region has to offer.

We create a friendly, non-competitive atmosphere that encourages tour participants to help each other in the field. Just as safety and comfort are cornerstones of our tours, so are humor and the simple joy of learning. The good cheer and camaraderie on our tours often inspire post-trip get-togethers and new, life-long friendships.

Our Focus

We’re crazy about birds, but they are only part of the story.

Our tours offer a holistic experience by taking the time to appreciate all of the animals we encounter– including mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and insects. They all interact and play vital roles in their ecosystems. We also take time on our tours to explore the plants and geology of the regions we visit.

Fostering a deeper understanding of new cultures is one of our goals. On your tour, you’ll taste exotic cuisine and hear local music. You’ll have time to peruse the market, stroll through villages, and share stories with the people you meet.

Protecting the Wild

Ecotourism is a powerful tool for protecting the wild regions of the world. For example, parts of Uganda are now devoted to the conservation of the Mountain Gorilla. Though still endangered, ecotourism has pulled this species back from the precipice of extinction.

We aim to make a positive conservation impact wherever we travel. We often use local guides and stay in small, locally-owned lodges. On every trip, we donate to a local conservation organization that works to protect a native species or ecosystem. When you travel with Wild Latitudes you are helping to protect wild places and the amazing species that call them home.

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