If you’re looking for a great destination to go bird watching, Australia is a perfect choice that won’t have you go too far since birds are almost everywhere and you can observe them using even your cheap binoculars from Nikon.
Scroll below if you want to see some of the places that are bound to offer you a memorable birding experience, and then take a look at our other article if you want to get the right gear for the job – you can check it out here.
Kutini-Payamu Iron Range National Park
The Iron Range region supports one of the most significant remnants of lowland rainforest in Australia. It is situated on the east coast of Cape York and it will require a four-wheel drive to get there since there are a few river crossings that can be impassable during the wet season.
Here you will find forests that are alive with the calls and songs of rainforest birds including trumpet manucode, eclectus, red-cheeked parrots, and magnificent riflebirds – all frequent visitors in the rainforest. Yellow-billed kingfishers and Chestnut-breasted cuckoos will keep you company since their trilling calls will become the constant background noise of the forest.
The Iron Range National Park is identified as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International since it is just one of the few sites left for the endangered buff-breasted buttonquail. The entire park has an area of around 2,395 square miles, leaving travelers with a lot of ground to explore and bird species to find.
The Mitchell Plateau is found in Western Australia and it is a very popular place thanks to its spectacular gorges, swimming pools, and freshwater plunge pools that are free from saltwater crocodiles.
The section that climbs to the Mitchell Plateau will take you through patches of rainforest and dense stands of eucalypt and Livistona palm forests that support an incredible variety of bird, mammal, and reptile species.
When you are not bird watching, you can also go to the Mitchell Falls which is the main attraction of this area. You can either take the four-mile return hike, a short helicopter flight to the falls from the camping area, or a mix of the two.
While the Mitchell Plateau is a truly spectacular place, we know that you are here for the birds, and we are glad to say that in this respect, you won’t be disappointed. Here you can find a few special birds such as the Kimberley honeyeater, and the black grasswren, both being species that can’t be found anywhere else.
Some of the other bird species that you can find include the white-quilled rock pigeon, the partridge pigeon, and a variety of finches such as the red-tailed black cockatoo and the colored Gouldian Finch. When the woodlands are in flower, you can also expect lorikeets and honeyeaters as well.
Kakadu is an iconic place in Australia since it is home to more than one-third of the country’s bird species and it was even voted as the number one bird watching destination in Australia by Australian Geographic. This area features expansive floodplains that are populated by waterbirds.
The best time to visit Kakadu is from June to October if you want to visit the waterfall sites since in the other months many of the dirt roads are closed due to the wet season. There are also many well laid out campgrounds that can house anything from tents to motorhomes.
If you’re a beginner, you can also learn to stalk and photograph Kakadu’s bird life with the help of the many tour guides that are available so that you can observe species with the help of professionals.
In the dry season, namely from August through October, when the water levels are low, numerous water birds will begin to congregate on the few remaining water bodies and that makes it easier to spot them.
The nearby rock art sites will also provide excellent opportunities to spot some sandstone specialists, which can be quite difficult to find otherwise. Other birds that you can find in Kakadu include the Chestnut-quilled Rock pigeon, sandstone shrike-thrush, banded fruit dove, and white-lined honeyeater.
The Gluepot Reserve is located in South Australia, at a 1.5 hours’ drive on the dirt roads north of Waikerie. It is privately managed and it was purchased by BirdLife Australia back in the late 1990s as a way to help protect the mallee bird population which was threatened at that time.
The Reserve is open all year to visitors and the facilities available include a visitor information center, campgrounds, driving and walking tracks, bird hides, and in-depth brochures so that you can make the most out of the time you’ll spend here. There are also numerous guided tours available if that’s something that you would like to do.
Before visiting, you will need to be aware that pitfall toilets are the only facilities that are provided and you will need to bring your own water. Campfires are also not allowed since the landscape is fire-prone. The visitor’s center will include a daily update of all bird sightings and rangers are on-site most of the times to provide you with extra tips.
The star of the reserve is the Black-eared Miner, which is one of Australia’s most endangered birds. Nowadays, the reserve supports and protect the largest remaining populations on the planet.
This mountain range can be found in Tasmania and it too is a popular tourist attraction thanks to its great camping and accommodation options. Here you will also find the Cradle Mountain National park that encompasses the valleys and highlands of Cradle Mountain.
The Park provides habitat to many of Tasmania’s abundant bird species that range from the soaring wedge-tailed eagles to the mountain-dwelling black currawong and tiny robins. Some of the endemic birds you can find in the Park also include the Tasmanian Thornbill, the delicate dusky robin, and the scrubtit.
Cradle Mountain is an excellent place if you want to observe the native mammals as well since here you will be able to get sightings of the common wombat, eastern quoll, and even the famous Tasmanian devil.