The Wildiaries Experience

Cape York Tour

From $4800.00 * AUD

Available between September 12, 2016 — September 23, 2016

Duration of tour 12 days 11 nights

These are all SMALL GROUP tours

On this tailored 12-day birding tour, led by one of Cape York's best bird guides, you have the chance to see all the Cape York specials including the rare Golden-shouldered Parrot and the stately Palm Cockatoo.

Cape York, including Iron Range, is one of the most famous birding sites in Australia ... it's one of Australia's last great wilderness regions, extending 1000 kilometres north of Cairns.

There's a magic here, spun by its variety. You'll meet animals and plants of the Australian bush in a habitat of crystal clear spring-fed creeks and waterfalls, huge termite mounds and carnivorous plants. And you'll feel the emotion and pride when you stand at the very Top of Australia!

A region of diverse landscapes and true wilderness it is an adventure Mecca. Ecologically, the region supports a diverse range of environments from tropical rainforest, open forest, savannah grassland and heath that remains relatively unaffected by industrialised society. 

Its indigenous history is a combination of the rich cultures of the Australian Aborigine and Torres Strait Islander. The ancient rock art near Laura is a highlight of Cape York. Known as "Quinkan" rock art, there are literally hundreds of galleries hidden in the sandstone escarpment of the Great Dividing Range. The collection is held to be one of the largest bodies of primitive art in the world which depict the activities and culture of the Australian Aborigine in bygone years. UNESCO notes this collection of art as one of the top ten rock art bodies in the world.


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Availability (Months)



  • A dedicated birding trip to explore Cape York, with a difference.
  • Travel off the beaten track to see some rarely seen locations, visit remote areas, enjoy new experiences and have fun.
  • Two-night camps allowing quality time in feature-rich areas. 
  • Two accommodated nights mid-safari giving some time for respite and relaxation and to celebrate the last night together.
  • Two senior guides to help you on your journey and add an extra measure of safety in the remote areas this safari visits.



Target Birds: Star Finch, Black-backed Butcherbird, Golden-shouldered Parrot, Eclectus Parrot, Red-cheeked Parrot, Frilled MonarchGreen-backed Honeyeater, Tawny-breasted Honeyeater, Fawn-breasted Bowerbird, Black-winged Monarch, Trumpet Manucode, Yellow-legged Flycatcher, Tropical Scrubwren, Magnificent RiflebirdYellow-billed Kingfisher, Marbled Frogmouth, White-faced RobinPalm Cockatoo, White-streaked Honeyeater, Spotted Whistling Ducks



This itinerary is broadly indicative. Between now and departure, there is option to amend and revise this to some extent. However, the itinerary has already been given consideration by our bird guide and the operator, so it provides a good mix of birding (focusing on endemics) and off-beat Cape York experiences. 

Day 1 - (D) Early departure from Cairns via Atherton Tableland and cross the Great Dividing. We’ll take a walk in the escarpment and visit Split Rock to view Aboriginal rock art. Camp night one in Lakefield National Park. 

Day 2 - (BLD) Explore Lakefield National Park and look for wildlife and birdlife in the wetland, savannah, woodland, open-forest and riparian habitats. 

Day 3 - (BL) More exploration in Lakefield before continuing into Golden-shouldered Parrot country. Camp at Musgrave. Dinner at a Roadhouse.

Day 4-7 (BD) Transit to Iron Range NP and camp for four nights. Birding around Iron Range, Portland Road and Chilli Beach.

Day 8 (BLD) 4WD to a secluded wilderness camp site for two nights.

Day 9 (BLD) A whole day of walking, swimming, fishing, birdwatching or relaxing on a remote wild river (this is one of the most amazing places in the whole of Cape York).

Day 10 (BLD) Continue on Telegraph Track. Camp beside another clear, spring-fed creek.

Day 11 (BL) Travel north to the Northern Peninsula Area (NPA) crossing the Jardine River. Visit the ‘top of Australia’. Check-in to accommodation in an air-conditioned room with hot shower and sheets. Celebrate last night together. 

Day 12 (B) Farewell. Boat to cruise to Thursday Island. Transfer by ferry to Horn Island for flight back to Cairns.

Meal Codes: B = Breakfast   L = Lunch   D = Dinner



Your travel and accommodation is being arranged by one of Cape York's most highly recommended and experienced companies, Wilderness Challenge. During the tented portions of the trip, you'll be camping bush-style with the following equipment:

- Tents:  

Size:                 Large 2.7m x 2.7m (9ft x 9ft), heaps of room for two persons, 

Height:              You can stand up inside the tent,

Floor:                Fully sewn in floor,

Door:                Zippered flyscreen with zippered canvas flap,

Window:            Fixed flyscreen with zippered canvas flap,

To erect:           Simply 4 x ground pegs and one central pole; easily erected in about 4 minutes,

Security:           Insect and vermin proof.

- Mattresses:

Length:             195 cm

Width:               80ccm

Thickness:        100 mm thick

Type:                Foam filled – not an air bed – no rolling off

Type:                Self inflating – no need for pumps

Sheet:               Fitted bottom fitted sheet supplied. Opened sleeping bag usually used as a doona.

The tent / mattress arrangement is very comfortable. The vast majority of camping passengers are between 55 and 75 years old and more than half Wilderness Challenge's guests are return customers or “word-of-mouth” referrals. This is a strong indication of the company's levels of comfort and hospitality.  



Casual clothing is a must to be both comfortable and practical and you'll need 4 or 5 changes. It is possible to wash clothes periodically.

Bring something warm to wear in the evenings and to sleep in (a tracksuit is ideal) as it can get cold away from the coast.

You'll need footwear with ankle support and good grip soles (eg: a good pair of joggers/runners), and a pair of sandals/thongs, swimwear and insect repellent. P

ersonal toiletries should include sufficient supplies of prescription medication. Sun protection is essential so bring a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses and plenty of sunscreen. A tee shirt for over your swimwear while swimming is also a good idea. You may also wish to bring a small towel or chamois to dry off after a refreshing creek swim.

Don't forget your binoculars, camera, plenty of memory cards and spare batteries. It may be possible to recharge batteries along the way, but carrying spares is the safest option.

A torch and water bottle per person is essential.

You will require a sleeping bag for camping safaris. You can bring your own or you can hire one of ours for $25. Due to hygiene reasons pillows are not provided so you may wish to bring a small pillow (foam or inflatable) for your added comfort on camping safaris. You will need a towel for showering.

Normally baggage weight is limited to about 10kg per person but as we've limited the numbers to 10 rather than 11, there is another 7kg available per person. 



We are very excited that we've managed to arrange to have Jun Matsui from Sicklebill Safaris take you on this amazing trip. 

Jun Matsui's lifetime of interest in wildlife turned into bird guiding in 1993 as a volunteer ranger at the Hikarigaoka nature park in Tokyo, Japan. Soon after arriving in Australia in 1999, Jun started volunteering at notable destinations such as Broome Bird Observatory and eventually took a job as a specialist bird tour guide in Far North Queensland. Since the mid-2000s, Jun has led dozens of trips including numerous journeys into Cape York. His expertise extends to all wildlife. He is passionate about guiding and receives positive testimonials from everyone for his compassionate approach to touring and hospotality. Jun is also author of a very popular Japanese language field guide to the birds and wildlife of Far North Queensland. 



  • 4WD vehicle safari trailer and associated equipment
  • Expert bird guide
  • 2 x two-night camps
  • One accommodated night at Moreton, permanent-tent safari camp
  • One accommodated night at Seisia
  • All meals, except lunch on three days and dinner on two days
  • Ice for cold drinks
  • Camping equipment, including twin-share tent and 100mm self-inflating mattress
  • All Ferry, National Parks and Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Site fees
  • Airfare Horn Island to Cairns.
  • Small group - maximum of 12 people (including expert bird guide). 


From $4800.00 * AUD

Price is per person, twin share.

Single Supplements

Single supplements normally apply at a cost of $520 per person. 


  • Flights to and from Cairns.
  • All drinks, except tea and coffee (milk is provided for cereals, tea & coffee). 
  • Lunch on four days and dinner on two days. 
  • Sleeping bags (available for hire for $25.00 each).

Available between September 12, 2016 — September 23, 2016

Duration of tour 12 days 11 nights

Our licensed travel agent can arrange all travel to and from tour locations. We can also arrange fully-guided options as well as tailoring packages for families and groups travelling together.

Terms and Conditions Apply