Cape York Wildlife Tour

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5.0 Stars - Based on 123 Guest Reviews

Upcoming Tours

9 Days
Availability : 6-14 October, 2023
Depart & Return: Cairns
Min Age : Open
Max People : 15
Tour Details
This tour is strictly for wildlife enthusiasts. A high level of fitness is required for this tour.

We couldn’t be more excited for this wildlife tour! For years we have wanted to run a tour specifically to find & photograph wildlife and nature! Finally it’s here: the tour designed for wildlife enthusiasts!

This is a very special Cape York tour, visiting some of the best natural regions in Cape York. We will spend our time looking for wildlife, whether that be birds, reptiles, mammals, insects or other! You will get to observe animal behaviour up close, while disconnecting and listening to the sounds of the bush. There will have countless opportunities to photograph our wonderful fauna and flora. And the best part, you will be with an awesome group of like minded people!

Starting from (& returning to) Cairns, you will first head north through “the most extraordinary place on Earth” according to Sir David Attenborough! We then spend 2 nights in ‘Queensland’s Kakadu’, aka Rinyirru (Lakefield) National Park. Rinyirru is a massive wetland ecosystem, host to exceptional birdlife!

We will be treated to an authentic Welcome to Country in Coen, with cultural activities. And then, after a few days camping you can relax in a room for 2 nights at the Greenhoose, nestled right beside Kutini-Payamu NP. Here you will have 2 full days (and nights) to find some of the most exceptional wildlife Australia has to offer!
After a couple nights in luxury, we head down to the beautiful Chilli Beach for a night’s camp. We then head south to Musgrave, to spot some very rare, endemic parrots! Our last day will see us having an easy drive, mostly on bitumen again, back to Cairns.

This tour requires a good level of fitness as there will be many walks looking for wildlife as well as night spotlighting and drives. The tour is mostly camping, with a couple nights in cabins.

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Departure & Return Locations


Price Includes
  • Tented accommodation
  • Breakfast, lunch & dinner, including 3 dinners out!
  • Sleeping equipment (tall tent, high density foam mattress, sheets/blanket, pillow)
  • 2 nights in cabins! See below*
  • All entrance fees to National Parks, ferries & camps
  • Incredible wildlife opportunities!

Our Prices

As inflation and the cost of goods and services increases, we have had to adjust our prices. We have always tried to keep our prices low for you, however, prices have risen across the board and we must keep up. Fuel prices have risen significantly, increasing the prices of food and other resources in remote areas due to freight costs. Many of our accommodation and tour providers have doubled, and sometimes tripled in price. In 2023, all dinners out have also been included in your tour price. 

We also pride ourselves in maintaining our vehicles impeccably and paying our guides well.  Our staff are up there with the highest paid tour guides & cooks in Australia. And despite what you may have heard, road conditions in Cape York and the Top End are as bad as they always have been, and there is still a LOT of bad dirt.

We have recently conducted research on all other companies going to Cape York (& a few Gulf Savannah), including motorbikes, tagalongs and tour trucks.  We found that we are still the best value in Cape York, whilst maintaining our 5-star rating.

We are just outlining this as we believe in being transparent and we hope you can appreciate the immense value of these remote, outback tours. We hope you will continue to support us, our staff and our dream.

Please read before booking!

The Greenhoose has limited rooms available for our number of guests.  The basic room price is included in your tour.  If you choose another room, the price showing for that room will already have the base price taken off it.  The availability of rooms will be on a first come first serve basis. As there is no way of restricting the number in the system, I may have to get back to you on what rooms are available after you book.

In summary there are currently:

  • 2 x family shared facility rooms with one queen bed and one king single bed
  • 1 x family ensuite with one queen bed and one king single bed
  • 4 x single shared facility rooms
  • 12 6 x double ensuite rooms
What to expect

Cockatours is a family-owned business who aim to create unforgettable experiences for everyone. We would love to share our experience and knowledge of the remote top end of Australia with you and show you places, experiences and wildlife you never thought existed!  We run smaller tours with a maximum of 15 (Isuzu) or 19 (MAN) people so it still feels private and we expect everyone to be friendly, considerate and work together as a team to create a positive experience for all. 

As a small business, we have the ability to be flexible and use this as an advantage for creating great experiences and adventures. Tours are subject to change due to weather, road conditions, unexpected circumstances and the guide’s decision to best suit the group. 

If you decide to join us on an adventure, please note the following:

  • be prepared for true bush camps; some have no facilities – we have a bush toilet and shower for these occasions
  • some camp toilets can be a 100-200m walk from your tent
  • tented accommodation: light, easy to setup, 6ft tall
  • team work; everyone helps clean, cook, pack & set up
  • we offer amazing camping meals to suit large groups - our meals are raved about!
  • we have limited access to shops, services or phone reception (Cape York is mostly Telstra only)
  • our itinerary is a guideline. We may alter the tour throughout the season if we feel there is a better option or an activity is not worth your time
  • we have a great reputation to uphold and endeavour to provide an amazing tour every time!
Tour Specific Notes
  • Bring water bottles (or small backpacks with bladders) with a capacity up to 3L for some of the hikes. Staying hydrated in the tropics is critical to feeling good, avoiding headaches and enjoying your tour!
  • You must have hiking shoes (preferably with ankle support) for this tour. If you are an experienced hiker/bushwalker, go with what you normally wear and are comfortable with.
  • Please bring a head lamp with you. They will save you an enormous amount of angst at night time around camp. You will also need them for cave walks. We have a couple of models we recommend and stock in our ‘truck shop’ for $30-40. Clients in the past have replaced their BCF specials with these and been stoked with them. We make no profit on these, we just want our clients to fully enjoy their camping experience!
  • There are lots of walks on these tours. You never have to do a walk, however, to make the most of this trip, completing all (non-optional) walks is highly recommended. We would highly recommend a decent level of fitness or starting morning/afternoon walks at home before this tour commences. You should be able to walk at least 3km over uneven ground, with elevation change to make the most of this tour.
All itineraries are subject to change due to unexpected conditions, circumstances or driver's decision based on what is best for the group.
itinerary for cape york wildlife tour
Click on the image to load the itinerary.
Your Guides
  • Rossy, the Cockatours owner, will be running this wildlife tour alongside Joe! This is a special wildlife tour and absolutely requires 2 ecologists & guides! Rossy worked as an ecologist in Cape York for 6 years, helping Indigenous rangers from Coen and Aurukun manage their feral pig populations to improve the health of their country and wetlands and reduce sea turtle nest predation by feral pigs. For the past 5 years he has run tours in Cape York & the NT. He is a passionate photographer and offers lessons to help people learn how to use their camera and understand photography. He is passionate about reptiles and was once a snake catcher in Townsville, but these days prefers to take photos and reduce risk!
  • Returning in 2023 is Joe, a very enthusiastic and upbeat guide! Joe is absolutely fantastic, and the reviews mentioning him are a testament to his ability!"G’day, my name is Joe and I’m one of the guides for Cockatours in 2022. I grew up in the bush surrounded by nature and wildlife, fuelling my desire to learn more and to teach people about our natural world from a young age. After finishing high school, I went on to study zoology, ecology and marine biology, which has led me to a variety of ecocentric occupations. In the past I’ve travelled to several different parts of the world in search of rare and wonderful animals and experiences. You can usually find me outdoors looking for wildlife, playing the drums or hanging out in my reptile room at home. I hope to spin a few yarns, have a few laughs and build your appreciation for some of the weird and wacky creatures that call Cape York home."
Rossy the Guide Next to cycad
cape york tour guide in green
The Truck

Our 15-seater tour truck, Zeus, takes us on incredible adventures! He is equipped with comfortable seating perfect for off-road driving, a good sound system and USB charging ports. The air-conditioning works extremely well and the tinted windows in the cab help keep the glare & heat out! Our trailer is our portable kitchen with even more storage which is perfect for any event; short/long term camping trips, weekend getaways, the list goes on!  There’s even a large awning for those rare rainy days! 

On camping tours, we take a maximum of 15 people and there is a fridge for clients in the trailer for your own  drinks!

seats inside an isuzu tour truck
truck and trailer in river
truck and trailer in fog
couple sitting at door of tent
camp chairs around fire
Camp chairs (Isuzu Truck)
camp chairs around fire
Camp chairs (MAN Truck)

Camping Equipment

We are very particular about a few things that make a trip comfortable; good food and sleeping gear are two of those. We do our best to maintain our gear to a high standard and turn over our camping gear frequently.

Our single or duo tents are 6.5 ft high, very spacious and easy to put up. The fly can also be removed, making it a big mozzie dome, for those starry nights so you can watch the stars go over head! 

The mattresses are high-quality, high-density dunlop foam mattresses that stack (not rollable) and are comfy! We have sheets and micro-fibre blankets (NO yucky sleeping bags) for bedding and a mattress case as well. The pillows are real pillows and are covered with hygienic pillow covers as well as a standard pillow case. We even supply bath mats for the front of your tent!  The chairs and mattresses vary between trucks due to storage space.

a mattress set up inside a tent

We highly suggest reading through our Frequently Asked Questions before sending through an enquiry or making a booking. 

Click here to visit our FAQs page. 

Camping Checklist

We have provided a handy camping checklist for you to help with your preparations.  This list was built from suggestions from past clients!

Click on the image to load the file.
camping packing list for cape york tours

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