Workshops and Tours with AIPP* Accredited Professional Photographer Mark Rayner - New 2018 Workshops available for booking.

Eleven Day “North Queensland Bird and Nature Photography Tour and Workshop”

When: 13th October to 23rd October 2018


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Join experienced adventuring professional travel photographer and bird photography expert Mark Rayner and Australian bird expert Dick Jenkin on a bird and nature photography adventure not to be missed.

We thought our inaugural itinerary last year was amazing, but this 2018 is going to be absolutely awesome! We have tweaked a few things to bring you even more private visits to special spots, combined with many tried and true locations, adding an extra day to fit it all in!

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Itinerary and Program of Events

Day One- 13th October

Arrive in Cairns and check into our Hotel. In the afternoon, we will visit the Cairns Esplanade for the first of our sessions with the migratory waders along the fore-shore. This is one of the few places where you can get very close to these birds that are normally quite flighty.
Meet and greet with your fellow travellers at 5.00 PM in the reception area.
Overnight: Cairns City Palms.

Day Two- 14th October

A day boating to the outer reef for the opportunity to get some close-up photos of nesting and roosting sea birds on Michaelmas Cay. The most common being Sooty Tern, Lesser-crested Tern and Common Noddy with a sprinkling of Brown Booby and Frigatebirds. Bridled and Black-naped Terns and other rarities can sometimes be present as well.
For those wanting to totally chill out, there will be time for relaxing, swimming and snorkelling.
Overnight: Cairns City Palms.

Day Three- 15th October
Today’s journey begins with an early morning drive up to Kuranda where we will have a private visit to the aptly named Cassowary House, where we hope the namesake bird will be present.

Also, around should be Spotted Catbird and Victoria’s Riflebird (one of four Australian Birds of Paradise species), with the diurnal Musky Rat Kangaroo often feeding on the forest floor.

After breakfast in Kuranda we will visit Birdworld, “Australia’s largest collection of free flying birds” for some close up photography opportunities.
Our afternoon destination is the small historic village of Yungaburra, in the Atherton Tablelands, our base for the next 3 nights. On route, we will visit a couple of birding sites where we should find a variety of water birds and surrounding bush birds to capture images of.
Overnight: Kookaburra Lodge Motel, Yungaburra.

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Day Four- 16th October

This morning we will head up to a private property near Ravenshoe where we will concentrate on finding the higher altitude North Queensland endemic birds such as Golden Bowerbird (a great chance of capturing this awesome bird at his amazing bower), Tooth-billed Bowerbird, Atherton Scrub-wren, Mountain Thornbill, Chowchilla, Bridled Honeyeater, Grey-headed Robin and Bower’s Shrike-thrush. Lunch will be time for a relax at the neighbouring property where garden birds abound, followed by an afternoon visit to a private lagoon teeming with birds.
After dinner in Ravenshoe we will do some spotlighting and photography of the creatures of the night. Owls, possums, wallabies and Lumholtz Tree-Kangaroo are all possibilities.
Overnight: Kookaburra Lodge Motel, Yungaburra
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Day Five- 17th October

Starting the day a little bit later than yesterday, we take a short drive to the Curtain Fig Tree for some rainforest birds and of course the tree itself.
After breakfast we will visit nearby Lake Barrine, one of the picturesque Volcanic Crater Lakes in the area, taking a boat cruise around the lake in search of water birds. The rain forest surrounding the lake also holds many bird species and the 1000-year-old Twin Kauri Pines are amongst Australia’s largest trees.
We will finish the day with a leisurely stroll along the creek where we are staying, our main target will be platypus, before having our farewell Yungaburra dinner.
Overnight: Kookaburra Lodge Motel, Yungaburra.

Day Six- 18th October
Checking out from Kookaburra Lodge we will make our way to the quaint little village of Daintree, our home for the next two nights. Our accommodation has a huge veranda overlooking the picturesque Daintree River.
On the way, we will check out some water holes near Mareeba Wetlands where we may be lucky in finding the enigmatic Black-throated Finch.
Travelling on via Mount Molloy we will visit a private lake with many birds to photograph if conditions are right. We will also check out a site for the rare Blue-faced Parrot-Finch.
Overnight: Daintree Riverview Lodge

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Day Seven- 19th October
We will start the day right from our door step with an early morning boat cruise on the Daintree River where we will be able to get closer than normal to some of the shyer birds, such as Black Bittern, Great-billed Heron (if we are very lucky), Little Kingfisher, Papuan Frogmouth, and Shining Flycatcher. Not to forget the crocodiles!
The rest of the day will be spent exploring around Daintree Village.
There are plenty of birds near our lodge and we will visit a scenic water fall on a private property in the afternoon, with many bird species along the creek there too.
Overnight: Daintree Riverview Lodge.

Day Eight- 20th October
This morning we say farewell to the Daintree and drive back towards Port Douglas and spend the morning photographing in the extensive Rainforest Habitat Wildlife Sanctuary.
After lunch, we head back up the tablelands to Kingfisher Park Birdwatchers Lodge, an incredible small remnant rainforest pocket holding many bird species.
There are many feeder and watering stations allowing plenty of closeup photography opportunities. Macleay’s, Yellow-spotted and Graceful Honeyeaters should be present as well as Red-browed Finches, Bar-shouldered Doves, Little Shrike-thrush, Spectacled Monarchs, Pale-yellow Robins and a myriad of other possibilities.

Overnight: Kingfisher Park Birdwatchers Lodge.

Day Nine- 21st October

We will spend a leisurely morning strolling the grounds of Kingfisher Park in search of suitable subjects, before starting our journey back to Cairns where we will visit Centenary Lakes and the Esplanade in the afternoon.
Overnight: Cairns City Palms.

Day Ten- 22nd October
On our last day, we plan to visit the new Cairns Aquarium complex, which only opened late last year and whilst there are no birds, the fish and the setup is amazing and we will get some awesome images and videos (mobile phone works well for these!)
The Esplanade and Centennial Lakes is also on the agenda for a final session with the birds.
Tonight, we share a relaxing final dinner before finishing our trip after breakfast the next day.

Day Eleven - 23rd October
Transfer to the airport for flights home
Itinerary subject to change or rearrangement due to weather conditions or at the whim of the birds.

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About Dick Jenkin:

Dick is passionate about birds and has spent his entire life pursuing countless species all over the globe. More recently, having observed all but six regular Australian birds, he has decided to revisit his secret places with camera in hand. Dick is now a full-time photographer pursuing this new goal.

Together with his wife Lynn, also a passionate photographer, he is setting about making bird photography more accessible to everyone.

In short, if there is a bird in the bush, Dick knows what it is and how to find it. His knowledge will be invaluable as we bring you this bird and nature photography workshop in the Hunter Valley region of NSW.

Photographic Prerequisites:

This amazing photography tour workshop is designed to suit the beginner or serious enthusiast.

A digital SLR or mirrorless interchangeable lens camera camera is recommended. Best lenses to bring include a longer zoom or prime. Lenses such as Canon 100-400, Nikon 80-400, Tamron or Sigma 150-600 are ideal as are 400, 500 and 600 primes. 1.4x and 2x teleconverters are also very useful.

A sturdy monopod or tripod is recommended, preferably fitted with a gimbal head. For the reptile and other animal sessions a shorter zoom or macro lens would be ideal.

A standard zoom (24-70) would also be advisable as some landscape opportunities will present. An external flash could be useful in certain circumstances.

Some of the topics that will be covered:

• Bird Photography techniques
• Wildlife
• Composition
• Lighting
• Exposure and metering techniques
• Streamlining your digital workflow and image post-processing techniques

This amazing tour always fills up quickly, so please book your spot asap.

Cost for the 10 day tour : Twin Share $ 5182.00 per person

Single $5595.00 per person

$600.00 per person deposit required to secure your position.

Balance payable 60 days before workshop.

Click here to book.

Inclusions :

  • 10 nights accommodation
  • All Dinners
  • All Lunches
  • All Breakfasts
  • All Ground transport
  • Charter boat fee
  • Entry fees and boat cruises
  • Guiding and tuition


  • Alcohol
  • Items of a personal nature

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is recommended and remains your responsibility.