Gail Liston has hit the road and distilled her extensive travel knowledge to bring us the 20 Top Tours from all around Australia.

Great news for twitchers – Cape York is at its savannah best late in the dry season, when prize sightings of star finch, palm cockatoo, magnificent riflebird, trumpet manucode, marbled frogmouth, endangered golden-shouldered parrot and the rare and vulnerable red goshawk are common around isolated waterholes.

Bird devotees will be agog at the variety of species competing for binocular space on Wilderness Challenge’s 13-day Cape York Advanced road trip into the savannah, wetland, woodland and riparian habitats of the Cape. This odyssey covers more than 1000km, stopping at Lakefield, Iron Range and Jardine River National Parks, crossing the Archer and Coen Rivers, taking lazy swims in crystal clear spring fed creeks, camping on silver white beaches, and at one point following the route of the ill-fated explorer Edmund Kennedy and his Aboriginal companion Jackey Jackey along the Jardine River. Even in sight of Torres Strait there’s still a chance to eyeball a rare northern scrub robin or, better still, discover a message in a bottle among the flotsam and jetsam washed ashore by the converging currents.

Brag Factor // Standing on a tropical shore, obligatory glass of champers in hand, celebrating your hard-won arrival at Australia’s northern-most mainland point.

Details // Tour by Wilderness Challenge, $3495 per person twin-share. (07) 4035 4488,


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