LUTMAN'S 4-MONTH AUSTRALIA MOTORHOME BIRDING CIRCUMNAVIGATION


Map from Lonely Planet. At right is a Regent Bowerbird (photo from the internet).

BACKGROUND

In the southern hemisphere's spring of 2003, my wife Sharon and I took a nearly-four month self-guided birdspotting tour of Australia, in which we performed a counter-clockwise circumnavigation (staying near the coast mostly, but with a jog to Uluru/Ayers Rock and Kata Kjuta/The Olgas southwest of Alice Springs, in the center of the country). This was the longest trip we've taken by far. We chose the counter-clockwise direction because it's the same as the normal direction of bathtub drains in the northern hemisphere, and we were confident this will prevent any homesickness.

MOTIVATION

We left August 12th and returned December 9th (entrance and egret - sorry, egress at Sydney), getting around in a minimotorhome. This vehicle wasthe RV5 Grand Tourer, at www.coolabahmotorhomes.com.au/grandtourer.asp, if you want to get a view.

HOPES AND DREAMS, PLANS AND SCHEMES

Original Itinerary. Shows Australia map birding stop numbers, dates, some key birds at each stop.
Map of Australia. Shows our planned motorhome track, itinerary birding stop numbers.
The Australian New Bird Pool. Australian birds that would be life* birds for us (some links to bird pictures).

Our life bird list (of the approximately 10,000 species on the planet) is about 1165, and we are hoping to add about 400 on this adventure.

BEST PHOTOS OF TRIP

Best photos, First Round
Best photos, Second Round
Best photos, Third Round - Western Western Australia - Broome, Exmouth, Canarvon, Dryandra Forest, Augusta
Best photos, Fourth Round - Treetop Walk, Stirling Range, Wave Rock
Best photos. Fifth Round - The Nullarbor. North of Adelaide
Best photos. Sixth Round - The Trachydosaurus Hunter
Best photos, Seventh Round - The Melbourne Environs - The Grampians, The Dandenongs, Wilsons Promontory NP
Best photos. Eighth Round - Deniliquin, Tasmania, Melaleuca, into New South Wales
Best photos. Ninth Round - New South Wales. Katoomba. Capertee Valley. Gloucester Tops.
Best photos. Tenth Round - Goonoo State Forest, Gloucester Tops, Santa, Dharug NP, Mitchell Park, Ending

TRIP REPORTS

New South Wales (NSW)

01. Tue Aug 12 - Sat Aug 16. Getting There. North from Sydney, NSW. GETTING THERE.

NSW into Queensland

02. Sun Aug 17 - Mon Aug 18. Lamington National Park. RAINFOREST BIRDS .
03. Tue Aug 19 - Thu Aug 21. Lamington NP to Brisbane. MEETING OUR BIRD GURU
04. Fri Aug 22 - Sun Aug 24. Brisbane to McKay. BIRDING WITH GREG ANDERSON. ON OUR OWN.
05. Mon Aug 25 - Wed Aug 27. Eungella to Paluma. PLATYPUS, MORE RAINFOREST BIRDS.
06. Thu Aug 28 - Sat Aug 30. Paluma to Julatten. CASSIES, CRATERS AND CRAKES
07. Sun Aug 31 - Mon Sep 1. Julatten to Cairns. KINGFISHER CARAVAN PARK. THE MOSSMAN.
08.Tue Sep 2 - Thu Sep 4. Cairns to Bamaga. Northern Tip of Cape York. TIP BIRDS.
09. Fri Sep 5 - Sun Sep 7. Bamaga to Cairns, Kuranda, to Charters Towers. BACK TO CAIRNS, HEADING WEST.
10. Mon Sep 8 - Wed Sep 10. Charters Towers thru Mt. Isa to Camoweal. JO WIENEKE, BOB FORSYTH

Queensland into Northern Territory

11. Fri Sep 12 - Mon Sep 15. Border Crossing, Tennant Creek to Yulare (Uluru), to Alice Springs. AYERS' ROCK.
12. Tue Sep 16 - Thu Sep 18. Alice Springs to Ormiston and Other Gorges, to Tennant Creek. GORGE-OUS
13. Fri Sep 19 - Sun Sep 21. Tennant Creek to Pine Creek. PAIN IN BACK.
14. Mon Sep 22 - Wed Sep 24. Pine Creek to Darwin, to Kakadu NP. GOULDIAN FINCH
15. Thu Sep 25 - Sat Sep 27. Kakadu NP to Darwin again, west to Timber Creek. CLIMBING THE ESCARPMENT.

Northern Territory into Western Australia

16. Sun Sep 28 - Tue Sep 30. Timber Creek, NT to Kununurra, WA to Wyndham, WA
17. Wed Oct 1 - Sat Oct 4. Wyndham to Hall's Creek to Broome (northwest Australia)
18. Sun Oct 5 - Tue Oct 7. Broome to Exmouth
19. Wed Oct 8 - Fri Oct 10. Exmouth to Geraldton
20. Sat Oct 11 - Tue Oct 14. Geraldton to Perth
21. Wed Oct 15 - Fri Oct 17. Perth to Cheyne Beach, near Albany (southwest Australia)
22. Sat Oct 18 - Mon Oct 20. Cheyne Beach to Esperance

Western Australia into South Australia (SA)

23. Tue Oct 21 - Thu Oct 23. Esperance, WA to Nullarbor, SA
24. Fri Oct 24 - Mon Oct 27. Nullabor to Victor Harbor

South Australia into Victoria

25. Tue Oct 28 - Thu Oct 30. Victor Harbor, SA to Horsham, Vic
26. Fri Oct 31 - Sun Nov 2. Horsham to the Grampians, to Ballarat
27. Mon Nov 3 - Thu Nov 6. Ballarat and west Melbourne environs, waiting for Motorhome Repair.
28. Fri Nov 7 - Sun Nov 9. East Melbourne environs to Wilsons Promontory NP
29. Mon Nov 10 - Wed Nov 12. Wilsons Prom to Phillips Island, to Yea

Victoria to Tasmania, with short foray into Deniliquin

30. Thu Nov 13 - Fri Nov 14. Yea, Vic to Deniliquin, NSW, back to Melbourne, Ferry to Tasmania
31. Sat Nov 15 - Mon Nov 17. Bruny Island
32. Tue Nov 18 - Thu Nov 20. Hobart environs, Melaleuca, Back on the Ferry

Tasmania back to Victoria to NSW

33. Fri Nov 21 - Sun Nov 23. Devonport, Tasmania to Melbourne, Vic to Nowra, NSW
34. Mon Nov 24 - Wed Nov 26. Nowra to Fitzroy Falls, Barren Grounds and Shellharbour.
35. Thu Nov 27 - Sat Nov 29. Sydney's Blue Mountains, Capertee Valley, Glen Davis
36. Sun Nov 30 - Tue, Dec 2. Dubbo to Gloucester
37. Wed Dec 3 - Fri Dec 5. Gloucester Tops to Taree, to Parklea, suburb northwest of Sydney
38. Sat Dec 6 - Mon Dec 8. Cattai NP's Mitchell Park, Turning in Motorhome, Last night in Sydney


BIRDLIST

Order Seen
Taxonomic
Alphabetical


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* - Life Bird = a bird species we've never encountered in the wild before. Also "lifer."