Top End Trip

To: "John Brannan" <>
Subject: Top End Trip
From: "martin butterfield" <>
Date: Mon, 25 Aug 2008 18:43:29 +1000
Until seeking advice from this list about good spots between Broken Hill and Brisbane I had never heard of Bowra.  The advice was very positive about the place and we did go there.  It was brilliant and I strongly support Lindsay's and John's endorsement (my intention is to return next year for a more substantial stay - 1 night is not enough, but far better than not going).  A marvellous place and great hosts.  Camping is definitely welcomed: the homestead waterhole was half surrounded by campers when we were there.  I really hope the place is able to be maintained in the current way.

If others go there a couple of other suggestions for places to go etc:
  • there is a paddle steamer that goes for a 1hr trip along the Darling from Kidman's Camp at North Bourke.  Quite good fun.
  • Fred Hollows' grave in Bourke is well worth a visit - in a birding context, go early in the morning to see the hordes of cockatoos of various varieties passing from their roosts to the surrounding country;
  • In Cunnanmulla go to the Visitors Centre and take the Time Tunnel.  I will say no more, so as not to spoil the experience!

On Mon, Aug 25, 2008 at 5:45 PM, John Brannan <> wrote:
I second Linday's recommendation of Bowra Station. I spent a couple of nights there on a recent trip up to Queensland and found it an amazing place for birding. Lots of lifers for me, as it was my first birding trip to Queensland, the Brolgas being the most memorable.

Talking to the wife of the owner (who will make you a delicious dinner if you request it in advance) she mentioned that they're looking to sell the place, but are having trouble finding a buyer who's willing to keep the place going as a birding spot. So you might want to head up there sooner rather than later. I recommend the cottage they have there (sleeps up to 6), though the shearer's quarters looked nice too. They also seemed happy to host campervan types.

John Brannan

Lindsay Hansch wrote:

Rhonda and I have just returned home form our winter "escape".  We had planned to depart on 3 April and head to the south-west (WA).  But, late in planning we decided to buy a new caravan – you probably guessed it, delivery dates kept slipping and we finally departed on 13 May.  Our first stop was the Barossa Valley where it rained on us for five days with strong westerly winds and more forecast.  So we made a decision to abandon WA and headed north, doing Cober Pey, Uluru, Allice, Mataranka, Katherine, Litchfield, Darwin, Kakadu, then back to Tennant Creek and east to Mt Isa.  From there we followed the Matilda Highway through, Longreach, Blackall, Cunnamulla, Bourke and home (13,000km in all).


Birding was good but we missed a lot, being inadequately prepared for a Top End/western Queensland trip.  Nevertheless we recorded 241 species including 65 lifers.  Best birds were the Banded Fruit-dove, White-lined Honeyeater, Red Goshawk, Hooded Parrot (female only and in the streets of Pine Creek), Carpentarian Grasswren, Bourke's Parrot, Hall's Babbler and Chestnut-breasted Quail-thrush.  We searched for and missed the Flock Bronzewing, White-throated Grasswren, Gouldian Finch, Chestnut-quilled Rockpigeon, Grey Falcon and Kalkadoon Grasswren.


For anyone heading to the area some gems for birding were Mataranka, Fogg Dam near Darwin (great waterbirds) and Cunnamulla.  At the latter we stayed at a property just out of town called Bowra Station for four days during which we recorded 97 species including six lifers (including Bourkes Parrot and Hall's Babbler).  Bowra is also a good location for the Grey Falcon (even though we failed to find it).


Lindsay Hansch

36 Challinor Cres., Florey, Canberra ACT 2615, Australia
Ph.: (+612) 6258 6038	Fax: (+612) 6258 6238

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the Canberra Ornithologists Group mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the list contact David McDonald, list manager, phone (02) 6231 8904 or email . If you can not contact David McDonald e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU