On the Expedition
Explore pristine forests and exotic wildlife in this one or two week long expedition.
Leave the sounds of the bustling city behind as you step into the lush and tranquil tropics of Australia’s northern rainforests. The sounds of a bird chorus at dawn and trickling waters of nearby creeks and streams, will be your new home for one or two weeks, as you immerse yourself in this once in a lifetime adventure.
Inside the World Heritage listed Wet Tropics of Northern Queensland lies an exotic array of wildlife and plants. As the last remaining part of forest that once dominated half of Australia, you will find animals that cannot be found anywhere else in the world including cassowaries, a variety of parrots, pythons, possums, tree kangaroos and primitive looking reptiles.
Working alongside world renowned Ecologist, Prof. Steve Williams, you will move through a wide variety of landscapes from the crystal clear coral shorelines and beaches, to lowland lush rainforests right through to spectacular mountains covered in cloud forests.
Throughout this time you will be helping to shape our understanding of what changes are occurring to our climate and landscape and what this means for our unique species in the area. As part of a research team, you will be actively involved in the following tasks:
- Bird watching
- Lizard and frog surveys
- Nocturnal wildlife spotting
- Insect collecting and,
- Bat surveys
There is the choice of joining this expedition for either the first week or continuing and joining for the entire two weeks. The first week will be spent in the beautiful South Johnstone Forestry Camp while the second week you move to Shiptons Flat camp while stopping in Cairns for a couple days in between. While at Shiptons Flat you will also have the unique opportunity to work alongside the indigenous Bana Yarralji Rangers in order to blend traditional ecological with scientific ecological knowledge.
Both locations are on different tablelands to ensure a variety in wildlife and scenery and are often closed off to the wider public. In your spare time, and as safety regulations allow, you may swim in isolated rainforest streams and explore the forest trails or take an excursion to the Great Barrier Reef.
Meals and Accommodations
Most teams will spend two nights in Cairns, six nights at Shiptons Flat campand six nights at South Johnstone Forestry Camp or Kingfisher Lodge. During the two nights in Cairns, which will take place in the middle of the expedition, the team will stay in four-person cabins. Participants joining one week teams will not stay overnight in Cairns, but will be picked up and dropped off at the rendezvous point in Cairns.
The one week teams will either go to South Johnstone, Kingfisher Lodge Shiptons Flat camp depending on what week you join and the research plan. At the site in Cairns, there is a reliable supply of electricity (240 volts, three-prong plugs), internet access and the opportunity to do laundry.
While at South Johnstone Forestry Camp, Kingfisher Lodge and Shiptons Flat camp, all staff and volunteers will be sleeping in tents, with one person per tent. There will be no electricity or hot showers available but the project can provide basins and a bush shower, and there will be plenty of opportunities to swim in rainforest creeks
About the Research Area
Australia’s Wet Tropics World Heritage Area (WTWHA) is situated in the northeast of Queensland. The region extends for about 450km between Townsville and Cooktown. The tropical rainforest is mostly associated with a series of mountain ranges running from north to south, parallel to the coast. In the Daintree part of the region, the scenery changes from coral reefs and beautiful beaches to lowland lush tropical rainforest and ascends into spectacular mountains covered in cooler upland cloud forests. These forests are home to well over 2,000 vascular plants with most of the upland rainforest now completely protected. The region’s spectacular biodiversity makes it a world-class environmental research site by any standard, as well as one of the world’s most beautiful places.