Atherton Tablelands Birdwatchers' Cabin


juvenile Rufous Owl


Superb Fruit-dove


King Parrot


Our 35 acres (14 hectares) of forest are on the western side of Mt. Hypipamee National Park (“The Crater”), and we share a 250m boundary with Herberton Range Nat. Park in the Wet Tropics World Heritage area, 25 minutes south of Atherton. The 1000m elevation makes it cooler and less humid than Cairns and Kuranda.

Atherton Tablelands Accommodation

Forest Retreat for birdwatching in the Cairns Highlands

We are naturalists ourselves and on our travels we cherish privacy, tranquillity and undisturbed birdwatching and viewing of wildlife. This is what we offer here, and were offering at our Kuranda Birdwatchers' Cabin.

The modern, self-contained cabin is the ONLY guest accommodation on the property, set well apart from the main house. The cabin was purpose-built with a maximum of comfort and privacy for our guests in mind. Through the use of a lot of  glass, the cabin is intended to be rather a connection to the forest than a separation from it. The cabin’s veranda, orientated towards our small creek, is an ideal spot for watching wildlife. Every so often one of our Lumholtz’s Tree-kangaroos shows up right next to the cabin. Cassowaries occasionally wander along the creeks, especially when there is a lot of forest fruit to be found. Victoria's Riflebirds are common, and perform their display dance on a tree trunk near the cabin. Several other endemic bird species are also easily seen all year round.

The vegetation consists of tall open forest, with the dominant trees being 30-40m tall Rose Gums (Eucalyptus grandis), Red Mahogany (E. resinifera) and Turpentine (Syncarpia glomulifera). The diverse understorey contains many rainforest species, which also grow along the creeks.

This transition zone (ecotone) between rainforest and tall eucalypt forest supports an equally rich fauna: there are more possum and glider species here than anywhere else in the world (11 identified on our property, including the northern subspecies of the Yellow-bellied Glider). Leaf-tailed Geckos, Water Dragons and Boyd’s Forest Dragons are numerous, and there are more than 10 species of frogs.

Birds of the rainforest, like Victoria’s Riflebirds, Yellow-breasted Boatbills and Superb Fruit-doves, mingle with those at home in the drier forests, like Scaly-breasted Lorikeets, Crested Shrike-tits, Eastern Spinebills, White-throated Tree-creepers  and Spotted Pardalotes.

There are several kilometres of private, marked walking tracks, including a self-guided botanical walk, and we can provide you with a map and bird list.

We are ideally located close to a number of very diverse ecosystems. Within an hour's drive (or much less) you can visit:

-the drier, open forests and savannah woodlands to the west and northwest,

-upland rainforests in the tablelands to the east  and south,

-the many wetlands in the Atherton Tablelands (lakes, creeks and rivers, the  Mareeba Wetlands; Hasties Swamp with its 2 storey bird hide is 20 minutes away)

-the open rural  areas (great for watching the many raptors and cranes)

-coastal mangroves, lowland rainforest and sandy beaches are a good hour's drive away, via the Palmerston Highway.

The area is home to more than 3000 plant species, of which 700 are endemic, about 100 species of mammals, 50 species of frogs and more than 370 species of birds (nearly half of Australia's bird species. Some of them are easily observed even from the cabin's deck.



For Wildlife and  Nature News read
our latest blog entry


member of



This sanctuary is a member of