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  • Photograph of Red-capped Robin

    A cracking Red-capped Robin in Wyperfield National Park by Francesco Veronesi.

    OUTBACK AUSTRALIA

    Photograph of Mulga Parrot

    Mulga Parrot by Mark Harper. This spectacular parrot occurs in mulga and mallee country.


    Best Wildlife in Outback Australia

    Mammals
    Red and Western Grey Kangaroos, Yellow-footed Rock Wallaby, Common Wallaroo (Euro) and Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat.

    Birds
    Emu, Malleefowl, Major Mitchell's Cockatoo, Letter-winged Kite, Banded Stilt, Red-necked Avocet, Chestnut-breasted Whiteface, Australian Bustard, Wedge-tailed Eagle, Rainbow Bee-eater, other Mallee and Outback specialities, including nomadic species which are sometimes absent but present or even abundant at other times, such as Freckled Duck, Black-breasted Kite, Grey Falcon, Inland Dotterel, Flock Bronzewing, Budgerigar, White-browed Treecreeper, Mallee Emuwren, Eyrean, Grey, Short-tailed, Striated and Thick-billed Grasswrens, Black, Painted and Pied Honeyeaters, Crimson and Orange Chats, Gibberbird, Chestnut and Cinnamon Quail Thrushes, Ground Cuckoo Shrike, Red-lored Whistler and Black-eared Miner, as well as Black Swan, Australian Shelduck, ducks including Musk and Pink-eared, Hoary-headed Grebe, Australian Pelican, White-faced and White-necked (Pacific) Herons, Australian and Straw-necked Ibises, Royal and Yellow-billed Spoonbills, Brown Goshawk, Spotted Harrier, Little Eagle, Black and Brown Falcons, Australian Hobby, Australian (Purple) Swamphen, Australian Spotted and Spotless Crakes, Masked Lapwing, Red-capped Plover, Black-fronted and Red-kneed Dotterels, White-headed (Black-winged) Stilt, wintering shorebirds such as Sharp-tailed Sandpiper (mostly Nov-Mar), Australian Pratincole, Fairy Tern, Common Bronzewing, Crested Pigeon, Diamond Dove, Galah, Sulphur-crested and Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos, Little Corella, parrots such as Elegant, Mulga and Regent, Purple-crowned and Rainbow Lorikeets, Adelaide (Crimson) and Yellow (Crimson) Rosellas, Horsfield’s Bronze Cuckoo, Tawny Frogmouth, Laughing Kookaburra, Red-backed Kingfisher, Splendid, Superb, Variegated and White-winged Fairywrens, honeyeaters including Grey-fronted, Purple-gaped and Tawny-crowned, Red-browed Pardalote, Weebill, thornbills, Shy Heathwren, Rufous Fieldwren, Redthroat, Banded and Southern Whitefaces, Chestnut-crowned and White-browed Babblers, Chirruping Wedgebill, woodswallows including White-browed, Grey and Pied Butcherbirds, Grey Currawong, Australian Magpie, Varied Sittella, Gilbert’s, Golden and Rufous Whistlers, Grey Shrike Thrush, Magpie-lark, White-winged Chough, Apostlebird, Red-capped and Scarlet Robins, White-backed Swallow, Brown and Rufous Songlarks, and Diamond Firetail.

    Best Sites for Wildlife in Outback Australia

    Photograph of Little Corella

    Little Corella by Matt Jones. One of many pretty 'parrots' that may be seen in the Outback.

    Best Times for Wildlife in Outback Australia

    The best time to be in the Outback is September-November, when the southern spring usually begins.

    Recommended Books etc. for Outback Australia

    Wildlife of Australia: Princeton Pocket Guides by I Campbell and S Woods. PUP, 2013.

    Wildlife of Australia by L Egerton and J Lochman. Allen and Unwin, 2009.

    Bradt Travel Guides: Australian Wildlife by S Martin. Bradt, 2010.

    Birds of Australia by K Simpson and N Day. PUP, 2010 (Eighth Edition).

    The Slater Field Guide to Australian Birds by P Slater. New Holland, 2009 (Second Edition).

    The Field Guide to the Birds of Australia by G Pizzey et al. Harper Collins, 2008 (Eighth Edition).

    Finding Australian Birds by T Dolby and R Clarke. CSIRO, 2014.

    The Complete Guide to Finding the Birds of Australia by R Thomas et al. CSIRO, 2011 (Second Edition).

    Field Companion to the Mammals of Australia by S Van Dyck et al. New Holland, 2012.

    A Field Guide to the Mammals of Australia by P Menkhorst and F Knight. OUP, 2010 (Third Edition).

    Field Guide to Australian Mammals by C Jones and S Parish. Steve Parish Publishing, 2006.

    The Complete Guide to Finding the Mammals of Australia by D Andrew. CSIRO, 2015.

    A Complete Guide to Reptiles of Australia by S Wilson and G Swan. New Holland, 2013 (Fourth Edition).

    The Complete Field Guide to Butterflies of Australia by M Braby. CSIRO, 2004.


    Apps etc.

    The Michael Morcombe and David Stewart eGuide to the Birds of Australia.

    Pizzey and Knight Birds of Australia.

    Where to watch birds in Australasia & Oceania by N Wheatley. Helm, 1998.

    Don’t know which country/countries/regions to visit in Australasia? Then it may be worth considering taking a look at this book, written by this website’s author. It is many years old of course but it still provides a starting point, an overview and a guiding light to the best birds and the best places to look for them in the region, and could save hours of searching for similar information on the internet. However, it is important to check more up-to-date sources for sites which have been opened up, sites and species which have been discovered, lodges that have been built etc. since the book was published.

    Trip Reports for Outback Australia

    Many trip reports, some for Outback Australia, are posted on the websites listed here. On some of these websites some reports are independent and some are posted by tour companies who organize tours to Outback Australia. These tour companies and others also post their own reports on their websites, which are listed under 'Some Organized Tours to Outback Australia' below.

    Local Guides and Tours in Outback Australia

    The costs of organized tours partly reflect the quality of the tour leaders. Some leaders are certainly better than others and many companies claim their leaders are the best but even the best rely at least to some extent on the exceptional skills of the local guides they employ. If you are travelling independently, employing such local guides will greatly increase your chances of seeing the wildlife you wish to see.

    Accommodation in Outback Australia

    Some Organized Tours to Outback Australia

    There are many tour companies who organize tours to see mammals, birds, other wildlife and other natural wonders. The cost of these tours vary considerably according to such variables as the airlines used, the number of days the tours last, the number of sites visited, the number of people in the group (an important consideration if you wish to see such wildlife as rainforest mammals and birds), the number of tour leaders, the standard of accommodation and transport, and the percentage profit the company hopes to make. Generally, where the number of days tours last and the number of sites visited are similar, the cheapest tours are those that use the cheapest airlines, accommodation and local transport, that have the largest groups with the least number of leaders, and that make the least amount of profit. The most expensive tours tend to be those which are exceptionally long, use the most expensive accommodation (ridiculously lavish in some cases, even for single nights) and which make the most profit. Some tour costs partly reflect the quality of the tour leaders. Some leaders are certainly better than others and many companies claim their leaders are the best but even the best rely at least to some extent on the exceptional skills of the local guides they employ.

    While tour companies organize tours with set itineraries many also organize custom tours for individuals and private groups who instead of taking a tour with a set itinerary want to follow their own itinerary to suit their own personal tastes, whether it be mammals, birds, other wildlife, other natural wonders or even man-made attractions, or a mixture of them all. Many organized tours with set itineraries are also fast-paced and target as many species as possible, whether they are mammals, birds or other wildlife or everything, which usually leaves little time to enjoy the best sites and individual species, but on a custom tour those taking part can specify the pace and the sites and species they wish to concentrate on. Custom tours also suit people who like to travel with people they already know, rather than with a group of strangers, and people with partners with different interests. Individuals and small groups will almost certainly have to pay more than the price of an organized tour with a set itinerary but a large group of friends may be able to travel for less than the price quoted for a set tour.

    Tour companies who are running organized tours to Outback Australia in the next couple of years include the following. Many of these also offer custom tours.