Great Northern Tours
Great Northern Tours
5
About
Great Northern Birdwatching Tours offer local and extended, small group 'Birdwatching' tours. From our base in Cairns, Far North Queensland, Australia we visit some incredible birding destinations, including the World Heritage-listed Wet Tropics, Lakefield and Iron Range national parks, Cape York, Gulf of Carpentaria, and the bird-rich Mt Isa and Winton regions of North-West Queensland. Whether you choose one of our scheduled tours or prefer a tailor-made private charter, your local North Queensland guide, David Mead, will make sure your personally guided tour is both memorable and rewarding.
Cooktown, Queensland, Australia
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

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5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles49 reviews
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48
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Miriam S
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Couples
David was an absolute pleasure to be guided by. His knowledge of birds and the Cairns area was superb. My husband and I did a Big Day Tour with him and it far exceeded our expectations. His enthusiasm for birds was contagious and gave us an even bigger thirst for avian knowledge. He was an all around great guide and helped us see over 80 species in one day as well as a tree kangaroo and, luckily enough, a platypus! The sightings were wonderful, but his help and guidance is what truly stands out!
Written 19 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you Miriam, I really enjoyed the day out as well. You and your husband made the day very pleasant and your enthusiasm for new birds/mammals/plants is what helped make my job so easy. All the best for your upcoming travels. David.
Written 30 December 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Anna W
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023 • Couples
Great Northern is truly amazing! Our tour guide Kala was so personal and very knowledgeable! It was truly a blast! You don’t want to miss out on this adventure!
Written 15 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ken B
Cairns, Australia659 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
June 2022
Jill and I thoroughly enjoyed our southern Cape York tour to Artemis Station with David Mead of Great Northern Birdwatching Tours. He is very knowledgeable about the birds of that area and their habitat, having worked in that region for many years, even before his guiding career. He found us everything we wanted and it was fascinating to hear about the birds and a bit about the ecology of the area we were visiting. David was very well organised, keeping us informed about his plans, including contingencies, which we needed due to road closures. We travelled in a comfortable Landcruiser and had all the equipment needed, including scope, hide and chairs. His catering included the need for gluten-free options. David is very friendly, courteous and flexible with a great sense of humour. Nothing was too much trouble, even going back a couple of km’s to confirm a bird ID. Apart from our main target of the Golden-shouldered Parrot, the highlight was nightly spot-lighting runs that bagged us Spotted Nightjars, a lifer. We would thoroughly recommend Great Northern Birdwatching Tours.
Written 18 June 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you Ken and Jill, I thoroughly enjoyed our short birding adventure in Southern Cape York. It was a challenge but we managed some great sightings and it reminds me how diverse the 'Dry' areas of Cape York are. All the best to your future 'Birding' endeavours.
Written 28 June 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Matthew E
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2022 • Solo
I had a fantastic time chasing birds around the Atherton Tablelands with David. Both his birding and local knowledge is second to none, I can highly recommend Great Northern Bird Tours if you're looking to see a large number of birds and particularly endemics during your stay in the wet tropics. David's vehicle was clean and comfortable and he was able to cater to particularly requests and adapt to adverse weather conditions. I'll be back!
Written 8 March 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you Matthew, for your positive words and great birding company on the day. Enjoyed your fantastic shots , especially the spotlighting session and yes we are lucky to live in the north with plenty of birding options. All the best to your future birding adventures.
Written 15 March 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Lynette
16 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2020 • Solo
I travelled with David et al to Iron Ranges in Oct 2020. It was fabulous and I was in birding heaven. David and Janet (behind the scenes) are extremely personable and organised. Everything was taken care of and all I had to do apart from be driven by David in a very comfortable large 4WD to the next spot, was “bird”! Accommodation and catering were excellent. Really looking forward to my next trip with David in June for Outback Queensland.
Written 6 February 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jenny H
Melbourne, Australia33 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020
Three days with David have been a highlight of our trip to Queensland. We covered Cairns local area, Atherton Tablelands and Mt Molloy Julatten areas. He is an excellent guide who knows exactly where to look for birds, including rare species. He is also very knowledgeable about bird behaviour, species interactions and broader aspects of the environment which has great for my partner who is not such a keen birder.
As well as a very good driver, with a lovely vehicle that is clean every day; he is personable and very easy to spend time with.

Over the three days we saw more than 130 species, which was fantastic as i had specifically said to David that i wasnt interested in shorebirds or waders. Species we saw included Spotted Catbird, Victoria's Riflebird, Blue Faced Parrot Finch, Wompoo pigeon, Pacific Baza (actually more than 10 different raptors). I was particularly happy with the number and range of birds we saw as it was winter.

I like to not only see birds, but get a good look and watch them and photograph them. We certainly go to do that and we were close enough to get some terrific photos. We will look forward to birding with David again.!
It was a great three days and we will certainly
Written 3 August 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you very much for your positive feedback Jenny. I really enjoyed the few days we spent birding the region with you both. It's always a pleasure to go birding with people who also love the diversity of environments that we are so fortunate to have up this way. (Love your photos!) Great to meet you both and all the best in your future travels.
Written 5 August 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

lindyj21
Sydney, Australia2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2019
I've been on a few guided bird trips in the past, but David Mead's was by far the most outstanding. His knowledge of the country - every lagoon, pond, creek - meant that he knew where to find the birds. His patience and expertise meant that his guests found them too! The pace of the trip was nicely judged, with time to explore at the various places we stayed (most comfortably!) as well as the various side-trips looking for our target species. Nothing was too much trouble, and his courtesy, good-humour and flexibility meant everyone enjoyed the trip. All in all, a marvelous experience, and I would unreservedly recommend it to any other birder!

Lindy J
Written 14 November 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you Lindy! This generous and positive response from you is greatly appreciated. Our group certainly worked well together in chasing our target species. With such an entertaining team of birders it all helped to make the trip relaxing and entertaining. Thanks again and all the best to you on your next great birding adventure.
Written 20 November 2019
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Stephen B
Sydney, Australia11 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2019
My wife and I did Dave's 10 day Cape York trip in October 2019. It was fantastic! An excellent journey through part of the country we would not see by ourselves (not being 4WDers), and with over 50 species new to us, and around 200 species overall. As a long-time local, Dave knows the country like the back of his hand, and knows the birds just as well, and exactly where to go looking for them. He is tireless in searching out the birds and goes well out of his way to look after his guests, and what each may want to do (or not do). We were in a "mixed" party, and Dave was sensitive to the different requirements of all 4 of us. The accommodation and catering was good, as good as you could expect, and at a number of stops better, for such a remote area. Highlights were the birds at the Kingfisher Lodge at Julatten, the palm cockatoos, golden-shouldered parrots and superb fruit dove, but really the whole experience.

Thanks Dave.

Stephen and Zorica
Written 10 November 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you Stephen and Zorica, your feedback has been most welcomed and appreciated. I agree with you on what a wonderful trip we all had and thanks to a great bunch of birders for being flexible and with the added bonus of being so well-traveled and interesting. It all helps to make birding in Cape York so enjoyable. Look forward to meeting you both again and all the best to your next adventure. David.
Written 10 November 2019
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Lizzie0909
Munlochy, UK3,320 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2019 • Friends
My husband and myself have just finished a 7 day birding trip with David Mead to Cape York. If I could give him more than 5* then I would, everything about our trip was first class.
His knowledge of the birds and nature in general was excellent, he also knew which were the best places to get coffee!
He organised all of our accommodation and meals and everything was great.
We were very comfortable in his Land Cruiser which was very necessary for the journey as the roads were difficult, to say the least.
David was very easy to get on with and had a good sense of humour. We definitely recommend Great Northern Tours.
Written 7 October 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thanks very much Liz, your positive and generous response is most appreciated. Look forward to seeing you again over here in Australia and wishing you great birding and safe travels on your next adventure.
Written 4 November 2019
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Ralph Darlington
4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2019
We recently spent a week with David in Lakelands NP and The Iron Ranges. This tour, to say the least, exceeded all expectations. David has a long standing knowledge of the area, knows his birds, their calls and habitat. We saw all bar one of the endemics, and he made sure that we saw them. Being photographers, we had time to photograph them. David is a very amenable person who bends to the needs of his customers with ease. We could not recommend his expertise as a guide more highly. Lynne & Ralph
Written 12 September 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for the kind words Ralph and Lynne. You both helped to make the tour most enjoyable for our whole group. Looking forward to meeting you again in the future and all the best to any future birding adventures that you undertake. David Mead.
Written 14 September 2019
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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