This years' official conference excursions will be occurring on the 6th of July, see details below. There will also be some casual bird watching tours throughout the week to join in on. Register for the conference excursions through the registrations portal. All prices are in AUD.

Birdwatching around Darwin

Darwin Botanic Gardens, 2nd July - arrive early to the ice-breaker event

No Darwin birdwatching trip is complete without a visit to the Botanic Gardens and a sighting of the famous resident pair of Rufous Owls that have made the rainforest their home for several years. The gardens are also home to a resident pair of Barking Owls that can often been found in riparian vegetation along the creek or roosting in one of the numerous shady Raintrees. Recently a pair of Grey Goshawks have nested within the rainforest area, including a beautifully-plumaged white-morph male. A walk around the gardens can reveal a variety of birding delights including Rainbow Bee-eater, Torresian Imperial Pigeon, Pheasant Coucal, Crimson Finch, Blue-winged Kookaburra, Northern Fantail, Red-collared Lorikeet and Helmeted Friarbird. The call of Barking Owls and Large-tailed Nightjars can be heard as night falls on this delightful inner-city wildlife haven.

East Point, 4th of July - 6:45am - 8am : With Luke Paterson of NT Bird Specialists

Come and join a crew of local naturalists on a tour of this delightful nature reserve located only five minutes from the Darwin CBD. East Point is home to a variety of habitats including monsoon rainforest and vine thicket, woodland, mangroves, estuary and intertidal shoreline that make it home to a diverse array of birds. A search through the monsoon vine thicket will reveal a variety of honeyeaters, Grey Whistler, Little Shrike-thrush, Green-backed Gerygone, Arafura Fantail and the spectacular Rainbow Pitta. If you are lucky a Rose-crowned Fruit-dove or Emerald Dove may also reveal themselves. A trip along the mangrove boardwalk will take you into a spectacular Rhizophora forest where you can find Yellow White-eye, Torresian Kingfisher, Shining Flycatcher and Red-headed Honeyeater. A scan of the shoreline may also reveal Eastern Reef Egret, Australasian Darter, Beach Stone-curlew and Brahminy Kite. East Point is also home to healthy populations of Agile Wallabies and Swamp Lashtails.

Conference excursions

This year's conference excursions will be occurring on the 6th of July, see details below. Register for these excursions through the registrations portal

Guided Bird Billabong walk

5:30am - 1pm

July 6, 2019

Pick up time: 5:30 am

Pick up/drop off location:

Outside Tourism Top End, Corner of Smith St and Bennett St 

Corroboree Billabong sunrise birding cruise

5:15am - 10am

July 6, 2019

Pick up time: 5:15 am

Pick up/drop off location:

Outside Tourism Top End, Corner of Smith St and Bennett St 

Chesnut Rail coastal cruise

2:40pm - 4:30pm

July 6, 2019

Meet up time: 2:40pm

Meet up location:

Darwin Wharf Dock 2 - the pontoon behind Royal Flying Doctors

‘Guided Bird Billabong birding walk’ Mary River National Park - 5:30 am - 1 pm

Travel to the hidden gem that is Bird Billabong, which lives up to its name by being home to an abundance of water birds. Be guided by expert Top End bird guides Ian Morris, Mike Jarvis and Luke Paterson on special AOC birding tours. A guided walk through the woodlands and paperbark swamp leading up to the billabong is just as tantalizing as there is a possibility of coming across the most spectacular and rare of Australian finches, the Gouldian Finch. The billabong itself is home to several species of duck, including Whistling Duck and Radjah Shelduck, nesting Black-necked Stork, Black-winged Stilt, Australian Pelican, Australasian Darter, Pied and Little Pied Cormorant, Black-fronted Dotterel, Glossy Ibis and many more waterbirds.


Bird guides Ian Morris, Mike Jarvis www.experiencethewild.com.au and Luke Paterson www.ntbirdspecialists.com.au


Target species:

·         Gouldian Finch

·         Varied Lorikeet

·         Northern Rosella

·         Wandering Whistling Duck

·         Black-tailed Treecreeper

·         Long-tailed Finch

·         Masked Finch 

·         Varied Sittella

Register now 

‘Corroboree Billabong Sunrise Birding Cruise’ Mary River National Park - 5:15 am -10 am

Experience the birding paradise that is the Mary River National Park aboard special AOC wetland birding cruises. Over 100 bird species live in these wetlands. The Mary River system has a number of freshwater billabongs that accommodate an abundance of birdlife. A morning boat cruise along the beautiful Corrobboree Billabong will reveal Black-necked Stork (Jabiru), Little and Great Egret, Nankeen Night Heron, Glossy Ibis, Brolga, Australasian Darter and Pied Cormorant. A harder look amongst the lilies will uncover the Comb-crested Jacana using its distinctly massive feet to seemingly walk on water and you may be lucky enough to spot a shy Black Bittern. A variety of smaller birds reside amongst the pandanus and paperbarks including Azure Kingfisher, Lemon-bellied Flycatcher, Crimson Finch and Paperbark Flycatcher, whilst stalking the skies are numerous Whistling Kites and the highest density of White-bellied Sea-eagles you are ever likely to see. Of course no trip to the Top End is complete without sighting a crocodile and Corrobboree Billabong is home to some huge Saltwater Crocodiles as well as the Freshwater variety.


You’ll be in great hands with your hosts Wildlands Wetland Safaris and Corroboree Billabong Wetland Cruises, as well as AOC committee members.


Target species:

·         Azure Kingfisher

·         Brolga

·         Black-necked Stork

·         White-bellied Sea-Eagle

·         Paperbark Flycatcher

·         Comb-crested jacana


Cost: $90



Register now



‘Chestnut Rail Coastal Cruise’ Darwin Harbour - 2:40 pm - 4:30 pm

Search for the elusive Chestnut Rail skulking amongst mangrove roots in Darwin’s massive harbour aboard Sea Darwin’s vessel with shorebird guru, Amanda Lilleyman during a special 1.5 hrs AOC cruise.


Darwin’s relatively undisturbed harbour is unusual around a capital city, and with its huge tidal range, it expose great mudflats for wading birds and mangrove specialists like Red-headed Honeyeater flit through the canopy. You’ll also get the chance to hear about Amanda’s fascinating work with migratory shorebirds in Darwin Harbour. 


Target species:

·         Chestnut Rail

·         Red-headed Honeyeater

·         Striated Heron

·         Yellow White-eye

·         Beach Stone-curlew

·         Gull-billed Tern

·         Torresian Kingfisher

·         Brahminy Kite



Cost: $50​


Register now

Sorry this excursion has now reached full capacity - please check out one of the other great excursions

Alternatively Sea Darwin is running an additional Chestnut Rail Cruise on the 2nd of July - details here>>

© 2018 by AOC Local Organising Committee 2019. Artwork by: John Girdham