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  • Lumholtz Tree Kangaroo

  • Ulysses Butterfly

  • Southern Cassowary

  • Saltwater Crocodile

  • Boyd's Forest Dragon

FNQ Nature Tours

Behind the Scenes with Researchers: Tree Kangaroos

Duration: Full Day: Far North Queensland

Type: Groups, Private Charter.

Departs: On Request

Interests: Land Mammals & Marsupials.

The rainforests of the Tablelands provide habitat for a rich array of marsupials, reptiles, invertebrates and over 320 birds, but for many, the iconic  species of the region are tree kangaroos. This behind the scenes tour provides the unique opportunity to observe and interact with wild tree kangaroos in Far North Queensland across private access properties.  

Justin McMahon has been passionately researching these fascinating and cryptic creatures for several years. Guests will join Justin and other team members as they check camera traps and motion detection areas to catalogue sightings, document the tree kangaroo’s food trees, locations and behaviours and search for scratch marks and evidence of visits.

About FNQ Nature Tours: After ten years of guiding nature and wildlife safaris in Northern Australia, James Boettcher established FNQ Nature Tours in 2015, with a firm belief that tourism is the key to the protection and conservation of this World Heritage area. The company offers tours designed for nature minded travellers desiring a personal, educational and interactive guided experience, whilst sharing the necessity of protecting the natural wonders and biodiversities of this world famous region.


Tour day-by-day

  • Full Day - Research & Conservation

    Justin McMahon has been captivated by the tree kangaroos of North Queensland, ever since he saw his first Lumholtz Tree Kangaroo in the Port Douglas zoo. Australian tree kangaroos would have to be one of the most fascinating creatures in the wet tropical rainforests of North Queensland.

    For many visitors, they are one of the most interesting on the entire continent. After working with Lumholtz Tree Kangaroos in captivity, he started to build a knowledge base of the wild populations in the Far North Queensland area. To understand this curious marsupial, he set out to obtain data on movement patterns, local population growth, food sources and key ecological variables.

    He also started looking deeper into whether tree kangaroos have filled a role similar to the Lemur, or whether they the closest 'primate form' of the marsupial world. Justin's passion and respect for these unique and cryptic creatures continues to grow year by year, as more observations are recorded for Australia's two species of tree kangaroo; the Lumholtz and Bennett's species.

    On this tour, guests have the privilege of observing and interacting with tree kangaroos in the wild, with plenty of time to search for individuals within private locations. Justin and other team members will join visitors in checking camera traps and motion detection areas to catalogue sightings and contribute to the research that's been documented on these amazing creatures.

    Research also includes documenting food trees and locations, searching for scratch mark and evidence tree kangaroo visits and recording the behaviour of known individuals under different conditions. 

    Key Details

    Private Charter Pricing: from $620 per person (based on 4 adults including touring, meals).
    Private Group Size: Maximum of 4 guests
    Pick-up and Drop Off Point: Cairns/Northern Beaches/Port Douglas
    Pick-up and Drop-off Time: Cairns 7:30am/Northern beaches 08:00am/Port Douglas 8:30am (location dependent), Drop off approximately 5:00pm

    Responsible Tourism

    As part of our commitment to sustainability we have developed a Code Of Practice relating to our wildlife interactions which is available for your reference. Our river affiliates are using only solar powers vessels, clean, quiet and zero impact on the environment during wildlife cruises. 

    As our way of contributing to the local wildlife community, we are heavily involved with FNQ Wildlife Rescue. Our organisation attends rescues and is active in sharing stories that may help educate our guests on safe and helpful practises for supporting injured or orphaned wildlife. 

    FNQ Nature Tours



    Bookings & Enquiries

    The tour is not currently available to be booked online, as our team customises the itinerary according to your interests, accommodation preferences and transport/logistics into Cairns. Please contact our friendly team via the Enquire Now button below - there are some essential details to help us provide the best options for you. We will be in touch via your preferred contact method.

    Enquire Now

    Recent Testimonials

    "While visiting Australia I did five different tours and this one was by far the best. To say that James is a knowledgeable guide is to put it lightly. He is a legend. Our tour was packed full of information, and the sights we saw were top notch. I can't recommend it enough. If I'm ever in Cairns again, I will certainly be looking to take another tour with James." - Jake, Colorado

    "What can I say, other than if you're a lover of all things nature and have a love of photography, then DO THIS day tour with James. He has a wealth of knowledge and has such a passion for nature that makes the trip incredibly fun and educational. We all had such a wonderful time, and got to see so many amazing things (flora and fauna) that we'd have all missed out on, had it not been for James. Thank you for giving us one of the best days in FNQ yet! It's a day I will treasure forever." - Jessica, Sydney

    "James was a really terrific guide, bringing enthusiasm and knowledge that really enhanced our day. He clearly loves what he does, and that made for a great day for our group of five. We learned a lot, and had a truly fun and relaxing time. Doesn't get better than this!." - Dianne, New York City

    "If you want personal service from a passionate and professional guide then you must book James. I was travelling with two teenage boys and from the moment they stepped into his vehicle they had a smile on their faces and I knew I made the right decision booking him. He is like an encyclopaedia of animals and plants... Because of James expertise, we saw things others before us walked or drove past. Lizards, birds, crocodiles, plants - he knows them all and what an incredible photographer....I doubt you will find a better tour in the Daintree." - Nickle 27 - UK

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