About Us

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My name is David Mead, I am the owner/operator of Great Northern Birdwatching Tours. I have been conducting extended birding tours into remote areas of Far North Queensland since 2013.

As your professional guide, I will endeavour to bring to you knowledge garnered from a lifetime of residing, birding and traveling right across all regions of Queensland.

We are fortunate to have our home and business base in Cairns which allows us to regularly access the very best birding sites in the North, including, Atherton Tablelands, Cape York, Western Queensland and the Gulf of Carpenteria.

Red-capped Robin

‘With a maximum of ‘4 passengers only’ policy, we offer personally guided ‘Birdwatching’ tours, from half day Cairns area to extended, fully accommodated adventures into Cape York and North West Queensland. We encourage visitors to participate in pre-tour conversations with us, in regards to their own ideas as to what they would like to see and do whilst travelling with us.

Golden-headed Cisticola

Ethical Birding

We always put the birds and their natural habitat first.

Supporters of Local & indigenous

As much as possible we engage with local and indigenous accomodation, facilities and ‘add-on’ tours.

small groups only

We take a maximum of 4 passengers to minimise out impact on the environment and also to provide a comfortable and personable birdwatching tour experience.

Guiding accreditations

We are proud to be accredited and certified by both Wet Tropics & Savannah Guides. Additionally we are fully insured, and hold QLD Transport Driver Authorisation and Vehicle Operator Accreditation.

Comfortable Modern Vehicle

We travel in a new model 200 Series Landcruiser. It is well-appointed, air-conditioned and very roomy. It makes birding in remote regions extremely comfortable and safe.


We believe in playing our part in the education and conservation of all Australian birdlife. David is a committee member for ‘Finches Qld’ a current volunteer organisation involved in survey work for the North Qld Gouldian Finch project. Also an active survey team member for Australian Birdlife’s North Qld wader and shorebirds monitoring program.

As well as specialising in “Birdwatching” guided tours, David is a keen amateur photographer and all photos used on this web-site are his own and his guests and may not be copied or used, without prior permission. You will travel in style and comfort in our new model 200-series Landcruiser, which is well-equipped with all safety gear, including satellite communications. 

David holds operator accreditation, Queensland transport driver authorisation, all required National Parks permits, full insurances and has first aid qualifications.

Blue-faced Parrot-Finch

Black-tailed Treecreeper

Please don’t hesitate to contact via email if you are interested in a “tailor-made” private charter. For example, you may be a small group of birding friends, or a specialist photographer wishing to travel to a more remote area. This direct input and flexible nature of our tours, helps make touring with Great Northern Tours both relaxing and memorable. 

ENQIRE about a “tailor-made” private charter


Birdwatching Lodges


Lotusbird Lodge

Situated on the western boundary of Lakefield National Park, Cape York and comprising ten pole-style cabins nestled on the edge of a freshwater billabong, Lotusbird Lodge is the perfect base for exploring and seeking out some of the areas 200plus listed bird species.

Kingfisher Park Birdwatchers Lodge

“Kingfisher Park Birdwatchers Lodge” is a great place to stay at any time of the year. The lodge is located at the base of Mount Lewis Range, in one of the best birding areas in Australia.

Atherton Tablelands Birdwatchers Cabin

The perfect birdwatchers setting, situated on 35 acres of forest to the west of Mt Hypipamee National Park and bordering the Herberton Range National Park. This very private cabin is the ideal ‘Birdwatching and Wildlife’ accommodation, whilst visiting the Wet Tropics, get away from it all and enjoy the cooler, higher altitude surroundings.


Birdwatching Guides



Based in Atherton Far North Queensland, Patrick Degeest operates Birding and Wildlife tours around the World Heritage listed ‘Wet Tropics’. Including some very educational and exciting ‘Nocturnal Spotlighting’ adventures.

Lloyd Nielsen

Lloyd is a well-known birder/author/painter of North Queensland, his site holds a wealth of information, including the best Australian birding books. Here at Great Northern Tours we highly reccomend, for North Queensland visiting birders, Lloyd’s latest book release:

“Birds of the Wet Tropics of Queensland & Great Barrier Reef & Where to Find Them”

Alan's Wildlife Tours

Your naturalist and guide is Alan Gillanders, specialising in tree-kangaroos, birds and nocturnal mammals on the beautiful Atherton Tableland, North Queensland, Australia.


Passionate Local Guide

David Mead has operated ‘Great Northern Birdwatching Tours’ since 2013 and is a certified ‘Wet Tropics’ guide, an accredited ‘Savannah Guide’ and a seasoned birder.

He loves to share his local knowledge and experience in such a beautiful part of Australia.

Dave’s infectious enthusiasm is evident in every part of his birdwatching tours making them perfect for both birders and photographers alike. Experience Queensland’s natural beauty, world-renowned birdlife and explore the rich history of this location.

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