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Tahiti Petrel

Coconut Lorikeet

Barau's Petrel

Stephan's Emerald Dove

Royal Albatross

Singing Starling


Emerald Monitor


Collered Imperial Pigeon

Torres Strait - Boigu, Saibai, Dauan and Ugar

Islands of the Northern Torres Strait - Boigu, Saibai, Dauan and Ugar

View Tour Dates and Costs    Download 2016 trip report    Download 2018 trip report    Download 2020 trip report

Collared Imperial-Pigeon

Collared Imperial-Pigeon


The two Queensland islands of Boigu and Saibai lie close to the Trans Fly area of New Guinea in Australian territory and are Australia's two most northerly inhabited islands. Their close proximity to PNG means these islands are some of the most exciting birding locations in Australia. The islands are also amongst the remotest in Australia, access is difficult and there is very limited accommodation making visits for more than one day problematic.

These rarely visited islands contain some of Australia's most sought after and prized birds such as:

In addition to these specialties we've seen Papuan Spine-tailed Swift, Zoe's Imperial Pigeon, Orange-fronted Fruit Dove, Stephan’s Emerald Dove, Variable Goshawk, Long-billed H/E, Garganey, House Swift, Pacific Swallow, Coroneted Fruit Dove and Long-tailed Honey-buzzard, Pink-spotted Fruit-dove and Pinon's Imperial Pigeon.

Long-tailed Honey Buzzard

Long-tailed Honey Buzzard

The best time to visit these islands is like elsewhere, early morning and late afternoon. We anchor offshore in the lee of the island in our vessel Eclipse FNQ and zodiac ashore each day. When not onshore we travel the protected coastline and rivers in search of the island's specialties and PNG vagrants.

Our tours are held between Nov and April which is the peak time for birds moving between the islands and mainland PNG. Occasionally we'll organise longer tours to visit other northern Torres Strait islands such as Dauan, Ugar and Darnley.
Prior to the tour there is accommodation on Horn Island which is the large island next to Thursday Island and home to the area's main airport. Qantas fly twice daily to Horn Island from Cairns. The tours start when we board Eclipse FNQ at Horn Island jetty and conclude when we disembark. Once on board everything is supplied except alcohol, which we organise in the days prior to the tour.

Gurney's Eagle

Papuan Spinetail

After departing Horn Island we travel a short distance to Little Tuesday Island for views of the range restricted Ashy-bellied (Pale) white-eye, before heading to the northern islands. Our itinerary on the northern islands is tide dependant and we could visit either Saibai or Boigu first.

Prior to departure we send out a trip bird list as well as 'what to bring' information. We do recommend having your Japanese Encephalitis vax prior to departure, although in recent years I'm told it's not essential.

Group Tour

Group Tour

Our upcoming tours are in Jan/Feb 2021 and Feb/March 2022.  Please see our 'Tours schedule' page and contact us if you require any further information.  Previous trip reports PDF’s are available to download.

Red-capped Flowerpecker