Birdwatching adventures based from Australia's premier Wildlife Town

UPDATE MAY 2019: No tours are available until further notice.

'Alice Springs Big Day' Birding tours

The most popular tour. Starting before dawn and ending after dusk this is a big day spent hunting the bird highlights of the area. From Rufous-crowned Emuwrens and Dusky Grasswren in the dawn light to Bourke's Parrots at dusk, I shape the day to maximise your time with the best birds. I have arrangements in place to access the Alice Springs Sewage Ponds (min.1 business day notice required). We visit my favourites sites most of which are not in any site guidebook or website. In a full day in a normal season over 100 species is acheivable. As with all my trips, if you send me a 'target list' in advance I'll craft a special itinerary to optimise your time. Birding with me is a very efficient way to get the region’s special species- doing it on your own can take a week or more to see what I can find you in an average day.

Transport is in a late-model remote spec Toyota Prado 4wd (4 persons max).

Transport is in a late-model remote spec Toyota Prado 4wd (4 persons max).

  • Targets can include Rufous-crowned Emuwren, Dusky Grasswren, Bourkes Parrot, Slatybacked Thornbill, Raptors, Cinnamon Quailthrush and Banded Whiteface.

  • Full day or half day options (NB restrictions on advance half day bookings apply between July and October)

  • Alice Springs sewage ponds access included (on-site induction available if required- no need to do it online beforehand!)

  • Over 100 species regularly seen on full day tour

  • Morning Tea included

  • Every tour is private- no sharing with strangers!

For availability and pricing get in touch using the form at the bottom of this page. 

Bourke Parrot at the nest ©Mark Carter

Bourke Parrot at the nest ©Mark Carter

'Alice Springs Ultimate' Birding tour (3 days)

A three day epic adventure based in Alice Springs visiting every key site for every species on the list! Day one is akin to the 'Big Day' above, but days two and three head further afield to look for the trickier species which need us to invest a bit more time. As well as our Alice Springs regular specials like Rufous-crowned Emu-wren, we search for birds like Inland Dotterel and Cinnamon Quail-thrush and spend a bit more time on birds like Grey Honeyeater and Painted Finch. The exact rundown of sites and birds targeted changes with the seasons and with respect to what is happening in the landscape. Each day begins pre-dawn from your accommodation in Alice Springs and ends back there after or on dusk.

Please note that Sandhill Grasswren, Eyrean Grasswren and Princess Parrot are not possible on this trip. For these species dedicated multi-day expeditions are required.

For availability and pricing contact me using the form below.


Alice Springs Sewage Ponds


The  Alice Springs Sewage Ponds are World-famous for the diversity and quality of birds they attract. With a list of over 200 species seen and regulars such as Orange Chat, Australian Spotted Crake, Red-necked Avocet, Long-toed Stint, Freckled Duck, Sharp-tailed and Wood Sandpiper and Black Falcon its the unmissable Australian birding hotspot. In recent years vagrant or dispersive birds like Oriental Plover, Red-necked Phalarope, Little Curlew, Oriental Pratincole, Painted Snipe, Ruff and Long-toed Stint have dropped in for extended stays. It is an exciting and extensive site well worth exploring.  

There are three options for visiting the Ponds with Mark Carter Birding and Wildlife:

  • Book onto any of my Alice Springs-based birding or bird photography tours (Ponds access included as standard)

  • Book a private guided session (ideal for groups). Book these using the form below.

2018-2019 Pricing: $110 per hour (2hr minimum booking) 

Note: online inductions are NOT necessary for access to this site with Mark Carter Birding and Wildlife. On-site inductions are performed before each tour.


Grey Honeyeater targeted tours

Grey Honeyeater ©Mark Carter June 2017

Grey Honeyeater ©Mark Carter June 2017

Dependent on timing and conditions, it is sometimes possible to operate dedicated single-species targeted tours for the very rare and enigmatic Grey Honeyeater.

I have more experience in finding this species than anyone else in Australia. While in some exceptional seasons its possible to find them within minutes at the first site, it is often necessary to cover a lot of ground to succeed. In seasons with no breeding underway they can require multiple day searches to find. I have a very high rate of success with this species so a targeted tour with me is your best hope of seeing it, however anyone booking must be aware that these are rare and mobile birds which do not always cooperate. Sightings cannot ever be guaranteed.

Generally in 'normal' years with average or above rainfall the breeding months of March/April and September/October are best for finding Grey Honeyeater. In dry years late May to August is best. Rainfall in Central Australia is the most variable on earth- nobody can predict with much confidence what will happen much beyond two months in advance, therefore if you book a targeted tour for this bird a year ahead be aware that the conditions on the day of your tour are outwith my control!    

Grasswren and Emuwren targeted tours

Dedicated targeted one day tour seeking Rufous-crowned Emuwren and Dusky Grasswren can be offered in all seasons.

Sandhill Grasswren and Eyrean Grasswren are possible on an Alice Springs-based day tour only by light aircraft between May and September. These tours are private charter only and are dependent on aircraft availability- book early to avoid disappointment. These are exciting adventures with a 100% success rate. Enquire for pricing and availability. 



I would like to know more about these tours *
I would like to know more about these tours
I have restricted availability at busy times, especially between March and November. Specific dates are great, but if you are flexible let me know.
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