Darling Downs

The Darling Downs region lies to the west of the Great Dividing Range in Queensland and takes in large farming regions, dams and lakes, and towns such as Goondiwindi, Stanthorpe, Warwick and Toowoomba. Exceptional National Parks and State Forests in the region of high birding interest include Girraween, Sundown, Durikai and Bunya Mountains.

Birds in the region include a large variety of parrots that are much less commonly seen on the eastern side of the Dividing Range: Cockatiel, Galah, Corella, Bluebonnet, Red-Rumped Parrot, Red-Ringed Parrot, Turquoise Parrot, Musk Lorikeet, Little Lorikeet, and even the endangered Swift Parrot. As well as the common honeyeaters found in South-East Queensland, here you’ll also come across Yellow-Tufted, Spiny-Cheeked, Fuscous, White-Plumed, Brown-Headed and White-Eared Honeyeaters. You will see an abundance of raptors too, often circling above fields or perched on powerlines and powerpoles: Nankeen Kestrel, Brown Falcon, Whistling Kite, Black Kite, Black-Shouldered Kite, and the mighty Wedge-Tailed Eagle. There are plenty of finches and grassbirds as well, including Plum-Headed Finch, Zebra Finch, Diamond Firetail, and robins like Red-Capped Robin, Scarlet Robin and Rose Robin.

Of course this barely scratches the surface of the over 300 species of birds to be found here; there’s no substitute for getting out there and seeing them for yourself!

Top Hotspots:

Handy bird-spots.com maps

Click for larger version, and see the individual posts for each hotspot for more contextual information.

Carbean Camping and Farmstay

Large farm property near Durikai State Forest with good “dry country” birds

Durikai State Forest

Easy roadside stops at creeks and waterholes, especially awesome for honeyeaters

Girraween National Park

Awesome granite landscapes with terrific bird life

Goondiwindi Botanic Gardens

Makes for a pleasant hour or two of birding with a reasonable chance of seeing some good birds

Greenup Meeting Place (Bracker Creek)

Superb location for birds, with lake and creek frontage

Highfields Falls

A pleasant area for a variety of forest birds near Toowoomba

Lake Coolmunda and Coolmunda Conservation Park

Large lake that draws plenty of birds

Mosquito Creek Road

Country back road birding at its finest


Awesome country birding along an exposed dirt road, with good nearby parks too

Sam’s Track

Out-of-the-way bush birding site reliable for some harder-to-find species

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