We offer a variety of birdwatching and nature tours, each showcasing a different habitat found within 70 km of the observatory. Marvel at mangroves and 10 metre tides, spy on flocks of thousands of roosting shorebirds on red sandy beaches, see the life that exists only with fresh water at ephemeral wetlands, and enjoy the setting Western Australian sun over vast empty plains.
With over 330 bird species recorded in the Broome area, we are sure to add something new to your list. New to birdwatching? Our tours are a great starting point for those who just want to get out and appreciate nature. Targeting something specific? No problem! Our guides are experienced birdwatchers with an intimate knowledge of our region’s birds, and can help get you onto that long-awaited addition to your life list. We can even tailor a tour to suit your needs. Contact us to arrange your custom tour.
During November, tours are not scheduled regularly but are available by arrangement. During December and January we will not be offering tours. Our tour schedule for 2020 will be released in February.
The availability and timing of our tours depends on the tides, and accessibility during and after the wet season.
Bookings are essential. A minimum of two participants are required for our tours to go ahead (with the exception of custom-designed tours).
This tour focuses on viewing the shorebirds for which Roebuck Bay and the Observatory are so famous. We spend approximately 2.5 hours visiting roost sites along the northern shores of the bay during the high tide period. At this time, the shorebirds are forced from their feeding areas by the rising tide and come to rest at specific locations along the shoreline. This gives us a unique opportunity to view a wide variety of shorebird species at relatively close range which helps to discern the sometimes subtle features that distinguish the different species.
Your guide will describe key identification criteria, as well as discuss the ecology and conservation importance of Roebuck Bay and the incredible life cycle of the migratory shorebirds that utilise the bay. You will also hear about the extensive research that is conducted on the shorebirds of the bay, of which the BBO is an integral part.
Travel between the roost sites is by vehicle and very little walking is required for this tour. Tour timing is tide dependent. Bookings essential.
$70 per person including morning tea.
Explore the fantastic diversity unique to mangrove ecosystems.
We begin at the end of Crab Creek Road, where the pindan meets the plain and the extensive mangrove system of the eastern shores of Roebuck Bay begins. This 2.5-hour tour includes a walk of about one kilometre, each way, along the beach to reach a more extensive area of mangroves along Little Crab Creek. You will spend time deep among the mangroves, searching for several special birds typically restricted to this habitat, including Mangrove Grey Fantail, Dusky Gerygone, and Broad-billed Flycatcher. After emerging on the far side of the mangroves, good views can be had of the abundant bird life feeding out on the Roebuck Bay mudflats, and a variety of other fascinating creatures are likely to be encountered.
This tour contains roughly 2 km of walking on sand and a small section of mud. Participants must be stable on their feet. Our Mangrove tours are generally conducted on incoming tides in the morning. Bookings essential.
$70 per person including morning tea. Mud boots provided.
Bush and Plains Tour
Experience the magic of Roebuck Plains at sunset as we seek out the Yellow Chat, raptors, Brolga, and Northern Nail-tail Wallaby.
The natural grasslands of Roebuck Plains Station are home to a wide variety bird life and as the year progresses this tour showcases an ever changing set of species. Soon after the wet season ephemeral freshwater wetlands provide an opportunity for viewing a variety of waterbirds. As the plains dry, the waterbirds leave, but the grasslands and salt flats become more accessible and the variety of birds changes. Always excellent for raptors, wide open space and stunning sunsets, the Bush and Plains tour is an excellent choice for nature lovers who want to experience this vast landscape.
We will almost always look for the Yellow Chat during this tour, but if you are after this species, and cannot make this afternoon tour, please see our Yellow Chat Twitch tour below.
Our Bush and Plains tours are conducted on scheduled afternoons at 3PM or 3.30PM depending on the time of year, and return after sundown. Bookings essential.
No walking required.
$70 per person.
This tour is a full-day discovery of the various habitats and birds of Roebuck Plains Station. Our focus is several freshwater wetlands, but travelling between to lakes you will also experience the open plains and bush of the area. Birds observed on the lakes and their margins include a variety of ducks, ibis, grebes, and freshwater shorebirds. The lakes and plains also support an excellent variety of birds of prey, and it is not unusual to see a dozen or more raptor species in the day. In addition, large numbers of Brolgas and Australian Pratincoles are often seen. If you are looking for a very full and productive birding day, this is the tour for you.
The Lakes Tour leaves early and returns in the mid-afternoon. Subject to accessibility.
Amount of walking required varies subject to seasonal conditions. Bookings essential.
$150 per person including morning tea. Bring your own lunch.
Yellow Chat Twitch
Roebuck Plains is the most accessible and reliable place in the world to find Yellow Chat, one of Australia’s least known endemic birds. Therefore, one of the best ways to see this species is on a BBO Yellow Chat Twitch! Many Australian birdwatchers have never had the pleasure of watching flocks of this highly specialised and beautiful species bounce through the desolate samphire flats. Yellow Chat is one of the “must see” birds of the Broome region, and you should not miss what is likely your best opportunity to see this hard-to-find species.
By request only. A minimum of two guests required.
Little walking required (Unless it's the wet season! Then we'll be wading through the fields!)
From $70 per person. Price subject to seasonal accessibility and may increase in harsher conditions (see above comment)
Are there any particular birds or animals that you are hoping to see? Any particular habitats you would like to visit? We can always design a tour to suit special requests, so give us a call or an email with your requirements and we’ll see what we can do.
Our guides know the best places to find the wildlife of our area and are happy to suggest an itinerary.
Prices vary subject to tour content and duration.
Return transfers from anywhere in Broome are available by prior arrangement. Prices are an additional $60 for the first guest, and $15 per additional guest (on the same booking).
Transfers are not available to day visitors not participating in tours.
Children aged 8-12 are half price for regular tours.
All prices include GST and are valid through 2019.
All tours include use of telescopes.