Queensland's Mareeba Wetlands offer the rare and beautiful wildlife of the heart of the Australian outback.
The Mareeba Tropical Savannah and Wetland Reserve is just an hour from Cairns or Port Douglas and is the gateway to Cape York Peninsula and the Gulf Savannah. It is the perfect base for visiting world heritage listed rainforests, the Great Barrier Reef, the Cairns Highlands and Atherton Tablelands.
The Reserve protects more than 2000 hectares of savannahs and wetlands and provides a sanctuary for much of tropical Australia's flora, fauna and cultural heritage.
The area is a haven for birdwatchers. There are more than two hundred species in the Reserve, some quite rare. Gouldian finches were known to be breeding there as recently as 35 years ago, and recently, volunteers released a hundred of them as part of a reintroduction program to save them from extinction. Locals call them Jewels of the Savannah because of their spectacular colours which can be seen as they drink from billabongs at sunset.
With the assistance of volunteers, the Mareeba Wetland Foundation is run by a not-for-profit environmental organisation. All income is reinvested into managing the wetlands as well as research work, education and conservation programs.
By visiting the Mareeba Tropical Savanna and Wetland Reserve you are ensuring that this important work is continued and a sanctuary for Australian wildlife is preserved.
The Visitor Centre is a blend of modern North Queensland architecture using the traditional materials of tin and timber. From there are sweeping views to the west and north across Clancy's Lagoon to the Hann Tableland National Park.
Jabiru Camp, named after the striking black-necked storm, has luxury tented accommodation for those who like to wake at dawn to the sound of kookaburras and brolga and the call of the southern boobook and not rough it. The camp is nestled between gravel ridges and grassland, merging into lily covered lagoons.
Tents are comfortably furnished, have high quality en-suites, queen or twin beds and insect screens. Natural materials compliment the warm tones of the safari-style furniture. The spacious and light-filled tents are shaded retreats during the day. Each has a private timber verandah where you enjoy a tropical breakfast or sip a glass of champagne as the sun sets over Clancy's Lagoon.
Numbers are limited to five tents to ensure an exclusive and peaceful stay.