Jabiru Safari Lodge at the Mareeba Wetlands is a personalised, unique, all-inclusive, Outback experience located within the Mareeba Tropical Savanna and Wetland Reserve, 1 &1/4 hours west of Cairns, on the northern edge of the Atherton Tablelands (Cairns Highlands). The 2000 ha Reserve of open savanna woodland, grassland and freshwater wetlands provides a wonderful setting for the Jabiru Safari Lodge, allowing guests to fully appreciate the outback savanna environment and prolific birdlife during the best times of the day.
The Wildlife Conservancy of Tropical Queensland has spent over ten years developing the Reserve, inspired by past President Tim Nevard OAM. The Conservancy is a membership organisation managed by a voluntary Board of Management and relies on volunteers for its day to day work and fund raising.
The Conservancy is currently headed by Cairns-based veterinarian and wildlife expert, Dr Annabelle Olsson. You can support the work of the Conservancy by becoming a member, a volunteer or simply visiting the Reserve.
This unique partnership between tourism and conservation ensures the maintenance of high standards of professionalism and customer service and allows the Conservancy to concentrate on its conservation and land management work, while still receiving a guaranteed income from tourism.
The Mareeba Tropical Savannah and Wetland Reserve is situated on the East Asian-Australasian flyway and provides a unique environment in which to enjoy Australia’s tropical wetland and savanna birds. A series of 8 inter-connected lagoons, creeks and channels weave their way across the 2,000 hectare Reserve, with lagoons ranging in size from several hundred acres to much smaller intimate habitats. The lagoons attract a rich and diverse array of native wildlife and provide a sanctuary for almost all of Australia’s species of tropical waterbirds.
The Reserve is home to several threatened, rare and endangered species, including the Gouldian Finch, Buff-breasted Button-quail, Black Throated Finch, and Brown Treecreeper. The Conservancy is also at the forefront of the race to save the Gouldian Finch from extinction through its Gouldian Finch Reintroduction Program. All the Conservancy’s income from sustainable tourism is reinvested into its conservation and land management activities.
A visiting birdwatcher can expect to see up to 60 species during a day’s visit, rising rapidly when staying overnight, as many species are regular visitors and breeders. This number will greatly increase again if the lodge is used as a base for visiting surrounding rainforest areas.
The ideal way to experience the Reserve and its abundant wildlife is by staying at the Jabiru Safari Lodge.