Managed by the Wildlife Conservancy of Tropical North Queensland, a locally based not-for-profit conservation organisation, the Mareeba Wetlands and Jabiru Safari Lodge's focus is nature based eco-tourism. This is an Australian Outback experience where Mother Nature reigns supreme, and the hustle and the bustle of city life simply seems another world away. The Mareeba Tropical Savannah and Wetlands Reserve can be enjoyed on a short day visit, or overnight or longer in the Jabiru Lodge. All profits are re-invested into conservation projects, providing an authentic 'eco-tourist' experience.
The Mareeba Tropical Savannah and Wetlands Reserve
The Mareeba Tropical Savannah and Wetlands Reserve is an easily accessible slice of Australian paradise; a vibrant and exotic oasis nestled amongst dry savannah woodlands at the edge of the Cairns Highlands. The Mareeba Wetlands is ideal for nature lovers, home to a variety of marsupials including kangaroos and wallabies and over 200 bird species. As the seasons change so does the endemic wilderness, and spotting the free-roaming wild birds and marsupials is so much more rewarding than viewing animals in zoo's, aviaries and man-made nature parks.
There are a number of ways to experience the immense natural beauty and wilderness of Mareeba Wetlands. Some ways to experience the Wetlands include:
Mareeba Wetlands Private Guiding: the services of an expert naturalist guide is available to assist in the full appreciation of all the delights of the wilderness reserve. A private guiding experience offers access to elusive bird and animal species, and insight into the savannah and wetland environments.
Mareeba Wetlands Nature Eco Cruise: a relaxed 45 minute nature focused guided eco-cruise on Clancy's Lagoon. The cruise offers the opportunity to spot an abundance of water birds, giant barramundi and even the freshwater crocodiles that call Clancy's Lagoon home. Cruises operate daily at 11.30am, 1.30pm and 3.30pm.
Mareeba Wetlands canoeing: take a leisurely paddle around Clancy's Lagoon in a locally-made handcrafted wooden canoe. Spot the prolific birdlife, wade through the exotic lily-pads and explore the banks of the lagoons.
Mareeba Wetlands 'Early Birders' Safari: enjoy the early morning delights of the Mareeba Wetlands with a guided tour. Mornings are alive with the hustle and bustle of the reserve's feathered residents, and the Early Bird Safari takes guests on a drive through the reserve spotting up to 30 different bird species along the way, ultimately ending up at Pandanus Lagoon. The Earl Birders Safari departs at 7:00am and returns at 10:00am, operating Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
Mareeba Wetlands Sunset Reserve Safari: enjoy the afternoon cruise on Clancy's Lagoon then travel into the heart of the wilderness reserve for wildlife viewing, bird watching and some traditional Australian Billy Tea. Wine and cheese is enjoyed while the sunsets over the picturesque lagoon, casting a myriad of shadows over the surrounding Savannah woodland. The Sunset Reserve Safari departs daily at 3.30pm.
Mareeba Wetlands Self Guided Walks: over 12km of marked walking trails are available to explore the reserve's numerous self-guided walks at leisure. The walking trails allow visitors a unique insight into the surrounding Australian wilderness.
Whichever way you choose to experience the Mareeba Wetlands and Wildlife Reserve will offer unique encounters with a range of exotic wilderness in one of the most unique and picturesque settings in Australia.
Jabiru Safari Lodge
The Jabiru Safari Lodge offer a range of safari-inspired tents that blend seamlessly into the open savannah woodland of the Wetlands Reserve. At any one time only 10 guests can stay at Jabiru Safari Lodge, ensuring each guest enjoys a personalized nature experience bereft of the intrusion of crowds. There are two styles of accommodation at the Jabiru Safari Lodge - the Deluxe Safari Tent and the Eco-tent Cabin, each style of accommodation essentially similar, however the Deluxe Safari Tents are more modern.
Each style of tent is comfortable and spacious, providing accommodation for a maximum of three guests. This is the ideal way to experience the wonders of Mother Nature, and can be described as 'Outback with a touch of class'. Each tent offers a large timber patio to relax and enjoy the natural surrounds vibrant with birds and marsupials, or to appreciate the glorious sunsets with a glass of champagne in hand.
Jabiru Safari Lodge Deluxe and Eco Tents feature private en suite facilities, insect screens, limited mini bar facilities, fans and a refridgerator. A guest barbeque is ideal for self catering, and a heated spa tub is perfect at the end of a long safari to relax and unwind in this pristine nature retreat. There are no telephones in the Deluxe or Eco Tents, the only phone available is for emergency use only and located in the lodge, nor are there laundry facilities. This is an authentic outback adventure, one where luxuries are exchanged for an enchanting wilderness experience.
A campfire with firewood is located adjacent to the Safari Cabins and available in the evenings for guests to enhance their outback experience. The Lodge has a number of nature reference books available to guests, perfect to peruse at the end of long days adventuring through the savannah woodlands and lagoons.
All guests of the Safari Lodge receive
- A Continental Breakfast
- Complimentary Wildlife Conservancy of Tropical Queensland membership
- Access to 12km self guided walking trails
The Mareeba Wetlands Reserve and Jabiru Safari Lodge is a unique eco-friendly outback experience that can be enjoyed in a day or extended stay. This is authentic eco-tourism, with all profits re-directed into essential conservation projects such as the Gouldian Finch re-introduction. Not only is a visit to the Mareeba Wetlands Reserve scenically sensational, it's also educational and awe-inspiring.
The Mareeba Wetlands Reserve is open between 9:00 am and 4:30 pm daily. Please make reservation staff aware of the possibility of a late arrival.
From Cairns: drive to Mareeba via the Kuranda Range or Gillies Range (longer route), then turn north towards Cooktown on the Peninsula Development Road. 6.5km north of Mareeba turn left into Pickford Rd at the township of Biboohra.
From Port Douglas: head up Rex Range to Mareeba via Mt Molloy. Pickford Road is on your right, 35km south of Mt Molloy. Pickford Road is gravelled but suitable for conventional vehicles. It is a total of 7km from the Biboohra turnoff to the Visitor Centre - 4km to the entry gate, and the 3km to the Visitor Centre. All directions are clearly signposted, and there is ample car parking at the Visitor Centre.
Jabiru Safari Lodge and the Mareeba Wetlands close over the Green Season (February to March) and re-opens in April.