It's crane season on the Atherton Tablelands!

HAB - Admin

If you are a wildlife and nature lover, the Atherton Tablelands is the place to be!  Crane Week is coming up and there will be a range of activities, including a photography competition.

Hot Air Balloon on the Atherton Tablelands during Crane Week (24 - 30 September 2012)

It's crane season on the Tablelands and what could be more special, than spotting cranes while enjoying your hot air balloon ride over the Atherton Tablelands!

Cranes are an ancient species of birds, celebrated and fabled in many countries around the world. Here on the Atherton Tablelands, cranes have been arriving at their traditional wintering grounds since early June, providing an annual wildlife spectacle for visiting nature lovers. Their numbers increase through the winter months, and they depart late in the year for their breeding grounds in the Gulf and Cape York. So during this period, it’s highly recommended to use your inflight binoculars and be on the lookout when enjoying your Hot Air Balloon ride and watch for Cranes, as these stately grey birds fly past over local farms across the region, or fly in long V formations.

There are fifteen species of cranes worldwide, many of which are endangered, and two of the world's species can be seen on the Atherton Tablelands, the Brolga and the Sarus Crane. The Mareeba wetlands and the Atherton Tablelands are a really important place to protect and to appreciate the beauty of cranes, listen to their bugling calls and marvel at their graceful dances.

For many years, visitors and keen birders across the Atherton Tablelands have been counting the cranes each year to better understand crane populations in the Cairns region. Following the crane count, a week of community celebration known as the Tablelands Crane Week will commence on the 24th September and Mareeba and Atherton Tablelands visitors are invited to help celebrate these amazing birds.

There will be a range of activities during Crane Week from 24 to 30 September, including a photography competition, crane art and craft, informative displays and story readings. After your hot air ballooning, if you have a hire car, then head south from our landing location and enjoy the activities during Crane Week.