I live near Royal National Park and wrote the birdwatching guide for the park for the National Parks and Wildlife Service. Over 300 native bird species have been recorded in Royal – the highest for any protected area in NSW. I am doing something in the park most days. I guide for VENT Tours, Wings, Sunbird, Birdquest, Follow That Bird, Sydney Coast Walks etc when they visit the park, as well as general guiding for photographers and community or school groups.
For a private tour, my rate is $160 per day in total (not per person) for up to four people. This includes park entry fees and the use of my car to get to the sites. This rate is calculated on the cost of a hire car + fuel, park entry etc, if you did it yourself – given that there are no useful public transport links to the birding sites.
What I generally do is pick up from the nearest railway station (Sutherland) or from my home, address below, and go from there. The start and finish times are up to you. This link will take you to the train timetable – http://www.sydneytrains.info/timetables/#landingPoint If you are staying in the city it is far quicker to get to Royal NP by train to Sutherland than it is by car.
You can expect to see 70-80+ birds on the day.
While nothing with wings is guaranteed, I have always found a superb lyrebird for a guest or tour group… Also, we can search for powerful owls outside the park with a very high chance of success.
One day birding tours to Barren Grounds Nature Reserve and surrounds can also be arranged ($200 – I use more fuel!), as well as spotlighting walks in Royal. Spotlight sightings of sugar gliders and other possums are almost certain. Birds that might be seen include various owls, tawny frogmouths, white-throated nightjars (in season) and Australian owlet-nightjars. Spotlighting is $100 if arranged for the day before or after a birding day; otherwise $120.
Let me know, by phone or email, if you have any questions.
Steve Anyon-Smith (Birding in the Royal National Park, Sydney)
67 Wattle Road Jannali 2226
02 9528 8733 (Int. +61 2 9528 8733)
0426 842 466 (Int. +61 426 842 466)