If you drive 70 km (44 miles) west of Palm Cove you'll encounter another world: giant termite mounds dot savanna scrub, and vast reclaimed wetlands give refuge to hundreds of bird species, including Australia's only stork, the Jabiru. In the midst of all this sits open-sided Clancy's Lagoon Visitor Centre and Jabiru Safari Lodge, a cluster of luxurious tented accommodation with decks, lighting, insect screens, and attached en suites. There's a well-equipped guests' camp kitchen (barbecue dinner packs available), a communal campfire area, and outdoor Jacuzzi. Knowledgable, enthusiastic staff run nature-based excursions on and around the vast, lily-littered lagoons and savanna: wildlife and birdwatching tours, bushwalking, fly fishing, canoeing, and photography sessions. A 2½-hour Sunset Reserve Safari departing 3:30 pm daily combines a bird-watching cruise, ranger-guided savanna drive on which you'll spot wallabies and kangaroos, a "billy" tea and bird-hide stop, and fine Aussie wine
and cheese. Consider Jabiru's all-inclusive overnight and multiday packages A$490 per night, for two persons; it includes deluxe safari-tent accommodation, continental breakfast, BBQ dinner, and various guided site tours, walks, and cruises. Daily transfers to and from Cairns are available. All proceeds feed back into the Wetlands' environmental work.