Welcome to Denise Goodfellow's website


Denise Lawungkurr Goodfellow is a birdwatching/natural history guide, environmental/Indigenous tourism consultant and writer.  She began guiding in 1983.  Most of her clientele are well-educated, well-travelled Americans who hear of her by word of mouth. As a biological consultant she has conducted fauna surveys in the remote Top End, often solo. In 1981 she stood for Council to save mangrove habitat. Denise is a published author of books including “Birds of Australia’s Top End” -  described as winning ‘top honors’ by American Birdwatcher’s Digest), and ‘impressive’ by the American Birding Association’s Winging It) -  her autobiographical Quiet Snake Dreaming and Fauna of Kakadu and The Top End, which has been used as a “core text” of the University of NSW’s summer school since 2000.

This information resource is published to provide you with an insight into life in Australia's Top End - in the Northern Territory - including information about how to defeat infestations of gamba grass and how to create hand sanitiser from common household ingredients. 



Latest news from Denise Goodfellow

Denise Goodfellow

Denise Goodfellow news updates

The Hon. Sally Thomas (right) with Denise Goodfellow and her new bookVariously described as an “NT Treasure” and a “ratbag of the north”, eco-tour guide, passionate birder and former buffalo hunter Denise Lawungkurr Goodfellow has published a new book about birds of the Top End.

NT Administrator the Hon. Sally Thomas launched Denise’ latest book, Birds of Palmerston in Australia’s Top End, at Darwin’s Government House earlier this month.

Co-written by Denise and her partner Michael Stott, the beautifully illustrated 52-page book is rich with ornithological descriptions, leavened by wonderful anecdotes from Denise’s four decades in the Top End.

In her forward to the book, the Hon. Sally Thomas describes Denise as “a Northern Territory treasure…who has worked as a biological consultant, conducted countless bird guiding tours for domestic as well as overseas visitors and has an incredible knowledge of the flora and fauna that we all enjoy in this part of the world”.

While the “ratbag of the north” tag came from someone less enamoured of Denise‘s work, she now bears it with pride.

Denise's middle name ‘Lawungkurr’ belongs to a Dreamtime woman still respected for her mediation skills. Denise was given the name by elders in western Arnhem Land in recognition of her efforts to halt abuse of the area's indigenous Kunwinjku people.


We arrived in Honolulu, Oahu, late on Monday, 1st June, from Dallas, Texas, and after about an hour's wait, caught an inter-island flight to the Big Island, Hawai'i (Hawai'i is the island's actual name, but was given to the chain by Pai'ea Kamehameha [meaning “the lonely one] who ruled as last war chief/first king).   From above the island appeared heavily fissured with steep verdant razorback ridges.



After Tennessee, Michael and I headed for Charlottesville, Virginia, where I was to give my next lecture.  It would have been an uneventful trip, but for the hundreds of trucks that filled the highway.   They were not as large or as long as the semi-trailers common to Northern Territory roads, but enough to make the trip hair-raising in parts. Lesley had warned us of this.