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Active Adventures by Land & Sea Extended

Suggested months: January, February, March, April.

Extraordinary active marine and terrestrial wildlife encounters await you on this epic voyage around Australia. This trip commences across Western Australia's Bremer Canyon, the only place in Australia where you can regularly encounter Killer Whales. Next stop is South Australia, where you will enjoy an exploration of the Eyre Peninsula, where you can swim with Australian Sea Lions, Bottlenose Dolphins and even cage-dive with the Great White Shark.

Further east outside Melbourne, you will travel to Phillip Island to observe Australia's largest colony of seals at Seal Rocks off Phillip Island and a full day cruise to Wilsons Promontory. East Gippsland will provide access to almost half of Australia's bird count and many shy forest-dwelling species along with iconic marsupials including wombats, Koalas, wallabies, kangaroos and echidnas. 

Next stop is to the pristine wilderness of Tasmania and Maria Island, otherwise known as Tasmania's 'Noahs Ark', where you will enjoy several days of wildlife walks, with the trip concluding at the only place where two World Heritage Sites meet; the Wet Tropics Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef at Cape Tribulation. A truly unforgettable journey!

Highlights of this wildlife vacation include:

  • Observing wild Killer Whales (95% success rate) and pelagic birds including albatross
  • Exploration of Lincoln and Coffin Bay National Parks including Koala viewing
  • Swimming with Australian Sea-lions and dolphins and optional Great White Shark cage dive
  • Exploring unbroken chain of precious forests stretching from the Snowy River alpine area to the sea, including Giant Alpine Ash groves
  • Spotting shy forest dwellers and marsupials including Greater and Yellow-bellied Gliders, Superb Lyrebirds, parrots and cockatoos
  • Venturing to Seal Rocks off Phillip Island, where you will drift amongst 7000+ seals
  • Wildlife walks across World Heritage Listed Maria Island, the best location to see Common Wombats
  • Snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef & Daintree River Cruise including Saltwater Crocodiles
  • Daintree National Park Day, Nocturnal Walks and Mossman River drift snorkel
  • Platypus viewing and Cathedral Fig Tree, a gigantic 500-year-old strangler tree

Minimum Suggested Trip: 23 days - 4 days Albany/Bremer/Perth, 4 days Eyre Peninsula, 6 days East Gippsland/Phillip Island, 5 days Maria Island/Hobart, 4 days Far North Queensland/Cairns

Price Guideline: Typically, the budget for small group touring packages across Australia excluding flights is:
5-star: AUD $500 - $1,400+ per person per day (USD $350-$1,000+)
4-star: Minimum AUD $400 per person per day (USD $300)
3-star: Minimum AUD $250 per person per day (USD $170)

Bremer Bay Cairns East Gippsland Eyre Peninsula Maria Island Phillip Island
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Type: Groups,Shared

Duration: Full Day (approx 8 hours)

Logistics: Fly into Perth (PER) and then a 1 hour flight to Albany (ALH) to Overnight. Return trip to Bremer Bay available with Big Blue Bus or pick up rental car and drive to Bremer Bay (2 hours).

Accommodation: Several options in Albany, some options in Bremer Bay if self-driving.

Bremer Canyon Killer Whale Expedition

The Bremer Canyon has become one of the most sort after whale watching expeditions across the globe, with over 100 Killer Whales (Orcas) returning to the submarine canyon each year from January to April; the only place in Australia where you can regularly encounter Killer Whales in the wild. During the season, travellers can encounter these apex predators engaging in a variety of activities from hunting to socialising in family groups.

The offshore marine environment of the Bremer Canyon supports an incredible diversity of wildlife.  As well as encountering Killer Whales over 95% of the time, other species seen include Bottlenose, Striped and Common Dolphins, Long-Finned Pilot Whales, Sperm Whales, Hammerhead, Oceanic Blue and Whaler Sharks, Australian Sea Lions, New Zealand Fur Seals, Giant Squid, Oceanic Sunfish and even the rare Beaked Whale.  

It’s also a pelagic birdwatchers dream, with an astonishing array of seabirds including the Wandering Albatross, Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross, Flesh-footed Shearwater and petrel species.

Every expedition by Naturaliste Charters is led by a qualified marine biologist with extensive knowledge and experience in local marine ecology, wildlife and environmental education. Voyages also provide opportunities for guests to learn more about the amazing underwater ecosystem and contribute through adding to the Project Orca photo database amongst other scientific studies regularly carried out on-board.

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Type: Private Charter,Shared

Duration: 3 days/3 nights

Logistics: Fly into Perth (PER) then to Adelaide (ADL). Option to overnight in Adelaide. or connect to a 50 minute flight to Port Lincoln Airport (PLO).

Included Accommodation:
Port Lincoln Hotel (4 star) or
South Point Private Beach House (Luxury)

Eyre Peninsula Wildlife & Ocean Encounters

This three-day adventure combines the best terrestrial and marine protected areas across the region including Lincoln National Park, Coffin Bay National Park and Baird Bay. Being one of the only places to swim with wild Sea-Lions and Bottlenose Dolphins, visitors will be mesmerised by the agility, curiosity and playful interaction from these ‘puppy dogs of the sea’. 

On shore, there is an abundance of seabirds, shorebirds, songbirds, parrots (including the beautiful Port Lincoln Parrot) and raptors including Osprey and White-bellied Sea Eagles, with Western Grey Kangaroos, Emus, Koalas and Rosenberg’s Goannas a delight for visitors.

For an adrenaline rush, guests can choose an optional extra day, to venture out to the Neptune Islands to try and observe the Great White Shark via a cage or 360-degree underwater viewing pod, to witness the ocean’s most formidable predator.

About Australian Coastal Safaris: Australian Coastal Safaris started operations in 2005 when David Doudle, a fourth-generation local farmer, started showcasing many of the activities that he and his family grew up doing across the Eyre Peninsula’s stunning landscapes; from amazing deserted beaches, pristine colours of the ocean, the abundance of fresh seafood, the friendliness of the local people, the vast open spaces and the interaction with native wildlife. 

The team is very emotional about preserving the region and are ambassadors in keeping the environments pure, pristine and sparsely populated, to ensure that guests are able to enjoy the unique experiences and habitats well into the future.

Seasonal highlights

Summer: Dec-Feb - Fish & Marine Invertebrates

Male Great White Sharks are seen around the Neptune Islands.

Autumn: Mar-May - Fish & Marine Invertebrates

Great White Shark numbers escalate in April to the Neptune Islands area, with very large mature females preying upon Long-nosed Fur Seal pups.

Summer: Dec-Feb - Birds

Nesting season for Pied Oystercatchers, Hooded Dotterels, Red-capped Plovers. Common Greenshanks are migratory visitors. Big Swamp provides sanctuary for Black Swans, Grey Teal Ducks, Chestnut Teal Ducks, Pink Eared Ducks, Musk Ducks and Black Winged Stilts. Port Lincoln (Australian Ringneck) Parrots, Common Bronzewings, Striated Pardalotes, Spiney-Cheeked Honeyeaters and White-Browed Scrubwrens abundant. Pallid Cuckoos migrate to the area.

Autumn: Mar-May - Birds

Osprey and White Bellied Sea-Eagles, Black-shouldered Kites, Swamp Harriers, Purple-Gaped Honeyeaters, Striated Pardalotes, Spiney-Cheeked Honeyeaters, Dusky Woodswallows, Western Yellow Robins, Blue-breasted Fairy-wrens, and White-Browed Scrubwrens, Port Lincoln (Australian Ringneck) Parrots, Black-Faced Cuckoo-shrikes, Australian Magpies, Red Wattlebirds and Golden Whistlers.

Summer: Dec-Feb - Marine Mammals

Australian Sea-lions haul out at Hopkins Island eager to swim with snorkellers, Long-nosed and Australian Fur Seals congregate to breed with 3,500 pups born at this time, Bottle-nosed Dolphins are common encounters in the region.

Autumn: Mar-May - Marine Mammals

Australian Sea-lion juveniles bound towards visiting boats waiting for snorkelers to join them, Long-nosed Fur Seal pups play around the Neptune Islands with Great White Sharks arriving to prey upon unsuspecting newborns.

 

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Type: Shared

Duration: 2 hours - Phillip Island

Logistics: From Melbourne, pick up a rental car and take a 1 hour 30 minute drive to Cowes.

Option to extend beyond the Seal Cruise to watch the world-famous Penguin Parade in the evening.

Accommodation:
Various options available on Phillip Island

Seal Watching Cruise

Spectacular close up encounters with Australia’s largest population of Australian Fur Seals is promised on this scenic coastal boat tour. Venturing to the aptly named Seal Rocks, visitors will drift amongst 7000+ seals. Seals are present all year round, from young pups to adult bulls, with the crew providing insights into the fascinating social displays of these agile and playful creatures.

The spectacular coastline along the northern and western shores of Phillip Island, provide abundant viewing opportunities for dolphins, Little Penguins and a vast array of seabirds.

About Wildlife Coast Cruises Founded by John Dickie, Wildlife Coast Cruises has shown locals and visitors the spectacular wildlife and coastal scenery around Phillip Island, Seal Rocks, Westernport Bay and Wilsons Promontory for over 23 years. As a long-term ambassador and award winner in the eco-tourism space, Wildlife Coast Cruises boasts many environmental and tourism accreditations, and offer a range of up close and personal wildlife experiences, shared through engaging commentary and warm hospitality.

Seasonal highlights

Summer: Dec-Feb - Birds

Crested Terns, Silver Gulls, Pacific and Kelp Gulls at rookeries, Australasian Gannets, Shy Albatross, Giant Petrels, Australasian Darters, Little Penguins, Short-tailed Shearwaters return to their burrows on Phillip Island, White-bellied Sea Eagles and Wedge-tailed Eagles.

Autumn: Mar-May - Birds

Short-tailed Shearwaters feed up before their epic northern migration, Shy Albatross chicks fledge mostly in April, Crested Terns, Pied & Black-faced Cormorants, Australasian Gannets, Little Penguins feeding close to shore, White-bellied Sea Eagles and Wedge-tailed Eagles.

Summer: Dec-Feb - Marine Mammals

Male Australian Fur Seals territorial behavior and fighting, Adult females give birth to one pup and seal population swells to over 30,000 seals, Bottlenose Dolphins, Short-beaked Common Dolphins, Orcas occasionally spotted.

Autumn: Mar-May - Marine Mammals

Australian Fur Seal pups very playful, Short-beaked Common Dolphins, Small pods of up to 10 Bottlenose Dolphins forage for squid and fish.

More info

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Type: Groups,Shared

Duration: 8-9 hours

Logistics: Early morning pickup bus transfer to Port Welshpool or take rental car to the Port Welshpool Jetty (1 hour 50 mins drive).

Day cruises depart Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday aside from Mid Dec - Mid Jan. Check schedules for availability.

Overnight: Phillip Island

Wilsons Promontory Full Day Cruise

Wilsons Promontory National Park is regarded as one of the most picturesque stretches of coastline in Australia. Up-close views of remote locations like Skull Rock, Glennie Island, the historic Wilsons Promontory lighthouse, and stops at pristine beaches and nature reserves including the Kanowna Island seal sanctuary leave guests in awe of the area’s natural beauty and wildlife. Anchoring at Refuge Cove, there is ample time to swim, snorkel and lounge on white sandy beaches. This full day luxury cruising on a catamaran is fully catered and is the only means to see some of the regions most beautiful coves.

Departure Dates:
November 2018 - 20, 22, 24, 25, 27, 29
December 2018 - 6, 8, 9, 11, 13
January 2019 - 26, 27, 29, 31
February 2019 - 7, 9, 10, 12, 14, 21, 23, 24, 26, 28
March 2019 - 7, 9, 10, 12, 14, 21, 23, 24, 26, 28
April 2019 - 4, 11, 13, 14

About Wildlife Coast Cruises Founded by John Dickie, Wildlife Coast Cruises has shown locals and visitors the spectacular wildlife and coastal scenery around Phillip Island, Seal Rocks, Westernport Bay and Wilsons Promontory for over 23 years. As a long-term ambassador and award winner in the eco-tourism space, Wildlife Coast Cruises boasts many environmental and tourism accreditations, and offer a range of up close and personal wildlife experiences, shared through engaging commentary and warm hospitality.

Seasonal highlights

Summer: Dec-Feb - Birds

Crested Terns, Silver Gulls, Pacific and Kelp Gulls at rookeries, Australasian Gannets, Shy Albatross, Giant Petrels, Australasian Darters, Little Penguins, Short-tailed Shearwaters return to their burrows on Phillip Island, White-bellied Sea Eagles and Wedge-tailed Eagles.

Autumn: Mar-May - Birds

Short-tailed Shearwaters feed up before their epic northern migration, Shy Albatross chicks fledge mostly in April, Crested Terns, Pied & Black-faced Cormorants, Australasian Gannets, Little Penguins feeding close to shore, White-bellied Sea Eagles and Wedge-tailed Eagles.

Summer: Dec-Feb - Marine Mammals

Male Australian Fur Seals territorial behavior and fighting, Adult females give birth to one pup and seal population swells to over 30,000 seals, Bottlenose Dolphins, Short-beaked Common Dolphins, Orcas occasionally spotted.

Autumn: Mar-May - Marine Mammals

Australian Fur Seal pups very playful, Short-beaked Common Dolphins, Small pods of up to 10 Bottlenose Dolphins forage for squid and fish.

More info

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Type: Groups,Shared

Duration: 4 days/3 nights - East Gippsland

Logistics: Drive rental car to Pakenham (Budget, Hertz) for morning pick to join fully guided four day trip.

Shared departures leave on Mondays from March 2019. Private departures on request

Accommodation Included: Snowy River Homestead or similar

East Gippsland Wildlife Journey

Venturing across East Gippsland’s magnificent lush rainforests, coastal heathlands, giant eucalypt groves, white sandy beaches and pristine rivers and estuaries, this four day immersive adventure offers encounters with a diverse array of species.

It is especially attractive to enthusiasts looking to spot some of the more shy forest dwellers including Yellow-bellied and Greater Gliders, Swamp Wallabies, King Parrots and the piercing call of the Eastern Whipbird. Other highlights include walking with Eastern Grey Kangaroos and Echidnas on Raymond Island, searching for koalas in eucalypt forests, spotting Lace Monitors lazing beside secluded rivers and listening for Superb Lyrebirds mimicking other birds on the fertile rainforest floor.

Guests also spend a little time helping nature on a remote beach by removing disused fishing nets, preventing injury to local fish, marine mammals or birds. Charming lodge-style, owner-operated boutique accommodation ensures a comfortable sleep across the journey.

About Echidna Walkabout Nature Tours: Echidna Walkabout Nature Tours was founded by Roger Smith and Janine Duffy in 1993, with the vision to bring people and wildlife together for mutual benefit. The award-winning team believes that observing and connecting with wildlife is a key element in enriching the lives for people of all backgrounds; whether this interaction is for pleasure, new experiences and learning, for connection to the land or the basic needs for humans to breathe clean air and drink clean water via healthy ecosystems.

When guests travel with Echidna Walkabout Nature Tours, part of the trip involves travellers contributing to a project that actively helps wildlife.

Seasonal highlights

Summer: Dec-Feb - Birds

Scarlet Honeyeaters and Black-faced Monarchs migrate to the area, Satin Bowerbird nesting, Red & Little Wattlebirds, Eastern Spinebills, Tawny-crowned, Blue-faced and Crescent Honeyeaters, King Parrots, Crimson and Eastern Rosellas, Golden Whistler, Eastern Whipbirds and Flame Robins.

Autumn: Mar-May - Birds

The Superb Lyrebird is in full voice at this time, Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos, Crimson Rosellas, Golden Whistlers, Pied Currawongs, Eastern Whipbirds, Eastern-yellow Robins, Jacky Winters, Rose Robins, Beautiful Firetails, Powerful Owls.

Summer: Dec-Feb - Land Mammals & Marsupials

Grey-headed Flying Foxes roost in camps of thousands of individuals with juveniles clinging under their mothers arm, Swamp Wallabies, Yellow-bellied and Greater Gliders in the mature eucalypt forests.

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Type: Groups,Shared

Duration: 4 days/3 nights

Logistics: Take a 1 hour 15 minute flight to Hobart (HBA)

Accommodations Included

The Maria Island Walk

This four day guided walk across magnificent Maria Island, combines intimate wildlife encounters, fascinating history, pristine white sand beaches, and locally sourced gourmet food. Small groups of maximum 10 guests and 2 guides, will explore the World Heritage Listed island with gentle walks by day and enjoy elegant private accommodation and candle lit gourmet dining each night.

As a vital location for numerous threatened and endangered species, Maria is now an island sanctuary and one of the best places in Australia to observe Common Wombats, Tasmanian Devils, Cape Barren Geese, Forester Kangaroos, Bennett’s Wallabies and 125 species of birds; including all of Tasmania’s endemics, the beautiful Swift Parrot and the endangered 40 Spotted Pardalote.

About The Maria Island Walk: Ian and Bronwyn Johnstone developed their dream to start The Maria Island Walk in 2002, showcasing this magical island to a new band of travellers that valued natural wildlife encounters in remote and tranquil settings, combined with world-class hospitality. Central to the company’s philosophy is the importance of creating connection between walkers and guides, with a maximum of ten guests led by two professional guides. Working closely with Parks and Wildlife Tasmania, the walk has received widespread acclaim for its environmentally friendly practices, contribution to conservation projects as well as leadership in the ecotourism and walking sectors.

Seasonal highlights

Summer: Dec-Feb - Birds

Forty-spotted Pardalote, Yellow Wattlebird, Black-headed and Strong-billed Honeyeaters are common. Migrants nesting include Swift Parrots, Fan-tailed Cuckoo, Satin Flycatchers, Yellow-rumped Thornbills. Pied and Sooty Oystercatchers, Crested Terns, Pacific Gulls, Hooded Plovers and Short-tailed Shearwaters, Cape Barren Geese and Tasmanian Native Hens abundant.

Autumn: Mar-May - Birds

Pacific, Kelp and Silver Gulls, Crested Terns, Little Pied and Great Cormorants and Australian Pelicans, Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos, Cape Barren Geese, Tasmanian Native Hens, Green Rosellas, Grey Fantails, Flame Robins, Golden Whistlers, Eastern Spinebills and the Beautiful Firetail, Wedge-tailed Eagles.

Summer: Dec-Feb - Land Mammals & Marsupials

Common Wombats, Bennett’s Wallaby breeding typically commences late in the summer, Tasmanian Pademelons, Young Tasmanian Devils as they become more independent from their parents. 

Autumn: Mar-May - Land Mammals & Marsupials

Tasmanian Devils typically breed in March with young born in April, Common Wombats abundant, Tasmanian Pademelons, Forester Kangaroos, Red-necked Wallabies abundant and occasionally Short-beaked Echidnas.

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Type: Private Charter,Shared

Duration: Full Day

Logistics: Take a flight to Cairns (CNS), connecting via Melbourne, Sydney or Brisbane

Accommodation: Several available options in Cairns

Daintree Exclusive

This full day tour focuses on the World Heritage Listed Daintree National Park, the largest section of tropical rainforest in Australia and oldest continually surviving rainforest in the world. Guests will be mesmerised by the combination of waterfalls, mountain ranges, idyllic streams, deep gorges and dense rainforest, that makes this one of the most complex and celebrated ecosystems.

An interpretative guided walk to the gorgeous Mossman Falls, will provide the opportunity to spot numerous butterfly, frog, reptile and marsupials and learn more about living examples of some of the earliest flowering plants, orchids and ferns and the emergence of Australia’s glorious songbirds.

After lunch guests will embark on a wildlife cruise of the Daintree River, full of opportunities to observe and photograph the region’s apex predator, the Saltwater Crocodile, along with iconic species such as the Boyd’s Forest Dragon, Ulysses butterfly, Spectacled flying-fox, White-lipped tree frog, Common Tree Snake, Azure, Little, Forest & Sacred Kingfishers, Wompoo fruit dove, Sunbird, Great-billed Heron, Spotted-whistling ducks and the Rainbow Bee-eater.

About FNQ Nature Tours: After ten years of guiding nature and wildlife safaris in Northern Australia, James Boettcher established FNQ Nature Tours in 2015, with a firm belief that tourism is the key to the protection and conservation of this World Heritage area. The company offers tours designed for nature minded travellers desiring a personal, educational and interactive guided experience, whilst sharing the necessity of protecting the natural wonders and biodiversities of this world famous region.

More info

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Type: Private Charter,Shared

Duration: Full Day

Tablelands & Crater Lakes

On this adventure, guests will experience a spectacular mix of habitats across the Atherton Tablelands; from lush rainforest, volcanic lakes, wetlands through to savanna country. Located in the highland region southwest of Cairns, this tour covers landmarks such as the Cathedral Fig Tree, Lake Barrine and Milla Milla Falls.

The rainforests of the Tablelands provide habitat for a rich array of marsupials, reptiles, invertebrates and over 320 species of bird. Iconic bird species include the Victoria’s Riflebird, Golden Bowerbird, Tooth-billed Bowerbird, Atherton Scrubwren, Bridled Honeyeater, Pied Monarch, Stone Curlew, Black-faced Monarch, Red-backed Fairy-wren and Forest Kingfisher.

A visit to Lake Barrine provides a very high likelihood of seeing the elusive Platypus along with opportunities to see a the Red-legged Pademelon, Musky Rat Kangaroo, Snapping Turtle, Giant Eel, Eastern Water Dragon, Saw-shell Turtle and one of the areas most iconic species, the Lumholtz Tree Kangaroo.

About FNQ Nature Tours: After ten years of guiding nature and wildlife safaris in Northern Australia, James Boettcher established FNQ Nature Tours in 2015, with a firm belief that tourism is the key to the protection and conservation of this World Heritage area. The company offers tours designed for nature minded travellers desiring a personal, educational and interactive guided experience, whilst sharing the necessity of protecting the natural wonders and biodiversities of this world famous region.

More info