Suggested months: January, February, March, April, October, November, December.
This adventure will provide you with unforgettable land and marine encounters across the south-eastern region of the continent, commencing in Melbourne and the world-renowned Great Ocean Road and Twelve Apostles. Next up is the aquatic playground of the Eyre Peninsula, where you will swim with Australian Sea Lions, Bottlenose Dolphins and an optional cage-dive with the Great White Shark, followed by wildlife walks around Maria Island, otherwise known as Tasmania's 'Noahs Ark', one of the best places to see Common Wombats in Australia.
Highlights of this wildlife vacation include:
Minimum Suggested Trip: 13 days - 4 days Melbourne/Great Ocean Road, 4 days Eyre Peninsula, 5 days Maria Island/Hobart
Price Guideline: Typically, the budget for small group touring packages across Australia excluding flights is:
4-star: Minimum AUD $400 per person per day (USD $300)
3-star: Minimum AUD $250 per person per day (USD $170)
Type: Groups,Private Charter,Shared
Duration: 3 days/2 nights
Logistics: Fly into Melbourne (MEL)
Great Ocean Road
This small group three day journey covers some of the most rugged and awe-inspiring coastline in Australia. Visits to the Serendip and You Yangs National Parks, the Great Ocean Road, Great Otway National Park, the Twelve Apostles, the Shipwreck Coast and volcanoes and lakes of the Western Plains provide dramatic backdrops whilst spotting wild animals including Eastern Grey Kangaroos, Koalas, Echidnas, Emus, Rosellas, Robins, Honeyeaters, raptor birds and various seabirds.
Guests will have the opportunity to walk beside the waves of the mighty Southern Ocean on pristine sands, experience an unforgettable sunset over brilliantly-coloured limestone cliffs and walk through dense rainforests of lush tree ferns. Led by expert guides, visitors will often be able to track and spot the Red-necked Wallaby and adorable Potoroo.
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.
Rainbow Bee-eaters can be found nesting in river banks, Sulphur-crested Cockatoos, Little Corellas, Galahs, Red-rumped Parrots, Crimson Rosellas, Eastern Rosellas, Gang-gang Cockatoos, Grey Goshawks, Nankeen Kestrels, Swamp Harriers, White-winged Choughs, Singing, New Holland & White-plumed Honeyeaters, Common Bronzewings.
Tawny Frogmouths roosting, Short-tailed Shearwater migration, Honeyeaters abundant including Red and Little Wattlebirds, Eastern Spinebills, New Holland, Yellow-faced, Tawny-crowned and White-plumed Honeyaters, Black-chinned, White-naped , Spiny Cheeked, Yellow-tufted, Fuscous and Singing Honeyeaters possible, Rainbow, Musk and Purple-crowned Lorikeets.
Koalas most active in the summer breeding season, with males singing during the day and night, Eastern Grey Kangaroos mating, Swamp Wallabies, Red-necked Wallabies.
Eastern Grey Kangaroo joeys discover the world outside, learn to hop, play and graze, Swamp Wallabies, Red-necked Wallabies, Koalas, Common Brushtail Possums at dusk and early evening.
Baby Koalas (joeys) come out of the pouch for the first time and will ride on their mother’s back late Spring, Common Brushtail and Common Ringtail Possums at dusk, Eastern Grey Kangaroos, Swamp Wallabies, Red-necked Wallabies.
Duration: 4 days/3 nights
Logistics: Take a 1 hour 15 minute flight to Hobart (HBA)
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.
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.
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.
Swift Parrots, Fan-tailed Cuckoos, Welcome Swallows, Tree Martins, Dusky Woodswallows migrate to nest. Hooded Plovers, Sooty & Pied Oyster Catchers nest on Maria’s pristine beaches, White-bellied Sea Eagles and Tasmanian Wedge-tailed Eagles fledge. Forty-spotted Pardalotes, Spotted and Striated Pardalotes, Scarlet Robins, Silvereyes, Green Rosellas, Yellow-rumped Thornbills and Strong-billed, Yellow-throated, Black-headed, Crescent and New Holland Honeyeaters.
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.
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.
Peak season for seeing the numerous baby marsupials including Forester Kangaroos, Tasmanian Pademelons, Bennett’s Wallabies. Tasmanian Devils emerge from their dens with imps (baby devils) often seen on their backs towards the start of Spring.
Type: Private Charter
Duration: Day Tour - Tasmania
Logistics: Take a 1 hour 15 minute flight to Hobart (HBA)
Various levels of accommodation available in Hobart
1 Day Birdwatching Mt Field National Park
Mount Field National Park is the oldest in Tasmania and one of the most diverse. Guests will have the opportunity to spot 11 out of the 12 Tasmanian endemic species including the Tasmanian Native Hen, Scrubtit, Yellow Wattlebird, Black Currawong and Tasmanian Thornbill across this park featuring amazing plant diversity; from lush Eucalyptus temperate rainforest to alpine moorland. These forests date back over 60 million years, when Australia was attached to Antarctica, Africa, South America and New Zealand as part of the Gondwana supercontinent.
Other highlights include the Pandani Grove walk around Lake Dobson, the three-tier Russell Falls and the vivid Autumn colours of Fagus tree, Australia's only cold climate, deciduous tree. Encounters with Tasmanian Pademelons, Bennett's Wallabies and Platypus are regular delights for visitors, with occasional sightings of the gorgeous Pink Robin.
About Premier Travel Tasmania: Premier Travel Tasmania has been offering refined encounters with nature across the ‘island state’ for over 20 years. The company’s promise to share the diverse flora & fauna, pristine wilderness, rich heritage, gourmet food & wine and local characters, inextricably connects guests to what is quintessentially Tasmania. At the core of the company’s ethos is to preserve Tasmania’s endemic wildlife and their natural habitats, with major contributions provided towards saving the Tasmania Devil from habitat loss and disease.
Little Penguins breed, Kelp, Pacific & Silver Gulls, Pied Oystercatchers, Hooded Dotterels, Crested Terns & Fairy Terns nest. Migratory waders include Eastern Curlews, Curlew Sandpipers, Ruddy Turnstones, Red-necked Stints, Common Greenshanks. Black Currawongs, Green Rosellas, Olive Whistlers, Pink Robins, Grey Goshawks, Australian Shelducks, Chestnut Teals, Australasian Shovellers, Great Crested Grebes.
Summer migrants arrive including Welcome Swallows, Tree Martins, Dusky Woodswallows, Striated Pardalotes, Grey Fantails and Swift Parrots. Short-tailed Shearwaters leave the Tasmanian coast on their migration along with other migratory waders such as, Ruddy Turnstones, Red-necked Stints, Common Greenshanks and Eastern Curlews. Beautiful Firetails and Green Rosellas a highlight.
Fan-tailed, Pallid and Shining Bronze Cuckoos migrate to breed along with Welcome Swallows, Tree Martins, Dusky Woodswallows, Striated Pardalotes, Grey Fantails and Silvereyes and Swift Parrots, 18 million Short-tailed Shearwaters arrive. Little Penguins breed along with Red-capped Plovers, Hooded Dotterels, Pied & Sooty Oystercatchers, Cormorants, Masked & Banded Lapwings and a variety of Gulls and Terns.
Peak time to see young carnivorous marsupials including Tasmanian Devils, Spotted-tailed and Eastern Quolls and occasionally Platypus. Eastern-barred Bandicoots, Southern-brown Bandicoots, Long-nosed Potoroos, Forester Kangaroos, Bennett’s Wallabies, Tasmanian Pademelons and Tasmanian Bettongs.
Forester Kangaroos, Bennett’s Wallabies, Tasmanian Pademelons, Tasmanian Bettongs and Long-nosed Potoroos have joeys that are weaned off at this time. Tasmanian Devils breed in March, Common Wombats, Short-beaked Echidnas.
Spring is the peak season for seeing a number of Tasmania’s baby marsupials including Forester Kangaroos, Bennett’s Wallabies, Tasmanian Pademelons, Common Brushtail and Ringtail Possums. Long-nosed Potoroos, Tasmanian Bettongs and Tasmanian Devils also sighted.
Type: Private Charter,Shared
Duration: 3 days/3 nights
Logistics: Take a 2 hour flight to Adelaide (ADL) and connect with a 50 minute flight to Port Lincoln Airport (PLO).
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.
Male Great White Sharks are seen around the Neptune Islands.
Great White Shark numbers escalate in April to the Neptune Islands area, with very large mature females preying upon Long-nosed Fur Seal pups.
Male Great White Sharks around the Neptune Islands. Water visibility reaches its peak around September and October, whilst late November is the start of the Long-nosed Fur Seal pupping season.
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.
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.
White-bellied Sea Eagles and Osprey nesting and fledging, Striated Pardalotes, Western Yellow Robins, Golden Whistlers, Superb Blue Wrens, White-Browed Babblers, Red Wattlebirds, Black-faced Cuckoo Shrikes, New Holland Honeyeaters, Brown-Headed Honey Eaters along with Port Lincoln and Rock Parrots, Eastern Reef Egrets, Australiasian Shovelers, Cape Barren Geese.
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.
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.
Male bull Long-nosed Fur Seals claim their territory with fierce territorial battles in anticipation of the breeding season, Bottle-nosed Dolphins are common encounters across the bays and coves of Coffin Bay and Port Lincoln National Parks.