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Islands of Paradise

Suggested months: January, February, March, April, November, December.

The continent of Australia is surrounded by many islands, with this itinerary covering three of the most adored locations. Highlights include observing up to 4,000 pups around Phillip Island where the summer Australian Fur Seal population at Seal Rocks swells to over 30,000 seals. Numerous seabirds can also be spotted including Shy Albatross, cormorants, Australasian Gannets, Short-tailed Shearwaters and Little Penguins.

On Kangaroo Island, visitors will be treated to a rich array of birds, marsupials and marine mammals including Short-beaked Echidnas, Tammar Wallabies, Kangaroo Island Kangaroos, Australian Sea-lions, Long-nosed Fur Seals and sometimes the Rosenberg's Goanna.

Maria Island is a sanctuary for some of Tasmania's most endearing creatures including Common Wombats, Tasmanian Devils, Tasmanian Pademelons along with migratory bird species over the warmer months, including the colourful Swift Parrot. On Lady Elliot Island, aside from a large concentration of nesting seabirds over this time, travellers will be enthralled with the array of tropical fish, Manta Rays, reef sharks, corals and turtles. 

Minimum Suggested Nights: 15 nights, plus a couple of nights on arrival and departure from Australia if desired.

Kangaroo Island Lady Elliot Island Maria Island Phillip Island
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Type: Shared

Duration: 2 hours

Logistics: Fly into Melbourne Tullamarine Airport (MEL) and take a 1 hour 30 minute drive or private transfer to Cowes. Alternatively, take the Metro Train on Frankston line to Stony Point, then Inter Island ferry across the bay to Cowes,

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.

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.

Spring: Sep-Nov - Birds

Approximately one million Short-Tailed Shearwaters return to Phillip Island from Alaska, very active Crested Tern rookery, White-bellied Sea Eagles and Wedge-tailed Eagles building large nests along the cliffs.

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.

Spring: Sep-Nov - Marine Mammals

Male bull Australian Fur Seals territorial fighting, Common & Bottlenose Dolphin abundant, Humpback Whales with mothers and calves seen can be seen at the beginning of spring.

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Type: Groups,Private Charter,Shared

Duration: 2 days/1 night

Logistics: Take a 1 hour 20 minute flight from Melbourne Tullamarine Airport (MEL) to Adelaide Airport (ADL), and connect to a 30 minute flight to Kingscote Airport on Kangaroo Island (KGC).

Kangaroo Island In Style

This tour combines the two most popular full day landscape and wildlife experiences; Island Life and Flinders Chase Focus. Guests will be exposed to a broad range of elements that make this island so celebrated, including the the Island's history, ecology, wildlife, landscape and contemporary lifestyle. Regions visited include the Cygnet Valley, north coast landscape at Stokes Bay, central plateau, south coast landscape at Seal Bay to walk on the beach with Australian Sea-lions and the spectacular wilderness and the dramatic coastline of Flinders Chase National Park.

Iconic landscapes in the southwest corner will deliver endless photographic opportunities especially at Remarkable Rocks, Admirals Arch and Cape du Couedic. Key species regularly encountered are Koalas, Tammar Wallabies, Kangaroo Island Kangaroos, endangered Glossy Black Cockatoos, Short-beaked Echidnas, Australian Sea-lions, Long-nosed Fur-seals and a variety of bush birds and shorebirds and seabirds.

Seasonal highlights

Summer: Dec-Feb - Birds

Hooded Dotterels nest upon sandy beaches, aggregations of waterbirds such as Black Swans, Royal Spoonbills, migrant Common Greenshanks, Crested Terns, Caspian Terns, Freckled Ducks, Elegant Parrots, Rock Parrots, Crimson Rosellas and occasionally Budgerigars.

 

Autumn: Mar-May - Birds

Glossy Black Cockatoos nest in large hollows, Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos aggregate post breeding (they breed in summer), Red Wattlebirds abundant, Black Swans, Royal Spoonbills, Crested Terns, Caspian Terns, Crimson Rosellas.

Spring: Sep-Nov - Birds

Short-tailed Shearwaters migrate to the area, Superb Fairy-wrens breed and the spectacular blue males are a stunning splash of colour, New Holland, White-eared Honeyeaters, Eastern Spinebills. Rainbow Lorikeets, Purple-crowned Lorikeets. Chestnut-breasted Shelducks, Yellow-billed Spoonbills, Australian White Ibis and White-headed Stilts abundant.

Summer: Dec-Feb - Land Mammals & Marsupials

Kangaroo Island Kangaroos switch to being more active in cooler mornings and later in the day, Koalas are active across the island as it is breeding season, Echidnas can be seen across the island.

Autumn: Mar-May - Land Mammals & Marsupials

Young Tammar Wallabies are weaned off their mothers and form their own social groups, Kangaroo Island Kangaroo joeys following their mothers around, Short-beaked Echidnas, Common Brushtail Possums usually have one joey at a time in Autumn.

Spring: Sep-Nov - Land Mammals & Marsupials

Kangaroo and wallaby joeys emerge from pouches for the first time, Koala mating begins to occur from September onwards until March, Short-beaked Echidnas will feast upon eat large amounts insects and larvae during Spring.

Summer: Dec-Feb - Marine Mammals

Long-nosed and Australian Fur Seals congregate to breed, Australian Sea-lions bask on sandy beaches at Seal Bay, Bottle-nosed Dolphins around bays and coves.

Autumn: Mar-May - Marine Mammals

Australian Sea-lions bask on the sand in-between fishing trips to the continental shelf, Long-nosed Fur Seal pups can be seen playing around the rock ledges and pools at Cape du Couedic.

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Type: Groups,Shared

Duration: 4 days/3 nights

Logistics: Take a 30 minute flight from Kingscote Airport (KGC) to Adelaide Airport (ADL) then connect to a 1 hour 20 minute flight to Melbourne Tullamarine Airport (MEL) and a 1 hour 20 minute flight to Hobart Airport (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.

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.

Spring: Sep-Nov - Birds

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.

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.

Spring: Sep-Nov - Land Mammals & Marsupials

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.

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Type: Groups,Shared

Duration: 6 days/5 nights

Logistics: Take a 1 hour 45 minute flight from Hobart Airport (HBA) to Brisbane Airport (BNE). Overnight Brisbane. Take a 1 hour 20 minute scenic flight from Redcliffe Aerodrome to Lady Elliot Island the next morning.

Lady Elliot Island Stay 5 Pay 4

Located within a highly protected ’Green Zone’ of the Great Barrier Reef Marine National Park, the waters surrounding Lady Elliot provide a sanctuary for over 1,200 species, with outstanding water clarity perfect for admire the healthy coral reef, abundance of turtles, Manta Rays, reef sharks and a vast array of tropical fish.

In season guests can also encounter birds nesting, turtle hatchlings or migrating Humpback Whales. Staying at the Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort, this package offers guests the opportunity to enjoy a myriad activities to learn more about the Island and its unique history, flora, fauna and incredible marine life. This slice of paradise provides an environment that inspires a diversity of exciting daily nature based activities including reef walks, bird watching tours, snorkel safaris, night tours and scuba diving.

Seasonal highlights

Summer: Dec-Feb - Fish & Marine Invertebrates

Spawning of corals around November or December after the full moon, Damselfish, Wrasses & Parrotfish, Surgeonfish, Angelfish, Groupers, Trumpetfish, Blacktip and Whitetip Reef Sharks, Leopard Sharks, Wobbegongs, Epaulette Sharks, Manta Rays, Bull Rays and Eagle Rays.

Autumn: Mar-May - Fish & Marine Invertebrates

Peak season for seeing Manta Rays. Bull Rays, Cowtail Stingrays, White-spotted Guitarfish, Spotted Eagle Ray and Blue-spotted Fantail Ray, Damselfish, Wrasses & Parrotfish, Surgeonfish, Angelfish, Groupers, Trumpetfish and Mooray Eels.

Spring: Sep-Nov - Fish & Marine Invertebrates

Braching, Boulder, Plate and Mushroom hard corals and Gorgonian Fan, Organ Pipe and Pink Soft coral, Damselfish, Wrasses & Parrotfish, Surgeonfish, Angelfish, Blacktip and Whitetip Reef Sharks, Leopard Sharks, Wobbegongs, Epaulette Sharks, Manta Rays, Bull Rays and Eagle Rays.

Summer: Dec-Feb - Birds

The island hosts colonies of thousands of breeding birds, Red-Tailed Tropic Birds nesting, Black Noddies, Common Noddies, Crested Terns, Roseate, Bridled and Black-naped Terns, Wedge-tailed Shearwaters. Migrants include Pacific Golden Plover, Bar-tailed Godwit, Ruddy Turnstone and Grey-tailed Tattler.

Autumn: Mar-May - Birds

Crested, Roseate, Bridled and Black-naped Terns, Black Noddies, Lesser Frigatebirds and Great Frigatebirds, Brown Footed Boobies, Sooty and Pied Oyster-catchers, Eastern Reef Egrets, Pacific Golden Plover, Bar-tailed Godwit, Ruddy Turnstone and Grey-tailed Tattler.

Spring: Sep-Nov - Birds

Pacific Golden Plover, Ruddy Turnstones, Bar-tailed Godwits arrive from Northern Hemisphere migration, Sooty and Pied Oyster-catchers, Eastern Reef Egret, Brown Footed Boobies, Capricorn Silvereyes, Buff-banded Rails.

Summer: Dec-Feb - Reptiles & Amphibians

Green and Loggerhead Turtles nest on the island’s pristine sandy dunes, hatchlings to emerge between January and May. The critically endangered Hawksbill Turtle can be seen in surrounding waters.

Autumn: Mar-May - Reptiles & Amphibians

Green and Loggerhead Turtles nest on the island’s pristine sandy dunes, hatchlings to emerge between January and May. The critically endangered Hawksbill Turtle can be seen in surrounding waters.

Spring: Sep-Nov - Reptiles & Amphibians

Seasonal Highlights: Green and Loggerhead Turtle mating season, they commence nesting on the island’s pristine sandy dunes in November. The critically endangered Hawksbill Turtle can be seen in the surrounding waters.

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