Suggested months: January, February, November, December.
This journey traverses across the continent providing a snapshot of Australia's diverse landscapes, flora and fauna. Starting out in beautiful Sydney Harbour, travellers will be delighted with the aquatic diversity and array of birds around Manly and Sydney Harbour National Park.
Venturing across to Arkaba Wildlife Conservancy, amazing outback landscapes will be revealed. This region provides refuge for four species of kangaroo, numerous raptor birds, colourful parrots and congregations of Emus. Ningaloo and Exmouth is an incredibly biodiverse area, with snorkellers and divers able to encounter vast numbers of tropical fish, marine invertebrates, Manta Rays, reef sharks, with turtles also hatching on the beaches at this time.
Rounding out the trip along East Gippsland, visitors will cherish spotting rainforest dwelling mammals and birds, with this being one of the world's few unbroken chains of forest stretching all the way from the alpine area to the coast. This is a prime opportunity to see a broad range of honeyeaters including the magnificent Scarlet Honeyeater.
Minimum Suggested Nights: 12 nights, plus a couple of nights on arrival to Australia and along each journey leg if desired.East Gippsland Flinders Ranges Ningaloo & Exmouth
Type: Private Charter,Shared
Duration: 3 days - Flinders Ranges, South Australia
Logistics: Take a 2 hour flight from Sydney Airport (SYD) to Adelaide Airport (ADL). Choice of a 5 hour drive, 65 minute private air charter to Hawker. Alternatively overnight in Adelaide and on Monday through Friday, Sharp Airlines operates a 50 minute commercial flight from Adelaide to Port Augusta, where guests will be picked up and take a 1 hour 15 minute guided transfer to Arkaba,
Three Day Safari
This extended safari drive option provides wildlife enthusiasts the option to explore and immerse themselves in a diverse range of habitats found across the Arkaba Wildlife Conservancy, from the comfort of an open-top safari vehicle. From dry creek beds, waterholes, rocky outcrops, spinifex country and river red gum courses, there are abundant opportunities to spot Ringneck, Mulga, Red-rumped and Elegant Parrots, Emus, Wedge-tailed Eagles, Brown Goshawks and Rufous Whistlers to name a few.
It is a prime region to observe Macropods including the gorgeous Yellow-footed Rock Wallaby, Common Wallaroo, Red Kangaroo and Western Grey Kangaroos. These habitats also provide a rich offering of reptiles including beautiful Bearded Dragons, Painted Dragons, Barking Geckos, Shinglebacks and numerous skinks.
Please note that this tour is only available to guests staying at Arkaba Homestead.
Mulga, Ringneck and Red-rumped parrots, Wedge-tailed and Little Eagle, Black Kite, Brown Goshawk. Sightings of Red-backed Kingfishers, Cockatiels Budgerigars, Zebra Finches more common at this time around pockets of water.
Striped Emu chicks following their fathers, Wedge-tailed Eagle, Little Eagle, Black Kite and Brown Goshawk fledging, Rainbow Bee-eaters and Sacred Kingfishers arrive to breed.
Red Kangaroos joeys, Common Wallaroos, Western Grey Kangaroos, Yellow-footed Rock Wallabies around water courses.
Short-beaked Echidnas, Red Kangaroo joeys born, Western Grey Kangaroos, Common Wallaroos feeding on shoots and vegetation, Fat-tailed Dunnarts and Stripe-faced Dunnarts breeding and very occasionally sighted.
Duration: Full Day
Logistics: Take a 3 hour 20 minute flight from Adelaide Airport (ADL) to Perth Airport (PER) and connect to a 2 hour flight to Exmouth (LEA).
Ningaloo or Muiron Islands Snorkel
The Muiron Islands and Ningaloo Marine Park, is regarded as one of the most beautiful underwater wilderness areas in Australia. Upon cruising out across the pristine waters, guests will spend the day exploring different snorkel sights accessible by boat only, with Dolphins, Rays and Turtles all regular encounters for swimmers. Humpback Whales and Whale Sharks (boat viewing only) are also possible sightings in season, whilst a keen eye may spot the elusive Dugong. Snorkellers will be delighted to see colourful tropical fish including Parrotfish, Butterflyfish, Angelfish and Anemonefish amongst the spectacular coral bombies.
At Coral Bay, Coastal Manta Rays form incredible mating chains, with up to 15 males fighting for position to mate with a single female, Eagle, Bull Rays, Cleaner Wrasse, Parrotfish, Butterflyfish, Angelfish, Damselfish, Scissor Tails, Flutemouths Wrasse, Groper, Barracuda, Coral Trout, Cod, Whitetip and Blacktip Reef Sharks, Great and Scalloped Hammerheads, Bronze Whalers, Cat Sharks, Manta Rays, Olive Sea Snakes, Moray Eels, Wobbegongs.
Manta Rays along the reef near Exmouth, Parrotfish, Butterflyfish, Angelfish, Damselfish, Scissor Tails, Flutemouths Wrasse, Groper, Coral Trout, Giant Potato Cod and Trevally, Sailfin Catfish, Clarkes, Pink and Tomato Anemonefish.
Dugongs feast on seagrasses around the inner reef shallows, Bottlenose and Australian Humpback Dolphins are abundant in the area, with babies being calved around this time, Short-beaked Common, Spinner and Humpback Dolphins can also be spotted occasionally.
Humpback Whales are in region with mothers typically minding calves in the Gulf area (opportunity to swim with these creatures until the end of October). Orcas are active in the area, Pseudo Orcas, Minke Whales, Pilot Whales, Short-beaked Common Dolphins, Spinner Dolphins and Blue Whales are occasional visitors to the area. Bottlenose and Australian Humpback Dolphins calve around this time.
Duration: 4 days/3 nights - East Gippsland
Logistics: Take a 2 hour flight from Exmouth (LEA) to Perth Airport (PER) and connect to a 3 hour 35 minute flight to Melbourne Tullamarine Airport (MEL).
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.
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.
Migrant Shining Bronze, Fan-tailed Brush and Horsfield's Bronze Cuckoos, Yellow-faced, Tawny-crowned, Blue-faced and Crescent Honeyeaters, Eastern-yellow Robins, King Parrots, Crimson, Eastern Rosellas, Rainbow & Musk Lorikeets, Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos, Galahs, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Beautiful Firetail, Mistletoebird, Fairy Wren and Spotted Pardalotes.
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.
Common Wombats, Echidnas are active and breeding with November being the peak viewing time, Swamp Wallabies, Red-necked Wallabies, Eastern Grey Kangaroos.