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Snorkelling & Seabird Encounters

Suggested months: January, February, November, December.

Combining visits to Australia's largest city, two famous reef systems and ultimate temperate aquatic playground, this is a must for any marine enthusiast that also enjoys a spot of birdwatching.

Sydney boasts the world's most biodiverse harbour, with visitors able to enjoy snorkelling and bushwalking around Sydney Harbour National Park. Next stop is the Great Barrier Reef at Lady Elliot Island, with turtles nesting along with thousands of seabirds including noddies, terns and the Red-tailed Tropic Bird.

The Eyre Peninsula provides the amazing opportunity to swim with Australian Sea-lions, observe the ocean's most formidable predator, the Great White Shark, and a rich array of waterbirds, bushbirds, parrots and songbirds.  

Diving across Ningaloo provides the opportunity to see resident Manta Rays at Coral Bay, with turtles nesting and hatching at this time.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Eyre Peninsula Lady Elliot Island Ningaloo & Exmouth Sydney Harbour
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Type: Groups,Private Charter

Duration: Full Day

Logistics: Fly into Sydney Airport (SYD).

Get Wild in Sydney Harbour

Embarking on a luxury cruiser, this nature packed adventure on Sydney’s doorstep will surprise and delight wildife lovers. Upon disembarking the boat on Sydney’s beautiful Northern beaches, guides will educate guests about the native wildlife and ecosystems on a walk through to Shelley Beach in Manly, where your undersea experience will commence.

A diverse range of marine wildlife inhabit the area, composed of sandy seabeds, rocky reefs, and protected bays perfect for snorkelling where you may encounter species such as Blue Groper, Gunthers and Dusky Butteflyfish, Black Rockcod, Wobbegongs, Cuttlefish, Potbelly Seahorses and the Weedy Sea Dragon. 

Seasonal highlights

Summer: Dec-Feb - Birds

Peak season for shearwaters including Wedge-tailed, Flesh-footed, Sooty, Hutton's and Fluttering species, Pomarine and Long-tailed Jaegers, Australasian Gannets, Greated Crested Terns, Silver Gulls, Little Penguins on approach to Sydney Harbour.

Spring: Sep-Nov - Birds

Wedge-tailed, Flesh-footed, Sooty, Hutton's and Fluttering Shearwaters arrive in significant numbers in September and October. Black-browed, Shy and Indian Yellow-nosed are the most likely albatross encounters. Giant Petrel, Great-winged Petrel and Providence Petrels are also occasionally seen, with Australasian Gannets, Silver Gull and Greater Crested Terns ever present.

Spring: Sep-Nov - Marine Mammals

Humpback Whales head south on migration to Antarctica. Early October to Mid December, mothers and newborn calves tend to swim very close to the shoreline, Common Dolphin and Bottlenose Dolphins often sighted with occasional visits by Minke Whales, False Killer Whales, Orcas and Pilot Whales.

More info

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Type: Groups,Shared

Duration: 6 days/5 nights

Logistics: Take a 1 hour 25 minute flight from Sydney Airport (SYD) to Brisbane Airport (BNE). Overnight in Brisbane. Take a 45 minute transfer to the Redcliffe Aerodrome to connect with a 1 hour 40 minute scenic flight to Lady Elliot Island.

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.

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.

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.

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.

More info

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Type: Private Charter

Duration: 4 days/4 nights

Logistics: Take a 1 hour 40 minute scenic flight from Lady Elliot Island to Brisbane (Redcliffe Aerodrome). Overnight Brisbane. Take a 2 hour 30 minute flight from Brisbane Airport (BNE) to Adelaide Airport (ADL) and connect with a 50 minute flight to Port Lincoln (PLO).

Port Lincoln Wildlife Encounters

This four day adventures combines the best terrestrial and marine protected areas across the region including Lincoln National Park, Coffin Bay National Park, Neptune Islands Conservation Park and Mount Dutton Bay Conservation Park. Being one of the only places to swim with wild Sea-Lions, 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  will venture out to the Neptune Islands to try and observe the Great White Shark via a cage or 360 degree underwater viewing pod, using a bait and berley free approach to witness the ocean’s most formidable predator.

Seasonal highlights

Summer: Dec-Feb - Fish & Marine Invertebrates

Male Great White Sharks are seen around the Neptune Islands.

Spring: Sep-Nov - Fish & Marine Invertebrates

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. 

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.

Spring: Sep-Nov - Birds

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.

 

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.

Spring: Sep-Nov - Marine Mammals

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.

More info

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Type: Groups,Shared

Duration: Full Day

Logistics: Take an early morning 50 minute flight from Port Lincoln Airport (PLO) to Adelaide Airport (ADL) and connect with a 3 hour 20 minute flight to Perth Airport (PER). Overnight Perth. Take a 2 hour flight to Exmouth (LEA).

Ningaloo or Muiron Islands Scuba Dive

With 300 coral species, 650 different molluscs and over 500 species of fish, the Ningaloo region is a diver’s delight. The worlds largest fringeing reef provides abundant opportunities to see from Parrotfish, Butterflyfish, Angelfish, Damselfish, Cardinalfish, Scissor Tails, Flutemouths Wrasse, to larger fish such as Groper, Coral Trout, Basslets, Cod and Trevally.

Three species of turtle, Olive Sea Snakes, Manta Rays, Reef Sharks and surreal Nudibranches are highlights for enthusiasts. Free Nitrox for is available on all dives free of charge, with PADI Courses & Discover Scuba available for any unqualified visitors.

Seasonal highlights

Summer: Dec-Feb - Fish & Marine Invertebrates

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.

Spring: Sep-Nov - Fish & Marine Invertebrates

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.

Summer: Dec-Feb - Reptiles & Amphibians

Green, Hawkesbill and Loggerhead lay eggs between December and February. From January through March (approximately six weeks after laying), the hatchlings emerge across the sandy beaches.

Summer: Dec-Feb - Marine Mammals

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.

Spring: Sep-Nov - Marine Mammals

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. 

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