Suggested months: May, September, October, November.
Australia is the home of the marsupial and this epic journey traverses across the best locations to see a range of species in this mammalian group, focussing on the south-east region of the continent, with abundant opportunities to see joeys at this time.
Highlights of this wildlife vacation include:
Minimum Suggested Trip: 21 days - 4 days Sydney, 6 days Tasmania, 4 days Melbourne, 3 days Kangaroo Island, 4 days Arkaba/Flinders Ranges.
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)
Duration: Full Day - Sydney
Logistics: Fly into Sydney (SYD)
Suggested Luxury Accommodation:
Park Hyatt Sydney
Southern Highlands Wildlife Day Tour
Just 90 minutes south of Sydney, guests will venture to the pristine bushland of the Southern Highlands, to observe several of Australia's most iconic species in the afternoon and evening. With the help of a knowledgeable and passionate Naturalist Guide, travellers will have the opportunity to spot Eastern Grey Kangaroos, Koalas, Red-necked Wallabies, Platypus and some of the 260 bird species that call the area home.
Travelling in a luxury 4WD vehicle to private farmland and bushland locations, the specialist guides will share information on this importance of the Great Western Wildlife Corridor, a key migration route between the southern Blue Mountains World Heritage area and Morton National Park further south.
After a hearty country-style dinner in one of Australia’s oldest country inns, the group will go night-spotting for some of the region's most curious crepuscular and nocturnal species, including Common Wombats, Sugar Gliders, Brush-tailed Possums and Tawny Frogmouths.
About Boutique Wildlife Tours: This family owned business has been offering unique wildlife viewing experiences since 2010 in the Southern Highlands, just South West of Sydney. The company has a strong focus on quality interpretation from guides, allowing for a high degree of customisation depending on guest interests, with the team committed to preserving the environments visited and supporting local and responsible businesses to maximise benefit to the regional communities.
Type: Private Charter
Duration: 6 days/5 nights
Logistics: Take a 1 hour 45 minute flight from Sydney to Launceston (LST)
Suggested Luxury Accommodations: Cradle Mountain Lodge, Hawley House, Thousand Lakes Lodge
6 Day Private Tour Tasmania’s Wildlife & Wilderness
Covering over one million hectares, the Tasmanian wilderness constitutes one of the last expanses of temperate rainforest in the world, officially recognised through a number of UNESCO World Heritage Listed areas. This immersive wildlife adventure takes travellers across an extraordinarily diverse range of habitats including lush valleys, glacial lakes, spectacular rivers and ancient rainforests.
Kangaroos, wombats, quolls, Platypus, wombats and bird flourish here, but it is the island’s most famous resident, the Tasmanian Devil, that is a highlight for many. Superb private guides will enrich guest’s understanding of the island’s natural offerings, with their ability to track and identify a broad range of mammal, reptile, bird species and flora.
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.
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.
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: Groups,Private Charter,Shared
Duration: Day Trip: Approximately 8 hours
Logistics: Take a 1 hour flight from Hobart to Melbourne (MEL)
Suggested Luxury Accommodation:
Grand Hyatt Melbourne
Kangaroos and Koalas in the Wild
Traversing through captivating natural bushland across the You Yangs and Serendip National Parks, this one day adventure provides up-close encounters with Australia’s most endearing animal, the Koala. Guests will have the opportunity to meet famous wild Koalas through a eucalypt forest with a naturalist guide, sharing stories about each individual koala’s history, social life and family.
Importantly, the tour contributes to the health and wellbeing of this iconic animal through removal of noxious weeds to expand their habitat. In the forests, there are also Swamp Wallabies, Echidnas, Laughing Kookaburras, Tawny Frogmouths, cockatoos, parrots and honeyeater birds. Later, guests walk through the grasslands and around a billabongs in search of Eastern Grey Kangaroos, Emus and raptor birds.
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.
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.
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: 2 hours - Phillip Island
Logistics: From Melbourne, take a 1 hour 30 minute drive, helicopter transfer from or private vehicle transfer to Cowes.
Option to extend beyond the Seal Cruise to watch the world-famous Penguin Parade
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.
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.
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.
Australian Fur Seal pups very playful, Short-beaked Common Dolphins, Small pods of up to 10 Bottlenose Dolphins forage for squid and fish.
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.
Type: Groups,Private Charter,Shared
Duration: 2 days/1 night
Logistics: Take a 1 hour flight to Adelaide, and connect with a 30 minute flight to Kingscote (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.
About Exceptional Kangaroo Island: Craig and Janet Wickham and their enthusiastic team have been sharing Kangaroo Island's secrets with guests since 1990 and have won numerous national and international awards for their tours. The family-owned operator specialises in deluxe wildlife tours which create an atmosphere where guests find themselves treated as friends, with tours run as a conversation not a commentary, promising good food, good wine and wildlife in the wild.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Type: Private Charter,Shared
Duration: 3 days - Flinders Ranges, South Australia
Logistics: Fly to Adelaide. Take a 30 minute flight from Kingscote Airport (KGC) to Adelaide Airport (ADL), Choice of a 5 hour drive, 90 minute private air charter to Hawker or Regional Express (REX) commercial flight from Adelaide to Port Augusta (PUG), where guests will be picked up and take a 90 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.
Black-eared Cuckoos and Brown Songlark migration, Grey-shrike Thrush, Rufous Whistlers, Black-faced Cuckoo-shrikes, Galahs, Australian Ringnecks, Red-rumped Parrots, Emus preparing for the breeding season.
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.
Western Grey Kangaroos are abundant, Red Kangaroos, Common Wallaroos, Yellow-footed Rock Wallabies, Dingos breeding and occasionally sighted but often heard.
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.