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West to East Coast Wildlife Extravaganza (Luxury Vacation)

Suggested months: January, February, March, April.

This extraordinary adventure commences with a trip to Bremer Canyon, to see pods of Killer Whales, followed by an exploration of the Eyre Peninsula, where you can swim with Australian Sea Lions and Bottlenose Dolphins. Next leg visits Melbourne, to meet a wild colony of Koalas and see Australia's largest congregation of fur seals off Phillip Island, followed by touring across Tasmania's breath-taking eastern region, including the Freycinet and Mt Field National Parks. The final leg visits the magnificent city of Sydney and the bushlands of the Southern Highlands, to try and spot several iconic marsupials. 

Highlights of this wildlife vacation include:

  • Encounter remarkable Killer Whales (95% success rate)
  • Abundant pelagic birds including albatross, petrels and shearwaters along with Dolphins, Sperm Whales, Hammerhead, New Zealand Fur Seals and Giant Squid all present 
  • Meeting wild Koalas while learning stories about each individual's history, social life and family
  • Venturing to Seal Rocks off Phillip Island, where you will drift amongst 7000+ seals
  • Exploration of Lincoln and Coffin Bay National Parks
  • Swimming with Australian Sea-lions and dolphins
  • Exploring Mt Field and Freycinet National Parks, with prime marsupial spotting and penguins
  • Nocturnal Spotlighting in the Southern Highlands for iconic marsupials including wombats, possums and gliders

Minimum Suggested Trip: 19 days - 2 days Albany/Bremer, 2 days Perth, 3 days Eyre Peninsula, 4 days Melbourne, 4 days Tasmania, 4 days Sydney.

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)

Bremer Bay Eyre Peninsula Phillip Island Southern Highlands NSW Tasmania You Yangs & Great Ocean Road
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Type: Groups,Shared

Duration: Full Day (approx 8 hours)

Logistics: Fly into Perth (PER) and then a 1 hour flight to Albany (ALH) to Overnight. Return trip to Bremer Bay available with Big Blue Bus or Private Transfer.

Suggested Luxury Accommodation: Maitraya Private Retreat

Bremer Canyon Killer Whale Expedition

The Bremer Canyon has become one of the most sort after whale watching expeditions across the globe, with over 100 Killer Whales (Orcas) returning to the submarine canyon each year from January to April; the only place in Australia where you can regularly encounter Killer Whales in the wild. During the season, travellers can encounter these apex predators engaging in a variety of activities from hunting to socialising in family groups.

The offshore marine environment of the Bremer Canyon supports an incredible diversity of wildlife.  As well as encountering Killer Whales over 95% of the time, other species seen include Bottlenose, Striped and Common Dolphins, Long-Finned Pilot Whales, Sperm Whales, Hammerhead, Oceanic Blue and Whaler Sharks, Australian Sea Lions, New Zealand Fur Seals, Giant Squid, Oceanic Sunfish and even the rare Beaked Whale.  

It’s also a pelagic birdwatchers dream, with an astonishing array of seabirds including the Wandering Albatross, Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross, Flesh-footed Shearwater and petrel species.

Every expedition by Naturaliste Charters is led by a qualified marine biologist with extensive knowledge and experience in local marine ecology, wildlife and environmental education. Voyages also provide opportunities for guests to learn more about the amazing underwater ecosystem and contribute through adding to the Project Orca photo database amongst other scientific studies regularly carried out on-board.

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Type: Private Charter,Shared

Duration: 3 days/3 nights

Logistics: Fly into Perth (PER) then to Adelaide (ADL). Option to overnight in Adelaide. or connect to a 50 minute flight to Port Lincoln Airport (PLO).

Included Luxury Accommodation: South Point Private Beach House

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.

Seasonal highlights

Summer: Dec-Feb - Fish & Marine Invertebrates

Male Great White Sharks are seen around the Neptune Islands.

Autumn: Mar-May - Fish & Marine Invertebrates

Great White Shark numbers escalate in April to the Neptune Islands area, with very large mature females preying upon Long-nosed Fur Seal pups.

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.

Autumn: Mar-May - Birds

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.

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.

Autumn: Mar-May - Marine Mammals

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.

 

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Type: Groups,Private Charter,Shared

Duration: Day Trip: Approximately 8 hours

Logistics: Fly to Adelaide and then connect with a 1 hour flight 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.

Seasonal highlights

Summer: Dec-Feb - Birds

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.

Summer: Dec-Feb - Land Mammals & Marsupials

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.

Autumn: Mar-May - Land Mammals & Marsupials

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.

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Type: Shared

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.

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.

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.

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Type: Private Charter

Duration: 4 days/ 3 nights

Logistics: Take a 1 hour 15 minute flight to Hobart (HBA)

Suggested Luxury Accommodations: Islington Hotel, Saffire Freycinet

4 Day Private Tour Tasmania Wildlife Encounter

This journey focusses on Tasmania's breathtaking eastern region, including Freycinet National Park, Mt Field National Park and the Tasman Peninsula. A mix of expansive ancient temperate rainforests, spectacular coastlines, rugged mountains and wetlands provide habitat for a rich array of rare and endemic plants and animals.

Tasmania is a delight for Marsupial lovers, with opportunities to spot Pademelons, Eastern Grey Kangaroos, Bennett’s Wallabies, Common Wombats, Tasmanian Bettongs along with the two famous monotremes; Platypus and Short-beaked Echidna. A wide variety of songbirds, bushbirds, shorebirds and seabirds, including the Little Penguin are also highlights. Guests will be captivated by a cruise spotting Dolphins, Australian Fur Seals and seabirds along the towering 200m dolerite cliffs.

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.

Seasonal highlights

Summer: Dec-Feb - Birds

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.

Autumn: Mar-May - Birds

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.

Summer: Dec-Feb - Land Mammals & Marsupials

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.

Autumn: Mar-May - Land Mammals & Marsupials

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.

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Type: Groups,Shared

Duration: Full Day - Sydney

Logistics: Take a 1 hour 15 minute flight to Sydney (SYD) from Hobart.

Suggested Luxury Accommodations: 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.

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