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Whale Sharks, Reef, Outback & Melbourne (Luxury Vacation)

Suggested months: June, July, August.

Experience the largest fringing reef in the world at Ningaloo, where you will be captivated by swimming with Whale Sharks and the stunning coral reefs! Venturing south to Margaret River, you will see migrating Humpback Whales with options to taste some of the region's famous wine labels. Next stop is the World Heritage Listed Kakadu National Park, renowned for its prolific birdlife and Saltwater Crocodiles, followed by a visit to the Red Centre's famous Uluru, Kata Tjuta and Mount Conner rock formations. The final leg visits Melbourne, to meet a wild colony of Koalas and see Australia's largest colony of seals off Phillip Island.

Highlights of this wildlife vacation include:

  • Swimming with Whale Sharks and snorkelling the world’s largest fringing coral reef at Ningaloo
  • Viewing Humpback Whales and Southern Right Whales as they make their epic migration to northern Western Australia
  • Visit to Kakadu National Park, renowned for its huge concentration of Saltwater Crocodiles 
  • Touring with traditional Uluru family to their Aboriginal homelands called Patji 
  • Meeting wild Koalas while learning stories about each individual's history, social life and family
  • Venturing to Seal Rocks, where guests will drift amongst 7000+ seals

Minimum Suggested Trip: 20 days - 4 days Exmouth/Ningaloo, 4 days Margaret River/Perth, 5 days Kakadu/Arnhemland, 3 days Red Centre/Uluru, 4 days Melbourne

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+)

Kakadu & Arnhem Land Margaret River Ningaloo & Exmouth You Yangs & Great Ocean Road
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Type: Groups,Shared

Duration: Full Day - Ningaloo & Exmouth

Logistics: Fly to Perth (PER), then connect with a 2 hour flight to Exmouth (LEA).

Suggested Luxury Accommodation: Sal Salis

Deluxe Whaleshark Swim

The opportunity to swim with the Whaleshark is one of the world’s greatest interactive marine encounters. This fish, the largest of the shark family and the largest fish in the world at an average of 12 meters (40 foot) in length, is a harmless plankton eater, with their graceful and passive nature providing an unforgettable day out on the waters of the World Heritage listed Ningaloo Marine Park.

Educational talks from on-board marine biologists, provide a fascinating insight into the rich biodiversity found in the area. Guests will be entertained by Bottlenose and Australian Humpback Dolphins, with a keen eye occasionally spotting Dugongs as they surface to take breath.

About Exmouth Dive & Whalesharks Ningaloo: As the region’s original eco-tourism operation, Exmouth Dive & Whalesharks Ningaloo is synonymous with experiencing the aquatic treasures of the World Heritage Listed Ningaloo Reef Marine Park. Debbie & Mark Ferguson have been involved taking ecotours around Western Australia for over 20 years, managing the operations of a number of boats in various locations. The team is proud to specialise in small group tours for Whale Shark swims, Humpback Whale swims & watching, scuba diving and snorkelling and is active in numerous conservation projects including Whale Sharks, turtles and Manta Rays.

Seasonal highlights

Winter: Jun-Aug - Fish & Marine Invertebrates

Coral Spawn & Plankton reaches its highest concentration, Whale Sharks seen until the end of July Manta Rays around Exmouth, Parrotfish, Butterflyfish, Angelfish, Damselfish, Cardinalfish, Scissor Tails, Groper, Coral Trout, Nudibranches, Grey Nurse Sharks congregate around the Navy Pier competing for space with the Whitetip Reef Sharks and Wobbegongs.

Winter: Jun-Aug - Marine Mammals

Over 30,000 individual west coast Humpback Whales migrate to the area (opportunity to swim with them from July onwards) with Orcas prevalent. Pseudo Orcas, Minke Whales, Pilot Whales, Short-beaked Common Dolphins, Spinner Dolphins are occasionally sighted whilst Bottlenose and Australian Humpback Dolphins are abundant.

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Type: Groups,Shared

Duration: Full Day

Outer Reef or Islands Scuba Dive & 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 and dive sights accessible by boat only, with Dolphins, Rays and Turtles all regular encounters.

Snorkellers will be delighted to see colourful tropical fish including Parrotfish, Butterflyfish, Angelfish and Anemonefish amongst the spectacular coral bombies. 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.

About Exmouth Dive & Whalesharks Ningaloo: As the region’s original eco-tourism operation, Exmouth Dive & Whalesharks Ningaloo is synonymous with experiencing the aquatic treasures of the World Heritage Listed Ningaloo Reef Marine Park. Debbie & Mark Ferguson have been involved taking ecotours around Western Australia for over 20 years, managing the operations of a number of boats in various locations. The team is proud to specialise in small group tours for Whale Shark swims, Humpback Whale swims & watching, scuba diving and snorkelling and is active in numerous conservation projects including Whale Sharks, turtles and Manta Rays.

 

Seasonal highlights

Winter: Jun-Aug - Fish & Marine Invertebrates

Coral Spawn & Plankton reaches its highest concentration, Whale Sharks seen until the end of July Manta Rays around Exmouth, Parrotfish, Butterflyfish, Angelfish, Damselfish, Cardinalfish, Scissor Tails, Groper, Coral Trout, Nudibranches, Grey Nurse Sharks congregate around the Navy Pier competing for space with the Whitetip Reef Sharks and Wobbegongs.

Winter: Jun-Aug - Marine Mammals

Over 30,000 individual west coast Humpback Whales migrate to the area (opportunity to swim with them from July onwards) with Orcas prevalent. Pseudo Orcas, Minke Whales, Pilot Whales, Short-beaked Common Dolphins, Spinner Dolphins are occasionally sighted whilst Bottlenose and Australian Humpback Dolphins are abundant.

More info

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Type: Groups,Shared

Duration: 2.5 hours (approx)

Logistics: Fly to Perth (PER). Travel 3 hours by car to the Margaret River region.

Suggested Luxury Accommodation: Cape Lodge

Augusta Whale Watching

The picturesque seaside town of Augusta is one of the best locations in Australia to view Humpback Whales as they make their epic migration north, filling the beautiful Flinders Bay area. Each year from late May, travellers will experience male Humpback Whales competing for the attention of females through various behaviours including breaching and thunderous tail slaps.

This area is also a critical calving area for the endangered Southern Right Whale in July and August, with the species resting before their migration to the feeding grounds in Antarctica in the Spring. Minke Whales and the largest animal to ever have lived, the Blue Whale are also sighting opportunities with White-bellied Sea Eagles, Osprey, Long-nosed Fur Seals, dolphins and albatross often delighting guests on board the luxurious Alison Maree catamaran.

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Type: Private Charter

Duration: 5 Days/4 Nights

Logistics: Travel 3 hours to Perth by vehicle and take a flight for 3 hours 30 mins to Darwin (DRW)

Luxury Accommodations Included:
Bamurru Plains & Cicada Lodge

Top End Luxury Lodges

Combining the Mary River Catchment and Nitmiluk National Parks, this tour cover the spectacular landscapes with the premium lodgings in the area; Bamurru Plains and Cicada Lodge. Bamurru Plains is a birdwatchers paradise, with 236 recorded species including Magpie Geese, Plumed Whistling- Duck, Egrets, Ibis and Brolgas, but also teems with an amazing assortment of reptiles, marsupials and buffalo.

Skimming across the floodplains by airboat provides abundant opportunities to spot Saltwater Crocodiles and Agile Wallabies. The Nitmiluk National Park containts 13 immense gorges carved over the millenia by the Katherine River through the ancient stone country of the region with helicopter tours available to obtain a bird’s eye view of the spectacular landscapes and to allow access to remote gorges and waterfalls.

About Lords Kakadu & Arnhemland Safaris: Lords Kakadu and Arnhemland Safaris has been connecting guests to the Top End’s remarkable natural beauty and indigenous culture for over 25 years. Consummate bushman and owner, Sab Lord leads the team of advocates, active in protecting and preserving Kakadu & Arnhem Land, one of the most cherished ecosystems and untouched wilderness areas of Australia. The team’s passion for the region is infectious as is the connection with the land and the indigenous communities that call the area home. 

This relationship formed over many decades, allows access to a range of culturally significant sites. Combined with the vast unpopulated pristine landscapes, guests can not helped being moved and reinvigorated by this World Heritage Listed area.

Seasonal highlights

Winter: Jun-Aug - Birds

Mass flocks of Magpie Geese nesting, White-bellied Sea Eagles, Brahminy and Whistling Kites, Great Billed Herons, Azure Kingfishers, Plumed Whistling, Wandering Whistling and Spotted Whistling Ducks, Royal Spoonbills and Glossy Ibis.

Winter: Jun-Aug - Land Mammals & Marsupials

Agile Wallabies, Dingos, Wilkins’ Rock-Wallabies, Black Wallaroos, Antilopine Wallaroos, colonies of Ghost Bats, Black and Little Red Flying Foxes and Blossom Bats.

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Type: Groups,Private Charter,Shared

Duration: Day Trip: Approximately 8 hours

Logistics: Take a 2 hour 40 minute flight from Ayers Rock (AYQ) 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

Winter: Jun-Aug - Birds

Echidna Walkabout Seasonal Viewing Calendar

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