Suggested months: May, September, October, November.
Unforgettable wildlife encounters await you on this adventure starting in Sydney, with a visit to the pristine bushlands of the Southern Highlands, to try and spot several iconic marsupials including kangaroos, wombats, platypus and Koalas. Next stop is the pristine wilderness of Tasmania and Maria Island, otherwise known as Tasmania's 'Noahs Ark', followed a visit to Kangaroo Island, recognised for its rich marine and terrestrial wildlife offerings.
Final stop is a visit to Arkaba, nestled amongst some of the most ancient mountain ranges on earth in the Flinders Ranges. This region is regarded by many as the most picturesque outback station in Australia.
Highlights of this wildlife vacation include:
Minimum Suggested Trip: 16 days - 4 days Sydney, 5 days Maria Island/Hobart, 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)
3-star: Minimum AUD $250 per person per day (USD $170)
Duration: Full Day - Sydney
Logistics: Fly into Sydney (SYD)
Suggested Luxury Accommodation:
Sydney City Centre Hotels
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.
Duration: 4 days/3 nights
Logistics: Take a 2 hour flight to Hobart (HBA)
The Maria Island Walk
This four day guided walk across magnificent Maria Island, combines intimate wildlife encounters, fascinating history, pristine white sand beaches, and locally sourced gourmet food. Small groups of maximum 10 guests and 2 guides, will explore the World Heritage Listed island with gentle walks by day and enjoy elegant private accommodation and candle lit gourmet dining each night.
As a vital location for numerous threatened and endangered species, Maria is now an island sanctuary and one of the best places in Australia to observe Common Wombats, Tasmanian Devils, Cape Barren Geese, Forester Kangaroos, Bennett’s Wallabies and 125 species of birds; including all of Tasmania’s endemics, the beautiful Swift Parrot and the endangered 40 Spotted Pardalote.
About The Maria Island Walk: Ian and Bronwyn Johnstone developed their dream to start The Maria Island Walk in 2002, showcasing this magical island to a new band of travellers that valued natural wildlife encounters in remote and tranquil settings, combined with world-class hospitality. Central to the company’s philosophy is the importance of creating connection between walkers and guides, with a maximum of ten guests led by two professional guides. Working closely with Parks and Wildlife Tasmania, the walk has received widespread acclaim for its environmentally friendly practices, contribution to conservation projects as well as leadership in the ecotourism and walking sectors.
Pacific, Kelp and Silver Gulls, Crested Terns, Little Pied and Great Cormorants and Australian Pelicans, Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos, Cape Barren Geese, Tasmanian Native Hens, Green Rosellas, Grey Fantails, Flame Robins, Golden Whistlers, Eastern Spinebills and the Beautiful Firetail, Wedge-tailed Eagles.
Swift Parrots, Fan-tailed Cuckoos, Welcome Swallows, Tree Martins, Dusky Woodswallows migrate to nest. Hooded Plovers, Sooty & Pied Oyster Catchers nest on Maria’s pristine beaches, White-bellied Sea Eagles and Tasmanian Wedge-tailed Eagles fledge. Forty-spotted Pardalotes, Spotted and Striated Pardalotes, Scarlet Robins, Silvereyes, Green Rosellas, Yellow-rumped Thornbills and Strong-billed, Yellow-throated, Black-headed, Crescent and New Holland Honeyeaters.
Tasmanian Devils typically breed in March with young born in April, Common Wombats abundant, Tasmanian Pademelons, Forester Kangaroos, Red-necked Wallabies abundant and occasionally Short-beaked Echidnas.
Peak season for seeing the numerous baby marsupials including Forester Kangaroos, Tasmanian Pademelons, Bennett’s Wallabies. Tasmanian Devils emerge from their dens with imps (baby devils) often seen on their backs towards the start of Spring.
Type: Groups,Private Charter,Shared
Duration: 2 days/1 night
Logistics: Fly into Adelaide Airport (ADL) and connect to a 30 minute flight to Kingscote Airport on Kangaroo Island (KGC)
Various levels of accommodation available:
(3-5 star, farmstay, B&Bs).
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: 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.