Duration: Day Trip: Approximately 7.5 hours
Type: Private Charter, Shared.
Departs: Shared Tours: Depart Mondays, Thursdays & Saturdays (maximum 10 adults)
Interests: Birds, Land Invertebrates, Land Mammals & Marsupials, Reptiles & Amphibians.
Guests will experience the beautiful You Yangs and Serendip National Parks on this fully inclusive small group tour, perfect for observing animals as they become active in the late afternoon. Dusk is the optimal time for spotting large mobs of wild kangaroos along with Koalas, that exhibit a number of unique behaviours during the breeding season. A naturalist guide will share information about each individual koala’s history, social life and family.
Travellers will also have the opportunity to contribute to the health and wellbeing of Koalas through removal of noxious weeds to expand their habitat. In these captivating Eucalypt forests and grasslands, encounters are likely with cockatoos, honeyeater, parrots, Emus, Swamp Wallabies, Laughing Kookaburras to name a few.
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.
Departing from Melbourne at around 2.15pm, guests will reach the magnificent open woodland of the You Yangs Ranges in only 45 minutes. This provides the unique opportunity to see a number of wild Koalas that the Echidna Walkabout team have been researching for many years.
Your expert guide will share fascinating insights into each individual spotted on this easy nature walk, including the social hierarchy and history. To ensure minimal disturbance to the Koalas, guests will be instructed by guides on how to approach the animals quietly. We observe the Koalas from 10 metres away, a self-imposed limit we maintain to ensure the koalas do not experience undue stress, whilst providing amazing photographic opportunities.
At one of five Boneseed-removal sites the group will stop briefly to remove these noxious weeds to improve Koala habitat. This area is of great significance to the local Aboriginal people of the Wathaurong Tribe, with the iconic granite formations of the You Yangs having staged huge meetings of Aboriginal people from fringing regions. The group will learn about the Aboriginal history of the area before enjoying a picnic dinner, usually served under the charming gum trees that this region is known for.
After leaving the You Yangs, guests will travel just 10 minutes to Serendip Wetlands National Park, providing the opportunity to spot numerous bush birds and parrots including Sulphur-crested Cockatoos, Long-billed & Little Corellas, Galahs, Laughing Kookaburras, Superb Fairy-wrens, White-winged Choughs, Emus, Brown-headed, New Holland and White-plumed Honeyeaters, Australian Magpies, Magpie-larks, Red Wattlebirds, Red-rumped Parrots and alluring Eastern Rosellas.
Next stop are some nearby grasslands, that provide habitat for large wild mobs of Eastern Grey Kangaroos that come out in the evening to feed. These animals become active in the cool of dusk and get quite frisky at this time of day, with hopping, fighting and social interactions between members of the mob very common.
The final stop is a nearby billabong, where the group will search for curious Emus, and waterbirds settling down for the night including Cape Barren and Magpie Geese and Australian White Ibis. The tour returns to Melbourne around 9:00pm to 9.30pm.
Shared Tour Pricing: from $275 per adult (based on shared touring, including touring and lunch), $206.25 children (aged 13 years & under).
Group Size: Maximum of 10 guests.
Pick-up and Drop Off Point: Melbourne city hotels
Pick-up and Drop-off Time: 2:15pm until approximately 9:30pm
Private Touring: Available at additional cost - please contact us directly with your group size & interests. There are two options available; either a gourmet bush dinner option or deluxe upgrade that includes a two course meal at an iconic Aussie Pub.
Echidna Walkabout Nature Tours is internationally-recognised in wildlife in the wild conservation travel, and winner of the 2014 World Responsible Travel Award. Our extensive policies with respect to conservation and social enterprise are available for your reference. As a social enterprise tour company, we invest more than 50% of our profit into our mission. Most of that investment is through our Koala Research Project, and through in-kind and direct financial support to the Koala Clancy Foundation.
We strongly support the concept of privately-owned land to increase the habitat available to wildlife – this is essential if wildlife is to survive the upcoming challenges of climate change. Through Koala Clancy Foundation we plant koala food trees in river valleys and along creeks on private farmland near Melbourne – returning the indigenous flora to that denuded environment.
WINNER Best for Wildlife Conservation at the World Responsible Tourism Awards London • 2014
WINNER Seatrade Cruise Award for World’s Most Innovative Shore Excursion • 2017
WINNER TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2018 • 2017 • 2016 • 2015 • 2014
This tour is available to be booked online via the button below. If you have any queries or would prefer to book a private tour, please contact our friendly team via our enquiry form - there are some essential details to help us provide the best options for you. We will be in touch via your preferred contact method.
"Where to begin?! Such an incredible time! We were picked up near our hotel and went on a tour with 6 other people. It's about an hour drive outside of Melbourne. Our guide Hailey was extremely knowledgeable and is so passionate about nature and conservation. We saw a mama koala holding a baby. Then we went out in the bush and must have seen 100 kangaroos! I would definitely recommend this tour!," - Kristen, California
"This was the highlight of my visit to Australia. I am a big animal lover and this place does not disappoint. We were lucky to have Dan as our guide and he was the best. He was not only friendly but his knowledge was top notch. I love shooting photos of wildlife and the challenge is it can be hit and miss to see any animals in the wild running free ..as it should be. Why I do not visit zoos. I care more about the animals then I do my own entertainment .But we got to see Kangaroos, possum, birds and Koalas. The respect of the animals they have makes this a worth while time. I couldn't be happier and got some nice photos." - Gary, Colorado
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