Duration: 2 days/1 night - You Yangs & Western Plains
Type: Private Charter.
Departs: On Request
Interests: Birds, Land Mammals & Marsupials.
Over two days, this birding tour showcases the rich birdlife of the Australian bush and coastal wetlands, including kookaburras, frogmouths, honeyeaters and cockatoos; ducks, waders and endemic geese. Visiting the beautiful You Yangs Regional park, best known for its beautiful granite ridges, grasslands and low woodlands, guests will have the opportunity to spot more than 200 bird species such as White-naped, White-plumed, New Holland and Brown-headed honeyeaters, Laughing Kookaburras, White-winged Choughs, Eastern Yellow Robins, as well as wild Eastern Grey Kangaroos and Koalas.
The second day focuses Western Treatment Plant, a RAMSAR listed Wetland of International Importance, regarded as one of Australia's top birding locations. It is a mosaic of lagoons, saltmarshes, waterways, swamps and both rocky and sandy shoreline. With this habitat diversity the region has an incredible bird list of over 280 species, being especially rich in waders, waterfowl and raptors.
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.
Guests will travel with their birding guide to the bushland of You Yangs Regional Park, 45 minutes to the west of Melbourne. The park is home to a healthy population of wild Koalas which are researched and monitored to ensure the best possible sightings.
The wildlife guide will introduce you to each Koala as an individual, with a history, social life and family. The guide will also show you how to approach Koalas quietly, and how to watch them from a respectful distance without disturbing them, still providing fantastic photographic opportunities. At one of five Boneseed-removal sites, the group will stop to remove some of these noxious weeds to improve Koala habitat.
The group will look out for the dry woodland birds that are special to the You Yangs, including Tawny Frogmouth (with several pairs nesting in the park), White-winged Chough, Wedge-tailed Eagle, Common Bronzewing, Spotted & Striated Pardalote, Eastern & Crimson Rosella, Red-rumped Parrot, Long-billed & Little Corella, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Yellow-faced & New Holland Honeyeaters, Weebill, Brown & Striated Thornbill and Laughing Kookaburra. In summer it is possible to occasionally spot Sacred Kingfisher, Rainbow Bee-eater and Eastern Spinebill.
The area covered is of great significance to the local Aboriginal People of the Wathaurong Tribe. The granite rock formations of the You Yangs staged huge meetings of Aboriginal People from all over Southeastern Australia. Many signs of their occupation still remain. Your Guide will share their knowledge with you and though we may not be meeting any Aboriginal People on this tour, we act with the knowledge, consent and support of the Wathaurong Community.
Leaving the You Yangs, the group will venture to the Serendip Wetlands, where guests will enjoy a gentle walk through the gum trees and across grasslands in search of wild mobs of Eastern Grey Kangaroos. They are wild and secretive and will often follow kangaroo tracks, using trees and bushes as shelter.
This area is also a terrific spot to observe e look out for emus and Cape Barren Geese and take a short walk to the billabong, home to Magpie Geese (re-introduced but now breeding, wild residents), ducks, stilts and spoonbills. A captive breeding population of Australian Bustards and Brolgas are managed for conservation purposes on the site.
Return to Melbourne at around 4pm or optional add-on with evening spotlighting at Mt Rothwell Biodiversity Centre - an incredible open range sanctuary conserving endangered marsupials, then stay overnight at B&B in Little River (BLD)
The Western Treatment Plant (WTP) is a RAMSAR listed Wetland of International Importance and regarded as one of Australia's top birding locations. It is a mosaic of lagoons, saltmarshes, waterways, swamps and both rocky and sandy shoreline.
With this habitat diversity the WTP has an incredible bird list of over 280 species. High numbers of waders, waterfowl and raptors visit or live at the site. Species seen on most trips include Red-necked Avocet, Black-winged and Banded Stilt, Chestnut and Grey Teal, Pink-eared, Musk and Blue-billed Duck, Red-necked Stint, Sharp-tailed and Curlew Sandpiper, Hoary-headed & Australasian Grebe, Red-capped Plover, Australasian Gannet, White-faced Heron, Royal & Yellow-billed Spoonbill, Whiskered & Crested Tern, Spotted & Baillon’s Crake, Black-tailed Native Hen, Pied Cormorant, Zebra Finch, Striated Fieldwren, Singing Honeyeater, Swamp Harrier, Black-shouldered, Whistling & Black Kite, Brown Falcon.
We may also see Brolga, Cape Barren Goose, Banded Lapwing, Red-kneed Dotterel, Red & Great Knot, Bar-tailed Godwit, Marsh Sandpiper, Common Greenshank and Freckled Duck. WTP is also home to large numbers of reptiles and frogs – on suitable days it is possible to see Tiger Snakes and to hear Growling Grass Frogs. The group will return to Melbourne around 2pm after a delicious lunch.
Private Tour Pricing: Price Available on Request. Please contact us directly with your group size & interests.
Pick-up and Drop Off Point: Melbourne city hotels
Pick-up and Drop-off Time: 8:00am on day one, Approximately 2:00pm on day two.
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
The birding tour is not available to be booked online. Please contact our friendly team via our enquiry form - there are some essential details to help us provide the best options for you including group size, interests and accommodation. We will be in touch via your preferred contact method.
"The highlight of our mother and daughter trip to Australia was this three day tour. The company, Echidna Walkabout Nature Tours, has a strong investment in the area and is directly responsible for koala protection and identification. But, beyond the organization itself, our three day tour with Brett, and Dan...Both guides were knowledgeable and had good senses of humor," - Sylph7, Kentucky
"My husband and I took a 3-day private tour with Echidna Walkabout to see wildlife and the Great Ocean Road....Our guide Brett was fantastic and great company. That's important on a 3-day trip when you spend a lot of time together. He was relaxed, funny, smart, extremely knowledgeable, and seemed as excited as we were about all of the great wildlife sightings and beautiful scenery." - Mary, Washington DC
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