Duration: 4 days/3 nights - East Gippsland
Type: Groups, Shared.
Interests: Birds, Land Invertebrates, Land Mammals & Marsupials, Marine Mammals, Reptiles & Amphibians.
Venturing across East Gippsland’s magnificent lush rainforests, coastal heathlands, giant eucalypt groves, white sandy beaches and pristine rivers and estuaries, this four day immersive adventure offers encounters with a diverse array of species.
It is especially attractive to enthusiasts looking to spot some of the more shy forest dwellers including Yellow-bellied and Greater Gliders, Swamp Wallabies, King Parrots and the piercing call of the Eastern Whipbird. Other highlights include walking with Eastern Grey Kangaroos and Echidnas on Raymond Island, searching for koalas in eucalypt forests, spotting Lace Monitors lazing beside secluded rivers and listening for Superb Lyrebirds mimicking other birds on the fertile rainforest floor.
Guests also spend a little time helping nature on a remote beach by removing disused fishing nets, preventing injury to local fish, marine mammals or birds. Charming lodge-style, owner-operated boutique accommodation ensures a comfortable sleep across the journey.
After departing Melbourne in the morning, travellers will venture east to the beautiful Lakes District in Gippsland. This region is protected by the International Ramsar Convention and is a key habitat for waterbirds such as Black Swans, Chestnut Teals, Australian Shelducks, Musk Ducks, as well as Fairy Terns.
Shortly after, guests will board a ferry to Raymond Island that provides sanctuary to a host of native animals including koalas, kangaroos, echidnas, Bronzewing Pigeons and Rainbow Lorikeets. Driving through lush eucalypt forests, pristine estuaries and white sandy beaches, guests will assist in helping the wildlife guide in recording species for conservation purposes and keep a keen lookout at the nesting sites of endangered Little Terns.
Dinner tonight is at a local restaurant. Accommodation is a homestead in a small town where you will stay for three nights. Accommodation: Snowy River Homestead, Orbost, or similar.
After a relaxing breakfast guests will travel into the rugged mountain forests of East Gippsland. This is one of the few regions in the world that has a large unbroken chain of forest stretching from the alps to the sea. The abundance of wildlife is due to the diversity of these forests; from giant Alpine Ash forests, native cypress pines, Mountain Plum Pines through to Shining Gum and Cut-tail Gums, many of the trees are hundreds of years old.
Travellers will visit both dry and wet mountain forests, visit the famous Snowy River, and walk beside a wilderness creek where the landscape changes dramatically from dry slopes to fern-filled rainforest. Your Wildlife Guide will help you search for animals such as wallabies, Superb Lyrebirds, cockatoos, parrots, goannas and honeyeaters. Birds and reptiles are abundant, but other human visitors are few.
We finish the day with a classic Aussie dinner at the Homestead. Accommodation: Snowy River Homestead, Orbost, or similar
The day commences walking through large warm temperate rainforests in search of birds such as King Parrots, Eastern Whipbirds, Satin Bowerbirds, Eastern Robins, Golden Whistlers, Rufous Whistlers, Eastern Whipbirds and Flame Robins.
Guests will then traverse through a heathland and along a forest-lined river to its estuary in Australia’s Coastal Wilderness. This is an opportunity to spot White-bellied Sea Eagles, various parrots, Black Swans, Sacred Kingfishers, and huge goanna lizards including the Lace Monitor and Sand Goanna.
Next stop is a visit a quiet beach with a complex dune system to observe beach and ocean-going birds, followed by a walk on the nearby rocky headland, peering into rock pools, walking past wind-sculpted coastal shrubs looking at the expanse of the 90 mile beach. The group will spend a little time on a beautiful beach removing old fishing nets that have washed up from the sea, that sometimes wash back out, where they trap and kill sea creatures.
Our dinner tonight is a picnic in the bush overlooking the beach (weather permitting). On our way back to our Homestead we search the plains for wallabies, kangaroos and wombats. Accommodation: Snowy River Homestead, Orbost, or similar.
Guests will depart East Gippsland after one last visit to the beach at the Mouth of the Snowy River. On the way back to Melbourne, a visit to Krowathunkoolong Keeping Place, an informative Aboriginal Cultural Centre in Bairnsdale, provides an opportunity to learn about how the Aboriginal people have lived amongst these captivating landscapes for thousands of years.
Following this, guests will venture to a river in Bairnsdale to spot Grey-headed Flying-foxes in their daytime roosts, before arriving in Melbourne.