Kangaroo Island Kangaroo
Glossy Black Cockatoo
Duration: 3 days/2 nights
Type: Groups, Private Charter.
Interests: Birds, Land Mammals & Marsupials, Marine Mammals, Reptiles & Amphibians.
Kangaroo Island is a photographer's delight, known for it's iconic landscapes, varied bird and marine life and iconic vistas. The island is blessed with diverse landscapes including amazing protected coves and beaches, towering cliffs, sand dunes and sweeping eucalypyt groves, providing abudant opportunities to capture breathtaking wildlife and landscape photographs.
This itinerary combines rugged landscapes in the southwest corner including Remarkable Rocks, Admirals Arch and Cape du Couedic with regions such as the Cygnet Valley, Seal Bay Conservation Park, Lathami Conservation Park, Duck Lagoon and Murray Lagoon. This three day photography tour is presented as an indicative itinerary and is typically adjusted throughout the year and by season to cater to the interests of guests and seasonal wildlife photographic opportunities. The duration can also be adjusted depending on the amount of time spent on the island.
The day commences with a visit to the third largest Australian Sea-lion colony at Seal Bay. These photogenic residents bask on a white sandy beach protected by offshore reefs and headlands which provide critical breeding areas and ample opportunities to take photos of mother and pup. The bay is home to a range birds, including Hooded Dotterels, Crested Terns, Oystercatchers, and a number of cormorants.
Murray Lagoon, the island's largest wetland, is home to an array of bush and water birds and has several areas that guests will explore along the northern boundary. D’Estrees Bay is a long sweeping beach which goes from a gentle protected marine meadow with a seagrass strewn beach often frequented by Hooded Dotterels, right through to a high energy exposed coast to the south. Along the way is Point Tinline which has an Osprey nest which has been in continuous use since 1853.
Further south are more exposed beaches, followed by a protected lagoon, providing amazing reflections of roosting terns. It is often frequented by visiting waders such as Golden Plovers and Ruddy Turnstones. Immediately inland, guests will often enjoy regular seasonal sightings of Rock Parrots.
The slopes above American River offer sugar gum forests and sheoak woodlands; habitat for the Glossy-black Cockatoos, Galahs, Beautiful Firetails, Scarlet Robins and Crimson Rosellas. Along the waters edge the protected shores provide wader feeding habitat on the mudflats along the seafront and into Pelican Lagoon. Significant aggregations of Black Swans, Pelicans, Musk Ducks and a range of waders are likely encounters.
Guests will travel by sea to observe the protected Busby Island to observe large aggregations of seabirds, with occasional visits by White-bellied Sea Eagles, before travelling on to seek out one of two resident Bottle-nosed Dolphin pods. Seasonally this can include a “swim with” experience which offers underwater photography opportunities for guests with the appropriate equipment.
Next stop is Duck Lagoon; a freshwater habitat for ducks (regular haunt for Freckled Ducks when they disperse from outback waterways), swans and a range of other species. Classic Australian landscapes abound with massive red-gums reflecting in still waters. These charming large gums are frequented by pardalotes and honeyeaters including the White-eared and Brown-headed species. The Cygnet Valley is a prime spot to take photos of Koalas, as they are partial to the redgums and blue gums along the creek line.
Lathami Conservation Park's sugar gums provide breeding hollows and drooping sheoaks provide the food source for the critically endangered Glossy-black Cockatoo. Guests will also likely encounter Superb Fairy-wrens, Golden Whistlers, Crimson Rosellas, and Beautiful Firetails.
This area provides ample opportunity to snap some of Australia's most endearing mammals including Kangaroo Island Kangaroos, gorgeous Tammar Wallabies and the quirky Short-beaked Echidna. Nearby, Stokes Bay often delivers a range of cormorants, gulls, terns, pelicans and hooded plovers. If time permits guests can visit the Cygnet River estuary, recognised for its open landscape consisting of samphire marsh, known to attract black swans, cormorants,ducks, occasionally ibis, pelicans and spoonbills.
Guests will travel to Flinders Chase National Park on the final day, to explore the large historic wilderness expanses across the entire end of the Island; providing precious habitat for a broad range of species. The journey down to the park provides a chance to encounter Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos feeding either in Banksias or Pinus radiata as guests travel westward. Rocky River is the location for the park headquarters amid an old farm where the pastures provide winter grazing and nesting sites for Cape Barren geese.
Cape du Couedic provides occasional access to oceanic species such as albatross and shearwaters during strong southerly gales. A range of terns typically roost close to a spectacular sea cave with the site providing excellent positions to photograph Crested Terns, Caspian Terns and Fairy Terns. In recent years there have also been Antarctic and White-fronted Terns here. This breathtaking vantage point is also a prime spot to witness the annual Short-tailed Shearwater migration from September through to May, with excellent access to a Long-nosed Fur Seal colony which lives here year-round and breeds from November through February.
Not far from Cape du Couedic in similar coastal heath grading into mallee, is a natural granite sculpture known as Remarkable Rocks, which provides a stunning backdrop for seeking out elusive Western Whipbirds, Southern Emu-wrens, and more commonly, Tawny-crowned Honeyeaters. The rounded tors provide perches for both Nankeen Kestrels and Australian Ravens.