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Australian Coastal Safaris

Eyre Peninsula Winter Whale Watching and Wildlife Encounter

  • Available from: July 01 2019 - September 30 2019

Duration: 5 days/5 nights

Type: Private Charter, Shared.

Departs: On Request

Interests: Birds, Land Mammals & Marsupials, Marine Mammals.

The Head of the Bight in South Australia is where you will encounter numerous opportunities to watch these magnificent creatures in their natural state; the Southern Right Whale and Humpback Whale. Not to be outshone is the hospitality of the local country towns, majestic coastline all the way down to Port Lincoln, native animals and the feeling of tranquillity.

Join us to experience the thrill of being close to these majestic whales, Australian Sea-lions & dolphins, sample the best seafood of the Eyre Peninsula, visit the only place on the Australian mainland where Australian seal pups can be seen learning to swim, play and rest on the beach, lookout for the diversity of our birdlife and see the spectacular coastline, caves, cliffs and region of Eyre Peninsula.

About Australian Coastal Safaris: Australian Coastal Safaris started operations in 2005 when David Doudle, a fourth-generation local farmer, started showcasing many of the activities that he and his family grew up doing across the Eyre Peninsula’s stunning landscapes; from amazing deserted beaches, pristine colours of the ocean, the abundance of fresh seafood, the friendliness of the local people, the vast open spaces and the interaction with native wildlife.

The team is very emotional about preserving the region and are ambassadors in keeping the environments pure, pristine and sparsely populated, to ensure that guests are able to enjoy the unique experiences and habitats well into the future.

Itinerary

Tour day-by-day

  • Day 1: Arrival into Ceduna

    Welcome to the home of the Oysterfest! You will be picked up from the Ceduna Airport at approximately 7:00pm by your private Goin’ Off Safaris guide and transferred to the Ceduna Foreshore Hotel, staying in Executive Room twin share. 

  • Day 2: Southern Right Whale Discovery

    Up early for a continental breakfast and checkout of accommodation, ready to depart at 8.00am. We will be travelling along to Fowlers Bay, where we be joining EP Cruises for a spectacular oceanic morning cruise taking in the beauty of Point Fowler and its rugged cliffs and an incredible array of marine life.

    Southern Right and Humpback Whales frequent Fowlers Bay during their annual migration, remaining within the bay for several months to calve and nurse their young. With up to 80 whales and with this number growing each year to visit this small bay, this is surely one of Australia’s very best places to see these beautiful cetaceans. This tour includes close up viewing of Southern Right Whales, Common and Bottlenose Dolphins, Australian Sea Lions, Long-nosed Fur Seals and White Bellied Sea Eagles, Little Penguins and some rare species of Albatross.

    The Humpback Whale is also often seen and more often heard, as we lower a hydrophone into the depths to listen to actual underwater sounds and acoustics from the Humpbacks through the boats speakers. The cliffs of Point Fowler, and the endless sand dune border create the perfect backdrop for the cruise. After lunch in Fowlers Bay, we drive to the Head of the Bight Viewing Platform, 200km from Fowlers Bay; one of the most amazing whale watching sites in South Australia or indeed the world.

    Together with the adjacent Nullarbor National Park and Regional Reserve plus the Great Australian Bight Marine Park the precinct contributes to a sense of isolation and discovery in this near wilderness location. At this unique geographical spot, a mini-desert of towering sand dunes meets a sheer line of 90m limestone cliffs.

    In the sheltered waters of the bay below, Southern Right whales congregate en masse to give birth to calves. Combining accessible viewing platforms with the spectacular backdrop of the Bunda Cliffs and superb pristine beaches, the facility offers travellers an unparalleled opportunity to view the large numbers of Southern Right Whales, especially as the sun is setting!

    Just 20km up the road is the Nullarbor Roadhouse, where we will be staying for the night. We check in, freshen up and enjoy a cold beverage, dinner, meet with other travellers and experience friendly outback hospitality.

  • Day 3: Outback & Coastal Exploration

    We’re up early for the drive further along the Great Australian Bight and the Bunda Cliffs extend 200km, between the Head of the Bight and the WA border. We will be going to 2 exceptional lookouts along this drive, one approximately 12km to the west, another 38km further along.

    The Bunda Cliffs are one of the most awe-inspiring sea cliffs in the world and are a dramatic display of the edge of the Australian continent. They will enchant the travellers’ eyes and make your visit utterly memorable. The Bunda Cliffs extend approximately 100km along the Great Australian Bight from Border Village to the east of the Head of the Bight.

    The cliffs were formed when Australia separated from Antarctica approximately 65 million years ago and are made up of fossiliferous limestone called Wilson Limestone. This limestone is made up of a white chalky material up to 300m thick and was once part of an ancient seabed. The limestone slab, which forms the Nullarbor Plain and extends far inland and has many layers.

    Some of those layers are made up of marine sediment and others incorporate marine fossils including worms and molluscs, which indicate their marine origin. The sheer cliffs vary from 60m to 120m above sea level and are capped by a hardened layer of windblown sand laid down between 1.6million and 100,000 years ago. After lunch on the clifftop we start the 400km drive back to Ceduna.

    We can also stop and spend some more time to have another look at the whales from the Head of the Bight Viewing platform or check out some other attractions along the way to Ceduna like Australia’s largest windmill, the Comet and many others at Penong. In Ceduna, where we again stay for the night at the Ceduna Foreshore Hotel with some time to rest and relax and delve over your journey so far.

  • Day 4: Exploring the Eyre Peninsula

    This morning we depart Ceduna to make the 450km journey down to Port Lincoln. Having all day to complete this drive, we follow the path of Edward John Eyre and along the way visit many magnificent coastal towns and attractions to call into. These include Smoky Bay, Perlubie Beach, Streaky Bay, Murphy’s Haystacks, Talia Caves, the Great Ocean drive scenic route around Elliston and the Cummings Monument to name a few points of interest. Another genuine place of interest is Arts Ceduna, the premier Aboriginal Art Centre on Eyre Peninsula.

    There are some incredible pieces of arts here from paintings, lino prints & artifacts to books, ceramics, bush medicine and the artists themselves to kick off the day. A major highlight will be the scenic drive from Streaky Bay to Point Labatt, where we stop to view the Australian Sea-lion. Found in no other country in the world, the Australian sea-lion is one of Australia's most endangered marine mammals and rarest seals. Point Labatt is the only place on the mainland where Australian seal pups can be seen learning to swim, play and rest on the beach.

    It is also one of the few places in and around Australia where they are protected from land predators and which provides a safe environment for the sea-lion pups to develop. At Point Labatt, pups are born every eighteen months; mid-winter one year, then mid-summer the next. Pups weigh around 7kg at birth. They depend entirely on their mother’s milk for the first year. After that they start chasing and occasionally catching fish. At about four weeks of age, baby sea-lions take to the sea for the first time, sometimes with help from their mothers.

    Young sea- lions play and frolic in this aquatic reserve protected by the offshore reefs. From here we are back on the road to Murphy’s Haystacks, an outcrop of unique pink granite boulders, Murphy’s Haystacks is a great photo opportunity. These ancient winds worn granite inselbergs, huge rocks purported to be over 1500 million years old. Their appearance may be due to a combination of erosion by underground rainwater and then by subsequent weathering after they were exposed.

    Most of the pillars emerge without a break from the underlying granite. They obtained their name because a traveller in a coach saw the formation in the distance. He asked how a farmer could produce so much hay. As the farm was on a property owned by a man called Murphy, the rocks became known as Murphy's Haystacks. We will also stop on many occasions to get out of the vehicle and see some of our secrets places with amazing coastal views at the town ship of Elliston.

    Next on the agenda is one of the very best vantage spots on the 2000km long stretch of the Great Australian Bight. The Cummings Monument provides this and more as the view gives you spectacular and uninterrupted views of the rugged cliff tops that make up the Bight. Adjacent to the Monument is a craggy pinnacle set amongst deep blue waters which makes a home to a family of sea eagles as they nest on top. From here we transfer you with the short drive into Port Lincoln showcasing the small cities highlights, en-route to your accommodation.

  • Day 5: Port Lincoln Wildlife

    Our day starts with the morning viewing at the small coastal hamlet of Tulka, where waders, swans and sea birds can be seen from the Bird Hide. This is another known location for Southern Emu-Wrens near a well first dug by Captain Matthew Flinders when he explored the area in 1802. We take you to the diversity of the Port Lincoln National Park.

    From the naturally rugged and wild Sleaford Bay and the Southern Ocean to the tranquility of the Spalding Cove area and other beautiful beaches. Rugged cliffs provide an opportunity to view Osprey and White Bellied Sea-Eagles and to keep a look out for Kites and Harriers. We head towards Taylors landing and encounter birds such as the Mallee Fowl, Purple-Gaped Honeyeaters, Striated Pardalotes, Spiney-Cheeked Honeyeaters, Dusky Woodswallows, Australian Pipits, Western Yellow Robins, Blue Breasted Wrens, and White-Browed Scrubwren.

    Whilst at Taylors Landing we will be providing lunch and more opportunities to stop and watch the birdlife. Of the 29,000ha National Park, you can walk or beachcomb along Surfleet Cove, take a 45-minute hike to see spectacular views of Boston Bay, Port Lincoln and the Port Lincoln National Park at the Stamford Hill Lookout or even walk along the rocks underneath the Cape Donnington Lighthouse.

    The park is ideal for trekking, birdwatching, photography, fishing, swimming and 4Wdriving. We can also see Australian Sealions and New Zealand fur seals off the rocks of Donnington Point and the common Bottlenose Dolphin. There are 130 species of birds listed in the National Park as well as many Western Grey kangaroos, Emus, lizards and in summer, snakes. Migrant Southern Right Whales can be seen from May, June, July and August and also through the lookouts at Whalers Way where we will also see much bird life, kangaroo’s and emus.

    In the afternoon, we take you out to beautiful Mikkira Station. This is one of the few habitats where Koalas can be found in the wild. Sit back around the fire (only out of fire season) in the restored original homestead and go for a stroll under the beautiful old Eucalypt trees and come face to face with the cuddly icon of Australia as they laze in the Manna gums.

    Wild but placid kangaroos casually hop around in this beautiful historical setting, where in 1842 Scotsman Adam Borthwick and his family made their home as one of the very first settlers of the region. Emus roam around amongst mobs of sheep and there is astounding birdlife here, many of which are rare and native to this area. As the sun settles for the evening, we will relax with a platter of local produce, wine and listen to the sounds of nature.

    Key Details 

    Shared Touring Pricing: from $2,565 per person (based on 6 adults, twin share including touring, meals & accommodation).
    Group Size: Minimum of 2 guests, maximum of 6 guests
    Pick-up and Drop Off Point: Pick-up at Ceduna Airport, Drop off at Port Lincoln Airport
    Pick-up and Drop-off Time: Upon arrival or 7:00pm - Upon departure or 5:00pm.
    Inclusions: touring includes professional, local and experienced guides, transport in luxury 4WD Land-Cruiser, airport transfers, all daily activities, permit and entry fees based on itinerary, all National Park & other entry fees, daily Continental breakfast, daily lunches, beverages, local produce, local wines & beer, Birds of Southern Eyre Peninsula Pocket Guide book.
    Private Touring: Available at additional cost - please contact us directly with your group size & interests.
    Languages: Translation services for private tours available in Mandarin.

    Bookings & Enquiries

    The tour is not currently available to be booked online. Please contact our friendly team via the Enquire Now button below - there are some essential details to help us provide the best options for you. We will be in touch via your preferred contact method.

    Enquire Now

    Recent Testimonials

    "The owners David and Mandy are only too happy to oblige if there is something special you would like to do while on tour. Peter Clutterbuck our guide was friendly, had a great local knowledge and great sense of humour and only too happy to throw in a little added extra during the day if he thinks you will enjoy it.  From the lookouts, to the port to watch the fresh local catch being unloaded... then onto the National Parks and the magnificent local beaches, and finish the day off at Mikkira Station for some Koala spotting, locally grown food, wine and even a cold beer." - John

    "If you get to Port Lincoln and don't book a tour or two with Lunch you're missing the boat. Lunch grew up in the area he knows where all the must do and photos are at. He is a wealth of knowledge and information not just Port Lincoln but the whole area. Lunch hits all the highlights and a lot you would not get from any other tour operator" - Joe, Spokane, Washington

    "Lunch and Mandy took our senses on an incredible journey. From amazing coastline to spine-tingling interaction with the wildlife topped off with cuisine that would be the envy of any top restaurant." - Ian & Cheryl, Texas

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