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Featured Wildlife Journeys

  • Tammar Wallaby

  • Australian Sea-lion

  • Short-beaked Echidna

  • Kangaroo Island Kangaroo

  • Glossy Black Cockatoo

Exceptional Kangaroo Island

Behind the Scenes with Researchers: Glossy-black Cockatoos

From: $495 USD

Duration: Full Day: Kangaroo Island

Type: Private Charter.

Departs: On Request

Interests: Birds.

Start the day by learning about the endemic Kangaroo Island Glossy Black-cockatoo and the work being done to pull this large and atypically quiet cockatoo back from less than 120 individuals in 1995 to over 380 in 2018.

  • Take a walk through the feeding habitat of these cockatoos which is also home to Tammar Wallabies, Kangaroo Island Kangaroos, Rosenberg’s Goanna, Short-beaked Echidna and many bird species. Visit Stokes Bay and do a scan for shorebirds as well as explore koala habitat nearby. 

  • Break for lunch before travelling to Seal Bay Conservation Park and take a private tour of the Australian Sea-lion colony – one of the world’s rarest sea-lions. Here you have the chance to learn about the life of the sea-lions – the threats to their survival, their feeding excursions, unique breeding biology. You will also learn about the management actions which are in place to try to protect this iconic species.

About Exceptional Kangaroo Island: 

Craig and Janet Wickham and their enthusiastic team have been sharing Kangaroo Island's secrets with guests since 1990 and have won numerous national and international awards for their tours. The family-owned operator specialises in deluxe wildlife tours which create an atmosphere where guests find themselves treated as friends, with tours run as a conversation not a commentary, promising good food, good wine and wildlife in the wild.

Price per person travelling with four passengers, including touring & meals. Pricing is subject to availability and all prices, itineraries and routings are subject to change without notice. Currency fluctuations may affect prices as quotes based on AUD. Prices are current at time of posting (9/9/2019) and may differ when you book your travel. Please contact us for our current pricing and itinerary details*

Itinerary

Tour day-by-day

  • Behind the Scenes Tour

    These cockatoos are the sole remaining individuals of a population isolated by long-term climatic change which saw the drooping sheoak woodland (on which they depend exclusively for their food) retract to the coastal ranges of eastern Australia, leaving a small population on Fleurieu Peninsula and Kangaroo Island. They disappeared from the Fleurieu some time in the 1960s. 

    Numerically this link refers to a low of 158 individuals in 1995 up to 373 now. The information is from the 2016 census which was the last comprehensive count. The staff involved in the programme are confident that the number is in excess of 400 as the last two breeding seasons have been good.

    On this tour, we will learn about some of the big issues for the species in the field:

     - Habitat loss - both feeding (drooping sheoak) and breeding (large old Eucalyptus - sugar gum, red gum and SA blue gum mainly) habitat.

    - Expansion of Common Brush-tail Possums through retention of their habitat (any cover at all pretty much) and the development of highly nutritious pasture grasses. They are known to have eaten up to half of all eggs laid in a season or preying on nestlings in the hollows.

    - Genetic and physical isolation as the combination of millennial scale climate change saw their habitat retract to the Australian east coast resulted in the  Kangaroo Island population being “left behind”. 

    - Significant gender skew in the population with more males than females which adds to the challenge.

    We will also learn about volunteer activities to directly assist the GBC's and if the timing is correct, provide the option to contribute.

    • Annual co-ordinated counts to obtain a census on the population trends
    • Tree plantings at over 100 sites with a core focus at Cygnet Park which included a Planting Festival which established 132,000 plants in one week (128 different species from tiny herbs and grasses right up to the mighty red gums) and involved about 600 volunteers
    • Ad hoc observations and reporting
    • Regular spotting of activity to detect new nesting sites or continued use of known sites
    • Spotting of issues such as feral bee or corella invasion of GBC hollows
    • Assisting with construction and installation of new protective collars to exclude possums - or maintenance of existing collars

    Key Details

    Pick-up and Drop Off Point: Kingscote Airport or accommodations.
    Pick-up and Drop-off Time: Approximately 9:00am and 6:00pm.
    Languages: Translation services available for French, German, Italian and Spanish.

    Responsible Tourism

    As part of our commitment to sustainability we have developed a Code Of Practice relating to our wildlife interactions which is available for your reference. We have also sought independent verification of our practices through Ecotourism Australia. Our Advanced Ecotourism Accreditation is awarded to a select number of Australia's leading and most innovative ecotourism products, providing an opportunity to learn about the environment with an operator who is committed to achieving best practice when using resources wisely, contributing to the conservation of the environment and helping local communities.

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    Recent Awards

    WINNER TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2018 • 2017 • 2016 • 2015 • 2014 • 2013
    LISTED Top 5 Wildlife Guides by Outside Go Magazine 2015
    WINNER Outstanding Contribution to the Tourism Export Industry 2015 by the Australian Tourism Export Council 

     

    Recent Testimonials

    "Amazing tour that exceeded all expectations. The guide was unbelievably knowledgeable and showed us some of the great parts of KI. Best day of our honeymoon, just because of this tour. Thanks!" - David and Lucy, UK

    "My trip got me to visit six states, albeit briefly in some. The two days of Kangaroo Island were the highlights. The very high quality of the tour for small groups, riding in backroads with knowledgable guides who are also competent chefs in a unique setting is a memorable experience." - Myron, Ontario

    "This family owned tour operator is the best I have ever taken a tour with! The guide was enthusiastic, humorous and very informed about every question asked– considering wildlife, culture and geographical situation. As it was a small tour - he made me (and the fellow couple on the tour) feel very special. Exceptional Kangaroo Island truly kept their promise – good food (delicious whiting cooked on the barbeque), good wine (beautiful sauvignon blanc from the island) and wildlife in the wild (we saw a wide range of animals from kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, an echidna, wedge-tailed eagles to ants, butterflies, and all sorts of insects). I can only highly recommend this business. I will be back to take another tour with you – maybe next year?! Thanks Janet & Craig and the exceptional friendly office staff." - Manja, Berlin

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