From: $5,695 USD
Duration: 18 days/ 17 nights
Type: Groups, Private Charter, Shared.
Interests: Birds, Fish & Marine Invertebrates, Land Mammals & Marsupials, Marine Mammals, Reptiles & Amphibians.
*Prices are quoted in USD and are ‘from’, per person, based on double occupancy. Price excludes all airfares. Add domestic flights MEL-ADL-PLO-ADL-CNS-SYD from US$910pp. Travel may be limited to certain days of the week. Hotels and tours remain subject to availability and only available on certain days of the week. Please note blackout dates may apply to Christmas, New Year and local special event periods. CST #2012413-20 See our full Terms and Conditions.
Day 1: Arrive Melbourne, transfer to your accommodation for the next three nights.
Day 2: At your leisure to explore the cosmopolitan city of Melbourne. The many attractions of the city vary from the spectacular parklands and gardens that surround the city, to the museums and festivals that are a continuing part of the city life. Excellent restaurants are on every corner and cater to every taste in the world.
Day 3: Today embark on your Wildlife Journey with Echidna Walkabout. Travel past internationally acclaimed RAMSAR wetlands of the Lakes District of East Gippsland before traveling by ferry to an island sanctuary in the wetlands with a thriving colony of wild Koalas. Take a walk through the forest spotting these delightful animals in the wild, and learning about their lives. You may also see Echidnas, Wallabies and Kangaroos and many colorful parrots, honeyeaters and seabirds which you can help record for conservation purposes. Dinner tonight is in a local restaurant and your accommodation is a homestead in a charming small town.
Day 4: After a relaxing breakfast, travel into the rugged mountain forests of East Gippsland. The diverse forests of this area are the reason that wildlife is so abundant and the tour 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 the sunny, dry slopes to the near-rainforest of the gully. Your wildlife guide provides detailed information of the formation of these mighty forests, and helps you search for lyrebirds, parrots, goannas, wallabies and honeyeaters. Birds and reptiles are abundant, but other human visitors are few. Finish the day with a classic Aussie dinner at the Homestead.
Day 5: Today begins with a walk into a large lowland (warm temperate) rainforest in search of birds and wallabies, followed by a walk through a heathland and along a forest-lined river to its estuary in Australia’s Coastal Wilderness. Search for sea eagles, cockatoos, kingfishers, swans and huge goanna lizards. Visit a quiet beach with a complex dune system and frequently see beach and ocean-going birds. After lunch, 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.
Spend a little time on a beautiful beach removing old fishing nets – they wash up from the sea, and sometimes wash back out, where they trap and kill sea creatures. Dinner tonight is a picnic in the bush overlooking the beach (weather permitting). On the way back to the Homestead, search the plains for wallabies, kangaroos and wombats.
Day 6: This morning, depart East Gippsland after one last visit to the beach at the Mouth of the Snowy River. On the way back to Melbourne, visit the Krowathunkoolong Keeping Place, an informative Aboriginal Cultural Centre in Bairnsdale. Also, search for Grey-headed Flying-foxes in their daytime roosts beside the river at Bairnsdale (a large colony set up there in 2013, and at the time of writing provide great viewing opportunities. They may move on at any time though). Transfer back to Melbourne arriving in the late afternoon.
Day 7: This morning, transfer to Melbourne Airport for your flight to Adelaide, where you will stay for the night
Day 8: An early start as you fly to Port Lincoln, where your Australian Coastal Safaris guide will greet you at the airport on your arrival. The first day of touring takes you to Big Swamp Wetland, a unique habitat for many documented rare wildlife, bird species, threatened plant species, fresh water tortoise, native fish and invertebrates. Next, head to Coffin Bay, an area of outstanding beauty, world famous oysters and home to a variety of important species of flora and fauna.
Join a local oyster fisherman and take a cruise to Brothers island and learn the process of farming oysters. After a seafood lunch you will visit Coffin Bay National Park where there are many species of birds, terrestrial mammals, marine mammals, lizards, snakes and amphibians. At the end of the day you will be transferred to your hotel in Port Lincoln.
Day 9: This morning after breakfast, you will be picked up for the road trip to Baird Bay, with plenty of stops along the way for coastal views. You will join an unforgettable ocean experience - take a short cruise aboard a 14-seater vessel to where you will swim with the Australian sea lions off Jones Island. Eyre Peninsula is one of 2 places one earth where you can swim with sea lions, the other being the Galapagos. Next you will have a chance to swim with bottlenose dolphins as you head further out into deeper water. Lunch will be back in Baird Bay, and in the afternoon, head back to Port Lincoln making a few stops along the way.
Day 10: This morning, view waders, swans and sea birds from the Bird Hide at the small coastal hamlet of Tulka. Next, visit the Port Lincoln National Park, where rugged cliffs provide an opportunity to view osprey and white-bellied sea eagles. At Taylors Landing, lunch will be provided along with more opportunities to stop and watch the birdlife. In the National Park, 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 or walk along the rocks underneath the Cape Donnington Lighthouse.
This afternoon, visit the beautiful Mikkira Station to see Koalas in the wild. Relax in the restored original homestead or go for a stroll under the beautiful old eucalypt trees in search of native animals. As the sun sets for the evening, relax with a platter of local produce and wine and listen to the sounds of nature, before transferring back to your accommodation.
Day 11: Today, transfer to the Port Lincoln airport for your return to Adelaide and another overnight stay.
Day 12: Transfer to Adelaide airport for your flight to Cairns, where you will stay for the next three nights.
Day 13: Today enjoy a full day excursion to the Great Barrier Reef with exclusive access to a stunning coral reef location selected for its superior water clarity, coral quality and overall diversity of marine life. With five hours at the reef, there is time to do it all. If simply relaxing and soaking up the tropical warmth is more your style, then take time out on the spacious sundeck. Your day includes unlimited snorkel with all equipment (including wet-suits if required) and instruction, semi-submersible tours, glass-bottom boat tours, underwater observatory, marine biologist presentation, hot and cold buffet lunch, morning and afternoon tea and complimentary tea/coffee/water all day.
Day 14: This afternoon, experience the Daintree Twilight tour. Experience the magical views of the Great Barrier Reef Drive and observe the changes in habitat diversity as the tour ventures into the Daintree Tropical Rainforest. Cruise the Daintree River spotting wildlife on a quiet, clean solar electric boat with zero environmental impact.
Dining in the evening Rainforest is an experience not to miss! Then enjoy a nocturnal wildlife tour - much of the local wildlife has adopted a nocturnal lifestyle to avoid the heat of the day in the tropical climate. Perhaps the most unique part of this experience is to observe nocturnal wildlife in the Wet Tropics. Return to Cairns later evening.
Day 15: Transfer to the airport for you flight to Sydney, your base for the next three nights.
Day 16: You don't have to go far from Sydney to experience Australia's fabulous wildlife - you just have to know where to look. This is the ideal afternoon/evening tour with Boutique Wildlife Tours to encounter iconic Australian wildlife. Travel with a small group (maximum of 14) in a luxury 4WD vehicle to the South Coast and Southern Highland areas in search of kangaroos, wallabies, platypuses, possums, wombats and koalas in their natural settings. Great bird-life viewing is possible, including parrots, lyrebirds, bowerbirds and kookaburras. There is stunning scenery and short bush walks.
Day 17: At your leisure to explore the city of Sydney. Experience one of the most beautiful harbours in the world, and view Sydney's iconic landmarks such as the Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Royal Botanic Gardens, Garden Island Naval base, Government House, palatial waterfront homes, Fort Denison and much more. Be seen on trendy Oxford Street from Darlinghurst to Paddington or try the Woolloomooloo Finger Wharf, Surry Hills, the quay or the Rocks.
Day 18: Today you will transfer to Sydney airport for your departing flight.