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Featured Wildlife Journeys

  • Australian Sea-lion

  • Coffin Bay

  • Osprey

  • Great White Shark

  • Koala

Australian Coastal Safaris

Southern Eyre Peninsula Birdwatching

From: $1,060 USD

Duration: 3 days/2 nights

Type: Private Charter, Shared.

Interests: Birds.

Home to 270 species of birds and 1900 native plant species, this tour across the Southern Eyre Peninsula traverses coastal dune shrublands, mallee woodlands, sandflats, saltmarsh, subcoastal and clifftops.

  • There are opportunities to observe waders and seabirds including Little Pied and Black Cormorants, Grey and Chestnut Teal Ducks, Pink Eared Ducks, Musk Ducks, Osprey, Sooty & Pied Oyster Catchers, Black Winged Stilts, Caspian Terns and Common Greenshanks.

  • At Mikkira Station, wild Koalas are plentiful, complemented by numerous bushbirds including the Port Lincoln Parrots, Golden Whistlers, Blue-breasted Fairy-wrens, Western Yellow Robins, White-browed Babblers, honeyeaters and Emus. Coastal walks provide spectacular backdrops to spot Rock Parrots, nesting Osprey and White Bellied Sea-Eagles and numerous raptors including Kites and Harriers.

  • At Coffin Bay, enjoy a 1.5-hour tour with an oyster farmer to sample magnificent Oysters fresh from the rack, before enjoying a wildlife cruise.

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.

Price per person travelling as four passengers, based on double occupancy, including touring, meals & accommodation.Single supplements apply. Black-out dates may apply. 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 (1/4/2022) and may differ when you book your travel. Please contact us for our current pricing and itinerary details*

Itinerary

Tour day-by-day

  • Day 1: Lincoln National Park & Mikkira Station

    Your ornithological adventure starts at the small coastal hamlet of Tulka where waders, Black Swans and numerous Seabirds 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.

    Traversing through to the Lincoln National Park, the rugged cliffs provide an opportunity to view Osprey and White Bellied Sea-Eagles and to keep a look out for Whistling Kites and Swamp Harriers.

    Heading towards Taylor's Landing we may encounter birds such as the rare Mallee Fowl, Purple-Gaped Honeyeaters, Striated Pardalotes, Spiney-Cheeked Honeyeaters, Dusky Wood swallows, Australian Pipits, Western Yellow Robins, Blue Breasted Wrens, and White-Browed Scrubwren. Whilst at Taylors Landing you will have a delicious lunch with more opportunities to stop and watch the birdlife.

    In the afternoon we travel to Mikkira Station for a late afternoon Koala and Bird Walk. Mikkira is a privately owned working farm, Koala and Wildlife Sanctuary. In the cool of the evening Koala's start to wake from their afternoon sleep and move around to feed.

    Western Grey Kangaroos come out onto the flat to graze and an abundance of birdlife can be seen. The area is home to a range of bush birds including Port Lincoln Parrots, Golden Whistlers and an occasional Scarlet Robin, Blue-Breasted Wrens, Western Yellow Robins, White-Browed Babblers, honeyeaters, Black-faced Cuckoo Shrikes and Emus. We will then return to Port Lincoln with an evening free for various dinner options within walking distance.

    Fran Solly - Guide"I started keeping lists of birds I saw about 35 years ago, and the more I saw, the more I trained my eye. Then, about 12 years ago, I began photographing birds, basically teaching myself as I went along. It’s great to be able to share my knowledge with other bird enthusiasts.”

    Fran Solly - Guide

    Overnight Accommodation: There are various levels of accommodation available including the Port Lincoln Hotel (4 star) or South Point Private Beach House.

  • Day 2: Port Neill & Tumby Bay

    After a morning pickup, we head further up the east coast of the Eyre Peninsula towards Port Neill where we look for many diverse sea birds on the eastern coast of the Eyre Peninsula. Along the way we stop at known bird locations like Point Boston, on the lookout for Diamond Firetales and Rock Parrots, Louth Bay we look for the majestic Osprey and Kingfishers and in Tumby Bay we talk a short walk along the Mangrove Boardwalk for a selection of shorebirds, again more opportunities to spot the Osprey & White Bellied Sea Eagles.

    Guides - Fran Solly v2“If we see a bird that is of particular interest, I report that through to the local national parks team and I encourage guests to help me with the reporting,” she says. “I talk about photographing birds, and of course I enjoy getting hands-on with guests who bring their own cameras along.”

    Fran Solly - Guide

    Heading off the main road and onto an access track we stop at Rogers Beach before visiting a Crested Tern colony at Lipson Cove. From here we divert inland to Mallee Scrub terrain where we find an assortment of bush birds, and on the way home we visit another unique location for ducks and waterbirds. A picnic lunch on the beach will provide an opportunity to stop and watch the birdlife.

    Overnight Accommodation: There are various levels of accommodation available including the Port Lincoln Hotel (4 star) or South Point Private Beach House.

  • Day 3: Big Swamp & Coffin Bay

    First stop on the third day is Billy Lights Point, where a small fringe of coastal mallee and sheltered bays provide habitat for both waterbirds and bush birds. Pied, Little Pied and Black Cormorants, Grey Teal and Chestnut Teal Ducks, Osprey, White-Bellied Sea-Eagle, Sooty Oyster Catchers, Pied Oyster Catchers, Striated Pardalotes, Western Yellow Robins, Superb Blue Wrens, Blue-Breasted Wrens, White-Browed Babblers, New Holland Honeyeaters, Brown-Headed Honey Eaters and Rock Parrots can all be found on this walk.

    The next stop is at Big Swamp where a bird hide is available for viewing Black Swans, Grey Teal Ducks, Chestnut Teal Ducks, Pink Eared Ducks, Musk Ducks, Black Winged Stilts, Banded Plovers, Cape Barren Geese and migratory Common Greenshanks in summer.

    We head further up the highway to beautiful Coffin Bay, the home of the renowned Coffin Bay Oysters. The area is of outstanding beauty, world famous Oysters and is home to a variety of important species of flora and fauna. There are no other comparable systems of bays and inlets in such compact form anywhere on the coast, which is why this area is classified as a maritime wilderness area.

    We will take a 1.5-hour tour with an oyster farmer, learning about the Pacific and the Native Angasi Oystey, before enjoying a cruise into the beautiful bays and inlets direct to the oyster farms. Fresh out of the rack, you get to sample these magnificent Oysters, before getting back to lunch in Coffin Bay at 1802 Coffin Bay Oyster Bar & Grill.

    Following this we meander out to the Coffin Bay National Park, which offers some of the most spectacular coastal scenery in South Australia, ranging from ancient granite, limestone and sandstone cliffs to long beaches bordered by white sand dunes.

    There are plenty of lookouts for spectacular views; there is an abundant of birdlife (150 different species in the park) and wildlife, four-wheel driving tracks as well as a sealed road for more comfortable conditions. There are plenty of stops for photographic opportunities and you get to breath in the fresh aromas of sea air and stretch out on one of Eyre Peninsula’s best and picture perfect, golden sandy beaches.

    Within the park there are several active Osprey Nests and White-Bellied Sea-eagles can often be seen fishing along the cliffs and sandy white beaches. The area is also home to Caspian Terns, Hooded Plovers, Red Capped Plovers, Red Necked Stints, Golden Whistlers, Masked Lapwings, Emu, Wedge Tailed Eagle. Guests will stop along the way at a known location for Southern Emu-Wrens and look for a small remnant flock of Yellow Tailed Black Cockatoo.

    After a magical three days of birdwatching across the Southern Eyre Peninsula, the tour returns to Port Lincoln in time for a late airport departure.

    Your Guide: Fran Solly

    Fran Solly who has been a keen birdwatcher for more than 30 years. She has recently completed training to contribute to the local scientific database through bird surveys, which are conducted across the Peninsula. Fran is also a professional photographer and she started her photography journey as a bird photographer to document the Birds of Southern Eyre Peninsula. 

     

    Guides - Fran Solly v2

     

  • Tour details

    Group Size: Minimum of 2 guests, maximum of 4 guests
    Pick-up and Drop Off Point: Port Lincoln Airport or Port Lincoln accommodations

    Pick-up and Drop-off Time: Upon arrival or 9:00am - Upon departure or 5:00pm.
    Inclusions - touring with professional, local and experienced guides, airport transfer and all transport in luxury 4WD Land-Cruiser, Oyster Tour & Tasting, all National Park & other entry fees, Daily Continental breakfast, Daily lunches, beverages, local wines & beer, birds of Southern Eyre Peninsula Pocket Guide book
    Private Touring: Available at additional cost - please enquire with your group size & interests.
    Languages: Translation services for private tours available in Mandarin.

    Recent Testimonials

    "I was privileged to be on a 3 day Bird Safari with Fran Solly as our guide. 76 species sighted, stunning scenery and time to take photos. Highly recommend this tour to people who like bird watching as well as photographers." - Annette, Australia

    "Fantastic trip, Fran Solly was our guide and she did an amazing job. Finding plenty of birds for us. Morning tea and lunch provided was excellent." - Pam, Australia

    How you'll be making a positive impact

    We have aligned our sustainability vision with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
     
    E-WEB-Goal-15Citizen Science with Australian Coastal Safaris

    Australian Coastal Safaris contributes observations of flora & fauna via iNaturalist, the world’s leading global social biodiversity network. This platform allows our team to create research-quality citizen science data that enables a more detailed picture of our national biodiversity, and assists bodies such as the CSIRO, ecologists and other decision makers to deliver better outcomes for the environment and our species.

    Our guides record observations with iNaturalist Australia by using the iNaturalist app on mobile phones or desktop computers. An observation records an encounter with an individual organism at a particular time and location on the Eyre Peninsula. We require photos to be attached to observations for them to become research grade and added to the Atlas of Living Australia.

    This is where you can greatly assist us in capturing images out in the field! Although we make broader observations that we think are valuable to the local scientific community, we have identified the following species to track when we are exploring the Eyre Peninsula by vehicle, e-bike or on foot.

    Key species we're looking out for include:

    • Koala (outside of Mikkira Station)
    • Short-beaked Echidna
    • Rosenberg’s Goanna
    • Malleefowl
    • Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo
    • White-bellied Sea-Eagle
    • Osprey
    • Bush Stone-curlew
    • Hooded Plover
    E-WEB-Goal-04Tracking the Eastern Osprey of the Eyre Peninsula

    Australian Coastal Safaris guide and award-winning photographer, Fran Solly, has been watching birds across the Eyre Peninsula for over 35 years. In recognition of her contribution to the birding community through citizen science observations and development of the regional field guide for birds, Fran had an Osprey chick named after her (Solly) in 2020. 

    In November of that year, Solly was the first Eastern Osprey to be fitted with a solar powered tracker as part of the Osprey Recovery Project in South Australia, being the first time this had been undertaken in Australia.

    Fran has worked alongside lead researcher, Ian Falkenberg, in developing the tracking capability, which provides data several times a day on the bird’s location before falling off cleanly at about four years of age, when the bird is ready to find a nest and a mate. The team expected the bird to range about 20-40 kilometres after leaving its nest, but were stunned when the Solly flew 400 kilometres within the first week. This project is a critical component in providing important information on how Osprey are using coastal habitats in the region, especially with the estimated population decline of up to 26 per cent over the last ten years.

    Unfortunately, Solly the Osprey was killed in November 2021, when she was electrocuted by a power pole in Streaky Bay, prompting a call to work with electricity companies to reduce the risks to these endangered raptors.

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