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Echidna Walkabout Nature Tours

Private Great Ocean Road

From: $1,245 USD

Duration: 3 days/2 nights

Type: Private Charter.

Departs: Every Tuesday & Friday (October to April); every Tuesday (May to September)

Interests: Birds, Land Mammals & Marsupials, Reptiles & Amphibians.

This private three day journey covers some of the most rugged and awe-inspiring coastline in Australia and includes a canoe trip to look for the elusive Platypus!

  • Explore the Serendip and You Yangs National Parks, the Great Ocean Road, Great Otway National Park, the Twelve Apostles, the Shipwreck Coast and volcanoes and lakes of the Western Plains. You will be inspired by the dramatic backdrops whilst spotting wild animals including Eastern Grey Kangaroos, Koalas, Echidnas, Emus, Rosellas, Robins, Honeyeaters, raptor birds and various seabirds.

  • You will have the opportunity to walk beside the waves of the mighty Southern Ocean on pristine sands, experience an unforgettable sunset over brilliantly-coloured limestone cliffs and walk through dense rainforests of lush tree ferns. Led by expert guides, visitors will often be able to track and spot the Red-necked Wallaby and adorable Potoroos.

  • We head out to search for Platypus on a guided canoe paddle on a secluded lake, deep in the forest.

  • When guests travel with Echidna Walkabout Nature Tours, part of the trip involves travellers contributing to a project that actively helps wildlife.

About Echidna Walkabout Nature Tours

Echidna Walkabout Nature Tours was founded by Roger Smith and Janine Duffy in 1993, with the vision to bring people and wildlife together for mutual benefit. The award-winning team believes that observing and connecting with wildlife is a key element in enriching the lives for people of all backgrounds; whether this interaction is for pleasure, new experiences and learning, for connection to the land or the basic needs for humans to breathe clean air and drink clean water via healthy ecosystems.

Price per person based on double occupancy, including touring & 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 (26/10/2021) 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: Wildlife Of the Western Plains

    Upon departing Melbourne, guests will travel west to the beautiful eucalypt forests of the Serendip and You Yangs National Parks to spot wild Koalas and cockatoos including Corellas, Galahs, the iconic Sulphur-crested Cockatoos. Other birds that may be encountered include White-winged Choughs, Emus, Cape Barren, Magpie Geese, Laughing Kookaburras.

    Led by an experienced Wildlife Guide, the group will be alongside a Koala Researcher, searching for these sometimes elusive arboreal mammals. To help protect these adorable animals, guests will take part in the “Make a Home for Koala Clancy” conservation project by removing the invasive Boneseed weed.

    On the grassy plains, wildlife guides will share how to approach wild mobs of Eastern Grey Kangaroos without disturbing them. A fascinating insight will be given into the complex social life of Australia’s most iconic animal, with the opportunity to get close enough to observe these behaviours.  

    Emus, cockatoos, Superb Fairy-wrens, numerous honeyeaters, Swamp Wallabies, Blue-tongued Skinks and Jacky Lizards are also likely to be encountered.

    After a substantial picnic lunch, we continue to the Great Ocean Road where we explore the landscapes and wildlife of this iconic coastline. Travel inland to our guesthouse in the small town of Forrest nestled high in the forest of the Otway Ranges. Prepare for tomorrow morning’s early start to search for Platypus.

    Accommodation is at Forrest Guesthouse, a boutique country guesthouse, only a short stroll from the Terminus Hotel pub and bistro.

  • Day 2: Platypus, rainforests and the Twelve Apostles

    Begin your day at dawn for a magical canoe trip looking for Platypus on calm Lake Elizabeth deep in the rainforest of the Otway Ranges – a once in a lifetime experience.

    Returning to the famous Great Ocean Road, guests will enjoy some of the world’s most spectacular coastal scenery, traversing through rainforests, beaches and dramatic cliffs composed of limestone and sandstone, that have been weathered by the surging Southern Ocean surf.

    Guests will travel past quaint seaside holiday villages with glorious beaches and into the rainforest of the Great Otway National Park. This forest rings with the calls of Crimson Rosellas, Golden Whistlers, Pied Currawongs.

    Later the group will travel through Port Campbell National Park, looking out for Short-beaked Echidnas, Red-necked and Swamp Wallabies, Rufous Bristlebirds and Southern Brown Bandicoots in the rich coastal heathlands. Linger a while to take in some of nature’s handiwork at the Twelve apostles and Loch Ard Gorge. Dinner is at a local restaurant.


    Accommodation is just outside Port Campbell at the Daysy Hill Country Cottages.

  • Day 3: Sheep stations, volcanoes and volcanic lakes

    After a leisurely breakfast, guests will travel to the remote western edge of the Great Ocean Road to see the glorious limestone coastal formations the morning light.  Heading inland guests will then encounter coastal forests and the Western Plains; a land of enormous sheep stations and dramatic skies.

    The Western Plains were created by many small volcanoes over the past two million years. Many birds benefit from the open lands, including Wedge-tailed Eagles, Brown Falcons and Nankeen Kestrels which can be seen soaring overhead. The region is also home to many large permanent lakes, which we travel past, stopping to watch for waterbirds.  The group then returns to Melbourne in the late afternoon after an amazing three days spent with your expert wildlife guide. 

    Key Details

    Pick-up and Drop Off Point: Melbourne city hotels
    Pick-up and Drop-off Time:  8:00am on day one, Approximately 5:00pm on day four.
    Private Touring: Tours are private departures and price depends on group size. From $1,700 (based on group of 5+). Additional extended touring options available, please enquire.
    Please note: tour does not operate on or through 25 and 26 December or 1st January .

    Responsible Travel

    Echidna Walkabout Nature Tours is internationally-recognised in wildlife in the wild conservation travel, and winner of the 2014 World Responsible Travel Award. Our extensive policies with respect to conservation and social enterprise are available for your reference. As a social enterprise tour company, we invest more than 50% of our profit into our mission. Most of that investment is through our Koala Research Project, and through in-kind and direct financial support to the Koala Clancy Foundation. 

    We strongly support the concept of privately-owned land to increase the habitat available to wildlife – this is essential if wildlife is to survive the upcoming challenges of climate change. Through Koala Clancy Foundation we plant koala food trees in river valleys and along creeks on private farmland near Melbourne – returning the indigenous flora to that denuded environment.

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    Recent Awards

    WINNER Best for Wildlife Conservation at the World Responsible Tourism Awards London • 2014
    WINNER Seatrade Cruise Award for World’s Most Innovative Shore Excursion • 2017
    WINNER TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2018 • 2017 • 2016 • 2015 • 2014

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