From: $10,745 USD
Duration: 18 days/17 nights
Type: Groups, Private Charter, Shared.
Departs: Saturdays from Melbourne
We have developed this exclusive itinerary with our US travel specialist Swain Destinations. Their team will help you to create your most memorable vacation according to your travel preferences. Please fill out the inquiry form and it will be forwarded to one of their expert consultants who will contact you as soon as possible.
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 privately guided 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 small town, such as Snowy River Homestead, Orbost, or similar. Lunch and dinner included.
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. Three meals are included today.
Day 5: Today we start with a walk into a large lowland (warm temperate) rainforest in search of birds, Platypus and Swamp Wallabies. Then walk through a heathland and along a forest-lined river – this area abuts a burnt area, so wildlife surveys here are particularly important. Search for White-bellied Sea Eagles, Hooded Plovers, Gang-gang cockatoos, Turquoise Parrots, Azure Kingfishers and Jacky Lizards.
Visit a quiet beach with a complex dune system and frequently see beach and ocean-going birds, and Australian Fur-seals. After lunch, take a 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 or rubbish – 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 Red-necked Wallabies, Eastern Grey Kangaroos and Bare-nosed (Common) Wombats. Three meals are included today.
Day 6: Depart East Gippsland after one last visit to the beach at the Mouth of the Snowy River. On the return 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. Breakfast and lunch are included today.
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 Frankland Islands Reef Cruises, visiting Normanby Island in the beautiful Frankland Islands National Park Island group. Here you will see vibrant fringing reefs and a vast array of marine species, including beautiful hard and soft corals, turtles and a huge variety of fish, including the ever-popular Ocellaris Clownfish (Nemo) found in two rare jewel-blue anemones.
Normanby Island provides some of the best snorkelling of all the islands near Cairns, with exceptional water quality and visibility aided by the island's unique geographic location and cool water channels surrounding the area. Commencing with a scenic 30-minute cruise down the Mulgrave River lined by verdant rainforest and mangroves supporting abundant bird species and Saltwater Crocodiles, the Turtle Islander vessel ventures out to the traditional sea country of the Mandingalby Yidinji and Gungandji peoples. This archipelago is located only 10 kilometres offshore, being the shortest sea crossing of any Great Barrier Reef day trip.
Choose from a range of optional activities with marine biologists, including a snorkel safari, island guided walk and semi-submarine experience.
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: Depart Sydney early morning for the 90-minute drive to the historic town of Berrima. Take time to stretch your legs and enjoy the tranquillity of this colonial township before heading to Fitzroy Falls to visit a local farm. Red leaf Farm is true Australian farming at a grass roots level complete with chicken caravan, Highland Cattle, horses, wolfhounds and their stunning Railway Carriage accommodation conversions. See waterfalls, flying foxes or swim in billabongs if it's warm enough.
Enjoy a true Australian farm adventure with country style morning tea by the farms private billabong with billy tea, damper or homemade muffins. From Red Leaf farm, transfer to Nature Experience where you will do some bushwalking and enjoy some magnificent views over the valley and waterfall. Have lunch at the Burrawang General Store which prepares and serves a high quality and innovative menu with an emphasis on local produce. After lunch, visit Tertini Wines, ending the day with tasting and a cheese platter before heading back to Sydney.
Day 17: At your leisure to explore the city of Sydney. The sparkling waters of Sydney Harbour and stunning skyline is regarded as one of the most beautiful natural harbours in the world. What is surprising is the diverse wildlife viewing opportunities at Sydney’s doorstep.
Sydney has more marine species than any other harbour in the world and is a prime location to observe the incredible Humpback Whale migration each year from May to November. Heath-covered headlands, dramatic clifftops, scenic beaches, historic sites and outstanding panoramas of Sydney’s skyline abound at North Head Sanctuary and adjoining Sydney Harbour National Park.
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.
Terms & Conditions
*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$1160pp. 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.
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