Help conserve the beautiful places and wildlife you see. Your Wildlife Guide will teach you to find wildlife, record them, and later submit your sightings to Australia's highly respected bird and mammal Atlases – this task is easy, very enjoyable and essential for conserving our native animals. Monitor and record the behaviour of Koalas, using our special method of non-intrusive identification. Spend a little time on a glorious beach removing fishing nets that trap fish, birds and sea mammals.
Share this remote area with your experienced Wildlife Guide and each night return to the comforts of owner-operated lodge-style accommodation.
At the end of the journey all participants will receive a certificate of thanks for helping wildlife, a full species list of everything they've seen, and the satisfaction of knowing they have given something back to the environments and animals visited. Tour includes 3 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 3 dinners and 3 nights at a friendly, very comfortable 4.5 star homestead overlooking the Snowy River.
Day by Day Description (Meal inclusions shown thus: B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner )
Note: this itinerary is an indication only. Due to conditions on the day, weather and National Parks requirements, it can change slightly to maximise wildlife viewing opportunities.
Day 1 - Sun.: We transfer you from Melbourne to East Gippsland. We travel past internationally acclaimed Ramsar wetlands of the Lakes District of East Gippsland before travelling by ferry to an island sanctuary in the wetlands with a thriving colony of Koalas. We take a walk through the forest spotting these delightful animals in the wild. Your Wildlife Guide shows you how to identify each koala individually, as we take notes on their location and behaviour. We may also see Echidnas, Wallabies and Kangaroos and many colourful parrots, honeyeaters and seabirds, which you can help record for conservation purposes. Dinner tonight is in a local restaurant. Tonight's accommodation is a Homestead in a small town where you will stay for three nights. (LD) Accommodation: Snowy River Homestead, Orbost, or similar.
Day 2 - Mon.: After a relaxing breakfast we travel into the rugged mountain forests of East Gippsland. Your Wildlife Guide provides detailed information of the formation of these mighty forests, and helps you search for Lyrebirds, parrots and honeyeaters. We take a walk alongside a creek to a waterfall on the famous Snowy River. Birds and reptiles are abundant, but other human visitors are few. The area is remote, untouched and not well known to science – all wildlife sightings we take this day are of great importance as they are often 'firsts'! Before dinner we get together to compile and submit our wildlife sightings to the Atlas of Australian Birds, and anything unusual goes onto Birdline, seen by thousands of people Australia-wide. We finish the day with a classic Aussie cook-out (fireside) dinner at our accommodation. (BLD). Accommodation: Snowy River Homestead, Orbost, or similar
Day 3 - Tue.: Explore a secluded river estuary on the Wilderness Coast. First we walk into a large lowland (warm temperate) rainforest in search of birds and wallabies. Then we walk through a heathland and along a forest-lined river to it’s estuary in Australia's Coastal Wilderness. We search for Sea Eagles, cockatoos, kingfishers, swans and huge goanna lizards. We visit a quiet beach with a complex dune system and frequently see beach and ocean-going birds. After lunch we 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. We 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. Our dinner tonight is a picnic in the bush overlooking the beach (weather permitting). On our way back to our accommodation we search the plains for wallabies, kangaroos and wombats. (B,L,D) Accommodation: Snowy River Homestead, Orbost, or similar
Day 4 - Wed.: This morning we depart East Gippsland after one last stop at the beach at the Mouth of the Snowy River. On the way back to Melbourne we visit the Krowathunkoolong Keeping Place, an informative Aboriginal Cultural Centre in Bairnsdale, then transfer to Melbourne arriving in the late afternoon (B,L)
-Location: East of the city of Melbourne in south-east Australia. Visit Raymond Island, Lake Tyers Forest Park, Snowy River National Park, Cabbage Tree Palms Flora Reserve, Cape Conran Coastal Park and the mouth of the Snowy River.
-Duration: 4 days, 3 nights
-Departs: Sundays on request from Melbourne September through May (except Xmas, December 25 & 26)
-Returns: to Melbourne
-Minimum passengers: 2 adults Maximum: 8 adults
-Volunteer/conservation component: Just by being there, guests are helping wildlife. Part of every tour cost goes to our Wildife Atlassing Project – an Australia-wide wildlife monitoring effort conducted by Birdlife Australia and the CSIRO. In addition, if they wish to do more, guests will be offered opportunities to participate in one or more voluntary activities each day to help wildlife. Activities include: recording and submitting of wildlife sightings, data entry of Koala Research, searching for koalas and other wildlife, hand collection of fishing nets and other rubbish from beaches. These activities are completely optional, no obligation and take up very little time. All guests will receive a certificate of thanks, and all equipment necessary to perform the tasks.
East Gippsland is famous for it's forest wildlife, particularly big mammals, birds and reptiles. This tour is a great chance to see some very shy forest-dwellers: Yellow-bellied, Sugar and Greater Gliders, Koalas, Wombats, Swamp Wallabies, Superb Lyrebirds (best seen and heard in Spring and Autumn), Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoos, King-Parrots and Eastern Whipbirds. In the warmer months we enjoy watching Lace Monitors (Goannas) prowling the forest floor for food, and Gippsland Water Dragons sunning themselves on waterfalls. We often see Satin Bowebirds, Rufous Fantails, Laughing Kookaburras, Golden Whistlers, Yellow and Rose Robins, and up to 14 species of honeyeater.
Along the coast and estuaries we often see Australian Fur Seals, White-bellied Sea-Eagles, Pelicans, Gannets, cormorants, oystercatchers, herons, Black Swans and many species of duck. We sometimes see an Echidna, a whale or a Bottlenose Dolphin.
The wildlife of the plains lives here too – we often see Eastern Grey Kangaroos, Red-necked Wallabies, Wedge-tailed Eagles, Emus, Galahs, Eastern Rosellas, ibis, Australian Magpies, Magpie-larks and Willie Wagtails. We rarely see snakes or spiders, though we are as interested in them as in all wildlife, and will look out for them.
Several of our threatened species live in this area, and we will be taking particular note of any sightings of Hooded Plover, Southern Emu-wren, Little Tern, Sooty Oystercatcher, Grey-headed Flying-fox, Lace Monitor, Long-footed Potoroo and Glossy Black-cockatoo.
Note: we go to enormous effort to ensure great wildlife sightings on every tour. Our Guides prepare for each tour by studying recent sightings and seasonal trends, and then compile a comprehensive list of species at the conclusion of the tour for future reference. Some species are migratory or seasonal – contact us about the best time to come if you would particularly like to see a certain animal group. Note, we do not guarantee sightings of any wild animal.
Minimum price is for one adult twin-sharing on the standard tour. Maximum price includes single supplement - i.e. extra cost applied to single travelers.
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