Connect with nature on this four day, fully-inclusive small group journey into the wildlife-rich forests of south-east Australia's coastal wilderness. Visit magnificent stands of giant eucalyptus forest, walk in rainforest, along untouched ocean beaches.
What to Expect
Help the wild animals of the wilderness coast on your four day eco-tour!!
Day 1 - SUNDAY: 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.
Day 2 - MONDAY: 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.
Day 3 -TUESDAY: 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.
Day 4 - WEDNESDAY: 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
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.
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 acitivities each day to help wildlife. Activities include: recording and submitting of wildlife sightings, 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. 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.
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
- Expert Wildlife Guides: You will be guided on this journey by a friendly, experienced and knowledgeable Wildlife Guide
- Many hours of research work precede the tour to ensure that you see and learn about native wildlife in its natural environment
- First class standards in guidance are the hallmark of Echidna Walkabout
- Our in-house Wildlife Guide training program ensures that all Guides have an in-depth knowledge of the wildlife and environments you will see
- Accommodation at a Homestead-style Bed and Breakfast in far East Gippsland. B&B’s are carefully selected for friendly.
- First class hospitality and service - they are run by the owner so you will get to know the locals during your morning relaxation.
- Meals on tour: All meals are included, from lunch on Day 1 to lunch on Day 4. Note: Vegetarian, pork-free, vegan, gluten-free or other food preferences should be noted at the time of booking.
Know Before You Go
Although this tour is vehicle based, most of the day is spent outside the vehicle on a number of easy, mostly flat terrain, bushwalks so that you can get close to nature. Passengers must be able to walk unassisted at least 3km on uneven dirt surfaces to ensure wildlife sightings. There may be up to 3 walks of this duration during each day.
Volunteer/conservation details: To safely and effectively conduct voluntary activities, we provide protective gloves, garbage bags, wildlife lists, pens, share binoculars and the expertise of our Wildlife Guides. The activities are simple, non-dangerous, pleasant and do not interfere with guests' enjoyment of the wildlife and wild places we visit – in fact they usually increase guests enjoyment!