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East Gippsland Wildlife Safari Melbourne Australia

4 day wildlife safari helping the wild animals of the wilderness coast

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Four days with the best of Australia's wildlife!

Connect with nature on this fully-inclusive small group journey into the wildlife-rich forests of southeast Australia's coastal wilderness.

Find koalas in magnificent stands of giant eucalypt forest, walk in rainforest listening for lyrebirds, watch Sea-Eagles soar along untouched ocean beaches and spot huge Goanna lizards beside secluded rivers and waterways. Your highly experienced Wildlife Guide will also show you where to look for wild wallabies, kangaroos, echidnas, parrots, cockatoos, black swans and many other animals.

Help conserve the beautiful places and wildlife you see. 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.

Itinerary

NOTE: this itinerary is an indication only, due to conditions on the day it can change slightly to maximise wildlife viewing opportunities

Day 1 - SUNDAY: Melbourne to East Gippsland

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 wild Koalas. We take a walk through the forest spotting these delightful animals in the wild, and learning about their lives. 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. (L,D included)
Accommodation: Snowy River Homestead, Orbost, or similar

Day 2 - MONDAY: Rugged mountain forests of East Gippsland

After a relaxing breakfast we travel into the rugged mountain forests of East Gippsland.

The diverse forests of East Gippsland are the reason that wildlife is so abundant. Today we 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.

We finish the day with a classic Aussie dinner at the Homestead. (B,L,D included) Accommodation: Snowy River Homestead, Orbost, or similar

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 its 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 Homestead we search the plains for wallabies, kangaroos and wombats. (B,L,D included)
Accommodation: Snowy River Homestead, Orbost, or similar

Day 4 - WEDNESDAY: Mouth of the Snowy River, Krowathunkoolong and back to Melbourne

This morning we depart East Gippsland after one last visit to 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. We 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). We then transfer to Melbourne arriving in the late afternoon (B,L included)

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. This itinerary is the property of - Echidna Walkabout

Conservation component:

Just by being there, you are helping wildlife - your Wildlife Guide records all species seen and uploads this data to online atlasses for conservation purposes. In addition you will be offered the opportunity to remove Ghost Net - discarded fishing net - from the beach at Cape Conran on the third day. It is fun and easy, and over the last three years we have removed large quantities of this dangerous hazard to marine life.

These activities are completely optional, no obligation and take up very little time. All guests who provide their email address will receive a certificate of thanks, and will be provided with use of all equipment necessary to perform the tasks.

Wildlife:

East Gippsland is famous for it's forest wildlife, particularly big mammals, birds and reptiles. It is a fabulous place for parrots and cockatoos - they are numerous, visible and noisy. This tour is a great chance to see some very shy forest-dwellers: Koalas, Wombats, Swamp Wallabies, Superb Lyrebirds (best seen and heard in Spring), 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 Bowerbirds, Rufous Fantails, Laughing Kookaburras, Golden Whistlers, Yellow and Rose Robins, 10 species of cockatoo and parrot, 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, Little Tern, Little & Intermediate Egret, Lewin's Rail, Royal Spoonbill, Powerful Owl, Blue-billed Duck, Sooty Oystercatcher and Glossy Black-cockatoo. East Gippsland Wildlife Species List

Note: we go to enormous effort to ensure great wildlife sightings on every tour. Our Wildlife 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.

Janine Duffy and Roger Smith founded Echidna Walkabout in 1993, to foster respect for Australia’s wildlife and to ensure its wild and free-living future. Most tours depart Melbourne and travel to carefully chosen wildlife locations in south eastern Australia.

Our fantastic team of Wildlife Guides – Bill, Paul, Joanne, Martin and Janine & Roger – and Koala Researchers – Mary, Donna & Melinda – ensure that every tour is a special, once-only experience. No two tours are ever the same with wild animals!

Our Wildlife Team provides support to our tours. Research conducted on tour is passed on to you and to the National Parks Service, Field Naturalists Clubs and the Atlas of Australian Birds. All wildlife seen on tour is noted, forming a large, valuable repository of data on population densities of native species, including some threatened species. Submission and analysis of this data is a huge job, but enormously valuable, so guests are encouraged to assist with this most important of tasks.

Echidna Walkabout respects our Indigenous Cultures, and is grateful to the Wathaurong and Gunnai communities for their support over many years.

Our tour groups are small (no more than 8 people) allowing for a personal experience and optimal wildlife viewing opportunities.

For the past 15 years, Echidna Walkabout has tracked and monitored the movements and lives of hundreds of wild koalas. The proceeds of each tour contribute to this important study and our guests are involved while on tour. The results of this study are made available to all our staff, the National Parks Service, Field Naturalists Clubs, wildlife veterinarians and wildlife carers.

For many years Echidna Walkabout and our guests have been improving the natural habitats we visit, through weed and rubbish removal. The removal of the noxious weed Boneseed, in particular, directly improves habitat quality for Koalas.

We are also regenerating an old farming property west of Melbourne as a Wildlife Habitat – for the benefit of native wild birds, Kangaroos, Koalas and Wallabies, plus reptiles, frogs and invertebrates - to restore some lost habitat to these wild creatures that have given us so much.

We have, and have always had, a serious commitment to running sustainable tours.

 

 

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Minimum 2 adults. Departs Melbourne on Tuesdays all year and also on Fridays from Oct - Apr Pick up from 0810 to 0900. Return to Melbourne Day 3 approx 1700

This activity is also available as part of on of our Custom Itineraries or holidays, please visit our home page to learn more about how we can help you with your holiday.

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