Wildlife abounds on the golden grasslands and rocky cliffs of
the famous Great Ocean Road. Pockets of forest are home to Koalas;
Kangaroos graze the plains, Echidnas amble through dense coastal
heathland. Sea-birds and outback cockatoos share the rocky cliffs.
Waterbirds are found on the largest permanent lakes in Australia
contained in the huge craters of extinct volcanoes.
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.
Guides carry two way radios which link them to our office and
to emergency services. Accommodation: At friendly, comfortable boutique
accommodations in the region, all with ensuite rooms.
Meals on tour: Meals from lunch on Day 1 to lunch on Day
3. NB Vegetarian or other food preferences should be noted at the
time of booking. We can only cater for allergies and special food
preferences that we are informed of in advance.
Easy walking: Although this tour is vehicle based, most
of the day is spent outside the vehicle on a number of easy, flat
terrain, bushwalks so that you can get close to nature. Passengers
must be able to walk unassisted at least 1km on uneven dirt surfaces
to ensure wildlife sightings. There may be up to 5 walks of this
duration during the day.
Transport: In our comfortable air conditioned vehicle.
What to bring: Good walking shoes or boots, outdoor clothing
to suit variable weather conditions (please check weather forecast
for accurate predictions), sun hat, rainproof coat, insect repellent,
15+ sunscreen, small torch (flashlight), daypack and 1 litre water
bottle. Camera and binoculars are recommended.
As space is limited please keep luggage to 1 duffel bag OR 1
backpack OR 1 small suitcase per person.
Please note that whilst every attempt will be made to follow
our planned route National Park Service requirements and weather
conditions may cause amendments which will be clearly outlined to
you by your Guide.
DETAILED ITINERARY FOR GREAT OCEAN ROAD
NOTE: this itinerary is an indication only, due to conditions
on the day it can change slightly to maximise wildlife viewing opportunities
DAY 1 WILDLIFE OF THE WESTERN PLAINS The Savannah Walkabout See
Kangaroos and Koalas IN THE WILD! In small groups this Naturalist
guided journey gives you quality time to learn about wildlife and
enjoy the wide open spaces of Australia. Watch the natural behaviour
of wild kangaroos, koalas and abundant birdlife. Get involved in
koala research with your Nature Guide. A delicious bush lunch is
included. Walk amongst free ranging "mobs" (groups) of wild kangaroos.
Spot Emus, Cockatoos and other unique Australian wildlife on the
grasslands, in the bush and around the billabongs of Melbourne’s
Western Plains. Visit an open forest in a National Park that is
home to a large and healthy population of wild koalas. Our Koala
Research Project ensures that on most days we have multiple sightings
of these delightful creatures. Within easy reach from the centre
of the city of Melbourne, these environments provide the perfect
introduction to Australia's unique wildlife and indigenous culture.
During your journey your guide will share with you the great significance
of the Western Plains to Aboriginal People. Accommodation tonight
is at a B&B in the tiny outback town of Little River. Dinner is
at your own expense at the local pub (L)
DAY 2 THE GREAT OCEAN ROAD and the 12 Apostles See some of the
world's most spectacular coastal scenery. We follow the Great Ocean
Road to the surging surf coast, and walk in the magnificent rainforests
of the Otway National Park. Your Nature Guide will explain the formation
of these mighty forests. Travel through Port Campbell National Park,
looking out for echidnas, wallabies. lizards and colourful birds
which make their home in the coastal heathlands. Linger a while
to take in some of nature's handiwork at the 12 Apostles and the
Loch Ard Gorge. Hear stories about the terrible shipwrecks of the
past. We have dinner at our B&B near Loch Ard Gorge. (BLD)
DAY 3 THE EXPANSE OF THE WESTERN PLAINS - volcanoes and lakes
in a great savannah. This morning we have one last look at the coast
in the dramatic morning light before returning to Melbourne across
the vast grasslands of the Western Plains. Created by intense volcanic
activity over the past 2 million years, the 7000 volcanoes of the
Western Plains are now extinct but the resultant savannah is now
pasture to the richest wool growing area on earth - a wonderful
example of Australia's great range lands. We stop en route to drive
to the top of an extinct volcano with spectacular views across the
plains. From the summit we see some of the hundreds of volcanic
lakes scattered across the plains. Later we pass Lake Corangamite,
the largest permanent lake in Australia, often covered with prolific
birdlife. We return to Melbourne in the late afternoon. (BL)
NOTE: this itinerary is an indication only. Every attempt will
be made to follow our planned route however to maximise wildlife
viewing opportunities, amendments may be made due to National Park
Service requirements and weather conditions. They will be clearly
outlined to you by your Wildlife Guide. This itinerary is the property
of Echidna Walkabout
This tour is a great way to see wild Eastern Grey Kangaroos,
Koalas, Swamp Wallabies and many birds – waterbirds and birds of
the forests. We often see Sulphur-crested Cockatoos, corellas, Galahs,
Laughing Kookaburras, Superb Fairy-wrens, White-winged Choughs,
Emus, Cape Barren and Magpie Geese; Singing, New Holland and White-plumed
Honeyeaters, ibis, ducks, cormorants, Whistling and Black-shouldered
Kites, Nankeen Kestrels, Australian Magpies, Magpie-larks, Red-rumped
and King Parrots, Crimson and Eastern Rosellas, Bronzewing and Crested
Pigeons, Red and Little Wattlebirds and Willie Wagtails. We sometimes
see Echidnas, possums, fur-seals, Blue-tongue or Jacky Lizards,
Rufous Bristlebirds, Wedge-tailed and Little Eagles, falcons, goshawks,
Yellow-tailed Black-cockatoos and Gang Gang Cockatoos. We occasionally
see a Southern Brown Bandicoot or a whale. We rarely see snakes
or spiders, though we are as interested in them as in all wildlife,
and will look out for them.
Note: we go to enormous effort to ensure sightings of Eastern
Grey Kangaroos and Koalas and have a very high success rate with
these species. However, we do not guarantee sightings of any wild
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
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
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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.
DesigNZ on Travel
or New Zealand