This blog is written by Janine Duffy, charismatic conservationist, experienced field researcher, inspirational speaker and passionate communicator of wild Australian mammals, birds and reptiles.
Known for her big smile, bubbly enthusiasm and Aussie Bush Hat, Janine will leave you inspired and wanting to save koalas.
Janine and her partner Roger Smith founded social enterprise Echidna Walkabout Nature Tours in 1993, to foster respect for Australia’s wildlife and to ensure its wild and free-living future. All our tours focus on seeing Australian animals in the wild. Most tours depart Melbourne and travel to carefully chosen wildlife locations in south eastern Australia.
Our fantastic team of Wildlife Guides – Martin, Scott, Paul, Brian, Kirby, Kellie, Sam and Janine & Roger – and Koala Researchers – Melinda, Donna & Bart – 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. Koala research conducted on tour is passed on to our guests and to the National Parks Service, Field Naturalists Clubs, the Atlas of Australian Birds and the Atlas of Living Australia.
For the past 17 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. We have a koala habitat creation program: “Make a home for Koala Clancy”. By removing 70,000 Boneseed weeds annually we are effectively creating five to ten new koala home ranges each year.
Echidna Walkabout respects our Indigenous Cultures, and is grateful to the Wathaurong and Kurnai/Gunnai communities for their support over many years. One of our team, Melinda King, is an indigenous woman from the Wathaurong community of Geelong.
Our tour groups are small (no more than 8-10 people) allowing for a personal experience and optimal wildlife viewing opportunities.