See Koalas and Kangaroos IN THE WILD! Join wild animals in their natural habitats on this full day, fully-inclusive small group (max 10 people) eco-tour, led by an experienced Wildlife Guide.
Walk through natural bushland to meet wild koalas, then learn about each one’s history and social life from your Wildlife Guide and Koala Researcher. Help collect important data, remove Boneseed (a weed) and make a difference to koala habitat.
Join wild mobs of Kangaroos on the plains and in open forests. Their natural instinct is to flee humans, but with care we often get close enough to take photographs and observe their complex social life. While we walk, help your Guide record sightings of all native wildlife.
The natural environments we visit are also home to parrots, fairy-wrens, emus, honeyeaters, possums, wallabies and lizards. Your Wildlife Guide will help you find and understand them, and teach you survey techniques that will be useful to you wherever you go.
At the end of the day all participants will receive a certificate of thanks for helping wildlife*, and an opportunity to stay in touch with each of the Koalas seen on the day.
The tour is vehicle-based, with short walks during the day; includes a substantial picnic lunch and pick up/drop off to Melbourne city.
Location: the Great Western Plains near Melbourne including Serendip Open Range Sanctuary or Mt Rothwell Conservation Park and the You Yangs or Brisbane Ranges National Park.
Duration: 1 Day – approx 8 hours
Grade/Difficulty: easy (see note below “Easy Walking”).
Departs: daily ex city of Melbourne 8.10am to 9:00am all year, except Christmas & Boxing Days (December 25 & 26)
Returns: to Melbourne between 4 & 5pm.
Minimum pax: 2 adults
Maximum pax: 10 adults (but larger groups can be catered for by special arrangement – please contact us)
Volunteer/Conservation component: Just by being there, all guests are helping wildlife. Part of each tour cost goes to Koala research and wildlife species atlassing. In addition, if they wish to do more, guests will be offered opportunities to participate in one or more voluntary activities to help wildlife. Activities include: searching for koalas and other wildlife, recording of wildlife sightings and koala behaviour, hand-pulling of Boneseed (an invasive weed that threatens koala habitat), hand collection of rubbish. This work is important – if every one of our guests pulls out just one weed we will create a new koala home every year. These activities are completely optional, no obligation, very easy and take up very little time. All guests will receive a certificate of thanks, and all equipment necessary to perform the tasks.
Wild Eastern Grey Kangaroos and Koalas are the main focus of this tour. We also see a large variety of birds, which often include Sulphur-crested Cockatoos, Galahs, Laughing Kookaburras, Superb Fairy-wrens, White-winged Choughs, Emus, Cape Barren and Magpie Geese, New Holland and White-plumed Honeyeaters, Australian White Ibis, Whistling Kites, Australian Magpies, Magpie-larks, Red-rumped Parrots, Crimson or Eastern Rosellas, Crested Pigeons, Red Wattlebirds and Willie Wagtails. We sometimes see wild Swamp (Black) Wallabies, Common Brushtail or Ringtail Possums, Common Blue-tongue or Jacky Lizards, Wedge-tailed and Little Eagles, falcons, goshawks, other parrots and cockatoos. We occasionally see an Echidna. 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 animal.
Prices are per person, are in Australian dollars and are retail (rack/recommended sell) rates.
Note that all departures are from the city of Melbourne and all trips return to Melbourne.
Price from 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016:
Adult: AUD $210pp Child: (up to 13 years) AUD $157.50pp
Tour includes: Full interpretation by an experienced Wildlife Guide, meal as described below, entry fees and transport to and from pickup location.
Share binoculars, all equipment necessary for voluntary conservation activities (see below).
Library of Wildlife and Natural History books on board vehicle, available for guest use during the day
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.
Morning pickup schedule: At time of booking, we will suggest a pickup location from this list below. Please provide a contact phone number or accommodation details so that we can confirm your pickup time and provide a map, if required.
Please be ready at the pickup point 5 minutes before the pickup time to ensure you get out to The Bush as quickly as possible. Note: the tour vehicle will not wait past the pickup time.
08.10am Langham Hotel (1 Southgate Avenue Southbank)
08.15am Crown Promenade Hotel (8 Whiteman St, Southbank)
08.40am Rydges Melbourne Hotel (186 Exhibition St, Melbourne City)
08.45am Swanston Grand Mercure Hotel (195 Swanston St, Melbourne City)
09.00am Holiday Inn on Flinders Hotel (575 Flinders Lane/corner Spencer St, Melbourne City)
You will be returned to the same location as pickup.
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.
Meal on tour: A substantial bush picnic lunch is provided which includes sandwiches, fruit, cakes, water and traditional Australian “Billy Tea”. 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.
Transport: In our comfortable air conditioned vehicle.
What to bring: Strong, fully enclosed walking shoes or boots (sandals are not recommended), outdoor clothing to suit variable weather conditions (please check weather forecast for accurate predictions), sun hat, rainproof coat, insect repellent, 15+ sunscreen and 1 litre water bottle. Camera and binoculars are recommended.
Volunteer/Conservation component details: The activities are simple, non-dangerous, pleasant and do not interfere with guests’ enjoyment of the wildlife and wild places we visit – in fact, the activities usually increase guests enjoyment through fostering a sense of contribution and greater understanding. Rubbish collection is done whilst walking through the bush. Boneseed removal can be done easily whilst walking through the bush, and our recommended limit is 10 small plants per guest (on daily tours 363 days per year, at 10 plants per guest, we remove a lot of weeds, and no-one gets a sore back, tired, or misses out on anything!)