Help the wild animals of the wilderness coast
four day eco-tour
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 eucalypt forest, walk in rainforest, along untouched ocean beaches and beside secluded rivers and waterways in search of wallabies, koalas, goanna lizards, gliding possums, lyrebirds, parrots, black swans and many other birds.
Help conserve the beautiful places and wildlife you see. Your Wildlife Guide will teach you to find wildlife, record them, and later submit your sightings to Australia’s highly respected bird and mammal Atlases – this task is easy, very enjoyable and essential for conserving our native animals. Monitor and record the behaviour of Koalas, using our special method of non-intrusive identification. Spend a little time on a glorious beach removing fishing nets that trap fish, birds and sea mammals.
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.
Tour includes 3 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 3 dinners and 3 nights at a friendly, very comfortable 4.5 star homestead overlooking the Snowy River.
Tour code: WCJ
Tour Duration: Four day journey
Style: Small group vehicle-based conservation touring. Minimum passengers: 2 adults; Maximum: 8 adults
Operates: Sunday to Wednesday, on request September to May (Note: no tours run on or through Christmas/Boxing Days: Dec 25 & 26)
Returns to: Melbourne city – same location as pickup
Tour Destination: East Gippsland: roughly halfway between Melbourne and Sydney on the south-east coast of Australia (Australia’s coastal wilderness).
Day by Day Description(Meal inclusions shown thus: B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner )
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
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. 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. (LD)
Accommodation: Snowy River Homestead, Orbost, or similar
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. (BLD)
Accommodation: SnowyRiverHomestead, 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 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. (B,L,D)
Accommodation: Snowy River Homestead, Orbost, or similar
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 (B,L)
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.
Duration: 4 days, 3 nights
Departs:: Sundays on request from Melbourne September through May (except Christmas Day, December 25)
Returns: to Melbourne
Minimum passengers: 2 adults Maximum: 8 adults
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, data entry of Koala Research, 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. All guests will receive a certificate of thanks, and all equipment necessary to perform the tasks.
East Gippsland is famous for it’s forest wildlife, particularly big mammals, birds and reptiles. This tour is a great chance to see some very shy forest-dwellers: Yellow-bellied, Sugar and Greater Gliders, Koalas, Wombats, Swamp Wallabies, Superb Lyrebirds (best seen and heard in Spring and Autumn), 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 Bowebirds, Rufous Fantails, Laughing Kookaburras, Golden Whistlers, Yellow and Rose Robins, 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, Long-nosed Potoroo, Southern Brown Bandicoot, Grey-headed Flying-fox, Lace Monitor, Southern Emu-wren, Little Tern, Sooty Oystercatcher and Glossy Black-cockatoo.
For more information on wildlife species seen on past Wildlife Journey tours go to: Wildlife Walkabout Species List
Note: we go to enormous effort to ensure great wildlife sightings on every tour. Our 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.
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 is for twin share accommodation; S/S = single supplement must be added for all single travellers.
Please note children under 13 years old are not accepted.
Price from 1 April 2013 to 31 March 2015:
Adult: AUD $1500pp S/S: AUD $279pp
- Tour includes: Full interpretation by an experienced Wildlife Guide, all transport, meals and accommodation as described below and entry fees.
- Wildlife and natural history notes and maps will be provided to guests at the beginning of the tour.
- A post-tour wildlife summary will be sent to guests who provide contact details.
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. By joining the tour you will help gain a greater understanding of the wildlife of East Gippsland’s magnificent forests and national parks.
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– Get to know the Locals: Accommodation is 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 time. All rooms have ensuite bathrooms.
Meals on tour: All meals are included, from lunch on Day 1 to lunch on Day 4. 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, 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.
Transport: In our comfortable air conditioned vehicle.
What to bring: Strong walking shoes or boots, outdoor clothing to suit variable weather conditions (please check weather forecast for accurate predictions), sun hat, rainproof coat, small torch (flashlight), insect repellent, 15+ sunscreen, daypack and 1 litre water bottle. Camera and binoculars are recommended. You can also bring swimming gear.
As space is limited please keep luggage to 1 duffel bag OR 1 backpack OR 1 small suitcase per person.
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 and Koala Researchers. 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! Wildlife sightings are recorded on a pre-prepared list – guests only need to tick a box under instruction from the Wildlife Guide or Koala Researcher. Wildlife Lists are later submitted to online atlasses that provide the basis for population density estimates and monitor changes over time that lead to special classification for threatened species listing and conservation efforts – your Wildlife Guide will show you how to submit the lists. Data collection and entry for our Koala Research is also simple – we provide a hard-copy map or tablet with tick boxes for guests to fill out in consultation with the Wildlife Guide or Koala Researcher. Rubbish collection is done whilst walking along beaches and through the bush.
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.