Inala & Cheesemans - Best of Australian Wildlife - Southern Australia 30th Sept - 13th Oct 2023
We are partnering with our long-term friends and fellow travel company Cheesemans’ Ecology Safaris (USA) to co-promote a ‘best of Australian Wildlife’ Tour, which we are offering either as a separate northern and southern Australian sectors, or as a combined 28-day megatour which we are offering at a discounted price.
This Southern Australian sector covers iconic areas such as Lamington National Park in southern Queensland, Kangaroo Island South Australia and Bruny Island, Mount Field National Park and Cradle Mountain in Tasmania. It has been designed to adjoin a Northern Australian sector (15-30 September 2023).
The tour will be led by Inala’s Dr Tonia Cochran with local guides in each location.
Day 1. Sat 30 Sep 23. Brisbane to Lamington NP (=Day 15 Fly CNS-BNE for northern tour). Accom: O’Reilly’s.
Day 2. Sun 1 Oct 23. Lamington National Park. Accom: O’Reilly’s.
Day 3. Mon 2 Oct 23. Lamington National Park. Accom: O’Reilly’s.
Day 4. Tue 3 Oct 23. O’Reilly’s to Brisbane and fly Adelaide-KI. Accom: Kangaroo Island.
Day 5. Wed 4 Oct 23. Kangaroo Island. Accom: Kangaroo Island.
Day 6. Thu 5 Oct 23. Kangaroo Island. Accom: Kangaroo Island.
Day 7. Fri 6 Oct 23. Fly Kangaroo Island to Adelaide. Accom: Adelaide
Day 8. Sat 7 Oct 23. Adelaide to Hobart & Bruny Island. Accom: Bruny Island.
Day 9. Sun 8 Oct 23. Bruny Island and eco-cruise. Accom: Bruny Island.
Day 10. Mon 9 Oct 23. Bruny Island to Mount Field area. Accom: Hamilton.
Day 11. Tue 10 Oct 23. Hamilton to Cradle Mountain. Accom: Cradle Mountain.
Day 12. Wed 11 Oct 23. Cradle Mountain. Accom: Cradle Mountain.
Day 13. Thu 12 Oct 23. Cradle Mountain to northern Tasmanian coastline. Accom: Hawley Beach.
Day 14. Fri 13 Oct 23. Depart Devonport.
B- breakfast; L- lunch; D-dinner
Day 1. Saturday 30 October 2023. Brisbane to Lamington National Park (=Day 15 Fly Cairns-Brisbane for those on northern tour). For those participants that are continuing from the northern Australian tour, we will transfer to Cairns airport for our flight to Brisbane. The best flight option is Qantas flight QF711 CNS-BNE 09:10-11:10 based on the 2022 flight schedule- flight time around 2 hours (flight not included in price). We will meet those participants that are joining us for the Southern Australian tour on our arrival in Brisbane and then travel to O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat on the plateau in the World Heritage listed Lamington National Park, deservedly one of the best-known birding locations in Australia, and home to a rich assemblage of both birds and mammals. This afternoon there will time enough for a first stroll in our lush rainforest surroundings.
Accommodation: O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat (en suite rooms). Meals included: L, D.
Days 2 & 3. Sunday 1 and Monday 2 October 2023. O’Reilly’s - Lamington National Park.
We have two full days to explore the areas around the lodge for birds and wildlife. Many of Australia’s best-known bird families are represented here, as are a range of the country’s endemic and most striking species, some of which occur right in the lodge grounds. You don’t have to venture far to see King Parrot, Crimson Rosella, Lewin's Honeyeater, the handsome Eastern Spinebill and Superb Fairy-wren. Additional birding highlights include Australian Brush-turkey, Wonga and Topknot Pigeon, the stunning Noisy Pitta, sought-after Albert’s Lyrebird, Green Catbird, the gaudy Regent Bowerbird, Logrunner and Paradise Riflebird (displaying, with luck!). The area is also good for mammal watching and by night we may see Mountain Brushtail Possum, while by day Red-legged and Red-necked Pademelon are regularly encountered.
Accommodation: O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat (en suite). Meals included: B, L, D.
Day 4. Tuesday 3 October 2023. O’Reilly’s (Lamington National Park) to Brisbane and fly Adelaide to Kangaroo Island.
This morning we will leave O’Reilly’s and wind our way down the mountain to return to Brisbane airport for our flight to Adelaide. The best flight option is Qantas flight QF665 BNE-ADL 16:35-19:45 (total flight time 2 hours 40 minutes) based on the 2022 flight schedule (flight not included in price). On our arrival at Adelaide, we will transfer to our hotel.
Accommodation: Adelaide (en suite rooms). Meals included: B, L, D.
Days 5 & 6. Wednesday 4 & Thursday 5 October 2023. Fly Adelaide to Kangaroo Island.
We will transfer to Adelaide airport to connect with our flight to Kangaroo Island this morning (QF2142 ADL-KGC based on 2022 flight schedule) (flight not included in price), where we will spend two full days exploring. During our stay here we will search for Koalas (which have been introduced to the island) and visit a Conservation Park which is home to Tammar Wallaby (a species that is almost extinct on the adjoining mainland) and Kangaroo Island Kangaroo (a subspecies of Western Grey Kangaroo that only occurs here). We will also visit a beautiful sandy beach to see Australian Sealions, watch their pups nursing, or playing in the surf, see old bulls bearing the scars of territorial disputes and learn about their unique breeding biology. Nearby Cape du Couedic is also home to a Long-nosed (New Zealand) fur seal colony which now number over 50,000 after being decimated by hunting in the early 1800’s. We should also be able to see some Australian fur seals and we will also be looking for Short-beaked Echidna (a distinct sub-species lives on the island). The island is also home to a range of rare birds including Cape Barren Goose and Glossy Black Cockatoo. Our accommodation is situated near a known Glossy Black Cockatoo roost which will maximise our chances of seeing this beautiful endangered species.
Accommodation: Kangaroo Island (en suite rooms). Meals included: B, L, D both days.
Day 7. Friday 6 October 2023. Fly Kangaroo Island to Adelaide
We will spend an additional day on Kangaroo Island today. This will include a visit to visit some fossil sites and learn about the important finds there, from 537 million year old trilobite and other ‘Lagerstatten’ Cambrian fossils through to 70 million year old marine deposits and more recent 45 million year old marsupial fossils. We will also meet with an entomologist regarding his work on the endangered Green Carpenter Bee, view his insect collections and meet with his wife who is an extraordinary assemblage artist. We then travel back to Adelaide (QF2145 19:45-20:25 - flight not included in price) and stay there overnight. This afternoon we will transfer to Kingscote airport for our flight to Adelaide where we will overnight before we start our Tasmanian adventure.
Accommodation: Adelaide Hotel (en suite rooms). Meals included: B, L, D.
Day 8. Saturday 7 October 2023. Adelaide to Hobart to Bruny Island.
Today we fly from Adelaide to Hobart (best flight option QF1982 08:10-10:30-flight not included in price). On arrival we will meet our Tasmanian guide and travel to Bruny Island. Situated 40km south of Hobart, Bruny Island is separated from the Tasmanian mainland by the D’Entrecasteaux Channel and accessed by a vehicle ferry. The ferry trip takes approximately 15 minutes where one can enjoy some wonderful scenery and possibly Little Penguins or dolphins alongside the ferry. We will travel to ‘Inala’, a privately owned 1,500-acre wildlife sanctuary which is home to all 12 Tasmanian endemic bird species including one of the largest known colonies of endangered Forty-spotted Pardalote. Strong-billed, Yellow-throated and Black-headed Honeyeaters, Dusky Robin and Green Rosella are also regulars here. Several hides and platforms have also been built around the property which provide close views of some very special species, including a variety of raptors. If we are fortunate, we may encounter the striking white morph Grey Goshawks that are residents of the Inala Reserve. The main mammal species we are likely to see here are Red-necked (Bennett’s) Wallaby and Tasmanian Pademelon. We will also take time to enjoy the interesting flora of the area, including Tasmanian endemic species and relics from the ancient Gondwanan Supercontinent. This afternoon we will visit Bruny’s southern coastline to view the second oldest lighthouse in Australia and search for species such as Tawny-crowned Honeyeater, Olive Whistler and Yellow-tailed Black-cockatoo. Here we also have a chance to see the Tasmanian subspecies of Short-beaked Echidna. After dinner, we will visit the Little Penguin and Short-tailed Shearwater colony to view these species at their burrows.
Accommodation: Cottages at and nearby Inala, Bruny Island. Meals Included: B, L, D.
Day 9. Sunday 8 October 2023. Bruny Island.
This morning after breakfast we will join a wilderness cruise to Bruny’s southern coastline for the opportunity to see some spectacular coastal scenery and visit an Australian fur seal haul-out (weather permitting). This also provides the opportunity to see a range of seabirds including albatross (Shy Albatross is the most common species seen), Black-faced cormorants and possibly also Common Diving petrel. A range of cetaceans such as Bottle-nosed and Common Dolphins and Hump-backed and Southern Right Whale are also possible on this trip. This afternoon we will have the chance to explore historic and scenically beautiful Adventure Bay. There are possibilities for some beach walks where we may see Hooded Plover, and we will visit a cool temperate rainforest. We will also search for Bruny’s rare and famous “white wallabies” which are an almost albino genetic variation of the Bennett’s wallaby. We will enjoy another night trip tonight, for the chance to see a range of Tasmania’s nocturnal marsupials, including Tasmanian Pademelon, Eastern Quoll (a relative of the Tasmanian Devil), Bennett’s Wallaby and Brush-tailed Possums (which also rarely occur as a golden colour form here). We also have a good chance of seeing Long-nosed Potoroo.
Accommodation: Cottages at and nearby Inala, Bruny Island as for last night. Meals Included: B, L, D.
Day 10. Monday 9 October 2023. Bruny Island to Mt Field area.
This morning we will depart Bruny Island and travel to Mount Field National Park. This area is a great place to experience a range of habitats from fern gullies with waterfalls, to alpine heathland and cool temperate rainforest boasting some of the tallest Eucalyptus in Australia. Today we have a good chance of seeing the bizarre Platypus, the other species of Australian monotreme. In the late afternoon, we will make our way out of the park to a nearby farm-stay accommodation where we will spend the night. Accommodation: Farm stay cottages near Hamilton (en suite cottage style). Meals Included: B, L, D.
Day 11. Tuesday 10 October 2023. Mt Field area to Tasmanian North Coast.
This morning we will leave the Mt Field area and travel towards the Cradle Mountain area. We will stop en route at points of interest during the day and will arrive at our accommodation near the National Park in the late afternoon.
Accommodation: Cradle Mountain (en suite rooms/cabins). Meals Included: B, L, D.
Day 12. Wednesday 11 October 2023. Cradle Mountain area.
Today we have a full day to explore the Cradle Mountain area. We will search for some more of Tasmania’s endemic bird species like the Black Currawong, which is common in these areas of higher altitude. This is also a good area to view Common Wombat. We will also enjoy some of the interesting plants found here, which include ancient rainforest species and Gondwanan relics such as Pencil and King Billy Pines, Myrtle and the famous Fagus (Nothofagus gunnii) which is Tasmania’s only deciduous tree. We will also visit the replica of “Waldheim”, the home of the Austrian Gustav Weindorfer, whose love of the area inspired the establishment of the national park. Tonight, we will drive back into the National Park in the hope of Tasmanian Devil and Spotted-tailed Quoll.
Accommodation: Cradle Mountain (en suite rooms/cabins) as for last night. Meals Included: B, L, D.
Day 13. Thursday 12 October 2023. Cradle Mountain to northern Tasmanian coastline.
This morning we will visit a Wildlife Sanctuary where some of Tasmania’s rarer mammal species can be seen, including Tasmanian Devil, quolls and wombats “up close and personal”. We will then travel to a reserve where we have another excellent chance of seeing Platypus before visiting Narawntapu National Park. The Park was created as a refuge for the Tasmanian form of Eastern Grey Kangaroo (known locally as Forester Kangaroo) which can usually be seen grazing during the late afternoon. This area boasts some impressive marsupial lawns (well grazed areas frequented by marsupials) that also hold some of the highest densities of Tasmanian Pademelons and Red-necked Wallabies in Tasmania and is often referred to as the “Serengeti of Tasmania”. We will then travel to our B&B at nearby Hawley Beach where we will enjoy a gourmet home-cooked farewell dinner. After dinner there will be another optional night walk to search for Southern Brown Bandicoot and Long-nosed Potoroo.
Accommodation: Hawley Beach (en suite stable rooms). Meals Included: B, L, D.
Day 14. Friday 13 October 2023. Depart Tasmania.
This morning we will farewell our fellow travellers and guides and make our way to the airport where we will depart on our homeward journey. Note: Flight options and departure points to be confirmed. Devonport airport is the closest airport and only 20 mins drive from Hawley Beach. The best flight option (based on 2022 schedule) is Qantas flight QF2052 DPO-MEL 10:10-11:25 although there is an earlier flight QF2050 06:30-07:45 if participants need to connect to a morning flight. Alternatively, participants could depart from Launceston airport to connect with a domestic flight departing around 11am to 1pm (to allow for travel time from the accommodation). Flight times based on the 2022 flight schedules and flight time from either DPO or LST to MEL is around 1 hour (some LST-SYD flights are also available with a flight time of around 2 hours)-flights not included in price.
Accommodation: none. Meals Included: breakfast.
PRICING AND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION (AUD$):
Price per person twin share: $14,135. Single supplement: $3,390.
($500 discount for taking both Northern and Southern sectors.)
Price based on a group size of 12 people + Dr Tonia Cochran leading and local guides in each location.
Inclusions: 13 nights’ accommodation, transport and specialist guiding for day and night tours as outlined above, all meals, entrance fees and activities including the trip to the Great Barrier Reef as outlined in the itinerary, transport, National Park entry fees and activities. Also includes Goods and Services Tax (=VAT)
Exclusions: Alcoholic beverages, gratuities, laundry service, personal expenditure or international/domestic flights. Also does not include helicopter flight at Kings Canyon.
Flights not included in price but are best options based on 2022 flight schedules. We will provide final flight details closer to the time of departure.
Non-smoking policy: We have a strict non-smoking policy. Smoking is not permitted at any time or any place during our tours.
Maximum time in nature: We try to spend as much time in nature as possible, sometimes resulting in long days, but giving you a more in-depth experience.
Itinerary route: The itinerary route, stops, and plans are subject to change by unforeseen circumstances beyond our control, such as weather or road conditions.
Additional forms: For some of our tours, you may be asked to fill out additional forms (e.g., medical questionnaire).
Medical conditions and travel risks: Travel to remote places is exciting, but it is important to understand and accept the risks, both medical and logistical. Minor medical problems can usually be treated, but because you are often far from medical facilities, there can be no expectation for immediate medical treatment or evacuation, even in cases of trauma. Anyone with health problems needing close medical supervision should not consider going on this tour. Bring enough medication for the duration of the trip for any chronic medical needs since pharmacies are usually not available. When you send your deposit and signed Reservation Form, you certify to us that you do not knowingly have any physical or other conditions that would create a risk for yourself or for other trip participants.
Use of drones/UAVs on tours: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), AKA drones, are not suitable for use on most expeditions due to logistical constraints and in many cases, local and national laws or regulations. In some cases, such as on our polar voyages, we operate under environmental regulations that ban the use of recreational drones. Do not bring a drone on safari without contacting us first.
Conservation: Both Inala Nature Tours and Cheesemans' Ecology Safaris are passionate about conserving the precious regions that we travel to and support many conservation efforts. By visiting these areas, we contribute to sustainable conservation of these valuable wildlife habitats. We urge you to support conservation organizations that protect and restore natural habitats and write letters to tourism and government agencies to promote work in preserving wildlife.