- We take an early afternoon flight from London to Adelaide, via Dubai.
- On arrival in Adelaide, transfer to our accommodation for an overnight stay.
- Accommodation: Adelaide, 1-night on full board basis
- An early start this morning for a full day of birding excursions. We follow the Samphire Coast north, an area home to thousands of migratory shore birds, and the enigmatic banded stilt.
- We visit Arid Lands Botanical Gardens, which contain a magnificent collection of indigenous plants, shrubs and flowers adapted to the semi-arid landscape. There are always flowering plants here no matter the time of year, which attract a wide variety of birds such as white-winged fairy-wren, chirruping wedgebill and up to eight species of honeyeater.
- After a productive day familiarising ourselves with the birds of the region, we drive to the town of Kimba on the eastern edge of the Eyre Peninsula.
- Accommodation: Kimba, 1-night on full board basis
- Today, we explore Lake Gilles Conservation Park, which consists of a mixture of ‘mallee’ eucalyptus scrub, open woodland and salt lakes, and is home to Australia’s eastern-most populations of western yellow robin and rufous treecreeper.
- After lunch we continue along the coastal road to Port Lincoln, keeping an eye out for waders on the way.
- Accommodation: Port Lincoln, 2-nights on full board basis
- We’ll spend the day exploring the wilderness surrounding Port Lincoln’s charming Lincoln and Coffin Bay National Parks where will go in search of western whipbird. These birds are notoriously difficult to see, yet relatively easy to hear. Other species we hope to see include southern scrub-robin, blue-breasted fairy-wren, rock parrot, western yellow robin, brush bronzewing, purple-gaped honeyeater and shy heath-wren.
- Dolphins and seals are often spotted offshore, and we may also spot southern right whales, which migrate to the Eyre Peninsula from June to October.
- Today, we have the opportunity to return to the National Park to look for and photograph the whipbirds. We then travel to the Flinders Ranges, home to three species of macropod: red kangaroo, western grey kangaroo and euro (wallaroo) and many emus.
- Accommodation: Wilpena Pound, 2-nights on full board basis
- We have a full day to explore the Flinders Ranges – South Australia’s largest mountain range, and one of the region’s two ‘National Landscapes’ – famous for dramatic rock formations, national parks, aboriginal rock art, wildlife and flora.
- After lunch, we continue deeper into the ranges along gum-tree lined stream beds, which are inhabited by elegant parrot and grey-fronted honeyeater.
- This morning, we enjoy the stunning surrounds of the Flinders Ranges for the last time, checking nearby rocky outcrops for southern scrub-robin, grey-fronted honeyeater, before heading south through the historic, copper-mining town of Burra, and nearby plains looking for blue bonnet, redthroat, brown and rufous songlark, black-eared cuckoo and Australian pipit.
- Today, we encounter Australia’s greatest river; the Murray. Lined with spectacular cliffs, the broad floodplains of the Murray River are home to wetlands teeming with waterbirds, while the upland supports populations of the endangered southern hairy-nosed wombat. We’ll also visit a breeding colony of the Regent parrot, and check a wetland for waterbirds including crakes, rails and freckled duck.
- Accommodation: Morgan, 1-night on full board basis
- We leave early this morning and head to Gluepot Reserve, which is home to no less than six endangered species. We visit the reserve’s bird hides to look for mulga parrot, and Gluepot’s 10 species of honeyeater.
- In the afternoon we travel to Mannum, where we will have access to a unique property sitting on the banks of the Murray River. After dinner, we will go spotlighting in the Australian bush where we hope to see the nocturnal southern hairy-nosed wombat, and birds such as tawny frogmouth, southern boobook and barn owl.
- Accommodation: Mannum, 1-night on full board basis
- After an early breakfast, we visit a local wetland reserve which is known for its abundance of waterfowl. Highlights include the rare blue-billed duck and musk duck,and we may also see numerous species of raptor here.
- Late morning, we drive to Goolwa which is located at the estuary of the Murray River. The estuary contains a huge freshwater lake, separated from a 100-kilometre long coastal lagoon by a number of 300-metre high sand dunes, known as the Coorong Wetlands. This area provides a wide range of habitats for a diversity of birdlife, and boasts an impressive number of water and shorebirds. We explore this fascinating region on a boat cruise, making various landings to explore the area.
- Later in the day, we travel through the Mount Lofty Ranges to the scenic coastal town of Victor Harbour, our base for the night. On arrival, we will look for little penguin nest holes, visit the conservation centre, and afterwards, join a spotlighting tour for little penguins, who return after sunset having spent the day fishing out at sea.
- Accommodation: Victor Harbour, 1-night on full board basis
- After breakfast we travel down the scenic Fleurieu Peninsula to the Kangaroo Island ferry. Once we land on the island, we spend two days visiting the best wildlife sites, and enjoying the oceanfront views from our hotel.
- First, we head to Flinders Chase National Park which covers the entire west of the island and is home to Cape Barren goose - a birding highlight of the region. Flinders is also known for having an abundance of koala and western grey kangaroo, and we will also look out for the solitary short-beaked echidna as it forages for termites and ants.
- At the island's most south-westerly point – Cape du Couedic, we can watch a colony of New Zealand fur seals. This area is a great place to spot tammar wallabies, which are now extinct on the South Australia mainland.
- On one of our days on the island, we'll spend time searching for the endangered Kangaroo Island subspecies of the glossy black cockatoo, as biologists and local landholders have recently been increasing the breeding opportunities for this fascinating species. The coast here also has a protected area for Australian sealions, and along the shoreline, we may also see cormorants and hooded dotterels (plovers). Our two night stay on the island will be spent within close proximity of the ocean, and we will keep an eye out for dolphins passing by. In the evening, we’ll go spotlighting to watch little (fairy) penguins arrive ashore, after a day spent fishing in the ocean.
- Accommodation: Kingscote, 2-nights on full board basis
- Today, we take the ferry back to the mainland and continue birding through the scenic Adelaide Hills. The hills are carpeted with tall, dense eucalypt forests which provide a habitat for many species which are not seen elsewhere in the state. Our charming drive through the hills leads us to a small wetland where Baillon’s, Australian spotted and spotless crake are often seen.
- We will also make a stop at the Mount Lofty Botanical Gardens where eastern brown bandicoot may be seen, as well as a variety of colourful parrots including the Adelaide rosella and many species of honeyeater. We then return to Adelaide for our final dinner at the hotel.
- Accommodation: Adelaide, 1-night on full board basis
- After breakfast, we leave our luggage at the hotel and visit the newly established Adelaide International Bird Sanctuary. Here, there are thousands of resident and migratory shorebirds and waders, as well as many marsh and swamp species.
- In the afternoon, you will be dropped back at the airport in time for your return flight home.
Day 15 Arrive UK
All prices are per person and include:
- Services of the naturalist leader
- Guided activities
We stay in a range of comfortable hotels and guesthouses, each with en suite facilities.
All meals are included.
Breakfasts and dinners taken at the hotel. Lunches are a mix of picnics and leisurely sit-down meals.
We will be looking for more than 200 species of unique bird species, including five species of parrot, three species of cockatoo, little penguin, black-eared miner, malleefowl, western whipbird, and numerous grasswrens, eagles, rails and crakes.
- Mulga parrot
- Major Mitchell’s cockatoo
- Cape Barren goose
- Freckled duck
We hope to see a range of Australia’s endemic mammals, including four species of kangaroo, including the endangered yellow-footed rock wallaby, short-beaked echidna, the iconic koala, seals, sealions and even cetaceans off the coasts.
- Western grey kangaroo
- Tammar wallaby
- Southern hairy-nosed wombat
Easy to moderate. Gently paced walks, no more than a couple of kilometres at any one time. Sturdy walking boots with corrugated soles for grip are recommended.
Weather permitting; we explore the Coorong wetlands on a three or six hour cruise aboard a comfortable vessel, which makes various landings.
Price includes return scheduled flights London - Adelaide – London.
Ground transportation will be by minibus or 4 wheel drive vehicle, with driver. We take the ferry to Kangaroo Island.