Australian Natural Adventures

Wildlife, Nature & Soft Adventure Tours

Custom Australia, New Zealand & Pacific tours and travel


grey kangaroos Australia




DBondi Beach Sydney Australiaay 11 - Monday, January 16: Sydney
Today is free to explore this exciting city. There’s a huge raSydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Australiange of options, including climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge, learning to surf at Bondi Beach (or just relaxing there), shopping in or exploring the convict past of the historic Rocks district, touring the Opera House, taking a long ferry ride up harbor, and lots more. There are few more beautifully sited cities anywhere in the world, and few more cosmopolitan.            (B)

Day 12 - Tuesday, January 17: Kuringai Chase National Park
This morning we have an early start as we head north to Kuringai Chase National Park. Kuringai Chase, while only a short distance north of Sydney is an extensive area of sandstone with well-developed Eucalyptus forest, waterways and beaches adjacent to the Pacific Ocean. In addition to an impressive wildlife list, the area was important to the original AbSydney Opera House at nightoriginal Guringai people, and during our time here an Aboriginal perspective will be given. ”Bush tucker” (tucker is Australian for food) is the general term now used for native Australian foods derived from the forest (bush), and along the way we’ll see and learn about some of these. There are also significant engravings done by the Guringai thousands of years ago, and we’ll see these as well. Among other wildlife, Kuringai is home to goannas, large monitor lizards that can reach five feet in length, and we’ll be keeping an especially sharp eye for these. After spending a large part of the day in and adjacent to the Park we return to our hotel in plenty of time for dinner (own expense) and a free evening in Sydney. (B,L)


Day 13 - Wednesday, January 18: Sydney / Merimbula / Croajingalong
We depart Sydney on a short morning flight (Rex ZL117 departing at 8.50am arriving 10.25am) south to Merimbula in East Gippsland, where we are met by our guide for the next four days. From Merimbula we travelguides in Victoria south to Croajingolong National Park in the south-east corner of Australia. Croajingolong (the original Aboriginal name for East Gippsland) is considered one of the finest reserves in Australia, comprising a pristine wilderness of eucalyptus forests, coastal heathlands, deep secret rivers and secluded estuaries. Croajingolong was the original Aboriginal name for East Gippsland. The national park has been classified by the United Nations as a World Biosphere Reserve. Over 3 days we explore this beautiful, untouched region on foot and on the water. This morning we begin by walking through dramatic granite outcrops, through tall open forest, amongst hidden ferns and orchids to the summit of Genoa Peak for spectacular views of this vast wilderness area. On our way down the peak we may find the large Glossy-black cockatoo feeding in the forest. After descending from the peak we drive a short distance to the small town of Mallacoota. Our accommodation for the next 3 nights will be at Karbeethong Lodge which overlooks a wilderness estuary. Karbeethong is a haven we will use as a base for viewing a bewildering array of wildlife and plants at the crossover of 3 major ecosystems - forest, esturine and oceanic - on the south-eastern tip of Australia. After settling in we’ll visit and walk along a magnificent wilderness beach abutting the mighty Southern Ocean looking out for ocean and beach birds. There is also the opportunity to swim and surf before dinner.      (B,L,D)


Day 14 - Thursday, January 19: Croajingalong
NB. As we will be traveling by canoe and boat today’s activities will be governed by weather conditions and water levels.
Just south of the town of Mallacoota the pristine Betka River estuary winds through dense forest before meeting the Southern Ocean. This morning after an early breakfast we’ll take canoes and paddle up the this beautiful waterway at your own speed with the chance of seeing all sorts of birdlife. Before we start on this flatwater adventure you are provided with full safety instructions on handling canoes followed by a short trial paddle to test your skills before we head up the river. We’ll return to our starting point for lunch then head back to Mallacoota Inlet. The Inlet was formed after the last ice age when a coastal river system was drowned by the sea. The lake system is comprised of a larger bottom lake near the sea connected to a smaller inland lake by a narrow inundated river valley. Many smaller arms of water branch of these main lakes. A large semi submerged sand bank called the Goodwin Sands, sits in the middle of the lower lake and is home to thousands of birds both migratory and local. The Sands are famous throughout Australia for their birdlife. The shoreline of the lake system and the outlet to the sea are home to a myriad of bird species. This afternoon is dedicated to exploring the inlet. To begin we’ll take a walk through a eucalyptus forest (with a chance to see Koalas) to a remote landing where we will board the MV Loch Ard, a beautiful timber cruising launch, to search the coves and sand flats for sea eagles and other raptors, swans, migrant waders and shorebirds, egrets, herons, spoonbills, cormorants, terns, dotterals, plovers, ibis and ducks not to mention the land birds that we will also see. Our captain will pull up close to the Goodwin Sands . When we tire of the water the boat will drop us at remote jetties to walk along the shoreline before picking us up again for further adventures up some of the secret wilderness arms of the lake system. We may even see Australian Fur seals that are a common visitor to the bottom lake. The Loch Ard will drop us back at the Lodge for dinner.

Day 15 - Friday, January 20: East Gippsland
Croajingolong National Park contains one of the most significant wilderness areas in Australia. It is called the Cape Howe Wilderness and it is directly east of Mallacoota across the inlet. This area is on the south-eastern corner of Australia, where the Southern Ocean joins the Pacific and contains a part of one of Australia’s great walking routes known simply as The Wilderness Coast Walk. Today we will walk a section of this route covering approximately 10 kilometres (7 miles) in the day.

A short boat trip will get us across the inlet and into the Howe Wilderness where we will walk along a great curving beach towards Cape Howe at the corner of Australia. Offshore we will see Tullaberga Island where the sailing ship Monumental City went down in 1853 with terrible loss of life. Nearby is Gabo Island with its lighthouse that now protects shipping from crashing into the coast in this lonely location. A vast sand dune system rises on our left as we walk eastward. Forays into the dune system may reveal ancient Aboriginal campsites. The profile of the Howe Range dominates the eastern skyline looking like the snout of a huge crocodile dropping into the ocean. Depending on our walking speed we should be able to make Lake Barracoota, a pristine dune locked lake that was once part of Mallacoota Inlet. Our return journey will take us across Howe Flat below Lake Barracoota. This is a low coastal heathland which is home to the extremely rare Ground Parrot. Careful observers may see this very shy bird. The end of the walk takes us back to the shore of Mallacoota Inlet where we are ferried back to the lodge for dinner. Tonight there is the option to take a short night walk spotlighting for flying foxes, gliding possums and other nocturnal wildlife.

Day 16 – Saturday, January 21: East Gippsland / Melbourne
This morning we depart Mallacoota on the long road journey to Melbourne. En route we visit the Bemm River Rainforest where we walk along suspension bridges to view one of the most significant lowland rainforests in East Gippsland. Also, as an extra special occasion, before leaving East Gippsland we visit an Aboriginal Keeping Place where we meet Aboriginal people and learn about there culture. We will also visit an ancient Aboriginal living site and learn about its significance to Aboriginal people. We then depart for Melbourne arriving in the late afternoon.        (B,L),

Day 17 - Sunday, January 22: Melbourne / Brisbane Ranges / Melbourne
Just west of Melbourne is one of the largest volcanic plains on earth. Open grasslands stretch in all directions with the occasional extinct volcano or ancient eroded mountain range rising abruptly oukangaroos and emus Victoria Australiat of the plain. There is a distinctly "Australian" feel about the region. The last volcanic activity occurred only 4000 years ago; volcanism is very rare in Australia and this is the most recent. We travel across these plains to visit Serendip Sanctuary, an open range reservation for rare and endangered indigenous wildlife. Run by the National Parks Service, Serendip plays a pivotal role in the conservation of some of Australia's rarest birds. Some birds encountered are our rarest including the Bustard, Brolga and Cape Barren Goose. A highlight of Serendip is large free-range mobs of our tallest kangaroo, the Eastern Grey, and family groups of the world's second largest bird, the Emu. We also see three of our delightful smaller hopping marsupials: the Swamp wallaby, Red-necked wallaby and the tiny Pademelon. After lunch we travel a short distance to the Brisbane Ranges National Park, where at our special Koala site we become involved in a Koala Research Project, searching out and documenting the activities of these delightful marsupials. We then return to Melbourne.                     (B,L)

Day 18 - Monday, January 23: Melbourne / Los Angeles / Pittsburgh
Sadly, our last day in Australia. This morning we make our final preparations before transferring to the airport for our 12.20pm flight home. Due to the International Dateline, we arrive in Los Angeles at 7.30am today, in plenty of time for our final flights to our home cities, including the group flight US Airways 10 to Pittsburgh departing at 11.50am and arriving into Pittsburgh at 7.23pm.
            (B,*D, *M, *B)


B: Breakfast: L: Lunch; D: Dinner; M: Meal; * in-flight meal



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