Australian Natural Adventures

Wildlife, Nature & Soft Adventure Tours

Custom Australia, New Zealand & Pacific tours and travel

 

 

CUSTOM   ITINERARY   PREPARED   FOR

LEANN  &  BILL  JOHNK

continues

 

Day 14 – Monday, October 18: Cairns/ Atherton Tablelands
You are met this morning by your birder and naturalist guide Alan three days of wildlife touring. First head north to Mareeba, where you take a back road to Granite Gorge. This drier country supports a good amount of wildlife, especially Mareeba Rock Wallabies, which have become habituated to people and now look for a hand-out for being mareeba rock wallabyso nice. There are usually parrots and other birds flying about, and ask at the office for the locatpademelonion of a bower of a Great Bower-bird. After Granite Gorge head south, again via a small back road, and stop at Nardello’s Lagoon, which usually has black swans, osprey, jacanas and other bird life. Once back on the main road you'll make a stop at the fruit stand, which will have a good variety of tropical fruits, many of which will be new to you. Buy and try any you don’t know – they are all delicious. Once you leave the stand you start to enter the wetter area of the Tablelands, and rainforest appears on the side of the road. Eventually you arrive at Lake Eacham, and your small lodge in the rainforest, where pademelons – small wallabies – scrub turkeys and often sugar gliders visit your cabin. Late afternoon finds you at Bromfield Crater to watch brolgas and sarus crane wheel in for the evening. The lodge is self-catering, so you should pick up some breakfast supplies, snacks and a bottle of wine in nearby Yungaburra. There are several restaurants, cafes and take-out – suggested for tonight and eaten on your verandah – in this small town.


lumholtz tree kangaroo - hoto by Jonathan Munro
rainbow bee-eaterDay 15 – Tuesday, October 19: Atherton Tablelands
You are met again this morning by Alan for a full day and evening of wildlife touring. You’ll be covering a variety of habitats - rainforest, open Eucalyptus forest and more. The area covered has over half of Australia’s bird species, and Alan’s local resident knowledge will find many of them. In addition to the birds, you’ll be looking for, and seeing, kangaroos, wallabies, the musky rat-kangaroo, the smallest and most primitive of the kangaroo family and platypus. After dinner this evening you return to the rainforest to search for several endemic possum species and lumholtz tree kangaroo - which lives up in the trees, not just among them - while spotlighting; several species of owls and the 8" long leaf-tailed gecko are also possible.

 

Day 16 – Wednesday, October 20: Atherton Tablelands/ Cairnsscrub turkey
platypus Alan meets you once again this morning for more rainforest discoveries; this morning will likely find you by a small creek early, waiting for platypus. As you wait the mound-building megapode, the scrub turkey, is likely to be heard scratching so make sure you look around when you hear it - scrubfowl are ususally not very worried about people. At this time of the year a lighting rustling may be male antechinuses, small carnivorous maruspials. For a few weeks each year they abandon their usual nocturnal ways, and search for mates including during the day. This afternoon is continues to explore the Tablelands, eventually returning to Cairns this evening, and your hotel on the Esplanade.


great barrier reef snorkeling

Day 17 – Thursday, October 21: Great Barrier Reefred ochre meal
Your second day out on the reef, this time on the boat Tusa, visiting the very outer edge, which has a different suite of animals than the middle reef and cay visited a few days ago.  Once again you'll snorkel, including a snorkel trail, and enjoy a delicious tropical lunch.  After your return tonight a suggested dinner spot is Red Ochre, featuring award-winning food prepared with native Australian ingerdients learn from both Aboriginal lore and more recent experimentation.       (L)

 

 

Day 18 – Friday, October 22: Cairns/ Adelaide/ Kangaroo Island
An unfortunately very early start this morning as you leave Cairns at 5.45am on Qantas flight 921 to Sydney, where after arriving at 9.45am you change planes to Qantas flight 747, departing for Adelaide at 11.05am and arriving at 12.45pm. As you are not flying across to Kangaroo Isadelaide central market pastriesland until 5.30pm a short visit to Adelaide, only 15 minutes away by taxi, is recommended. Recommended is either the south australia museumMuseum, which has an world class display of Aboriginal art, weapons and more, and where you can get a guided tour at no cost, or perhaps the Adelaide Central Market, where you will see normal Aussies going about their business, and also has some excellent places to eat – especially look for the pastry place with an amazing range of very decadent treats; there are great pies – savory not sweet, and the typical Australian take-out – which would make a good lunch. Try a variety of Australian cheeses as well; little known in the US they are world-class. Return to the airport for your 6.55pm Rex flight 4771to Kangaroo Island, which arrives at 7.30pm; you are met and transferred to your hotel. Please note that you are restricted to 15kg (33lb) checked luggage and one piece of cabin luggage of 7kg (15lb). You can leave a bag with the Rex check-in counter, and it will be returned to next to the wall by the window opposite the luggage carousel. There may be a $5 charge for this.   (*B,*L)

 

Day 19 – Saturday, October 23: Kangaroo Island sea lions kangaroo island
koala About 10am you are picked up; you’ll first visit the redgum forest along the Cygnet River valley to seek out koalas sleeping in the forks of the trees, then travel through some of the best wool-producing areas on the island to a conservation park on the north coast. Here walk through the habitat of Kangaroo Island Kangaroos, Tammar Wallabies and the endangered Glossy Black Cockatoo. For lunch enjoy a delicious seafood barbeque served with fine South Australian wines before heading to a colony of Australian Sealions. At Seal Bay Conservation Park a walk among Sealions on a beautiful sandy beach may reveal watching pups nursing or playing in the surf. Old bulls bear the scars of territorial disputes, as your guide explains whenpenguins he discusses their unique breeding biology. In the afternoon visit Cape Gantheaume Conservation Park including D'Estrees Bay - where ospreys nest, and kangaroos come out late in the day to feed. After this you are dropped off at your accommodation. This evening, just down the road from your hotel, you can watch fairy penguins waddle up the beach and into the nesting burrows in the low dunes. The hotel can advise tonight’s time for these Ranger-led excursions, which depart from just outside the hotel. There’s a small fee, payable at the time, for the outing.    (B,L,D)

 

Day 20 – Sunday, October 24: Kangaroo Island/ Adelaide
Flinders Chase National Park is a 74,000 hectare (190,000 acre) wilderness which covers the entire west end of the Island. We’ll visit Rocky kangaroo island kangaroosRiver Homestead – originally a small farm and now the Park headquarters. This area is home echidnato kangaroos, wallabies, possums, goannas, echidnas, koalas, platypus and many birds including the rare Cape Barren Goose. At Cape du Couedic on the south-west tip is a New Zealand Furseal colony which is rapidly expanding. These animals can be observed at rest on the rocks or frolicking in the surf under Admirals Arch – a spectacular coastal grotto. On the headland above is Cape du Couedic Lighthouse which plays an important role in navigation. Further down the coast are the Remarkable Rocks, huge natural granite sculptures on the cliff top. Lunch today is a picnic in the bush before exploring more of the Island. Depending upon the day you might take a walk to a secluded cove, or watch for a platypus by a quiet pool. You return to the eastern end of the island via Vivonne Bay, one of the few protected bays on the south coast At the end of your exciting day you will return to the hotel, giving another opportunity to see the penguins, perhaps is the weather was not good last night, or just to enjoy them. Fly back to Adelaide on Rex flight 4772 at 6.30 this evening, arriving at 7.05, pick up your extra luggage and taxi to your hotel.      (B,L)


Day 21 – Monday, October 25: Adelaide/Port Lincoln/Kangaluna
Return to the airport and depart Adelaide Airport with Rex flight 4356 at 8.15am, arriving at Port Lincoln 9.05am. You will have the same luggkangaluna camp gawler rangesblue wrenage restriction, but as you are returning you the same hotel you can leave extra luggage there. You are met by your tour leader and travel through farming land into the outback to Wudinna, a small town of 600 people, stopping for lunch along the way. After lunch head into the Outback, passing Wudinna Rock as you travel into the bush to Kangaluna Camp, a tented camp next to a billabong. There is an afternoon tour to begin your wildlife experiences, where the outback animals thrive in this environment. Along the way you get the chance to have some fun and paint your face with the multi colored ocher rock, the same ocher uses for tens of thousands of years by Aboriginal people to decorate themselves and their tools.    (L,D)

 

Day 22 – Tuesday, October 26: Kangaluna
western grey kangaroo and wallaroo This morning drive to spectacular Lake Gairdner, which appears like lake gairdnera piece of Antarctica, with its glistening white salt pan set in the red landscape. However, frigid cold is not likely to be experienced here. You’ll walk alongside the lake, seeing ancient fossils, and out on to it (rains permitting) to be surrounded by brilliant white salt. Around the lake you’lll take time to go through the bush looking for some of the 146 species of birds recorded in the region. Today we may see Wedge Tailed Eagles, and will see cigar shaped volcanic rock formations 1500 million years old, and lots of wildlife. This afternoon we drive through a changing landscape.., where Emus and Red, Western Grey and Euro kangaroos are seen as we drive through an ancient outback range to camp.       (B,L,D)

 

Day 23 – Wednesday, October 27: Kangalunaemu and chicks
major mitchell cockatoo This morning is leisurely to allow plenty of time to walk through the bush near the camp, and along the billabong. An early walk, maybe before breakfast, can reveal mist rising off the water, fresh animal tracks in te mud, and the wakening chorus of bird; some of whom come in to drink. You then head out to visit the organ pipes rock formations at Kolay Micra falls, Nukey Valley and the remote part of the National Park. This is the best wildlife opportunity and the landscapes are stunning and colorful. Late afternoon walk on the Corrobinnie Depression and marvel at the array of color and patterns in the bed of the old river. Sunset drinks will finish the day at the lake.       (B,L,D)

 

Day 24 – Thursday, October 28: Kangaluna/Baird Bay/Ceduna/ Adelaideswimming with sea lions baird bay
Take the opportunity for a morning bush walk this morning, then camp is left for the last time, as you head to the coast at Baird Bay, a tiny settlement of a few huts and houses spread along thecliffs eyre peninsula beach. You‘ll board the boat straight off the sand for an unforgettable wildlife experience. On the 3 mile journey to a lagoon near Cape Radstock (at 550ft one of the highest sheer points on the southern coast of Australia) you can watch Bottlenose dolphins ride the bow wave of the boat, and join these magnificent mammals in shallow water. Cross the bay to visit a resident colony of rare Australian sea lions and experience playing face to face with these agile and friendly mammals in protected shallow lagoons. After lunch on the beach you leave Baird Bay and visit Streaky Bay and enjoy magnificent coastal scenery before arriving at Ceduna. Sadly your 24 day Downunder wildlife journey is over, as you depart for Adelaide on the 5.35pm flight 4136 with Regional Express, arriving at 7.05pm. Overnight in Adelaide, and prepare for your flight home tomorrow.       (B,L)

 

Day 25 – Friday, October 29: Adelaide/Melbourne/Los Angeles/ Denver
Fly back to the US today, where, You leave Adelaide on Qantas flight 674 at 7.30am to Melbourne, where after arriving at 9.15am you change to Qantas flight 93, departing at 11.10am for Los Angeles. Due to the International Date Line you arrive at 7.30am this same morning, earlier than you depart Australia. Pass through immigration and customs and take your 9.40am Qantas flight 4697 (operated by American Airlines) to Denver, arriving at 1pm.        (*L,*S,*B)

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

 

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