Humpback whale, Oz Whale Watching, Sydney Harbour, New South Wales
Australian Wildlife Journeys is a group of independently owned tourism operators that showcase immersive wildlife encounters that take place in the wild, with a special focus on high quality interpretative guiding and conservation activities.
Australia boasts a truly remarkable wildlife story, being home to the world’s most biodiverse waters, the highest number of endemic bird species, the highest number of reptiles and fascinating marsupials. From birdwatching in Kakadu National Park, snorkelling with Whale Sharks in Ningaloo Marine Park, whale watching out of Sydney Harbour, tracking Thorny Devils around Uluru, diving with Manta Rays off Lady Elliot Island or spotting wild Koalas along the Great Ocean Road, the group caters to wildlife enthusiasts that are eager to connect with various wildlife categories across diverse habitats, whilst supporting guides in the regeneration of precious ecosystems.
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New South Wales
Oz Whale Watching
The sparkling waters and stunning skyline of Sydney Harbour has long been recognised as one of the most beautiful urban settings in the world, but what is surprising is the diverse wildlife viewing opportunities at Sydney’s doorstep. Sydney has more marine species than any other harbour in the world and is a superb location to observe the incredible humpback whale migration from May to November each year. Further out to sea where the continental shelf drops off, the region is one of Australia’s best pelagic birding sites, with an abundance of albatross across winter months, shearwaters in summer months, with petrels, gannets, skuas, terns and gulls also present.
Aside from whale watching and pelagic birding trips, Oz Whale Watching offers guided tours around Sydney National Harbour, including snorkelling at Shelley Beach to try and spot blue groper, dusky butterflyfish, black rock cod, wobbegongs, cuttlefish, potbelly seahorses and weedy sea dragons.
Lords Kakadu & Arnhemland Safaris
Lords Kakadu and Arnhemland Safaris has been connecting guests to the Northern Territory’s ‘Top End’ for over 25 years. Located 170km southeast of Darwin, Kakadu National Park is one of the world’s most magnificent natural reserves, boasting 280 bird species, 77 mammals, 50 species of freshwater fish, 132 reptiles and more than 50,000 years of Indigenous history and culture.
The wetlands of Kakadu are a birdwatcher’s paradise, due to the immense concentration of waterbirds, including magpie geese, whistling ducks, great egrets, royal spoonbills, black-winged stilts, great-billed herons, brolgas, comb-crested jacanas and black-necked storks (jabirus).
The combination of floodplains and wetlands, savanna woodlands, sandstone cliffs and escarpments provide sanctuary for agile and Wilkins’ rock wallabies, northern bandicoots, black and antilopine wallaroos, northern quolls, dingoes, flying-foxes, ghost bats, goannas, frogs, pythons, and cathedral termite mounds. But it is the massive populations of the world’s largest reptile, the saltwater crocodile, that makes this area so famous.
SEIT Outback Australia
Australia’s Red Centre is considered the spiritual heart of Australia, due to its incredible desert landscapes, rich indigenous history and iconic rock formations such as Uluru, Kata Tjuta, Kings Canyon and Mt Conner. The Anangu people of Uluru have been the traditional custodians of this ancient land for many generations, balancing the intricate relationship between people, plants, animals and landscapes.
SEIT Outback Australia has been sharing insights into this balance for many years, showcasing the remarkable wildlife that thrive in these semi-arid environments. This is a prime region for spotting reptiles including the iconic thorny devil, shingleback and blue-tongued lizard, bearded and central-netted dragon, sand goanna and occasionally the largest lizard in Australia, the perentie. It’s also a hotspot for birds of prey such as whistling kites, Nankeen Kestrels, Black-breasted Buzzards, brown falcons and wedge-tailed eagles. Nomadic flocks of zebra finches, budgerigars and painted finches are also prize sightings after rainfall has occurred.
FNQ Nature Tours
Tropical North Queensland is a wildlife enthusiast’s paradise, being the only place in the world where two World Heritage Listed areas exist side by side (Wet Tropics and Great Barrier Reef), an exceptionally rare combination of ecology. FNQ Nature Tours provides expertly led small group tours across the Daintree Rainforest National Park, Atherton Tablelands, Crater Lakes and Cape Tribulation regions. The area boasts the highest diversity of rainforest mammals in Australia, including the Bennett's and Lumholtz tree kangaroos, spectacled flying-fox, Daintree River ringtail possum and northern long-nosed bandicoot. The region is home to almost 400 species of birds including iconic species such as the southern cassowary, azure kingfisher, Victoria’s riflebird and satin bowerbird. Saltwater crocodiles and the Boyd’s forest dragon are a sample of the 162 species of reptile.
Arkaba is nestled amongst the ancient outback landscapes of the Flinders Ranges, famed for its beautifully sculpted ridges, spectacular deep gorges, and striking river red gum creek lines. The former sheep station was developed into a 60,000-acre wildlife conservancy in 2013, to assist in the re-establishment of endangered endemic species including the yellow-footed rock wallaby, western quoll and common brushtail possum.
The property’s luxurious 1850s homestead has just five guest rooms and offers a four-day immersive walk or multi-day safari drives with expert guides, to showcase the various habitats across the conservancy. It is one of the best locations in Australia to see red kangaroos, western grey kngaroos and common wallaroos. The area offers year-round sightings for emus, various parrots and wedge-tailed eagles, with migratory rainbow bee-eaters, budgerigars and zebra finches a highlight in warmer months. Bearded dragons, painted dragons, barking geckos, shinglebacks and numerous skinks are noted reptile residents.
Exceptional Kangaroo Island
Kangaroo Island is Australia’s third largest island, with over one third of land declared as National or Conservation Park. Exceptional Kangaroo Island has been providing expert interpretation of the natural environment and numerous endemic species and local sub- species that inhabit this incredible sanctuary for over 25 years.
Over 90% of the terrestrial wildlife habitat is mallee and woodland, dominated largely by eucalyptus, with the balance shrubland, fernland and forest. This provides an opportunity to spot a vast range of animals including Kangaroo Island kangaroos, Tammar wallabies, short-beaked echidnas, koalas, Rosenberg’s goanna and 260 species of birds, with endangered glossy black cockatoos, hooded plovers, Cape Barren geese, scarlet robins, southern emu-wrens and caspian terns - prime species for enthusiasts. The marine environment is equally diverse, with highlights including walking on a pristine beach with Australian sea lions, spotting long-nosed fur seals across the spectacular landscapes of Admiral’s Arch and visiting the ethereal Remarkable Rocks.
Goin’ Off Safaris
The Eyre Peninsula is considered Australia’s ultimate temperate aquatic playground, featuring striking coastlines, vast sand dunes, rugged offshore islands, secluded coves and picturesque coastal heathlands. Goin’ Off Safaris has been showcasing the region’s unique aquatic activities since 2005, including swimming encounters with Australian sea lions, Bottlenose Dolphins and cage diving with the oceans most formidable predator, the great white shark.
Experiences are not limited to the vast shoreline, with the region home to distinctive rock formations, a rich geological history and a variety of flora and fauna. The Southern Eyre Peninsula is home to 270 species of birds and 1,900 native plant species, providing abundant opportunities to spot western grey kangaroos, koalas, emus, threatened southern hairy-nosed wombats, Port Lincoln parrots, rock parrots, golden whistlers, white-browed babblers, various waterfowl at Big Swamp and an array of seabirds including cormorants, terns oystercatchers, black winged stilts, osprey and white-bellied sea eagles.
Premier Travel Tasmania
Australia’s largest island is the beautiful state of Tasmania, where around forty per cent of land is protected. Premier Travel Tasmania has been sharing this pristine region’s abundant wildlife, diverse flora, pristine wilderness and rich heritage for over twenty years.
Renowned as a prime area for marsupial spotting, Tasmania is a crucial habitat for many lesser known species, including eastern and spotted quolls, eastern barred and southern brown bandicoots and long-nosed potoroos. This is in addition to platypus, short-beaked echidnas, Forester kangaroos, Bennett’s wallabies, common Wombats and the most famous resident, the Tasmanian devil.
World Heritage Listed areas are scattered across the state, comprised of rugged mountains, temperate rainforests, wetlands, white sandy beaches and massive dolerite cliffs. Tasmanian endemic birds such as the Tasmanian scrubwren, green rosella, black currawong and Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle are popular sightings, whilst the marine offerings are spectacular including colonies of Australian fur seals, common dolphins and adorable little penguins.
The Maria Island Walk
World Heritage Listed Maria Island is located just off Tasmania’s east coast and is known for its historic ruins, picturesque bays, rugged cliffs and mountains and amazing fossils. But for many visitors, it is the island’s remarkable collection of rare birds and animals, largely unaffected by human presence, that is the highlight.
The Maria Island Walk is a four-day walk that brings these remarkable wildlife stories to life through expert interpretative guides. As a vital location for numerous threatened and endangered species, Maria Island provides frequent opportunities to spot common wombats, Cape Barren geese, Forester kangaroos, Bennett’s wallabies and Tasmanian pademelons, with Tasmanian devils also spotted occasionally. All of Tasmania’s endemic birds are present including Tasmanian native hens, green rosellas, yellow wattlebirds, black-headed and yellow-throated honeyeaters and the endangered forty-spotted pardalote. In the warmer months, the island’s blue gums are a key habitat for the critically endangered swift parrot.
Echidna Walkabout Nature Tours
Connecting travellers with the diverse wildlife across the You Yangs, Great Ocean Road and East Gippsland has been the passion of Echidna Walkabout Nature Tours for over twenty years. A blend of magnificent lush rainforests, coastal heathlands, dramatic sea cliffs, pristine rivers and grassy plains provides the opportunity to see a truly remarkable number of Australia’s iconic species.
In the You Yangs, guests can venture out with a koala researcher to learn about the history and behaviour of individuals within the colony, with the opportunity to pull out invasive weeds to save this wild population. A rich array of marsupials including eastern grey kangaroos, swamp and red-necked wallabies and short-beaked echidnas is on offer across the regions, with East Gippsland particularly attractive to travellers interested in shyer forest dwellers, including yellow-bellied and greater gliders, lace monitors, king parrots, eastern whipbirds, satin bowerbirds, numerous honeyeaters and the most famous songbird in Australia, the superb lyrebird.
Wildlife Coast Cruises
Phillip Island and Wilsons Promontory provide a blend of spectacular coastal scenery, abundant marine wildlife, beautiful coastal heathlands and important seabird rookeries. The team at Wildlife Coast Cruises has been educating guests about the region’s marine diversity for almost 25 years, with on-board marine biologists providing fascinating insights into the interaction of species across this unique ecosystem.
Highlights include close observation of Australia’s largest population of Australian fur seals (7,000+) off the aptly named Seal Rocks, spotting common and bottlenose dolphins and tracking seabirds including pied and black-faced cormorants, Australasian gannets, shy albatross, crested terns and pacific gulls. This is also the area to witness parades of little penguins as they come ashore in the evening time. Phillip Island plays host to majestic whales during their annual migration every winter from June to August, with humpback whales and southern right whales most commonly spotted and orcas sighted occasionally.
Exmouth Diving Centre
As the region’s original eco-tourism operation, Exmouth Diving Centre is synonymous with experiencing the aquatic treasures of the World Heritage Listed Ningaloo Reef Marine Park. Flanking the North West Cape coastline, Ningaloo Reef is the world’s largest fringing coral reef stretching over 260 km (161 miles). It is renowned for its bio-diversity, with 250 species of corals, an assortment of uniquely coloured nudibranchs and over 450 different species of fish.
The region is home to a myriad of marine megafauna, including the world’s largest fish, the whale shark, with visitors able to swim with these graceful creatures from March to August. Humpback whales are also in abundance when the world’s largest migration occurs between May and November, with the recent addition of humpback swims a highlight from August to November. Manta rays, dugongs and turtles can be seen year-round, with three species of turtle nesting over the summer months.