Join Naturalist Journeys, in partnership with Inala Nature Tours, on this exciting Tasmanian nature tour. We spend our days enjoying Tasmania’s endemic birds and mammals. Imagine seeing the fabled Tasmanian Devil, bizarre Platypus, stunning Pink Robin, and more.
On this Australian nature tour we explore Tasmania’s National Parks, beautiful Bruny Island, and even spend time at our local operator’s own private reserve.
This Tasmanian birding tour is an excellent opportunity to immerse yourself in wild Australia and add numerous lifers to your list as you search for Tasmania’s incredible endemics.
- Explore Eaglehawk Neck for endemic Yellow-throated Honeyeater, White-bellied Sea Eagle, Black-faced Cormorant, and with luck Cape Barren Goose
- Board a pelagic to the continental shelf to see albatrosses, shearwaters, storm-petrels, and more
- Visit Bruny Island to explore and see a Little Penguin and Short-tailed Shearwater colony
- Look for Tasmania’s 12 endemic bird species and a host of mammals too
- See our operator’s own 1500-acre private reserve; watch for the resident white morph Grey Goshawk
- Watch for Tasmanian Devil and Spotted Quoll near Cradle Mountain National Park and learn more about their conservation
Sun., Oct. 10 : Optional Early Arrival to Hobart
Today has been set aside as an arrival day so you are free to arrive at any time that suits your travel plans. Note: Those joining the tour from our mainland Grand Australia trip will be flying in on a morning flight from Adelaide on Oct. 11, so our tour officially starts tomorrow. Tonight’s accommodations are set up as a convenience for those that may be traveling internationally (additional cost) and it gives you a chance to rest up. Please note that no activities have been planned for today. If you plan to arrive early and would like advice on other options for the day, please do contact our office.
Accommodations at the Hobart Hotel (D)
Mon., Oct. 11 : Hobart Reserves & Drive to Eaglehawk Neck
Today we begin our explorations of spectacular Tasmania by visiting several reserves in the Hobart area. We pick up our group coming from Adelaide from the airport and head out together, starting atop the world at Mount Wellington. This mountain, at a height of 4,150 feet, affords spectacular views of the city and surrounding landscape on a clear day. Here we also take a walk through a fern glade with towering tree ferns where we have our first chance to see the endemic and rather shy Scrubtit, as well as Tasmanian Scrubwren and the stunning Pink Robin. Further endemic highlights we look for today include Green Rosella, Tasmanian Native Hen, Black Currawong, and Yellow Wattlebird.
In the early afternoon we enjoy the scenic drive to Eaglehawk Neck. On arrival we bird some of the areas of interest, enjoying the spectacular sea cliffs and breathtaking scenery typical of the area. We may well see Yellow-throated Honeyeater, as well as a range of more widely distributed species including White-bellied Sea Eagle and Black-faced Cormorant. The uncommon Cape Barren Goose is also a possibility here.
Accommodations at the Lufra Hotel (B,L,D)
Tues., Oct. 12 : Southern Ocean Pelagic
This morning we board a charter vessel (weather dependant) making our way into the vastness of the Southern Ocean in our quest for pelagic birds. High species diversity and the nearness of the continental shelf have earned Tasmania an international reputation as an excellent place to see pelagic species. Not long after we depart Pirate’s Bay, we should encounter Short-tailed Shearwater in considerable number, as well as our first albatross species. This is one of the finest places on the planet to see a diversity of albatross and Wandering, Black-browed, Shy, Southern Royal, Campbell, and Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross are all possible.
With land still in sight we reach the continental shelf and begin to berley off the back of the boat. Possible petrels include Great-winged, the striking White-headed, Gould’s, and Mottled. Shearwater diversity is also good with Hutton’s, White-chinned, Buller’s, Sooty, Short-tailed (common in Tasmanian waters), and Fluttering Shearwater all possible. Wilson’s, Grey-backed, and White-faced Storm Petrels and Fairy Prion are also regularly seen. There are often surprises in store, and with 30-plus species possible in these waters, there is bound to be something new for everyone.
Mammals we may encounter include Australian Fur Seal, Humpback Whale, and Bottlenose Dolphin.
Accommodations at Old Woolstore Hotel (B,L,D)
Wed., Oct. 13 : Maria Island Excursion
We leave this morning to travel up the east coast to Triabunna, where we make the short 30-minute ferry ride across to Maria Island, an island with a rich history, a World Heritage Listed Probation Station, fossil cliffs, and a great array of wildlife. On the way across to Maria Island, we shall look out for seals, dolphins, orcas, and whales. Maria is a fascinating island with a wide variety of bird and mammal species. Of the mammals, we can expect to see Forester Kangaroo, Tasmanian Pademelon, Bennett’s Wallaby, and Common Wombat.
Maria Island has an abundant bird assemblage, with 11 of the 12 Tasmanian endemics occurring here. We use our time to stroll slowly around the northern part of the island, with the chance to see some outstanding scenery, and a large number of bird species including Cape Barren Goose, Australasian Pipit, and Skylark on the grazed grasslands and Forty-spotted Pardalote, Swift Parrot, Black Currawongs and several species of honeyeaters in the wooded areas. In the late afternoon, we head back on the ferry and return to Hobart. Depending on the mood and weather we may opt for some spotlighting after dinner in a Hobart reserve to search for Southern (Tasmanian) Bettong, Tasmanian Pademelon, Bennett’s Wallaby, and Brush Tailed Possum.
Accommodations at Old Woolstore Hotel (B,L,D)
Thurs., Oct. 14 : Hobart & Bruny Island
Depending on our timing and conditions we may opt to start our day in reserves around Hobart or alternatively venture directly down 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 Penguin or dolphins alongside the ferry. Many rate the time on Bruny as a highlight of their journey.
This afternoon we 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, one of Australia’s two egg-laying mammal (montreme) species.
Dining is a treat here, for on the island locals are committed to sustainability and local foods feature prominently. After dinner tonight, we visit the Little Penguin and Short-tailed Shearwater colony to view these species at their burrows.
Accommodations in cottages near and at Inala, South Bruny Island (B,L,D)
Fri., Oct. 15 : Bruny Island
Today we have a full day to explore Bruny Island. Included today is time at ‘Inala’, a privately owned 1,500-acre wildlife sanctuary that 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 and which provide close views of some very special species, including a variety of raptors.
We visit a variety of habitats on the island, from coastal beaches for Hooded Plover, Pied and Sooty Oystercatcher, and Kelp Gull, to rainforest areas in search of Pink Robin and the endemic Scrubtit, Tasmanian Scrubwren, and Tasmanian Thornbill. At this time of year, we can expect to see the endangered white colour morph of Grey Goshawk, White-bellied Sea-eagle, Brown Goshawk, Brown Falcon, and if we are lucky, Wedge-tailed Eagle. We also take time to enjoy the interesting flora of the area, including Tasmanian endemic species and relics from the ancient Gondwanan Supercontinent.
Tonight, we take an evening drive in search of Tasmania’s nocturnal marsupials. We are likely to see some species that are now restricted to Tasmania, including Eastern Quoll (a relative of the Tasmanian Devil) and Tasmanian Pademelon. Bennett’s Wallaby and Brush-tailed Possum are also common here and rare golden/white colour morphs of both these species can be found here. If we are lucky, we may also see Long-nosed Potoroo and some nocturnal birds like Tawny Frogmouth and Tasmanian Boobook.
Accommodations in cottages at and near Inala, South Bruny Island (B,L,D)
Sat., Oct. 16: Bruny Island to Mt Field Area
This morning we depart Bruny early for Mount Field National Park. This is Tasmania’s first national park, famous for fabulous fern groves and some of the world’s tallest trees. Waterfalls abound, and by driving the road to the higher elevation, we see a marvellous range of habitat. This area provides an excellent back up site for finding the island’s endemic birds, notably Scrubtit and Black Currawong, as we explore lower elevation fern gullies with waterfalls all the way up to cool temperate rainforest and eventually alpine heathland with tarn lakes. Today we have our first chance of seeing the bizarre Platypus, the other species of Australian monotreme.
In the late afternoon, after a full day in this World Heritage site, we make our way out of the park to a nearby settlement where we overnight. Our cozy accommodations are in natural brushland, overlooking picturesque Lake Meadowbank.
Accommodation at Curringa Farmstay, Hamilton (B,L,D)
Sun., Oct. 17 : Mt Field Area to Cradle Mountain Area
This morning we leave the Mt Field area and travel north to Cradle Mountain National Park. While today is largely a travel day, we enjoy some lovely scenery and stop en route to bird and stretch our legs. We also visit a wildlife sanctuary where some of Tasmania’s rare mammal species can be seen at close range.
We arrive at our accommodation near the national park in the late afternoon. This accommodation has been chosen as it offers a chance at seeing one of Australia’s most threatened and charismatic mammals in the wild and at close range. Having become increasingly rare, this is one of the only places left where one has a reasonable chance of seeing Tasmanian Devil. Here the owner places meat down for the devils at dusk and, with any luck, they come in to feed after dark. Spotted-tailed Quoll also come to the verandas to feed and this is an excellent opportunity to view and photograph these elusive creatures. A totally amazing experience!
Accommodation at a Lodge near Cradle Mountain (B,L,D)
Mon., Oct. 18 : Cradle Mountain Area
Today we have a full day to explore the area around Cradle Mountain and parts of northern Tasmania. This should provide a good chance to see more of Tasmania’s endemic bird species that we may have missed previously, such as Scrubtit, Black Currawong, Tasmanian Thornbill and Tasmanian Scrubwren. In addition to the great birding, we can view endemic Tasmanian rainforest flora with ancient Gondwanan connections such as Pencil and King Billy Pines, Myrtle, and the famous Fagus (Nothofagus gunnii), which is Tasmania’s only deciduous tree. This is also a good area to view Common Wombat and if we are fortunate, we have another chance at viewing Platypus, one of Australia’s most bizarre mammals. This is the landscape of the Austrian, Gustav Weindorfer, whose love of the area inspired the establishment of the national park; if time permits we may visit his studio.
We return to our small lodge for a home-cooked dinner, and another opportunity to view Tasmanian Devil and Spotted-tailed Quoll from our cabins.
Accommodation at a Lodge near Cradle Mountain (B,L,D)
Tues., Oct. 19 : Launceston & Departures
This morning we travel to Launceston after breakfast where you are able to connect with a flight of your choosing to one of the capital cities for your International departure. If time permits, we visit some wetlands en route where there is a chance to view several wetland species including Purple Swamphen, Australian Shelduck, Black-fronted Dotterel, and Little Grassbird.
Please note that flights from Launceston should be made from around 13:00 as the guide delivers those clients there around midday. The guide then travels back to Hobart so we can also take you to the Hobart airport around 15:00 for flights from 16:00 onwards for domestic flights and from 17:00 for international flights. Alternatively, we can organise an additional night in Hobart for you at the end of the tour at an additional cost if that is your preferred option. (B)
Cost of the Journey
Cost of the journey is $4690 DBL / $5365 SGL per person, based on double occupancy, from Hobart, Tasmania. Cost is based on a minimum of 8 clients and with less a small surcharge may apply. Cost includes all specialist guiding and transport for day and night tours as outlined above, all meals as outlined in the itinerary, activities outlined in the itinerary (including the pelagic cruise), National Park entry fees, Bruny Island ferry fares, GST (=VAT). Price does not international or domestic Australian airfares, activities and breakfast and lunch on day 1, the airport transfer on day 1, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and expenses of a personal nature (snacks, travel insurance, internet, laundry, tips etc).
Price is based on exchange rate from July 2019. Subject to change if there is more than a 5% increase.
Arrive in Hobart International (HBA) in time for the tour start on the morning of Oct. 11, at which time those on our mainland tour arrive from Adelaide. We can make accommodations reservations for those that need them Oct. 10. Please plan your departures from either Launceston Airport (LST) after 1:00 PM or from Hobart International (HBA) after 4:00 PM for domestic flights or 5:00 PM for international flights on October 19.
Items of Note
Arrival in Hobart: There is a regular shuttle service (The Hobart Airporter) between Hobart airport and the main hotels in the city. Details on the costs and timing of the shuttle can be found online. Alternatively, you may wish to take a taxi to the city — there is no need to pre book these, they are readily available outside the terminal building. More information on taxis (and additional airport information) can be found here.
Meals & Drinks: Breakfast generally consists of a continental style breakfast with cereal, fruit and yoghurt and tea/coffee. Full cooked breakfast is not generally offered at most locations. Lunch generally consists of a packed lunch style meal eaten in the field, with sandwich/filled roll, fruit, and a drink. Dinner is usually two course and consists of several options for main with the choice of either an appetiser or dessert. Drinks (soft and alcoholic) are generally not included but at lunches and breakfasts juice may be made available.
The itinerary: While we aim to follow the itinerary as planned, please note that the itinerary provided should only be used as a guideline. Depending on individual trip circumstances, weather, and local information, the exact itinerary may not be strictly adhered to. The guides reserve the right to make changes to the itinerary as they see fit.
The Pelagic: This activities is weather dependant and we will try to reschedule within the timeframe of the tour if it is cancelled due to bad weather.
Photo credits: Banners: Mount Wellington, UnSplash; Cradle Mountain, UnSplash; Bruny Island, UnSplash; Platypus, Alex Vargo, Wombat, Naturalist Journeys Stock; Pink Robin, Chris Tzaros, Eastern Gray Kangaroo, Alex Vargo; Spotted Pardalote, Greg Smith; Echidna, Alex Vargo; Green Rosella, Chris Tzaros; Forty-spotted Pardalote, Alfred Schult; Grey Goshawk (white morph), Alfred Schult; Tasmanian Devil by R. Lewis; Platypus by Cat Davidson; Campbell’s Albatross, P. Brooks; Forty-spotted Pardalote, Alfred Schult; Orange-bellied Parrot, S. Zalate; Green Rosella, by Chris Tzaros; Pink Robin, by Chris Tzaros; White-bellied Sea-Eagles, by Cat Davidson; Superb Fairywren, by Cat Davidson; Little Penguin, Judy Steenhoven; Bennett's Wallaby, Judy Steenhoven; Welcome Swallow, Judy Steenhoven; Scarlet Robin, Judy Steenhoven; Spotted Pardalote, Judy Steenhoven.