Australia is a beautiful, BIG, and biodiverse continent, and we’ve chosen three of our favorites, most wildlife-rich locations for this adventure: Darwin and the northeast coast, Perth and the southeast coast and the fascinating wild isle of Tasmania. And don’t miss the optional extension to Kangaroo Island for more rare and amazing mammals and birds!

We begin on Australia’s northeast coast, exploring the vast wetlands and billabongs of Kakadu National Park, home to a third of Australia’s bird species! Waterbirds are well-represented here, especially during our afternoon cruise of Yellow Waters Billabong, Kakadu’s best-known wetland. Elsewhere in the park we expect to see colorful finches, honeyeaters, and kookaburra. Other northeast birding hotspots we hit include Fogg Dam Conservation Area and the beautiful Darwin Botanic Gardens.

Moving to Perth and Australia’s southeast coast, we explore the woodlands, bush and grasslands of the 1000-acre Kings Park and Botanic Garden for the birds that call this area’s unique vegetation home. We then ferry to Rottnest Island, where we have our best chance to see and photograph Quokka, adorable and inquisitive marsupials that seem to smile! We also watch for Humpback whales, Bottle-nosed Dolphins, long-nosed fur seals and Australian Sea Lions among other marine mammals and many amphibians.

Still in the southwest, we spend three nights in the Cheynes Beach area, one of the country’s top birding sites and home to three endemic ‘skulkers,’ Noisy Scrub-bird, Western Bristlebird, and Western Whipbird and visit Dryandra State Forest in Narrogin, home to forest birds including cockatoos, bee-eaters, lorikeets, treecreepers and wattlebirds, and an impressive list of exotic mammals, including Bilby, Boodie, Mala, Marl and Mernine!

Saving the best for last, we transition to Tasmania, home to 12 endemic birds, and mammals including Forester Kangaroo, Common Wombat, Spotted-tail Quoll, Tasmanian Padmelon, Bennett’s Wallaby, Platypus, Echidna and Tasmanian Devil. With eight nights and nine days to enjoy Tasmania, we thoroughly explore the many habitats and hotspots of this gorgeous island jewel, including Cradle Mountain, Bruny Island, foodie Hobart, and enjoy a three-hour nature cruise off the island’s spectacular southern coast, where we marvel at the highest vertical sea cliffs in the Southern Hemisphere. Simply put, Tasmania will take your breath away!

The only thing that could possibly top this ending would be our post-tour extension to Kangaroo Island, where introduced Koalas, Tammar Wallaby and namesake Kangaroo Island Kangaroos are just the start of the terrific mammals and birds we hope to see on this two-night, three-day extension.

Tour Highlights

  • Explore Darwin’s Botanical Gardens to find Red-collared Lorikeet, Orange-footed Scrub-fowl, Rose-crowned Fruit-Dove, Rainbow Bee-eater, Sacred Kingfisher, Brown Honeyeater, and more!
  • Look for Chestnut Rail, Rufous Owl, Rainbow Pitta, Forest Kingfisher, Green Oriole, Blue-faced Honeyeater, Blue-winged Kookaburra in north coast mangroves
  • Visit Fogg Dam to see Magpie Goose, Green Pygmy-goose, Pied Heron, Glossy Ibis, and the stately Brolga
  • Experience world-heritage Kakadu National Park, with is impressive escarpments, ancient rock art, and arid-land mammals and birds.
  • Cruise the Yellow Waters Billabong, Kakadu’s best-known wetland
  • Explore the Darling Range for southwest endemic bird species such as Western Wattlebird and Gilbert’s Honeyeater
  • Spend time exploring Perth and its wetlands
  • Visit picturesque Cheynes Beach for Noisy Scrub-bird
  • Enjoy eight nights in Tasmania, Australia's southeast island jewel, savoring visits to scenic, wildlife-rich Cradle Mountain, Bruny Island, Maria Island, and foodie Hobart
  • Visit Kangaroo Island on an optional extension for namesake marsupials and so much more

Trip Itinerary

Itineraries are guidelines; variations in itinerary may occur to account for weather, road conditions, closures, etc. and to maximize your experience.

Thurs., Sept. 18        Arrivals in Darwin

Today has been set aside as an arrival day so you are free to arrive at any time that suits your travel plans. We meet at the hotel this evening for a brief orientation and welcome dinner with your local guide. 
Accommodations in Darwin (D)

Fri., Sept. 19     Darwin to Jabiru (Kakadu)

This morning we start the day with a visit to Fogg Dam. This well-known site is an excellent area for waterbirds including Magpie Goose, Green Pygmy- goose, Pied Heron, Glossy Ibis, the stately Brolga, White-browed Crake and the quirky Comb-crested Jacana. En route to Kakadu we enjoy a stop at the Adelaide River crossing for lunch where we may see Mangrove Golden Whistler and a variety of flycatchers like Shining, Paperbark and Broad-billed Flycatchers. As we enter Kakadu, we start seeing iconic waterbirds like Magpie Goose, Plumed and Wandering Whistling Ducks, Radjah Shelduck, Black-necked Stork, and Green Pygmy-goose. After dinner, if time permits, we may do some spotlighting for nocturnal species such as Southern Boobook, Tawny Frogmouth, Large-tailed Nightjar and Australian Owlet-nightjar. 
Accommodation in Jabiru, Kakadu (B,L,D)

Sat., Sept. 20     Jabiru & Yellow-waters Cruise (Kakadu)

This morning we visit Ubirr, a site of typical Arnhemland Escarpment rock outcrops, that is home to some impressive aboriginal rock art. The art depicts creation ancestors and animals of the area, including several fish and turtle species, wallabies and possums. Hopefully, Wilkin’s Rock Wallabies may be present in the shade of the rocks, and birds we may see here include Sandstone Shrike-Thrush & Chestnut-quilled Rock Pigeon. Elsewhere throughout the park we hope to connect with tropical woodland species like Partridge Pigeon (red eyed form), Rainbow Bee-eater, Black Bittern, Long-tailed Finch and Rufous-throated Honeyeater. In the afternoon we enjoy a cruise on the Yellow Waters Billabong, Kakadu’s best-known wetland. This impressive wetland of channels, swamps and floodplains is a delight to explore and is home to crocodiles aplenty and a variety of waterbirds including Nankeen Night-heron, Black-necked Stork, Little Kingfisher, White-bellied Sea-eagle, Pied Heron and Purple Swamphen. The stately Great-billed Heron and Black Bittern may also be seen. In the early evening we check in to our accommodation, and after dinner if we’re feeling energetic, we can spotlight for mammals like Black-footed Tree-rat and Savannah (Sugar) Glider.
Accommodations in Jabiru, Kakadu (B,L,D)

Sun., Sept. 21      Kakadu to Darwin

This morning we make an early visit to Nourlangie Rock where we have a reasonable chance of seeing the range-restricted Black Wallaroo, Banded Fruit-dove and White-lined Honeyeater. Also here are Little Woodswallow, Black-tailed-treecreeper and the sandstone form of Helmeted Friarbird. We then enjoy a last look around Kakadu before making our way out of the park and back to Darwin, exploring enroute.
Accommodations in Darwin (B,L,D)

Mon., Sept. 22      Darwin to Perth

Darwin is surrounded by a fantastic diversity of habitat types that we spend the rest of the day exploring for a range of interesting birds and mammals. Mangrove and monsoon forests are especially rich, hosting an impressive range of possible highlights includes the elusive Chestnut Rail, Rufous Owl, Orange-footed Scrub-fowl, Rose-crowned Fruit Dove, the striking Rainbow Pitta, Forest Kingfisher, Red-headed Myzomela, Mangrove Robin, Green Oriole, Blue-faced Honeyeater, Green-backed Gerygone, Spangled Drongo, Blue-winged Kookaburra, Great Bowerbird, Pheasant Coucal, Pied and Silver-backed Butcherbirds and Red-collared Lorikeet. Little Red Flying-fox and Agile Wallaby are possible mammal highlights. This afternoon we fly from Darwin to Perth. On arrival at Perth airport, you are met by your local guide and transferred to the nearby hotel where the group can check in and freshen up before a late dinner. 
Accommodations in Perth (B,L,D)

Tues., Sept. 23      Perth

Today we explore the Perth area. This includes a visit to Kings Park, a 400-hectare reserve near central Perth, two thirds of which is protected as bushland and provides a haven for native biological diversity. The Western Australian Botanic Garden, which displays over 3,000 species of the State’s unique flora is located within this area. This afternoon is spent around the Perth wetlands including Herdsman Lake for waterbirds such as Blue-billed Duck, Musk Duck, Pink-eared Duck, Australasian Shoveler, Freckled Duck, Great Crested Grebe, Hoary-headed Grebe, Nankeen Night-Heron, Yellow-billed Spoonbill, Buff-banded Rail, Australian Crake, Spotless Crake, Swamp Harrier and Australian Hobby. There is also an option for those who wish to take some down time today and perhaps travel into the city of Perth to explore by yourselves. The group can reunite for dinner this evening. Accommodations in Perth (B,L,D)

Wed., Sept. 24        Perth to Cheynes Beach

This morning after an early breakfast we travel to the southern coastline of Western Australia. Today is a long travel day but we stop en route to bird. We visit the Darling Range in search of the first of the endemics with Western Wattlebird and Gilbert's Honeyeater. We continue to Williams and stop at the Beaufort River to look for Pink-eared Duck, Elegant Parrot, Brown-headed Honeyeater, Rufous Songlark, White-winged Triller and a chance of Painted Buttonquail and Black-tailed Native-hen. We continue to Kojonup and then to Rocky Gully where we look for Western Corella and Baudin's Black Cockatoo. We travel to Mt. Barker and then stop at Porongurup for more chances of Baudin's Black Cockatoo and Scarlet Robin. We hope to arrive at Cheynes Beach in time for a first look for Noisy Scrubbird. 
Accommodations in Cheynes Beach (B,L,D)

Thurs., Sept. 25        Cheynes Beach | Waychinicup Inlet

This morning we take a pre-breakfast walk to look for Noisy Scrub-bird and Western Bristlebird. After breakfast, we spend the morning looking for Western Whipbird (nigrogularis), White-breasted Robin, Red-winged Fairy-wren, Splendid Fairy-wren, Western Wattlebird, Western Spinebill, Red-eared Firetail, Southern Emu-wren, Brush Bronzewing, Brown Quail, Sooty Oystercatcher and Pacific Gull. Lunch at Cheynes Beach. After lunch, we look for Rock Parrot along the beach and then visit the very scenic Waychinicup Inlet for more chances of Red-winged Fairy-wren, Red-eared Firetail, Southern Emu-wren, Gilbert's Honeyeater, Carnaby's Black Cockatoo, Baudin's Black Cockatoo, Swamp Harrier, White-bellied Sea-Eagle. There are also good chances during the day for Southern Brown Bandicoot and several reptiles and with luck Quokka and Bush Rat. After dinner, we take a spotlighting trip in search of Spotted Nightjar and Tawny Frogmouth with chances of a few mammals, frogs or reptiles. 
Accommodations in Cheynes Beach (B,L,D)

Fri., Sept. 26       Cheynes Beach | Stirling Range | Albany

We spend the early morning at Cheynes Beach if needed, and then travel to the Stirling Range where we spend the morning looking for Emu, Hooded Plover, Carnaby's Black Cockatoo, Elegant Parrot, Regent Parrot, Purple-crowned Lorikeet, Western Yellow Robin, Scarlet Robin, Restless Flycatcher and chances of Crested Shrike-tit, Australian Owlet-nightjar, Little Eagle, Rufous Songlark, Southern Emu-wren, Western (Rufous) Fieldwren and Square-tailed Kite. This is also a great place to view wildflowers. After lunch, we go to Albany for more chances of Red-winged Fairy-wren, White-breasted Robin, Western Rosella, Red-eared Firetail and chances of Buff-banded Rail, Fairy Tern, some shorebirds and if time permits some seabirds. If needed, we have the option of visiting Two People's Bay which is a good backup site for Western Bristlebird and Western Whipbird (nigrogularis). This evening we return to Cheynes Beach with another chance to spotlight for nocturnal birds and mammals after dinner.
Accommodations in Cheynes Beach (B,L,D)

Sat., Sept. 27        Cheynes Beach to Narrogin

Another fairly long travel day today, but we break it up with lots of exploring. We leave Cheynes Beach early and travel to the Porongurup National Park to visit the karri forest. We look for Baudin’s Black Cockatoo, Western Rosella, Purple-crowned Lorikeet, Gilbert’s Honeyeater, Western Whistler, Red-winged Fairywren, White-breasted Robin, Scarlet Robin, Rufous Treecreeper and our first chance of Western Shrike-tit. We then visit the Stirling Range NP where we look for Western Yellow Robin, Restless Flycatcher, Western Shrike-tit, Regent Parrot, Elegant Parrot, Purple- crowned Lorikeet, Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo, Little Eagle, a chance of Western Thornbill and with luck an Australian Owlet-nightjar sitting at the entrance of its hollow. After lunch we look for Emu and Hooded Plover before heading north to our accommodation at Narrogin, hopefully with enough time to make a short visit to Fox’s Lair NR to look for Western Rosella and Red-capped Parrot.
Accommodations in Narrogin (B,L,D)

Sun., Sept. 28      Dryandra State Forest, Narrogin

We depart after an early breakfast for Dryandra State Forest. We hope to see Bush Stone-curlew, Painted Button-quail, Carnaby's Black Cockatoo, Elegant Parrot, Rufous Treecreeper, Blue-breasted Fairy-wren, Western Thornbill, Yellow-plumed Honeyeater, Brown-headed Honeyeater, Gilbert's Honeyeater, White-eared Honeyeater, White-browed Babbler, Varied Sittella, Jacky Winter, Scarlet Robin, Red-capped Robin, Hooded Robin, Western Yellow Robin and Crested Shrike-tit. We also search for Numbat throughout the day, with the best chance in the late afternoon. After an early dinner, we take a walk in an extensive fenced enclosure within Dryandra State Forest where the Department of Parks & Wildlife’s amazing efforts at breeding a variety of threatened species has been very successful. We may encounter Bilby, Boodie (Burrowing Bettong), Mala (Rufous Hare-wallaby), Marl (Western-barred Bandicoot) and Mernine (Banded Hare-wallaby). This hare-wallaby is the sole surviving species of sthenurine kangaroos in a safe fox-free environment. We return to our accommodations in the late evening. 
Accommodations in Narrogin (B,L,D)

Mon., Sept. 29        Narrogin to Perth

We depart early this morning after breakfast. Activities for today depend on what we haven't seen. We have further options for Regent Parrot, Hooded Robin, Crested Shrike-tit, Red-eared Firetail, Baudin's Black Cockatoo, White-fronted Chat, Rufous Songlark, Brown Songlark, Gilbert's Honeyeater, Western Wattlebird and Fairy Tern. This afternoon is spent around the Perth wetlands including Herdsman Lake for waterbirds such as Blue-billed Duck, Musk Duck, Pink-eared Duck, Australasian Shoveler, Freckled Duck, Great Crested Grebe, Hoary-headed Grebe, Nankeen Night-Heron, Yellow-billed Spoonbill, Buff-banded Rail, Australian Crake, Spotless Crake, Swamp Harrier and Australian Hobby. 
Accommodations in Perth (B,L,D)

Tues., Sept. 30       Rottnest Island

Today we spend the day at Rottnest Island which is accessed by a 90-minute ferry ride. We spend the day walking around the island, exploring the captivating flora and fauna, diverse marine life and wildlife and enjoying the natural landscapes while discovering the island’s rich and significant heritage. Today is the best chance of seeing the endearing Quokka (Short-tailed Scrub-wallaby), a small macropod that has become famous for their cute appearance. Rottnest Island provides habitat for the largest Quokka population and is critical for the species’ survival. We return to Perth and transfer to our hotel to freshen up before dinner. 
Accommodations in Perth Hotel (B,L,D)

Wed., Oct. 1         Perth to Hobart

We have a leisurely start this morning before we transfer to Perth airport for our flight to Hobart, Tasmania. This is a full day of travel allowing for time-zone changes.
Accommodations in Hobart (B,L,D)(some meals at airports)

Thurs., Oct. 2         Hobart Reserves & Drive to Eaglehawk Neck

This morning we begin our explorations of spectacular Tasmania by visiting several reserves in the Hobart area including Mount Wellington. This mountain, at a height of 1,270m (around 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. 
Accommodations on the Tasman Peninsula (B,L,D)

Fri., Oct. 3         Tasman Island Cruise (or optional land-based touring including a visit to Tasman NP)

This morning we take a three-hour wilderness cruise along the spectacular coastline between Port Arthur and Eaglehawk Neck in southern Tasmania. The cruise travels beneath the highest vertical sea cliffs in the Southern Hemisphere at Cape Pillar. Guests explore waterfalls, rock formations, archways and deep-sea caves. The coastline is part of the Tasman National Park. It is home to a variety of wildlife including hundreds of seals, migrating whales and abundant sea birds in the thousands. At any time of year, we're likely to see the feeding frenzy of diving gannets, albatross and sea eagles wheeling on the wind, cliff-nesting cormorants and Peregrine Falcon, or a pod of playful dolphins surfing the bow wave of the boat. The custom built boats are ideal for viewing the spectacular coastline and wildlife of the Tasman Peninsula. Each vessel holds a maximum of 43 guests. Covered open-air tiered seating means an excellent all-round view and connection with the environment. The boats are safe, comfortable and gentle on the environment due to their fuel efficiency and low emission operation. Those participants that chose not to join the cruise can do some land-based touring with your local guide. Lunch is provided after the cruise and we then have time to explore the nearby Tasman National Park before returning to our accommodation late afternoon. 
Accommodations on the Tasman Peninsula (B,L,D)

Sat., Oct. 4         Maria Island Excursion

We leave this morning to travel up the East Coast to Triabunna, where we take the short 30-minute ferry ride across to Maria Island. Maria is 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 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 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 Currawong and several species of honeyeaters in the wooded areas. We head back on the afternoon 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 in Hobart (B,L,D)

Sun., Oct. 5          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 Penguins or dolphins alongside the ferry. 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. After dinner tonight, we visit the Little Penguin and Short-tailed Shearwater colony to view these species at their burrows. 
Accommodations on South Bruny Island (B,L,D)

Mon., Oct. 6         Bruny Island

Today we have a full day to explore Bruny Island. We start the day birding at ‘Inala’, a privately owned 1,500-acre wildlife sanctuary, which 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 that provide close views of some very special species, including a variety of raptors. 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 visit a variety of habitats on the island, from coastal beaches for Hooded Plover, Pied and Sooty Oystercatchers, Pacific and Kelp Gulls, to rainforest areas in search of Pink Robin and the endemic Scrubtit, Tasmanian Scrubwren and Tasmanian Thornbill. 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 sometimes be found. If we are lucky, we may also see Long-nosed Potoroo and some nocturnal birds like Tawny Frogmouth and Tasmanian Boobook. 
Accommodations on South Bruny Island (B,L,D)

Tues., Oct. 7            Bruny Island to Mt. Field Area 

This morning we depart Bruny early for Mount Field National Park. This area is an excellent back up site for endemic species, notably Scrubtit and Black Currawong, and is also a great place to experience a range of habitats from fern gullies with waterfalls, to alpine heathland and cool temperate rainforest boasting some of the tallest Eucalyptus in Australia. Today we have our first chance of seeing the bizarre Platypus, the other species of Australian monotreme. In the late afternoon we make our way out of the park to a nearby farm stay where we overnight. 
Accommodations near Mt Field NP (B,L,D)

Wed., Oct. 8       Mt Field to Cradle Mountain 

This morning we travel north to Cradle Mountain National Park. While today is largely a travel day, we enjoy lovely scenery and stop en route to bird and stretch our legs. We arrive at our accommodation near the National Park in the late afternoon. This accommodation has been chosen as it offers a chance of seeing one of Australia’s most threatened and charismatic mammals in the wild. This is one of the only places left where one has a reasonable chance of seeing Tasmanian Devils. Here the wild devils and Spotted-tailed Quoll visit the verandas of the cabins at dusk and with any luck this provides an excellent opportunity to view and photograph these elusive creatures. 
Accommodations near Cradle Mountain (B,L,D)

Thurs., Oct. 9         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 Black Currawong and Yellow Wattlebird. 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. We also have a good chance of viewing Platypus, one of Australia’s most bizarre mammals. We return to our small lodge for another opportunity to view Tasmanian Devils and Spotted-tailed Quoll from our cabins. 
Accommodations near Cradle Mountain (B,L,D)

Fri., Oct. 10         Departures or Kangaroo Island Extension

This morning we travel towards Launceston, visiting some wetlands enroute where there is a chance to view several waterbird species including Purple Swamphen, Spotless Crake, Australian Shelduck, Black-fronted Dotterel and Little Grassbird. We then travel to Launceston airport where you can depart for home. If you are on the extension, we fly to Adelaide. (B,L)


Kangaroo Island: Rare Mammals & Birds Post-Tour Extension

Itineraries are guidelines; variations in itinerary may occur to account for weather, road conditions, closures, etc. and to maximize your experience.

The only thing that could possibly top our Grand Australia itinerary is our post-tour extension to Kangaroo Island, where introduced Koalas, Tammar Wallaby and namesake endemic Kangaroo Island Kangaroos are just the start of the terrific mammals and rare birds like Cape Barren Goose and Glossy Black Cockatoo we hope to see.

Day 1: Kangaroo Island

Thurs., Oct. 9        Launceston to Adelaide
This afternoon we connect with our flight to Adelaide You transfer to your hotel on your arrival and you are on your own for dinner tonight as you won’t be with a local guide this evening (options available at the hotel) and time to pack a smaller bag to take with you on your short stay on Kangaroo island.
Accommodations in Adelaide 

Fri., Oct. 10 & Sat., Oct. 11      Kangaroo Island 
Early breakfast at the hotel this morning before leaving for the Adelaide airport for our flight to Kangaroo Island . On arrival at Kangaroo Island, we are met by our local guide who spends two full days exploring this amazing Island with us. During our stay here we search for Koalas (which have been introduced to the island) and visit a Conservation Park which is home to Tammar Wallaby (a species that is almost extinct on the adjoining mainland) and Kangaroo Island Kangaroo (a subspecies of Western Grey Kangaroo that only occurs here). We also visit a beautiful sandy beach to see Australian Sea Lions, watch their pups nursing, or playing in the surf, see old bulls bearing the scars of territorial disputes and learn about their unique breeding biology. Nearby Cape du Couedic is also home to a Long-nosed (New Zealand) fur seal colony, which now numbers over 50,000 after being decimated by hunting in the early 1800s. We should also be able to see some Australian and Long-nosed Fur-seals and we look for Short-beaked Echidna (a distinct sub-species lives on the island). The island is also home to a range of rare birds including Cape Barren Goose and Glossy Black Cockatoo. Our accommodation is situated near a known black cockatoo roost which maximises our chances of seeing this beautiful endangered species. 
Accommodation in Kingscote, Kangaroo Island (B,L,D)

Sun., Oct. 12       Fly Kangaroo Island to Adelaide
Enjoy a free morning to relax and explore with lunch on your own today. We transfer from the hotel to Kingscote airport for your flight from Kangaroo Island to Adelaide. On arrival we are transfered to the hotel. Dinner is on your own tonight with time to repack your bags. 
Accommodation at an Adelaide Hotel (B)

Mon., Oct. 13      Departures
Depart Adelaide. (B)

  • Kangaroo, Kangaroo Island, Australia, Australia Nature Tour, Australia Birding Tour, Naturalist Journeys
  • Kangaroo Island, Phil Whitehouse, Australia, Australia Nature Tour, Australia Birding Tour, Naturalist Journeys

    Kangaroo Island, Phil Whitehouse

  • Blue-winged Kookaburra, Naturalist Journeys Australia, Australia Nature Tour, Australia Birding Tour, Naturalist Journeys
  • Spotted Tail Quoll, Australia, Australia Nature Tour, Australia Birding Tour, Naturalist Journeys
  • Blue-faced Honeyeater, Australia Australia, Australia Nature Tour, Australia Birding Tour, Naturalist Journeys
  • Australian Water Dragon, Australia, Australia Nature Tour, Australia Birding Tour, Naturalist Journeys
  • Painted Cliffs, Maria Island, Tasmania, Australia, Australia Nature Tour, Australia Birding Tour, Naturalist Journeys
  • Magpie Goose, Djambalawa, Australia, Australia Nature Tour, Australia Birding Tour, Naturalist Journeys

Cost of the Journey

The cost of the journey is per person, based on occupancy: $TBD DBL / $TBD SGL, from Darwin, Australia. The 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, National Park entry fees, and other miscellaneous costs. The cost does not include international or domestic Australian airfares, the airport transfer on day 1, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and expenses of a personal nature (snacks, travel insurance, internet, laundry, tips etc).

Cost of the Kangaroo Island extension is per person, based on occupancy: $TBD DBL / $TBD SGL.

The cost of the internal flights is approximately $600 USD pp for the main tour and approximately $450 pp for the extension, subject to change.

Price is based on exchange rate from November 20, 2023. Subject to change if there is more than a 5% increase.

Travel Details

Please plan to make air travel plans only after the minimum group size has been met. We will send you a confirmation email as soon as the trip has been confirmed.

Main Tour Arrival Airport: Darwin International Airport (DRW)

Main Tour Arrival Details: Please plan flights to arrive September 18, 2025 no later than 5:00 PM.

Main Tour Departure Airport: Launceston Airport (LST) in Tasmania

Main Tour Departure Details: Please plan flights to depart October 10, 2025 after 2:00 PM.

Post-tour Extension Departure Airport: Adelaide Airport (ADL)

Post-tour Extension Departure Details: Please plan flights to depart October 13, 2025 at your leisure.

Travel Tips: If you arrive early to rest up from your travels, you can book an early night at our first night tour hotel, the Travelodge Resort Darwin. You can book online and send us the confirmation number, with the goal being you won’t have to switch rooms. If you want to get out and explore Darwin a bit, Mindil Beach, the George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens, and Bicentennial Park are all within 1.5 miles of the hotel. Darwin is very walkable and transportation options include taxis and Uber. 

Entry Requirements: See "Essential Information" section under the "Know Before You Go" tab.


Items of Note

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 Extension Pelagic
This activities is weather dependent and we will try to reschedule within the timeframe of the tour if it is cancelled due to bad weather.

  • Angus McNab

    Angus has been a professional wildlife biologist for the last 13 years. In this time he has worked across Australia with a particular focus on Northern Australia and has undertaken several projects internationally. He has extensive experience in wildlife based projects, animal trapping, handling and data collection on all Australian vertebrate taxa. From an initial fascination with reptiles, he broadened his interest and expertise to include all vertebrate taxa, though still considers pit-vipers to be his main interest spending much of his time abroad searching for them. Recently he put some of his knowledge to use, writing and photographing a field guide ‘The guide to Tasmanian Wildlife’ which was released in November 2018. ( Available in the Inala gift shop on Bruny)

    He has developed considerable field knowledge, and a thorough knowledge of wildlife ecology which enables him to execute highly professional wildlife surveys and monitoring projects and work as a wildlife and natural history guide. He continues to survey throughout Australia and currently guides through the Kimberley, Great Barrier Reef, Wet Tropics, Victoria, and Subantarctic New Zealand.

    Other trips with Angus McNab

    • Splendid Fairy Wren, Australia, Australia Nature Tour, Australia Birding Tour, Naturalist JourneysGrand Australia
      FULL - Check out Birding New Zealand!
      September 11 - October 3, 2024, w/Kangaroo Island: Rare Mammals & Birds extension
Map for Grand Australia

Essential Information +

This information is important for being prepared for your journey; we want you to have Read more

This information is important for being prepared for your journey; we want you to have the best experience possible. If you only read one section, this one is key!

Ahead of Your Tour

  • U.S. citizens must have a passport that is in good condition and at minimum is valid at the time of entry through your scheduled return to the U.S. We suggest at least 3 months validity beyond end of tour to allow for unexpected delays in return travel. 
  • A visa is required for U.S. travelers. See important details in the Passport, Visa & Documents section below. If you are from another country, please contact the Embassy of Australia website for guidelines.
  • Please check current CDC recommendations for travel to Australia and consult with your doctor about general travel vaccinations you should have as precaution for travel. See the “General Health and Inoculations” section below.
  • Travel insurance in case of serious medical emergency is strongly recommended. Full health coverage and repatriation is available through Allianz Travel Insurance.
  • Plan your flight reservations arriving into and departing from Cairns International Airport (CNS). Send a copy of your itinerary to the Naturalist Journeys office please.
  • Soft sided luggage/duffel bags are easiest for packing the vans. Pack essential medications in your carry-on luggage, as well as one day of clothing and optics in case of luggage delay.

Arrival into Darwin International Airport (DRW)

Please note. If you are delayed in travel, please FIRST call the number of our Australia operator. You may also phone or text your guide, or as backup our office, or the staff person indicated there as an emergency contact. Quite a few guides will set up a WhatsApp connection so you can also reach your guide by phone.

The arrival airport for this tour is the Darwin International Airport (DRW). We will coordinate your pick-ups close to your departure with operators and guides once we have all travelers completed travel information. Please make sure we have both your ARRIVAL and DEPARTURE information, so they can plan this. It is imperative that we have your correct TRAVEL information; we appreciate if you email us a copy of your flight reservation. They will check internet for your updated flight information.

A driver will be sent for you and they may come inside to meet you, holding a sign, or they may be just outside the main doors at the curb looking for you. We have asked them to wear binoculars to help identify themselves and you can help them by doing so also. If for any reason you do not find them, please use Wi-Fi or cell service to check for messages.

Please check the Travel Details tab of this tour for additional information and updates.

Departures from Launceston Airport (LST) in Tasmania

The departure airport for this tour is the Launceston Airport (LST) in Tasmania.

Please check the Travel Details tab of this tour for additional information and updates.

Passports, Visas & Documents

Guidelines and regulations can change. It is always advisable to double-check documentation requirements 60-90 days ahead of traveling. Information for U.S. citizens can be found at If you are from another country, please contact the Australia embassy website for guidelines.

At the time of writing, to enter Australia, U.S. citizens must have a passport that is in good condition and at minimum is valid at the time of entry through your scheduled return to the U.S. We highly suggest at least 3 months validity beyond the end of the tour to allow for unexpected delays in return travel. You should have at least one blank page per stamp. The blank pages need to say “Visas” at the top. Pages marked “Amendments and Endorsements” will not be accepted. We advise that you bring your eContact list of hotels for use at immigration as well.

A visa is required for U.S. travelers to Australia. There are several different subclasses of visas, so be sure to look at the requirements of each. Australia’s Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) Subclass 601 visa is a temporary visa for travelers with an eligible passport to stay up to 3 months at a time per year. It requires minimal paperwork and costs AUD $20. Be sure to apply with sufficient time for your visa to be processed before your departure date.

As a precaution for lost or misplaced documents you carry on your person during travel, we highly recommend you keep hard and digital backup copies on your phone (either photo or PDF scan), as well as a hard copy left with your emergency contact at home. The recommended important documents to copy include, but are not limited to; your passport ID page, travel visa, the front and back of your credit card(s), the airline barcode on your luggage. This will greatly expedite getting new ones if necessary – we hope everyone will always keep travel documents close so that losing them will not be an issue.

General Health & Inoculations Information – Be Prepared!

Health requirements for entry to any country can change. It is always advisable to double-check the country’s health requirements and recommendations 60-90 days ahead of traveling. A helpful website for planning is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website for Australia or by phone (800) CDC-INFO or (800) 232-4636.

We will share your health information with your guide. This information will be kept confidential but is very important as we want to be best prepared in case of medical emergency. 

Vaccinations: Bring your up-to-date vaccination records with you. At the time of writing there were no required vaccinations to enter Australia. However, the CDC recommends that all travelers be up to date with routine vaccinations and basic travel vaccines (such as Hepatitis A and Typhoid) before traveling to any destination. Please check with your doctor for recommendations at least 4-6 weeks before departing on your trip. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) webpage for Australia is helpful for planning or contact them by phone at (800) CDC-INFO or (800) 232-4636.

Prescriptions: It is a good idea to pack any meds you take regularly in your carry-on luggage.  Bring an extra pair of glasses or contact lenses. Bring an adequate supply of any prescription medications you use, a copy of the prescription and a list of generic names of your medicines as “back-up” in case it is necessary to purchase drugs while abroad. You’ll want to keep medications in their original, labeled containers. 

Allergies: To be prepared for environmental triggers to allergies or breathing difficulties, please bring your allergy and/or asthma medication(s).  If you have severe allergies talk to your doctor about carrying an EPI pen and notify your guides. It is also recommended to carry with you an up-to-date record of known allergies, chronic medical problems and Medic Alerts so that, if necessary, emergency treatment can be carried out without endangering your health.

Common Ailments: We recommend that you bring a travel-sized first aid kit and a supply of standard over-the-counter medications for prevention or treatment of common ailments (such as diarrhea, constipation, stomach upset, cough, congestion, head or body aches, motion sickness, insect bites and sunburn); as well as ointments, moisturizer, sunscreen, oral rehydration salts, band-aids, moleskin for blisters, cotton swabs, nail clippers, and tweezers, etc.

Altitude sickness: If high altitude will be encountered on your trip, it can affect some and, if there is a concern, be prepared. The most general symptoms are headache and occasionally fatigue and dizziness. You’ll want to take it easy, particularly at first. The likelihood of these symptoms can be reduced by resting, drinking plenty of water, avoiding alcohol and taking aspirin. If you have worries about the altitude, ask your physician about medications (such as Diamox) that may be right for you. For more information, see

Weather & Climate

Australia, a huge country of more than 3 million square miles, crossed by the Tropic of Capricorn, has largely an arid climate, classified as desert or semi-desert, except in the extreme north, where it is tropical (with a rainy and a dry season), and on the southern coasts, where it is more temperate, oceanic or Mediterranean. Being in the Southern Hemisphere, Australia has, of course, reversed seasons in comparison with Europe or North America. Depending on location, you can expect temperatures ranging from lows in the high 40s to highs in the 90s. You'll want to be prepared for rain in some of the locales as well.

Annoyances & Hazards

You will want to protect yourself from the sun. Defend yourself with sunscreen with a high protection factor, sunglasses, clothing that covers your arms and legs, and a broad-brimmed hat that covers the back of your neck, ears, and face.

You will also want to prevent mosquitoes and bug bites. We don’t expect large numbers of insects since you will be traveling to Australia during the spring season, but it’s always good to be prepared. The CDC recommends using insect repellent that contains 20% or more DEET. They make wipes now that are very handy for quick application. Please, do not apply sunscreen or insect repellent inside the vehicles.

Please listen to your guide’s cautions about venomous reptiles and insect. Australia has a host of (fascinating) species of concern, though these are rare to encounter, some areas may require more precaution.

Food & 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. 

Bottled water will be available for field trips and drinking water is provided for you to refill a bottle. One of the many ways we strive to do our part for the environment is by trying to reduce our consumption of plastics; if convenient we appreciate if you can bring reusable water bottles. Your guide will let you know when bottled water is preferable.

Packing, Clothing & Laundry

Dress is very informal and laundry services are available for a fee at our lodges. While some people will change for dinner, it is usually just to a drier or cleaner version of what they wore during the day. Again, the climate is warm to hot, so you will be comfortable in lightweight clothing.

Please, pack light. We are serious about this – we move around a lot; you just do not need much to cope with tropical life! Please do not bring anything more than you must. Lay out your hopeful things to take and then do a serious paring down please! And please do not pack any essential medications, or your vital optics, in your checked luggage!

TRAVEL TIP: Imagine NOT getting your suitcase. Wear your most important shoes for the field, have one day’s clothing change, and a change of underwear!

Spending Money

People often ask how much spending money to bring. Part of the answer depends on how much you want to shop. Typical items people purchase include: local souvenirs and T-shirts, opals jewelry, Akubra hats, boomerangs, Aboriginal artworks, maps, and natural history books. There are MANY temptations in Australia.

The official currency of Australia is the Australian dollar which comes in plastic notes and coins. Its value differs from the U.S. dollar. U.S. dollars are not legal currency and will not be an acceptable form of payment. For the current exchange rate, please refer to online converter tool like, or your bank. We advise you carry a mix of different types of payments, such as the local currency, an ATM card, and a credit card.

You may wish to exchange money before you leave on your trip. You can do so through your bank or an exchange office. Possible locations are your departing airport in the U.S., a travel agent, or a AAA office. It might be helpful to arrive with some local currency just in case you run in an “out of order” ATM or a local bank holiday.

You can also exchange your money in Australia. The easiest way is to withdraw funds from a local ATM. ATMs are widely available throughout Australia and will typically offer you the best exchange rate. The ATM will give you local money and your bank will convert that into U.S. Dollars. Many banks charge a fee of $1 - $5 each time you use a foreign ATM. Others may charge you a percentage of the amount you withdraw. Check with your bank for departure. You must become familiar with how to use your ATM card and PIN number ahead of the journey. If you plan to exchange cash in country, bring large U.S. bill ($50 or $100) in good condition that will give you the better rate when exchanging to local currency.

Credit cards are commonly accepted throughout Australia. We suggest you have more than one card available, if possible. You may want to bring more than one brand of card (one Visa, and one MasterCard; American Express is less accepted, and Discover is not used). Not every shop will accept every card. Some smaller shops and restaurants require cash, so it is always a good idea to ask before making a purchase. Also, we recommend that you advise your bank or credit card company that you will be traveling to Australia to avoid questions, card freezes, or charges. If you have a choice of cards, bring one with no foreign exchange fees.

Traveler’s checks are not widely accepted. They can be difficult to exchange. We do not advise you use them.


Tipping is optional and completely at your discretion. If you would like to show our appreciation to your guides, lodge and hotel staff or anyone associated with this tour, it is entirely appropriate. Know that they appreciate anything you care to give and of course you can do more if you wish! Lodges normally have a box for tips that the staff share, and hotels you would just tip the maids as you do at home. We hope that you will be pleased with all professional services.

Here is a standard suggestion for tipping on birding trips:

  • Birding tour guide: US $10.00 - $15.00 per day per guest
    Note: If there is more than one guide, this can be split among them, so that is a total, per person, per day
  • Tour driver if different from guide: US $5.00 - $7.00 per person/day
  • Lodge staff: US $6.00 - $10.00 per day per guest
  • Transfer (airport shuttle) driver: US $2.00 - $3.00 per person
  • Hotel & international airport bellmen: US $1.00 per suitcase

Please note recommended tips are quoted in U.S. dollars. Tips for Australians should be converted and paid in Australian dollars.

Cell Phones & Internet Service

Your guide is well connected and can help if any urgent communication need arises. However, it is highly recommended that you travel with a cell phone, if only as a precaution for the unfortunate occurrence of a medical emergency during an outing and needing swift accessibility to critical personal or medical contacts. 

Please check with your wireless provider to see if your phone and service will work in your destination country. Options include activating international roaming, purchasing a local SIM card at the airport (newer phones may not accept SIM cards), or simply turning off cellular service and relying on Wi-Fi to make calls and access the internet. If your phone can connect to Wi-Fi, you may be able to make voice and video calls free of charge. Another option if you have access to Wi-Fi is to use smartphone apps like Skype, WhatsApp, or Viber to send text messages, and make voice calls, or video calls. Many smartphones, tablets, or laptops come with one of these apps pre-installed or you can download for free.

Your hotels and most local restaurants provide Wi-Fi at least in their common areas. Although it is generally a reliable service, it can be affected by adverse weather conditions due to the remote location.

Make sure if you do NOT want to use your cell phone that you turn off your cellular data. You could incur huge charges if you are not on Wi-Fi. Putting your phone in airplane mode if you mainly use it for photos will save the battery as well. 

Please refrain from taking or making cell phone calls in the vehicles when traveling with other passengers, unless it appears to be an emergency. This disrupts other guests, plan on cell phone call use on your own time.


The standard Australian voltage is 220/240 V and frequency is 50 Hz, using the power plug and socket type I, 3 pin system. The U.S. uses 110 V with plug and socket type A & B.

You will need a power plug adapter and a voltage converter (or make sure your devices can be used with 220/240 Volts). Adaptors can be purchased ahead of time, and are generally available at major airports. More information can be found at


Australia covers three time zones and, on this tour, you will be in two. Darwin is in Australian Central Standard Time (GMT +9:30 hours) where daylight savings time starts in October. Perth and Western Australia are on Australian Western Standard Time (GMT+8 hours) with no daylight savings time.

 Check before leaving home for your conversion.


Please contact Naturalist Journeys by email at or telephone us toll free: (866) 900-1146 if you have any questions. Many thanks for traveling with us and we hope you enjoy your journey!


Pace & Protocols +

Pace of the Tour & What to Expect You will receive a Schedule-at-a-Glance and list of Read more

Pace of the Tour & What to Expect

You will receive a Schedule-at-a-Glance and list of hotels (our eContact List) a few weeks before your departure. This will serve as an outline for each day and alert you to any recent changes made in the schedule or to our hotels, if needed.

Our journeys are set up to follow the rhythm of nature. Our focus is on birding and nature; we offer full, well-planned field days and often get up early for that magical time around dawn. We generally follow the published itinerary, but we stay flexible to the weather, wildlife opportunities and the interests of the group. Your guide will keep you apprised of the next day’s schedule at each evening meal, noting what to bring and what to prepare for. Questions and/or concerns are welcome.

The pace of our Naturalist Journeys tours is moderate; to fully participate you should be able to get in and out of vehicles several times a day, and walk 1-3 miles over uneven terrain. It is important to participate with a flexible attitude as adjustments may be made in our schedule to make the most of our time in the field or for other purposes at your guide's discretion. We are not a “listing” bird company that drills down on target species, but at times we do wait for those special species unique to the places we visit. During the day, we take time to stop for photos and for educational opportunities to learn about conservation projects, landscapes, and geology. We appreciate other taxa as well as birds, with mammals often the biggest draw but plants and butterflies are also very popular. Our clients often lend their own expertise to the mix.

We like to make meals a fun and memorable part of the experience, too. Breakfasts are often at hotels, and we carry snacks, fruit, and water in the vans each day. Lunches are a mix of picnics in the field (weather dependent) and a chance to dine with locals at small cafes and restaurants. For dinner, we pride ourselves in our homework to keep up with the best choices for dining, choosing restaurants with atmosphere that specialize in local foods. On occasion we keep dinner simple to go back out in the field for sunset wildlife viewing or night walks. In some remote locations, our choices are limited. If you are tired, room service for dinner may be an option you can choose.

Naturalist Journeys International Trips: Guide Role

Naturalist Journeys supports ecotourism and the development of excellent local guides. Once we know our international partners and guides well, we can send out small groups working directly with these trusted partners, adding a Naturalist Journeys guide to assist the local expert when we have a group of 6-7 or more. This helps us keep your costs down while retaining tour quality. The local guide is your main guide. You can expect your Naturalist Journeys guide to be well-researched and often they are experienced in the destination, but their role is not to be primary, it is to help to organize logistics, help you find birds, mammals, and interesting other species in the field, keep reports, help facilitate group interactions, and to keep the trip within Naturalist Journeys' style. Local guides live in the countries we travel to, know the destinations intimately, and are often the strongest force for conservation in their countries. They open many doors for us to have a rich experience.


Smoking is not permitted in any vehicle or in any situation where the group is participating in an activity together, such as a vehicle excursion or a guided walk. Please respect all designated smoking areas at hotels and restaurants.


As a courtesy to each other, we ask that all travelers please rotate seating. On international trips we may all be in one small bus, on some trips we are in vans, particularly the roomy Sprinter Vans when available. Some areas require us to be in smaller 4-wheel drive or safari vehicles. Rotation allows you to sit with different drivers and alternate front and back seating.

Photo Release & Sharing

We take many group photos and will share photos with the group. And after your tour, we will organize a chance to share photos via Dropbox or Google Photos. Please note that this is our policy and if you prefer to be excluded, we need to know ahead of your tour.

By registering for this tour, you agree to grant to Naturalist Journeys and its authorized representatives’ permission to record on photography film and/or video, pictures of my participation in the tour. You further agree that any or all of the material photographed may be used, in any form, as part of any future publications, brochure, or other printed materials used to promote Naturalist Journeys, and further that such use shall be without payment of fees, royalties, special credit or other compensation.

Travel Insurance

You are traveling in remote areas. Naturalist Journeys strongly recommends you have full medical and evacuation insurance from a company such as Allianz, for all international travel. If you do not have medical coverage or evacuation coverage on your existing travel insurance policy or for some reason elected not to take that out, we advise getting an evacuation plan with Global RescueWorld Nomads, Medjet, Allianz (they can do evacuation only) or a similar company. These plans are typically $300-$400 for a year for multiple destinations. This coverage may be a part of a larger Travel Insurance policy but can also be purchased on its own.


Please contact Naturalist Journeys by email at or telephone our office: (520) 558-1146 or toll free: (866) 900-1146 if you have any questions. Many thanks for traveling with us and we hope you enjoy your journey.


Packing List +

Please pack light! Soft luggage is much easier for us to pack than a more rigid Read more

Please pack light!

Soft luggage is much easier for us to pack than a more rigid hard sided piece, so if you have the choice, please use your soft luggage. Be sure to have your name and address on the inside of the bag, as well as on the luggage tag on the handle. It is our hope that you can pack in one checked suitcase that does not exceed 45 pounds. Be sure to pack your personal medication, airline tickets, passport, binoculars, camera, and other essential items in your carry-on bag. You will want a day pack for field trips, so this is an ideal carry-on. Please reconfirm your airline’s baggage weight and size restrictions about a week or so before departure.

Your adventure is during Australia’s spring season. Temperatures may vary considerably throughout the areas you will be visiting averaging from highs in the mid-80s°F to average lows in the mid-40s°F.

Dress is comfortable and informal throughout the trip. Dressing in layers is the best way to be comfortable. Lightweight long-sleeved shirts and long pants make ideal field clothing as they are more protective from sun and vegetation. But if you like to wear them, by all means bring some shorts. Also, choose clothing you don’t mind getting dirty or muddy and things that are comfortable and easy.

Note on clothing colors and insect repellent: We recommend muted colors of tan, brown, khaki, grey or green, as they are spotted less easily than white or bright colors, though camouflage clothing is not recommended. It is possible to purchase field clothing permeated with insect repellent such as the Craghoppers Insect Shield collection. Another approach is to purchase Permethrin spray (online or from REI) to treat your field clothing and socks before your departure.

Clothing & Gear

  • Lightweight long pants, 2 pair
  • Lightweight long-sleeved shirts – 2 or 3
  • Shorts (optional)
  • T-shirts or equivalent (1 per every other day recommended – remember you may buy some there!)
  • Personal underclothing
  • Socks – lightweight and easy to wash and dry
  • Comfortable walking/hiking shoes such as tennis shoes
  • Lightweight hiking boots (preferably waterproof) for walking on rough terrain
  • Sandals for evenings, travel days, and for wearing on boats (optional, TEVA style are great)
  • Lightweight raincoat or water repellent jacket that can double as a windbreaker
  • Lightweight jacket, fleece fabric is ideal
  • Comfortable clothes for evening (a cleaner version of your field clothes or a skirt, sundress, etc.)
  • Bathing suit (optional)
  • Hat with broad brim
  • Bandana (optional, great for cooling off when you are hot and sweaty. They even make them with a gel inside for several hours of cooling.)
  • Field vest (optional), a great source is Big Pockets

Equipment & Miscellaneous

  • Airline tickets or e-ticket verification
  • Photo ID
  • Passport, and a photocopy of your passport ID page to be kept in a separate location
  • Money pouch, or someplace to carry your money and passport with you at all times
  • Small daypack or fanny pack for carrying your field gear
  • Cell phone and charger
  • Binoculars
  • Spotting scope and tripod (optional)
  • Camera and extra batteries, memory cards, lens cleaning supplies and your instruction manual (optional)
  • Umbrella – compact and not brightly colored
  • Walking stick – we find that many travelers appreciate a walking stick on trails, sporting goods stores carry collapsible models that pack easily in your suitcase (optional)
  • Small flashlight with fresh batteries
  • Alarm clock
  • Sunscreen/lip balm with SPF
  • Sunglasses with neck strap
  • Insect repellent (something containing DEET)
  • Toiletry articles
  • Water bottle (or plan to refill one bought on location)
  • Notebook or journal and pen (optional)
  • Waterproof bags to protect gear, preferably reusable
  • Field guides (optional)
  • Laundry soap if you plan to do hand washing
  • Earplugs – in urban and even rural areas barking dogs and traffic noise can be annoying
  • Rechargeable power bank (optional)


WE DO NOT RECOMMEND TRAVELING WITH PRECIOUS OR VALUABLE JEWELRY – don’t tempt anyone and don’t bring things you’d regret losing - your mind will be at ease!

Medical & First Aid Items

  • Personal medications (and copy of vital prescriptions)
  • Motion sickness preventatives if likely to be needed on bus, van drives, etc.
  • Personal first aid kit and medications for general ailments
  • Copy of eyeglass prescription, copy of medical prescriptions, vaccination records, and any medical alerts
  • Health Insurance information and vaccination records
  • Extra pair of eyeglasses or contacts
  • Band-aids, moleskin to protect against blisters
  • Antibacterial soap in small container for quick handwashing


Suggested Reading List +

  There are many titles of interest for Australia; the following are a few that we Read more


There are many titles of interest for Australia; the following are a few that we have enjoyed that can get you started.

Top Picks

The Australian Bird Guide

Merlin App – Australia All Pack. A phone-based birding app from Cornell University Laboratory of Ornithology. Before departing the U.S., download the app for free, then from within the app, download the “pack” for Australia All.

Field Guides 

Regional Field Guide to Birds – Central East Coast and Ranges 

A Naturalist’s Guide to the Birds of Australia 

The Field Guide to the Bird of Australia

Field Guide to the Birds of Australia 

The Slater Field Guide to Australian Birds 

Field Guide to Australian Birds

A Naturalist’s Guide to the Mammals of Australia  

A Naturalist’s Guide to the Reptiles of Australia 

Wildflowers of Australia and Oceania

History & Culture

Where Song Began

Chasing Kangaroos: A Continent, a Scientist, and a Search for the World’s Most Extraordinary Creature

In a Sunburned Country

A Traveller’s History of Australia

Australia – Culture Smart! The Essential Guide to the Customs & Culture


Pizzey and Knight Birds of Australia:

The Morcombe & Stewart Guide to Birds of Australia:

Your guide will also have a selection of reference books and materials for participants to share. As an Amazon Associate, Naturalist Journeys earns from qualifying purchases, and may get commissions for purchases made through links on this page at no added cost to you.


Useful Links +

Learn more about your destination at these external websites, carefully researched for you. Read more


Encyclopedic Overviews:





Kangaroo Island

Nature, Wildlife & Biology

Australia Checklist - Avibase

Species of Australia

Western Wattlebird

Gilbert’s Honeyeater

Mammals of Australia

Reptiles of Australia

Fogg Dam Conservation Reserve – eBird Hotspot

“Reimagining Perth’s Lost Wetlands” – Western Australia Museum

Conservation, Parks & Reserves

Birdlife Australia

George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens

Fogg Dam Conservation Reserve

Kakadu National Park

Yellow Water Billabong

Geology & Geography

Australian Landforms and their History

Geologic Overview of Western Australia

Geography of Australia


Various Maps of Australia

History & Culture

Brief Australian history

Australia’s First Peoples

“Capturing Aboriginal Australia and its diversity on camera” – Video, BBC News

Helpful Travel Websites

Arrival:  Ayers Rock Airport (AYQ)

Departure: Perth Airport (PER)

National Passport Information Center

Homeland Security Real ID Act

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)

Transportation Security Administration (TSA)

U.S. Department of State International Travel Information – Australia

Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC) - Australia

Canada Travel Advice and Advisories - Australia

Travel Health Pro (UK) - Australia

Foreign Exchange Rates

ATM Locator

Electricity and Plugs - Australia

Date, Time, and Holidays – Ayers Rock, Australia

Photo credits: Banners: Ayers Rock (Wikimedia Commons); Royal Spoonbill (Wikimedia Commons); Dove Lake; Koala (Canva Stock) Gallery: Kangaroo (Canva stock); Kangaroo Island (Phil Whitehouse); Blue-winged Kookaburra (Wikimedia Commons); Australian Water Dragon (Bernard Gagnon); Spotted Tail Quoll (Canva Stock); Blue-faced Honeyeater (Andrew Mercer); Australian Water Dragon (Bernard Gagnon); Painted Cliffs (Canva Stock); Magpie Goose (Creative Commons) Primary: Wallaby( Canva Stock), Rainbow Bee-eater (Canva Stock), Kakadu National Park (Canva Stock), Western Wattlebird (Canva Stock)


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