Inala Nature Tours NSW parks & reserves birding & natural history small group tour
Monday 20th – Saturday 25th November 2023
Have you ever wondered what wildlife lives within the iconic and scenically beautiful National Parks like the Blue Mountains?
Join us for a wildlife adventure into several different National Parks located around the Sydney area where you will be amazed by what is living so close to Australia's largest city.
With a wide variety of habitats on the city’s doorstep, this six-day tour of the Sydney area takes in the best of the region’s wildlife, from an abundance of birdlife through to various amazing mammals and reptiles. We visit the beautiful Royal National Park, the vast Blue Mountains National Park, the incomparable Capertee Valley and the heathlands, forest and open ocean of the Illawarra region. Star attractions being Superb Lyrebird, Glossy Black-Cockatoo, Eastern Bristlebird, Southern Emu-wren, Gang-gang Cockatoo and the NSW endemic Rock Warbler. We also include a night tour to see nocturnal mammals such as Greater and Sugar Gliders.
This tour has been designed to join our South-East Australia group tour (10 – 19 Nov 2023) and our SE Queensland tour (25 Nov – 4 Dec 2023).
Day 1. Mon 20 Nov 2023. Superb Lyrebirds and superb birding: Royal National Park-Illawarra-Jamberoo.
Day 2. Tue 21 Nov 2023. Birds, macropods and amazing nocturnal mammals: Barren Grounds Nature Reserve.
Day 3. Wed 22 Nov 2023. Albatrosses and Whales: Kiama pelagic and Jamberoo area.
Day 4. Thu 23 Nov 2023. Jamberoo to Blue Mountains National Park.
Day 5. Fri 24 Nov 2023. Capertee National Park.
Day 6. Sat 25 Nov 2023. Capertee Valley to Sydney and depart.
B- breakfast, L- lunch and D-dinner.
Day 0. Sunday 19 November 2023. Arrival in Sydney.
Participants also joining our SE Australian tour travel from Melbourne to Sydney today. Own arrangements today.
Accommodation: none**. Meals included: none.
Day 1. Monday 20 November 2023. Superb Lyrebirds and superb birding: Royal National Park-Illawarra-Jamberoo.
We will head just to the south of Sydney this morning and enter world-famous Royal NP (one of the world’s oldest national parks), focussing our attention on the riparian forests and woodland along the Hacking River where we will have a great chance of finding our first Superb Lyrebird, as well as Azure Kingfisher, Variegated Fairy-wren, Scarlet Honeyeater, Brown Gerygone, Green Catbird, Pacific Baza and Topknot Pigeon. Further into the park we will also search the open heathlands for birds like Southern Emu-wren, Beautiful Firetail, Chestnut-rumped Heathwren and Tawny-crowned Honeyeater. We may be lucky enough to see a Tiger Snake or Copper-tailed Skink as well. In the early afternoon we will make our way further south toward the Illawarra region, with the hamlet of Jamberoo our destination for three nights. In the local area can be found Eastern & Crimson Rosellas, Australian King-parrot, Dusky Woodswallow and Red Wattlebird. There will also be another chance for Superb Lyrebird near our accommodation.
Accommodation: Jamberoo (en suite rooms). Meals included: B, L, D.
Day 2. Tuesday 21 November 2023. Birds, macropods and amazing nocturnal mammals: Barren Grounds Nature Reserve.
With an early rise in order we make our way to Barren Grounds Nature Reserve where we commence our search for a few of the skulkers of the area. Tall forest and adjacent heathlands in this area are home to Eastern Bristlebird, Southern Emu-wren, Pilotbird, Gang-gang Cockatoo, Yellow-throated Scrub-wren, White-naped Honeyeater, Yellow-tailed Black-cockatoo and the very uncommon Eastern Ground Parrot. Mammals here include Eastern Grey Kangaroo and Swamp Wallaby. After lunch and down along coastal areas we will look for Sooty Oystercatcher, Australian Pelican, Crested Tern, Australasian Figbird and Little Wattlebird. Possible reptiles include Eastern Water Skink, Water Dragon and Red-bellied Black Snake. In the evening and if energy levels allow, we can go out for a bit of nocturnal spotlighting, with the chance of Sooty Owl, Southern Boobook and Tawny Frogmouth, as well as mammals like Greater Glider, Sugar Glider and Common Ringtail Possum.
Accommodation: Jamberoo (en suite rooms) as for last night. Meals included: B, L, D.
Day 3. Wednesday 22 November 2023. Albatrosses and Whales: Kiama pelagic and Jamberoo area.
Another early morning will see us down on the docks at the coastal town of Kiama, ready to board our charter for the day as we head out to the continental shelf in order to see a variety of pelagic seabirds. Species we will look for include Shy, Campbell & Buller’s Albatross, Grey-faced Petrel, Providence Petrel, Fairy Prion, Pomarine Jaeger, White-faced & Wilson’s Storm-Petrels, Australasian Gannet and hopefully Wandering Albatross. At this time of year we will have an excellent chance of seeing migrating Humpback Whales, with some individuals often approaching the boat quite closely. Other mammals include the chance of Common & Bottlenose Dolphins, Short-finned Pilot Whale and New Zealand Fur Seal. We usually arrive back to shore mid-afternoon so if we’re up for it we can do some local birding or just have the rest of the afternoon off to relax.
Accommodation: Jamberoo (en suite rooms) as for last night. Meals included: B, L, D.
Day 4. Thursday 23 November 2023. Jamberoo to Blue Mountains National Park.
After a more leisurely breakfast this morning we will leave the Illawarra and make our way towards the Blue Mountains, necessitating a few hours of travel in the morning. Birding en route we hope to find Bell Miner, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Grey Butcherbird and Australian Hobby. In the afternoon we will concentrate our efforts on finding the enigmatic Rock Warbler amongst the tumbled and craggy sandstone outcrops of the Blue Mountains National Park. Other birds in the mountainous forests here can include Red-browed Treecreeper, Eastern Whipbird, Rose Robin, Common Koel and White-browed Scrubwren. If the sun is shining, we may find reptiles like Diamond Python or Jacky Dragon. We will then make our way to our base at Lithgow late afternoon. Accommodation: Lithgow (en suite rooms). Meals included: B, L, D.
Day 5. Friday 24 November 2023. Capertee National Park.
We will be heading to the amazing and beautiful Capertee Valley today, so we will need to leave early in order to take in enough of this biological hotspot. The region’s avifauna is a melting pot of dry country, inland species as well as those of coastal forests and mountains, and thus supports a huge array of different birds. We’ll look for Little Eagle, Shining Bronze-cuckoo, Scarlet Robin, Spotted Quail-thrush, Double-barred Finch, Buff-rumped Thornbill, Wonga Pigeon, Turquoise Parrot, Little Lorikeet, Rufous Songlark, Speckled Warbler, White-browed Babbler, Southern Whiteface, Channel-billed Cuckoo and Black-chinned Honeyeater, to name but a few. If conditions are in our favour there may be the chance of the critically endangered Regent Honeyeater in the Capertee National Park, and we will have another chance of Rock Warbler here as well. Mammals here include Red-necked Wallaby, Common Wallaroo and Yellow-footed Antechinus, and we could find reptiles such Eastern Brown Snake, Lace Monitor or Striped Skink.
Accommodation: Lithgow (en suite rooms). Meals included: B, L, D.
Day 6. Saturday 25 November 2023. Capertee Valley to Sydney and depart.
This morning we will make a final sojourn into the Capertee Valley to look for any birds we may be missing, and then after lunch will make our way back to Sydney where the tour will conclude.
Accommodation: none. Meals included: B, L.
Group size: 6-8 people + specialist Inala guide
Tour Price: $4,200 per person sharing for a minimum group size of 6 people
Single supplement: $650
Discounts are available for joining two or more consecutive tours together (ie NSW and SE Queensland or SE Australia and NSW). Please contact us for details.
Price includes: 6 nights’ accommodation, specialist guide and transport, meals, entrance fees and activities as mentioned in the itinerary.
Price does not include: Airfares, gratuities, alcoholic beverages, snacks, internet, laundry, or other items of a personal nature.
**Please note: We would be pleased to arrange accommodation in Sydney before and after the tour if required.
Meals and 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 will generally consist of a packed lunch style meal eaten in the field, with sandwich/filled roll, fruit, and a drink. Dinner usually 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: Whilst 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 activity is weather dependant. In the unlikely event that the pelagic is cancelled, some land-based touring will be available in the area that day.
Please click here to open a separate online doc which answers many of the questions you may have about joining an Inala small-group tour, from the structure of an average day to the pace, activity level, meals, rooms etc .......