Inala’s South East Australia Tour - Koala, Plains-wanderer, Lyrebird, and more…
10 - 19 November 2023
This 10-day tour takes in the best parts of the various habitats that the south-eastern corner of mainland Australia has to offer. From cool temperate rainforests to coastal saltmarsh, mallee heaths and outback plains, we marvel at wide variety of birds within, as well as a good number of mammals and reptiles.
This tour has been designed to join our NSW Parks tour ( 20 – 25 November 2023).
Day 1. Fri 10 Nov 23. Melbourne to Lorne via the Western Treatment Plant.
Day 2. Sat 11 Nov 23. Great Ocean Road area.
Days 3 & 4. Sun 12 & Mon 13 Nov 23. Inland woodlands, mallee and heath: Lorne to Bendigo.
Days 5 & 6. Tue 14 & Wed 15 Nov 23. Plains Wanderer and other specialties: Bendigo to Deniliquin.
Day 7. Thu 16 Nov 23. Red Gum Forest and Riverina: Deniliquin to Seymour.
Day 8. Fri 17 Nov 23. Into the tall wet Eucalyptus forests: Seymour to Healesville.
Day 9. Sat 18 Nov 23. Superb Lyrebird & amazing nocturnal mammals: Healesville
Day 10. Sun 19 Nov 23. Healesville to Melbourne and depart.
B- breakfast, L- lunch, D-dinner
Day 1. Friday 10 November 2023. Melbourne to Lorne via the Western Treatment Plant.
Your specialist Inala guide will meet you at a designated location in Melbourne to start the tour. We start with a bang as we travel south-west of Melbourne to the swamps, lagoons, shoreline and grasslands of the world-renowned Western Treatment Plant, where bird diversity and numbers are astonishing. Here we can expect to see species such as Sharp-tailed, Curlew & Marsh Sandpipers, Red-necked Stint, Red-kneed Dotterel, Black-fronted Dotterel, Red-capped Plover, Pacific Gull, Hoary-headed Grebe, Australasian Gannet, Pied, Little Pied, Great & Little Black Cormorants, Australian Pelican, Crested, Fairy, Whiskered & White-winged Black-Terns, Pink-eared, Freckled, Blue-billed, Musk and White-eyed Ducks, Australian Shelduck, Cape Barren Goose, Red-necked Avocet, Banded & Pied Stilts, Australian Spotted & Spotless Crakes, Buff-banded & Lewin’s Rails, Royal & Yellow-billed Spoonbills, Galah, Striated Fieldwren, Horsfield’s Bushlark, Brown Songlark, Yellow-rumped Thornbill, Golden-headed Cisticola, Zebra Finch, Swamp Harrier, Wedge-tailed Eagle, White-bellied Sea-eagle and Black, Brown & Peregrine Falcons. There are usually a few more uncommon waders and some rarities that turn up each summer-autumn period so there will undoubtedly be something of interest.
Accommodation: Lorne (en suite rooms). Meals included: B, L, D.
Day 2. Saturday 11 November 2023. Great Ocean Road area.
We will explore the Great Ocean Road today and visit the heathlands, forest, shoreline and estuaries of the region. Birds to be found throughout this area include Rufous Bristlebird, Hooded Plover, Southern Emu-wren, Brush Bronzewing, Satin Flycatcher, Yellow-tailed Black-cockatoo, Forest Raven, Olive Whistler, Grey Goshawk(white phase), Bassian Thrush, Satin Bowerbird, Crescent, Singing & Spiny-cheeked Honeyeaters, Eastern Spinebill, Rose & Scarlet Robins, Red-browed Finch, Chestnut-rumped Heathwren, Striated Fieldwren, Mistletoebird, Olive-backed Oriole, Gang-gang Cockatoo, Australian King-Parrot, Blue-winged Parrot, Shining Bronze-cuckoo, Grey Shrike-thrush, Striated Thornbill, White-browed Scrubwren, Sacred Kingfisher, Laughing Kookaburra, Spotted & Striated Pardalotes, Sooty Oystercatcher, Black-browed, White-capped & Yellow-nosed Albatrosses, Fluttering Shearwater, Black-faced Cormorant, Pacific & Kelp Gulls and Great Crested Tern. Mammals include Koala, Eastern Grey Kangaroo, Swamp Wallaby and Common Wombat.
Accommodation: Lorne (en suite rooms). Meals included: B, L, D.
Days 3 & 4. Sunday 12 & Monday 13 November 2023. Inland woodlands, mallee and heath: Lorne to Bendigo.
Moving north today, we will make our way towards the drier woodlands of central Victoria. Here predominately box-ironbark woodlands and mallee heath vegetation communities harbour a number of bird species that are not found closer to Melbourne and are typical of the mallee regions in the far north-west of the state. Birds to expect here include Crested Bellbird, Gilbert’s Whistler, Shy Heathwren, Purple-backed Fairy-Wren, Yellow-plumed, Tawny-crowned, Purple-gaped, Blue-faced, Singing, Yellow-tufted, Fuscous, Black-chinned, White-plumed, White-eared & White-fronted Honeyeaters, Brush & Common Bronzewing, Noisy Friarbird, Chestnut-rumped, Yellow, Buff-rumped & Inland Thornbills, Western Gerygone, Hooded, Scarlet & Red-capped Robins, Rainbow Bee-eater, Dusky, White-browed & Masked Woodswallows, Purple-crowned, Little & Musk Lorikeets, White-bellied Cuckoo-Shrike, Black-eared, Horsfield’s Bronze & Pallid Cuckoos, Red-rumped Parrot and Eastern Rosella. Also possible are Leaden & Restless Flycatchers, Speckled Warbler, Weebill, White-browed Babbler, Brown Treecreeper, Long-billed Corella, Brown Goshawk, Wedge-tailed & Little Eagles, Australian Hobby, Australian Raven, Jacky Winter, White-winged Chough, Rufous Songlark, Tree Martin & Diamond Firetail.
Accommodation: Hotel in Bendigo (en suite rooms) for 2 nights. Meals included: B, L, D both days.
Day 5 & 6. Tuesday 14 & Wednesday 15 November 2023. Plains Wanderer and other specialties: Bendigo to Deniliquin.
We will have another morning in some mallee habitats to clean up a few birds we may have missed before heading further north and to the open plains on very edge of the outback. The district supports a huge range of birds including White-backed Swallow, Black Falcon, Orange Chat, Painted Honeyeater, Wedge-tailed Eagle, Greater Blue Bonnet, Southern Whiteface, Apostlebird, Grey-crowned Babbler, Striped Honeyeater, Superb Parrot, Australasian Bushlark, Brown Songlark and Spotted Harrier, and we will endeavour to catch up with most of these whilst in the area. With local guide and legend Philip Maher at the helm for our second evening, the main target after dark will be the enigmatic Plains Wanderer and depending on local conditions and/or how much rain has fallen in recent times there may be the chance of other specials like Australian Pratincole, Inland Dotterel, Stubble Quail and Banded Lapwing. Nocturnal birds feature as well, and we could pick up Barn Owl, Southern Boobook, Australian Owlet-nightjar and Tawny Frogmouth. Mammals here range from the mighty Red Kangaroo, Western Grey Kangaroo, Common Brushtail Possum and tiny Fat-tailed Dunnart.
Accommodation: Deniliquin (en suite rooms) for 2 nights. Meals included: B, L, D both days.
Day 7. Thursday 16 November 2023. Red Gum Forest and Riverina: Deniliquin to Seymour.
Today we will have a more relaxed departure after what will probably be a late night the previous evening, and so with a bit of travel day birding will be limited as we head south back into Victoria. Along the way we will have a look at some of the wetlands in the red gum forests of the Riverina and hope to connect with the rare Square-tailed Kite, Australasian Bittern and Black-backed Bittern, plus another chance of Superb Parrot. Further south we will stop at some heathy woodland and look for Spotted Quail-thrush, Chestnut-rumped Heathwren, Scarlet Robin, Speckled Warbler and Leaden Flycatcher.
Accommodation: Seymour (en suite rooms). Meals included: B, L, D.
Day 8. Friday 17 November 2023. Into the tall wet Eucalyptus forests: Seymour to Healesville.
Today we will head toward the ranges east of Melbourne and slightly higher altitudes where the habitat changes into tall mountain forests and dense fern gullies. En route we will explore some open woodland habitats, with the possibility of some harder to track birds like Azure Kingfisher, White-throated Gerygone, Weebill, Buff-rumped Thornbill and Dollarbird.
Accommodation: Healesville (en suite rooms). Meals included: B, L, D.
Day 9. Saturday 18 November 2023. Superb Lyrebird & amazing nocturnal mammals: Healesville.
Birds we can expect to see include the amazing Superb Lyrebird, as well as Eastern Whipbird, Black-faced Monarch, Pilotbird, Red-browed & White-throated Treecreepers, Pink, Rose, Flame & Eastern Yellow Robins, Large-billed Scrubwren, White-throated Needletail, Rufous Fantail, Varied Sittella, Rufous Whistler, Cicadabird, Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike, Crested Shrike-tit, Crimson Rosella, Brown Gerygone, Satin Flycatcher, Fan-tailed & Brush Cuckoos, Shining Bronze-cuckoo and Olive Whistler. Tonight, we can try for nocturnal birds like Sooty Owl, Southern Boobook and Tawny Frogmouth. Nocturnal mammals include the possibility of Greater Glider, Yellow-bellied Glider, Sugar Glider, Mountain Brushtail Possum and Common Ringtail Possum.
Accommodation: Healesville (en suite rooms) as for last night. Meals included: B, L, D.
Day 10. Sunday 19 November 2023. Healesville to Melbourne and depart.
This morning we will check a few areas in the forest for any birds we might still be missing, before making our way back towards Melbourne. Along the way we can stop at a colony of Bell Miner, as well as a known site for day-roosting Powerful Owls. Nearby we will visit a huge encampment of Grey-headed Flying Foxes. We will arrive back in Melbourne in the late afternoon where the tour will conclude. Those participants joining our NSW parks & reserves birding & natural history small group tour (20 – 25 November 2023) may board a flight to Sydney of their choosing.
Accommodation: none. Meals included: B, L.
Group size: 6-8 people + specialist Inala guide
Tour Price: $6,050 per person sharing for a minimum group size of 6 people
Single supplement: $810
Discounts are available for joining two or more consecutive tours (ie SE Australia and NSW). Please contact us for details.
Price includes: 9 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 Melbourne 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.
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 .......