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Great Southern Bird Watching Australia Tour - 13 Days

Great Southern Bird Watching Australia Tour
7699

Australian Birdwatching Tour between Adelaide and Melbourne

This 13-day Great Southern Bird Watching Australia Tour, birds the region between the southern cities of Adelaide and Melbourne, concentrating on the many specialities of the southern coastal region of Australia and the adjacent interior, including a taste of the Australian outback.

A wide variety of habitats yields over 250 species on this tour, even more, if you join extension to Tasmania as well! During the main tour, we are likely to find over 250 species and experience an amazing variety of landscapes and habitats, including the outback mountains of the Flinders Ranges, its adjacent stony-scrubby deserts, vast expanses of eucalypt scrubland at Birdlife Australia’s Gluepot Reserve, rich wetlands and rivers including Australia’s greatest river, the Murray, spectacular coastal areas including the famous Great Ocean Road and tall, dense eucalypt forests on the slopes of the Dandenong Ranges near Melbourne.

This birdwatching Australia trip includes some of the country's hardest to find, yet most sought-after species, including grasswrens, Plains-wanderer, Superb Lyrebird, Satin Bowerbird, whistlers, quail-thrushes, many parrots including Regent and Superb, 4 species of Fairy-wren, many raptors and waterbirds, Malleefowl and much, much more. This tour strikes a perfect balance between maximising the species count and the number of days on the road plus the option to continue on to Tasmania or join the pre-tour extension to Kangaroo Island. Mammals also won’t be forgotten with Koala, Wombat, 5 spp of macropod including the endangered Yellow-footed Rock-wallaby, Echidna and other species possible.

Join us on this tour which is now in its 14th season!

Top 5 highlights:

  • The ultra-scenic Flinders Ranges with its majestic Wedge-tailed Eagles and dimunitive Short-tailed Grasswrens
  • Stunning coastal scenery along the southern Great Ocean road while a Rufous Bristlebird scuttles across the road, Blue-winged Parrots feed in the heather, and the rare Hooded Plover inhabits unspoilt Southern Ocean beaches
  • Explore mysterious, dense & tall Eucalypt forests where Gang-gang Cockatoos call from stately trees which are also home to cute & cuddly Koalas
  • A night-time birdwatching Australia escapade like no other: spotlighting for the near-extinct, monotypic Plains Wanderer in vast outback grasslands
  • A visit to Birdlife Australia’s premier reserve containing 6 threatened species, observable from a network of birdhides: "Gluepot" is the jewel in the crown of Australia's nature sanctuaries.
Alternative Name: Great Southern Birding Tour
Day 1
Day 1 - Arrival

We offer an optional pre-tour excursion to Kangaroo Island. Just off the Adelaide coast, the large island harbours a unique, diverse wildlife, specialised birds, striking scenery and vast wilderness. Key birds include the endangered Glossy Black Cockatoo, colonies of Fairy Penguin, Hooded Plover, Cape Barren Goose, the elusive Western Whipbird and the cure Fairy Penguin as well as many sea and land birds. Cost of this 4-day trip is AU$2599 per person (all-inclusive). People not joining this trip will make their own way to our hotel on 1 November in Adelaide, where we’ll all meet this evening for dinner and introductions. Overnight Adelaide (en-suite hotel room; meals included: D).

Day 2
Day 2 - Coast north

We’ll follow the coast north, looking for Adelaide Rosella and Slender-billed Thornbill. In the bush around Mt Remarkable we search for Grey-fronted Honeyeater, Elegant Parrot and Chestnut-rumped Heathwren. At Port Augusta we visit the scenic Arid Lands Botanical Gardens with its White-winged Fairy-wrens, Zebra Finches and Chirruping Wedgebills, as well as many species of Honeyeater. A nearby coastal lake usually has Banded Stilt. We’ll travel past the Flinders Ranges and check a lake for Orange Chats and waterbirds (chance of Freckled Duck). Our final destination, the hamlet of Lyndhurst, is located on the edge of the vast outback. The local hotel is nothing more than a typical outback pub with basic facilities but lots of character. Overnight Lyndhurst Hotel (en-suite, cabins; Meals included: B, L, D).

Day 3
Day 3 - Strzelecki desert

Around Lyndhurst, on the edge of the Strzelecki desert, we bird for species such as Inland Dotterel, Cinnamon Quail-thrush, Chirruping Wedge-bill and Rufous Fieldwren. With much luck and perseverance we may see the last remaining Chestnut-breasted Whitefaces and Thick-billed Grasswrens here. We’ll explore the endless open stony plains of the Strzelecki desert which are traversed by mostly dry watercourses. Expect species such as Budgerigar, Red-backed Kingfisher, Crimson, Orange and Gibber Chat. We’ll have a picnic lunch at a waterhole, then bird our way back to Lyndhurst, looking for Inland Dotterel, Cinnamon Quail-thrush and Black-breasted Buzzard. Overnight Lyndhurst Hotel (en-suite cabins; Meals included: B, L, D).

Day 4
Day 4 - Past the scenic Gammon Ranges to enter the Flinders Ranges

Today we travel south past the scenic Gammon Ranges to enter the Flinders Ranges, an impressive range of steep hills and soaring rock form-ations on the edge of Australia’s outback. Here we proceed along creekbeds and through narrow gorges cut deeply into geological layers that date back 800 million years, while searching for Elegant Parrot and Grey-fronted Honeyeater. We visit the fossil site of the Ediacaran fauna, which lived a little before the great explosion of multicellular life at the beginning of the Cambrian Period. We’re also likely to encounter the endangered Yellow-footed Rock-wallaby. Later we search the spinifex-grass covered slopes for the elusive Short-tailed Grasswren, a recent split from Striated Grasswren. We will certainly see plenty of Red, Western Grey and Euro Kangaroos. We’ll retire to our luxurious base at the Wilpena Pound resort for dinner and an optional spotlighting session. Overnight Wilpena Pound Resort (en-suite motel room; meals included: B, L, D).

Day 5
Day 5 - Southern Scrubrobin and Inland Thornbill

Early mornings in the outback can get a bit chilly as we check rocky outcrops for Southern Scrubrobin and Inland Thornbill. We then leave the picturesque Flinders Ranges and drive south, through the historic copper mining township of Burra, and search Bluebush plains for Redthroat, Black-eared Cuckoo, Brown & Rufous Songlark and Redthroat. Later in the day we reach Australia’s largest river: the Murray, where we check the wetlands for crakes, rails and waterbirds including Pink-eared and Freckled Duck. Overnight Berri Resort Hotel (en-suite hotel room; Meals included: B, L, D).

Day 6
Day 6 - Birdlife Australia’s Gluepot reserve

We depart early in the morning for the drive of less than an hour to Birdlife Australia’s Gluepot reserve, home of the endangered Black-eared Miner. We arrive at Gluepot around sunrise. While the sun rises over centuries-old mallee eucalypts and sand dunes covered in spinifex grass, we look for Malleefowl, Red-lored Whistler, Gilbert's Whistler, Hooded Robin, Southern Scrubrobin, Black-eared Miner, Striated Grasswren, Shy Heathwren, White-browed Treecreeper and Major Mitchell Cockatoo. As the bird activity slows down, so do we, and focus on species such as Chestnut Quail-thrush, Crested Bellbird, Splendid Fairy-wren and Striped Honeyeater. Depending on conditions we may also look for White-winged Triller, Pied and Black Honeyeater and Crimson and Orange Chat. From one of the bird hides that overlook a watering through, we have a chance of seeing Mulga Parrot and many of Gluepot's 10 species of Honeyeater. We leave the reserve late in the afternoon to return to our accommodation around dusk. Overnight Berri Resort Hotel (en-suite hotel room; Meals included: B, L, D).

Day 7
Day 7 - Murray River National Park

The morning is spent in the Murray River National Park with its vast tracts of the unique River Red Gum forests. Flowering eucalypts produce an abundance of nectar for honeyeaters and parrots. Focus of the morning is the endangered Regent Parrot: we’ll visit a colony of these beautiful birds while other species we aim to find include Yellow Rosella, wood-swallows, Restless Flycatcher, crakes and rails and Nankeen Night-heron. After lunch we follow the river upstream, checking various sites along the way (including a raptor lookout with chance of up to 5 species of raptors), to the township of Ouyen. Overnight Ouyen Hilltop Motel (en-suite motel room; Meals included: B, L, D).

Day 8
Day 8 - Hattah-Kulkyne National Park

Today we head off early to arrive at Hattah-Kulkyne National Park with its vast expanses of Mallee (eucalypt) scrubland with Spinifex (porcupine) grass in time to search for the endangered Mallee Emu-wren. These elusive yet beautiful birds will take some time to track down, but in the process we stand a good chance of coming across Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo and more Regent Parrots. In the afternoon we travel to Deniliquin; after checking into our accommodation we’ll set off again for further birding and after dark, spotlighting for Plains-Wanderer. The species is in a family of its own and is almost extinct. The birds are rarely seen during the day and therefore the evening will be spent searching for them using spotlights. During this evening session we may also see Inland Dotterel, Australian Bushlark, Little Buttonquail and Stubble Quail. Overnight Deniliquin Motel (en-suite motel room; Meals included: B, L, D).

Day 9
Day 9 - Birding the riverine woodlands and waterways around Deniliquin

After our late-night adventures, we’ll start not too early in the morning, birding the riverine woodlands and waterways around Deniliquin. Species targeted during the day include Superb Parrot and Black Falcon; a raft of woodland species including chance of Western Gerygone, Crested Shrike-tit, Diamond Firetail and Dollarbird; waterbirds which are subject to seasonal fluctuations but may include Painted Snipe, Australian Bittern and Australian Little Bittern, as well as Spotless Crake, Painted Buttonquail, and depending on seasonal conditions Painted/ Pied/ Black Honeyeater. Overnight Deniliquin Motel (en-suite motel room; Meals included: B, L, D).

Day 10
Day 10 - East from Deniliquin

We drive east from Deniliquin and visit various woodland sites along the way, with further chances of birds like Eastern Spinebill, Diamond Firetail, Speckled Warbler, Black-chinned, Fuscous & Yellow-tufted Honeyeater, Flame, Scarlet & Eastern Yellow Robins, White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike, Pallid Cuckoo, Little & Musk Lorikeets, Dollarbird, Leaden Flycatcher, etc, before reaching the woodlands of Chiltern, home to the endangered Regent Honeyeater. In the evening we’ll check a site for White-throated Nightjar. Overnight Chiltern Lydoun Motor Inn (en-suite motel room; Meals included: B, L, D).

Day 11
Day 11 - Wood-lands around Chiltern

We’ll spend most of the day exploring the wood-lands around Chiltern, which not only contain the endangered Regent Honeyeater but also other good species such as Turquoise Parrot, Speckled Warbler, Yellow-tufted Honeyeater, Eastern Yellow Robin and

Day 12
Day 12 - Birding the moist hill forests around Healesville

We spend most of the day birding the moist hill forests around Healesville where we hope to pick up Superb Lyrebird, Pilotbird, Red-browed & White-throated Treecreepers, Large-billed & White-browed Scrub-wrens, Eastern Whipbird, Rufous Fantail, Satin Flycatcher, Golden Whistler, Lewin’s Honeyeater, Pied & Grey Currawongs, Brush Cuckoo, Shining Bronze-cuckoo, Brown & Striated Thornbill and Silvereye. We’ll then drive for a couple of hours’ to the township of Werribee, gateway to our destination for the next morning: the Western Treatment Plant. Overnight Werribee Best Western Motel (en-suite motel room; Meals included: B, L, D).

Day 13
Day 13 - Western Treatment Plant

We’ll head to the Western Treatment Plant, one of Australia’s premier waterbird sites, looking for Sharp-tailed Sandpiper, Red-necked Stint, Black-tailed Godwit, Red Knot, Red-capped Plover, Hoary-headed Grebe, Australasian Gannet, Pied, Little Pied, Great & Little Black Cormorants, White-winged Black-Tern, Fairy Tern, Pink-eared, Blue-billed and Musk Duck, Australian Shelduck, Cape Barren Goose, Red-necked Avocet, Australian Spotted Crake, Buff-banded Rail, Blue-winged Parrot, Striated Fieldwren, Horsfield’s Bushlark, Horsfield’s Bronze-cuckoo, Golden-headed Cisticola, Swamp Harrier and Black Falcon. We’ll take a short drive to Anglesea, at the start of the scenic Great Ocean Road. Overnight Great Ocean Road Resort, Anglesea (en-suite rooms; Meals included: B, L, D).

Day 14
Day 14 - Birding and end of the tour

This morning we’ll make our way around the spectacularly scenic Great Ocean Road, looking for birds such as Rufous Bristlebird, Southern Emu-wren, Gang-gang Cockatoo, Yellow-tailed Black-cockatoo, Satin Bowerbird, Blue-winged Parrot, King-Parrot, Olive Whistler, Tawny-crowned, Yellow-faced & Crescent Honey-eaters, Forest Raven, Fan-tailed Cuckoo, Rose & Pink Robins, Bassian Thrush, Grey (White) Goshawk, Brush Bronzewing, Black-faced Cormorant, Hooded Plover, Striated Fieldwren, seabirds, etc. as well as Koala and Swamp Wallaby. Overnight Melbourne Best Western Motel (en-suite motel room; Meals included: B, L, D). Tour ends.

Malleefowl, Musk Duck, Freckled Duck, Plains Wanderer, Superb Lyrebird, Gilberts, Rufous and Red-lored Whistler, Rufous Bristlebird, Black-eared Miner, Spotted & Striated Pardalote, Shy Heathwren, Rufous Fieldwren, Striated and Short-tailed, Grasswren Southern and Mallee Emu-wren.  Chestnut and Cinnamon Quail-Thrush. 6 species of Parrot including Elegant, Superb and Regent Parrot, 12 species of Honeyeater, 5 species of Robin

What is included?

  • All meals commencing with dinner on Day 0 and finishing with breakfast on Day 14
  • Morning tea/coffee, some snacks, some fruit, some drinks
  • Unlimited drinking water refills
  • Accommodation in private en-suite rooms where available
  • Transport using a comfortable and reliable vehicle
  • Expert guiding
  • Any entry fees
  • Taxes

What is not included?

  • Insurance
  • Travel to & from departure and finish points
  • Pre- & post trip accommodation
  • Any meals before dinner on Day 0 and after breakfast on Day 14
  • Drinks except where provided,
  • Personal expenses, tips
Wildlife Reviews
5 stars
- based on 1  reviews
  1. An indeed "Great" Southern tour
    Ron W.01 Nov 2019
    5
    Overall

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    Thanks for a wonderful trip. I’ll always remember it fondly. The variety of birds seen was impressive!

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Why book with Bellbird Birding Tours?

Bellbird Birding Tours has 20 years experience in providing top-quality small-group birding trips throughout Australia and beyond. We offer a wide selection of scheduled tours with regular departures and fully customisable privately guided tours of any duration. We specialise in difficult-to-find bird species and off-the-beaten track locations while not omitting the popular birding areas. We can adjust any scheduled itinerary into a private tour to suit your wish-list and we are also happy to design a custom guided birding tour from scratch for you. Our tours are led by our passionate and experienced professional bird guides and with the help of local experts.

What to bring?

Please travel light. Binoculars, camera, mobile phone, chargers, power adaptors if you’re an international guest, insect repellent, sunscreen, personal medications, sun hat, water bottle, hand sanitizer. Sturdy footwear recommended. Scopes, super-telephoto lenses with tripods and heavy suitcases are discouraged.

Clothing

Lightweight long pants, t-shirt and a long-sleeved shirt, over the top of which you can wear layers that can be taken off as necessary, including a jumper/sweater and a wind- and rainproof jacket.

Join Our Fixed Tour Starting Date

Tour Dates Tour Availability From Price Spaces Left
01/11/2021 - 14/11/2021 guaranteed AUD 7,699
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13 Days

Price & Availability

From
AUD7,699 / per person
Based on twin/double room
This tour is operated by: Bellbird Birding Tours

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Operator Review Summary

4.79 Based on 11 reviews
Tours
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Value

Tour Facts

  • South Australia & Victoria
  • Set Departure
  • Set Departure Tour
  • Birds
  • 4 to 9px
  • 13 days
  • Nov to Dec
  • + 15 years
  • Leisurely
  • No
  • English
  • Adelaide Airport
  • Melbourne Airport