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Birding South Australia Highlights Tour - 6 Days

Birding South Australia Highlights Tour

Southern Australia Birding Adventure

This 7-day Birding South Australia Highlights Tour is a leisurely-paced trip available as a set-departure (or available request) where you can expect to see up to 200 species are possible, including several highly sought-after birds.  Expect to see Malleefowl, Banded Stilt, Adelaide Rosella, Rock, and Regent Parrot, Red-lored Whistler, Black-eared Miner, Chestnut Quail-thrush, Striated/Short-tailed/Thick-billed Grasswrens, Cinnamon Quail-thrush, Inland Dotterel, Shy Heathwren, and more.

This South Australia birding tour gives you an overview of the many environments found in South Australia, which are home to a number of distinctive bird species, including a few endemics. The South Australia birdwatching adventure includes everything from the lush and verdant Mt Lofty Ranges near Adelaide to the outback deserts with majestic mountain ranges, bird-rich wetlands along the Murray River, beautiful coastline scenery, and large stretches of the famous semi-arid mallee scrublands.

This is one of our longest-running tours, and the revamped itinerary promises even more species. South Australia's birding secrets have been uncovered by an increasing number of Australian and international visitors in recent years. We'll see the stunning Flinders Ranges and surrounding stark outback deserts, as well as the lush Mt Lofty Ranges, wetlands and estuaries near Adelaide, floodplains along the mighty Murray River, and the enormous stretches of semi-arid eucalypt scrub at Birdlife Australia's Gluepot Reserve.

From the Adelaide Hills' forests, the tour follows the Murray River up to Birdlife Australia's Gluepot Reserve amid the wide expanses of Mallee eucalypt scrubland north of the Murray, with its wetlands and dramatic cliffs. We explore the Australian outback with some highly specialised bird species further north, birding the rough mountainous scenery of the Flinders Ranges. Before returning to Adelaide, we bird along the stunning seaside area.

We'll see the stunning Flinders Ranges and surrounding stark outback deserts, as well as the lush Mt Lofty Ranges, wetlands and estuaries near Adelaide, floodplains along the mighty Murray River, and the enormous stretches of semi-arid eucalypt scrub at Birdlife Australia's Gluepot Reserve.

Alternative Tour Name: Highlights of Southern Australia Birding Tour
Day 1
Day 0 - Arrival

An optional pre-tour excursion to Kangaroo Island is available.

The enormous island, located just off the coast of Adelaide, is home to a rich range of wildlife, specialised birds, stunning scenery, and vast nature. The endangered Glossy Black Cockatoo, Fairy Penguin colonies, Hooded Plover, Cape Barren Goose, the elusive Western Whipbird, and the rare Fairy Penguin, as well as many other sea and land species, are all important birds.

Those who are not participating in this excursion should make their own way to our hotel in Adelaide on September 22nd, where we will all meet for dinner and introductions that evening. Adelaide for the night (en-suite hotel room; meals included: D).

Day 2
Day 1 - Outback South Australia

We're starting early for our adventure to the outback.

We head north along the coast in search of Adelaide Rosella and Slender-billed Thornbill. We visit the lovely Arid Lands Botanical Gardens in Port Augusta, where a variety of native flowers and bushes attract species such the Chirruping Wedgebill, Redthroat, White-winged Fairy-wren, and numerous species of Honeyeater, including the opportunity of seeing Pied and Black Honeyeaters. Banded Stilt can frequently be found in a neighbouring coastal lake.

At the conclusion of the day, we'll arrive at Mt Lyndhurst, on the outskirts of the Strzelecki desert. We marvel at the grandeur of the area while looking for Inland Dotterel while watching a stunning outback sunset from a vantage point. Lyndhurst appeared out of nowhere (en-suite cabins; meals included: B, L, D).

Day 3
Day 2 - Mt Lyndhurst & Strzelecki Desert

We leave early in the morning to begin birding at nearby Mt Lyndhurst, in which we will be able to view the final few Thick-billed Grasswrens with luck and patience. Cinnamon Quail-thrush, Rufous Fieldwren, Chirruping Wedgebill, Zebra Finch, Black-faced Woodswallow, and Budgerigar are all good outback species to explore for.

We'll go through the Strzelecki desert's unending open rocky plains, which are crisscrossed by primarily dry watercourses. Budgerigar, Redbacked Kingfisher, Crimson, Orange, and Gibber Chat are among the species to be found. After a picnic lunch at a billabong (waterhole) surrounded by coolabah trees, we'll bird our way back to Lyndhurst in search of Black-breasted Buzzard. If necessary, we will return to our sunset viewing location in the hopes of seeing another Inland Dotterel. Lyndhurst appeared out of nowhere (en-suite cabins; meals included: B, L, D).

Day 4
Day 3 - Gammon Ranges & Wilpena Pound Resort

Today, we'll continue south past the Gammon Ranges' stunning rock formations and into the Flinders Ranges, an outstanding region of steep hills and soaring rock formations on Australia's outback's edge.

We travel through creekbeds and into tight gorges cut deep into 800 million-year-old geological layers in the middle of the morning. Elegant Parrot and Grey-fronted Honeyeater are two of the birds we're looking for here. We go to the Ediacaran fauna's fossil site, which existed just before the huge expansion of multicellular life at the start of the Cambrian Period. The endangered Yellow-footed Rock-wallaby is also likely to be spotted here.

We'll look for the elusive Short-tailed Grasswren on spinifex-grassy slopes, and we'll see plenty of Red, Western Grey, and Euro Kangaroos. For dinner and an optional spotlighting session, we'll return to our magnificent base at Wilpena Pound resort. Wilpena Pound Resort is a great place to stay for the night (en-suite motel room; meals included: B, L, D).

Day 5
Day 4 - Flinders Ranges & Murray River

Early mornings in the outback can be brisk as we search for Southern Scrubrobin and other honeyeaters on adjacent rocky outcrops. We'll leave the beautiful Flinders Ranges and head south, passing through Burra, a historic copper mining town, to search for Blue Bonnet, Redthroat, Black-eared Cuckoo, Brown & Rufous Songlark, and Australian Pipit on the vast Bluebush plains.

We arrive at Australia's greatest river, the Murray, later in the day. We go to a Regent Parrot nesting colony and look for waterbirds including crakes, rails, and Freckled Duck in a few wetlands. Berri Resort Hotel is where you'll spend the night (en-suite motel room; meals included: B, L, D).

Day 6
Day 5 - Birdlife Australia's Gluepot Reserve & Berri Resort Hotel

We leave early in the morning for a short drive to Birdlife Australia's Gluepot reserve, which is home to six endangered bird species.

We seek for Malleefowl, Red-lored Whistler, Gilbert's Whistler, Hooded Robin, Southern Scrubrobin, Black-eared Miner, Shy Heathwren, White-browed Treecreeper, and Inland Thornbill as the sun rises over centuries-old mallee eucalypts and sand dunes covered in spinifex grass. We focus on species like the Chestnut Quail-thrush, Crested Bellbird, Splendid Fairy-wren, and Striped Honeyeater as the bird activity diminishes.

We may also see White-winged Triller, Pied and Black Honeyeater, and Major Mitchell's Cockatoo, depending on previous seasonal conditions. Mulga Parrot and many of Gluepot's 10 species of Honeyeater can be seen from one of the bird shelters that overlook a watering well. We leave the reserve late in the afternoon and return around dusk to your lodging. Berri Resort Hotel is where you'll spend the night (ensuite motel room; meals included: B, L, D).

Day 7
Day 6 - Evening Departure

We're birding our way back to Adelaide today.

We start by following the Murray River to search for species including Blue-billed and Freckled Duck, Baillon's, Australian Spotted and Spotless Crake, and Little Grassbird in a number of wetlands. We'll go to a raptor lookout with the hopes of seeing Little Eagle, Spotted and Swamp Harrier, Whistling and Black-shouldered Kite, and Black Falcon if we're lucky.

We stop for lunch at the Murray River, where Purple-crowned Lorikeets are frequently seen, before heading into the Adelaide Hills. The Adelaide Hills are an exception to the arid nature of most of South Australia's landforms. Many species that are only present in Australia's eastern states can be found in tall, dense eucalypt forests. Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo, Crimson Rosella adelaideae subspecies (often regarded as a full species: Adelaide Rosella), Yellow-faced, White-naped, and Crescent Honeyeater, White-throated Treecreeper, Scarlet Robin, and the localised maculatus subspecies of White-throated Scrubwren will all be on the lookout.

There's also a good probability we'll encounter a koala. The trip ends in the evening, and you'll be dropped off between 6-7pm at a hotel of your choice in the city centre, or at the airport if you're going home tonight (please don't book flights departing before 8pm.

Some of the wildlife expected to see on this trip are:

Adelaide Rosella, Australian Pipit, Australian Spotted and Spotless Crake, Baillon’s, Banded Stilt, Black Falcon, Black Honeyeaters, Black-breasted Buzzard, Black-eared Cuckoo, Black-eared Miner, Black-faced Woodswallow, Blue Bonnet, Blue-billed and Freckled Duck, Brown & Rufous Songlark, Budgerigar, Cape Barren Goose, Chestnut Quail-thrush, Chirruping Wedgebill, Cinnamon Quail-thrush, Crescent, Honeyeater, Crested Bellbird, Crimson, Crimson Rosella Adelaideae, Elegant Parrot, Euro Kangaroos, Fairy Penguin, Fairy Penguin colonies, Gibber Chat, Gilbert’s Whistler, Glossy Black Cockatoo, Grey-fronted Honeyeater, Hooded Plover, Hooded Robin, Inland Dotterel, Inland Thornbill, Little Eagle, Little Grassbird, Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo, Malleefowl, Pied Honeyeaters, Red Kangaroos, Redbacked, Kingfisher, Red-lored Whistler, Redthroat, Regent Parrot, Rufous Fieldwren, Scarlet Robin, Shy Heathwren, Slender-billed Thornbill, Southern Scrubrobin, Splendid Fairy-wren, Spotted and Swamp Harrier, Striped Honeyeater, Western Grey Kangaroos, Western Whipbird, Whistling and Black-shouldered Kite, White-browed Treecreeper, White-naped, White-throated Treecreeper, White-winged Fairy-wren, White-winged Triller, Yellow-footed Rock-wallaby, Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo, Zebra Finch

What is included?

  • All meals commencing with Lunch on Day 1 and finishing with Lunch on Day 7
  • Drinking water, tea and/or coffee
  • Accommodation in private en-suite rooms
  • Transport using the comfortable and reliable 4WD 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 Lunch on Day 1
  • Dinner on Day 7
  • Drinks except where provided
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips
  • Anything that is not mentioned in the itinerary and "what is included"

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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 equipment/clothing is suggested to pack?

Please pack lightly. Binoculars, camera, mobile phone, chargers, power adaptors (if you're an international visitor), insect repellent, sunscreen, personal prescriptions, sun hat, water bottle, and hand sanitizer are all recommended. It is suggested that you wear sturdy footwear. Scopes, tripod-mounted super-telephoto lenses, and large baggage are prohibited. Recommended clothing includes lightweight long pants, t-shirt, and long-sleeved shirt, with layers that may be removed as needed, such as a jumper / sweater and a wind- and rainproof jacket, over the top. Dinner clothing should be neat and relaxed.

Do you need a minimum fitness level to join this tour?

This tour requires a low level of fitness. The tour moves at a leisurely pace, with walks on a variety of terrain, including paved roads, sandy or rocky walking trails, and some brief climbs. We usually walk slowly and stop frequently. Any tough walks can be skipped.

Join Our Fixed Tour Starting Date

Tour Dates Tour Availability From Price Spaces Left
22/09/2023 - 27/09/2023 available AUD 3,799
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6 Days

Price & Availability

AUD3,799 / per person
Based on twin/double room
Single Supplement AUD 440
This tour is operated by: Bellbird Birding Tours
4.79 based on 11 reviews

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Operator Review Summary

4.79 Based on 11 reviews

Tour Facts

  • South Australia, Australia
  • Set Departure
  • Multi-Day Tour
  • Birds
  • 3 to 9 px
  • 7 Days
  • September to December
  • +15 years
  • Leisurely
  • No
  • English
  • Adelaide Airport
  • Adelaide Airport