South Australia offers some 450 species of birds. Habitats range from the dry red interior to the lush and green Mt Lofty Ranges; wetlands and mangroves around Adelaide and estuaries in the Coorong, floodplains along the Murray River, woodlands and tidal flats of Kangaroo Island, vast expanses of the famous semi-arid mallee, and outback deserts with spectacular mountain ranges. Some unique bird species including a small number of endemics can be found here. Over recent years an increasing number of Australian and international visitors have discovered the birding secrets SA has to offer.
Day 1. Early this morning, you will be collected by a SeaLink coach to travel down the Fleurieu Peninsula to Cape Jervis, then board the ferry to Kangaroo Island. The ferry takes about 45 minutes and you might like to keep an eye out for some pelagic bird species along the way - regular encounters include Australasian Gannet, Flesh-footed Shearwater, Caspian Tern, Crested Tern, Silver Gull, Pacific Gull, Black-browed Albatross, Yellow-nosed Albatross (these latter 2 are season and wind direction dependent), and Southern Giant Petrel (winter).
Met on arrival by your guide and begin two days exploring this large and diverse Island. Start out by travelling to Murray Lagoon and into the back-blocks. Common encounters include: Wedge-tailed Eagle, Chestnut-breasted Shelduck, Musk Duck, Black Swan, White-fronted Chat, Richard’s Pipit, Grey Teal, Swamp Harrier, Peregrine Falcon, Red-capped Dotterel, and Black-fronted Dotterel. Summer visits will also include a range of migratory waders. From here travel to Seal Bay Conservation Park which protects the habitat of a range of wildlife species including Australian sea-lions, and a chance for Hooded Dotterel, Eastern Osprey, White-bellied Sea-eagle, Crested Tern, Sooty Oystercatcher and a range of bush birds.
Break for lunch and then travel to Lathami Conservation Park. Here sugar gums provide breeding hollows and drooping sheoaks provide the food source for the critically endangered Glossy Black Cockatoo. This park is also habitat for Superb Fairy-wren, Golden Whistler, Crimson Rosellas, Beautiful Firetail, tammar wallabies, echidnas and Kangaroo Island kangaroos. Next travel into Kingscote and the oxidation ponds – take quick visit to see who is on the ponds on the adjacent Cygnet River Estuary. Reeves Point provides a mix of shore-birds and usually 3-4 species of Cormorant. Final location for the day is American River which is a tidal inlet on the northeast coast.
The slopes above American River offer sugar gum forest and sheoack woodland which provides habitat for the Glossy Black Cockatoo, Galah, Beautiful Firetail, Scarlet Robin and Crimson Rosella. Along the waters edge the protected shores have great feeding habitat on the mudflats along the seafront and into Pelican Lagoon. Significant aggregations of Black Swan, Australian Pelican, Musk Duck and a range of waders are likely encounters.
Check in to Kangaroo Island Lodge at American River. Be sure to let the staff know that you are interested in birds and you would like to be notified if they hear Glossy-black Cockatoos which are often active in the early evening in the trees behind the lodge. There is a chance to take a nocturnal tour (optional) to visit a Little Penguin colony with opportunistic sights of other nocturnal species possible en route (Barn Owl, Southern Boobook, Bush Thick-knee). You should arrange this during the day with your guide as a reservation needs to be made to secure space for this experience.
ACCOMMODATION: Kangaroo Island Lodge
Day 2. Optional self-guided walk before breakfast exploring the sugar-gum forest, sheoak woodland and tidal mudflats in the vicinity of Kangaroo Island Lodge. Depart for Duck Lagoon on the Cygnet River: freshwater habitat for ducks (regular haunt for Freckled Duck when they disperse from outback waterways), swans and a range of other species. Classic Australian landscape with massive redgums reflected in still water, these large gums are frequented by Pardalote and Honeyeaters including the White-eared and Brown-headed.
Flinders Chase National Park is the main focus for the day. This large historic wilderness covers the entire end of the Island and provides habitat for a broad range of species. The journey down to the park is quite long and there is a chance we will encounter Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo feeding either in Banksias or Pinus radiata as we travel west. Rocky River is the location for the park headquarters amid an old farm where the pastures provide winter grazing and nesting sites for Cape Barren Goose.
Cape du Couedic provides occasional access to oceanic species such as albatross and shearwaters regularly produces Crested Tern, Caspian Tern, and Fairy Terns. In recent years there have also been Antarctic and White-fronted Tern here. It’s a great vantage point for annual shearwater migration in September.
Not far from Cape du Couedic in similar coastal heath grading into mallee is a natural granite sculpture known as Remarkable Rocks which provides a stunning backdrop for seeking out elusive Western Whipbird, Southern Emu-wren, and more commonly, Tawny-crowned Honeyeater. The rounded tors provide perches for both Australian Kestrel and Australian Raven.
Return to the east end of the Island to connect with the shuttle to the ferry for the return trip to the Australian mainland.
Tour Code: BS2KI
To Book or Enquire: Email (Please include Tour Code)
This birding tour takes in a variety of habitats thereby maximizing the species list – expect around 200 species, including some highly sought-after species.
Day 1. We commence the trip this morning in Adelaide and move to the Adelaide Hills to look for Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo, Adelaide Rosella, Yellow-faced, White-naped and Crescent Honeyeater, Chestnut-rumped Heathwren, White-throated Treecreeper, Flame Robin and the White-throated Scrubwren. We also have a good chance of seeing a Koala. Further east, in low, dry eucalypt scrub we look for the ground-dwelling Southern Scrubrobin and Shy Heathwren, as well as Purple-gaped Honeyeater and the elusive Painted Button-quail. We follow the Murray river where Purplecrowned Lorikeet is for species as Cape Barren Goose, Freckled Duck, Baillon's, Australian Spotted and Spotless Crake, Little Grassbird and Golden-headed Cisticola. We spend the night in Waikerie.
Day 2. Very early this morning we visit Birds Australia’s Gluepot reserve, home of the critically endangered Black-eared Miner. We arrive at Gluepot just before sunrise. 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 well as Chestnut Quail-thrush, Crested Bellbird, Splendid Fairy-wren, and Striped Honeyeater. We have a chance of seeing the eastern race monarchoides of Regent Parrot and many of Gluepot's 10 species of Honeyeater. We leave the reserve late in the afternoon to be back at your accommodation in Waikerie around dusk.
Day 3. Today we will travel some 400 km to the Flinders Ranges, an impressive range of steep hills and soaring rock formations on the edge of Australia’s outback. We visit a Regent Parrot breeding site, and search for semi-open country specialists such as Redthroat and Black-eared Cuckoo. Once we arrive in the Flinders Ranges we search for the elusive Short-tailed Grasswren. We will certainly see plenty of Red, Western Grey and Euro Kangaroos. Overnight at the Wilpena Pound Resort.
Day 4. An early start to look for Southern Scrubrobin and Greyheaded Honeyeater and search for Short-tailed Grasswren again. Mid-morning we look for Elegant Parrot and Grey-headed Honeyeater. We’re also likely to encounter the endangered Yellow-footed Rock-wallaby. We will arrive at Mt Lyndhurst, on the edge of the Strzelecki desert, later in the day and will search for Chestnut-breasted Whiteface, another SA endemic, as well as Inland Dotterel, Thickbilled Grasswren, Cinnamon Quail-thrush, Chirruping Wedgebill and Rufous Fieldwren. Overnight at the Lyndhurst Hotel, a typical outback pub.
Day 5. We start with another visit to Mt Lyndhurst then the endless open stony plains of the Strzelecki desert looking for species such as Budgerigar, Crimson, Orange and Gibber Chat, Eyrean Grasswren, and if we’re lucky, Ground Cuckoo-shrike, Letter-winged Kite and Black-breasted Buzzard. We will spend the night again at Lyndhurst.
Day 6. Today we’ll travel the almost 700 km back to Adelaide with stops for White-winged Fairy-wren, Chirruping Wedgebill, Rufous Fieldwren and Redthroat, Banded Stilt, Slender-billed Thornbill, Elegant and Blue-winged Parrot and if we’re lucky, Rock Parrot. Time (and tide) permitting we pull in at the saltfields near St Kilda to scan through flocks of migratory waders and another chance of Banded Stilt. Arrival back in Adelaide will be late afternoon.
This tour will operate at any time, subject to availability, with minimum of 2 passengers – and will operate with one passenger at additional cost. This birding tour takes in a variety of habitats thereby maximizing the species list – expect around 200 species, including some highly sought-after species.
Tour departs on request, subject to availability.
Includes private guiding & touring, entry fees, accommodation, meals from lunch on Day 01 to lunch on Day 06.
Tour Code: BA6GF
To Book or Enquire: Email (Please include Tour Code)
7 Days / 6 Nights Self-Drive Birding Tour of the Coorong and Gluepot Reserve – from Adelaide
(Departs Saturdays all year, and also Tuesdays from October to May inclusive)
This self-drive birdwatching tour is a great way to see a wide range of species, a number of habitats, amazing scenery – and be independent! The tour itinerary includes important
birding sites such as the Coorong National Park for a spectacular array of waterbirds and
migratory waders (seasonal), and BirdLife Australia’s Gluepot Reserve for some rare endemic dry country species. You’ll also travel alongside the beautiful Murray River. We’ll provide you with a bird list, and handy notes on where to look, and even put you in touch with local birders (subject to availability). We will be happy to rearrange the itinerary in order to confirm the Gluepot Reserve Guided Birding Tour, if necessary, as this tour is always subject to availability.
Day 01: ADELAIDE TO VICTOR HARBOUR:
Collect your rental car today from Adelaide Airport, or from the Adelaide City Depot. From Adelaide, drive south to through the Adelaide Hills and at the village of Hahndorf, turn south and cross the beautiful Fleurieu Peninsula. You might like to stop at a winery or two to collect some local wine for your enjoyment when you reach your destination of Victor Harbour, and old riverport town, where you will stay for two nights.
Little Penguin Tour – join the immensely popular guided walk to view Little Penguin as they come ashore after a day’s fishing. The penguins make their way to their burrows where they can be seen displaying various behaviours, such as feeding chicks, nest-building, courting and mating (depending on the season).
Day 02: COORONG CRUISE:
This morning, drive 19km from Victor Harbour to Goolwa and the main wharf for the Coorong Adventure Cruise departing at 10.00am.
Spirit of the Coorong Adventure Cruise departs from the main wharf in the old river port town of Goolwa. Cruise to the Goolwa Barrage, through the lock and into the Coorong National Park to view the mouth of the River Murray. From the mouth the cruise heads into the pristine waters of the Coorong, past the spectacular white sand dunes and birdlife, as your captain provides an informative and entertaining commentary on the passing scenes, birdlife and history of the area.
Disembark for a guided walk through the sand dunes of the Younghusband Peninsula to the undisturbed white sandy beaches of the Great Southern Ocean. Along the walk your guide will talk about the cockling industry here, the sand dune flora and fauna and how the Aboriginal people lived in the area.
Deep into the Coorong, at Cattle Point, walk with your guide into the sand dunes again to learn more about the aboriginal occupation of the area, see the middens left around their old campsites and discover fresh water as the aboriginals did.
Day 03: VICTOR HARBOUR TO COORONG:
Depart Victor Habour this morning and drive around Lake Alexandrina to the town of Meningie, located on the banks of Lake Albert. If staying at Coorong Waterfront Retreat for the next two nights, stock up with food from the local supermarket, then continue driving another 15km to Coorong Waterfront Retreat, your self-catering accommodation located just across the road from The Coorong. The house and garden are exclusively yours for two nights.
Day 04: COORONG:
The Coorong is ideal for birdwatching and is a significant breeding area for Australian Pelican and is a refuge for ducks, swans, terns, grebes and cormorants and dozens of species of migratory birds (seasonal) that travel annually along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway from Siberia, Asia and the Arctic Circle.
Depart from the Coorong this morning, and drive north through Murray Bridge and north along the beautiful Murray River to Blanchetown and turn right onto the Sturt Highway to the town of Waikerie.
On arrival in Waikerie, check in to your accommodation at the Waikerie Hotel, then take some time to do some birdwatching within and around Waikerie. Look for White-plumed Honeyeater, Yellow-plumed Honeyeater, Brown-headed Honeyeater, Singing Honeyeater, Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater, Crested Pigeon, Peaceful Dove, Chestnut-rumped Thornbill, Weebill, Red-capped Robin, Red-rumped Parrot, Yellow Rosella, Variegated Fairy-wren, Striated Pardalote and White-browed Babbler.
Later in the day when things quieten down we'll focus on easier species such as Gilbert's Whistler, Striped Honeyeater, White-browed Treecreeper, many of Gluepot's 8 species of Honeyeater, etc. We will spend some time in a bird hide overlooking a watering through with chances of parrots including Regent Parrot and honeyeaters.
Day 07: WAIKERIE TO ADELAIDE
This morning, depart Waikerie and drive 25 minutes east to Banrock Station Wine & Wetland Centre to take a self-guided walking trail around the restored wetlands and view abundant wildlife. Why not stay for lunch in the Centre’s delightful restaurant?
Tour Code: BA7SD
TOUR INCLUDES: Compact Hatch Car Rental (optional upgrade to Large 4WD), 6 nights accommodation as specified (room only), tours/cruises as specified (and subject to availability), road map & directions, bird list, local birding contacts (Coorong). Tour can be done in reverse.
Enquire here for costs (Please include Tour Code). Ask us about accommodation options in Adelaide.
(Selected images courtesy of SATC.)
This tour provides you with comfortable shared touring of Kangaroo Island in South Australia, and Litchfield & Kakadu National Parks in the Northern Territory, and on small group tours. You’ll see the very best of both regions, and learn about the abundant wildlife and cultural aspects.
The photographic opportunities are endless. Beautiful Kangaroo Island offers a wide range of wildlife including some of Australia’s rare bird species plus koalas, kangaroos, echidnas and sea lions, and amazing scenery. From Darwin you will visit Litchfield National Park with its beautiful waterfalls, striking termite mounds and a special Indigenous experience; Kakadu National Park will have you spellbound with spectacular scenery, prolific birdlife and other wildlife including estuarine & freshwater crocodiles, and ancient Aboriginal rock art.
Day 01 – Arrive Adelaide
Arrive at Adelaide Airport and collect your luggage, and proceed to the Adelaide Airport Shuttle Desk for your transfer to your hotel in Adelaide.
Adelaide is Australia’s fifth largest city, and the city itself is entirely surrounded by beautiful parklands. The parklands and the River Torrens are within easy walking distance. There’s a great cultural mix in Adelaide and you’ll find highly awarded fine dining restaurants alongside pop-up bars and food trucks!
Depending on your arrival time, why not begin your South Australia birdwatching with a short walk to the Botanic Gardens and parklands. You may see Rainbow Lorikeet, Long-billed Corella, Adelaide Rosella and Eastern Rosella, as well as Musk Lorikeet, and White-browed Scrubwren.
Accommodation: Majestic Roof Garden Hotel- or similar
Day 02 – Begin 2 Day Kangaroo Island Nature Tour (Shared) (Lunch included)
Early morning pick up from your Adelaide hotel for a scenic coach trip to Cape Jervis to connect with SeaLink’s ferry for the 45 minute crossing to Kangaroo Island or travel via air to Kingscote Airport.
On arrival at Penneshaw or Kingscote Airport you will be met by your guide and your island nature experience begins with an introduction to Kangaroo Island. Tour through several island habitats and see wildlife in its natural environment. Kangaroo Island is a haven for Australian wildlife, which exists in its natural habitat without the threat of introduced predators. Listen to the distinct sounds of the native birdlife as they chorus from the tall eucalyptus trees.
Kangaroo Island is home to some 250 species of birds, many of which, through isolation from the mainland, have developed their own subspecies and are therefore unique to Kangaroo Island. As you travel the island keep an eye out for echidnas, wallabies, reptiles and wildflowers.
At the spectacular Seal Bay Conservation Park, your guide will escort you on a memorable walk along the beach to view a huge and healthy Australian Sea-lion colony. Walk among the sea-lions as they bask on the beach or among the sand dunes. With your guide you are able to stand at a safe distance to these wonderful endangered creatures and hear them sigh and watch them at play. This is a truly unforgettable experience!
Enter our exclusive Heritage-listed natural bush property to enjoy a delicious gourmet style picnic lunch with South Australian wine.
After lunch, take a bushwalk looking out for koalas in the eucalyptus trees. Travel through the island’s interior keeping an eye out for koalas and echidnas. Explore the spectacular beaches of the north coast. Listen for Australia’s rarest cockatoo, the Glossy Black Cockatoo and watch out for the Tammar Wallaby, with its small, fine features, in its natural habitat.
Later in the afternoon, as the day draws to a close, see the kangaroos leave the safety of the bush to begin grazing on the open pastures. You will then be taken to your accommodation for your overnight stay on Kangaroo Island.
Accommodation: Mercure Kangaroo Island Lodge
Day 03 – Kangaroo Island to Adelaide (Continental Breakfast & Lunch included)
This morning we travel to the western section of the island and discover the stunning Flinders Chase National Park, one of the oldest and most important national parks in South Australia. The park incorporates almost 20 per cent of the island and much of it is a Wilderness Protection Area, home to a variety of fauna and flora unique to Kangaroo Island. Enjoy the opportunity to walk through the park in search for kangaroos, wallabies and a variety of birdlife.
See at close range some 10,000 New Zealand fur seals in their colony at Cape du Couedic and discover the incredible formation, Remarkable Rocks. These large granite boulders balance dramatically on the cliff edge, which plunges 75 metres into the turbulent Southern Ocean below.
At Admirals Arch see where the powerful forces of nature have cut through the headland to create this beautiful natural geological formation.
A delicious gourmet style picnic lunch with accompanying wine will be served in a secluded bush setting. During the day koalas can be observed in their treetop habitat. By special permit, enter the Kelly Hill Conservation Park to see kangaroos and other native wildlife emerge from the safety of the bushland to graze on the open plains.
If time permits, visit Point Ellen at Vivonne Bay, once voted Australia’s best beach. Your tour concludes at Penneshaw in time for the return ferry to the mainland and coach transfer to Adelaide and to your hotel.
Accommodation: Majestic Roof Garden Hotel
Day 04 – Adelaide to Darwin
Check out from your hotel early this morning. You will be collected by Adelaide Airport Shuttle and transferred to Adelaide Airport where you will check in for your flight to Darwin.
Suggested Flight: Qantas Flight QF754 - Departs Adelaide: 8.35am, Arrives Darwin: 11.15am
Arrive at Darwin Airport and collect your luggage, and proceed to the Darwin Airport Shuttle Desk for your transfer to your hotel in Darwin.
The multicultural city of Darwin is the capital city of the Northern Territory situated on the Timor Sea, and with a population of around 127,000, is by far the largest city in the sparsely populated Northern Territory.
This afternoon, why not begin your Top End birdwatching with a short walk to the Esplanade and into Bicentennial Park. You are likely to see Australian Figbird, Peaceful Dove, Crested Pigeon, Rainbow Lorikeet, Brown Honeyeater and White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike.
There are many restaurants in your local area for dinner (own expense).
Accommodation: Darwin Central Hotel
Day 05 – Begin 3 Day Litchfield and Kakadu National parks Tour (Shared)
You will be collected from your Darwin accommodation at approximately 7.00am for the short journey to Litchfield National Park. Explore the waterfalls, spring-fed streams and rugged sandstone escarpments of Litchfield National Park. Discover intriguing cathedral and magnetic termite mounds and swim, hike and explore Florence and Wangi Falls* and enjoy a picnic lunch.
Late afternoon experience a private two hour wetlands cruise spotting huge numbers of birds including Black-necked Stork, White-bellied Sea-eagle, Magpie Goose, Azure & Little Kingfishers, Egrets, (over 250 species in the Mary River region). You are likely to see estuarine crocodiles, buffaloes and other wildlife. This is a magical experience away from the masses in an area with the one of the highest concentration of saltwater crocodiles found in the world.
It’s only a short drive from here to our overnight accommodation in the Mary River region where the local wallaby population welcomes us on arrival. This evening enjoy dinner under the stars and share stories.
Accommodation: Point Stuart Wilderness Retreat (private facilities)
Day 06 – Kakadu National Park (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner included)
Departing Point Stuart early, we enter Kakadu National Park, then we leave the bitumen and travel off road en-route to Twin and Jim Jim Falls, the jewels of Kakadu National Park.
Explore Twin Falls Gorge which is accessed by 4-wheel drive track, a boat shuttle service and a rocky walking track and boardwalk.
Once there relax on the sandy banks and admire the falls. There’s more 4-wheel driving as we make our way to Jim Jim Falls where a walk through monsoon forest and over boulders takes us to the waterfall and plunge pool which are surrounded by 150 metre cliffs.
Spend the afternoon taking in the sheer beauty of your spectacular surrounds before heading to our comfortable accommodation located within Kakadu National Park at Cooinda.
Accommodation: Kakadu Lodge Cooinda (private facilities)
Day 07 – Kakadu National Park to Darwin (Breakfast & Lunch included)
Rising early, we set the scene for today by taking the short hike to Nawurlandja lookout affording spectacular views of the escarpment country, Nourlangie and Anbangbang Billabong.
Afterwards, visit the culturally significant Ubirr, located within the East Alligator Region of the park. Here you will view a wide range of ancient Aboriginal art which will be interpreted by your guide. Learn the story of the Rainbow Serpent and climb the Nadab Lookout for panoramic views over the floodplain and beyond into Arnhem Land.
After lunch visit the Bowali Visitor Centre, a Gun-djeihmi name for the local area and creek on land owned by the mirarr clan. See the audio-visual presentations and Marrawuddi Gallery showcasing Aboriginal art by artists from within Kakadu and the wider region.
En route to Darwin we stop in for a visit at the Mamukala Wetlands offering a stunning variety of birdlife which can be spotted on the viewing platform or boardwalk. This afternoon, put your feet up and relax as your guide returns you to your Darwin accommodation after three magical days of adventure, wildlife, rich in cultural history and natural beauty.
Accommodation: Darwin Central Hotel
Day 08 – Depart Darwin (Breakfast included)
Tour Code: NA8KK
Tour Cost:from AUD $2,830.00 per person, twin share (Dec-Mar); from AUD $3,058.00 per person, twin share (Apr-Nov). Note that from December to March, the Kakadu National Park itinerary varies because of the wet season. Tour Cost includes GST. Costs are valid to 31 March 2017.
Tour Includes: 7 nights accommodation as specified, 4x Breakfasts, 5x Lunches, 2x dinners, 2 day shared small group tour of Kangaroo Island (coach/ferry Adelaide to Penneshaw & return to Adelaide), 3 day shared small group tour of Kakadu National Park (transport & cruise as specified).
**Tour Cost does not include Adelaide to Darwin Airfare.
Tour can be taken in reverse (ie Kakadu National Park followed by Kangaroo Island) - enquire here for costs (Please include Tour Code).
Ask us about accommodation options in Darwin following your tour.
Selected images courtesy of SATC.
Day 1: Adelaide to River Murray
You will be picked up from the airport or your accommodation. While most of South Australia is characterised by a rather arid climate, the Mt Lofty ranges are an exception. The hills capture the rainclouds coming in from the Southern Ocean, resulting in a much cooler and wetter climate. There are many National Parks comprised of tall Eucalyptus forests. Small villages surrounded by grapevines and orchards dot the landscape.
While taking a scenic walk in one of the National Parks we look for that typical Australian marsupial, the Koala. We may also come across the shy, ground-dwelling Southern Bandicoot. In the treetops we look for the enormous yellow - and - black Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo and other colourful parrots, as well as various species of Honeyeater.
We visit the summit of Mt Lofty, which provides breathtaking views over the city and Southern Ocean as far as Kangaroo Island. Here we also delve into South Australian history as we visit some of the landmarks that commemorate the achievements of early explorers.
As we drive through the scenic Adelaide Hills we experience how the landscape changes to drier and more open. On the edge of the escarpment we have a chance to experience the typical dry Australian bush. From here we will have amazing views of the Murray plains stretching out ahead of us as far as the eye can see. The scrub covering this area is home to some rare ground-dwelling bird species, such as Southern Scrubrobin and Shy Heathwren.
Australia's largest river, the Murray, flows through these plains. We enjoy lunch at the riverside town of Mannum, and then take an optional cruise exploring the river and its wetlands, which are teeming with water birds.
We follow the river upstream, stopping at some remarkable cliff-top lookouts, until we arrive at a private sanctuary. Here we'll enjoy a three-course dinner while watching the sun set over river cliffs, whose colors change with the fading light. After dinner we head out on a spotlighting adventure to view the endangered Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat, kangaroos and other native wildlife that comes out to feed.
Overnight: Barossa Valley
Day 2: River Murray to Flinders Ranges
We head north through fields of vineyards until we reach the town of Port Augusta. The Arid Lands Botanical Gardens contain a superb collection of indigenous plants, shrubs and flowers adapted to the semi-arid landscape. Set against a backdrop of red sand dunes and the coast of the Spencer Gulf, there are always flowering plants here no matter the time of year. The flowers attract many birds, in particular Honeyeaters.
After lunch we proceed to the Flinders Ranges through picturesque countryside, where we arrive in the Wilpena Pound region, our final destination for the day. We will see many kangaroos and with luck, the impressive Wedge-tailed Eagle. Emus are prolific in the National Park. Certain hills are covered in the quintessential Australian spinifex grass, which is home to the endemic Short-tailed Grasswren. After looking for these and other birds, we enjoy the rock formations taking on deepening shades of red as the sun sets.
Overnight: Wilpena Pound Resort.
Day 3 Flinders Ranges.
The Flinders Ranges are an impressive range of steep hills and soaring rock formations on the edge of Australia’s outback. Erosion of this ancient mountain chain has led to the formation of a natural crater-like pound which is best viewed from the air. Participants are able to take an optional half-hour scenic flight around Wilpena Pound. Alternatively, we can walk to the edge of the pound, along a tree-lined creek, which takes about an hour, and take the shuttle bus back.
We then drive into the Flinders Ranges National Park to visit the Sacred Canyon with its Aboriginal rock carvings. From there we proceed along creekbeds and through narrow gorges cut deeply into geological layers that date back 800 million years. 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.
In this area we're also likely to encounter the endangered Yellow-footed Rock-wallaby. After passing through a fantastic gorge the scenery of the true Australian Outback stretches out ahead of us as far as the eye can see.
Overnight: Wilpena Pound Resort.
Day 4 Flinders Ranges to Adelaide
We will take most of the day to travel back to Adelaide, visiting a number of sites of interest along the way. One of these is the Yourambulla Caves with Aboriginal rock paintings. Further south we visit the coastline north of Adelaide, where a unique ecosystem of low mangroves and extensive samphire swamps harbours some interesting bird species such as an endemic race of the Slender-billed Thornbill and various parrot species.
We will also travel trough some real "ghost towns" to pretty Melrose, at the base of Mt Remarkable. From here it is not far to the wine region of the Clare Valley. After tasting some excellent wines we finish this fascinating journey back in Adelaide in the early evening.
Tour Cost: From AUD $2,125.00 per person, twin share for 4 guests, and from AUD $3,500.00 per person, twin share for 2 guests.
Tour departs daily on request, subject to availability.
Includes private guiding & touring, meals from lunch on Day 01 to lunch on Day 04.
Tour Code: NA4MF
To Book or Enquire: Email (Please include Tour Code)