Tasmania Endemic Birds and Mammals Tour
15th - 24th February 2024
(includes Southern Ocean pelagic, Maria Island excursion and Tasmanian Devils)
FULLY BOOKED - SEE NEW FEB/MARCH TOUR DATES
Also available with optional extra pre-tour flight to Melaleuca for Orange-Bellied Parrots
Wed 14 Feb 2024
Optional - Arrive Hobart
Accom: Hobart (own expense)
Day 1. Thu 15 Feb 2024
Optional extra day- Melaleuca flight
Start of tour with dinner and orientation
Day 2. Fri 16 Feb 2024
Maria Island excursion - to Eaglehawk Neck.
Accom: Eaglehawk Neck
Day 3. Sat 17 Feb 2024
Accom: Eaglehawk Neck
Day 4. Sun 18 Feb 2024
Tasman Peninsula to Bruny Island.
Accom: Bruny Island
Day 5. Mon 19 Feb 2024
Full day Bruny Island.
Accom: Bruny Island
Day 6. Tue 20 Feb 2024
Bruny Island, Hobart to Mt Field area.
Accom: Mt Field area
Day 7. Wed 21 Feb 2024
Mt Field NP and Styx
Accom: Mt Field area
Day 8. Thu 22 Feb 2024
Mt Field area to Cradle Mountain area.
Accom: Cradle Mountain area
Day 9. Fri 23 Feb 2024
Cradle Mountain area.
Accom: Cradle Mountain area
Day 10. Sat 24 Feb 2024
Cradle to Launceston and depart.
B- breakfast; L- lunch; D-dinner.
Today has been set aside as an arrival day so you are free to arrive at any time that suits your travel plans. Please make your own way to the hotel in the city (please see notes at the end of this itinerary) and we will meet at the hotel at 18:30 for a brief orientation and welcome dinner. Please note that no activities have been planned for today unless you have chosen to join the pre-tour excursion to Melaleuca. For details of the optional pre-tour excursion, please refer to the additional information on page 5. If you plan to arrive early and would like advice on options of activities for the day, please do contact our office.
Accommodation: Hobart Hotel (en suite rooms). Meals Included: D.
Day 2. Maria Island and drive to Eaglehawk Neck.
We leave this morning to travel up the East Coast to Triabunna, where we will take the short 30-minute ferry ride across to Maria Island, an island with a rich history, a World Heritage Listed Probation Station, fossil cliffs and a great array of wildlife. On the way across to Maria Island, we shall look out for seals, dolphins, orcas and whales. Maria is a fascinating island with a wide variety of bird and mammal species. Of the mammals, we can expect to see Forester Kangaroo, Tasmanian Pademelon, Bennett’s Wallaby and Common Wombat. Maria Island also has an abundant bird assemblage, with 11 of the 12 Tasmanian endemics occurring here. We shall use our time to stroll slowly around the northern part of the island, with some outstanding scenery and the chance of seeing a large number of bird species including Cape Barren Geese, Australasian Pipit and Skylarks on the grazed grasslands and Forty-spotted Pardalote, Swift Parrot, Black Currawongs and several species of honeyeaters in the wooded areas. In the late afternoon, we will head back on the ferry.
Accommodation: Hotel on Tasman Peninsula (en suite rooms). Meals included: B, L, D.
Day 3. Southern Ocean Pelagic.
This morning we will board a charter vessel (weather permitting), making our way into the vastness of the Southern Ocean in our quest for pelagic birds. High species diversity and the nearness of the continental shelf have earned Tasmania an international reputation as an excellent place to see pelagic species. Not long after we depart Pirate’s Bay, we will hopefully encounter Short-tailed Shearwater in considerable number. This is one of the finest places on the planet to see a diversity of albatross and Wandering, Royal, Shy, Campbell, Black-browed, and Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross are all possible. With land still in sight we will reach the continental shelf and begin to lay a berley trail from the back of the boat. Possible petrels include White-chinned, Great-winged, Grey-faced, the striking White-headed, Gould’s, Cook’s and Mottled. Shearwater diversity is also good with Hutton’s, Fluttering, Sooty and Short-tailed Shearwater all possible. Wilson’s, Grey-backed and White-faced Storm Petrels and Fairy Prion are also regularly seen. Mammals we may encounter include Australian Fur-seals, Hump-backed Whale, Common and Bottlenose Dolphin. On our return to shore there will also be a chance to visit some nearby geological formations and if time permits explore Tasman National park before heading back to our hotel.
If you choose not to partake in the Pelagic cruise, you can have the day to yourself to explore the lovely beaches and forests near by the hotel, please let us know your preference when you book the tour.
Accommodation: Hotel on Tasman Peninsula (en suite rooms). Meals Included: B, L, D.
Day 4. Tasman Peninsula to Bruny Island, including Marion’s Bay and Orielton.
Today we have a further chance to explore the Tasman Peninsula before heading back towards Hobart, visiting some wetlands and coastal locations enroute such as Marion’s Bay and Orielton Lagoon for a variety of waders and shorebirds. We will then head down to Bruny Island. Situated 40km south of Hobart, Bruny Island is separated from the Tasmanian mainland by the D’Entrecasteaux Channel and accessed by a vehicle ferry. The ferry trip takes approximately 15 minutes where one can enjoy some wonderful scenery and possibly Little Penguins or dolphins alongside the ferry. This afternoon we will visit Bruny’s southern coastline to view the second oldest lighthouse in Australia, and search for species such as Tawny-crowned Honeyeater, Olive Whistler and Yellow-tailed Black-cockatoo. Here we also have a chance to see the Tasmanian subspecies of Short-beaked Echidna, one of Australia’s two egg-laying mammal (montreme) species. On one of our two nights on Bruny, depending on best weather conditions, we will visit the Little Penguin and Short-tailed Shearwater colony to view these species at their burrows. We will also take an evening drive in search of Tasmania’s nocturnal marsupials. We are likely to see some species which are now restricted to Tasmania including Eastern Quoll (a relative of the Tasmanian Devil) and Tasmanian Pademelon. Bennett’s Wallaby and Brush-tailed Possum are also common here and rare golden/white colour morphs of both these species can sometimes be found. If we are lucky, we may also see Long-nosed Potoroo and some nocturnal birds like Tawny Frogmouth and Tasmanian Boobook.
Accommodation: Cottage style accommodation near and at Inala, south Bruny Island (en suite cabins). Meals Included: B,L,D.
Day 5. Full day on Bruny Island.
Today we have a full day to explore Bruny Island. We will start the day birding at ‘Inala’, a privately owned 1,500-acre wildlife sanctuary which is home to all 12 Tasmanian endemic bird species, including one of the largest known colonies of endangered Forty-spotted Pardalote. Strong-billed, Yellow-throated and Black-headed Honeyeaters, Dusky Robin and Green Rosella are also regulars here. Several hides and platforms have also been built around the property which provide close views of some very special species, including a variety of raptors. At this time of year, we can expect to see the endangered white colour morph of Grey Goshawk, White-bellied Sea-eagle, Brown Goshawk, Brown Falcon and if we are lucky, Wedge-tailed Eagle. We will also visit a variety of habitats on the island, from coastal beaches for Hooded Plover, Pied and Sooty Oystercatcher, Pacific and Kelp Gull, to rainforest areas in search of Pink Robin and the endemic Scrubtit, Tasmanian Scrubwren and Tasmanian Thornbill.
Accommodation: Cottage style accommodation near and at Inala, south Bruny Island (en suite cabins) Meals Included: B, L, D.
Day 6. Bruny Island to Mount Field area. and Gould’s Lagoon.
Today we depart Bruny Island and spend a bit of time exploring the reserves in the Hobart area including kunanyi (Mount Wellington). This mountain, at a height of 1,270m (around 4,150 feet), affords spectacular views of the city and surrounding landscape on a clear day. Here we will also take a walk through a fern glade with towering tree ferns where we have another chance to see the endemic and rather shy Scrubtit as well as Tasmanian Scrubwren and the stunning Pink Robin. Further endemic highlights we will look for today include Green Rosella, Tasmanian Native Hen, Black Currawong and Yellow Wattlebird. We will also visit a lagoon for the chance to see a variety of waterbirds like Australasian Shoveler, Australian Shelduck and Black-fronted Dotterel before heading to our accommodation for tonight at a National award winning farm-stay, set in natural bushland overlooking picturesque Lake Meadowbank, close to Mt Field National Park. Tonight, we will enjoy a hearty farm fresh barbeque dinner before settling into our cosy cottages.
Accommodation: Mount Field area (en suite rooms). Meals Included: B, L, D.
Day 7. Mount Field and Styx Valley.
Today we will spend the entire day exploring Mount Field National Park and surrounding areas. This area is an excellent back up site for our endemic target species, notably Scrubtit and Black Currawong, and is also a great place to experience a range of habitats from fern gullies with waterfalls, to alpine heathland and cool temperate rainforest boasting some of the tallest trees in the world - the mighty Mountain Ash (Eucalyptus regnans). Today we also have our first chance of seeing the bizarre Platypus, the other species of Australian monotreme. In the late afternoon we will return to our farm-stay for a relaxed second night.
Accommodation: Mount Field/New Norfolk area (en suite rooms). Meals Included: B, L, D.
Day 8. Mt Field area to Leven Canyon.
This morning we will travel north to Cradle Mountain National Park. While today is largely a travel day, we will enjoy lovely scenery and stop several times en route to bird and stretch our legs. We will arrive at our accommodation near the National Park in the late afternoon. This accommodation offers the best chance of seeing one of Australia’s most threatened and charismatic mammals in the wild- the Tasmanian Devil-which comes in to feed on the verandas of the accommodation cottages at night. This is one of the only places left where one has a reasonable chance of seeing this species in the wild. Spotted-tailed Quolls are also regular visitors, and this is an excellent opportunity to view and photograph these elusive creatures.
Accommodation: Lodge near Cradle Mountain (en suite cabins). Meals Included: BLD
Day 9. Cradle Mountain area.
Today we have a full day to explore the area around Cradle Mountain and parts of northern Tasmania. This should provide a good chance to see more of Tasmania’s endemic bird species which we may have missed previously, such as Black Currawong and Yellow Wattlebird. In addition to the great birding, we can view endemic Tasmanian rainforest flora with ancient Gondwanan connections such as Pencil and King Billy Pines, Myrtle and the famous Fagus (Nothofagus gunnii) which is Tasmania’s only deciduous tree. This is also a good area to view the adorable Common Wombat. We will also have more chances of viewing Platypus. We will return to our forest cottages for another opportunity to view Tasmanian Devils and Spotted-tailed Quoll from our cabins.
Accommodation: Lodge near Cradle Mountain (en suite cabins). Meals Included: B, L, D.
Day 10. Launceston and depart.
This morning we travel to Launceston after breakfast where you will be able to connect with a flight of your choice to one of the capital cities. If time permits, we will visit some wetlands en route where there is a chance to view several wetland species including Purple Swamphen, Spotless Crake, Australian Shelduck, Black-fronted Dotterel and Little Grassbird. Please note that flights from Launceston should be made from around 13:00 as the guide will deliver those clients there around 12:00. The guide will then be returning straight to Hobart.
Meals Included: B.
OPTIONAL PRE-TOUR EXCURSION
Arrive in Hobart – Wednesday 14th February 2024. In order to join the Melaleuca excursion tomorrow, you will need to make your way to Hobart today and so you are free to arrive at any time that suits your travel plans. Please make your own way to your hotel (please see notes at the end of this itinerary) You may wish to book into the same hotel that the remainder of the participants will be staying at, so please discuss this with the office, who will be able to help you. Please note that no activities have been planned for today, but if you plan to arrive early and would like advice on options for the day, please contact our office. Meals Included: None.
Day 1. Pre-tour excursion Orange-bellied Parrot flight to South West Wilderness. (Only available if joining main tour).
Today, in a pre-tour excursion, we will leave civilisation behind us and embark on a spectacular flight (weather dependant) to Tasmania’s remote South West World Heritage area. Inaccessible by road and breathtakingly scenic, this is one of the most remote areas in Australia and is famed, not only for its unspoilt wilderness and clean air (arguably the cleanest in the world), but also for its birdlife. At Melaleuca, we have a chance to see one of Australia’s rarest birds, the critically endangered Orange-bellied Parrot. With less than 100 individuals left in the wild, this vivid parrot is teetering on the brink of extinction. Other specialties we hope to see are the elusive Eastern Ground Parrot, Striated Fieldwren, the delightful Southern Emu-wren, and the aptly named Beautiful Firetail. The area is also rich in history, and we will learn of the fabled adventurers who braved this region in a bygone era. When we return from Melaleuca, we will join the other tour participants at 6:30pm for a welcome dinner and orientation. Please note that this flight is weather dependent and if cancelled, you will have a free unguided day to explore Hobart, or we can organise some additional guided touring around the Hobart area for an additional price of $300 per person. We will be unable to reschedule the Melaleuca trip within the main timeframe of the tour unless everyone elects to take this as an optional extra.
Accommodation: Hobart Hotel (en suite rooms). Meals Included: L, D.
Group size: 6-8 participants and 1 Inala guide.
Tour Price: AUD$ 6,125 per person twin share. Single supplement: AUD$1,100
Tour Price with pre-tour excursion: AUD$ 6,775 per person twin share. Single supplement: AUD$1,100
(Pre-tour excursion only available if joining main tour)
Inclusions: 9 nights en-suite accommodation, specialist guiding and transport for day and night tours as outlined above, all meals as outlined in the itinerary, activities outlined in the itinerary (including the pelagic cruise and Maria Island excursion), National Park entry fees, Bruny Island ferry fares, GST.
Exclusions: international or domestic Australian airfares, airport transfers on arrival, accommodation on the night before the Melaleuca excursion and breakfast on day 1, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and expenses of a personal nature (snacks, travel insurance, internet, laundry, tips etc).
Additional services: We can arrange either self-guided or guided extensions to other parts of Tasmania or Australia to compliment this tour. Please enquire at the Inala office and we will happily cater for you through our licensed travel agency.
Arrival in Hobart: There is a regular shuttle bus service between Hobart airport and the main hotels in the city. Details on the costs and timing of the shuttle can be found on the Skybus website. Alternatively, you may wish to take a taxi to the city – there is no need to pre book these, they are readily available outside the terminal building.
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 is usually two course and 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 South West flight and the pelagic: Both of these activities are weather dependant and there is no guarantee that we will be able to do either. Please see specific notes on alternatives should the flight be cancelled.