Tasmania Endemic Birds and Mammals Tour 29 Jan - 8 Feb 2025

Forty-spotted Pardalote - Mehrdad Abbasian - Inala Nature Tours
Forty-spotted Pardalote - Mehrdad Abbasian - Inala Nature Tours
Tour date: 
Wednesday, 29 January 2025 to Saturday, 8 February 2025
Duration: 
10 days
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
Highlights: 
All of Tasmania’s endemic birds. Sweeping alpine scenery at Cradle Mountain. Includes Southern Ocean pelagic, Maria Island excursion and Tasmanian Devils.
Overview: 

Our popular and comprehensive tour of Tasmania offers all of Tasmania’s 12 endemic birds plus iconic mammals including Tasmanian Devil, Wombat and Platypus. This exploration includes a pelagic in the Southern Ocean.

Start Location: 
Hobart TAS
Australia
Finish location: 
Launceston TAS
Australia

Tasmania Endemic Birds and Mammals Tour 
29th Jan - 8th Feb 2025
(includes Southern Ocean pelagic, Maria Island excursion and Tasmanian Devils)

Also available with optional extra pre-tour flight to Melaleuca for Orange-Bellied Parrots

ITINERARY OUTLINE:
Day 0 - Wed 29th Jan 2025  Optional - Arrive Hobart
Day 1 - Thu 30 Jan 2025  Optional extra day- Melaleuca flight Start of tour with dinner and orientation
Day 2 - Fri 31 Jan 2025  Maria Island excursion - to Eaglehawk Neck. 
Day 3 - Sat 1 Feb 2025 Pelagic birding. 
Day 4 - Sun 2 Feb 2025 Tasman Peninsula to Bruny Island. 
Day 5 - Mon 3 Feb 2025 Full day Bruny Island.  
Day 6 - Tue 4 Feb 2025 Bruny Island, Hobart to Mt Field area. 
Day 7 - Wed 5 Feb 2025 Mt Field NP and Styx
Day 8 - Thu 6 Feb 2025 Mt Field area to Cradle Mountain area. 
Day 9 - Fri 7 Feb 2025 Cradle Mountain area. 
Day 10 - Sat 8 Feb 2025 Cradle to Launceston and depart. 

DETAILED ITINERARY:

B- breakfast; L- lunch; D-dinner.

OPTIONAL PRE-TOUR EXCURSION

Day 0. 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.

MAIN TOUR

Day 1. Arrive in Hobart
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.  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 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 Yellow-rumped Thornbills on the grazed grasslands and Green Rosella, 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.
Early 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 if time permits, there will be a chance to visit some nearby geological formations in the 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 during the crossing. With the time we have on Bruny in the afternoon we shall visit a selection of excellent birding sites either in the north or the south of the island on our way to our accommodation located in the south.   On Bruny we also have a chance to see the Tasmanian subspecies of Short-beaked Echidna, one of Australia’s two egg-laying mammal (monotreme) species.   

On one of our two nights on Bruny, depending on best weather conditions, we will visit the Short-tailed Shearwater colony to view these species at their burrows where there is also a possibility of seeing a few Little Penguin. 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 then 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. We will also 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.
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 ( provisions in your cottage ), 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.   Several incredible Platypus live in the river next to your cottages.
Accommodation: Lodge near Cradle Mountain (en suite cabins). Meals Included: B ( provisions in your cottage ), L, D.

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 ( provisions in your cottage ), 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 ( provisions in your cottage )

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

Group size: 6-9 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).

Please note:  

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 20 minute taxi to the city – they are readily available outside the terminal building. 

Meals and drinks: Breakfast generally consists of a continental style breakfast with toast, cereal, fruit, yoghurt and tea/coffee.  Cooked breakfast is not generally offered at most locations.  Lunch will mostly consist of a packed lunch style meal eaten in the field, with sandwich/wrap, fruit, and a drink.  Dinner is usually two course and with several options for main and the choice of either an appetiser or dessert. Drinks (soft & alcoholic) are generally not included, but at breakfast & lunch 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 Melaleuca flight and the pelagic: Both 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.

Trip Report - Tasmania Endemics Tour - October/November 2022
Guided by Cat Davidson of Inala Nature Tours

 

Day One - 29th October
With a slight adjustment to the schedule due to weather our trip to Maria Island switched to day one.

We met bright and early and drove the hour to the east coast to Triabunna where we caught the ferry to Maria Island. On the crossing of the Mercury passage we saw Black-faced Cormorants, Greater Crested Tern and Pacific Gull.

Upon landing on beautiful Maria Island we saw four lovely tiny Hooded Dotterel dancing in the sea foam on the beach edge and were visited by our first handsome and impressively large Cape Barren Geese with their lime green cere glowing in the sun. A pair of Chestnut Teal were floating down the creek and our first two Tasmanian Endemic birds quickly followed, with a Black Currawong and a pair of Tasmanian Native Hens.

Following his strong song, we tracked down a Flame Robin male and while admiring his stunning orange glow, a male Scarlet Robin also appeared and allowed us to compare and contrast their beautiful colours and features.

We had already spotted our first snoozing wombat down by the water, but up in Darlinghurst we had the great fortune of watching a wombat with her adorable joey poking out between her legs.

Another endemic appeared with two Green Rosellas sitting and singing on the rooftop and showing their colours. We began our walk down to the painted cliffs and along the route we had excellent sightings of Yellow-rumped Thornbill, White-fronted Chat, Australasian Pipits and Dusky Woodswallows.

Reaching the forest in the lower flats near the painted cliffs we saw some majestic and vocal Yellow Wattlebirds and many Black-headed Honeyeaters high in the canopy as well as brief but exciting views of a Forty-spotted Pardalote. Some Kookaburra laughed at us, but we tried not to take it personally and made our way back towards Darlington and had lunch on the deck of the coffee palace with wombats visiting throughout.

Refuelled, we went for a short walk towards the reservoir circuit and along the way we saw a handsome Tiger Snake basking in the sun and also got our first view of a sweet Tasmanian Pademelon as well as two Foresters Kangaroos resting amongst the bushes.

On the ferry ride back we saw a Swamp Harrier and a White-bellied Sea Eagle as well as some additional Australasian Gannets. A quick stop at Buckland Tasmanian Garden gave us a solo Australian Grebe floating in a wee dam, several pairs of Superb Fairywrens and a pair of Brown Thornbills amongst the silver wattles.

Dinner at the Old Woolstore and the opportunity to start to get to know each other better, a lovely start to a great first day.

Day Two - 30th October
We began our day by heading up to the top of Kunanyi ( Mt Wellington ) and enjoying the beautiful views over Hobart and the light layer of frost that lay over the trees and rocks, but which melted in front of our eyes as the sun began to warm the air.

A brief sighting of a female Flame Robin and a Wedge-tailed Eagle were the only birds at the top of the mountain, but when we dropped down to The Springs we were surrounded by the calls of the Crescent Honeyeaters and many adorable Superb Fairy Wrens. Dropping back down to sea-level we went to Sandy Bay and had morning tea in a lovely park where we saw Musk Lorikeet, Rainbow Lorikeet, Eastern Rosella and Galah as well as many Noisy Minor zipping about.

Our next stop took us outside the city to Sorell and Orielton Lagoon where we saw some Musk Duck out near the island and Little Pied, Little Black and Great Cormorants standing on the island and feeding in the currents. After lunch we drove to Marion Bay and saw a lovely selection of water and coastal heath birds including White-fronted Chat, Great Egret, Little Egret, Bar-tailed Godwit and Caspian Tern. The beach lookout gave us lovely views of the shoreline and a distant Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo.

On to the beautiful vistas of Pirates Bay Lookout and our final two birding spots for the day, the dog line site across the neck and the Tessellated Pavement with its incredible rock formations of loafs and pans formed by tidal erosion and salt crystal expansion. A sooty oystercatcher was our final new bird for the day.

Day Three - 31st October
A very windy day was predicted with severe weather warnings across Tasmania so we adjusted our pelagic to go the following day and planned a day of birding around the Tasman Peninsula.

Our first stop was at The Blowhole at Eaglehawk Neck followed by the stunning Tasman Arch and Devils Kitchen viewpoints. From the viewpoints out over the ocean we could see thousands of Short-tailed Shearwaters streaming past which was spectacular. A Flame Robin, Little Wattlebirds, some Brown Thornbill and two Bennetts Wallaby popped out of the undergrowth while we were admiring the incredible geological formations.

A drive to the Salt River Coal Mine site was very successful with excellent sightings of Spotted Pardalote, Striated Pardalote, Golden Whistler, Pallid Cuckoo and Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike.

After a wee drive up to Lime Bay campsite which was very windy we had lunch in Nubeena with a flock of Galahs as a splash of colour while we were enjoying our food.

Our next stop was the Remarkable Cave passing three Cape Barren Geese in a dam along the way. The views were sunny and stunning out to Cape Raoul and several beautiful alpha male Superb Fairywren were jumping around amongst the white daisy flowers of the Olearia.

A final stop for the day was Fortescue Bay where we were rewarded with fantastic sightings of Swift Parrot high in the blooming Blue Gums. A pair of Black Currawong and a flock of Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo were the final birds for the day and the icing on the cake of a lovely day in challenging winds.

Day Four - 1st November
The day dawned bright and calm, perfect for the day heading out to the ocean shelf to look for seabirds. The sailors headed out to sea with Inala guide Karen Dick as their expert companion to help them spot the birds, tell them all about them and their diagnostic features, behaviours and lives.

On the way back to shore a few wee showers came through and as we drove the hour back to Hobart there were a few pulses of lightning amongst the heavy showers.

Another lovely dinner at Old Woolstore and early to bed to be ready for Melaleuca tomorrow.

Day Five - 2nd November
The weather held well enough for us to be granted permission to fly and we made our way down the spectacular coastline to land in Melaleuca. The weather was wet and windy and yet we managed to get amazing sightings of over seventeen Orange-bellied Parrots as well as great Yellow-throated Honeyeater and Green Rosella sightings and some elusive Southern Emu-wren who called loudly but refused to show.

Once back in Hobart we had lunch at Margate before jumping on the next Bruny Ferry.

Our first stop in North Bruny gave us a Flame Robin on a fencepost, Black-headed Honeyeaters high in the Eucalypts, Striated Pardalotes and Brown Thornbills in the mid-storey and a few brief Common Bronzewings who zipped away on our approach.

Next stop was The Neck Campground where we had excellent views of a Satin Flycatcher pair, freshly arrived from their mainland migration. A Shining Bronze Cuckoo came in close and a pair of Golden Whistlers showed beautifully.

Arriving at Inala to check in to our accommodation, we were treated to a Beautiful Firetail in the carpark as we headed out for dinner at Hotel Bruny, spotting a White Wallaby on route glowing in the last light of the day.

Day Six - 3rd November
Our day on Bruny began at Inala where during breakfast we all had to temporarily abandon our food to dash out and see the beautiful Grey Goshawk ( white morph ) as it came in to land in the raptor field quickly followed by a White-bellied Sea Eagle.

We started our property walk in the Jurassic Garden and saw Tasmanain Scrubwren nicely out in the open. The Forty-spotted Pardalotes were fabulously active in the Eucalyptus Viminalis and some Black-headed Honeyeater were bouncing about amongst the leaves. Dusky Robin with two mottled chocks, Yellow-rumped Thornbill, Flame Robin and Scarlett Robin were all seen out in the Inala Fields and we then looped through the bush, seeing many great birds including Striated Pardalote and Tasmanian Thornbill.

On the way back to the office area we saw a Swamp Harrier and many adorable Tasmanian Pademelons around the old barn. Morning tea at the Alonnah Pontoon was followed by driving round to Adventure Bay. Two-tree point was stormy and beautiful with bright green seaweed contrasting with the turquoise ocean and a dark sky. We watched a fantastic number of Swift Parrots at Adventure Bay foreshore and ate our lunch surrounded by their twittering and tweeting. A hunt for White Wallaby was very successful and we saw an adorable young one relaxing on a sunny bank. We also discovered a lovely wee Echidna mosying along by the side of the road.

A walk through Mavista rainforest was quiet save for Tasmanian Thornbills and a Crescent Honeyeater feeding in the Tasmanian Laurel (Anopterus glandulosus ) and we finished up on Sharps Road with two lovely pairs of Red-capped Plovers.

After dinner we headed out to The Neck to watch the majestic Short-tailed Shearwater coming in to roost, circling silently and then singing to their mates underground. A quick look for nocturnal mammals gave us a Brush-tailed Possum, a Long-nosed Potoroo and three Tawny Frogmouths, a fantastic end to the day.

Day Seven - 4th November
After breakfast we tried again for Strong-billed Honeyeaters at Inala, but they still proved elusive. Departing Bruny we had a brief birding stop in Margate and saw some lovely Common Bronzewing, Black-faced Cuckoo Shrike and Yellow Wattlebirds followed by morning tea with the Fairy Wrens.

We travelled onward to Gould's Lagoon and saw a lovely selection of new water birds including Australian Shoveller, Australasian Swamphen, Australian Shelduck and Eurasian Coot. In the trees around the lagoon we heard many Musk Lorikeets and saw Eastern Rosella, Noisy Minor, Little Black and Great Cormorant and several adorable families of Native Hen with chicks.

Grabbing a quick lunch from New Norfolk, we zoomed on to Mount Field and on our walk to Russell Falls we had an amazing sighting of two male and one female Pink Robin. While enjoying the beautiful Pink Robin, a handsome brown Echidna strolled past giving us great views. The waterfall was looking spectacular with spray rising and sparkling in the sunlight. We had several excellent views of Tasmanian Scrubwren as they hopped amongst the moss and leaves. We walked the Tall Trees trail amongst the Eucalyptus Regnans and had two more sightings of Pink Robins with the last one being spotted in a perfect wee cup nest high in a tree fork.

Heading to Curringa Farm we had a delicious fresh dinner with Tim and Jane and spotted some Hoary-headed Grebes down on the farm Dam.

Day Eight - 5th November
Several guests came on a short walk of the regenerated land at Curringa and saw some beautiful orchids down near the water and several adorable wallabies joeys in the pouch. The rest of the team had a lovely relaxed breakfast and enjoyed their lovely cottages until we checked out and with a final farewell to Tim and Jane, headed off for the North.

First stop of the day was a dam near Bothwell where we saw a distant Black-fronted Dotterel, some White-fronted Chat and a large family of Australian Shelduck. Two Brown Falcon flew overhead while we were watching the waterbirds giving us excellent views. We drove on to the Steppes and stopped at the wildlife sculptures ( created by Stephen Walker ) viewing some lovely Yellow Wattlebirds, Black Currawong and Yellow-throated Honeyeater.

We walked through the forest to the old Homestead buildings and had morning tea surrounded by beautiful sunshine and shouty Striated Pardalotes. Our route then took us past the Great Lakes and up in altitude until we reached the Pencil Pine Lake high on the plateau. A stroll to the lake took us past Cushion Plants, Pineapple Grass, Yellow Bush and of course the magnificent Pencil Pines down to the windy wee alpine lake.

On the way back we caught the sound of a Striated Field-wren on the breeze and then had lovely close views when it flew in to observe us from near the trail.

We had lunch in Deloriane and then headed to Trowunna Wildlife Sanctuary where we joined a tour with staff member Adrian who showed us Wombats, Spotted-tailed Quolls, Eastern Quolls and Tasmanian Devils who we got to watch feeding on a rabbit, incredible to see them so close and know all about the great work the sanctuary is doing to help protect and recover the species.

Our destination for the night was the Hotel Grand Chancellor in Launceston where we had a lovely dinner before getting some rest.

Day Nine - 6th November
Today was our day to visit Cradle Mountain National Park , but first we headed North to the Tasmanian Arboretum to try to view some Platypus and being the first people in through the gates we had the dams to ourselves and saw several wonderful sightings of some sleek brown swimming magical monotremes.

After following one very lovely individual around the dam and seeing some wonderful surfacing views, we headed off on a wee birding loop seeing Spotted and Striated Pardalotes, Black-headed and Yellow-throated Honeyeaters, Yellow Wattlebird, Grey Fantail and a White-faced Heron sitting up in a tree.

We drove the winding back roads down to Cradle Mountain stopping to enjoy views of Mt Roland, and arrived in bright sunshine to enjoy morning tea at the Pencil Pine Falls where a Black Currawong joined us looking hopeful within minutes of our arrival and of course departed disappointed when we refused to share.

Walking the pencil pine loop track past the beautiful waterfall we saw Crescent Honeyeater and Tasmanian Thornbill amongst the mossy ancient Pencil Pines, Celery Top Pines and Myrtle Beech.

We headed through the barrier and into the park to drive to Dove Lake and enjoy the incredible clear sunny view of the mountain, which according to the staff was a rare occurrence for the last few weeks had been all rain and cloud.

Back at Ronny Creek we drove up to Walheim Cabin for lunch and had fantastic views over the sunny valley full of glacier features and alpine flora.

After lunch we took a walk through the wonderful Weindorfer’s Forest amongst the King Billy Pines and there we finally got good sightings of the endemic Tasmanian Scrubtit as well as a Pink Robin Female on her nest. We were spoiled by several more fabulous Wombats as we departed the centre of the park and our final stroll for the day was the Enchanted Forest Walk alongside the river where we had a second excellent view of Tasmanian Scrubtit and enjoyed the sunshine on the glowing Buttongrass.

A quick look around the gift shop and we set off back to Launceston, returning to our final delicious dinner together for the tour.

Day Ten - 7th November
Waking up on our last day of the tour we had a whole morning of birding ahead of us, as our accommodation was in Launceston we did not have far to drive so we could go to several fantastic birding sites. First was Queechy Lake at the top of the city and we got to see some wonderful new birds for the tour, Royal Spoonbill nesting on the island with some Little-pied Cormorants and gliding around on the lake by themselves, one Pink-eared Duck and one Blue-billed Duck, both so handsome and colourful. Great repeat views of Australasian Shovellers, Grey Teal, Australian Shelduck and Little-pied Cormorant. Before leaving the Lake we saw an incredible swarm of bees in a tree.

Our next stop was the Tamar Wetland which sadly was closed ( boardwalk damage, perhaps from the recent flooding ) but we did a little bit of birding from the carpark and saw Black-fronted Dotterel, Chestnut Teal, Australian Swamphen and in the sky above several Swamp Harriers.

We drove to Notley Gorge to take a lovely walk through remnant rainforest and after morning tea at the top, we set off down the loop track and immediately had a female Pink Robin, two Eastern Spinebill and half a dozen Silvereyes.

As we made our way down we had a few glimpses of Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo and they called repeatedly. Tasmanian Thornbill and Tasmanian Scrubwren flitted across the track at various times and when we reached the bottom of the gorge and were walking through the majestic tall tree ferns with incredible handing mosses and lichens, we then had a fantastic sighting of a male Pink Robin. As we made our way back up the slope we saw a handsome male Golden Whistler and could hear Shining-bronze and Fantail Cuckoos calling throughout the Eucalypts.

Just before the top of the trail, we passed a burnt out tree known as 'Bradey's Tree.' named after the 1820s bushranger whose gang is believed to have hidden in this forest. After catching our breath back at the top, we departed with two brief stops, one at a tiny dam which had Austarlaian Grebes and one for a Grey Currawong by the side of the road.

Grabbing some lunch from a bakery, we ate back at the Tamar Wetland and then began the sad business of saying goodbye, dropping Kylie at her hotel and then the rest of the gang to the two airports that would take them towards home or on to their next tours. 

Australia
Weight: 
13
Weight: 
13
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