Tasmania's Wildlife Highlights Tour
A great variation on our Tasmanian Endemics Tour which includes all the iconic and beautiful Tasmanian wildlife locations such as Maria Island, Bruny Island, Mt Field and Cradle Mountain.
Explore Tasmania with your guide to find the twelve endemic birds as well as the many other glorious birds that call Tasmania home. Take an eco-cruise out from Bruny Island to view magnificent Jurassic Dolerite sea cliffs and discover our vibrant sealife. Visit the Tasmanian habitats where Wombats thrive, where Wallabies and Pademelons graze, and where you have a chance to see the incredible nocturnal marsupials such as Tasmanian Devils, Eastern and Spotted-tail Quolls. Join us on this highlight tour of our favourite locations in Tasmania.
Day 1. Sat 24 Feb 24. Arrive Hobart.
Day 2. Sun 25 Feb 24. Hobart to Maria Island.
Day 3. Mon 26 Feb 24. Mt Field National Park/Styx.
Day 4. Tue 27 Feb 24. Mt Field to Bruny Island.
Day 5. Wed 28 Feb 24. Eco-cruise and Bruny Island.
Day 6. Thu 29 Feb 24. Bruny Island.
Day 7. Fri 1 Mar 24. Bruny Island to Hobart.
Day 8. Sat 2 Mar 24. Hobart to Cradle Mountain area.
Day 9. Sun 3 Mar 24. Cradle Mountain area.
Day 10. Mon 4 Mar 24. Cradle Mountain via Narawntapu National Park to Launceston.
Day 11. Tue 5 Mar 24. Launceston area, depart Launceston airport.
B-breakfast, L-lunch and D-dinner.
Day 1. Saturday 24 February 2024. Arrive 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. We will meet at 7pm for dinner where we can discuss the plan for the tour.
Accommodation: Hobart hotel (ensuite rooms). Meals included: B, L, D.
Day 2. Sunday 25 February 2024. Maria Island Day trip.
We leave this morning to travel up the East Coast to Triabunna, where we shall 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 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 the chance of seeing some outstanding scenery, and many 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 and travel 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 dinner before settling into our cosy cottages.
Accommodation: Cottage accommodation (en suite cabins) near Mt Field NP. Meals included: B, L, D.
Day 3. Monday 26 February 2024. Mt Field National Park/Styx.
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 cottages for a relaxed second night.
Accommodation: Cottage accommodation (en suite cabins) near Mt Field NP as for last night. Meals Included: B, L, D.
Day 4. Tuesday 27 February 2024. Mount Field to Bruny Island.
This morning we will travel to Bruny Island where we will spend the next 3 nights. Situated about 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 we will 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 where we will 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 sub-species of Short-beaked Echidna, one of Australia’s two egg-laying mammal (montreme) species. Tonight, after dinner we will visit the Little Penguin and Short-tailed Shearwater rookery to view these species at their burrows.
Accommodation: Inala and nearby Cottages, Bruny Island (own room/possible shared bathrooms if many singles in the group). Meals Included: B, L, D.
Day 5. Wednesday 28 February 2024. Eco-cruise and Bruny Island.
We have another day to explore Bruny’s coastline, from its pristine beaches to its offshore islands and rock-stacks. We will join a 3 hour wilderness cruise to Bruny’s southern coastline to see some spectacular coastal scenery and visit an Australian fur seal haul-out (weather permitting). This also provides the opportunity to see a range of seabirds including Black-faced Cormorants, Common Diving-petrel, and albatrosses (Shy Albatross is the most common species seen at this time of year). A range of cetaceans such as Bottle-nosed and Common Dolphins, Hump-backed and Southern Right Whale are also possible. This afternoon, we will have the chance to explore historic and scenically beautiful Adventure Bay to look for Hooded Plover (Dotterel) and Bruny’s rare and famous “white wallabies” which are an almost albino genetic variation of the Bennett’s wallaby.
Accommodation: Inala and nearby cottages as for last night. Meals Included: B, L, D.
Day 6. Thursday 29 February 2024. Bruny Island.
Today we will spend most of the morning on the 1,500 acre Inala private reserve. Inala is home to all 12 Tasmanian endemic bird species. Several hides and platforms have been built around the property which provide close views of many very special species. This includes the 4-metre (13 foot) high canopy platform which has been designed to give access and close viewing and photography opportunities within one of the largest known colonies of the endangered and endemic Forty-spotted Pardalote. A variety of other species, such as the endemic Yellow-throated, Black-headed and Strong-billed Honeyeaters can also be seen here. Dusky Robin and Green Rosella are also regulars here. We will also have access to the Raptor Photography hide at Inala which has been designed using imported one-way glass to enable close views and photographic opportunities of some of the most wary and elusive bird species- the raptors. Six species of raptor visit the area: Wedge-tailed eagle, White-bellied Sea-eagle, Swamp Harrier, Grey Goshawk (white morph), Brown Goshawk and Brown Falcon. We will then explore some cool temperate rainforest, where we will search for the endemic Scrubtit and Tasmanian Thornbill and see a range of interesting flora, including Tasmanian endemic species and relics from the ancient Gondwanan Supercontinent. Tonight, we will enjoy another night trip for the chance to see a range of Tasmania’s nocturnal marsupials (including Eastern Quoll and “normal” as well as white morph Red-necked Wallaby and Brush-tailed Possums) as well as searching for Tawny Frogmouth and Tasmanian Boobook.
Accommodation: Inala and nearby cottages as for last night. Meals Included: B, L, D.
Day 7. Friday 1 March 2024. Bruny Island to Hobart.
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. Depending on the mood and weather we may opt for some spotlighting after dinner in a Hobart reserve to search for Southern (Tasmanian) Bettong, Tasmanian Pademelon, Bennett’s Wallaby and Brush Tailed Possum.
Accommodation: Hobart hotel (ensuite rooms). Meals Included: B, L, D.
Day 8. Saturday 2 March 2024. Hobart to Cradle Mountain area.
This morning we will leave the Hobart area and travel towards Cradle Mountain National Park. While this will mainly be a day of travel, we will enjoy some lovely scenery and stop en route to bird and stretch our legs. There will also be an option to visit a Wildlife Sanctuary where some of Tasmania’s rarer mammal species can be seen. We will arrive at our accommodation near the National Park in the late afternoon. This accommodation offers one of the only chances of seeing one of Australia’s most threatened and charismatic mammals, the Tasmanian Devil, in the wild and at close range. Both Tasmanian Devils and Spotted-tailed Quolls are regularly seen on the verandas of the cabins, making them an ideal hide.
Accommodation: Small wilderness Lodge near Cradle Mountain (possible shared cabins/shared bathrooms). Meals Included: B, L, D.
Day 9. Sunday 3 March 2024. Cradle Mountain area.
Today we have a full day to explore Cradle Mountain. This is a good area to search for Tasmania’s endemic bird species like the retiring Scrubtit, Black Currawong and Tasmanian Thornbill. In addition to the great birding, we will enjoy some of the interesting plants found here, including ancient rainforest species and Gondwana relics such as Pencil and King Billy Pines, Myrtle Beech, and the famous Fagus (Nothofagus gunnii) which is Tasmania’s only deciduous tree. This is also a good area to view Common Wombat and if we are fortunate, we may see Platypus. If time permits, we will visit the replica of “Waldheim”, the home of the Austrian Gustav Weindorfer, whose love of the area inspired the establishment of the national park. Tonight, we have another chance to see Tasmanian Devil.
Accommodation: Small wilderness Lodge near Cradle Mountain as for last night. Meals Included: B, L, D.
Day 10. Monday 4 March 2024. Cradle Mountain to the North Coast.
This morning we will explore the wild area around our small lodge. This includes visiting a canyon where the mighty river has carved a path through the forest toward the sea. As we make our way north, we will visit a reserve where we will have excellent chances of seeing and photographing Platypus, usually at quite close range. Tonight, we will be staying at a beautiful historic house in a unique and spectacular seaside setting. After dinner there will be another optional night tour to search for Southern Brown Bandicoot and Long-nosed Potoroo.
Accommodation: Historic house near Devonport (ensuite rooms). Meals Included: B, L, D.
Day 10. Depart Tasmania.
This morning after breakfast we travel to Devonport or Launceston airport where we will connect with onward flights back home. If time permits, we will visit some wetlands en route where there is a chance to view several wetland species including Purple Swamphen, Australian Shelduck, Black-fronted Dotterel and the retiring Little Grassbird
Accommodation: none. Meals Included: B.
Group size: 6-8 participants and 1 Inala guide.
Tour Price: AUD$ 6,165 per person twin share. Single supplement: AUD$1,180
Inclusions: Accommodation for each night of the tour, specialist guiding and transport for day and night tours as outlined in the itinerary (including ferry fares to Bruny Island), all meals (B, L, D) and activities outlined in the itinerary (including the Bruny Is boat trip), National Park entry fees, GST.
Exclusions: Any international and domestic, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and expenses of a personal nature (snacks, travel insurance, internet, laundry, tips etc).
Please note: 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.