Eastern Australia Highlights Tour 7 - 16 September 2019

Regent Bowerbird - Photograph Cat Davidson - Inala Nature Tours
Regent Bowerbird - Photograph Cat Davidson - Inala Nature Tours
Tour date: 
Saturday, 7 September 2019 to Monday, 16 September 2019
Duration: 
10 days
Price: 
Tour Price: AU$6,400.00 per person sharing based on a minimum of 6 paying participants / Single supplement: AU$835.00
Highlights: 
This tour showcases the very best of eastern Australia. Enjoy rainforest birding in Lamington National Park for Regent Bowerbird, Albert’s Lyrebird, Logrunner and other specialties, searching for the elusive Eastern Bristlebird and Eastern Ground Parrot, join a pelagic in the rich waters of the southern Pacific where Fluttering and Hutton's Shearwaters and several albatross species may be seen, and explore the sweeping Capertee valley for its bounty of species, including the endangered Regent Honeyeater.
Overview: 

We are partnering with our long-term friends and fellow USA travel company Naturalist Journeys to bring you this ‘Eastern Australian Highlights’ small group tour.

This tour showcases the very best of eastern Australia. Enjoy rainforest birding in Lamington National Park for Regent Bowerbird, Albert’s Lyrebird, Logrunner and other specialties, searching for the elusive Eastern Bristlebird and Eastern Ground Parrot, join a pelagic in the rich waters of the southern Pacific where Fluttering and Hutton's Shearwaters and several albatross species may be seen, and explore the sweeping Capertee valley for its bounty of species, including the endangered Regent Honeyeater. 

This tour has been designed to link with the Inala Cape York Specials Tour (30 August- 7 September 2019) so please contact us if you are interested in joining both.

Start Location: 
Brisbane Airport QLD
Australia
Finish location: 
Sydney NSW
Australia

O’Reilly’s, Pacific Pelagic and the Blue Mountains
7-16 September 2019

ITINERARY OUTLINE:

Day 1. Sat 7 Sept 2019. Brisbane - O Reilly's (Lamington National Park)
Day 2. Sun 8 Sept 2019. O Reilly's (Lamington National Park)
Day 3. Mon 9 Sept 2019. O’Reilly’s to Brisbane
Day 4. Tue 10 Sept 2019. Fly Brisbane to Sydney to Jamberoo
Day 5. Wed 11 Sept 2019. Kiama Pelagic and Jamberoo
Day 6. Thu 12 Sept 2019. Jamberoo to Katoomba. 
Day 7. Fri 13 Sept 2019. Katoomba area/Blue Mountains. 
Day 8. Sat 14 Sept 2019. Katoomba to Capertee Valley area.
Day 9. Sun 15 Sept 2019. Capertee Valley.
Day 10. Mon 16 sept 2019. Capertee to Sydney and depart.

Detailed itinerary:

B- breakfast, L- lunch, D-dinner

Day 1. Saturday 7 September 2019. Arrival in Brisbane and transfer to O’Reilly’s (Lamington National Park).
Those participants also joining our Cape York tour will fly from Cairns to Brisbane today. Today we meet mid-afternoon at Brisbane airport (exact time/details to be confirmed) and drive north to O’Reilly’s, arriving in the early afternoon. Our lodge is located in the World Heritage listed Lamington National Park, deservedly one of the best-known birding locations in Australia, and home to a rich assemblage of both birds and mammals. This afternoon there will time enough for a first stroll in our lush rainforest surroundings.
Accommodation: O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat (en suite). Meals included: L, D.

 Day 2. Sunday 8 September 2019. O’Reilly’s (Lamington National Park).
Today we have a full day to explore the areas around the lodge for birds and wildlife. Many of Australia’s best-known bird families are represented here, as are a range of the country’s endemic and most striking species, some of which occur right in the lodge grounds. You don’t have to venture far to see King Parrot, Crimson Rosella, Lewin's Honeyeater, the handsome Eastern Spinebill and Superb Fairy-wren. Additional birding highlights include Australian Brush-turkey, Wonga and Topknot Pigeon, the stunning Noisy Pitta, sought-after Albert’s Lyrebird, Green Catbird, the gaudy Regent Bowerbird, Logrunner and Paradise Riflebird (displaying, with luck!). The area is also good for mammal watching and by night we may see Mountain Brushtail Possum, while by day Red-legged and Red-necked Pademelon are regularly encountered.
Accommodation: O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat (en suite). Meals included: B, L, D.

 

Day 3. Monday 9 September 2019. O’Reilly’s (Lamington National Park) to Brisbane.
This morning we will leave O’Reilly’s and slowly wend our way slowly down the mountain, birding en route and hopefully picking up a few rainforest and woodland birds we may have missed like Spangled Drongo, Spectacled Monarch, White-throated Honeyeater and Eastern Koel. This afternoon there will be time to explore the Brisbane area which can include a visit to the mangroves and tidal flats around Brisbane. Here we’ll be looking for a few more species typical of South-east Queensland like Mangrove Gerygone, Mangrove Honeyeater, Collared Kingfisher, Pheasant Coucal, Black Bittern, Pale-vented Bush-hen, Tawny Grassbird and Striated Heron.  With a bit of luck, we will find some shorebirds and terns as well. We will then settle into our hotel near Brisbane airport this evening.  
Accommodation: Brisbane airport hotel (en suite).  Meals included: B, L, D.

 

Day 4. Tuesday 10 September 2019. Fly Brisbane - Sydney to Jamberoo.
We depart Brisbane airport early this morning for our flight to Sydney.  On our arrival, there is an option to take a city sights tour including a visit to the Opera House/Harbour bridge and Botanic Gardens before making our way out of the city. We will travel south of Sydney to Jamberoo, near Barren Grounds Nature Reserve. Far from barren, this reserve supports a rich diversity of flora and wildlife, and protects a sizeable patch of heathland habitat.  On arrival, we will make our way into the reserve where we will spend the afternoon enjoying the natural offerings of this lovely area. Hemmed in by rocky cliffs, at the south-eastern end of the Illawarra Range, Barren Grounds is a great place for wildlife and also very pleasing scenically.  Two elusive bird species, Eastern Bristlebird and Eastern Ground Parrot, will be the focus of our search efforts, but there is plenty to entertain us here besides. Rainbow Lorikeet, Australian King Parrot, Southern Emu-wren, Tawny-crowned Honeyeater, Pilotbird, Topknot Pigeon, Eastern Whipbird, and Variegated Fairy-wren may all be seen. At it gets dark some interesting mammals may be found including the quirky Long-footed Potoroo and, in wet forested areas, Greater Glider.
Accommodation: Jamberoo (en suite). Meals included: B, L, D.

Day 5. Wednesday 11 September 2019. Pacific Pelagic.
This morning we will drive to the nearby coastal town of Kiama where we will board a vessel bound for the continental shelf. Pelagic birding in this area is world renowned and if conditions are right we have a promising day ahead of us. Inshore species we are likely to encounter include Little Pied Cormorant and Australian Pelican and once we reach deeper water, true pelagic species may be seen. These remarkable birds, doyens of this wild and unforgiving habitat, vary greatly in size and habit and we will spend the day enjoying an impressive selection of species. Possible highlights include a range of shearwaters including Wedge-tailed, Short-tailed, Flesh-footed, Fluttering and Hutton's Shearwaters. he delicate Wilson’s Storm-petrel, Grey-faced (Great-winged) Petrel and Arctic and Pomarine Jaegar may also be seen. Albatrosses are in evidence too of course, with Black-browed, Shy, Wandering (Gibson’s) and Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross all possible to name a few. With good fortune Black and Providence (Solander's) Petrel’s may be seen. After a rewarding day on the ocean we will return to our accommodation in Jamberoo and, if time and mood permit, enjoy a short afternoon excursion to the reserve. NOTE: For those who don’t enjoy pelagic birding a land-based activity will be planned for the day.
Accommodation: Jamberoo (en suite). Meals included: B, L, D.

 

Day 6. Thursday 12 September 2019. Jamberoo to Katoomba.
This morning we may opt for a last visit to Barren Grounds before making our way north and west through the famous, and stunningly scenic, Blue Mountains. Once in the area we will make plenty of stops to enjoy the sweeping views and the variety of habitats and birds.  Glossy and Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo, Gang-gang Cockatoo, Flame and Scarlet Robin may all be seen. In the late afternoon we will arrive at our accommodations in Katoomba, located a few minutes from some of the more scenic look out points in the Blue Mountains, in particular the stunning vistas of a trio of weather-eroded sandstone turrets. 
Accommodation: Motel in Katoomba (en suite). Meals included: B, L, D.

Day 7. Friday 13 September 2019. Katoomba and the Blue Mountains.
Today we have the whole day to explore the rugged but spectacular landscapes of the Blue Mountains. The lush forested gullies, Euclayptus woodland and windswept heathland yield an interest array of birds and wildlife including the stunning Satin Bowerbird and Rockwarbler, the state’s only endemic species. Beautiful Firetail, Red-browed Treecreeper, Satin Flycatcher and Pilotbird may be seen as might Red-necked and Black Wallaby.
Accommodation: Motel in Katoomba (en suite). Meals included: B, L, D.

Day 8. Saturday 14 September 2019. Katoomba to Capertee area.
From the Blue Mountains we will make our way north to the bird-rich Capertee Valley area. This broad valley is a rich tapestry of woodland and grassland and has a well-earned reputation as an excellent site for several of Australia’s most threatened bird species. Notable is Regent Honeyeater that, in recent times, has become a flagship species in Australian conservation. This large honeyeater, richly embroidered with black and yellow markings, is confined to three breeding in areas in Australia, the Capertee Valley is one of them. Today we will begin our exploration of this lovely area from our base in the valley. Several more widespread, but none-the-less desirable species, occur in the area and this afternoon we may well see the mighty Wedge-tailed Eagle, Mistletoebird, Red-rumped Parrot, Australian Hobby, Rainbow Bee-eater. Mammals include Red-necked Wallaby, Eastern Grey Kangaroo and Wombat.
Accommodation: Hotel in Lithgow. Meals included: B, L, D.

 Day 9. Sunday 15 September 2019. Capertee area.
Today we have a full day to explore the variety of habitats in the valley including box ironbark woodlands, grasslands, scree slopes and patches of forest. Many parts of the valley are also cleared, and these open areas attract many interesting species including Southern Whiteface, Double-barred and Plum-headed Finches. Other species we may well encounter include Gang-gang Cockatoo, Turquoise Parrot, Wonga Pigeon, Black Falcon, the stunning Spotted Harrier, Painted Honeyeater, Bell Miner, Brown Treecreeper, Red-capped Robin, Satin Bowerbird, the ornate Spotted Quail-thrush, White-browed Babbler, White-backed Swallow and, with a good dose of luck, Regent Honeyeater! 
Accommodation: Hotel in Lithgow. Meals included: B, L, D.

 Day 10. Monday 16 September 2019. Capertee to Sydney and depart.
This morning we will enjoy breakfast in the Capertee and then make or way to Sydney airport where the tour will end.
Meals included: B.

 

PRICING AND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

 Group size: 6-8 participants and one guide (or to 12 participants and 2 guides)

Tour Price: AU$6,400.00 per person sharing based on a minimum of 6 paying participants
Single supplement: AU$835.00

Price includes: Accommodation as per the itinerary, specialist guide and transport, meals, entrance fees and activities as mentioned in the itinerary. Also includes flight between Brisbane and Sydney on day 4 and GST (=VAT).

Price does not include: International or any other domestic airfares except Brisbane to Sydney flight on day 4, alcoholic beverages, snacks, internet, laundry or other items of a personal nature.

Please note: 

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 usually 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.