Tasmania Endemic Birds and Mammals Tour
(Includes Southern Ocean pelagic, Orange-bellied Parrot excursion and Tasmanian Devils)
Day 1. Sat 1 Feb 20: Arrive Hobart. Accom: Hobart
Day 2. Sun 2 Feb 20: Explore Hobart and travel Eaglehawk Neck. Accom: Eaglehawk Neck
Day 3. Mon 3 Feb 20: Pelagic birding. Accom: Eaglehawk Neck.
Day 4. Tue 4 Feb 20: Orange-bellied Parrot flight to South West Wilderness. Accom: Hobart.
Day 5. Wed 5 Feb 20: Hobart to Bruny Island. Accom: Bruny Island.
Day 6. Thu 6 Feb 20: Full day Bruny Island. Accom: Bruny Island.
Day 7. Fri 7 Feb 20: Bruny Island to Mt Field area. Accom: Mt Field/New Norfolk area.
Day 8. Sat 8 Feb 20: Mt Field area to Cradle Mountain area. Accom: Cradle Mountain area.
Day 9. Sun 9 Feb 20: Cradle Mountain area. Accom: Cradle Mountain area.
Day 10. Mon 10 Feb 20: Cradle to Launceston and depart.
B- breakfast; L- lunch; D-dinner.
Day 1. Saturday 1 February 2020. 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. Please note that no activities have been planned for today but the tour has been designed to start on a Saturday to afford the opportunity for you to visit the Salamanca market. If you plan to arrive early and would like advice on other options for the day, please do contact our office.
Accommodation: Hobart Hotel (en suite rooms). Meals Included: D.
Day 2. Sunday 2 February 2020. Hobart reserves and drive Eaglehawk Neck.
Today we begin our explorations of spectacular Tasmania by visiting several reserves in the Hobart area including Mount Wellington. This mountain, at a height of 1270m (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 our first 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. In the early afternoon we will enjoy the scenic drive to Eaglehawk Neck. On arrival we will bird some of the areas of interest enjoying the spectacular sea cliffs and breathtaking scenery typical of the area. We may well see Yellow-throated Honeyeater as well as a range of more widely distributed species including White-bellied Sea Eagle and Black-faced Cormorant. The uncommon Cape Barren Goose is also a possibility here.
Accommodation: Hotel on Tasman Peninsula (en suite rooms). Meals included: B, L, D.
Day 3. Monday 3 February 2020. Southern Ocean Pelagic.
This morning we will board a charter vessel (weather dependant) 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 encounter Short-tailed Shearwater in considerable number as well as our first albatross species. This is one of the finest places on the planet to see a diversity of albatross and Wandering, Black-browed, Shy, Southern Royal, Campbell and Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross are all possible. With land still in sight we will reach the continental shelf and begin to berley off the back of the boat. Possible petrels include Great-winged, the striking White-headed, Gould’s, and Mottled. Shearwater diversity is also good with Hutton’s, White-chinned, Buller’s, Sooty, Short-tailed (common in Tasmanian waters) and Fluttering Shearwater all possible. Wilson’s, Grey-backed and White-faced Storm Petrels and Fairy Prion are also regularly seen. There are often surprises in store, and with 30 plus species possible in these waters, there is bound to be something new for everyone. Mammals we may encounter include Australian Fur-seals, Hump-backed Whale and Bottlenose Dolphin. There will also be a chance to visit some nearby geological formations and if time permits explore Tasman National park before returning to our hotel.
Accommodation: Hotel on Tasman Peninsula (en suite rooms). Meals Included: B, L, D.
Day 4. Tuesday 4 February 2020. Orange-bellied Parrot excursion: flight to South West Wilderness.
We leave early this morning to travel back to Hobart. 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. Today we have a chance to see one of Australia’s rarest birds, the critically endangered Orange-bellied Parrot. With less than 50 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. 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, Bennetts Wallaby and Brush Tailed Possum. In our searching we may also encounter Tawny Frogmouth.
Accommodation: Hobart Hotel (en suite rooms). Meals Included: B, L, D.
Day 5. Wednesday 5 February 2020. Hobart and Bruny Island.
Depending on our timing and conditions we may opt to start our day in reserves around Hobart or alternatively venture directly 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. After dinner tonight, we will visit the Little Penguin and Short-tailed Shearwater colony to view these species at their burrows.
Accommodation: Cottage style accommodation near and at Inala, south Bruny Island (en suite cabins) Meals Included: B, L, D.
Day 6. Thursday 6 February 2020. 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 and Kelp Gull, to rainforest areas in search of Pink Robin and the endemic Scrubtit, Tasmanian Scrubwren and Tasmanian Thornbill. Tonight, we will 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 be found here. If we are lucky, we may also see Long-nosed Potoroo and some nocturnal birds like Tawny Frogmouth and Tasmanian Boobook.
Accommodation: Cottages at and near Inala, south Bruny Island as above. Meals Included: B, L, D.
Day 7. Friday 7 February 2020. Bruny Island to Mt Field area.
This morning we will depart Bruny early for Mount Field National Park. 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 Eucalyptus in Australia. Today we have our first chance of seeing the bizarre Platypus, the other species of Australian monotreme. In the late afternoon we will make our way out of the park to a nearby settlement where we will overnight.
Accommodation: Mount Field/New Norfolk area (en suite rooms). Meals Included: B, L, D.
Day 8. Saturday 8 February 2020. Mt Field area to Cradle Mountain area.
This morning we will leave the Mt Field area and travel north to Cradle Mountain National Park. While today is largely a travel day, we will enjoy some lovely scenery and stop en route to bird and stretch our legs. We will arrive at our accommodation near the National Park in the late afternoon. This accommodation has been chosen as it offers a chance of seeing one of Australia’s most threatened and charismatic mammals in the wild and at close range. Having become increasingly rare this is one of the only places left where one has a reasonable chance of seeing Tasmanian Devils. Here the owner places meat down for the devils at dusk and, with any luck, they will come in to feed after dark. Spotted-tailed Quolls also come to the verandas to feed and this is an excellent opportunity to view and photograph these elusive creatures.
Accommodation: Lodge near Cradle Mountain (en suite cabins). Meals Included: B, L, D.
Day 9. Sunday 9 February 2020. 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 Common Wombat. We will also have a good chance of viewing Platypus, one of Australia’s most bizarre mammals. We will reterun to our small lodge 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. Monday 10 February 2020. 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, 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 midday. The guide will then be traveling back to Hobart and there is therefore scope to deliver clients to Hobart airport around 15:00 for flights from 16:00 onwards for domestic flights and from 17:00 for international flights. Alternatively, we can organise an additional night in Hobart for you at the end of the tour at an additional cost if that is your preferred option.
Meals Included: B.
Group size: 6-8 participants and 1 Inala guide
Tour Price: AUD$5,995 per person twin share. Single supplement: $990
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 South West flight and the pelagic cruise), National Park entry fees, Bruny Island ferry fares, GST (=VAT).
Exclusions: international or domestic Australian airfares* (except the South West flight as mentioned above), activities and breakfast and lunch on day 1, the airport transfer on day 1, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and expenses of a personal nature (snacks, travel insurance, internet, laundry, tips etc).
Additional services: We are able to 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 pelagic and the South West flight: Both of these activities are weather dependant and there is no guarantee that we will be able to do either. While we will do what we can to reschedule if the weather is not suitable no guarantees can be made in this regard.