Wild About Birds, Kangaroo Island Birdwatching Tour, South Australia

AT A GLANCE

Dates1–3 April 2022
5–7 August 2022
30 September–2 October 2022
25–27 November 2022

(If the dates listed are not suitable, please contact our team travel@australiangeographic.com.au or call 0413 560 210 to enquire about alternative dates if you prefer to travel with your own private party)
Activity LevelEasy
Duration3 days, 2 nights
PricesFrom $2740 per person twin share
From $340 single supplement
Group sizeMinimum 4, maximum 10 guests
Featuring regionKangaroo Island, South Australia

WHAT TO EXPECT

With a diverse landscape, rainfall, and geology, Kangaroo Island is home to over 250 species of birds. Our Wild About Birds Kangaroo Island birdwatching tour showcases the iconic landscapes through the lens of birdlife and targets some of the 17 island subspecies. Highlights include exploring the Bay of Shoals Sanctuary Zone from the ocean and Cygnet Park, a significant rewilding project important for the Kangaroo Island glossy black-cockatoo. Expect encounters with many of the Island’s mammals and learn about the philosophy of shared space with nature. Local food and wine served at remote locations ensures you get a real taste of Kangaroo Island.

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Experienced and enthusiastic local guides
  • Flinders Chase National Park and the iconic coastal landscapes of Cape du Couedic
  • A Zodiac trip into Bay of Shoals Sanctuary Zone seeking out dolphins and a range of sea-birds
  • Cygnet Park – a large-scale bio-diverse rewilding project important in the conservation of the local glossy black-cockatoo
  • Australian sea lion encounter at Seal Bay – also home to resident hooded plovers
  • MacGillivray wetlands and D’Estrees Bay
  • Taking our chances seeking out the furtive southern emu wren, white-bellied whipbird and shy heathwren
  • Excellent alfresco dining with local food and wine

ITINERARY

Day 1 – Welcome to Kangaroo Island

Pick ups will commence from the hotel or airport from 9.00am. If you would like to arrive in Kangaroo Island earlier, contact our friendly team to book additional nights for your stay on Kangaroo Island. Begin your three-day birdwatching adventure with a short walk in the small coastal village of American River. Glossy black-cockatoos are frequent encounters in the bush, as are grey currawongs, little corellas, galahs and black-faced cuckoo-shrikes. Along the shore, there are often pied oystercatchers, royal spoonbills, black swans, grey teal, Australian white ibis, Australian pelicans and rufous night herons.

The Kingscote oxidation ponds usually produces a good cross-section of waterfowl and the adjacent Cygnet River estuary is always worth a look.

Have lunch at Reeves Point, which offers a chance to learn about the settlement history of the island and often turns up quite a few birds (species vary with season).

After lunch, get out on the ocean with Kangaroo Island Marine Adventures and get a close look at Busby Islet. Here you can observe numerous birds from the boat, looking into colonies protected in a restricted conservation area. Opportunities include breeding Australian pelicans, royal spoonbills, black-faced, pied, little pied and little black cormorants, Australian white ibis and potentially international migratory species seasonally (Nov–Mar).

White-bellied sea-eagles and swamp harriers constantly harass the nesting birds. This trip usually results in observing good numbers of black swans foraging on seagrass meadows and chance encounters with bottlenose dolphins.

Accommodation: Kangaroo Island Lodge. Deluxe water view room.

Morning tea and lunch provided.

Day 2 – Seal Bay, Flinders Chase National Park, Remarkable Rocks and Admiral’s Arch

After breakfast, we start the day at Roper’s Gums – a tall eucalyptus forest where you will learn about the endemic glossy black-cockatoo recovery plan and the private conservation efforts at Cygnet Park where former pasture has been reinstated to diverse bushland. After a morning tea break on the Cygnet River floodplain, set off for Seal Bay Conservation Park.

During the drive to Seal Bay, look out for raptors. Possibilities include wedge-tailed eagles, swamp harriers, Australian kestrels, black-shouldered kites, collared sparrowhawks, brown goshawks and brown falcons.

At Seal Bay, take a private guided Australian Sea-lion experience. Sea-lions share the beach with a range of birds – often encountered are caspian and crested terns, sooty oystercatchers and hooded plovers. Overhead sightings include white-bellied sea-eagles and eastern ospreys. The headland to the west is a regular roost for great and pied cormorants.

Next is Point Ellen where seasonal encounters include rock parrots, fairy terns, and little penguins are sometimes found in burrows near the beacon. During morning tea, keep an ear out for southern emu-wrens, purple-gaped honeyeaters and western whipbirds in the coastal heath and adjacent mallee.

The expansive wilderness of Flinders Chase National Park is the focus for the rest of the day, starting in the Rocky River precinct. Encounters here can include cape barren geese, crescent honeyeaters, little and red wattlebirds, striated and spotted pardalotes, Australian ravens, koalas, Kangaroo Island kangaroos, short-beaked echidnas, Rosenberg’s goanna (seasonal) and tammar wallabies.

Visit the iconic Remarkable Rocks, a spectacular natural clifftop sculpture. Break for a gourmet poached chicken picnic lunch with binoculars close-by – looking out for Australian kestrels, tawny-crowned honeyeaters, and another chance to try for southern emu-wrens and the elusive western whipbird.

Nearby is Admiral’s Arch – a sea cave which often turns up Australian ravens, sooty oystercatchers, crested terns (which had Antarctic terns amongst them in 2006 and 2007), pacific gulls and a large long-nosed fur-seal colony. If a south-westerly wind is blowing, there is a chance to see some pelagic species here as well.

Accommodation: Kangaroo Island Lodge. Deluxe water view room.

Morning tea and lunch provided.

Day 3 – Duck Lagoon, Lathami Conservation Park, D’Estrees Bay and the MacGillivray Wetlands

Duck Lagoon is a freshwater billabong where typical encounters include: white-eared, white-naped and brown-headed honeyeaters, crimson rosellas, superb fairy-wrens, black swans, grey and chestnut teal, yellow-billed spoonbills, pacific black duck, Australasian and hoary-headed grebes, chestnut-breasted shelducks, little pied cormorants and (seasonally) freckled ducks.

After morning tea, venture to the north coast of the Island. Explore Lathami Conservation Park, which protects the habitat of the glossy black-cockatoo. Regular encounters are: Kangaroo Island kangaroos, tammar wallabies, scarlet robins, striated and brown thornbills, grey shrike-thrush, short-beaked echidnas, golden whistlers and beautiful firetails.

At nearby Stokes Bay, seek out Australian pelicans; eastern reef herons, hooded plovers and white-bellied sea-eagles.

Travel inland to a private lunch site where your guide will prepare a seafood barbeque lunch. This area is home to koalas, crescent and new holland honeyeaters, eastern spinebills, grey fantails, rainbow and purple-crowned lorikeets, yellow-tailed black-cockatoos and a selection of smaller bush birds.

Continue exploring this afternoon at D’Estrees Bay for hooded plovers, ruddy turnstones (seasonally), eastern osprey, rock parrots (seasonally) and a look at one of the MacGillivray Wetlands before making our way back to the airport for your departure. Why not stay longer and have some time to explore, ask our friendly team for suggestions.

Morning tea and lunch provided.

WHAT’S INCLUDED:

  • 3 full days private touring with exceptional, enthusiastic and knowledgeable Kangaroo Island guides
  • Home baked morning teas, daily lunches with quality seafood bbq and local produce, chicken picnic with South Australian wines, beer and soft drinks
  • Kangaroo Island Marine Adventures – Half-day private charter
  • All admission fees included

COSTS DO NOT INCLUDE:

  • Domestic or international airfares
  • Pre-registration, late check-out or day use at hotels other than specified above
  • Guide services other than specified
  • Meals/beverages other than specified
  • Tips & gratuities
  • Optional tours/services

EXTEND YOUR TRIP and explore Kangaroo Island’s stunning coastline and pristine wilderness at Sea Dragon Lodge & Villas

A boutique luxury retreat providing some of the best that Kangaroo Island has to offer in one unique package.

Package inclusions

  • European-style continental breakfast each morning
  • Two course dinner each night
  • A transfer from Mercure Kangaroo Island Lodge to Sea Dragon Lodge (not private)
  • A transfer from Sea Dragon Lodge to the ferry terminal at Penneshaw (not private)

Deluxe Oceanview Room

Beautifully appointed ensuite rooms are approximately 30 square metres, featuring king beds with ocean views and an undercover deck for evening sundowners while watching the wildlife.

Prices starting from $1698* for two people (double/twin), from $1298* for one (single)

*based on a minimum 2 night stay

Contact us to make a booking or to find out more about this exclusive offer.

COVID-19

  • Accommodation and meals:  Strict hygiene conditions apply to the way accommodation is prepared for your stay and in the serving of meals.
  • Vehicles, hygiene & social distancing: all activities will involve careful adherence to cleanliness. Hand sanitiser will be available in many locations and in all land-based vehicles and water-based vessels. Social distancing will always be an issue on board vehicles and vessels; it would be sensible for you to bring your own face masks and hand sanitiser. We may not fill all seats in a vehicle to allow for social distancing.
  • The SA government approved COVID-19 Safety Plan is in place and all suppliers are Covid Clean accredited.

CONTACT US

Want to know more or register your interest?

Send us an email to travel@australiangeographic.com or call 0413 560 210.

We look forward to hearing from you!

TERMS & CONDITIONS

BOOKING FORM