Australian Wildlife Journeys is a new group of Australia’s leading, independently-owned wildlife tourism experiences, showcasing authentic wildlife encounters within natural habitats, combined with premium hospitality. A high level of guiding expertise and focus on interpretation that connects with guests, encourages self-reflection and aligns with local community values underpins the group.
Australia boasts a truly remarkable wildlife story, being home to the world’s most bio-diverse waters, the highest number of endemic bird species, the highest number of reptile species and a vast collection of mammals that can’t be seen anywhere else on earth. The Australian Wildlife Journeys group is passionate about enhancing the profile of Australia as a world-class wildlife destination and increasing wildlife observation across natural environments.
All members of Australian Wildlife Journeys are united by the vision to bridge the gap between the conservation and tourism sectors. The group has started assembling a portfolio of programs, that allow guests to actively contribute to the re-generation of local ecosystems and assist in preserving Australia’s incredible natural assets.
A wide array of Australia’s iconic marine and terrestrial landscapes are represented across the group, from coral reefs, coastal and alpine eucalypt woodlands, wet and dry rainforests, wetlands to desert sandplains.
The twelve founding members include Arkaba Conservancy (SA); Echidna Walkabout Nature Tours (VIC); Exceptional Kangaroo Island (SA); Exmouth Diving Centre (WA); Goin’ Off Safaris (SA); Lady Elliot Island (QLD); Lords Kakadu and Arnhemland Safaris (NT); The Maria Island Walk (TAS); Oz Whale Watching (NSW); Premier Travel Tasmania (TAS); SEIT Outback Australia (NT) and Wildlife Coast Cruises (VIC).
Arkaba, South Australia
Arkaba is nestled amongst the ancient outback landscapes of the Flinders Ranges, famed for its beautifully sculpted ridges, spectacular deep gorges, and striking river red gum creek lines. The former sheep station was developed into a 60,000 acre wildlife conservancy in 2013, to assist in the re-establishment of endangered endemic reptiles, birds and marsupials including the Yellow Footed Rock Wallaby, Western Quoll and Common Brushtail Possum. Arkaba boasts a luxurious 1850’s Homestead with just five guest rooms and offers a four-day immersive walk and safari drives with expert guides to showcase the various habitats across the conservancy.
It is one of the best locations in Australia to see Macropods, with the largest living marsupial, the Red Kangaroo, in very healthy populations, as are Western Grey Kangaroos and Common Wallaroos. Bearded Dragons, Painted Dragons, Barking Geckos, Shinglebacks and numerous skinks are noted reptile residents, with the birdlife also varied. The area offers year round sightings for Emus, Ringneck, Mulga, Red-rumped and Elegant Parrots, Wedge-tailed Eagles, Brown Goshawks, Black Kites, Rufous Whistlers, with migratory Rainbow Bee-eaters, Budgerigars and Zebra Finches delightful summer visitors.
Echidna Walkabout Nature Tours, Victoria
Connecting travelers with the diverse wildlife across the You Yangs, Great Ocean Road and East Gippsland has been the passion of Echidna Walkabout Nature Tours for over twenty years. A blend of magnificent lush rainforests, coastal heathlands, dramatic sea cliffs, giant alpine Eucalypt groves, pristine rivers, estuaries and vast grassy plains provides the opportunity to see a truly remarkable number of Australia’s iconic species.
In the You Yangs, guests will venture out with a Koala researcher to learn about the history and behaviour of individuals within the colony, with the opportunity to pull out invasive weeds to save this precious population. A rich array of marsupials including Eastern Grey Kangaroos, Swamp and Red-necked Wallabies, Short-beaked Echidnas and Common Wombats is in offer, with East Gippsland particularly attractive to travelers interested in shier forest dwellers, including Yellow-bellied and Greater Gliders, Lace Monitors, King Parrots, Eastern Whipbirds, Satin Bowerbirds, numerous honeyeaters the most famous songbird in Australia, the Superb Lyrebird.
Exceptional Kangaroo Island, South Australia
Kangaroo Island is Australia’s third largest island, with over one third of land declared as National or Conservation Park. Exceptional Kangaroo Island has been providing expert interpretation of the natural environment and numerous endemic species and local sub-species that inhabit this incredible sanctuary for over 25 years. Over 90% of the terrestrial wildlife habitat is mallee and woodland, dominated largely by Eucalyptus, with the balance shrubland, fernland and forest.
This provides opportunity to spot a vast range of animals including Kangaroo Island Kangaroos, Tammar Wallabies, Short-beaked Echidnas, Koalas, Rosenberg’s Goanna and 260 species of birds, with endangered Glossy Black Cockatoos, Hooded Plovers, Cape Barren Geese, Scarlet Robins, Southern Emu Wrens, Crimson Rosellas and Caspian Terns prime species for enthusiasts. The marine environment is equally diverse, with highlights including walking on a pristine beach with Australian Sea Lions at Seal Bay and spotting Long-nosed Fur Seals across the spectacular landscapes of Admiral’s Arch and Remarkable Rocks.
Exmouth Diving Centre, Western Australia
As the region’s original eco-tourism operation, Exmouth Diving Centre is synonymous with experiencing the aquatic treasures of the World Heritage Listed Ningaloo Reef Marine Park. Flanking the North West Cape coastline, Ningaloo Reef is one of the world’s largest and most magnificent fringing coral reefs. This intricate reef system stretches over 260 km (160 miles) and is renowned for its bio-diversity, with 250 species of corals, an assortment of uniquely colored nudibranchs and over 450 different species of fish.
The region is home to a myriad of marine megafauna, including the world’s largest fish, the Whale Shark, with visitors able to swim with these graceful creatures from March to August. Humpback Whales are also in abundance when the world’s largest migration occurs between May and November, with the recent addition of Humpback swims a highlight from August to November. Manta Rays, Dugongs and Turtles can be seen year round, with three species of turtle nesting over the summer months.
Goin’ Off Safaris, South Australia
The Eyre Peninsula is considered as Australia’s ultimate temperate aquatic playground, featuring striking coastlines, vast sand dunes, rugged offshore islands, secluded coves and picturesque coastal heathlands. Goin’ Off Safaris has been showcasing the region’s unique aquatic activities since 2005, including famed encounters with Australian Sea-lions, Bottlenose Dolphins and the oceans most formidable predator, the Great White Shark.
Experiences are not limited to the vast shoreline, with the region home to distinctive rock formations, a rich geological history and a variety of flora and fauna. The Southern Eyre Peninsula is home to 270 species of birds and 1900 native plant species, providing abundant opportunities to spot Western Grey Kangaroos, Emus, threatened Southern Hairy-nosed Wombats, Port Lincoln Parrots, Rock Parrots, Golden Whistlers, White-Browed Babblers, various waterfowl at Big Swamp and an array of seabirds including cormorants, terns oystercatchers, Black Winged Stilts, Osprey and White-bellied Sea Eagles.
Final Phase in next Blog....