Lamington National Park, Kangaroo Island, and Tasmania
September 28 to October 14, 2023
Tour three states of southeastern Australia: Queensland, South Australia, and Tasmania to experience the best of its wildlife and scenery. Begin in spectacular Lamington National Park, with three nights at famous O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat. Close encounters with the resident wildlife will include amazing views of crimson rosellas, king parrots, satin and regent bowerbirds, as well as endemic marsupials. Travel to Kangaroo Island for two days of remarkable scenery and wildlife, including koalas, echidnas, sea lions, a host of new birds and, of course, kangaroos. The grand finale is a full six days in Tasmania for an in-depth look at its unique flora and fauna at Bruny Island, Cradle Mountain, and Mount Field and Narawntapu National Parks. Not only is Bruny Island, in southern Tasmania, your guide Tonia’s home, it is also the place to see endangered forty-spotted pardalote, and other Tasmanian endemic birds. After dark you can also see eastern quolls and little penguins. Spend one evening in hopes of seeing Tasmanian devils, something few people on this earth have the chance to experience. Enjoy a beautiful forest reserve with perfect streams for platypus, then visit Narawntapu National Park for great views of wombats, wallabies, and pademelons. We’re excited to offer this trip in partnership with Inala Nature Tours owner, Australian biologist, and guide, Tonia Cochran. Join Tonia as she leads the group throughout these rich wildlife areas of Australia, assisted by some of the best resident naturalists in the region.
- Explore Lamington National Park for two full days with three nights at O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat.
- Visit Kangaroo Island for three full days.
- Immerse in Tasmania for six full days, including Bruny Island, Cradle Mountain, and Mount Field National Park.
- Spend several nights looking for nocturnal mammals and other critters.
Itinerary updated: December 2022
|Sep 28–Sep 29||Travel to Brisbane, Australia.|
|Sep 30||Arrive in Brisbane, Australia, and travel to Lamington National Park.||O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat, Canungra||L, D|
|Oct 1–2||Explore Lamington National Park, home to a rich assemblage of birds and mammals.||O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat, Canungra||B, L, D|
|Oct 3||Drive to Brisbane and fly to Adelaide, and then to Kangaroo Island.||Kangaroo Island Lodge, Kangaroo Island||B, L, D|
|Oct 4–5||Two full days exploring Kangaroo Island for kangaroos, sealions, fur seals, introduced koalas, and more.||Kangaroo Island Lodge, Kangaroo Island||B, L, D|
|Oct 6||Extra full day on Kangaroo Island to explore fossil sites and visit entomology experts and then fly to Adelaide for overnight stay.||Adelaide Grand Chancellor, Adelaide||B, L, D|
|Oct 7||Fly to Hobart, Tasmania and then travel to Bruny Island- home to many endemic bird species and mammals.||Cottages, Bruny Island||B, L, D|
|Oct 8||Explore Bruny Island’s seabirds and nocturnal animals.||Cottages, Bruny Island||B, L, D|
|Oct 9||Travel to Mount Field National Park to experience the wildlife in fern gullies, alpine heathland, and temperate rainforest.||Curringa Farm Cottages, Hamilton||B, L, D|
|Oct 10||Travel to northern Tasmania, stopping en route for scenery and wildlife.||Cradle Mountain Lodge, Cradle Mountain||B, L, D|
|Oct 11||Search for Cradle Mountain’s endemic birds, interesting plants, and nocturnal animals in hopes of spotting Tasmanian devils.||Cradle Mountain Lodge, Cradle Mountain||B, L, D|
|Oct 12||Travel to the northern Tasmania coastline for its rarer mammals at Narawntapu National Park, known as the Serengeti of Tasmania.||Hawley House, Hawley Beach||B, L, D|
|Oct 13||Depart Tasmania for home.||B|
|Oct 14||Arrive home.|
Our Trip Leaders
Tonia is a wonderful guide, naturalist, and conservationist with a wide range of experience in Australian fauna and flora. Armed with a PhD in Zoology, she has had a varied professional career in science, conservation, and tourism. Tonia is a superb leader as proven by the many accolades she receives during our tours to Australia. Tonia is committed to promoting educational and ecologically sustainable tourism and is founding chair of Wildlife Tourism Australia.
A glimpse into our journey
Explore Lamington National Park
Arrive in Brisbane and then travel to O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat. It sits on the plateau 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 your lush rainforest surroundings.
Explore Lamington National Park
You will have two full days 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 you may see mountain brushtail possum, while by day red-legged and red-necked pademelon are regularly encountered.
Lamington National Park to Kangaroo Island
This morning you will leave O’Reilly’s and wind your way down the mountain to return to Brisbane airport for your flight to Adelaide and onto Kangaroo Island, a short 35-minute flight from Adelaide. Upon your arrival at Kangaroo Island you will transfer to your hotel for dinner.
Explore Kangaroo Island
Spend two full days exploring Kangaroo Island. During your stay here you will search for koalas (which have been introduced to the island) and visit a Conservation Park which is home to tammar wallaby (a species that is almost extinct on the adjoining mainland) and Kangaroo Island kangaroo (a subspecies of western grey kangaroo that only occurs here). You will also visit a beautiful sandy beach to see Australian sealions, watch their pups nursing, or playing in the surf, see old bulls bearing the scars of territorial disputes and learn about their unique breeding biology. Nearby Cape du Couedic is also home to a long-nosed (New Zealand) fur seal colony which now number over 50,000 after being decimated by hunting in the early 1800’s. You should also be able to see some Australian fur seals, while also looking for short-beaked echidna (a distinct subspecies that lives on the island). The island is also home to a range of rare birds including Cape Barren goose and glossy black cockatoo. Your lodge is situated near a known black cockatoo roost which will maximise your chances of seeing this beautiful endangered species.
Kangaroo Island to Adelaide, South Australia
Spend an additional full day on Kangaroo Island where you will visit fossil sites and learn about important finds, from 537 million-year-old trilobite and other ‘Lagaerstatten' Cambrian fossils to 70 million-year-old marine deposits and more recent 45 million-year-old marsupial fossils. You will also meet with an entomologist regarding his work on the endangered Green Carpenter Bee, view his insect collections, and meet his wife who is an extraordinary assemblage artist. Fly back to Adelaide in the evening and stay the night before your flight to Hobart where you will start your Tasmanian adventure.
Fly to Hobart, Tasmania and travel to Bruny Island
Fly to Hobart, Tasmania and travel 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 15min where you can enjoy some wonderful scenery and possibly little penguins or dolphins alongside the ferry. You will travel to ‘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. If you are fortunate, you may encounter the striking white morph grey goshawks that are residents of the Inala Reserve. The main mammal species you are likely to see here are red-necked (Bennett’s) wallaby and Tasmanian pademelon. You will also take time to enjoy the interesting flora of the area, including Tasmanian endemic species and relics from the ancient Gondwanan Supercontinent. This afternoon you 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 you also have a chance to see the Tasmanian subspecies of short-beaked echidna. After dinner, you will visit the little penguin and short-tailed shearwater colony to view these species at their burrows.
Explore Bruny Island
This morning, after breakfast, you will join a wilderness cruise to Bruny’s southern coastline for the opportunity 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 albatross (shy albatross is the most common species seen), black-faced cormorants and possibly also common diving petrel. A range of cetaceans such as bottle-nosed and common dolphins and humpback and southern right whale are also possible on this trip. This afternoon you will have the chance to explore historic and scenically beautiful Adventure Bay. There are possibilities for some beach walks where you may see hooded plover, and you will visit a cool temperate rainforest. Search for Bruny’s rare and famous “white wallabies” which are an almost albino genetic variation of the Bennett’s wallaby. Tonight, you will enjoy another night trip for the chance to see a range of Tasmania’s nocturnal marsupials, including Tasmanian pademelon, eastern quoll (a relative of the Tasmanian devil), Bennett’s wallaby, and brush-tailed possums (which also rarely occur as a golden colour form here). You also have a good chance of seeing long-nosed potoroo.
Explore Mount Field National Park
Depart Bruny Island and travel to Mount Field National Park. This area is 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, you have a good chance of seeing the bizarre platypus, the other species of Australian monotreme. In the late afternoon, you will make your way out of the park to nearby farm-stay cottages where you will spend the night.
Travel to Tasmania North Coast
In the morning you will leave the Mount Field area and travel towards the Cradle Mountain area. You will stop en route at points of interest during the day and will arrive at your hotel near the National Park in the late afternoon.
Cradle Mountain area
Today, you will have a full day to explore the Cradle Mountain area. You will search for some more of Tasmania’s endemic bird species like the black currawong, which is common in these areas of higher altitude. This is also a good area to view common wombat. You will also enjoy some of the interesting plants found here, which include ancient rainforest species and Gondwanan relics such as Pencil and King Billy Pines, Myrtle, and the famous Fagus (Nothofagus gunnii) which is Tasmania’s only deciduous tree. You will also 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, you will drive back into the National Park in the hope of Tasmanian devil and spotted-tailed quoll.
Cradle Mountain to northern Tasmania coastline
Visit a Wildlife Sanctuary, in the morning, where some of Tasmania’s rarer mammal species can be seen, including Tasmanian devil, quolls, and wombats “up close and personal”. You will then travel to a reserve where you have another excellent chance of seeing platypus before visiting Narawntapu National Park. The Park was created as a refuge for the Tasmanian form of eastern grey kangaroo (known locally as forester kangaroo) which can usually be seen grazing during the late afternoon. This area boasts some impressive marsupial lawns (well grazed areas frequented by marsupials) that also hold some of the highest densities of Tasmanian pademelons and red-necked wallabies in Tasmania and is often referred to as the “Serengeti of Tasmania”. You will then travel to your B&B at nearby Hawley Beach where you will enjoy a gourmet home-cooked farewell dinner. After dinner there will be another optional night walk to search for southern brown bandicoot and long-nosed potoroo.
Depart Tasmania for home
This morning you will bid your fellow travellers and guides farewell and make your way to the airport where you will depart homeward.
Tour three states of southeastern Australia: Queensland, South Australia, and Tasmania to experience the best of its wildlife and scenery.
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Cost & Payments
Costs (in US$)
|Type||Cost Per Person|
|Trip Cost, double occupancy||$10,590|
Costs are per person, double occupancy, not including airfare (except for round-trip flights between Kangaroo Island and Adelaide), singles extra. See Included and Not Included sections for more details.
If you are a single traveler, we will find a roommate for you, but if we cannot find you a roommate, we may charge you a single supplement. Single rooms cost extra and are subject to availability.
|Payment||Due Date||Amount Per Person|
|Deposit||Due now to reserve your space||$500|
|Final||April 21, 2023||Remaining Balance|
Payments are due based on the schedule above. All reservations require a deposit to confirm reservation of your space.
Until the Final Payment due date, deposits are refundable except for a cancellation fee of $150 per person, which can be applied toward another trip if reserved within six months of the cancelled trip’s departure date. Cancellations are non-transferrable. No refunds are given after the Final Payment due date.
- All leaders, transport, park entry fees, and permits for all activities unless described as optional.
- Meals from dinner on September 16 through breakfast on September 30.
- Transfer on September 16 from Ayers Rock Airport via free shuttle provided by Ayers Rock Resort and a group transfer on September 30 at around 8:30am from the Holiday Inn Harbourside to Cairns Airport for those continuing on the Southern Australian trip and those heading home.
- Non-alcoholic bottled beverages.
- Snorkeling equipment (mask, snorkel, and fins) for day at Great Barrier Reef.
- Trip Materials – information about flights, packing, entry and departure requirements, airport transfers, gratuities, etc.
- All airfare (except flights listed as included), airport and departure taxes, and excess baggage fees. Airfare is approximately $1,600 to $2,000 from the US to Brisbane, Australia and back to the US from Devonport, Tasmania, depending on origin, plus approximately $700 for three internal flights.
- Passport and visa fees.
- Airport transfers in addition to the included group transfer on September 30.
- We can arrange extra hotel nights for an additional cost.
- Optional helicopter flight at Kings Canyon.
- Wetsuits for day at Great Barrier Reef.
- Emergency medical and evacuation insurance and trip cancellation insurance. For more information see travel insurance.
- Items of a personal nature such as laundry, telephone calls, medical costs or hospitalization, room service, alcoholic beverages, items not on the regular menu, etc. If you have special dietary needs, please indicate them on your Reservation Form.
Temperatures vary depending on the location. Lows can be about 29 to 55°F (-1 to 12°C) and highs can be about 57 to 75°F (13 to 23°C). Rain is possible.
You need to be able to get in and out of the vehicle and boat on the Bruny Island cruise. You’ll take short walks during stops while driving between destinations. You’ll take longer walks at Cradle Mountain on uneven ground, but if you prefer shorter walks, we will make them available. Please contact us if you have any health concerns that may make this trip challenging.
Unless listed as included, airfare is not included in trip costs. Detailed logistical information and the contact information for our recommended flight-ticketing agent are included in the Trip Materials we will send you. Please let us know if you are arriving earlier or staying later, as we are happy to assist you with any extra overnights that you might want to arrange.
Flights you (or a travel agent) book: Arrive in Brisbane, Australia (BNE) by September 30 to meet the rest of the participants who arrive around 12:30pm at Brisbane airport. If you are arriving from our Northern Australia trip, see the Flights section in its itinerary for arrival information. Depart from Devonport, Tasmania (DPO) anytime on October 13.
Flights we book for you: The round-trip flights between Kangaroo Island and Adelaide are included in the trip cost. The two internal flights, and if arriving from our Northern Australia trip, the one-way flight from Cairns to Brisbane; we’ll add the flight costs to your final trip balance.
Our company ethos has always regarded conservation as inseparable from responsible tourism. We struggle with the dilemma that traveling worldwide expends climate-changing carbon. However, we wholeheartedly believe that traveling with us will cultivate your passion for conserving our beautiful world while stimulating each destination’s local economy. We encourage you to explore the various ways in which Cheesemans’ operates within this context:
- Ecotourism and Conservation for Australia
- Cheesemans’ Trips are Carbon Neutral: As of June 1, 2022, our trips are carbon neutral.
- Offsetting your Travel to/from our Trip: We ask you to pledge to offset the carbon emissions for your travel to and from our trips. You can purchase offsets with most airlines (Delta includes them automatically), use our handy carbon calculator and donate to Sustainable Travel International, or contribute to your favorite offsetting organization.
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"Cliff Notes Summary: Cheesemans' always does it right! This is our fourth Cheesemans' trip and we have more on the books, because these people know how to do it right and DELIVER. The courtesy and depth of knowledge of all the folks taking care of us is just incredible and I would not consider taking a trip like this with anyone else."
Murray and Cheryl King, 2017
"Cheesemans' provide the best and most intensive wildlife experience the location has to offer. This includes choice of guides, itinerary and accommodations."
Sue Rich, Australia 2013
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