Explore the coast of southern Australia on a 3-day, fully-inclusive tour of the Great Ocean Road. Look for koalas and kangaroos in the wild, hike the rainforests of the Otway National Park, explore the volcanic lakes of the Western Plains, and more.
What to Expect
Join an experienced wildlife guide for an eco tour of southern Australia, traveling the Great Ocean Road to see the rainforest of Otway National Park, the volcanic lakes of the Western Plains, and the heathlands of Port Campbell National Park. With a special focus on the wildlife, you will often get close to shy kangaroos, can help improve the koala habitat, and assist your guide with wildlife research.
Accommodation is of comfortable boutique 4-5 star standard, with all meals included from a picnic lunch on day 1, to your final lunch on day 3. Experience an evening at an Aussie pub, feel the waves of the mighty Southern Ocean on beach walks, and learn haunting stories of ship wrecks at Loch Ard Gorge.
Day 1: Wildlife of the Western Plains - Koalas and Kangaroos in the Wild (L, D)
Start your tour with a bush walk to see koalas and kangaroos in the wild. Learn about their history and social life from your wildlife guide and koala researcher, and help remove the boneseed weed to make a difference to the koala habitat.
You will also join wild mobs of kangaroos on the plains and open forests. Their natural instinct is to flee humans, but with care you can often get close enough to take photographs and observe their complex social life. As you walk, help your guide record sightings of all the native wildlife.
The natural environments you will visit are home to parrots, fairy-wrens, emus, honeyeaters, possums, wallabies, and lizards. As you see them, or evidence of their prescence, your guide will teach you how to find them without disturbing their natural behavior - techniques that will be useful wherever you go.
Your overnight accommodation is at a 4.5-star boutique property in the tiny outback town of Little River, with dinner served at the local pub for a real Aussie experience!
Day 2: The Great Ocean Road and 12 Apostles (B, L, D)
See some of the world's most spectacular coastal scenery as you follow the Great Ocean Road to the surging surf of the sea. Stop to walk in the magnificent rainforests of Otway National Park, as your guide explains their formation.
Continue through Port Campbell National Park, looking for echidnas, wallabies, lizards, and colorful birds that make their home in the coastal heathlands. Linger to take in some of nature's handiwork at the 12 Apostles rocks and Loch Ard Gorge. Hear stories about the terrible shipwrecks of the past. Dinner and accommodation for the night is at a 4.5-star boutique property near Loch Ard Gorge.
Day 3: The Expanse Of The Western Plains - Volcanoes and Lakes in a Great Savannah (B, L)
This morning, take one last look at the coast in the dramatic morning light, before returning to Melbourne across the vast grasslands of the Western Plains. Created by intense volcanic activity over the past 2 million years, the 7,000 volcanoes of the Western Plains are now extinct, but the resultant savannah is pasture to a rich wool growing area.
Stop en route to drive to the top of an extinct volcano, with spectacular views across the plains. From the summit, see some of the hundreds of volcanic lakes scattered across the plains. Later, pass Lake Corangamite, the largest permanent lake in Australia, often covered with prolific birdlife. You should arrive in Melbourne in the late afternoon for the end of the tour services.
- Full interpretation by an experienced wildlife guide
- All meals from lunch on day 1 to lunch on day 3 (vegetarian, vegan, pork-free, gluten-free, or other food preferences should be advised at time of booking)
- Entry fees
- Shared compact binoculars for guest use during the trip
- Library of wildlife and natural history books on board the vehicle, for guest use througout the trip
- Accommodation at friendly 4.5-star boutique properties, with ensuite facilities (Note: all rooms in the accommodation on day 1 are queen/king beds - no twin rooms available)
Know Before You Go
• Please note that most of each day is spent outside the vehicle on easy bushwalks, so that you can get close to the nature. You must be able to walk unassisted on uneven dirt surfaces. There may be up to 5 short walks during each day
• Bring strong, fully enclosed walking shoes or boots that completely cover your feet (sandals are not recommended), outdoor clothing to suit variable weather conditions (please check the weather forecast for accurate predictions), sun hat, rainproof coat, insect repellent, factor 15 or more sunscreen, and a 1-liter water bottle. Camera and binoculars are also highly recommended
• This tour operates in all weather conditions. Rainy days can be excellent for wildlife viewing. There are a limited number of umbrellas on board the vehicle, but it is recommended that you bring a waterproof jacket
• If you are traveling alone or prefer a single room, please add the single room fee during check out