The Great Wild South

Wildlife and amazing places along Australia's southern coast
Overview

overview

A fantastic scenic nature trip in Australie's summer (North America's winter)! Get up close to Australia’s wildlife in its natural environment and see the scenery of eucalyptus tree forests and amazing rock formations for which Australia is famous. Many people find themselves never seeing a kangaroo in the wild in Australia, let alone a koala, kookaburra, dingo, or platypus - but not so with JOURNEYS! You’ll meet the locals (people AND animals!) and experience real Aussie culture. We have planned this excursion in the southern areas specifically for Australia’s summer months (winter for us in the northern hemisphere) when weather in the Northern Territory and the tropical coast is extremely hot and rainy - although it’s a perfect trip for any time of year.

This trip perfectly combines with our New Zealand Deluxe Wilderness Explorer. Ask us about combining these trips.

itinerary

itinerary

  • Day 1: Melbourne

    Upon arrival in Melbourne, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Later, your guide will meet you for an afternoon tour, where you’ll discover the diversity of this multi-cultural city. See historical buildings, beautiful gardens, and shopping areas famous for their restaurants and fashions. Melbourne is the sporting city, and Melbourians are passionate about their Aussie Rules footy and almost all sports known to mankind. Travel past the sporting precinct that became famous in the 1956 Olympic Games and now roars to the cheers of Aussie Rules crowds each weekend, and the nearby Rod Laver Tennis Center that hosts the Australian Tennis Open each year. Melbourne is home to people from all over the world and this cultural diversity is expressed in the food and fashion centers. Walk along the shopping strips of traditional Toorak, funky Chapel Street, or cultural Vietnamese Bridge Street. Return to the Melbourne Botanical Gardens for tea near the banks of the Yarra River. Next, drive to the Italian precinct of Lygon Street and see the historic Exhibition Buildings alongside the ultramodern Melbourne Museum.

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  • Day 2: Western Plains Wildlife Safari
    Learn about aboriginal heritage

    To begin your journey your naturalist guide leads you into “real Australia” to see kangaroos, koalas, and abundant birdlife. You will learn about native animals and plants both in the famous open-range grasslands of Serendip Sanctuary on the Western Plains and in the bush lands of Brisbane Ranges National Park. These environments provide the perfect introduction to Australia's unique wildlife. See kangaroos in large free-roaming groups. Spot emus, wallabies, koalas, and other unique Australian wildlife and enjoy a delicious bush lunch. The Brisbane Ranges are home to a large and healthy population of wild koalas, and you are unlikely to miss out on multiple sightings of these delightful creatures. Your guide will also share with you the great significance of the Western Plains to aboriginal people, and you will discover the rich aboriginal heritage of Australia. Enjoy dinner on your own this evening at one of the many delightful restaurants or pubs of Geelong. Stay overnight at a bed & breakfast in the provincial coastal town of Geelong.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
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  • Day 3: Great Ocean Road & 12 Apostles

    Today, you will see some of the world's most spectacular coastal scenery. Follow the Great Ocean Road to the surging surf coast and the magnificent rainforests of Otway National Park. Travel through Port Campbell National Park and let your imagination go wild along the rugged Shipwreck Coast. Linger a while to take in some of nature's handiwork at the 12 Apostles, the Loch Ard Gorge, and the surrounding huge limestone cliffs. Have dinner this evening at a local pub and stay at a delightful bed & breakfast over looking the beautiful Hopkins River.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
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  • Day 4: Western Plains Volcanoes & Lakes
    Spectacular views across the countryside

    This morning, have 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 now pasture to the richest wool growing area on earth. Stop en route to Melbourne for a drive to the top of an extinct volcano, which provides spectacular views across the plains.
    From the summit, you will see some of the hundreds of volcanic lakes scattered across the plains. Later, stop at Lake Corangamite, the largest permanent saline lake in Australia, which is often covered with prolific birdlife. Return to your hotel in Melbourne in the late afternoon.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
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  • Day 5: Melbourne/Adelaide

    Fly this morning to Adelaide, where you will be met and transferred to the hotel. Adelaide is one of the best-planned cities in the world, proud of its relaxed lifestyle, its colonial heritage, and its reputation as the arts capital of Australia. You can visit the Art Gallery of South Australia (which contains one of Australia’s finest art collections) and the South Australian Museum, which is one of Australia's most popular tourist attractions. Another wonderful site is the Adelaide Botanical Gardens, a historic garden on the Adelaide Plains that contains collections of both native and exotic plants and the Adelaide Central Market, one of the icons of south Australia that has been in operation for over 130 years. If you prefer, venture out to the famous Barossa Wine Region for winery tours and tasting. Stay overnight in Adelaide. (Flight not included).

    Meals
    Breakfast
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  • Day 6: Adelaide/Kangaroo Island
    Come face to face with kangaroos

    You will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Kangaroo Island. On arrival, you will begin your full day tour of Seal Bay. First, you head to Seal Bay Conservation Park. Here, you will learn how the Australian sea lion survives the rigors of the southern ocean. You can walk among the sea lion colony of bulls, cows, and pups and observe them in their natural environment. Next, enjoy a visit to the spectacular and vast sand dunes of Little Sahara. From the South Coast traverse the rural areas of the middle of the island via the Parndana Wildlife Park.
    The North Coast beaches, Snellings and Stokes, are perfect for a leisurely stroll to enjoy the sound of waves breaking on the pristine, sandy coast. Later, you will take a nature walk through the drooping she-oaks of Lathami National Park and observe the kangaroos and wallabies. This is also the habitat of the rare glossy black cockatoo and the elusive echidna (spiny anteater). After your tour, you will be transferred to the Wanderer’s Rest, where you will stay for the next two nights.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
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  • Day 7: Flinders Chase National Park & the Remar
    Keep an eye out for various birds

    The next day of your tour on Kangaroo Island begins at Rocky River, the headquarters of the Flinders Chase National Park. Here, kangaroos laze, and Cape Barren geese graze. The Chase is home to all varieties of native animals and birds. Then, you will head to Admiral’s Arch, which is an ancient limestone formation close to the ocean and also a perfect area for an active colony of New Zealand fur seals. Continue next to Remarkable Rocks via the spectacular coastline of Cape du Couedic, where the forces of nature have carved modern sculptures out of the granite. Later, enjoy a short bush walk in search of the echidna (spiny anteater). On your walk, you can observe the colorful, endemic Crimson Rosella. Today, you will also see beautiful Vivonne Bay, which supports a colony of Little penguins. Your guide then takes you to Point Ellen to fossick for shells on the beach. Your tour concludes today at your accommodations.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
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  • Day 8: Kangaroo Island/Adelaide
    Expect encounters with koalas

    Begin your day with a visit to the picturesque American River. Here, watch the pelicans and look for the glossy black cockatoo. Then, head over to the east of the island to the little township of Penneshaw. You will enjoy lunch today alongside the Chapman River. Stroll along the beautiful Antechamber Bay to look for penguins and to fossick for shells. Later, climb up the oldest lighthouse in South Australia at Cape Willoughby on the far eastern tip of the island. Visit Pennington Bay and the southeastern coastal area, where you will be amazed at the great photo opportunities available. Next, visit Cliffords Honey Farm, and if time allows, the main town of Kingscote. Your excursion on Kangaroo Island ends today when you are dropped at the airport for your flight back to Adelaide. Upon arrival, you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
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  • Day 9: Adelaide/Onward
    The kangaroos may not want you to leave

    This morning you will be transferred to the airport for your onward flight. Connect to your flight home, or ask us about other options for extending your stay in Australia, Tasmania, or New Zealand.

    Meals
    Breakfast
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Price and Date Details

Price and Date Details

Flexible departures joining small groups
Or Privately on Request
Land Cost:
$5,250
2 person rate: $5,450 per person
Single Supplement:
$695
The single supplement is applicable if a roommate is not available or if single accommodation is specifically requested. While single accommodation is not available on all trips, we will try and honor this request whenever possible.
Need to Know

Need to Know

Duration:
9 days
The number of days, or duration, in a destination corresponds with the itinerary as published. This is the time period covered by the land cost.
Comfort Level:
3
comfortable & delightful hotels
Group Size:
4-12
joining small, local group tours
Activity Level:
1
some optional hiking

Terms & Conditions: 

Standard

Included in costs: Meals as noted, each night in double occupancy accommodations, land transfers between components, English speaking guides, park or site entry fees, surface transport, equipment other than personal gear, government tax, airport transfer assistance, in-country ticket reconfirmation and check-in assistance (where permitted), complete pre-departure packet, toll-free pre-departure phone assistance.

Not included in costs: Meals not noted as included, gratuities, beverages (except tea or coffee at meals), international or domestic airfare unless specified, airport departure taxes not included with air tickets, visas, itinerary changes after confirmation, any services not included in itinerary, any costs incurred due to canceled or delayed flights, acts of nature or other happenings beyond our control, or other costs as are more fully described in JOURNEYS Terms & Conditions.

Deposit and payment schedule: $500 per person per trip or the applicable amount based on the trip and the proximity of the departure date. A second deposit of $800 per person is due four months prior to departure, and final payment for land arrangements is due 60 days prior to departure.  Any applicable permit fees required in advance are non-refundable as well.  Airlines require full payment when tickets are issued. The deposit may be made by Visa, Master Card, American Express, or check, and the Reservation Form may be submitted by fax, mail, or via our website. Full payment schedule and cancellation penalties are described in our Terms and Conditions as noted in our Global Expedition Catalog, on our website, and elsewhere. Please request these if you do not have them before advancing a deposit.

Air fares: JOURNEYS can make complete air arrangements applicable to your trip as noted in this itinerary. If you wish to redeem frequent flyer mileage or arrange flights directly with the airline, you may do so on your own at no penalty. If you do, please consult with us on exact arrival and departure dates and times before having your tickets issued to avoid errors.

Insurance: When you make your application, we strongly recommend the purchase of comprehensive travel insurance in case of emergency situations. Please contact us for a recommended policy.

Itinerary Change Fee: There will be a $40 fee for changes once an itinerary has been confirmed and approved. Additional cancellation penalties or change fees may apply as per our terms and conditions. The passenger is responsible for such fees.

Resources

Trip Extensions

Trip Extensions

Sydney Stopover

Duration: 4 days

Sydney is a great place to spend more than just a day, whether you are looking for an exciting place to explore or hoping to just sit back and relax. Discover Sydney's unique dining, shopping, and recreational options in one of the world's most attra... read more

Tasmania Cradle Mountain

Duration: 5 days

Sample Tasmania’s remote wilderness and relaxed lifestyle at Cradle Mountain. This is a wonderful escape with breathtaking scenery, cosy cabins, magnificent meals and days filled with simple pleasures.

Lamington National Park and Fraser Island

Duration: 7 days

Explore Australia's largest subtropical rainforest located in Lamington National Park and discover the amazing array of plant and animal species that inhabit this region. Then it's on to Fraser Island, where you will see beautiful freshwater lakes, o... read more

Australia Top End

Duration: 6 days

This safari visits two of the most popular national parks of the Top End, Kakadu and Arnhemland. Kakadu National Park is home to incredible aboriginal rock art as well as spectacular wildlife and beautiful natural landscapes. In Kakadu, you will expe... read more

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