Be involved in the future of wild Koalas, Kangaroos and Birds - one day small group tour
Tour Code K&K
See Koalas and Kangaroos IN THE WILD! Walk with wild animals in their natural habitats on this full day, fully inclusive small group (max 10 people) eco-tour, led by an experienced Wildlife Guide.
Walk through natural bushland to meet wild koalas, then learn about each one's history and social life from your Wildlife Guide and Koala Researcher. Help create new koala habitat for future generations of baby koalas by participating in our Make a Home for Clancy Koala project.
Join wild mobs of Kangaroos on the plains and in open forests. Their natural instinct is to flee humans, but with care we often get close enough to take photographs and observe their complex social life. The natural environments we visit are also home to parrots, fairy-wrens, emus, honeyeaters, possums, wallabies and lizards. Your Wildlife Guide will help you find and understand them, and show you how to look for wildlife wherever you travel in Australia.
All participants who provide their email address will receive a certificate of thanks for helping wildlife, and an opportunity to stay in touch with each of the Koalas seen on the day.
The tour is vehicle-based, with short walks during the day; includes a substantial picnic lunch and pick up/drop off to Melbourne city.
- Location: the Great Western Plains near Melbourne including Serendip, the You Yangs or Brisbane Ranges National Park.
- Duration: 1 Day – approx 8 hours
- Grade/Difficulty: easy (see note below “Easy Walking”).
- Departs: daily ex city of Melbourne 8.10am to 9am all year from our 5 central pickup points. No tours run on Christmas & Boxing Days (December 25 & 26)
- Returns: to Melbourne between 4 & 5 pm.
- Minimum pax: 2 adults
- Maximum pax: 10 adults (but larger groups can be catered for by special arrangement - please contact us)
- Price to 31 March 2015: $190 AUD per adult and $142.50 AUD per child ** Price from 1 April 2015: $210 AUD per adult and $157.50 per child**
** The child rate applies from 2 to 13 years of age inclusive. Infants to 2 years are free of charge, however we must be notified of their ages. Child restraints or booster seats are legally required for babies and children under seven years of age. We strongly recommend that parents travelling with small children contact us the day before the tour to confirm child seating arrangements. We can arrange child seats for $20 AUD per seat.
Prices shown are per person in Australian dollars and are retail (rack/recommended sell) rates current to 31 March 2015.
Please check our cancellation page before you book.
Note that all departures are from the city of Melbourne and all trips return to Melbourne.
Tour includes: Full interpretation by an experienced Wildlife Guide, meal as described below, entry fees and transport to and from pickup location.
Share binoculars, all equipment necessary for conservation activities (see below)
A library of Wildlife and Natural History books on board vehicle, available for guest use during the day
Expert Wildlife Guides: Echidna Walkabout's Wildlife Guides are recognised as some of the best in Australia. Our Wildlife Guide training program ensures that all Guides have an in-depth knowledge of the wildlife and environments you will see. They are friendly, knowledgeable and passionate about wildlife - some of them have over 20 years experience working with wild animals, several are volunteer wildlife carers and rescuers and most have travelled extensively throughout Australia and the world. Many hours of wildlife research work precede the tour to ensure that you see and learn about native wildlife in its natural environment. Guides carry two way radios and mobile phones which link them to other Wildlife Guides and to emergency services. Guest safety is of paramount importance to us.
Easy walking: Although this tour is vehicle based, most of the day is spent outside the vehicle on a number of easy, flat terrain, bushwalks so that you can get close to nature. Passengers must be able to walk unassisted at least 1km on uneven dirt surfaces to ensure wildlife sightings. There may be up to 5 walks of this duration during the day.
Meal on tour: A substantial bush lunch of gourmet sandwiches, fruit and cakes is provided which includes traditional Australian "Billy Tea". Important Note: Vegetarian, gluten-free, pork-free or other food preferences should be noted at the time of booking. Food is carried on board the vehicle, so we can only cater for allergies and special food preferences that we are informed of in advance.
Transport: In our comfortable air conditioned vehicle.
Drinking Water: Tap water in Melbourne is completely safe and drinkable and available at your hotel, and a large fresh storage is carried on board the vehicle each day. We recommend you bring a re-usable water bottle which we can refill during the day. If you don't like to drink tap water we highly recommend you bring a filter to reduce plastic waste.
What to 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 weather forecast for accurate predictions), sun hat, rainproof coat, insect repellent, 15+ sunscreen and 1 litre re-usable water bottle. Camera and binoculars are recommended.
We depart Melbourne at around 9.00am to travel just 45 minutes to the west to the bushland of You Yangs Park. The park is home to a healthy population of wild Koalas, which we research and monitor to ensure the best possible sightings. We take a very easy walk through the gum trees, searching for koalas, wallabies, kangaroos and birds in their natural setting.
Your Wildlife Guide will introduce you to each koala as an individual, with a history, social life and family. You will learn all about these threatened mammals, and probably have some great photographic opportunities. Your Wildlife Guide will show you how to approach koalas quietly, and how to watch them from a respectful distance without disturbing them. (For details please see A bit about wild Koala etiquette!) At one of 5 Boneseed-removal sites we stop for 5 minutes to remove some of these noxious weeds to improve Koala habitat. Please go to our Make a Home for Clancy Koala! project for more details
The area we walk through is of great significance to the local Aboriginal People of the Wathaurong Tribe. The granite rock formations of the You Yangs staged huge meetings of Aboriginal People from all over Southeastern Australia. Many signs of their occupation still remain. Your Guide will share their knowledge with you. Though we may not be meeting any Aboriginal People on this tour, we act with the knowledge, consent and support of the Wathaurong Community (One of our Wildlife Guides & Koala Researchers is a local Aboriginal Person, but we cannot guarantee that she will be working on your day).
Our picnic lunch is usually served under the gum trees and includes gourmet sandwiches, fruit and cakes, and delicious Australian "Billy tea". Your Wildlife Guide will explain the history and recipe for the traditional tea of the Swagmen.
Leaving the You Yangs, we travel just 10 minutes to Serendip national park. Often our entrance is heralded by the screeching of Cockatoos or the chattering of Honeyeaters. We drive, then walk through the gum trees and across grasslands in search of wild mobs of Eastern Grey Kangaroos. They are wild and secretive, and we often walk quietly along kangaroo tracks, using trees and bushes as shelter. Sometimes we find them before they see us, and we can watch completely natural kangaroo social behaviour. Other times they find us first, and we enjoy the magnificent sight of a wild mob hopping, fast and powerful, but silent as ghosts. We also look out for curious Emus, and take a short walk to the billabong, home to large populations of waterbirds.
We return to Melbourne around 4.00 to 4.30pm.
NOTE: this itinerary is an indication only. Due to conditions on the day, weather or National Parks instructions, it may change to maximise wildlife viewing opportunities. This itinerary is the property of Echidna Walkabout
Just by being there, all guests are helping wildlife. Part of each tour cost goes to Koala research and wildlife species atlassing.
In addition, if you wish to do more, you will be offered an opportunity to participate in our Make a Home for Clancy Koala! habitat creation project. Activities include: searching for koalas and other wildlife, recording of wildlife sightings and koala behaviour, hand-pulling of Boneseed (an invasive weed that threatens koala habitat), hand collection of rubbish.
This work is important - if every one of our guests pulls out just one weed we create a new koala home every year. These activities are completely optional, no obligation, very easy and take up very little time. All guests (who provide their email address) will receive a certificate of thanks, and use of all equipment necessary to perform the tasks. Volunteer/Conservation component of tour
Morning pickup schedule:
At time of booking, we will suggest a pickup location from this list below. Please provide a contact phone number or accommodation details and contact us the day before to confirm.
Please be ready at the pickup point 5 minutes before the pickup time to ensure you get out to The Bush as quickly as possible. Important Note: the tour vehicle will not wait past the pickup time, and to ensure that we don't waste time or fuel, the tour vehicle only goes to pickups that are booked. So if you change your accommodation, or want to book a different pickup point you must let us know.
08.10am Langham Hotel (1 Southgate Avenue Southbank)
08.15am Crown Promenade Hotel (8 Whiteman St, Southbank)
08.40am Rydges Melbourne Hotel (186 Exhibition St, Melbourne City)
08.45am Swanston Grand Mercure Hotel (195 Swanston St, Melbourne City)
09.00am Holiday Inn on Flinders Hotel (575 Flinders Lane/corner Spencer St, Melbourne City)
You will be returned to the same location as pickup.
Wild Eastern Grey Kangaroos and Koalas are the main focus of this tour. We also see a large variety of birds, which often include Sulphur-crested Cockatoos, Galahs, Laughing Kookaburras, Superb Fairy-wrens, Whitewinged Choughs, Emus, Cape Barren and Magpie Geese, New Holland and White-plumed Honeyeaters, Australian White Ibis, Whistling Kites, Australian Magpies, Magpie-larks, Red-rumped Parrots, Crimson or Eastern Rosellas, Crested Pigeons, Red Wattlebirds and Willie Wagtails.
We sometimes see wild Swamp (Black) Wallabies, Common Brushtail or Ringtail Possums, Common Blue-tongue or Jacky Lizards, Wedge-tailed and Little Eagles, falcons, goshawks, other parrots and cockatoos.
We occasionally see an Echidna. We rarely see snakes or spiders, though we are as interested in them as in all wildlife, and will look out for them.
Note: we go to enormous effort to ensure sightings of Eastern Grey Kangaroos and Koalas and have a very high success rate with these species. However, we do not guarantee sightings of any wild animal.
PRIVATE Kangaroos and Koalas IN THE WILD tours - with all the features of the above tour, plus:
Travel with the best of the best! See Australian wildlife IN THE WILD at your own pace, with a top level Echidna Walkabout Wildlife Guide. Your private trip will cater to your needs - if you need extra time for photography, you've got it. If you want to specialise in birds, mammals, reptiles, plants, geology - you can do it. If you want to spend the whole day just with your family or group of friends, these trips are for you.
All Private Kangaroos and Koalas (SWA) and Private Deluxe Kangaroos and Koalas (SWP) tour guests are picked up and returned to their city hotel or agreed location.
Private Deluxe Koalas & Kangaroos (SWP) with 2 course meal. This trip is a great gift or incentive, and is perfect for honeymooners, small parties of deluxe travellers. You will enjoy starters and main meal served with good quality Australian bottled wine and beer at a classic Aussie Outback Pub. You will be picked up and returned to your city hotel or agreed convenient location. NB Vegetarian or other food preferences should be noted at the time of booking. We can only cater for allergies and special food preferences that we are informed of in advance.
Private Koalas & Kangaroos (SWA) with standard bush lunch of gourmet sandwiches, fruit, cakes and Billy Tea. This is perfect for young families, birdwatchers, small groups travelling together and people with special interests who want a private guide. It is also great for people who need a hotel pickup.
Please contact us for a special quote or more details about your private tour.
A lot of pre-tour planning and effort goes into making your tour special. Please contact us as soon as you can if you need to change or cancel a booked tour - we will always try to re-schedule your tour if we can. If you must cancel a booking made by your agent (or direct) please note our cancellation policy. Your agent may have other fees or policies too.