Meet “Sandy” the Racehorse Goanna


Sandy is no ordinary lizard – he’s 1.6 metres long and the high speed icon for our new “Coast, Mountains, Outback” tour series.

Sand Monitors are beautiful, multi-coloured lizards of the Outback. Also known as goannas in Australia, the monitor lizards are from the Varinad family which includes the huge Komodo Dragon of Indonesia.  Sand Monitors – also called Gould’s Goanna, Varanus gouldii – are very much a reptile of the wide open spaces.

But you’ve got to be fast to see one – they travel at warp speed when they get a fright hence their nickname: Racehorse Goanna

Help conserve koalas in the bush, check platypus in the rainforest and monitor monitors in the desert on an epic Australian wildlife safari.

After months of careful research we’ve linked Echidna Walkabout’s two most popular multi-day tours to create an epic conservation travel trip across Western and North-western Victoria. This tour links our existing Koala Research, Great Ocean Road and Mungo Outback Journey tours with an overland expedition via a series of significant national parks in the Grampians mountain range and the semi-arid Mallee region.

Click here to find out more and book the Coast Mountains Outback trip

“We explore the wildlife and sights of an incredible range of habitats and topography in this seldom visited region. This new tour option has it all – coast, mountains and outback.” says Martin Maderthaner, creator of the tour and one of our Senior Wildlife Guides.

Sand Monitor sparkling in the summer grass at Hattah Kulkyne National Park (photo: Roger Smith)

During your journey you will help research and monitor mammals, birds, reptiles and plants. We’ll also consider the impacts of Climate Change on wildlife. Your involvement is crucial to the success of these projects.

You can do the entire 13 days of this trip or we can tailor its duration to your interests. All sections are unique and can be taken as tours themselves or combined into an epic journey encompassing a staggering diversity of habitats and the resultant richness of fauna and flora.

Wildlife is as diverse on this tour as the habitats we explore. From researching koalas in a eucalyptus forest to watching platypus from a canoe on a rainforest lake. Stepping carefully between prickly spinifex grass looking for lizards and elusive wrens to scaling dunes to look for desert parrots as the sun sets over the Mallee deserts. From scanning for whales and dolphins in the refreshing waters of the Southern Ocean to waiting for emus to quench their thirst at an outback waterhole. We may stumble across an echidna or bandicoot foraging in a coastal heathland and days later marvel at a giant red kangaroo bounding across an ancient lake bed in the desert.

Mungo-Family-on-Road-coast-forests-outback

Outback : Family with Wildlife Guide checking out a Shingleback lizard (photo: Michael Williams)


FACTS & INFORMATION
Find out how to book our new Coast Mountains Outback tour series
Read all about Sand Monitors
Read more about Outback Reptiles
See Bush Heritage Australia’s great story about the Monitors of Australia
View more of our Multi-day tours   #ConservationTravelAustralia
Cover photo of Sandy by Martin Maderthaner


In Memory of Michael Williams
The Coast Mountains Outback tour series is dedicated to Michael Williams, Echidna Walkabout Wildlife Guide and Nature Photographer who left us in March 2019
RIP

Gould’s Sand Monitor (Goanna) by Michael Williams/It’s A Wildlife