PRIVATE ONLY | 3D/2N
The highlight of this three-day two-night private tour is access to research and management insights for the conservation of some of our key wildlife species. Meet with researchers, volunteers and find out what is happening behind the scenes on Kangaroo Island.
The three days incorporate the iconic landscape and wildlife encounters the Island is famous for with daily elegant al fresco lunches with wine. As this is a private package, there are alternate activities which can be substituted, and we recommend setting up the priority activities in advance to ensure availability.
Visit the Eucalyptus forest of the Cygnet Valley and learn about the ground-breaking large-scale habitat restoration programme which has turned former farming pastures back into diverse bushland. Meet with Dr Peggy Rismiller who is the world expert on short-beaked echidnas – one of the world’s three egg-laying mammals. Over lunch, Peggy will share the results of 30 years investigating the lives of echidnas, goannas, tiger snakes and the broader ecology of Kangaroo Island.
After lunch, take a trip on the ocean with the team from Kangaroo Island Marine Adventures who assist in the citizen science conservation program ‘dolphin watch’ programme and learn about the visual recognition system used to track dolphin movement between pods. Depending on weather conditions and the activities of any dolphins we encounter, this experience can include a snorkel with the dolphins in the open ocean.
Start the day by learning about the endemic Kangaroo Island Glossy Black-cockatoo and the work being done to pull this large and atypically quiet cockatoo back from less than 120 individuals in 1995 to over 380 in 2018. Take a walk through the feeding habitat of these cockatoos which is also home to Tammar Wallabies, Kangaroo Island Kangaroos, Rosenberg’s Goanna, Short-beaked Echidna and many bird species. Visit Stokes Bay and do a scan for shorebirds as well as explore koala habitat nearby.
Break for lunch before travelling to Seal Bay Conservation Park and take a private tour of the Australian Sea-lion colony – one of the world’s rarest sea-lions. Here you have the chance to learn about the life of the sea-lions – the threats to their survival, their feeding excursions, unique breeding biology. You will also learn about the management actions which are in place to try to protect this iconic species.
Travel to the wild west end – a wilderness of over one hundred thousand hectares guarded against development in a series of conservation parks, a national park and wilderness protection areas. Break for morning tea en-route and learn about a century of conservation activities.
Explore the massive natural shapes of Remarkable Rocks – looking like some dramatic natural sculpture perched impossibly on top of a dome of granite emerging from the ocean.
Evidence of the power of the Southern Ocean swell continues at Admirals Arch – a coastal grotto which provides a haul out for a large colony of long-nosed fur-seals who swim effortlessly through the crashing waves.
Lunch today is a picnic enjoyed on the cliff tops or sheltered in the bush depending on weather and consists of poached chicken, local cheeses, fresh fruit, a salad prepared on the spot and a choice of fine Kangaroo Island wines.
After lunch, get off the beaten path to explore some of the lesser known places seeking out more wildlife encounters. Depending on the season, we visit “Grassdale” to experience some pioneer heritage or seek out kangaroos amongst endemic Tate’s grass trees which look like they are inspired by Dr Seuss.
Three days private touring with home-baked morning tea served with traditional Australian treats; alfresco picnic with a choice of local wines, beer, soft drinks and spring water; access to field guides, binoculars and maps; and all necessary National Parks fees.
This is a recommended programme for those wanting to learn about some of the behind the scenes programmes in action on Kangaroo Island. There is flexibility to alter the itinerary, and the order of activities may change due to logistics such as accommodation location, seasonality and weather conditions.
Other activities (which may attract an additional fee) that can be scheduled include:
- A Bug’s Life – meeting Entomologist Dr Richard Glatz and seeing some of his collection of over 45,000 insects
- An upgrade to a private after-hours behind the scenes tour at Seal Bay Conservation Park
- Mist netting and bird banding/ringing as part of the Cygnet Park habitat restoration programme