Wildlife Group Tour

Australia group tour - Tasmanian wildlife photography with Sue Flood

Hosted throughout by wildlife photographer, Sue Flood

12 days

from £7,995pp
  • Hone your skills with expert tuition from wildlife photographer Sue Flood
  • Photograph endemic species in the wild including Tasmanian devil, quoll and duck-billed platypus
  • Explore the beautiful, uninhabited Maria Island, refuge to endangered wildlife
  • Your local guide is one of Tasmania's top wildlife and birding experts

Tasmania is a photographer's dream with breath-taking landscapes, habituated wildlife, incredible colours and superb lighting. It is home to many unique and endangered mammals many of which are marsupials. It is also home to two species of monotreme – the duck-billed platypus and the short-beaked echidna. This egg-laying group of mammals were once widespread but are now only found in Australia and New Guinea. As well as mammals, Tasmania is also home to a wealth of birdlife including twelve species found nowhere else in the world.

After a night in Hobart, the first part of this trip will be spent exploring Bruny Island, one of Tasmania’s many shore islands which has its own eco system. All 12 endemic bird species can be easily spotted as well as abundant mammals including the world’s only wild white wallabies. The coastal landscape is stunning with the next stop south being Antarctica, making it feel like the edge of the world. The group will explore the island by boat as well as having access to 1,500 acres of private land at Inala Private Reserve, home to wildlife conservation for nesting forty-spotted pardalotes and wedge-tailed eagles. Viewing hides and platforms are dotted throughout the reserve.

Heading inland to the mountains, rivers, lakes and waterfalls of Mount Field and Cradle Mountain National Park, time will be spent exploring on foot both during the day and at night, in search of some of Tasmania’s most iconic residents.

Located in the far north is Narawntapu National Park, often referred to as the ‘Serengeti of Tasmania due to the abundance of bird and wildlife. Spend two nights exploring the scenery and wildlife of this region before heading southeast to the stunning sandy white beaches of Freycinet National Park. Here, experience a night excursion to see Tasmanian devils.

Lastly, spend a day walking and searching for resident wildlife on the sublimely beautiful Maria Island. Uninhabited other than a park ranger with no permanent accommodation for visitors, the island is a Noah’s Ark for endangered birds and mammals, many of which are easily seen during the day. It is also home to a rich Aboriginal heritage and a World Heritage site that predates Port Arthur.

Why should I join this group tour to Tasmania?

The wildlife of Australia and in particular Tasmania is unique, and with few predators, some of the wildlife here has been saved, literally from the brink of extinction. Combined with the wonderful wildlife is some spectacular scenery, ranging from soaring mountains to rugged coastlines and stretches of white sandy beach. Plus, the people of Tasmania are incredibly charming. Wildlife guides here are some of the best in the world and your guide, Nick Mooney is one of Australia’s top wildlife and birding experts with a particular specialism in the Tasmanian devil. Add to this the company of Sue Flood plus the perfect opportunity to extend your stay down under to visit family or friends or just further explore the country.

"Tasmania is an absolute treasure trove of wonderful wildlife, and I can't wait to help everyone get a diverse portfolio of images that they will be proud of from our trip! I am especially looking forward to our Tasmanian devil experience..." - Sue Flood

Sir David Attenborough has recently narrated a documentary about Tasmania after its producer flew to the UK to request his involvement in person. Viewable on YouTube, David Attenborough's Tasmania gives a fascinating insight into the magical scenery and weird and wonderful wildlife that inhabit this island state.

Do I have to be an experienced photographer to join this tour?

Whether you have a simple point and shoot camera or a sophisticated SLR, Sue Flood will be on hand to give you tips on how to improve your photography skills. Therefore, you don’t need to be an experienced photographer to join. The maximum group size of just ten people will allow Sue time to spend time with you at the different locations to help you get the perfect shot and develop your wildlife photography skills.

Time will be spent photographing some wildlife in low light conditions so it might be useful to have a tripod and be familiar with how you can use your increased ISO to photograph in darker conditions. There are restrictions of red-coloured low-intensity light to ensure the wellbeing of the wildlife. 

What wildlife will I see on this group tour to Tasmania?

Marsupials including wombat, quoll, wallaby, kangaroo, possum, bandicoots, long-nosed potoroo and Tasmanian devil. It may also be possible to see the near albino forms of Bennett’s wallaby and brush-tailed possum. The two species of monotreme, the echidna and duck-billed platypus can be found throughout although the latter are more prevalent in the north.

Birdlife is rich and varied including a range of species from raptors, including goshawk, falcon and eagles to seabirds such as albatross, shearwater and penguin. Some of the rarer species include the wedge-tailed eagle, Australia’s largest bird of prey and the forty-spotted pardalote, one of Australia’s smallest and most endangered birds.

Around Bruny Island there will also be the chance to see fur seals, dolphin and if lucky even whales.

What happens on a typical day?

Most days will be active, spent in search of wildlife, with plenty of time to photograph wildlife. Early morning and late afternoon light is perfect for photography so there will be some early starts in order to try and get the best sightings and shots. Night excursions will also be a common theme as many of the endemic species are nocturnal. There will be some short day and night walks plus a few overland journeys, with the longest taking around five hours. Regular rest stops will be made to stretch legs and take photographs.

What is the accommodation like in Tasmania?

Accommodation included in this tour is varied and ranges from a turn of the century wool storage and treatment facility to an 1878 homestead in a coastal setting, a modern hotel in the mountains and motel style accommodation in a pretty fishing town. Overall accommodation is comfortable and well located for activities during the day.

How fit do I need to be?

Moderate levels of fitness should be fine with no rough terrain or long strenuous hiking involved.

What is the food like in Tasmania?

Tasmania is known for its quality fresh produce and small-scale artisan producers. Local homegrown and often organic delicacies include farmed salmon, honey, truffles, cheeses and beef. During your tour, breakfast will be continental with cereal, fruit, yoghurt and tea/coffee.  Lunch will generally consist of a packed lunch eaten in the field.  Dinner will consist of two courses with several options for main and a choice of either a starter or dessert. Drinks (soft and alcoholic) are generally not included but at lunch and breakfast fruit juice and water will be made available.

Is November the best time to travel to Tasmania?

November is spring in Tasmania and a lovely time to explore both in terms of temperature and wildlife activity. The weather can be variable, and you will be visiting a range of areas from the coast to mountains up to a height of around 1,300 metres. Layers are the best clothing including a raincoat and a jumper or fleece for altitude and night touring.



Departing on:
  • 18th November 2019

For a detailed itinerary or to book your place on this tour, please contact us.

STARTFINISHPrice Excluding Flights £Flight cost fromSingle SupplementTour ExpertStatus 
18th Nov 2019 29th Nov 2019 £ 7,995 call £ 845 Sue Flood Available
  Click here to see what is included/excluded

what is included

  • 11 nights accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis
  • Accompanied by Sue Flood throughout
  • All day and night excursions as detailed
  • All transfers and transportation throughout
  • National Park entry fees
  • Picnic lunches and evening meals throughout
  • Services of a local guide throughout

what is excluded

  • Any drinks with evening meals
  • Domestic flights
  • Gratuities
  • International flights
  • Visas

TO ALLOW FLEXIBILITY, OUR GROUP TOURS DO NOT INCLUDE INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS AS STANDARD. WE CAN ARRANGE INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS ON YOUR BEHALF AND THE ABOVE IS AN INDICATION OF COST, BASED ON RETURN FLIGHTS DEPARTING FROM LONDON. ALL INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS FROM THE UK ARE ATOL PROTECTED.

Itinerary at a glance

Collapse all
Day 1

Hobart - Bonorong
Travel around 30 minutes from Hobart to Bonorong Wildlife Park for a private tour and introduction to Tasmania's wildlife. Learn about the conservation work that the park is undertaking which includes its participation in the Tasmanian devil breeding programme and an on-site purpose-built wildlife hospital. If time allows also visit some reserves around the Hobart area. Return to Hobart late afternoon.

Nestled amongst the foothills of Mt Wellington, Hobart combines heritage charm with a modern lifestyle in a setting of exceptional beauty.

Hobart is Tasmania's capital city and the second oldest capital in Australia, after Sydney. Located at the entrance to the Derwent River, its well-preserved surrounding bushland reaches close to the city centre while beaches line the shores of the river and estuary beyond. With its captivating history, picturesque waterways, rugged mountains and gourmet experiences, the city has something for everyone.


Picnic lunch and dinner included


You will be staying at The Old Woolstore Apartment Hotel, bed and breakfast

Day 2

Travel from Hobart to Bruny Island


After breakfast travel to Bruny Island, a journey of around 45 minutes plus a 15-minute ferry trip.


Bruny Island has some of Tasmania's most beautifully preserved natural environments. Abundant wildlife, towering cliffs overlooking long sandy beaches, coastal heathland, underwater gardens of kelp seaweed and some amazing bushwalks. The island is about 50 kilometres long but appears to be two islands with North and South Bruny joined by a narrow strip of land called The Neck. This isthmus is an important habitat for native wildlife including a colony of little penguin.

As well as being a retreat for many rare and endangered plants and animals, there is plenty of history to explore, from stories of the Aboriginal inhabitants who knew the island as Alonnah Lunawanna to later tales of discovery and settlement. Adventure Bay on South Bruny is where Captain William Bligh came ashore for water and provisions before his ill-fated mutiny in the South Pacific. Bruny is also home to artisanal producers specialising in oysters, cheese and chocolate.


Bruny Island
On arrival on Bruny Island visit several habitats which will provide a range of photographic opportunities. Search for short-beaked echidna, one of Australia's two egg-laying mammals or monotremes. This evening after dinner, visit a colony of little penguins, the smallest species of penguin in the world, to view the birds returning to their breeding burrows at dusk (flash photography or photography using white light is not permitted at the colony).


Breakfast, picnic lunch and dinner included


You will be staying at Explorers Cottages, bed and breakfast

Day 3

Bruny Island
Focus on photography today within the 1,500- acre private wildlife property 'Inala'. A range of photography platforms and bird hides have been erected at strategic wildlife spots around the property to maximise chances of seeing and photographing a variety of mammals and birdlife. This will include a visit to the raptor photography hide where a range of species, including the endangered grey goshawk (white morph), swamp harrier, brown goshawk, white-bellied sea-eagle and brown falcon, regularly visit. With luck the endangered Tasmanian form of wedge-tailed eagle will call in. Also visit a purpose-built four metre platform to view and photograph one of Australia's smallest and rarest birds, the endangered forty-spotted pardalote.

This evening after dinner there is the option to visit some sites for nocturnal mammal photography, including Eastern quoll, which is a relative of the Tasmanian devil and is found in two colour forms on Bruny Island, and the long-nosed potoroo. We may also be lucky and see the near-albino forms of Bennett's wallaby and brush-tailed possum which rarely occur among the normal dark-coloured animals on Bruny Island.


Breakfast, picnic lunch and dinner included


You will be staying at Explorers Cottages, bed and breakfast

Day 4

Bruny Island Wilderness Cruise
This morning we will join a three-hour wilderness cruise allowing us to see some spectacular dolerite sea cliffs (close to the highest in the southern hemisphere) and the Great Southern Ocean in all its majestic splendour. Visit an Australian fur seal haul-out (weather permitting) for the chance to see and photograph this species on the rocks and swimming alongside the boat at relatively close range. This trip also provides the chance to see some seabirds including shy albatross as well as dolphins and whales if lucky. Return for a late lunch before making use of the afternoon light to continue our photography in coastal and forest settings.


Breakfast, picnic lunch and dinner included


You will be staying at Explorers Cottages, bed and breakfast

Day 5

Bruny Island to Mount Field National Park
This morning after breakfast depart Bruny Island by ferry and travel back through Hobart to Mount Field National Park. The journey should take approximately three and a half hours. On arrival, spend the afternoon exploring this beautiful area, home to cool temperate rainforest and giant trees. Visit a stunning waterfall and a fern-lined stream where it is possible to find platypus. Continue to our accommodation in the historic township of New Norfolk.


Breakfast, picnic lunch and dinner included


You will be staying at Rosie's Inn, bed and breakfast

Day 6

Mount Field National Park to Cradle Mountain
Today we work our way northwards towards Cradle Mountain, a journey of around 300 kilometres which should take approximately five hours. We will stop en route at regular intervals throughout the day to stretch legs and take photographs.

On arrival, after freshening up there may be time to take a walk within the National Park if you wish.


Breakfast, picnic lunch and dinner included


You will be staying at Cradle Mountain Hotel, bed and breakfast

Day 7

Cradle Mountain Area
Today explore the Cradle Mountain Lake St Clair National Park which forms part of the South-west World Heritage area. Visit the iconic Cradle Mountain and Dove Lake which was carved by a series of ancient glacial events. This also provides the chance to see common wombat and some ancient Gondwanan flora which is only found in Tasmania. There are also several short and varied walks close to the accommodation.

This evening after dinner we will take a night drive in the National Park for the chance of seeing the elusive and endangered Tasmanian devil.

Home to the iconic Cradle Mountain, Cradle Mountain National Park is made up of glacial lakes, ancient rainforests, historical aboriginal sites and alpine moorland. A wonderfully wild part of Tasmania and a perfect spot to do some walking.


Breakfast, picnic lunch and dinner included


You will be staying at Cradle Mountain Hotel, bed and breakfast

Day 8

Cradle Mountain to Narawntapu National Park
Today continue towards the northern coastline of Tasmania, a journey of under two hours. Visit a reserve which will provide the best chance to photograph a variety of water birds as well as the best chance of seeing and photographing platypus, hopefully at relatively close range. This afternoon travel to Narawntapu National Park which is home to the Tasmanian form of Eastern grey (Forester) kangaroo. The evening and morning light in this area is simply beautiful.

Later travel to your accommodation on a private property at Hawley Beach.

After dinner tonight, there is an opportunity for a night walk to search for brown bandicoot, long-nosed potoroo and little penguins.


Breakfast, picnic lunch and dinner included


You will be staying at Hawley House, bed and breakfast

Day 9

Narawntapu National Park and Northern Tasmania
Spend time today exploring and photographing more of this beautiful and diverse area of Tasmania. Activities today can include scenic coastal walks and visits to nearby reserves for an additional opportunity to spot platypus and a variety of birds including several Tasmanian endemic species. Panoramic coastal views are also available close by, and there is the option to return to Narawntapu National Park to make the most of the early morning/late afternoon light. Maybe take another night walk in search of any species previously missed.


Breakfast, picnic lunch and dinner included


You will be staying at Hawley House, bed and breakfast

Day 10

Hawley Beach to Bicheno
Today depart Northern Tasmania and travel towards Bicheno on Tasmania's east coast, a journey of around three and a half hours. If time allows visit Freycinet National Park, another iconic Tasmanian destination which is famous for its beaches with white sand and azure water.

Return to your accommodation at Bicheno for an early dinner, before venturing out on a private 'Devils in the Dark' wildlife experience. This experience aims to maximise the opportunity of photographing the elusive Tasmanian devil under close to natural conditions. The animals range free within a fenced, isolated peninsula of land which is part of a wildlife sanctuary. Within this peninsula, Tasmanian devils are kept in as wild a condition as possible with limited exposure to humans. A viewing area has been constructed partly below ground so that viewers can remain seated while watching devils at eye level. Food is placed near the viewing area to encourage the devils in.


Breakfast, picnic lunch and dinner included


You will be staying at Beachfront Bicheno, bed and breakfast

Day 11

Bicheno to Maria Island
Today travel one and a half hours to the seaside township of Triabunna to board a ferry to Maria Island. This pedestrian and bicycle only island was declared a national park in 1972. It is now a refuge for a variety of Tasmanian birds and mammals including Forester kangaroo and Cape Barren goose. Over the last few years it has also provided additional sanctuary to an insurance population of Tasmanian devils which is thriving on the island. Spend most of the day exploring the island, photographing the wildlife and spectacular scenery. Return to Triabunna on an afternoon ferry and travel and hour to Hobart to check in to your accommodation.

This evening, a final dinner with the group.


Breakfast, picnic lunch and dinner included


You will be staying at The Old Woolstore Apartment Hotel, bed and breakfast

Day 12

Depart Hobart
After breakfast transfer to Hobart airport.

Destination Experts

Our experts have unrivalled firsthand knowledge of Australia

Amy Waters, Travel Expert

Read More

Clare Higginson, Travel Expert

Read More

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Tour Leader

Nick Mooney

Nick Mooney
Nick Mooney is an Australian conservationist, biologist, writer, wildlife expert, and ecological educator, best known for his work with the Tasmanian devil. In addition to efforts to learn about the diseases facing and threatening the Devil population, Nick also educates farmers about the benefits they provide. Nick has been involved in studying and managing Tasmania's wildlife for over 30 years in his capacity as wildlife manager at DPIPWE. Starting as a raptor specialist doing peregrine surveys, he diversified into seabird research, marsupial carnivores and invasive species, plus whale rescues. At times, his life reads like a boy's own adventure story. He really did work as an iguana catcher in Venezuela, all in the name of science of course. The job was offered mainly because he was known for being a very good tree climber.

Nick has also been involved with government efforts to search for the elusive, and some believe extinct Tasmanian Tiger, and to protect Tasmania from foxes. He is a keen educator and hopes to increase public appreciation of wildlife through training and guiding. He left his position with the Tasmanian Government in 2009 and has since worked as a specialist guide with Inala Nature Tours on a regular basis. He has also participated in a number of expeditions, including studies on Macquarie Island in Antarctic waters, and for many years lecturing on marine mammals and seabirds while guiding and driving zodiacs in Antarctica.

In 2006 Mooney received an Australian of the Year Local Hero award.

Sue Flood

Sue Flood
Your guide on the trip is Sue Flood, a photographer, author, wildlife filmmaker and conservationist. Sue was an Associate Producer on the award winning BBC series 'The Blue Planet', and also more recently worked on Planet Earth. Both The Blue Planet and Planet Earth featured several animal behaviours which were filmed for the first time, and Sue obtained unique images for the series. Her photographic highlights include diving with humpback whales in the South Pacific, face-to-face encounters with leopard seals in the Antarctic, filming polar bears in the Arctic, and photographing the wildlife of Zambia. But above all, Sue is great fun to be with - while your photographic prowess will improve under her tuition, you are also guaranteed a fun and rewarding time in her company.

Other tours by this lecturer:

Enquire about this Wildlife tour:

Group Size:

Min 6 / Max 10

Tour Expert:

Nick Mooney, Sue Flood

Departure Date (S):

  • 18th November 2019

  • Moderate Activity - The tour may occasionally involve slightly longer walks, but nothing over 4 hours. The tour will involve visits to a variety of sites throughout the duration of the itinerary and be at a moderate pace.


Holiday Ideas in Australia

You are unique, so we believe your holiday should be too.

We listen to what you want and create a personalised itinerary tailored around you.

Your holiday. Your experience. Your way.

Can’t find what you’re looking for?

Call our Travel Experts on +01285 880 980
Start Your Journey
 

Expertise

  • Established for over 25 years creating journeys across 100 destinations worldwide
  • Exclusive access to the best private guides

PRICING

  • We negotiate the best rates with hotels and expert guides
  • Be protected from fluctuations in exchange rates

RESPONSIBLE STEPPES

  • Each time you travel with us we donate £5 to a local charity in the UK and £10 to an international charity

Fully Protected

  • Your monies are financially protected
  • 24/7 Emergency UK contact whilst abroad
 

Featured in the Press

Financial Times
The Telegraph
Sunday Times logo
CNT
Wanderlust

Our Partners

African Parks
Galapagos Conservation Trsut
OF_Primary_Logo_Tan
Restless Development
Save The Rhino
Tusk Trust
World Land Trsut
Gorilla Doctors
 

© Steppes Travel, 51 Castle St, Cirencester, GL7 1QD, United Kingdom