Kangaroo Island Birdwatching Tour

Wild About Birds

ENQUIRE

These three days offer guests the best viewing and photographic opportunities of some of Kangaroo Island’s 260+ bird species, as well as the iconic landscape and wildlife encounters the Island is famous for.

Overview

Highlights

  • Explore a range of habitats, home to many of Kangaroo Island’s iconic wildlife species
  • Get out on the water on a marine tour, where you can swim with wild dolphins and view some of the island’s coastal birdlife
  • Take a private tour onto the beach among a colony of Australian Sea-lions at Seal Bay Conservation Park
  • Break for coffee, tea or hot cocoa each day, served with traditional Australian homemade cakes
  • Enjoy elegant al fresco lunches each day, served at a private lunch site in the bush setting
  • Explore the wild wilderness of Flinders Chase National Park
  • Roam around Remarkable Rocks, massive granite boulders perched on the Southern Ocean
  • Visit a large colony of Australian and Long-nosed Fur Seals at Admiral’s Arch
  • Take a secret path through to a hidden beach, voted Best Australian Beach in 2023

Full Itinerary

With a diverse landscape, rainfall, and geology, Kangaroo Island is home to over 250 species of birds. This trip showcases the iconic landscapes through the lens of birdlife and targets some of the 17 Island subspecies. Highlights include exploring the Bay of Shoals Sanctuary Zone from the ocean and Cygnet Park, a significant rewilding project important for the Kangaroo Island Glossy-black Cockatoo. Expect encounters with many of the Island’s mammals and learn about the philosophy of shared space with nature. Local food and wine served at remote locations ensure you get a real taste of Kangaroo Island.

As this is a private tour, there are alternate activities which can be substituted, and we recommend setting up the priority activities in advance to ensure availability.

Day 1

Begin your three-day birdwatching adventure with a short walk in the small coastal village of American River. Glossy Black-Cockatoos are frequent encounters in the bush, as are Grey Currawongs, Little Corellas, Galahs and Black-faced Cuckoo-shrikes. Along the shore, there are often Pied Oystercatchers, Royal Spoonbills, Black Swans, Grey Teal, Australian White Ibis, Australian Pelicans and Rufous Night Herons.

The Kingscote Oxidation Ponds usually produces a good cross-section of waterfowl, and the adjacent Cygnet River Estuary is always worth a look.

Have lunch at Reeves Point, which offers a chance to learn about the settlement history of the Island and often turns up quite a few birds – species vary with season.

After lunch, get out on the ocean with Kangaroo Island Marine Adventures and get a close look at Busby Islet. Here you can observe numerous birds from the boat, looking into colonies protected in a restricted conservation area. Opportunities include breeding Australian Pelicans, Royal spoonbills, Black-faced, Pied, Little Pied and Little Black Cormorants, Australian White Ibis and potentially international migratory species seasonally (Nov – Mar).

White-bellied Sea-eagles and Swamp Harriers constantly harass the nesting birds. This trip usually results in observing good numbers of Black Swans foraging on seagrass meadows, and chance encounters with Bottle-nosed Dolphins.

Day 2

Start the day at Roper’s Gums – a tall Eucalyptus forest where you will learn about the endemic Glossy Black-cockatoo recovery plan and the private conservation efforts at Cygnet Park, where former pasture is now diverse bushland. After a morning tea break on the Cygnet River floodplain, set off for Seal Bay Conservation Park.

During the drive to Seal Bay, look out for raptors. Possibilities include Wedge-tailed Eagles, Swamp Harriers, Australian Kestrels, Black-shouldered Kites, Collared Sparrowhawks, Brown Goshawks and Brown Falcons.

At Seal Bay, take a private guided Australian Sea-lion experience. Sea-lions share the beach with various bird species – often encountered are Caspian and Crested Terns, Sooty Oystercatchers and Hooded Plovers. Overhead sightings include White-bellied Sea-eagles and Eastern Ospreys. The headland to the west is a regular roost for Great and Pied Cormorants.

Next is Point Ellen, where seasonal encounters include Rock Parrots, Fairy Terns, and Little Penguins are sometimes found in burrows near the beacon. During morning tea, keep an ear out for Southern Emu-wrens, Purple-gaped Honeyeaters and Western Whipbirds in the coastal heath and adjacent mallee.

The expansive wilderness of Flinders Chase National Park is the focus for the rest of the day, starting in the Rocky River precinct.

Encounters here can include Cape Barren Geese, Crescent Honeyeaters, Little and Red Wattlebirds, Striated and Spotted Pardalotes, Australian Ravens, Koalas, Kangaroo Island Kangaroos, Short-beaked Echidnas, Rosenberg’s Goanna (seasonal) and Tammar Wallabies.

Visit the iconic Remarkable Rocks, a spectacular natural clifftop sculpture. Break for a picnic with binoculars close by – looking out for Australian Kestrels, Tawny-crowned Honeyeaters, and another chance to try for Southern Emu-wrens and the elusive White-bellied Whipbird.

Nearby is Admiral’s Arch – a sea cave which often turns up Australian Ravens (surprisingly), Sooty Oystercatchers, Crested Terns (which had Antarctic terns amongst them in 2006 and 2007), Pacific Gulls and a large Long-nosed Fur-seal colony. If a south-westerly wind is blowing, there is a chance to see pelagic species here as well.

Day 3

Duck Lagoon is a freshwater billabong where typical encounters include: White-eared, White-naped and Brown-headed Honeyeaters; Crimson Rosellas; Superb Fairy-wrens; Black Swans; Grey and Chestnut Teal; Yellow-billed Spoonbills; Pacific Black Duck; Australasian and Hoary-headed Grebes; Chestnut-breasted Shelducks; Little Pied Cormorants; and (seasonally) Freckled Ducks.

After morning tea, venture to the north coast of the Island. Explore Lathami Conservation Park, which protects the habitat of the Glossy Black-cockatoo. Regular encounters are Kangaroo Island Kangaroos; Tammar Wallabies; Scarlet Robins; Striated and Brown Thornbills; Grey Shrike-thrush; Short-beaked Echidnas; Golden Whistlers; and Beautiful Firetails.

At nearby Stokes Bay, seek out Australian Pelicans; Eastern Reef Herons, Hooded plovers and White-bellied Sea-eagles.

Travel inland to a private lunch site where your guide will prepare a seafood barbeque lunch. This area is home to Koalas, Crescent and New Holland Honeyeaters, Eastern Spinebills, Grey Fantails, Rainbow and Purple-crowned Lorikeets, Yellow-tailed Black-cockatoos, and a selection of smaller bush birds.

Continue exploring at D’Estrees Bay (Hooded Plovers, Ruddy Turnstones (seasonally), Eastern Osprey, Rock Parrots (seasonally) and a look at one of the MacGillivray Wetlands on the way back to the airport.

Inclusions

  • Three days private touring on Kangaroo Island
  • Home-baked traditional Australian treats with a selection of hot beverages
  • Elegant alfresco lunch set in the bush with a choice of local wines, beer, soft drinks and spring water
  • Access to field guides, binoculars and maps
  • All necessary National Parks admission fees

More Information

Pick up times and locations

We usually pick-up from your accommodation at 9:00am but if you are arriving by flight or ferry, we can pick you up from Kingscote Airport or the Penneshaw Ferry Terminal.

What to bring

  • Hat and sunglasses
  • Appropriate clothing for variable weather conditions
  • Appropriate footwear for light walking
  • Camera/phone to create and capture some great memories

Pricing

Please contact us for a quote.

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