For a bespoke experiential Australian holiday call +61 2 9571 6677

FOLLOW US

An immersive & luxurious Tasmanian itinerary

Immerse yourself in Tasmania’s natural beauty with a perfect balance of luxury and adventure.

Start your Tasmanian journey in the Hobart waterfront precinct at the unique storytelling hotel, MACQ 01, set on a site with a colourful and distant past. Spend the afternoon with a private driver to show you the sights of Hobart and introduce you to the remarkable stories of some of its most interesting characters before being enlightened or shocked at MONA with its controversial collection of modern and ancient art.

Experience the remote rugged South West with an unforgettable full day tour via scenic flight to the incredibly remote waterways and wilderness of Bathurst Harbour and Port Davey. Leave civilisation behind as you see the rare and endangered Orange-Bellied Parrot at the Deny King Bird Hide before travelling on an untouched waterway twice the size of Sydney Harbour. Find yourself in a remote location for a delicious lunch featuring Tasmanian produce and wine.

Wild West Coast of Tasmania
Wild West Coast of Tasmania

Continuing on your journey, you are invited for four days to explore on foot and by water the beautiful East Coast with its spectacular beaches, peninsulas and island trails. Enjoy the wonders of Maria Island, Freycinet Peninsula and Schouten Island where you will walk and immerse yourself in the history & wildlife of the region with your passionate & educated guides.

Enjoy exclusive use of the luxurious Lady Eugenie, a 23-metre ketch rigged yacht complete with teak decks. After a long days walk you can relax and unwind onboard taking in the sunset scenery whilst you are indulged in delicious local produce and superb 3-course dinners before retiring to your comfortable cabins. The team’s belief is that your accommodation should be enjoyed not endured!

All that adventure can be taxing so once you are ready to kick back where better to do it than Saffire Freycinet with the backdrop of the Hazards. You can make the most of the experiences included in your stay all that are designed to engage and connect you with this stunning location. If you’d like a little extra we always recommend indulging your inner wine connoisseur and chef by spending the day with a local discovering the region’s mouth-watering delicacies all with the most picturesque views.

A spectacular helicopter flight back along the East Coast and over the islands retracing your trip on the Lady Eugenie is the culmination of your Tasmanian adventure.

 

A Walking & Creativity Retreat in Margaret River

Enjoy a 3, 4 or 7-day bespoke Walking & Creativity Retreat in Margaret River.  Walk along selected sections of the Cape to Cape track, be inspired & replenished by the natural beauty of the region and explore your creativity under the guidance of local artists.

Walks and creativity sessions are tailored to each guest.

Creative sessions could include painting, sculpting, textiles, weaving, pottery, theatre, writing, glass-blowing, drawing and photography. Other activities available are sound healing, yoga, canoeing, dance and wine-tasting.

Below is a sample 4 day itinerary.

Day 1 – Perth to Margaret River – walk 5km – wildflowers – canoeing

Let us drive you from Perth to Margaret River via Meelup Beach to enjoy brunch before a fun canoeing experience.
Walk from Cape Naturaliste to Sugar Loaf Rock – one of the most photographed coastal features in this region. Look out for whales and more unique wildflowers.

Day 2- Wilyabrup Cliffs – walk 5km – yoga – painting session

Start the day with gentle yoga. Walk along the spectacular Wilyabrup cliffs before a local cuisine degustation at one of the oldest wineries in the region & taste world-renown wines before our 3-course meal. During the afternoon create your own colourful canvas in a painting session with award-winning local artist.

Day 3- Boranup Forest – walk 9km – sculpture session

The stunning Boranup forest will take your breath away as you walk and feel deeply reconnected to nature.
Create your own site-specific sculptures deep in the heart of the Karri trees with our award-winning, international environmental sculptor to guide you.

Relax in the afternoon with free time to reflect & take in the beauty of our surroundings.

Day 4- Cape Leuwin walk

Walk through another magical stretch of Karri forest, coastal woodlands & heath all the way to the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse &
enjoy lunch at the White Elephant overlooking Gnarabup Beach. Explore Margaret River town before our drive back to Perth.

Tanja Lagoon Camp – Connect with nature

Tanja Lagoon Camp is one of those beautiful conservation stories that you dream of creating in retirement. Once a dairy farm with nothing but grass and cows, this gorgeous property has been converted by labour of love into a peaceful wilderness camp with tall trees and abundant wildlife.

A chilled out mob of Eastern Grey Kangaroos call Tanja Lagoon Camp home, as do Swamp Wallabies, Echidnas, White-footed dunnarts, Ring-Tail Possums and a variety of other mammals. In conjunction with funding from the Local Land Services, owners Loz and Sam are planting vegetation across the property to create a wildlife corridor for the rare and endangered Long-Nosed Potoroo.

Located on the Sapphire Coast about 6 hours drive south of Sydney, this small pocket of privately owned land sits on the edge of a coastal lagoon surrounded by National Park. The region is know as Australia’s Coastal Wilderness and blissfully remains relatively unvisited due to the distance from any capital cities or major airports. You’ll often have miles of beach entirely to yourself.

Both Loz and Sam are former outdoor education guides and have a wealth of knowledge on the natural world.

Luxurious Safari Tents

Just four large, luxurious safari tents overlook the lagoon. Inside each tent is a beautiful and comfortable handcrafted queen size bed positioned to enjoy the best of the view when the tent is fully opened. There is also a lounge area with a sofa and writing desk. During the cooler months there is a Noirot heater to take the chill out of the room.

The ensuite bathroom of a safari tent at Tanja Lagoon Camp

Off the back of each deck is an ensuite bathroom and a fully equipped kitchen with fridge/freezer, microwave and cooking equipment. There is no restaurant on property however there is a quality gas barbecue with a hotplate, grill, oven chamber and side burner for you to self cater if you choose.

The spacious front decks have views of the lagoon, a comfortable dining setting, an ethanol brazier in the cooler months and the sofa is easy to move outside to be enjoyed as a daybed.

Each tent also has it’s own fire drum with camp chairs and fire wood provided to allow guests to enjoy the pleasure of sitting around a camp fire.

Middle Beach is just a short bush walk from Tanja Lagoon Camp.

Activities at Tanja Lagoon Camp

At Tanja Lagoon Camp you can be as active or as lazy as you please. Nearby is Middle Beach where the lagoon meets the ocean. Here you can surf, swim or explore the rock pools and sand bar that divides the lagoon from the sea. To access this magical place there’s a short bush walk, or you can take a canoe and paddle your way to the ocean. There is also a walk through the Mimosa Rocks National Park forest amongst the spotted gums and cycads. No matter what you choose, you’ll be sure to see the abundant wildlife and feel at peace in this natural wonderland.

Within an hours drive of Tanja Lagoon Camp are a variety of other activities both on and off the water. Beaches abound for surfing and swimming. There are a range of mountain bike trails for the active, and art trails for the creative. You can discover the Aboriginal heritage of the area at Aragannu, a site of special cultural significance to the local indigenous people or visit nearby oyster farms. You won’t get bored!

One activity that is recommended is to enjoy the sunset over the lagoon from the deck of your safari tent with glass of cold wine in hand.

Tanja Lagoon Camp is perfect for those who are after a wilderness experience near the beach. It is set up for those who self drive and self cater as there is no restaurant on site, however it can easily accomodate those who need full service.

 

 

 

Kangaroos at the snow? Take a day trip to Australia’s High Country.

You might find it hard to believe but it does actually snow in Australia. We even have ski fields. Granted, it’s nothing like the Alps of Europe or the Rockies of North America, but that’s exactly why you should put it on your Australian to do list.

Our alpine region is home to a unique variety of flora and fauna found nowhere else in Australia.  There’s really nothing like the beauty of seeing snow on gumtrees. You may even be lucky enough to see a wombat burrowing in the snow or the occasional kangaroo looking a little lost.

Our mountains (perhaps just big hills to some of you from the Northern hemisphere) are located in NSW and Victoria and some can easily be visited on a day trip by helicopter so you can discover our little winter wonderland down under.

Here are a few facts about snow in Australia

The Australian Alps receive more snow than Switzerland!

The world’s longest continuously running ski club is in Australia (Kiandra Pioneer Ski Club).

Mount Kosciuszko, Australia’s highest mountain stretches to 2,228 metres above sea-level.

Mt Buller is one of the busiest ski resorts in Victoria and only 3 1/2 hours drive away (or 1 hour helicopter ride) from Melbourne. With 22 lifts and around 80 kilometres of ski and snowboard terrain, this resort is open from early June to mid September each year, depending on the snow. There are even dog sled tours!

Mt Hotham, a Victorian ski resort in the Great Dividing Range, is upside down. The ski in / ski out accomodation is nestled at the top of the mountain not the bottom so when you ski out, you head straight down, not to the chair lift.

Perisher in in the heart of the Snowy Mountains in NSW is the largest ski resort in the Southern hemisphere.

Snow in Australia at an old settler hut on Mt Bogong
An old settler hut on Mt Bogong

A snow-shoe safari at Mt Sterling

Only an hour’s chopper ride from the centre of Melbourne takes you to Victoria’s High Country where you’ll discover the alpine wonderland and snow in Australia. On route, you’ll get an incredible sense of the vastness of the country.

As you take flight out of Melbourne, passing through our vibrant and creative city you’ll see just how flat the surrounding landscape is, with only a few dots of elevation to be seen – the Dandenong Ranges to the East, and the You Yangs and Grampians far to the West.

The scenery changes as we approach our destination – Mt Sterling a nature lover’s winter paradise. With no lift system, recreational activities consist mainly of snow shoeing and cross-country skiing, and is a great way to be immersed in the Australian snow.

 

We land at the famous “Craig’s Hut”as featured in “The Man from Snowy River” movie. After some short refreshments, you’ll be kitted out with snowshoes for an incredible guided snow safari through wintery bushland.

Upon return, a  delicious catered feast, complete with High Country wines and mountain tales await you, and you’ll have time to explore and be photographed with this icon of the High Country.

On your final leg we fly over the Mt Buller Alpine Resort so you can see an Australian ski field in action before heading back to Melbourne.

Note: This experience is weather dependent and available May to October and snow coverage cannot be guaranteed.

A wallaby in the snow in Australia
A wallaby in the snow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kimberley Coastal Camp

Kimberley Coastal Camp in the far north of Australia is one of our favourite places in the Kimberley region. With no ensuites, only cold showers, and sandy floors it may be seen as an odd choice but these details are minor compared to the incredible experience you will have. This unique destination is so remote that there is no road access, and with a maximum of just 16 guests, you will truly feel like you are one of the luckiest people on earth.

The small lodge is nestled unobtrusively on the pristine shores of the Admiralty Gulf, opposite the Mitchell Plateau and famous Mitchell Falls in one of the most beautiful and remote parts of the Kimberley. The camp has been built in a rustic style with timber beams and corrugated roofing with an eclectic combination of books, fishing tackle and beachcomber treasures for decoration. There are no pre-set itineraries here. You set the pace and can be as active or laid back as you like.

Kimberley Coastal Camp
Kimberley Coastal Camp

 

The area is a fisherman’s paradise and if you can catch it, they can cook it!  Guided bush walks take you to Aboriginal rock art galleries that include the unique Bradshaw paintings and the younger but equally beautiful Wandjina art.  Other activities during your stay will include boat trips to fish, visits to remote islands and beaches or even a helicopter flight over the Mitchell Falls.

This is one of the least explored and most spectacular coastlines in Australia – the craggy cliffs coming down to the water’s edge, with sandstone and shell covered beaches make this area nearly inaccessible.  All the ingredients for a perfect wilderness holiday are here – a pristine environment, deserted beaches, wildlife and birds, marine adventure, delicious fresh food, a cooling pool and magnificent scenery.

The Lodge

The Lodge at Kimberley Costal Camp.  Photographer – Travis Hayto

The ‘Shed’ is the open sided living area with high raked ceilings and is the place to socialise or chill out with a good book.  An open plan kitchen and ‘help yourself to the fridge’ attitude ensures a relaxed, friendly camp atmosphere. The nucleus of the lodge with its high raked ceilings is open to the gentle sea breezes and features rustic handmade furniture from recycled timbers, designer soft furnishings, a unique outback bar, and is the setting for wonderful gourmet meals Kimberley Coastal Camp has become famous for.

Accommodation

Kimberley coastal camp

Accommodation is provided in hand built spacious guest gazebos scattered amongst native grasses and red sandstone. Just sixteen guests can be accommodated in the comfortable but simple wooden chaletsEach gazebo takes full advantage of the tranquil views over the Admiralty Gulf and is elegantly furnished with 5 star king size or twin single beds fitted with luxurious Sheridan linen, screened walls, handmade timber furniture, reading lamps and a ceiling fan.  Crushed coral and sand make up the floor with small bedside mats and there is a bedside lamp, mirror, bedside table and a fan.  The shared bathroom facilities that open to the sky are utterly in tune with this wild and remote environment and are not in any way an imposition.

Incredible Indigenous rock art

The ultimate in experiential travel, Kimberley Coastal Camp is ideally located at the centre of one of the world’s finest repositories of indigenous rock art. With many rock art panels and caves within close walking distance, guests are invited to experience intimate encounters with this ancient culture via fully guided bush walks or scenic boat rides. The rare Gwion Gwion (Bradshaw) is dated no less than 17 500 years old (some suggest older) and is currently testing the world’s best scientific minds. The more recent Wandjina rock art with radiating headdresses and mouthless faces decorate thousands of caves throughout this country known to traditional owners as Yalrundair.

Superb fishing

Superb fishing conditions entice the most avid anglers and adventurers. The Admiralty Gulf is considered one of Australia’s greatest  fishing destinations. Guests can choose to take their catch ashore on an island fringed by Boab trees where our guide will prepare it ‘bush style’ on the open coals.

Even by Kimberley standards, Kimberley Coastal Camp is isolated. With access limited to helicopter and float plane, and numbers kept to a minimum, fishing here is for the privileged few.

Species

Fish these abundant waters for Barramundi, Mangrove Jack, Fingermark, Mulloway (Northern Black Jew Fish), Threadfin Salmon, Giant Trevally, Spanish Mackerel, Tuna, Queen Fish, Coral Trout, Blue Bone and numerous other tropical species. In one day it is possible to catch everything from Barramundi to Blue Bone to Blue Fin Tuna.

Fishing Conditions

Huge tidal rivers together with mangrove lined creeks, estuaries, flats, offshore reefs and islands as well as blue water, ensure an exciting variety of fishing options. Kimberley Coastal Camp is one of very few fishing destinations in Australia able to offer such diverse options to the keen angler.

Yalrundair

Wild dingoes, sea eagles, olive pythons, endangered quolls, and many other native animals share this country known to traditional owners as ‘Yalrundair‘, a rich expanse of land made up of towering escarpments and sandstone rock formations. This is true wilderness, unspoiled by the introduction of feral animals, roads and pollution.

Guided walks cater to those wishing to venture on a short stroll or a challenging all day hike. Explore by boat scenic river systems and abundant bird life. Or relax on the daybed and admire wild dingoes, sea eagles and Brahminy kites as they descend at sunset to enjoy their share of the day’s catch.

Kimberley Coastal Camp has been catering to the discerning traveller since 1994 with personalised itineraries, a staff to guest ratio of no less than 1 staff member per 3 guests, and gourmet food utilising fresh local produce and native Australian bush tuckers. This is hosted accommodation at its best.

Itinerary – Close Up Ocean Encounters

Surely one of the world’s greatest collection of interactive marine encounters, this itinerary combines swimming with Humpback Whales outside of Exmouth, cage diving with the ocean’s most formidable predator, the Great White Shark, swimming with Australian Sea-lions off the Eyre Peninsula, diving and snorkelling with Manta Rays, turtles, reef sharks and countless tropical fish off Lady Elliot Island on the Great Barrier Reef and witnessing the amazing migration of Humpback Whales off Australia’s largest city of Sydney. Aside from these incredible marine encounters, these regions provide abundant opportunities for birdwatchers to spot seabirds.

Minimum Suggested Nights: 16 nights, plus a couple of extra nights in Exmouth if desired.
Suggested month: August 

Sydney

Watch whales as they migrate past Sydney

Departing from one of the world’s most beautiful harbours, board a luxury cruiser led by an experienced guide and crew, to encounter one of the greatest natural migrations in the world. Known for their spectacular acrobatic abilities, seeing Humpback Whales launch out of the ocean with sheer energy is awe-inspiring.

Guides will share key insights on the whales’ behaviour and on many occasions, these majestic and curious creatures will interact with the boat. Combined with Sydney’s stunning coastal backdrop, this cruise is a truly unforgettable experience. Other marine species that may be encountered include Bottlenose Dolphins, Minke Whales and pelagic seabirds including a wide variety of Albatrosses.

Seasonal highlights

Winter: Jun-Aug – Birds

Peak season for viewing albatrosses, petrels and prions. Black-browed, Campbell, Shy, Indian Yellow-nosed, Buller’s, Gibson’s, Grey-headed and Wandering Albatrosses are sighting possibilities. Fairy Prions congregate, Providence, Wilson’s Cape, Northern Giant, Southern Giant Petrels, Brown Skuas, Australasian Gannets, Crested Terns.

Winter: Jun-Aug – Marine Mammals

Humpback Whales head north to give birth and mate in the waters of the Coral Sea, providing plenty of sightings close to shore, Southern Right Whale will occasionally move along the coastline seeking places to mate and shelter with their newborn calves.

Lady Elliot Island, Great Barrier Reef

Manta Rays swim in the waters off Lady Elliot Island

Located within a highly protected ’Green Zone’ of the Great Barrier Reef Marine National Park, the waters surrounding Lady Elliot provide a sanctuary for over 1,200 species, with outstanding water clarity perfect for admire the healthy coral reef, abundance of turtles, Manta Rays, reef sharks and a vast array of tropical fish.

See green sea turtles on the Great Barrier Reef

In season guests can also encounter birds nesting, turtle hatchlings or migrating Humpback Whales. Staying at the Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort, this package offers guests the opportunity to enjoy a myriad activities to learn more about the Island and its unique history, flora, fauna and incredible marine life. This slice of paradise provides an environment that inspires a diversity of exciting daily nature based activities including reef walks, bird watching tours, snorkel safaris, night tours and scuba diving.

Seasonal highlights

Winter: Jun-Aug – Fish & Marine Invertebrates

Seasonal Highlights: Peak season for seeing Manta Rays. Bull Rays, Cowtail Stingrays and White-spotted Guitarfish, Spotted Eagle Ray and Blue-spotted Fantail Ray, Damselfish, Wrasses & Parrotfish, Surgeonfish, Angelfish, Groupers, Blacktip and Whitetip Reef Sharks, Leopard Sharks, Wobbegongs.

Winter: Jun-Aug – Birds

Black Noddies, Crested, Sooted Terns, Silver Gulls, Lesser Frigatebirds and Great Frigatebirds, Brown Footed Boobies, White-bellied Sea-Eagle, Capricorn Silvereyes, Buff-banded Rails, Tawny Grassbirds, Black-faced Cuckoo Shrikes and the Golden-headed Cisticolas.

Winter: Jun-Aug – Reptiles & Amphibians

Green Turtles, Loggerhead Turtles and critically endangered Hawksbill Turtles.

Port Lincoln, South Australia

Come face to face with a Great White Shark

This four day adventures combines the best terrestrial and marine protected areas across the region including Lincoln National Park, Coffin Bay National Park, Neptune Islands Conservation Park and Mount Dutton Bay Conservation Park. Being one of the only places to swim with wild Sea-Lions, visitors will be mesmerised by the agility, curiosity and playful interaction from these ‘puppy dogs of the sea’.

On shore, there is an abundance of seabirds, shorebirds, songbirds, parrots (including the beautiful Port Lincoln Parrot) and raptors including Osprey and White-bellied Sea Eagles, with Western Grey Kangaroos, Emus, Koalas and Rosenberg’s Goannas a delight for visitors.

For an adrenaline rush, guests  will venture out to the Neptune Islands to try and observe the Great White Shark via a cage or 360 degree underwater viewing pod, using a bait and berley free approach to witness the ocean’s most formidable predator.

Seasonal Highlights

Winter: Jun-Aug – Fish & Marine Invertebrates

Peak viewing for large Great White Shark females that feast upon the plentiful Long-nosed Fur Seals.

Winter: Jun-Aug – Birds

Nesting season for waterbirds. Black Swans, Grey Teal Ducks, Chestnut Teal Ducks, Pink Eared Ducks, Musk Ducks, Black Winged Stilts, Banded Plovers and Cape Barren Geese at Big Swamp wetlands. Osprey, White-bellied Sea Eagle breeding, Caspian Terns, Hooded Plovers, Red Capped Plovers, Red Necked Stints, Golden Whistlers, Masked Lapwings, Emus and Wedge-tailed Eagles.

Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia

A Humpback Whale calf

A staggering 30,000 west coast Humpback Whales migrate through the Exmouth and Ningaloo region and start to rest after their long migration from the Antarctic. Mothers will typically move their calves into the Gulf area at Exmouth over these months, to fatten them up for their lengthy return journey south.

The Department of Parks & Wildlife has recently given authority for Exmouth Diving Centre to provide guided swims with these amazing creatures under strict parameters and conditions. Visitors will venture out in small groups of five with a guide & videographer to record one of the most special intimate encounters of the ocean. Following this, guests will enjoy a snorkel on the reef to enjoy the amazing tropical fish, rays, turtles and corals.

Swim with gentle whale sharks at Ningaloo Reef
Seasonal Highlights

Winter: Jun-Aug – Fish & Marine Invertebrates

Coral Spawn & Plankton reaches its highest concentration, Whale Sharks seen until the end of July Manta Rays around Exmouth, Parrotfish, Butterflyfish, Angelfish, Damselfish, Cardinalfish, Scissor Tails, Groper, Coral Trout, Nudibranches, Grey Nurse Sharks congregate around the Navy Pier competing for space with the Whitetip Reef Sharks and Wobbegongs.

Winter: Jun-Aug – Marine Mammals

Over 30,000 individual west coast Humpback Whales migrate to the area (opportunity to swim with them from July onwards) with Orcas prevalent. Pseudo Orcas, Minke Whales, Pilot Whales, Short-beaked Common Dolphins, Spinner Dolphins are occasionally sighted whilst Bottlenose and Australian Humpback Dolphins are abundant.

Click here to find out more about Australian travel with Alquemie

Wildlife, kayaking and walking – The ultimate Freycinet Adventure

This ultimate adventure offers a truly unique experience. Picnic island, spectacular coastal wilderness, Wineglass bay and so much more. Discover the feeling of freedom and rejuvenate in the fresh sea air of Freycient National Park.

Kayak to Hazards Beach in Freycinet National Park
Kayak to Hazards Beach

Over 4 days experience a true escape with this ultimate Freycinet Adventure. This unique adventure is so much more than just a walking tour. This hosted experience includes wildlife, kayaking, walking, boat tours and plenty of relaxing. Our base camp is on a private island (Picnic Island). It is completely unique and has a truly a spectacular outlook of Freycinet National Park.

View of Tasmania mainland from Picnic Island

This tour starts with the stunning drive from Hobart to Coles Bay on the Freycinet Peninsula. From here you’ll board our Aqua Taxi and head out to our exclusive island accommodation. Once you’ve settled in our guides will take you through your exciting itinerary for the next few days.

We include kayaking, walking, boat trips and wildlife encounters. Your accommodation will be in a luxurious cabin overlooking the water on the island. Your meals are prepared lovingly in the ‘birdhouse’ on the island by our passionate guides and include local produce and Tasmanian wines.

Highlights

  • Private evening penguin colony tour
  • Aqua Taxi tour on the Freycinet Peninsula taking in pristine deserted beaches
  • A picnic at Wineglass Bay
  • Sunset Kayak Tour
  • Oyster Tasting
  • Walks within Freycinet National Park including Mt. Graham & Mt. Amos

Accommodation

Accommodation on Picnic Island in Freycinet
Accommodation on Picnic Island

Your unique accommodation will be a highlight of this experience. Situated 800m offshore from Coles Bay & Freycinet National Park is Picnic Island. This architecturally and environmentally sensitively designed lodge makes this experience a true escape. Each sleeping quarter is decked out with a comfortable queen been with stunning water views. The common area (The Birdshouse) boasts a wood-fire, dining and lounge area.

Sundowner will have a new meaning for you. We also share the island with a colony of little penguins and some other spectacular visiting wildlife.

Itinerary

Day 1: Your transfer from Hobart is included. We will collect you from your hotel and take you on the picturesque drive up the East Coast. On arrival, the Aqua Taxi will shuttle you out to the island for a late lunch. Optional afternoon short walks in Freycinet National Park.

Day 2: We take the Aqua Taxi down to Hazards Beach to enjoy some coastal walks within Freycinet National Park. Our guides take you on a hike from Hazards Beach to Wineglass Bay for a picnic lunch.. After dinner, we also offer the option of a penguin viewing on the island.

Picnic Island is the ideal base in Freycinet National Park

Day 3: The morning consists of a walk up Mt. Freycinet (5.5 kms) which has picturesque views of the whole Peninsula. We will undertake the award winning Freycinet Paddle -3 hour guided sea kayaking tour at twilight.

Day 4: We include an oyster tasting at the local Marine Farm followed by a transfer back to Hobart. There is also plenty of ‘island time ’to enjoy a spot of fishing off the jetty, birdwatching, or relaxing around the island.

All walks/activities are optional.

For more information about this 4 day Tasmanian itinerary contact your Australian specialist at alquemie@alquemie.com.au.

Itinerary – Encounters with Baby Australian Animals

A highlight for any wildlife enthusiast is the opportunity to spot baby Australian animals such as kangaroo or koala joeys. The autumn and spring seasons are a terrific time to spot these young marsupials, as they are exploring the world outside of their mother’s pouch and becoming more independent.

This suggested itinerary covers a broad range of habitats including semi-arid, open woodlands, wet and dry rainforests along with coastal heathlands, providing opportunities to see a wide range of species including Tammar Wallabies, Kangaroo Island Kangaroos, Brush-tailed Possums, Red Kangaroos, Common Wallaroos, Yellow-footed Rock Wallabies, Eastern-grey Kangaroos, Swamp Wallabies, Red-necked Wallabies, Tasmanian Pademelons, Tasmanian Bettong, Long-nosed Potoroos and Common Wombats. Aside from this, the spring season is also prime for seeing nesting birds including Wedge-tailed Eagles and raptors that fledge at this time.

Minimum Suggested Nights: 16 nights, plus a couple of nights on arrival and departure from Australia if desired.

SUGGESTED MONTHS: MARCH, APRIL, MAY, SEPTEMBER, OCTOBER, NOVEMBER

Baby Australian Animals - baby seal on Kangaroo Island

Kangaroo Island In Style

This tour combines the two most popular full day landscape and wildlife experiences; Island Life and Flinders Chase Focus. Guests will be exposed to a broad range of elements that make this island so celebrated, including the the Island’s history, ecology, wildlife, landscape and contemporary lifestyle. Regions visited include the Cygnet Valley, north coast landscape at Stokes Bay, central plateau, south coast landscape at Seal Bay to walk on the beach with Australian Sea-lions and the spectacular wilderness and the dramatic coastline of Flinders Chase National Park.

Iconic landscapes in the southwest corner will deliver endless photographic opportunities especially at Remarkable Rocks, Admirals Arch and Cape du Couedic. Key species regularly encountered are Koalas, Tammar Wallabies, Kangaroo Island Kangaroos, endangered Glossy Black Cockatoos, Short-beaked Echidnas, Australian Sea-lions, Long-nosed Fur-seals and a variety of bush birds and shorebirds and seabirds.

Seasonal highlights

Autumn: Mar-May – Birds

Glossy Black Cockatoos nest in large hollows, Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos aggregate post breeding (they breed in summer), Red Wattlebirds abundant, Black Swans, Royal Spoonbills, Crested Terns, Caspian Terns, Crimson Rosellas.

Spring: Sep-Nov – Birds

Short-tailed Shearwaters migrate to the area, Superb Fairy-wrens breed and the spectacular blue males are a stunning splash of colour, New Holland, White-eared Honeyeaters, Eastern Spinebills. Rainbow Lorikeets, Purple-crowned Lorikeets. Chestnut-breasted Shelducks, Yellow-billed Spoonbills, Australian White Ibis and White-headed Stilts abundant.

Autumn: Mar-May – Land Mammals & Marsupials

Young Tammar Wallabies are weaned off their mothers and form their own social groups, Kangaroo Island Kangaroo joeys following their mothers around, Short-beaked Echidnas, Common Brushtail Possums usually have one joey at a time in Autumn.

Spring: Sep-Nov – Land Mammals & Marsupials

Kangaroo and wallaby joeys emerge from pouches for the first time, Koala mating begins to occur from September onwards until March, Short-beaked Echidnas will feast upon eat large amounts insects and larvae during Spring.

Autumn: Mar-May – Marine Mammals

Australian Sea-lions bask on the sand in-between fishing trips to the continental shelf, Long-nosed Fur Seal pups can be seen playing around the rock ledges and pools at Cape du Couedic.

Baby Australian Animals - emu chicks

The Arkaba Walk

This four day walk traverses the ancient Flinders Ranges where 600 million years of geological history provide spectacular backdrops to the rich array of birds, reptiles and marsupials that call this region home. From dry creek beds, isolated waterholes, lined with 1,000 year old river gums to craggy ridge lines and rolling hills covered in cypress pines to the ancient ramparts of Wilpena Pound, this is some of the most stunning walking country in Australia and provides abundant opportunities to spot Red and Western Grey Kangaroos, Wallaroos, Emus, Wedge-tailed Eagles along with numerous parrots, songbirds, bushbirds and raptors.

Accompanied by expert guides, walkers are provided with a fascinating insight into the ecosystems located across the 60,000 acre private wildlife conservancy, along with the stories of the indigenous inhabitants, early explorers and pioneer settlers.

Seasonal highlights

Autumn: Mar-May – Birds

Black-eared Cuckoos and Brown Songlark migration, Grey-shrike Thrush, Rufous Whistlers, Black-faced Cuckoo-shrikes, Galahs, Australian Ringnecks, Red-rumped Parrots, Emus preparing for the breeding season.

Spring: Sep-Nov – Birds

Striped Emu chicks following their fathers, Wedge-tailed Eagle, Little Eagle, Black Kite and Brown Goshawk fledging, Rainbow Bee-eaters and Sacred Kingfishers arrive to breed.

Autumn: Mar-May – Land Mammals & Marsupials

Western Grey Kangaroos are abundant, Red Kangaroos, Common Wallaroos, Yellow-footed Rock Wallabies, Dingos breeding and occasionally sighted but often heard.

Spring: Sep-Nov – Land Mammals & Marsupials

Short-beaked Echidnas, Red Kangaroo joeys born, Western Grey Kangaroos, Common Wallaroos feeding on shoots and vegetation, Fat-tailed Dunnarts and Stripe-faced Dunnarts breeding and very occasionally sighted.

Autumn: Mar-May – Reptiles & Amphibians

Thick-tailed Gecko (also known as the Barking Gecko) can be heard with it’s distinctive call, Masked Rock Skink, Tree Skink, Boulenger’s Snake-eyed Skink, Bynoe’s Gecko and Central Bearded Dragon, Yellow-faced Whipsnakes.

Spring: Sep-Nov – Reptiles & Amphibians

Breeding males for the Painted, Tawny and Red-barred Dragons exhibit brilliant colours, Central Bearded Dragons, Nobbi Dragons, Thick-tailed Geckos with their barking calls.

Baby Australian animals - Yellow footed rock wallaby

Tasmania Wildlife Encounter

Over one-third of the ‘island’ state is reserved as a conservation area and this epic adventure traverses through some of the most scenic parts, including the World Heritage Listed Cradle Mountain, Rocky Cape, Narawntapu, and Freycinet National Parks. A mix of expansive ancient temperate rainforests, spectacular coastlines, rugged mountains and sparkling highland lakes provide refuge and habitat for a rich array of rare and endemic plants and animals.

Tasmania is a delight for Marsupial lovers, with opportunities to spot Pademelons, Eastern Grey Kangaroos, Bennett’s Wallabies, Common Wombats, Tasmanian Bettongs, Long-nosed Potoroos, Quolls and of course the carnivorous Tasmanian Devil. A wide variety of songbirds, bushbirds, shorebirds and seabirds, including the Little Penguin are also highlights. Guests will be captivated by a cruise on the final day around Bruny Island, spotting Dolphins, Australian Fur Seals and seabirds along the towering 200m dolerite cliffs.

Seasonal highlights

Autumn: Mar-May – Birds

Summer migrants arrive including Welcome Swallows, Tree Martins, Dusky Woodswallows, Striated Pardalotes, Grey Fantails and Swift Parrots. Short-tailed Shearwaters leave the Tasmanian coast on their migration along with other migratory waders such as, Ruddy Turnstones, Red-necked Stints, Common Greenshanks and Eastern Curlews. Beautiful Firetails and Green Rosellas a highlight.

Spring: Sep-Nov – Birds

Fan-tailed, Pallid and Shining Bronze Cuckoos migrate to breed along with Welcome Swallows, Tree Martins, Dusky Woodswallows, Striated Pardalotes, Grey Fantails and Silvereyes and Swift Parrots, 18 million Short-tailed Shearwaters arrive. Little Penguins breed along with Red-capped Plovers, Hooded Dotterels, Pied & Sooty Oystercatchers, Cormorants, Masked & Banded Lapwings and a variety of Gulls and Terns.

Autumn: Mar-May – Land Mammals & Marsupials

Forester Kangaroos, Bennett’s Wallabies, Tasmanian Pademelons, Tasmanian Bettongs and Long-nosed Potoroos have joeys that are weaned off at this time. Tasmanian Devils breed in March, Common Wombats, Short-beaked Echidnas.

Spring: Sep-Nov – Land Mammals & Marsupials

Spring is the peak season for seeing a number of Tasmania’s baby marsupials including Forester Kangaroos, Bennett’s Wallabies, Tasmanian Pademelons, Common Brushtail and Ringtail Possums. Long-nosed Potoroos, Tasmanian Bettongs and Tasmanian Devils also sighted.

Baby Australian Animals -echidna

Great Ocean Road

This small group three day journey covers some of the most rugged and awe-inspiring coastline in Australia. Visits to the Serendip and You Yangs National Parks, the Great Ocean Road, Great Otway National Park, the Twelve Apostles, the Shipwreck Coast and volcanoes and lakes of the Western Plains provide dramatic backdrops whilst spotting wild animals including Eastern Grey Kangaroos, Koalas, Echidnas, Emus, Rosellas, Robins, Honeyeaters, raptor birds and various seabirds.

Guests will have the opportunity to walk beside the waves of the mighty Southern Ocean on pristine sands, experience an unforgettable sunset over brilliantly-coloured limestone cliffs and walk through dense rainforests of lush tree ferns. Led by expert guides, visitors will often be able to track and spot the Red-necked Wallaby and adorable Potoroo.

Seasonal highlights

Spring: Sep-Nov – Birds

Tawny Frogmouths roosting, Short-tailed Shearwater migration, Honeyeaters abundant including Red and Little Wattlebirds, Eastern Spinebills, New Holland, Yellow-faced, Tawny-crowned and White-plumed Honeyaters, Black-chinned, White-naped , Spiny Cheeked, Yellow-tufted, Fuscous and Singing Honeyeaters possible, Rainbow, Musk and Purple-crowned Lorikeets.

Autumn: Mar-May – Land Mammals & Marsupials

Eastern Grey Kangaroo joeys discover the world outside, learn to hop, play and graze, Swamp Wallabies, Red-necked Wallabies, Koalas, Common Brushtail Possums at dusk and early evening.

Spring: Sep-Nov – Land Mammals & Marsupials

Baby Koalas (joeys) come out of the pouch for the first time and will ride on their mother’s back late Spring, Common Brushtail and Common Ringtail Possums at dusk, Eastern Grey Kangaroos, Swamp Wallabies, Red-necked Wallabies.

Click here to find out more about Australian travel with Alquemie

Itinerary suggestion courtesy of Australian Wildlife Journeys

River drift snorkelling in the Daintree

“It’s too cold for crocodiles”, our knowledgable guide Glen assures us as we pull on thick wetsuits. We are about to go River Drift Snorkelling – a unique way to explore the tropics. It hadn’t even crossed my mind to be worried about crocodiles but it was a valid point – they inhabit rivers in the north of Australia. We walk the short 50 metres from the van to the river and any worries of crocodiles quickly fade away. The river is definitely on the chilly side, but more than that – we are in one of the most beautiful settings I’d ever found myself in.

River Drift Snorkelling
Stunning scenery on the River Drift Snorkelling experience

We are at the Mossman River near the edge of World Heritage Listed Daintree National Park, the oldest living rainforest in the world, a region which contains an almost complete record of the major stages in the evolution of plant life on earth. This part of the river is a clear and shallow, gently flowing stream draped on either side by tropical rainforest that reminds me of some movie scene. Tall palms sprout from the banks while larger more ancient looking trees lean over the river, attempting to catch the sunlight that gently makes its way down. Simply stunning.

Just a few kilometres upstream lies Silky Oaks Lodge – a luxury lodge of Australia and my favourite choice of accommodation in the area. As we wade into the cool water, Glen gives us some safety instructions before we don our snorkels and mask and pop our heads underwater.

Snorkelling through tree tops

It’s a completely different experience to snorkelling in locations like the Great Barrier Reef – for starters there’s a current which makes things really quite fun as you drift along. Depending on the season the river may be shallow or deep and fast flowing or slow, and because it’s a pristine natural environment there are some hazards such as hidden underwater logs although these come in handy to hold onto in the current. As we head downstream there is a huge tree that had fallen across the river and we snorkel through it’s branches. There are plenty of fish to be seen – mostly small and brown – but plentiful none the less. We also see a turtle which was a delight. The illusive platypus remained as such despite my efforts to find one along the river banks.

Suitable for all ages

The second half of our trip is simply lazing on inflatable rafts, drifting with the current and watching the treetops of the peaceful rainforest as the river meanders down to our finishing point. It is the perfect way to end an incredible experience – first from below the water, and then from above.

River Drift Snorkelling is the perfect activity for all ages and fitness levels – from groups of friends to families as it’s suitable for children who are confident swimmers. It’s a great way to spend time in the rainforest and would work fabulously with any itinerary to Far North Queensland. A highly recommended year-round experience.

 

Click here to find out more about Australian travel with Alquemie

Our trip to Kakadu and Arnhemland with Lord’s Safaris

From jumping crocs to stunning landscapes to meeting indigenous artists, our 3-day famil trip with Sab Lord of Lord’s Safaris had it all. We went from Darwin to Kakadu and back, with a dose of Arnhemland thrown in, and it was so great to finally meet the legend himself in person – he really is larger than life.

Here are some of the highlights…

Jumping crocs

Jumping crocs on a Lord’s Safari

On our way to Kakadu we boarded a vessel on the Adelaide river for a one hour croc spotting cruise. I’m not normally a fan of wildlife tourism where animals can be disrupted from their natural behaviour so I was a bit hesitant but it blew me away. Spot crocs we did! Lots of them. And BIG ones. It was kind of scary but in a thrilling way, and yet in the end I felt a real affection for them, as if they were puppies. Seeing the crocs ‘jump’ is to witness an almighty power that is just fascinating and commands complete respect of these relics of the dinosaurs. It was a real highlight of the trip.

Sab’s Camp in Kakadu

The huts at Sab's campsite with mesh walls.
The huts at Sab’s campsite with see-through mesh walls.

With 8 semi-permanent mesh-sided huts, Lord’s Safaris private campsite is a oasis away from the crowds of Kakadu. You are definitely camping but it’s very comfortable. We sat around the campfire each evening after our daily excursions, glass of wine in hand, as Sab expertly cooked us dinner (how one cooks a roast beef with veg to perfection over a fire pit I’ll never know!) and related stories of his childhood growing up in the area. My twin-bed was extremely comfortable and I slept like a baby although as a city girl, going to sleep to the sounds of only the bush took a bit of getting used to. One night we heard dingoes howling – quite an eerie sound – but that’s all part of the reason we had come here, to get closer to nature. Waking up in the morning as the daylight began to filter through the mesh walls, was a lovely experience, as was our delicious bacon and eggs for breakfast, once again cooked perfectly by Sab over the campfire.

Swimming atop a gorgeous waterfall

waterfall in Kakadu on a Lord's safari
Swimming atop a waterfall in Kakadu

Kakadu is dotted with incredible waterholes and Sab knows exactly where to take his guests to wow them. We spent a good few hours at Gunlom Falls – it was a steep but short climb to the top and we were rewarded with some stunning natural swimming holes that fed a large 70 metre waterfall. We swam and had a picnic lunch, enjoying views as far as the eye could see over Kakadu and relishing the cool water on a hot day.  Upon decent we visited the lagoon at the bottom of the waterfall (famous for a scene in Crocodile Dundee) which we decided was even more beautiful than where we had just been, and we jumped in for another swim.

 Yellow Water Sunset Cruise

yellow water sunset
Yellow water sunset at Kakadu

If you’ve only got time for one or two things whilst in Kakadu I would highly recommend the Yellow Water sunset cruise. It’s just gorgeous. The stillness of the water, the prolific bird life, the bright green of the grasses contrasting with the pink flowers of the water lilies and the blue of the sky, the occasional croc cruising alongside our boat and finally watching the sun set and the water reflect its orange glow all added up to a truly beautiful experience.

Injalak Rock Art

Injalak Rock art in Arnhemland
Our guide Roland teaching us about the Injalak rock art in Arnhemland

After an exciting river crossing in Sab’s 4×4 we headed into Arnhemland where we were given permission to see some of Australia’s most outstanding ancient rock art galleries at Injalak near Gunbalanya. Our local guide Roland, himself an artist, showed us the extensive art works that range between 100 and 8,000 years old. He taught us the stories and the meanings behind the art and how they were created using natural materials. We were also taken to an ancient burial site where a skeleton still remains, and our entire group felt very privileged to have had this experience.

The main man from Lord’s Safaris – Sab himself

Sab Lord
Sab at the Injalak Arts Centre with a local artist

Of course the final highlight of the trip was Sab Lord himself. What a character! He’s a true Aussie larrikin whose cheeky spirit, relaxed nature and infinite knowledge of the region makes him on of Australia’s best guides. To find out more about him click here. >   A big thanks to Sab and the team at Lord’s safaris for a wonderful trip and showing us his world – it really was terrific.

by Nicola Billens