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  • Photograph of Plains-wanderer

    The unique Plains-wanderer can be seen only at night, when this female was photographed with an 'instamatic' camera by Nigel Wheatley near Deniliquin in 1993.

    SOUTHEASTERN AUSTRALIA

    Photograph of Pink Robin

    A superb image of a Pink Robin in Mount Field National Park, Tasmania, by Francesco Veronesi.


    Best Wildlife in Southeastern Australia


    Mammals
    Koala, (Duck-billed) Platypus, Red, Eastern Grey and Western Grey Kangaroos, Black (Swamp) and Red-necked (Bennett’s) Wallabies, Common and Southern Hairy-nosed Wombats, Short-beaked Echidna, Tasmanian Devil, Eastern Quoll, Greater, Squirrel and Yellow-bellied Gliders, Common and Mountain Brushtail Possums, Common Ringtail Possum, Southern (Tasmanian) Bettong and Grey-headed Flying Fox. Also a chance of Tiger (Spotted-tailed) Quoll, Brush-tailed Phascogale, Rufous-bellied (Tasmanian) Pademelon, Long-nosed Poteroo, Eastern Barred Bandicoot, Southern Right Whale (mostly June to October, in Great Oyster Bay, Tasmania), Bottlenose Dolphin and Australian Fur Seal.

    Birds
    Emu, Superb Lyrebird, Satin Bowerbird, Superb and White-winged Fairywrens, Plains-wanderer, Little Penguin, Wedge-tailed Eagle, Australian Owlet Nightjar, Rainbow Bee-eater and the 12 Tasmanian endemics; Tasmanian Native Hen, Green Rosella, Black-headed, Strong-billed and Yellow-throated Honeyeaters, Yellow Wattlebird, Forty-spotted Pardalote, Tasmanian Thornbill, Tasmanian Scrubwren, Scrubtit, Dusky Robin and Black Currawong, as well as Black Swan, Cape Barren Goose, Australian Shelduck, ducks including Pink-eared, Stubble Quail, Hoary-headed Grebe, Shy Albatross, Short-tailed Shearwater, Australasian Gannet, Australian Pelican, Black-faced Cormorant, White-faced and White-necked (Pacific) Herons, Brown and Grey Goshawks (including white morph), White-bellied Sea Eagle, Little Eagle, Spotted and Swamp Harriers, Black and Brown Falcons, Australian Hobby, Australian (Purple) Swamphen, Banded and Masked Lapwings, Hooded and Red-capped Plovers, Black-fronted, Inland and Red-kneed Dotterels, Sooty Oystercatcher, White-headed (Black-winged) Stilt, Latham’s Snipe (mostly Sep-Mar), Little Buttonquail, Pacific Gull, Brush and Common Bronzewings, Crested Pigeon, parrots such as Australian King, Ground, Orange-bellied (most likely Sep-Feb on Tasmania), Superb, Swift (most likely Sep-Feb on Tasmania) and Turquoise, Musk and Rainbow Lorikeets, Cockatiel, Crimson Rosella, Galah, Little and Long-billed Corellas, Yellow-tailed Black, Gang-gang and Sulphur-crested Cockatoos, Fan-tailed and Pallid Cuckoos, Horsfield’s and Little Bronze Cuckoos, Tawny Frogmouth, Laughing Kookaburra, Azure, Red-backed and Sacred Kingfishers, White-throated Treecreeper, Southern Emuwren, honeyeaters including Blue-faced and Crescent, Eastern Spinebill, Black-eared Miner, Rufous Bristlebird, thornbills, White-browed Scrubwren, Striated Fieldwren, Southern Whiteface, Grey-crowned and White-browed Babblers, Eastern Whipbird, woodswallows including White-browed, Grey and Pied Butcherbirds, Grey and Pied Currawongs, Australian Magpie, Ground Cuckoo Shrike, White-winged Triller, Varied Sittella, Golden, Gilbert’s, Olive, Rufous and Red-lored Whistlers, Grey Shrike Thrush, Grey Fantail, Magpie-lark, Forest Raven, White-winged Chough, Apostlebird, Flame, Pink, Red-capped, Rose and Scarlet Robins, White-backed Swallow, Brown and Rufous Songlarks, Bassian Thrush, and Beautiful and Diamond Firetails. Also a chance of Brolga Crane, Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo, Powerful, Sooty and Tasmanian Masked Owls, Budgerigar, Australasian Bittern, Freckled Duck, Crimson and Orange Chats, Black, Regent, Painted and Pied Honeyeaters, Eastern (Crested) Shrike Tit and Pilotbird.

    Invertebrates
    Weedy Sea Dragons may be seen off Portsea Pier, at the end of the Mornington Peninsula south of Melbourne, and at the dive site known as Studio One, Deep Glen Bay, Tasmania.

    Other Natural Wonders of Southeastern Australia

    Twelve Apostles Limestone sea stacks off the coast of Victoria, southwest of Melbourne, which rise to 65 m (213 ft).

    Best Sites for Wildlife in Southeastern Australia

    Photograph of Koala

    Koala by Michael Halliday.

    Photograph of Hooded Plover

    Hooded Plover by Mark Harper.

    Best Times for Wildlife in Southeastern Australia

    The peak time to be in Southeastern Australia is October-November, when the southern spring usually begins, although Superb Lyrebird is most likely to be heard singing and seen displaying in the southern autumn and winter.

    Recommended Books etc. for Southeastern Australia

    The Australian Bird Guide by P Menkhorst et al. CSIRO, 2017.

    The Field Guide to the Birds of Australia by G Pizzey and F Knight. Harper Collins, 2012 (Ninth Edition).

    Birds of Australia by K Simpson and N Day. PUP, 2010 (Eighth Edition).

    The Slater Field Guide to Australian Birds by P Slater. New Holland, 2009 (Second Edition).

    Finding Australian Birds by T Dolby and R Clarke. CSIRO, 2014.

    The Complete Guide to Finding the Birds of Australia by R Thomas et al. CSIRO, 2011 (Second Edition).

    Field Companion to the Mammals of Australia by S Van Dyck et al. New Holland, 2012.

    A Field Guide to the Mammals of Australia by P Menkhorst and F Knight. OUP, 2010 (Third Edition).

    Field Guide to Australian Mammals by C Jones and S Parish. Steve Parish Publishing, 2006.

    The Complete Guide to Finding the Mammals of Australia by D Andrew. CSIRO, 2015.

    A Complete Guide to Reptiles of Australia by S Wilson and G Swan. New Holland, 2013 (Fourth Edition).

    The Complete Field Guide to Butterflies of Australia by M Braby. CSIRO, 2004.

    Wildlife of Australia: Princeton Pocket Guides by I Campbell and S Woods. PUP, 2013.

    Wildlife of Australia by L Egerton and J Lochman. Allen and Unwin, 2009.

    Bradt Travel Guides: Australian Wildlife by S Martin. Bradt, 2010.


    Apps etc.

    The Michael Morcombe and David Stewart eGuide to the Birds of Australia.

    Pizzey and Knight Birds of Australia.

    Where to watch birds in Australasia & Oceania by N Wheatley. Helm, 1998.

    Don’t know which country/countries/regions to visit in Australasia? Then it may be worth considering taking a look at this book, written by this website’s author. It is many years old of course but it still provides a starting point, an overview and a guiding light to the best birds and the best places to look for them in the region, and could save hours of searching for similar information on the internet. However, it is important to check more up-to-date sources for sites which have been opened up, sites and species which have been discovered, lodges that have been built etc. since the book was published.

    Trip Reports for Southeastern Australia

    Many trip reports, some for Southeastern Australia, are posted on the websites listed here. On some of these websites some reports are independent and some are posted by tour companies who organize tours to Southeastern Australia. These tour companies and others also post their own reports on their websites, which are listed under 'Some Organized Tours to Southeastern Australia' below.

    Local Guides and Tours in Southeastern Australia

    The costs of organized tours partly reflect the quality of the tour leaders. Some leaders are certainly better than others and many companies claim their leaders are the best but even the best rely at least to some extent on the exceptional skills of the local guides they employ. If you are travelling independently, employing such local guides will greatly increase your chances of seeing the wildlife you wish to see.

    Accommodation in Southeastern Australia

    Some Organized Tours to Southeastern Australia

    There are many tour companies who organize tours to see mammals, birds, other wildlife and other natural wonders. The cost of these tours vary considerably according to such variables as the airlines used, the number of days the tours last, the number of sites visited, the number of people in the group (an important consideration if you wish to see such wildlife as rainforest mammals and birds), the number of tour leaders, the standard of accommodation and transport, and the percentage profit the company hopes to make. Generally, where the number of days tours last and the number of sites visited are similar, the cheapest tours are those that use the cheapest airlines, accommodation and local transport, that have the largest groups with the least number of leaders, and that make the least amount of profit. The most expensive tours tend to be those which are exceptionally long, use the most expensive accommodation (ridiculously lavish in some cases, even for single nights) and which make the most profit. Some tour costs partly reflect the quality of the tour leaders. Some leaders are certainly better than others and many companies claim their leaders are the best but even the best rely at least to some extent on the exceptional skills of the local guides they employ.

    While tour companies organize tours with set itineraries many also organize custom tours for individuals and private groups who instead of taking a tour with a set itinerary want to follow their own itinerary to suit their own personal tastes, whether it be mammals, birds, other wildlife, other natural wonders or even man-made attractions, or a mixture of them all. Many organized tours with set itineraries are also fast-paced and target as many species as possible, whether they are mammals, birds or other wildlife or everything, which usually leaves little time to enjoy the best sites and individual species, but on a custom tour those taking part can specify the pace and the sites and species they wish to concentrate on. Custom tours also suit people who like to travel with people they already know, rather than with a group of strangers, and people with partners with different interests. Individuals and small groups will almost certainly have to pay more than the price of an organized tour with a set itinerary but a large group of friends may be able to travel for less than the price quoted for a set tour.

    Tour companies who are running organized tours to Southeastern Australia in the next couple of years include the following. Many of these also offer custom tours.