Gippsland High Country Tours
Ecotours and Walking in the High Country and East Gippsland Regions of Victoria


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  • Participate in a wildlife research project and make an active contribution to conservation while enjoying a holiday.
  • Led by a naturalist guide, you will learn so much about Australia 's wonderful native wildlife and see animals rarely seen by the casual observer. Gain an understanding of the fine balance in nature.
  • Help ensure a more secure future for our native wildlife as we collect data on rare and threatened species.
   

 

5 Day Seashore Life of East Gippsland

Graded: Easy-Moderate
Walks: Easy - Moderate grade walks that include rock scrambling to access rock pools
4 nights accommodation
Focus: Coastal environment and seashore / rock-pool life, learning & research holiday
Destinations: Croajingolong National Park, Mallacoota, Australia’s Coastal Wilderness Landscape.
Educational discovery level: High


Learn about seashore life of the East Gippsland coast, visiting a range of coastal sites from Point Hicks to Mallacoota on this educational holiday.  There will be lots of rock pool rambles and beach combing to discover the amazing diversity of creatures found in the intertidal zone.  Alan Monger will be joining your local guide as the shell and seashore life specialist and together we will help you gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of marine life. Enjoy lively discussions, cosy accommodation and wonderful coastal scenery.

More information including dates and prices >>>


 

weighing in

antechinus

Photos: G. Greenwood

4 Day Wonders of Wildlife Ecotour – Snowy River
Graded: Easy

2 nights camping

Easy walks

The Snowy River National Park boasts magnificent scenery and is host to a diversity of wildlife habitats, however there has been little documentation of wildlife species present in many parts of the Park.

This Easter, be part of the third wildlife survey conducted in a project to put the wildlife of the Snowy River National Park “on the map”.  Last survey we added 22 species, but there are still lots of gaps to fill. This time we also include remote cameras to photograph animals going about their nightly business.

Led by a Naturalist guide you will discover many fascinating facts about wildlife while valuable data is collected on distribution and ecology of species to help ensure they enjoy a more secure future.  

Avoid the Easter crowds and spend a much quieter Easter immersed in nature.

Have great fun and join in your choice of activities which include birdwatching, trapping and release of small mammals for data collection, identifying animal tracks and traces, searching for frogs, evening spotlight walks and more.

Enjoy the lush ferny Mountain Ash forest, dry open woodland with great views over the Snowy Valley and other rich and varied forest habitats. 

You need an interest in wildlife and just enough sense of adventure to enjoy two nights bush camping and plenty of easy walks.

Please contact us for details of next scheduled departure.


Smoky Mouse

Alpine She-Oak skink

5 Day Threatened Fauna of the Cobberas
Graded: Easy-Moderate

4 nights bush camping.
(Select departures offer 3 nights accommodation)

Easy - Moderate Walks

The Cobberas area is home to a number of threatened wildlife species and in this remote part of the Alpine National Park, much work is needed to identify the location of threatened species populations and ascertain numbers. In addition it is important to identify management issues that affect these species such as introduced predators, feral competitors and fire regimes.

Target species are Alpine She-Oak Skink, Alpine Water Skink, Smoky Mouse, Broad-toothed Rat and Alpine Spiny Crayfish.  Some of these are found together together, for instance the Alpine Water Skink often hides in holes made by the endangered Alpine Spiny Crayfish in the stream banks!

You will be led by two local naturalist guides who will share with lots of fascinating information on Alpine wildlife in general as well as specific information about our target species.  You will learn how wildlife species interact with each other and the Alpine ecosystem.

Contribute to conservation while you enjoy a holiday and see animals rarely seen by the casual visitor.  Your participation in this project will help provide a more secure future for some of Victoria’s threatened wildlife.

Please contact us for details of next departure.


Lunch

Naturalist Jim Reside coaxes a reluctant starter from a small mammal trap. Wonders of Wildlife Ecotour

Trap

Checking the bat trap Wonders of Wildlife Ecotour

Small bat

A diminutive but full grown insectivorous Forest bat

 

3 Day Wonders of Wildlife Ecotour - Haunted Stream
Graded: Easy

2 nights camping
Easy walks.

Australia's wildlife - diverse, shy and often elusive with many species rarely seen by the casual visitor.

Led by a Naturalist guide you will discover many fascinating facts about wildlife while valuable data is collected on distribution and ecology of species to help ensure they enjoy a more secure future.

Have great fun and join in your choice of activities which include birdwatching, trapping and release of small mammals for data collection, identifying animal tracks and traces, monitoring stream life and frog populations, evening spotlight walks, wildflower identification.

You need an interest in wildlife and just enough sense of adventure to enjoy two nights bush camping and plenty of easy walks.

Please contact us for details of next scheduled departure.

Stories and Comments

Stories and comments (Wonders of Wildlife)

Wonders of Wildlife Adventure, New Years Eve - a personal reflection by B Heywood (Vic)

Would you like to spend New Year’s Eve gazing at Little Forest Bats weighing not more than an empty matchbox? Watch in summer heat as they leave their cold old gold mine shafts hidden behind tree ferns on their nightly forage?  Then lie on your back absorbing a huge starlit sky?  When Jenny tells me how she will be spending New Year, I think, “Yes, Wonders of Wildlife is for me, too!” So, I spend the turn of the year in the bush, far off from the usual hype.

A novice to wildlife research, but not to hiking, I hear more names, facts and figures over three days than it is possible to absorb in a years study; so generous with their knowledge are Jenny, Raz and Christine.  I join the beginner’s class yet again, once more out of my comfort zone. As someone who is delighted by new enthusiasms, I am excited. Not yet can I distinguish between a white-naped, white-eared or yellow-tufted honeyeater, but I am hoping. This connection with Jenny’s Gippsland High Country Tours offers an appreciation of Gippsland wildlife and hiking in the high country not before available to me.

The Haunted Stream sign is concealed; appropriate for ghosts I think and wonder how it got its name. We drive through a bull paddock, up and down a rough gravel track cut into the steep hillside.  It is hot and dry as we stop in a cloud of red dust. Our grassy campsite is by the stream.  I hear the engine no more.  Only wind, birds and water interrupt the big silence. It is over 42C ‘in the shade’.  I go down to the babbling stream.  There is water enough to fill a swimming hole, in parts over two metres deep. It is deliciously cool and wet. I float on my back, blissed out, head half in the water. I watch as leaves high overhead dance in the soft breeze, then bark shave and drift slowly from branches. Buoyant in this watery silence, I sense visually and kinaesthetically as cool silk moves gently over me and on downstream.
The bush envelops, surrounds, bringing unique sounds, smells and vistas – the trees are tall, the sky big and signs of human settlement rare. What is it about the bush that invites time to expand and days lengthen?  At Haunted Stream but an afternoon yet it feels like a week.  The book I had been reading in the city seems irrelevant here. At Stirling, up the track a bit, I stand in the ruins of the Retreat Hotel.  I wonder on the life of the woman, Margaret Cooney, who managed it – two husbands, twelve children and a pub – does this take particular courage and endurance?  Then more questions – what was life like for women in the gold rush days? What attitudes and values informed the miners? What were their hopes and dreams? What were their setbacks? Did they realise the gold they found, while bringing wealth, would diminish this resource permanently?  How long did it take for the bush to reclaim the land and rivers?

As we rumble over the rocky track to leave we pass a myriad of grasses identified by Raz, while a goanna or two use the cleared road for transit. Raz helps me understand and reflect on the endangered Victorian Brush-Tailed Rock-Wallaby. Saving the Shadow is the recovery program for this engaging, extraordinarily agile, shy creature.

Wonders of Wildlife by S Zele (Vic)

Five intrepid adventurers: Maria, Sally, Julie, Jenny A and I set off on a Monday with our guides Jenny Edwards, Jim & Christine.  We all had our own particular interests that Jenny was careful to find out about early so the trip could be arranged around them.
My favourite part of the trip was the animal research project.  The opportunity to trap bats and bush rats as well as to collect information on other animals in the study areas was exciting, interesting and worthwhile.  Not having a science background, I was pleasantly surprised at how much information I could absorb from Jenny and Jim.  They regularly pointed our features of interest and their knowledge of animal, bird, plant and insect life was extensive.
I have ended the trip with a greater appreciation of the beauty of the Australian bush and mountain regions and it will be no surprise to my fellow travellers if I remain a bat fanatic for the rest of my life.  I’ve already booked myself into a bat workshop in February!

A memorable New Year by R Akie (Vic)
The highlight for me of The wonders of Wildlife Ecotour was the setting and checking of the traps and the “processing” of the wildlife we caught.
How could a small animal resist the peanut butter goodie spread on a bed of bark of leaves – kept fresh and dry in an Elliott trap?  With great excitement we loaded, placed and tagged the traps to await with anticipation the next morning’s catch – one lucky well fed bush rat!!  It had our total attention while held firmly by Jenny as it was weighed, sexed, measured and aged.
Setting the harp traps was quite an education.  Our first captures were found in the early evening snuggled up together warmth.  Seven different bat species was caught and all were surprisingly small and very cute!  They were transferred into a cloth “bank bag” and kept warm against a human chest.  Each individual was process with weight, size, sex and age recorded.  If lactating they were released immediately to return to their young.  We were delighted to have such close encounters with Chocolate Wattled, Southern Large and Small Forest Bats.  Also Broad-nosed and Lesser Long-eared Bats.  What a delight to release them from warm hands in the evening and watch them circling while sensing their direction home.
Discovering many frogs along the stream was another great surprise, but we didn’t need trips – “just lift the stones”.
To be so close to nature, in such a beautiful place was a privilege indeed.  Thanks Jenny, Jim, April and Christine for an amazing, stimulating and unforgettable holiday.

“Thank you Jenny for a most wonderful New Year adventure – I especially enjoyed learning so much about our native birds and animals and the time spent at Haunted Stream trapping and scientifically recording the tiny bats held so much interest for me.”
Margaret (Melbourne)

“The best part for me was observing so much about the wildlife, especially the bats. My pre-conceived ideas about them were so wrong.”
Diana (Melbourne)

“Great way to enter 2006, the research stuff was great to take part in.  Impressive, effortless organisation.”
Sylvia (Melbourne)


yellowgloves

antechnus

lizard

Threatened Wildlife of Forlorn Hope Plain
Graded: Easy-Moderate

3 nights camping

Easy-moderate walks

Combine having a holiday with a fantastic learning experience and make a contribution to conservation.

This is an amazing opportunity to join a naturalist guide in the Alpine National Park and participate in a research project looking at wildlife after the summer 2003 alpine bushfire. The setting for this ecotour is Forlorn Hope Plain which is home to a number of threatened species of wildlife.

What animals survived the fire and what are they doing now? Are they facing new threats? The regeneration is amazing, but are they moving back into the burnt areas yet? Learn about small mammals, frogs, birds, rare skinks and more. Data collected will assist Parks Victoria to better manage this area during it's recovery from the fire and help provide a more secure future for some of our native wildlife.

We will camp on a beautiful sub-alpine plain, which remained largely unburnt although it is surrounded by severely burnt country and our days will be filled with short walks and activities related to the wildlife survey. The trip will be led by two guides, one of whom will be a naturalist.

Spend a fantastic four days in the Alpine National Park, learning about our native wildlife, making a significant contribution to our knowledge about wildlife ecology and relaxing in a serene remote Alpine setting.

The current research project also incorporates a population study of Broad-toothed Rat (Mastacomys fuscus), monitoring of Alpine Water Skink (Eulamprus kosciuskoi), searching for Smoky Mouse (Pseudomys fumeus), and Alpine Spiny Crayfish (Euastacus crassus).

Please contact us for details of next scheduled departure.

Comment, Stories & Photos (Threatened Wildlife of Forlorn Hope Plain)

"What a wonderful experience - puts new light on threatened species and how much work is involved to increase our knowledge"

"A rare and beautiful experience. Thank you Jim, Jenny and Christine. Your multi-skilled expertise opened up so many worlds. I loved watching skinks by such a pretty creek. I've fallen in love with the Broad-Toothed Rat"
Ann (Melbourne)

"Thanks for a window into a wonderful world"
Catherine (Melbourne)

Bushfires
Searching the creek banks for Alpine Water Skinks
Bushfires
Eyebright, an autumn wildflower

Bushfires
Juvenile Broad-toothed Rat

Bushfires
Dendy's Toadlet

Rats?  Soft cute native rats

“We set off with Jenny and crew to meet a Parks Ranger up on Forlorn Hope Plain.  This is Wilderness – part of the Buchan Headwaters, so we were very privileged to be allowed in!

We were participating in a survey to find out how the fauna of the area were faring after the devastating fire.  Jenny had mentioned rats, of which I was rather dubious.  Anyway we set up bat traps and about 100 special traps to catch small mammals during the afternoon, but unfortunately heavy rain started which curtailed birdwatching.

Next morning – more rain, but we had some success with our traps – lots of tiny bats and several different species of them, an Antechinus and a Spiny Crayfish.  We also saw a white lipped snake and a copperhead basking between showers, so the fauna look OK.  The fires must have been ferocious as the trees were mere skeletons, charred and blackened, but with some good new growth.

The rain kept up, but Jenny and Christine in their gumboots were valiant in their endeavours and the rest of us ventured out some of the time.  Our persistence paid off – as we had captured and released a total of 48 bats (7 different species), 4 Antechinus and 4 Broad-toothed Rats!  My friends at home would never believe I had been within cooee of any Rat, but these were soft and cute, so I had to get the obligatory photo to prove it!

Our last night there, nature put on an amazing show for us. Gale-force winds, thunder and lightening – rolling around for hours.  We heard two loud cracks that were obviously falling trees and they sounded very near!

Next morning was fine and we thought maybe it would stay dry to pack up and collect our traps, but the rain rolled in again.  Despite the rain we still managed to record 21 bird species during the 4 days.  We got out OK thanks to Jenny’s skill at 4 wheel driving and there was no sign of the fallen trees, thank goodness.

After the rain the tree trunks looked amazing – the bark on the candlebarks, and other gums were spectacularly shining yellow and green – better than any Ken Duncan photo!

What an experience – thank you Jenny and crew.  As usual the food and company were great and my boots have actually dried out!”

A. Pritchard (NSW)

An unforgettable moment

Day 2 on the Forlorn Hope Trip in April 2004 was cold and foggy.  As we warmed our hands on our hot drinks, I looked as far as visibility allowed and noticed several spiders’ webs glistening in the early light.  “Put up your binoculars and look, came the suggestion from a fellow bird watcher.”

What I saw will stay in my minds’ eye forever – We were completely surrounded by twinkling webs.  The binoculars opened up my previous limited view to an unbelievable, extensive and dramatic sight.  Sadly I didn’t capture it on film, but will never lose that amazing feeling. Special thanks to my fellow camper for the great suggestion. It seemed only minutes later, that the sun came out and the vision disappeared from our eyes.

R. Akie (Vic)


HOME PAGE | LATEST NEWS & SPECIALS | PROGRAM/CALENDAR | EASY ECOTOURS | WALKING ECOTOURS
WILDERNESS BUSHWALKS | OUTBACK & INTERSTATE |WILDLIFE RESEARCH| BIRDS & BIRDWATCHING | PRIVATE TOURS & GROUPS
MEET OUR GUIDES | YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED |CONTACT US | LINKS

  Gippsland High Country Tours
Gippsland High Country Tours  
PO Box 69,Bruthen, Victoria 3885 AUSTRALIA
 
Phone: (03) 5157 5556 (International 61 3 5157 5556)
Email: info@gippslandhighcountrytours.com.au
www.gippslandhighcountrytours.com.au
 

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