Australia’s Nature Coast - Great Australian Nature & Wildlife

Wildlife of Australia's Nature Coast

Its all about the Wildlife!

From our earliest ancestors, the Kabi Kabi and Jinibarra peoples in the south and the Butchulla peoples in the north, through to present day inhabitants, we have always taken our guardianship of the lands upon which we walk and the wildlife therein, extremely seriously.

With more than 700 species of birdlife, many of which are rare and endangered, through to a superb selection of some of Australia's most iconic animals, we are fortunate to be surrounded by wonderful wildlife!

Some of such wildlife you'll discover on a journey to Australia's Nature Coast  include koalas,  kangaroos, platypus, turtles, dingoes, goanas, dugongs, echidnas, dolphins and of course, humpback whales.

Ambassadors / Local Representatives

Your Journey Day by Day | Wildlife | Totally Immersed

Beerwah

Just 40 minutes north of Brisbane Airport, set in the pristine Glass House Mountains (Daki Coman or 'stone standing up' to our Aboriginal people') National Park, lies world renowned Australia Zoo. Steve Irwin's wildlife legacy is being well cared for by Terri, Bindi and Robert who contnue the crusade to protect endangered animals in Australia and overseas!

Australia Zoo's Animal Hospital, founded by Steve's mum, looks after all kinds of sick and injured animals including 90 per cent of Queensland's sick or injured koala population. It's the largest and busiest of its kind in the world and has treated over 65,000 animals since it  first opened in 2004. Volunteers play an important role in assisting experienced keepers with daily cleaning, maintenance and food preparation duties. This ensures that every animal admitted to the hospital receives the care they deserve. So, if you're over 18 years and passionate about helping animals, then volunteering at Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital may just be for you! And don't worry if you're under 18. We have a great solution! You can be a Zookeeper for a day? Crikey! Get behind the scenes and meet some of Australia's most beautiful animals. See the real side of zoo life and help Australia Zoo to continue to make a difference.

Glass House Mountains, Noosa, Noosa Everglades

Get more connected with nature on a bushwalking adventure in to one of our amazing National Parks, including Glass House Mountains ('Daki Comon' )and Noosa ('place of shade') National Park, with Tropical Treks. Heading along trails used by our Aboriginal ancestors, the Kabi Kbai and Jinibara people. this full day tour connects you with a very diverse range of nature - eastern grey kangaroos, koalas, grey-headed flying fox, echidnas, brush-tail possums, ring-tail possums, platypus and lace goannas. Our professional guides know all the best spots, so if you're feeling brace, ask them about our snakes!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If an on-the-water wildlife experience is more to your liking, then just 30 minutes north tucked away in the Cooloola ('place of thin cypress pines') section of the Great Sandy National Park and enveloped by the Great Sandy Biosphere is Noosa Everglades, one of only two everglade systems in the world. 44% of all Australian bird species are said to live or visit here - pelicans, black swans, cormorants, sea eagles and the rare Australian Jabiru. You may even see a kangaroo swimming alongside you!

 

 

 

Kanu Kapers offers an overnight, 2 or 3 day guided kayak tour deep into the Noosa Everglades wilderness or, if you're more intrepid than that, how about a self-guided overnight or 3 day kayak tour with Discovery Group or Kanu Kapers. Unlike its famous Florida namesake, there are absolutely no alligators or crocodiles in this river system.

 

If you'd like to connect with our elusive Australian platypus, then head for Mary Valley Country, just 40 minutes west of Noosa near Gympie ('stinging tree'). The best months for platypus sightings are July to October but we're told by locals that platypuses are there pretty much all year round - you just have to know where to look! Yabba Creek, off the Mary River (Moocoolaba or 'meeting of waters' to our first people) is one of those places, so why not hire a kayak and go platypus spotting on a self-guided kayak tour? Ride on Mary can provide you with kayaks along with all the latest tips on the best viewing spots, but these little guys are creatures of the morning so keep in mind, it's going to be a very early rise!

 

The Mary Valley River ('Moocoolaba') is also home to a wide range of rare fish, plants and animal species including the Mary River Cod, Mary River Turtle, the giant barred frog, the cascade tree frog and, the extremely rare Coxen's fig parrot and lungfish. So, once you've found that secret Australian platypus colony, let Tropical Treks guide you through some of the top spots to engage with these more vulnerable species as well as highlight some of the best 'camera-worthy' views that not event the locals can get you to! And if after all that, a restful country sleepover is what you're dreaming of - we know just the place. Mary Valley Views, Amamoor Lodge and Melawondi Springs Retreat could be just what you're after. Ask them about their country style breakfasts! You'll thank us for the tip!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you're an early riser, here's another tip - pop over to Tin Can Bay, around 40 minutes' drive, to hand feed our family of Indo-Pacific Dolphins. Food is allocated to visitors on a 'first-come' basis, so this experience demands a very early starts or you'll miss out. Dont' be disappointed - get there early!

Hervey Bay and Fraser Island

Hervey Bay is Australia's whale watching capital. In season (July to November), at least 25,000 whales migrate along the east coast of Australia, stopping in at Hervey Bay to replenish themselves and their newborn calves before starting the long journey home. On average, whales stay in Hervey Bay for up to 10 days, longer than anywhere else in Australia.

 

 

 

 

Whales in Hervey Bay are best described in Crocodile Dundee speak - "that's not a whale experience, THIS, is a whale experience!"  The whales here are so comfortable in their Hervey Bay stopopver that they consistently reward us with much closer, more intimate interactions than anywhere else in Australia. It's all due to the extreme lengths that they Hervey Bay Whale fleet have gone to, to ensure a safe and protected passage for these majestic and much loved creatures!

So committed to the whales are our whale fleet, that they each donate a percentage of your ticket price to whale  conversation. So by visiting, you're helping out too! For those seeking a more interactive experience, why not try swimming with whales? We should probably say, why not "get-in-the-water-and-be-studied-by-our-whales" becuase if they like you, they'll swim with you. It's nature, and in Hervey Bay we respect the whales' choice of swimming companion! Don't worry - even it they don't want to play, this is probably the closest you'll ever come to a humpback whale. Oh, and did we mention...these whales can be the size of a bus! A very BIG bus!

If you really want to get on a first name basis with our whales then you should get to know Wally and Trish Franklin, true conservationists and Australia’s most trusted and respected whale watching experts.   Each year, Wally and Trish lead an ocean research expedition to monitor the whales and their behaviours. What these two don’t know about whales isn’t worth knowing, but importantly for those of you that want to meet these graceful giants (the whales, not the Franklin’s) each year Wally and Trish invite interns to join them on their research journey!    Let us know if you’re interested – we’re happy to connect you.

And you can’t come to Hervey Bay without also immersing yourself in Fraser Island (K’Gari), the world’s largest sand island!   Not for you a scenic drive!    Nope – we’ll get you in front of dolphins, dingos and dugongs (Australian sea cows), as well as turtles and all kinds of bird life with Tasman Ventures Remote Fraser Tour.

 

Snorkel or swim in crystal clear waters with turtles, rays and many fish species. Take in the spectacular views as you explore the ancient sand dunes or walk along nine kilometres of secluded, white sandy beaches.   Then enjoy the tranquillity of a guided kayak tour through Awinya Creek’s natural surrounds.

 

 

 

 

The waters of the Fraser Coast are home to six of the world’s seven turtle species.  The Loggerhead and Green sea turtles use our waters as their home base while the Hawksbill, Flatback, Leatherback and Olive Ridley will travel up to 3,000 kms to nest here.

Hervey Bay, Fraser Island or Lady Elliot Island

If time is on your side, why not volunteer for a day at the Fraser Coast Wildlife Sanctuary.   Dingos, kangaroos, wallabies and all sorts of native birds are cared for by a dedicated band of volunteers who would just love some extra help.  Rescue and rehabilitation are features of this sanctuary, so even by just visiting, you’re helping out our wildlife and we’d like to thank you for that!  Ask us about the Ranger for a Day package!

Overnight Hervey Bay and next day choose either a full day tour of  Fraser Island’s beauty spots, or a day trip to Lady Elliot Island to snorkel with giant mantas.  If your itinerary permits, we recommend staying longer to really soak up the island atmosphere – you’ll thank us for the tip!

Lady Elliot Island

One day on Fraser Island or Lady Elliot Island is simply not enough to immerse yourself!  So, make sure you leave at least two nights for this part of your stay.  At the very northern tip of Fraser Coast, adjoining the World Heritage Listed Great Barrier Reef, is multi award winning Lady Elliot Island, one of five best spots in the world to swim with giant manta rays , the largest rays in the world with a wing span of up to 7 metres!

 

 

 

Located within a highly protected Green Zone, this island sanctuary is home to over 1,200 species of marine life and is well known across Australia for its abundance of manta rays, turtle and for its unspoilt and very colourful coral reef. 

 

 

 

 

 

The marine environment around Lady Elliot Island has gone from ‘Great’ to ‘Amazing’! The diversity, quantity and size of the marine animals are truly remarkable and it’s just getting better with the passage of time. During summer, green sea turtles lay and hatch their eggs on Lady Elliot Island, providing you with an up-close and captivating experience as the new turtle hatchlings make their way to the sea. Oh, and the sunsets? Did we mention them? 'Get-your-camera-ready' AMAZING!

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Taste Of: A gentle tour - Low involvement
Learning From Locals: Moderate activity - Medium involvement
Totally Immersed: Fully active - High involvement

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