Australian Wildlife Overview Tour (3-day wildlife tour from Brisbane)
The Kooralbyn Valley Resort is now our main accommodation for this tour, although occasionally we will stay at either O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat or Binna Burra on the second evvening. The bushland surroundings harbour many kangaroos and wallabies which emerge in the early morning and late afternoon to feed on the grasses of the Resort, including the extensive golf course. Wedge-tailed eagles, kookaburras, cockatoos, lorikeets, frogmouths, spoonbills and many other birds may often be seen on the property or nearby. Occasionally we may be lucky enough to see a koala or (at night) a squirrel glider (a small gliding possum).
Rooms have private ensuites with both shower and bath (guests with disabilities can opt for a room with accessible shower) and patios (most popular are those that overlook the golf course and the hills beyond).
Chef Wayne Golding is highly experienced (including internatonally and on TV) and adept at preparing tasty meals for guests with any kind of restricted diet.
If time permits, guests can enjoy a swim in the pool, a wander along bushland trails or participation in various activities offered by the resort.
Changes in 2021
We used to stay at
Binna Burra (pictured right) suffered a devastating fire in 2019, losing the main lodge building and all the heritage cottages. We will be running special tours staying at the up-market sky-lodges or at the campground, in permanent safari tents, and look forward to the day new cabins are established.
Cougal Park has closed due to the ill health of the proprietor, who is now in retirement.
We still intend running camping options occasionally, but probably not until 2022. We started them to enable budget travellers to join in, but they have proved vvery costly for us in time and replacement of damaged equipment.
is not a luxury trip but we do value comfort,
safety and enjoyment of the "dinkum"
(genuine) Australian outback (some
call any rural areas "outback" but this is misleading).
There are no five-star or even four-star hotels after
we pass the first few hundred kilometres. We
head far away from the crowds - just wide open
spaces, a variety of outback habitats, plenty of
kangaroos, cockatoos and emus, and brilliantly starry
skies. "I didn't see nearly as
much wildlife on my package tour to Uluru" one lady
The quaint little country pubs of local small towns (Hungerford and Eulo) add their own charm to the experience, and provide hearty and tasty meals (the Eulo Queen Hotel even has award-winning sausages). At Hungerford the 'dunny' (toilet) and shower are 'out the back' (just a short stroll by starlight or torchlight) but at Eulo you may get a cabin with its own bathroom. A recent addition to our itinerary is a night at Bowra station, recently purchased by the Australian Wildlife Conservancy, and boasting a great diversity of birds and other wildlife. Here we stay in shearer's quarters. It may sound a bit rough, but the beds are comfy in all these places and we always have a good sleep after a hot, filling meal. And in the morning, instead of waking to traffic or typical tourist activities you can stroll from your bed to look for kangaroos and outback birds right in the town or on its outskirts, and get a feeling for the wide open spaces so typical of Australia.
Our first and last nights (also an extra night or two if extending to include Charleville) are spent in conventional motels with en suites.
Note: we head to remote areas, but we always have a two-way radio and plenty of extra supplies (water, packaged food ...) should we ever get stranded anywhere (and so far we never have).his is not a luxury trip but we do value comfort, safety and enjoyment of the "dinkum" (genuine) Australian outback (some call any rural areas "outback" but this is misleading). There are no five-star or even four-star hotels after we pass the first few hundred kilometres. We head far away from the crowds - just wide open spaces, a variety of outback habitats, plenty of kangaroos, cockatoos and emus, and brilliantly starry skies. "I didn't see nearly as much wildlife on my package tour to Uluru" one lady told us.
Here we stay in a delightful timber chalet near the forest, with birdsong and wallabies close by in the early morning or towards dusk, and a cosy fireplace for winter evenings. The forest is just down the driveway and across the road. Walking in the early morning mists is a delight.
Girraween Environmental Lodge:
Rooms with a view! Enjoy refreshments on the verandah, wake up to bird calls and kangaroos outside your window
If you feel like a nice hot soak, you can indulge within your cabin or wait until the outdoor spa is turned each afternoon and relax there amongst the rocks and trees. A cosy fireplace is very welcome on chilly evenings.
Another top choice is the lovely Twinstar Guesthouse, down the road from Giraween. The host is an experienced amateur astronomer, and will take us out to this observatory (just behind the guest house) on clear nights to take us on a tour of the solar system, the galaxy and beyond
Twinstar verandah, showing Observatory in the background
Possibilities vary greatly depending on what our guests desire.
We have for instance included camping at various sites, Binna Burra Lodge (Lamington National Park) cabins at Tweed Heads, Fingal, Myall Lakes and Minnee Waters, motels en route to various destinations, campgrounds at Brunswick Heads, and hotels in Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Sydney on various customised tours.
We can also, at the end of a birding tour to Lamington National Park, leave our guests at either O'Reily's Raiforest Retreat or Binna BurraLodge, to spend a night or more and arrange their return to Brisbane either by picking them up several days later or working in with another tour company.