3-day self-drive eco tour: Tiger Quoll conservation and Great Otway National Park wildlife experience
Experience the impressive Great Ocean Road landscape and help make a direct contribution to endangered species conservation. The Tiger Quoll is the largest remaining marsupial carnivore on the Australian mainland and it is fast heading towards the same fate as its cousin, the Thylacine or Tasmanian Tiger – extinction.
This self-drive eco wildlife tour takes place at The Great Ocean Ecolodge and adjoining Conservation Ecology Centre, located within the Great Otway National Park in South West Victoria. The park features diverse landscapes with rugged coastlines and sandy beaches along the iconic Great Ocean Road – one of Australia’s most scenic coastal drives, with views of dramatic rock formations and windswept heathland. In the north, the park features tall forests, ferny gullies, magnificent waterfalls and tranquil lakes.
The forests, woodlands and coastline of the Otway ranges are one of the last strongholds of the beautiful Tiger Quoll but even here this special species is in decline – we must act quickly to ensure the Tiger Quoll’s future. Get involved in this urgent mission through a three-day Conservation Insights Program where you will become a member of the Tiger Quoll Conservation Team and contribute to the future of this endangered species and the ecosystems on which it depends.
The tour includes 3 hours of conservation and monitoring work per day (on the mornings of day 2 and day 3), the rest of the day is yours to enjoy exploring the conservation reserve, the Great Otway National Park, the local Great Ocean region’s attractions, or at leisure enjoying the facilities of the Great Ocean Ecolodge.
Eco Tour Highlights:
- Get up close to Australian wildlife – including koalas, kangaroos and tiger quolls
- Behind the scenes experience of conservation projects undertaken at the Conservation Ecology Centre
- Join the Tiger Quoll Conservation Team – help with Tiger Quoll research monitoring
- Enjoy the surrounds and facilities of the Great Ocean Ecolodge
- Explore Great Otway National Park
- Exclusive guided interpretive walks
- Nocturnal wildlife experience
- Explore the local region (self-drive), including the Cape Otway Lighthouse and Otway Fly
Duration: 3 days/2 nights
Departs: every Monday & Wednesday from May-August
Price: from $1555 AUD per person
Tour inclusions as noted below
Day 1: Self-drive to Great Ocean Ecolodge
Self-drive down the spectacular Great Ocean Road at your leisure. It takes about 4 hours to drive to the Great Ocean Ecolodge from Melbourne. Arrive at the lodge by 4pm, in time for afternoon tea, followed by a 2-hour guided walk to discover the conservation work taking place at the reserve and Conservation Ecology Centre (located on the property). View local wildlife including koalas, kangaroos, paddy melons and tiger quolls. LD
Day 2: Great Ocean Ecolodge / Great Otway National Park
Assist with tiger quoll research monitoring in the beautiful Great Otway National Park. Experience an interpretive guided-walk focusing on the cultural heritage features of the landscape, followed by a nocturnal wildlife experience where you will get to see the sugar gliders and potoroos. The rest of the day is at your leisure to explore the local sights and attractions, or enjoy one of the bush walks in the national park. Or you can visit the local Cape Otway Lighthouse (self-drive), Otway Fly, or Apollo Bay – all just a short drive from the lodge. BLD
Day 3: Great Ocean Ecolodge – self-drive back to Melbourne (or your next destination)
Assist with further Tiger Quoll research monitoring within the Great Otway National Park during the morning. In the afternoon, say your final farewells and depart for your self-drive return journey to Melbourne at your leisure – on continue on your journey. B
B – breakfast L – lunch D – dinner
This tour is graded Moderate. Conservation activities involve walking within dense vegetation and humid climatic conditions.
- Maximum 8 people
- Minimum age for participation is 14
- Participants under 16 are to be accompanied by an adult
- Departure is guaranteed, subject to 4 people travelling
All of Naturewise’s Eco Escapes allow you to play a vital role in the conservation of our natural environment, while enjoying some of Australia’s most spectacular places. Volunteers will work to conserve mainland Australia’s largest marsupial carnivore, the endangered Tiger Quoll. Led by experienced Research Assistants. The majority of Tiger Quoll fieldwork takes place through the wild Otway winters, during the quolls’ breeding season. This is a magical time on the Great Ocean Road – the waterfalls are beautiful and the spectacular beaches are deserted as you watch for migrating whales playing just past the waves. The forest smells fresh and clean after the rains and the Ecolodge awaits with a roaring fire. The camaraderie of such an important expedition and the chance to play a vital role in saving a very special species will be something you will treasure forever. Volunteers will also assist with husbandry of the resident Tiger Quolls at the Conservation Ecology Centre, assisting with the captive breeding program, providing behavioural enrichment opportunities for the quolls and health monitoring.
Conservation work may include:
- Population surveys: deploying, retrieving and reviewing camera traps
- DNA collection for analysis
- Biodiversity surveys
- Vegetation surveys
- Habitat restoration
- Caring for the resident Tiger Quolls – very beautiful animals who are teaching us so much about their species
Location and Transportation
This tour is located at the Great Ocean Ecolodge, within the Great Otway National Park in south-west Victoria. The park features diverse landscapes, with rugged coastlines and sandy beaches along the nearby Great Ocean Road.
Drive time from Melbourne to the Great Otway National Park is 4 hours. The tour is a self-drive experience; no transportation is provided.
Transfers from Melbourne can be arranged at an additional cost (minimum numbers apply).
Accommodation is at the Great Ocean Ecolodge at Cape Otway. An award-winning eco retreat, the Ecolodge itself is entirely solar-powered and ecologically responsible.
Each guest bedroom is private and peaceful, furnished with a comfortable bed, crisp clean linen, and timeless antiques. The ensuite bathroom is equipped with fluffy towels and a delicious assortment of locally made natural soaps and shampoos. The rooms overlook grasslands where kangaroos come to graze at dawn and dusk, and the Otway Ranges; or the well established kitchen gardens utilised for restaurant dining.
Facilities include 165 acres of grasslands visited by the kangaroos at dawn and dusk, woodlands where koalas doze, and a tranquil spring where you may see Yellow Robins, King Parrots and Yellow-Bellied Gliders. The Great Ocean Ecolodge is proud to host the Nature Gallery, a collection of artworks created by local artists celebrating the natural beauty of the Great Ocean Road.
All prices are for 3 days, per person.
Double or Twin Share: $1555 AUD per person
2 night’s accommodation at Great Ocean Ecolodge • 3 meals a day • maximum 8 passengers • permits • tiger quoll research activities
Alcoholic drinks • items of a personal nature • travel insurance • travel to Melbourne departure point • meals and activities not included in program itinerary.
Tours depart every Monday & Wednesday: from May to August.
This self-drive tour starts at the Cape Otway Centre for Conservation. The program runs every Monday and Wednesday from May–August please e-mail preferred date. Transfers from Melbourne can be arranged at an additional cost (minimum numbers apply).
Spend the afternoons exploring the region at your own leisure – we will be delighted to assist you with planning your excursions, and suggest local sights to see and do.