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Plastic bag free holiday: Help protect Norfolk Island Marine Life

Norfolk Island coastlineAs part of the protecting Norfolk Island Marine Life, the Norfolk Island History Lovers holidays are plastic bag free.

Enjoy and experience the unique and varied tale that is Norfolk Island history.

Norfolk has a unique beauty of its own, with its renowned tall majestic pines, sheer cliff faces, coral reefs and beautiful beaches. Almost one third of the island is devoted to National Parks and Reserves.

But Norfolk Island is far more than a picturesque island in the South Pacific, it is paradise with a past.

What was once a convicts’ nightmare is now the tranquil home of the descendants from the Mutiny on the Bounty, who have their own unique culture and their own language.

Contact us for further details or phone 02 4455 54780

The legendary ‘Birdman of Atherton’

The legendary ‘Birdman of Atherton’ has flown the coop to join the flock at O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat.

Mark ‘The Birdman’ Culleton is bringing his passion for wildlife to O’Reilly’s this Christmas with the famous ‘Birds of Prey’ show, along with his feathered friends including an amazing array of owls, falcons and eagles.

The intimate wildlife experience lets guests get up close and personal with these awesome aerial predators as they fly free in a stunning display of natural aerobatics, before returning safely back to perch on Mark’s arm.

The interactive presentation also allows guests to be part of the show alongside other animal stars, including crocodiles and a Spotted-tailed Quoll, an elusive local of Lamington National Park.

The legendary 'Birdman of Atherton' Educational and entertaining, the show inspires young and old about our natural world as they learn about the everyday and unusual behaviours of the animals, and the local environments in which they live.

It is an experience the whole family can enjoy.

Mark has been in the zoo/tourism industry for 20 years and has worked with many species, including dolphins, sea lions, crocodiles and birds from all over the world. Following years of presenting shows in England and Spain, he returned to Australia in 1997 to develop shows for zoos, including the first free-flight bird show in Queensland. In 2005, he created his own unique presentation, the famous Atherton Birds of Prey Show, for which Mark’s larrikin character made him as famous as his winged friends.

The Birds of Prey Show is part of O’Reilly’s Discovery Program, an interpretive activities program that aims at sharing the wonders of Lamington National Park with guests.

The 30 minute presentation will start in time for the Christmas school holidays and will run daily.

Conference and incentive groups also have the opportunity to meet resident ‘locals’ with a mobile presentation experience. Morning or afternoon tea, or pre-dinner drinks are served with a difference as Mark introduces delegates to juvenile crocodiles, eagles and other Australian wildlife during their break-out sessions.

O’Reilly’s is in the Gold Coast Hinterland, only 2 hours drive from Brisbane or 1 ½ hours from the Gold Coast.

O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat Queensland

O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat

Whale hot spots for New South Wales

The whale-watching season starts in late May as these gentle creatures undertake their annual migration along the coast of New South Wales. The two most commonly seen large whales are the humpback (migrating north in June and July) and the southern right whale (returning south during winter). Some popular spots to see whales from shore are:

  • Cape Byron Conservation Area, Byron Bay
  • Crowdy Bay National Park, north of Taree
  • Tomaree National Park, Port Stephens
  • Jervis Bay National Park and Marine Park and the waters of Huskisson
  • Mollymook and Narrawallee Beach and coastal waters off Ulladulla
  • Ben Boyd National Park, near Eden

Alternatively, join a whale-watching cruise from any number of locations along the coast, such as:
Solitary Islands Marine Park, off the coast at Coffs Harbour – the islands provide shelter for the whales, close to the shore.

Port Stephens – one of the most popular spots in the state for whale-watching.

Jervis Bay – Watch whales,  dolphins and other marine park wildlife in their natural environment from a comfortable and stable catamaran with three level all round indoor and outdoor panoramic viewing areas.

Take a cruise on the largest Whale Watching vessel on the South Coast of NSW, offering 5 viewing decks from our 17 metre tripple deck Catamaran. More Details

Jervis Bay provides some of the best whale watching opportunities along the east coast of Australia.

Montague Island

Conservation Volunteers Australia invites you to experience Montague Island, a stunning nature reserve located on New South Wales’ south coast, nine kilometres offshore from the small coastal township of Narooma. Montague Island has been protected as a wildlife sanctuary for over 50 years, and a visit to the island this spring will reveal why, as 30,000 seabirds return to nest for the annual breeding season.

Amongst the crested terns, shear waters and silver gulls, up to 8,000 pairs of little penguins come ashore, making it the largest colony found in New South Wales. Fur seal numbers peak in spring, with more than 1,000 seals found playing together on the northern edge of the island, and humpback whales grace the surrounding waters on their annual migration southward to Antarctica.

If environmentally responsible travel is for you, then a visit to Montague Island will showcase nature tourism at its best. Small group ecotours entice visitors back again and again to four-star heritage guesthouse accommodation, set in amongst the wild wonders.

Naturewise Conservation Holidays provide meaningful travel, connecting people with nature and the opportunity to get ‘hands-on’ in helping to protect and conserve the island.

The special quality of this ecotourism experience has been recognised in a plethora of awards and recognitions, most notably, a National Tourism Award for Australia’s best ecotourism experience. It is Advanced Eco Certified, meeting strict guidelines set by Australia’s peak ecotourism body, Ecotourism Australia.

Your nature holiday on Montague Island can be as active or passive as you choose. Guided by a local park ranger, explore the island by foot, discovering its vast ecological and historical significance, revealed in 125 years of lighthouse history and wildlife found around every corner. According to previous participants, there is nothing else quite like this experience:

“Breathtaking wild beauty, perfect weather, excellent company, delicious food and wine – Wow! Thanks for having us in this treasure of a place.” Sarah and Geoff Cains

Ecotours are operated by Conservation Volunteers Australia and the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service. Free call (aus only) 1800 032 501.