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


Find Gippsland High Country Tours on Facebook



  • Natural History Tours to destinations beyond the High Country. 

  • The outback and more for nature lovers

  • Destinations include Strzelecki Track and Cooper Creek, the Flinders Ranges and even Tasmania

  • Led by naturalist guides you will enjoy outstanding birdwatching opportunities, plus a variety of different habitats, their wildlife and wildflowers, geology, landforms, history and more
Gippsland High Country Tours

Flinders Ranges Natural History Tours

10 Day Flinders Ranges Natural History Tour

Graded: Moderate
Walks: Lots of short, easy-moderate walks including uneven/rocky ground and gentle hills.
9 nights accommodation
Focus: Natural History of the Flinders Rangers
Destinations: Flinders Ranges, South Australia
Educational discovery level: Moderate / High

Discover the Flinders Ranges, its history, plants, animals and classic scenery on this slow pace natural history tour.  Take time to explore closely, experience and learn.  Enjoy wildlife, easy-moderate walks and aboriginal art sites plus there will be plenty of opportunity for birdwatching.

Fully accommodated and led by a naturalist guide your experience will be all the richer for the things you learn along the way.

A bird list from previous trips is also available.

More information including dates and prices >>>

Beyond the High Country

Tasmania – A Natural History Tour

Join an enthusiastic group of nature lovers taking a close-up look at some of Tasmania’s natural and historical areas.

The island state is compact but amazingly diverse and we will give you an opportunity to experience many of these diverse natural environments and particularly to focus on some of the uniquely Tasmanian landscapes and habitats.

Tasmania boasts many plants unique to the island (endemic) as well as endemic birds and it is the final refuge for many wildlife species that have disappeared from the mainland.

Tasmania also has rich history and you will learn about the first indigenous people, the European settlers and of course the convict history Tasmania is so famous for.

Your guide will offer leadership across a range of natural history fields and may be supported by local experts for additional interpretation at various points during the tour.

With a maximum of 10 participants you will enjoy more personalised service than offered on many tours.

The itinerary includes many extras and is planned to be leisurely to allow time for birdwatching, nature study and just to really appreciate the wonderful landscapes of the places we visit.

Details are being finalised for a 2017-18 departure date.

Contact us to register your interest and to receive details as soon as they are finalised.

Download birdlist

Comments and stories

“You made an excellent selection of places to visit and places to stay.  Each different location seemed like a mini-tour of its own.” 
Airdrie (SA)

“Excellent mix of different types of vegetation, terrain, coast/land, animals and birds: a wonderful way to experience Tasmania.”
Jim (Melbourne)

“Another successful tour, travelling with nature around Tasmania.  Fantastic organizing, something of interest for everyone.  Can’t wait until the next adventure!”  
Jean (Vic)

Tasmanian Adventure

We, all fifteen of us have been on a trip supreme with something for all,
For some a long-time dream come true,
Our leaders, Jenny and Peter,
Have done a grand job with patience and leadership skills quite superb.
They’ve catered for all tastes and dieters too,
Meal times, fine wine, good company have made us all feel quite on top of the world.
The barbeques, pasta, the chicken bisque, the salads, so generous and healthy
But still, there was more, of course, it was Jenny’s fruit cake a finishing touch,
So we have all been so very spoiled,
And as we fell into bed, we once again felt at peace with the world,
Such a fortunate group.
Travelling around this wondrous small state,
We’ve enjoyed the history and changing scenes, Wineglass Bay and Bruny too.
Port Arthur, the convicts, wild forests and moss,
Lakes made by nature and by man as well,
And lets not forget the first dwellers here, who the early settlers treated not well,
Took all their rights and also their lives,
Till a race was extinct ain a very short time.
Remember the excitement when we sighted the mountain we’d all dreamed about,
The walks, the beauty and peace,
The uniqueness of place that nature had used with the plants and the trees,
To make it such heaven for you and for me.
Now lets look at us, have we done well as part of the team?
We’ve accepted each other just as we are,
Enjoyed the talks and companionship given so freely,
And, shared with each other the joys of this trip,
Which, thanks to Jenny and Peter, we’ve had.
How much we appreciate this special land,
So free, so unique, yet at times just so tough,
Well it’s only on loan to us for such a short while,
So we’ll hope that our leaders will offer us more of these precious times,
Not only to travel but also to find the true person within us, accepting all kind.
Oh yes, dear friends we surely will do,
More journeys with nature,
Learning adventures with Peter and Jen.
With gratitude, J. Leatham. (Vic)

Gippsland High Country Tours
Cradle Mountain

Gippsland High Country Tours
Summer wildflowers

Gippsland High Country Tours
Ross Bridge

Gippsland High Country Tours
Eastern Quoll

Beyond the High Country

Strzelecki Track and Cooper Creek

An arid environment Natural History Tour

(Fully accommodated)

This is the fifth time I have offered this trip and every time, participants are thrilled by the variety of landscapes we visit as well as the combination of nature and history.  With a naturalist guide to lead you to discover the amazing landforms, plants, birds and animals of the arid zone on this really comprehensive Natural History Tour. We don’t rush either, so you will have plenty of time to enjoy the easy walks, birdwatching or just to soak up the atmosphere of the arid country.

The Innamincka region is probably best known historically for the tragedy of the Burke and Wills expedition, however the Innamincka Regional Reserve is also one of the world's most unusual wetlands. Set in a desert region it relies on water from Northern Queensland to regularly replenish the maze of lakes and waterholes along Cooper Creek. To sum it up, "Cooper Creek is one of Australia's largest, most isolated and historic river systems - and it flows through a desert!"

As is usual in Australia’s outback, if we are lucky to be visiting after local rainfall we could enjoy prolific plant growth and increases in wildlife numbers. At these times we expect to find country that has been refreshed and rejuvenated with bird and wildlife populations higher than normal. However most of the time, we are experiencing the arid environment for what it normally is - arid.  This is when the amazing adaptations of plants and wildlife are most striking.  Whatever the season, birdwatchers will enjoy lots of great birdwatching opportunities.

Highlights from the 15 days include the Strzelecki Track, Innamincka township, picturesque waterholes along Cooper Creek and their birdlife, the Burke and Wills Dig Tree, goldmining towns of Tibooburra and Milparinka as well as Broken Hill, Kinchega and Mungo National Parks.

Enjoy being part of a small group of no more than 14 participants.  For the first time in 2012, this trip was offered as fully accommodated which was a great success.  Yes even in remote Innamincka, you can enjoy a comfortable bed every night.

This tour has a Natural History focus and along the way we will explore a number of different environments including big red sand dunes, dry creek-beds lined with ancient eucalypts, gibber plains, freshwater lakes and waterholes. The area has a rich flora and careful observation should be rewarded with discoveries of wildflowers. As well as expecting to see a wide variety of arid-land birds, we will be hunting out sightings and signs of other wildlife and looking at how plants and animals interact and survive in this harsh environment.

In addition we will enjoy the overall scenic beauty, natural landforms, geology and there will be a strong focus on history of both the first aboriginal inhabitants as well as the early European explorers and settlers.

This tour is scheduled only when there is sufficient interest and demand.

Contact us to register your interest and to be notified of the next departure date.

Download Birdlist (Word doc)

Comments and stories

"The sights and sounds of the "road to Innamincka" are etched in my mind. To be retrieved at quiet times to be enjoyed all over again"
Claire (Vic)

“A wonderful trip Jenny, thanks to you, Tom & Raz.  You helped me fulfil one of my goals to see the Dig Tree.  Your good humour, organization and super food made for a marvellous trip and it exceeded the expectations which Laurie & I had.  We do look forward to enjoying another trip with you." 
Erna (Vic)

“We have experienced so many memorable moments, colourful sunrises and sunsets, new birds, bush campsites, memorials to early explorers, examining bats and reptiles, good food and more. A great fortnight."
Val (Melbourne)

A report of a trip along the Strzelecki Track, South Australia

A few weeks ago, I read an article in the Travel section of the “Age” about the Strzelecki Track in South Australia and I couldn’t help thinking that there was something lacking. The writer had driven all the way from Adelaide, northward to Port Augusta, on and on through Parachilna and all the way to Lyndhurst – and then had turned around and gone back to Adelaide. The writer had not left the bitumen for a minute and had not touched the Track itself! Having driven the Strzelecki Track with Gippsland High Country Tours in May, it suddenly became necessary for me to right this terrible wrong and to write something about the real thing.

It is quite exciting to sally forth into the outback and to be able to get a good part of the way on the bitumen. Twenty of us, including Jenny, Tom and Raz, drove out of Adelaide with our first stop at Port Augusta. The highlight of this stop was a visit to the arid land botanical gardens. The whole of South Australia was extremely dry and so the gardens were something of an oasis with a large number of new dry-country birds to be seen.

From Port Augusta, we turned north, first to Quorn, a stop on the old Ghan Railway, and then parallel to, and to the west of the Flinders Ranges we followed the bitumen to Parachilna in the middle of nowhere. On the way we stopped at the ruins of a homestead/village that had been established in 1862 but abandoned in 1888 when ruined by continuous drought. Parachilna boasts a great hotel (and about three houses) where they serve wild food (road kills??). We had a choice of wallaby shanks, goat, emu pate and rather expensive beer.

Next day saw us still on the bitumen, generally following the old Ghan Railway line, as far as the small mining town of Leigh Creek and a little further on to Lyndhurst where the bitumen finished, about 300km from Port Augusta. Here, we turned right and moved in a north-easterly direction into the most desolate and inhospitable country that you could imagine. The Australian desert has a great mixture of landscapes, sometimes with lots of trees along dry watercourses, sometimes with broad gibber plains, sometimes with stunted bushes and trees in dust, sometimes with long red or yellow sand ridges topped with sparse shrubs. At all times the vegetation was wizened with the continuous dry weather. Apparently a drop of rain will bring it to life, but as we saw it the whole country was totally desiccated and miserable to say the least. The road was rough and dusty so that there was no way one could hurry. We stopped to camp for the night at a bore – the only water for about 450km. A few birds were to be seen, together with a few small lizards, the odd dingo and a solitary wild camel. Imagine our surprise when, at about 375km, we came upon a large surreal “city”. This was Moomba, the centre of a large oil and gas field, which is totally inhabited by workers flown in from Adelaide on two or three week rosters. There are no permanent inhabitants at all and yet the place is quite large in area – like a huge factory/oil refinery (which it is not).

Our destination was Innamincka (Pop. 18), on Cooper Creek at the north end of the Track, and then a camping area at Cullyamurra Waterhole about 20km to the east. This was a particularly picturesque spot on the Cooper Creek, with Coolabah trees, Casuarinas and Red Gums, sand dunes to the south with scattered scrub - and running water! It was amazing to see large areas of water in the middle of the desert. The Cooper is fed from north-east Queensland and never dries up. However, its water rarely reaches Lake Eyre, its theoretical destination – it just peters out in the desert. The official rainfall here is about 150mm per year (6 inches) but evaporation is between 2.5 and 3.5 metres per year!

So that was the Strzelecki Track! Dry, rough and dusty but well worth seeing to understand what a harsh country we inhabit. The rest of the trip was highly eventful with many new birds and other beasts, the most magnificent sunsets you can imagine, the ancient relics and carvings of the aboriginal inhabitants of the area, the freezing waters of the Cooper Creek, the legendary Dig Tree and the story of Burke and Wills: all came to life once we were in that part of the outback. This is what the “Age” could have talked about – not just a pleasant drive inland along the bitumen. Of course, the “Age” didn’t have the services of our brilliant leaders: the unruffleable Jenny, the estimable second driver, Tom, and Raz, whose knowledge of the wild life made the trip especially interesting and enjoyable for all.

A. Monger (Vic)

Strzelecki Safari

While wending our long way home
I thought I’d write this little poem
A story of an intrepid twenty
Seeing sites of awe a-plenty.
Led by our unflappable Jenny
A person of skills varied and many
More than just cook, driver and tour guide
Her detailed approach ensured us a safe ride.
Tom, the other driver, tour guide and cook
Is sharp despite his casual look
He tackles all tasks with a ‘ho-hum’
And sets us a daily conundrum.
Tom is a tall and slender fellow
Who tells us what we need to know
With him there are no ‘ifs or buts’
About the relevance of nuts.
Raz has an insatiable passion
For natural things of any fashion
Looking for things quite absurd
Even the elusive gibber bird.
Raz has an endearing habit
Of haring off like a rabbit
To chase a goanna up a tree
Or a trailer tyre that’s broken free
Seventeen more make up the team
That set off on a Strzelecki dream
Two vehicles with trailer in tow
As up the Strzelecki we happily go.
As a group of comparative strangers
We travel past the Flinders Rangers
But as we made our desert loop
We became a close cohesive group.
Then on again to Cooper Creek
Where plants and birds we all did seek
Saw Bourke and Wills historic sites
And camped ‘neath peaceful moonlit nights.
Pre-dinner drinks and nibbles too
As Tom and Jenny prepared a stew
Dinner done we sat around
To ponder thoughts that Tom had found.
To Coongie Lakes next day we’re bound
Where rare bird species might be found
Jenny and Tom’s calm was tested
When trailer axle on ground rested.
With laden trailer left behind
Tom and Jenny were in a bind
Innamincka was our destination
With its pub and trading station.
A Cooper cruise with Peter Weir
Then to the pub for an ice cold beer
When allotted beds by Raz our host
To Outmincka Pub for the Sunday roast.
Yarns and jokes we then related
As for Tom and Jenny we all waited
The assembled gang were much relieved
When Jenny and Tom our bags retrieved.
While the errant axle it was mended
To domestic chores we tended
In the bunkhouse quietly reading
Or laundry machines reluctantly feeding.
Then our party was divided
On two options we decided
A motel stay with all mod cons
Or a sandy night camp in long johns
Now with the errant trailer mended
To Tibooburra town we wended
Visiting Cameron Corner and Fort Grey
On a double driving catch-up day
Then on and on to Broken Hill
Over sandy desert very still
Visiting sites of Charles Sturt fame
And a mount that bears John Poole’s name.
Milparinka famed for mining
Was our site for lunch-time dining
Amid the buildings long-time past
Amid the soil that’s seldom grassed.
Broken Hill is far from dead
On a diet of silver and lead
As the supply of ore abates
An extended diet of tourism waits.
Shearers quarters the next night
At Kinchega a beautiful site
To Menindee to see the Darling flow
Then on with awe to Lake Mungo
On the way to Lake Mungo
The errant trailer would not go
It was a broken axle again
Causing Jenny more silent pain.
With Erna as the traffic cop
We undertook a luggage swap
When the luggage swap was done
We then resumed our Mungo run.
With John Grimer as our guide
The sites of Lake Mungo we plied
On Mungo lunettes we carefully wandered
The weathering sands of time we pondered
From Swan Hill on the river Murray
Straight to Melbourne we better hurry
We leave behind the Benalla four
With memories we’ll treasure evermore
For pleasures rare and many
We thank Tom Raz and Jenny
So raise your glasses one and all
To those who made it possible

M. Sexton (ACT)

Gippsland High Country Tours
Birdwatching stop on the Strzelecki Track

Gippsland High Country Tours
Discover history and wildlife along Cooper Creek

Gippsland High Country Tours
Short walks to explore the desert environment

Gippsland High Country Tours
Coongie Lakes are a haven for birds and wildlife

Story time with naturalist Jim, Kudriemitchie Waterhole, Cooper Creek


  Gippsland High Country Tours
Gippsland High Country Tours  
PO Box 69,Bruthen, Victoria 3885 AUSTRALIA
Phone: (03) 5157 5556 (International 61 3 5157 5556)

Copyright: Gippsland High Country Tours
This website is hosted on an environmentally friendly web server by Bairnsdale WEB Design