Conference Field Trips and Social Events


Great Ocean Road

Field trips before, during and after the conference are an excellent way for presenters and delegates to experience some of the wonderful opportunities available while visiting Victoria.

These exciting events showcase the variety of Australia’s unique wildlife and the diverse range of wildlife tourism experiences. 

If you need more convincing about the diversity of wildlife in Victoria – see this video!

Also check out the links on the right for more information about all Victoria has to offer.

You can also connect with social media and upload your comments and photos too.

Koalas and Kangaroos IN THE WILD tour with Echidna Walkabout - Tuesday 29 September

kangaroo familyThis is an award winning one day wildlife experience!  You can be involved in the future of wild Koalas, Kangaroos and birds.

See Koalas and Kangaroos IN THE WILD!

Walk with wild animals in their natural habitats on this full day, fully inclusive  eco-tour, led by an experienced Wildlife Guide.

Tour will  visit the nearby You Yangs and Serendip Sanctuary. [about 30 mins from Geelong]

viewkoalas You can help create new koala habitat for future generations of baby koalas by participating in our Make a Home for Koala Clancy project.

Normal price AUD $210pp       Conference delegates  AUD $160pp    Numbers limited – please book before Friday 25 September 2015.

Narana Aboriginal Cultural Centre - afternoon Tuesday 29 September

naranaNarana is Geelong’s Award Winning Aboriginal Cultural Centre
which helps build understanding of Aboriginal history and Culture in an ideal and interesting venue.

They are offering a “Dual Heritage/Dual Responsibility” Cultural Education program just for us – with an emphasis on their special connections with wildlife and the land.

culturalcentreThere will also be boomerang throwing, some dreaming stories, a native garden walk and discussion and more …. as well as chance to relax and visit the art gallery, cafe and shop if you wish.

Narana is about 15 minutes drive or nearly 30mins bus trip down the Surf Coast Highway –

naranaemuIf taking the bus  – at 12.25 or 1.04pm we suggest you catch the McHarry’s No.  50 or 51 bus from Geelong railway station towards Jan Juc – ask for the Narana bus stop.  [note Myki is needed – see transport   If you don’t already have one it can be bought on the bus – $6 card plus $4.50 cash for the trip.]

We will meet in the Narana shop at 2pm for the talk etc – we recommend you allow at least 2 hours for your visit and looking around.   Cost will be $20 per head – please book online as numbers are limited.

Mt Rothwell guided spotlight walk and bbq dinner - Wednesday 30 September

quollsA guided spotlight walk at Mt Rothwell Biodiversity Interpretation Centre provides visitors with a unique opportunity to experience some special species co-existing across the landscape in a wild setting.

At 453 ha, Mt Rothwell is Victoria’s largest feral predator-free ecosystem. Protected by an 11km electric predator-proof fence, Mt Rothwell conserves some of Victoria’s most threatened fauna species, including:bandicoot

  • 83% of mainland Australia’s population of the critically endangered Eastern Barred Bandicoot
  • the only wild, self-sustaining population of Eastern Quoll on the mainland (extinct in the wild)
  • the largest captive population of the critically endangered Brush-tail Rock-wallaby, Victoria’s only species of rock-wallaby.

There will also be a bbq dinner in the Interpretation Centre so any dietary requirements need to be included when booking.    We will leave the conference venue by 5.30pm for the 30 min drive and plan to return about 9pm.  Bring your torch, binoculars, camera repellent and warm clothing!  Carpooling will be needed so please put your name on the list at the conference registration desk by Wednesday morning so we can help with the co-ordination.

Normal price AUD $150pp       Conference delegates  AUD $75pp    Numbers are strictly limited to ensure the wellbeing of the wildlife so please book online early and bookings will close as soon as full or by 8 September.

Guided walk to see Grey Headed Flying Foxes and more - Thursday 1 October

flyingfoxesJoin a group of us for a guided walk through the nearby Eastern Park to visit the Grey Headed Flying Fox colony – with an aim to be there right at dusk when they fly out of the roost.   We will be joined by a local bat expert,  Grant Baverstock who will give us a talk about the local population.   Our own Maree Treadwell will also bring her bat detector and join in too.

We may also see microbats and some water birds on our walk.    Some of us may also head off for dinner locally afterwards.

Bring your torch, binoculars, camera and warm clothing!  Walkers plan to leave venue about 5.30pm for a leisurely walk.

Special price for this event will be $10pp and this can be paid in cash at the conference registration desk.  If  numbers are large we may do the talk at the conference venue before heading off.   Please put your name on the list and pay at conference registration desk on Wednesday.

[note – if you wish to do it independently this walk can be done any other evening and you can get a map from registration desk]


Koala Conservation Day with Echidna Walkabout - Saturday 3 October


Wild Koala

Make a Home for wild Koala Clancy!  Feel inspired by helping Koalas in the wild in You Yangs Regional Park about 30 mins from Geelong.  Search for koalas and be part of Echidna Walkabout’s unique Koala Research program, monitor koala behaviour, make a home for wild koalas by removing weeds from their habitat and learn more, all in the company of a highly experienced Koala Researcher.

The aim is public awareness and education, and large-scale weed removal.   Each day participants remove around 8,000 weeds = koala habitat for nearly 2 koalas for a whole year, in just one day!

This is a special day planned for Conference delegates.  Sorry – booked out!


Wildlife Journey - 4 days in far East Gippsland wilderness - with Echidna Walkabout Sunday - Wednesday 4 - 7 October

echidnaThis is a 4 day wildlife safari helping the wild animals of the wilderness coast.   Four days with the best of Australia’s wildlife!
Share this remote area with your experienced Wildlife Guide and each night return to the comforts of owner-operated lodge-style accommodation.

Connect with nature on this fully-inclusive small group journey into the wildlife-rich forests of southeast Australia’s coastal wilderness.

goanna Find koalas in magnificent stands of giant eucalypt forest, walk in rainforest listening for lyrebirds, watch Sea-Eagles soar along untouched ocean beaches and spot huge Goanna lizards beside secluded rivers and waterways.  Your highly experienced Wildlife Guide will also show you where to look for wild wallabies, kangaroos, echidnas, parrots, cockatoos, black swans and many other animals.

Help conserve the beautiful places and wildlife you see.  Spend a little time on a glorious beach removing fishing nets that trap fish, birds and sea mammals.   See website for more about the wildlife in this special East Gippsland region.

 Sorry Booked Out!

Venus Bay Eco-Retreat near Phillip Island or Wilsons Prom - afternoon Sunday 4 October

venusbaySunday 4 October 2.30pm  duration 1.5 – 2 hours

Visit  Venus Bay Eco-Retreat for an afternoon guided walk and talk to view protected salt marsh habitats and examples of private and public land conservation management.  Refreshments included will showcase South Gippsland organic and slow food producers.

Venus Bay is approx 40mins drive from Wilsons Promontory National Park and approx 1.25hrs to Phillip Island Nature Parks.

venusbay2Venus Bay Eco Retreat is an Advanced Ecotourism and Climate Action certified small business that protects 15 acres of threatened Coast Banksia Woodlands and Coastal Salt Marsh with a Trust for Nature conservation covenant. There is one accommodation cottage sleeping a maximum of four guests.

Normal price $50. Conference delegates discount price AUD $25  (includes refreshments).

Contact Mae at [email protected] or +613  5663 7525.   Bookings close 7pm Wednesday 30 September. Numbers limited: max 10.  Bookings must be paid in advance by Visa, Amex or Mastercard.

[Overnight accommodation on Sunday 4 October MAY be available at additional cost, please ask when booking].

Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park, Pearcedale - Sunday evening 4 October


Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park, is in Pearcedale – at the top of the Mornington Peninsula [about 1.75 hours from Geelong and 1 hr to Melbourne Airport].   It is on the way to Phillip Island.

No transport?  – then check out the 1 day Bunyip Tours field trip below at another time!

  • Sunday evening 4 October is the best time to visit – for the special world-famous lantern-lit tours. Night birds are active, tiny feathertail gliders and giant yellow-bellied gliders swoop around, and endangered quolls, pademelons and bettongs forage for food.
  • Moonlit is open during the day too if you cannot make it on the Sunday evening.

Melbourne’s award winning wildlife park, Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park invites you to explore 10 hectares of bushland, meeting endangered species, feeding kangaroos and wallabies, petting koalas and enjoying encounters with colourful birds, reptiles, dingoes and many other animals.

At night, Moonlit Sanctuary comes alive with world-famous lantern-lit tours. Night birds are active, tiny feathertail gliders and giant yellow-bellied gliders swoop around, and endangered quolls, pademelons and bettongs forage for food.

The Sanctuary is an ark for endangered creatures, and a showcase of their unique beauty. It is a living classroom which encourages children and adults alike to unlock the mystery of Australian mammals, reptiles, birds, fish, insects and amphibians in a natural bush setting.

Normal price $40    Conference delegates discount price AUD $20  Contact [email protected] or +613 5978 7935 to book –   numbers limited.

Phillip Island Nature Parks - special 3 Parks Pass - when it suits you!

penguins phillip islandOnly 90 minutes drive from Melbourne, experience Victoria’s wildlife island featuring spectacular coastal scenery, charming heritage and an abundance of Australia wildlife.   Phillip Island Nature Parks is a not for profit organisation. Revenue contributes to research, environment and education projects.

No transport?  – then check out the 1 day Bunyip Tours field trip below!

Enjoy penguins, koalas and a Churchill Island Heritage Farm for one special WTA discount price provided by our conference sponsor.

You can choose when you visit  – experience all Phillip Island’s unique natural wonders and award winning attractions with a 3 Parks Pass.

koala PINPReceive 20% discount on the 3 Parks Pass which includes entry to the Penguin Parade, Koala Conservation Centre and Churchill Island Heritage Farm    Delegates can find more information, how to get there, etc and book online  or phone 03 5951 2800 quoting WTA Conference.

1 day Phillip Island Ultimate Tour with Bunyip Tours - when it suits you!
koalabunyipLet Bunyip Tours organise your special day trip to Moonlit Sanctuary and Phillip Island Nature Parks –   leaving Melbourne city at 10am and returning at around 9.30pm.
First stop is at Moonlit Sanctuary with a walk around the wildlife park and lunch afterwards then we cross over to Phillip Island and visit Churchill Island, Koala Conservation Centre and the Penguin Parade.
See hundreds of Little Penguins at the Penguin Parade, get up close with koalas, kangaroos and wallabies at Moonlit Sanctuary on the way down in the afternoon, take a stroll along the treetop boardwalk at the Koala Conservation Centre, and look over to Seal Rocks and visit the Nobbies Centre … and more.
There are also plenty of excellent options you may want to add to this experience.
Includes all park entrance fees incl.  3 parks pass at Phillip Island,  friendly and informative guide, Tea/coffee/biscuits and BBQ lunch (Please advise of dietary requirements at time of booking).
Normal price $135    Conference delegates 15% discount.  
You can choose to take the tour before or after the conference and can either call Bunyip Tours on 03 9650 9680 or e-mail [email protected] quoting “Wildlife Tourism Conference discount”.
Other special opportunities. Stay around a few days!

You can experience some of the wonderful wildlife and diversity of Victoria, and particularly this region.  If you are visiting from elsewhere, why not come a few days BEFORE the conference and even stay a few days afterwards to explore.

Within walking distance  – allow an hour or two after the conference to stroll down along the waterfront and around Eastern Park to see the local Grey Headed Flying Foxes near the Golf Course entrance [best time is at dusk when they fly out of the roost].    There are also microbats and some water birds in the stormwater harvest dam.  See map at registration desk.     Thursday evening we have a special guided walk planned – see above or ask at registration desk for a map and go when it suits you.

Further away –

These special places are not easily reached by public transport from Geelong – so if you do not have your own transport – form a group and hire a car or bus.

Around 1/2 hour drive from Geelong

Further to travel – 

  • Phillip Island Nature Parks (conference sponsor) – as detailed above enjoy a special discounted 3 Parks Pass.
  • Great Ocean Road – up to 2 days return trip to see spectacular scenery and wildlife
  • Wilsons Promontory National Park – 3.25 hours drive from Geelong-   spectacular scenery of huge granite mountains, open forest, rainforest, sweeping beaches and coastlines.
  • Healesville Sanctuary  “a bushland haven for Australian wildlife”- 2 hour drive from Geelong

Other events you may be interested in knowing about  –

  • Sunday 27 September – Geelong country horse racing as part of Melbourne’s Spring Racing Carnival
  • Saturday  3 October –  AFL [Australian Football League] Grand Final is being held in Melbourne at the MCG on Saturday 3 October – tickets may be hard to get but there are a large number of venues where you can view this famous event

Some Visit Victoria links to apps, social media and information –

More Things to Do in Victoria –

Events organised  –

[see details on left]


Tuesday 29 September

  • Narana Aboriginal Cultural Centre – special cultural education afternoon session.


Wednesday 30 September

  • Mt Rothwell – guided spotlight walk and bbq dinner – optional extra and numbers are limited.

Thursday 1 October

  • Visit the flying foxes of Eastern Park – special guided walk.


Saturday 3 October

  • Koala Conservation Day in the You Yangs Regional Park

Sunday 3 October

  • **Venus Bay Ecolodge –   afternoon tour and refreshments
  • **Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park, Pearcedale – evening Lantern-lit tour  ** can be combined with Phillip Island or Wilsons Promontory trip
  • Wildlife Journey – 4 days in the wilderness coast of far East Gippsland – with Echidna Walkabout


  • see list on left for other special opportunities and ideas including Flying Fox walk, Narana Aboriginal Culture Centre and more
  • Phillip Island Nature Parks – discounted 3 Park Pass
  • 1 day Phillip Island Ultimate Tour with Bunyip Tours

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  1. Hi Charles
    Could you please give me a bit more detail about yourself?
    e.g. what is your involvement/interest in wildlife tourism? And what country are you coming from? Do you wish to present a paper (either as a talk or a poster)? I haven’t yet seen your name on the registration list, but it might have been added very recently, so I’ll check again soon.

  2. I am coming for this great natural conference
    on wild life coming up by Sept 2015.
    please i have registered for the conference,
    kindly issue my invitation letter i am coming from outside enable me process my visa and making hotel
    reservation earlier.

    • Hi again Charles

      We only seem to have a record of you booking for the welcoming function, not for the conference itself


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