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Bay of Fires Bird Photography Walk

March 25-28, 2022  | Price: $3,345 | Maximum: 8 guests

October 15-18, 2022 | Price $3,095 | Maximum: 8 guests

Over four days with local Tasmanian bird, photography and fieldcraft experts, Elaine McDonald and Penny Geard, discover new birds, and increase your knowledge of birding and photography in the wild.

Join Elaine, Penny and a small group, led by our expert guides, and traverse this wonderfully remote landscape. The Bay of Fires offers an awe-inspiring escape, teeming with birds and unique flora and fauna. Walk the soft sandy beaches, explore secluded coves, and enjoy the uncomplicated luxury of our accommodation at the Forester Beach Camp and award-winning Bay of Fires Lodge. If you are looking for a little more indulgence, why not have a signature treatment at our exclusive spa or enjoy the outdoor bathing pavilion.

The Bay of Fires Lodge Walk is a breathtaking four-day walk along the pristine east coast of Tasmania, featuring accommodation at our award-winning Bay of Fires Lodge.

For all enquiries and bookings please contact Tasmanian Walking Company on (03) 6392 2211 or email bookings@taswalkingco.com.au

Elaine Portrait

Elaine McDonald

I’ve been photographing birds in Tasmania for about 15 years - since buying my first digital camera. Raptors caught my attention initially, but my interest soon widened to include all birds. I also like macro photography - insects, plants and fungi being my favourite macro subjects. I sell my bird photographs and calendar from my weekly stall at Hobart’s Salamanca Market in Hobart.

Bird photography is all about patience, skill and opportunity. There are multiple factors and challenges faced by every bird photographer. You need to be in the right place at the right time with the right equipment on the right settings. You also need good weather and good light - the list goes on.

You should also have an understanding of the ethics of bird photography and concern for the wellbeing of your subject. My advice is to learn everything you can about your subject - learn its call, its behaviour and its habitat. The most important thing though, is to have patience and be prepared to walk away if your subject shows signs of stress. Always show respect for the bird, only go as close as it will allow you and never cross that line. Don’t harass any animal just to get a picture. You need to genuinely love nature to have your work show it. It is my hope that my photography shows how beautiful our birds and the fragile habitats that support them are, and that maybe I can make a difference to someone’s perception of that world.

Elaine McDonald Facebook | Tasmanian Bird Sightings and Photography Facebook

Field Naturalists of Tasmania Facebook | Webpage

Penny Portrait

Penny Geard

I’ve always loved photography. When I left school, I worked full-time as a clinical photographer’s assistant in the University Medical School for a few years. Many years later, in 2006, I bought my first DSLR and I quickly gravitated toward birds as my favourite subject, attracted by the challenges that they present. You need a love of nature to become a bird photographer. I am generally much more interested in capturing aspects of bird behaviour than just looking for aesthetically pleasing images, although I always hope to end up with a bit of both.

Capturing great moments results from a combination of subject knowledge, fieldcraft, technology - and a lot of luck. As a bird photographer, I believe the greatest asset you have is the knowledge of your subject. This means you should know how to identify the species you see, know what species can be found in a certain habitats and how to get close to them, without causing them alarm. You should also know your subjects’ habits, behaviour and calls and have your camera settings ready ahead of time so you can react instantly. It comes down to putting in the time and effort needed to learn about your subject along with the technical and artistic aspects of the work - all of which are equally important.

Bird photography isn’t easy. Birds fly away and it takes many images to find a gem. I take thousands of bad photographs but only show the good ones.

Webpage

Bay of Fires Lodge 'Bird Photography' Walk (4-days)

While bird watching and bird photography will be the focus of our walks, be prepared to learn the rules, ethics, and etiquette that will help you to develop birding fieldcraft skills. Fieldcraft is a knowledge of bird behaviour and habitats, combined with technical knowledge of your equipment and an attitude of respect for birds, nature and each other. For more information:

https://www.birdlife.org.au/images/uploads/education_sheets/INFO-Ethical-Birding.pdf

Advised Packing List:

Camera and/or binoculars

Extra charged batteries and memory cards

-we have very limited capacity to charge batteries at our solar-powered lodge

Lens cleaner and cloth 

Field guide (optional)

Notebook and pen        

Monopod (optional)

Gear List: please note, the gear above must be carried by the walker in addition to the gear on our Signature Walk Gear List.

 

The Bay of Fires Long Weekend

Day 1: Launceston to Mt William National Park

Approximately four hours walking

It’s time to get your walking boots sandy. Our beach stroll this morning begins at Boulder Point in Mt William National Park. In clear conditions, the Bass Strait islands of Flinders and Cape Barren are visible to the north.

We’ll nestle into a protected beach along the coastline for lunch, enjoying the company of native birds, rare shells and marine artefacts. From day one your guides will begin unravelling the Bay of Fires tales; its early inhabitants, visiting explorers and how it came to bear its fiery name.

After about four hours walking, we’ll arrive at the Forester Beach Camp, tucked away in secluded dunes. These semi-permanent tents are our home for the night. While your guides prepare delicious Tasmanian fare, you can develop your craft with Elaine and Penny or relax on the deck with a local wine, take a dip or explore the dune swale location.

Aerial_Lodge_Abbottsbury_Peninsula

Day 2: Exploring the Bay of Fires Coastline

Approximately seven hours walking

Following a relaxed breakfast at the camp we walk south, absorbing the coastline’s bold colours and solitude. Along the ridgelines of sand dunes, views extend across heathlands and out to the ocean. We’ll visit marsupial lawns, often encountering quiet native animals and the tracks they leave at nightfall.

Our lunch spot today is a beach sheltered behind the dunes near Eddystone Point Lighthouse. We’ll have time to explore the lighthouse and its long-standing story before we trek far-stretching beaches that lead to the celebrated Bay of Fires Lodge.

Come evening, venture into the library, cast a line off the beach or have your hosts deliver a cold drop while you dip toes into a foot spa on the back deck. Dinner is a Tasmanian long-table affair, featuring produce from the island matched with fine local beer and wine.

Aerial_Lodge_Abbottsbury_Peninsula

Day 3: Bay of Fires Lodge to Policeman's Point

Approximately six hours walking and birding

Today is a mix of time spent enjoying the lodge and fieldcraft sessions with Elaine and Penny.

Rise early to the native birds accompanying the dawn and enjoy a hot-cooked breakfast and freshly brewed coffee. If it's a sunny morning, breakfast on the deck can reward you with whale spotting and dolphins surfing the waves.

Our plan today is to leave the lodge after breakfast and walk some of the local trails and onto the Bay of Fires Beach. Elaine and Penny will take people birding along the beach, down to the sand spit opposite Policemans Point just south of the lodge. Bird records for the area and the sand spit usually show a good variety of resting sea birds and shorebirds.

The return walk up the beach and back to the lodge takes guests through heathland, where we can find bush birds later in the day as they become more active.

Yellow Wattlebird

Day 4: Return to Launceston rejuvenated

Approximately one hour walking and birding

Following a leisurely breakfast at the lodge, and after we pack up, there’s time for a morning swim, a final spa treatment and birding and photography close to the lodge before we depart.

On our final day, we venture through eucalypt forests and coastal heathland. We’ll enjoy a forest lunch to the sound of native birds, including the endemic green rosella.

Upon our return to Entally Lodge, there will be time to raise a glass to the four wonderful days spent together.

Itinerary Details

Bay of Fires 'Bird Photography' Walk

with Elaine McDonald and Penny Geard (4-days)

March 25-26, 2022 | $3,345 per person including GST

October 15-18, 2022 | Price $3,045 per person including GST

  • Available by request for private groups  
  • Each trip requires a minimum of 8 guests (Twin Share). The maximum is 8.
  • Minimum numbers must be confirmed 4 months prior to departure.

Bookings

Special Interest Walks - Terms and Conditions 

These are in addition to our standard booking terms and conditions.

  • All prices are quoted per person in $AUD including GST
  • A deposit of $500 per person and the Guest Information Form are due within five days of booking
  • The final payment is due 90 days before departure. For reservations made three months or less from the departure date, full payment is due at the time of booking.
  • Cancellations
    • more than 90 days from the scheduled departure date, a fee of $350 per person will be charged with the balance payment refunded;
    • between 90 and 60 days prior to departure, you will be charged 50% of the full trip cost with the balance refunded; or
    • within 60 days of departure, no refund is available. Bookings are transferable.
  • Travel and pre and post-trip accommodation expenses are not included.
  • This walk cannot be booked in conjunction with any other offers and discounts.

COVID-19 Peace of Mind Booking Assurance

After the minimum number of bookings has been achieved, the trip is guaranteed to depart.  If for any reason, the trip cannot go ahead due to restrictions placed upon travel due to Covid-19,  guests will be permitted to reschedule their walk to the new date provided for the departure or receive a full refund with no additional fee or rebook a different Walk within 24 months. Cancellations by guests for other reasons will incur our standard cancellation fees.

https://www.taswalkingco.com.au/peace-of-mind/

Inclusions

  • Return transfers between Launceston and the walk base
  • 1 night at Forester Beach Camp and 2 nights at Bay of Fires Lodge twin share (Signature Walk)
  • All meals and non-alcoholic beverages, plus a limited selection of Tasmanian wines
  • National Park pass
  • Use of a backpack and Gore-tex jacket for the duration of the walk
  • Two qualified guides for the duration of the walk.
  • Special Birding guides Elaine McDonald and Penny Geard

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