Fieldtrip information

Field Trips at ESA20

Greater Glider & Nocturnal Mammals Night Tour

Join Team Quoll for a night of spotting Greater Gliders and other nocturnal mammals at Seven MB National Park. Team Quoll is a group of citizen scientists and researchers from the University of Wollongong on a daring quest to find and conserve the Spotted-tailed Quoll in the Illawarra and Southern Highlands. The spotted-tailed quoll is threatened with extinction and it’s up to us to do whatever we can, no matter how big or small our actions are, we can make a difference for these animals. Whether it be supporting feral fox and cat control, helping establish habitat corridors, monitoring populations of quolls and their prey, or slowing down at night when driving.

Tours are available on Sunday 29 November, Tuesday 1 December. Numbers are limited. 

Depart Novotel: 6:30pm. Returning to the Novotel around midnight.

Participation fee: $30 inc GST per person – part of the fee will be donated to Team Quoll research.

What to bring: Sturdy walking shoes, warm clothing including a warm jacket and long pants. It will be dark and footing may be uneven. If you have a headlamp or torch, bring it with you.

Birdwatching at Puckeys Estate Reserve

Puckey’s Estate Reserve is a coastal nature reserve in Wollongong. It is mainly she-oak forest, but also has sand dune and wetland areas, including areas along Para Creek. The reserve is locally famous for its bird-watching opportunities, having over 120 species recorded.

This walking tour will depart Novotel at 5:30am. (Puckey’s Estate Reserve is approximately 500m from the hotel). Return at 7am. Trips are available on  Monday 30 November and Thursday 3 December. Numbers are limited. 

Participation fee: $10 inc GST per person

What to bring: Sturdy walking shoes, a warm jacket and if you have a small set of  binoculars. You may also wish to bring a light morning snack and water.

Albatross and Sea Bird watching Pelagic boat trip

Travelling with The Southern Oceans Seabird Study Association (SOSSA), this field trip will depart from Kiama for a full day sea bird watching. The ocean is an extremely unpredictable environment which can yield albatrosses and killer whales one day and a vast expanse of lifeless water the next. The SOSSA team will always work hard to find the right spots based on the conditions of the day but we can never guarantee anything. Safe to say though if you’re new to pelagic birding or Australia we’ll find something of interest. CLICK HERE for full details of possible species.

Date: Friday 4 December

Depart Novotel: 6am

Return Novotel: approx 5pm

Participation fee: $250 inc GST per person.

Inclusions: Return coach transfers from Novotel to Kiama, guided boat trip, lunch.

What to bring:  A day at sea can be long and exhausting experience so prepare yourself accordingly.  Warm clothing, spray jacket, hat, sunscreen, sunglasses (polarized work best), notebook, binoculars, camera, field guides. Pelagic birding can be very tough. Looking at birds through binoculars on a wobbly ocean often leads to time spent hanging over the side of the boat. Maybe consider taking seasickness pills (Avomine, Kwells, TravelCalm) at least half an hour before departure. water to drink.

Post-fire Recovery and Research Field Trip

This field trip will take participants to the fire affected areas of the South Coast, highlighting the extent of the 2019/20 bushfires, but also the resilience and recovery of the natural landscape. The trip will involve talks and discussion with leading fire experts from the Centre for Environmental Risk Management of Bushfires and Traditional Custodians from the area in a casual setting while exploring the post-fire landscape. Attendees will learn of the traits of plants and animals which allow them to survive fire and will hear about some of the research being done at University of Wollongong in the area. The trip will also include discussion with Traditional Custodians from the area, who will talk about their connection to the land and the cultural burning they perform.

Date: Friday 4 December 2020

Depart Novotel: 8am

Return Novotel: approx 5pm

Participation fee: $120 inc GST per person

Inclusions: Coach transfers and lunch

What to bring: Sturdy enclosed shoes, sun protection, water to drink and snacks.

Southern Highlands Koala Sanctuary

Visit the  Southern Highlands Koala Sanctuary which was founded by Thelma Johnson to protect flora and fauna in the critical Southern Highlands section of the Great Eastern Ranges Wildlife Corridor. The koala sanctuary is located on 1414 acres of privately owned conservation land close to the towns of Berrima and Bowral. The conservation area is a Land for Wildlife property and is gazetted as a Wildlife Refuge by National Parks. This sanctuary works with government, business and the community to promote both scientific research and environmental education. Southern Highlands Koala Sanctuary is a host site for the study Koala Key Habitats and Corridors in Wingecarribee Shire being undertaken by the Office of Environment and Heritage and Wingecarribee Shire Council.

this fieldtrip will be held at night.

Date: Wednesday 2 December 2020

Depart Novotel: 6pm

Return: approx midnight

Participation fee: $75 inc GST per person

Inclusions: Coach transfers

What to bring: Sturdy enclosed shoes, warm clothing, water to drink.

PlantBank, Mount Annan

PlantBank is the award-winning home of plant conservation research, germplasm collection and storage in NSW, located at the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan. Our seed and tissue culture collections provide an insurance policy against extinction of native plants in the wild. This behind the scenes field trip with limited spaces.

Date: Friday 4 December 2020

Depart Novotel: 8am

Return: approx 5pm

Participation fee: $75 inc GST per person

Inclusions: Coach transfers and lunch.

What to bring: Sturdy enclosed shoes, sun protection, water to drink.

Behind the Scenes at Sydney Olympic Park – 25 years into a 100+ year ecological restoration project

The 2000 Olympic Games triggered a comprehensive and multidisciplinary effort to conserve and restore the ecological systems of Sydney Olympic Park, creating an enduring legacy of urban ecosystems rich in native flora and fauna. Today the Park is 25-years into a 100-year plus restoration project that began with the clean-up of over200 hectares of contaminated land and hand-planting of over 8 million individual native plants on newly-formed landscapes. Subsequent works have targeted improvements to individual systems and target species, addressing historical damage and fostering long-term resilience. Today the Park is well-known as an urban biodiversity hotspot – supporting endangered ecological communities and a high abundance and diversity of native plants and animals that are now uncommon in the Sydney region.

Park managers will take delegates for a behind-the scenes look at how adaptive management informed by ecological principles and ongoing monitoring and research is being applied to conservation of the Park’s eucalypt forest, estuarine wetlands, constructed freshwater wetlands and manufactured terrestrial landscapes, and will share strategies used to reach out to the growing human population at the Park’s doorstep. A highlight of the trip will be a ride on the restored heritage railway, which once conveyed naval armaments around the site and now takes Park visitors on guided tours through endangered forest and protected wetlands.

Date: Friday 4 December 2020

Depart Novotel: 8:00am

Return: approx 5:00pm

Participation fee: $120 inc GST per person

Inclusions: Return coach transfers, lunch at the park

What to bring: water and snacks, enclosed walking shoes, sun protection and hat.

Birding and Botanicals at Budderoo National Park

Enjoy an early morning at Budderoo National Park rain forest spotting birds like the shy lyrebird and search the foliage for wildflowers and botanical rain forest rarities. Budderoo National Park is renowned for it gorgeous waterfalls and lookouts and the Minnamurra spectacular boardwalk. This field trip will split into two groups: one focused on Spotting birds and the other delighting in the rare botany of the rain forest. numbers are limited.


Date: Friday 4 December 2020

Depart Novotel: 5:00am

Return: approximately 1:00pm

Participation fee: $55 inc GST per person

Inclusions: Return coach transfers, light breakfast and morning tea.

What to bring: water and snacks, warm clothes, enclosed walking shoes, small set of  binoculars, sun protection and hat.