Nothing says Australia quite like our outback. Venture with Australia Zoo to the vast heartland of Queensland, where you will be immersed in a place of exquisite beauty and wilderness. You will spend seven days exploring the Brigalow Belt, a bronzed tapestry of landscapes rich with wildlife.
Mourachan, Australia Zoo’s conservation property nestled in the Brigalow Belt, was first purchased by Steve and Terri Irwin over two decades ago. Steve had a hunch that this sunburnt countryside was home to a plethora of rare and unique wildlife. And he wasn’t wrong! The now 118,000-acre property is a stronghold for endangered snakes, colourful parrots, kangaroos, emus and other iconic native wildlife.
Right from the moment the property was purchased, Steve and Terri began to restore the landscape after years of broad scale clearing and create a safe haven for wildlife. It was the start of a dream, which is continued today by the Irwin family and Australia Zoo.
Join Australia Zoo staff, rangers and researchers for a quintessential outback adventure! For a week, you too will get to call Mourachan home. You’ll get the opportunity to explore the property, go on hikes and river cruises, photograph wildlife and help conserve the property’s wildlife as honorary researchers!
The property’s original Stockmen's Quarters will be the base for this expedition. You can choose between staying in a shared air-conditioned room or a comfortable OzTent RV-5. After your daily adventures, you can sit back around the camp-fire and under the stars, enjoying delicious, home-cooked meals. Our Australian outback expedition will be an unforgettable experience from the moment you arrive to the second you leave!
Departing from Australia Zoo, you will be driven through the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, further and further into the outback until arriving at Mourachan, Australia Zoo’s conservation property. There will be plenty to see along the way! As the dirt gets redder, the more chance we have of seeing some of Australia’s distinctive wildlife. Apostle birds, galahs and red kangaroos are all a great sign you’re on your way to Australia’s famed outback. After making yourselves at home, you’ll be given a presentation about the property from our wonderful rangers before eating dinner under the stars.
Your outback adventure begins! After enjoying breakfast alongside our resident emus, we’ll head out on a tour of the property with our knowledgeable rangers. Learn about the property’s history and see how many different animals you can spot! Once back at Stockmen’s Quarters, gather around the fire for a damper demonstration, where you can taste an Aussie classic with a cup of tea, or try making one yourself! After dinner you’ll enjoy a spotlight around camp in hopes of seeing some beautiful wildlife before calling it a night, enjoying the serenity of the outback as you fall asleep.
Wake up to the sweet melody of the Apostle birds and the distant drumming of the emus. Following a delicious breakfast by the homestead dam, you’ll team up with University of the Sunshine Coast researchers and uncover the secret world of songbirds! Before the sun dips below the horizon, let’s set out some camera traps and discover what other elusive animals Mourachan has to offer.
The best time for birdlife is sunrise, so today will be an early start with the research team. Head out to several mist net sites and join the scientists banding songbirds for their long-term research project.
Following a morning of science, we will head back to Stockmen’s and get you up close and personal with some iconic Australian wildlife. There has never been a better chance to get out your camera and try out some wildlife photography! Our Australia Zoo staff will even show you some tricks of the trade.
In the afternoon, we will head out to the newest part of the Zoo’s greater conservation area, Yoorooga, a 34,000-acre property adjacent to Mourachan, purchased to increase the area of protected habitat. At this stage, Yoorooga is still home to a small number of cattle. During our visit, we’ll meet Yoorooga’s ranger and watch some cattle mustering. After dinner, you can join forces with the research team and head out to find some nocturnal species. With an acoustic recorder in hand, you’ll be using both your eyes and ears to discover what critters go bump in the night!
After breakfast with the emus, we will head into St George where a local cotton farmer will host you on their farm. On the tour you will learn about cotton planting, growing, irrigation, harvesting and marketing. The second part of the tour to Riversands Vineyards will take you through a journey on table and wine grape growing, covering vineyard pruning, shoot thinning, irrigation, nutrition and grape picking. Afterward, you’ll enjoy a full Riversands Vineyards wine tasting and a delicious lunch in the Riversands Garden before making our way back to Mourachan.
What trip to the outback would be complete without a barbeque? After our visit to St George, we’ll enjoy a classic Australian barbeque, followed by marshmallows on the campfire! With the stars on full display, why not try your hand at some astrophotography and light painting with our Australia Zoo photographer. Whilst star gazing, you’ll learn about the wonders of our galaxy!
As the warm sun rises, we will head out once more with the research team to the mist net sites. Our Australia Zoo staff will cook breakfast for you on location! Following an action-packed morning, we will head into the township of St George where you can browse in the shops, visit the local art gallery and grab a bite to eat at the cafè. And to top off the day, we will experience the tranquillity of a sunset river cruise. As we drift down the Balonne River, we will be surrounded by a plethora of bird life and spectacular scenery, as the reflection of the setting sun dances across the river.
We will pack up and begin our journey back to Australia Zoo. We will drive back through the Sunshine Coast hinterland to stop at some spectacular lookouts of the Glasshouse Mountains before we return home. Everyone joining the expedition will receive a gift pack including a pass for entry into the zoo, so be sure to make time for a visit!
- Water bottles x 2
- Toiletries and medications
- Torch / Headlamp
- Enclosed shoes
- Camera / Batteries
The cost of the expedition includes transport to and from the property from Australia Zoo. The cost also covers accommodation, food and transport around the reserve as well as Australia Zoo staff to ensure you get the best experience possible. Any remaining funds will help with wildlife research.