The Wildiaries Experience


Wildlife film-making & Photography Tour

From $4600.00 * AUD

These are all SMALL GROUP tours

Spend Time with World-Famous Wildlife Film-makerS and PhotographerS

2017 DATES TO BE CONFIRMED - WE ARE CURRENTLY GATHERING EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST. PLEASE ASK FOR DETAILS.

The video below is one of the films created on last year's workshop. You don't need to be a professional or a diver ... the location is a smorgasbord of wildlife viewing opportunities from land to sea.

THIS PRODUCT IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE. 

In association with the Sea Turtle Foundation, Wildiaries brings you the exclusive chance to hang out with award-winning wildlife cameramen.  

Join Nick Hayward (BBC Life of Birds), National Geographic Channel's Face of Pure Photography Jason Edwards, Sea Turtle Foundation's Tim Harvey and Wildiaries founder Simon Mustoe. 

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Availability (Months)

J F M A M J J A S O N D
                       

ABOUT THE TOUR

Whether you’re an amateur or professional photographer, everyone has the ability to tell a story in images or film. On this tour, you’ll learn techniques for story-telling using your digital SLR equipment.  

You'll learn about the life of sea turtles and, under the careful guidance of our experts, get a unique insiders opportunity to take photographs and video of them. Our experts will be on hand to accompany you on your journey. 

Learn from the Experts

You'll learn about the life of sea turtles and, under the careful guidance of our experts, get a unique insiders opportunity to take photographs and video of them. Our experts will be on hand to accompany you on your journey.  

On this tour, you’ll have the chance to hang out with the best. Between them, Nick and Jason have nearly 50 years experience in film-making and photography, having worked for the likes of National Geographic and the BBC Natural History Unit. As their Face of Pure Photography, Jason is regularly featured on TV all over the world. Nick’s footage of Lyrebirds was voted the UK public’s top Attenborough moment in honour of David Attenborough’s 80th birthday.  

You’ll have the chance to learn directly from the masters, including shadowing the Wildiaries natural history film crew as they make an actual short film with Jason. You’ll get the chance to hang out with the team, pick up tips and get exclusive behind-the-scenes opportunities to film turtles and experience this extraordinary island.    

A Beautiful Location for Filming

For the most part we will be in the field. On Heron Island, you’re never more than a few minutes from breath-taking underwater scenery and the best thing of all is, you don’t even need to be a diver. There will be free time when you can head off and film on your own, and we will structure things to do that you can join in with during the day. In the evenings, we’ll head to the bar and relax, to discuss what we’ve learnt and plan the next exciting adventure. 

Tim Harvey, director of the Sea Turtle Foundation, who will join us on this tour says that Heron Island is arguably the best place in the world to see nesting sea turtles. It is also covered in nesting seabirds and its coral reef has been described by Jacques Cousteau as one of his 'top 10' coral reefs. It is a beautiful and extraordinary place to spend time with wildlife and the perfect location for a wildlife film-making tour. 

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About Your Guides

Jason Edwards

Australian Jason Edwards’ National Geographic image portfolio ranks among the largest of any photographer in the Society’s long history. His work has appeared in publications including BBC Wildlife magazine, Australian Geographic, Sports Illustrated, National Geographic magazine, the New Yorker, and Condé Nast Traveler. He is a regular recipient of awards “for his extreme efforts and absolute commitment to obtaining rare and amazing photographs.” More recently, he has been awarded the honour of becoming National Geographic’s Face of Pure Photography, giving television viewers in over 100 countries insights into the life of a wildlife photographer.

Nick Hayward

Nick is one of Australia’s top international cinematographers and an award-winning wildlife film cameraman and producer. Famously, Nick’s lyrebird sequence with BBC & Attenborough was voted by UK audiences as their “most favourite Attenborough moment of all time”. A lifetime wildlife enthusiast, Nick says, “I’ve always loved to contribute to conservation so I feel this is an interesting way to do it.”

Tim Harvey

Until recently Tim Harvey managed the research station on Heron Island, his home for over three years. These days he is devoted to the Sea Turtle Foundation. He describes how his obsession with turtles started as “love at first sight”.  A consummate communicator and passionate naturalist, Tim Harvey’s enthusiasm is infectious. Under Tim’s guidance, people get to really understand nature, its value to them and the extraordinary impact wildlife has on our culture and society. 

Simon Mustoe

Several years ago Simon Mustoe created Wildiaries with the sole purpose of “connecting people to nature”. Simon has spent a lifetime traveling and observing nature, running expeditions and working as a wildlife expert for large companies. Simon says “the emotional bond to home is a feeling we can all understand. When we travel we seek the company of those who care most about the place they live, nature’s power to inspire comes through strongly”. 

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Itinerary

This tour is limited to a maximum of twenty people, which will allow us to break up into groups of as little as 6-7 people, with one expert for each group. 

It’s important that you also have plenty of free time to explore. So we’ve planned the days to give you ample opportunity to explore the island alone, spend time with us or get together and create your own activities.  

Though we have structured each day roughly the same, we also like to keep some options open to adapt to conditions. The weather should largely be settled but there is always the risk of storms that might inhibit some activities from time to time.

Each evening we have the opportunity to observe, photograph and film turtles nesting. To ensure everyone gets a chance to get their own footage and photos, we’ll divide into two groups each night and spend half the time on the beach and the rest of the time in the bar, or maybe you’d prefer to get an early night!

You’ll learn that wildlife film-making is done to the animals’ schedules, so we have maximised the time spent near dawn and dusk, when wildlife is most active and light conditions are best. That said, light penetration onto the reef can be good for much of the day. Nevertheless, we’ve scheduled workshop elements more for the middle periods as this is our more usual ‘down time’.

Each morning and afternoon you have the choice to tag along as we travel around the island filming, you can enjoy the resort’s facilities or take a power nap. There will be plenty of opportunity to make the most of the valuable time available. 

Sunrise and sunset times are as follows: sunrise 05:00, sunset 18:30. 

Note, the itinerary provided below is for guidance only. The organisers reserve the right to alter the itinerary at any time. 

 

DAY 1

2.00pm – 5.00pm Congregate at the vessel terminal to meet the team and vessel transfer to Heron Island

Lunch (own expense, on board the vessel).

5:30pm Check in at the resort.

6:30pm - 7:30pm Meet in the bar for a welcome from the team and a quick run down of the weekend’s activities. Split into four groups and spend an hour planning some story lines (in lieu of some immediate shooting opportunities) - introduction to wildlife film-making and overview of group activities for tomorrow.  

8.00pm - 9.30pm  Observing turtles nesting (groups A & B) others meet at the bar.

9.30pm - 11.00pm  Observing turtles nesting (groups C & D) others meet at the bar.

 

DAY 2-5

5.30am - 7:30am

ACTIVITIES From first light we have two hours of morning activities and time to do one or more of these options:

  • A walk around the island, giving everyone the chance to shoot in good light while many of the seabirds are active feeding chicks. There are usually turtles still nesting at this time, or making their way back out to sea. 
  • A snorkel beneath the wharf among shoals of fish, docile Lemon Sharks, stingrays and guitarfish.   

7.30am - 8:30am

BREAKFAST with the team and chance to chat about what we’ve seen and learnt.

8.30am - 12:30pm

FREE TIME to explore the island and do some filming. Optional snorkelling trip to the outer reef departs at 11am. 

1.00pm - 1.45pm

LUNCH with the team and chance to chat about what we’ve seen and learnt. Show off some footage and ask questions. 

1.45pm - 2.45pm

WORKSHOP to go through the story lines, Q & A, address any technical issues and consider progress on the stories and what more we need to do.

2.45pm - 4.30pm

FREE TIME to explore, rest and recuperate or film wildlife. Optional snorkelling trip to the outer reef departs at 3pm. 

4.30pm - 7:00pm

Wildiaries filming with Jason Edwards. Come along and watch as we construct sequences for a short film.

7.00pm - 8.00pm Dinner at the Shearwater Restaurant.

8.00pm - 9.30pm  Observing turtles nesting (groups A & B*) others meet at the bar.

9.30pm - 11.00pm  Observing turtles nesting (groups C & D*) others meet at the bar.

 

*We split these into two groups, so everyone gets a chance each evening but numbers are kept reasonably low.

 

DAY 6

5.30am - 7:30am

ACTIVITIES From first light we have two hours of morning activities and time to do one or more of these options:

  • A walk around the island, giving everyone the chance to shoot in good light while many of the seabirds are active feeding chicks. There are usually turtles still nesting at this time, or making their way back out to sea. 
  • A snorkel beneath the wharf among shoals of fish, docile Lemon Sharks, stingrays and guitarfish.    

10.00am Vessel departs to Gladstone (arrives Gladstone 1pm).

 

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What to Bring

  • Any level of experience – it doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or a more experienced photographer. 
  • Your camera – we recommend a Digital SLR / SLR with capacity to shoot video, though compacts would also suffice.
  • A sturdy tripod.
  • A wide-angle lens.
  • A telephoto / zoom lens minimum 200mm.
  • A backpack style camera bag.
  • A USB drive for transferring images.
  • At least 2 x 16GB high speed cards (high speed cards are suitable for video). 
  • A personal laptop - MAC or PC, with at least basic video editing software.
  • Sun screen (available to buy at the shop on site).
  • Good hat, shorts, swimmers, sunglasses.
  • Snorkelling gear can be hired but you may want to bring your own. 
  • Closed walking shoes for the day tours.
  • Reef shoes or booties are a good idea.

 

 

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Details

Includes

  • Guides, land-based activities and snorkelling around Heron Island.
  • Structured tutorage in wildlife filming and photography. 
  • Four nights twin share in a Turtle Room (or Turtle family room for groups of 2 or more)*
  • Bus / vessel transfers from Gladstone Airport to Heron Island.

Price

From $4600.00 * AUD

Per person, twin share. 

Deposit terms: 10% now, 50% 3 months before departure, full payment 30 days before departure. 

EXCLUDES:

  • Meals and drinks (these can't be packaged with the price, sorry. Budget about $75 per day). 
  • Dive and snorkel trips. If you would like to dive or snorkel, let us know. If we end up with enough interest we may be able to organise a group charter. Note, you must hold a current open water dive ticket (PADI or otherwise). Snorkelling starts at about $55 per person and diving about $75 per person.
  • Dive and snorkel gear hire.   
  • Flights to and from Gladstone, alcoholic drinks, items of a personal nature, anything not listed in inclusions. 

Note, minimum numbers apply.  

Our licensed travel agent can arrange all travel to and from tour locations. We can also arrange fully-guided options as well as tailoring packages for families and groups travelling together.

Terms and Conditions Apply