Field Trips

Register via the online registration site.


Pre-Conference, overnight trip: Northern Sandplains – registrations now closed for this trip

Dates: 26 – 27 November

Cost: $165


Details: This field trip will be to areas of heathland vegetation in the Jurien- Eneabba area north of Perth. Kwongan vegetation is widespread to the north and east of Perth on nutrient poor soils. To a certain extent it is an extension of the understorey of eucalpyt forest that loses tree cover as the climate become more arid. The community is very species rich with a high proportion of woody plants as the main structural component.

The field trip will encompass a visit to the Pinnacles (“desert”) National Park, the thrombolites at lake Thetis, Drovers Cave National Park and the centre of plant species richness at Mt Lesueur National Park. The Jurien area provides a good opportunity to examine the changes in plant species across a physiographically varied landscape that has developed episodically over about 2 million years.

Depart Rydges Esplanade Fremantle at 8:30am on 26 November.

Return by 4 or 5pm on 27 November, at Rydges Esplanade Fremantle

Inclusions: overnight accommodation (twin share), 2 x lunches, and all park entry fees.

Dinner on 26 November, and breakfasts are at own expense.


Post-Conference, 3 day trip: South-western forests and low-elevation mountains

Dates: 2 – 4 December 2016

Cost: $425 per person, includes most meals, and 2 nights accommodation (twin share)

Tour leader: Grant Wardell-Johnson


Click here to download full information about the field trip

This three day tour of the higher rainfall zone of the south-west will take place at peak flowering time for
the region and offer guests an ecological extravaganza! The tour will include a visit to the Stirling Ranges and the Porongurups, as well as other granite outcrops and a range of other ecologically important landforms and habitats in the region.
 Getting up close and personal with iconic, south-west, endemic plants, such as the Albany pitcher plant, all three species of giant tingle trees and the pineapple bush will be a common theme and highlight.
There will undoubtedly be the opportunity to see many south-western endemic birds, e.g. white-breasted robin, red-winged fairy wren, Gilbert’s honeyeater to name a few. Other opportunities will include encounters with ancient organisms such as thrombolites and to see some of the impacts and responses from one of the largest, recent fires experienced in the south-west: the 98 000 ha Northcliffe fire from January 2015.
Day 1 Perth to Albany (480 km). 8am departure

Day 2 Albany to Augusta (410 km)

Day 3 Augusta to Perth (400 km)



The two nights will be spent in the coastal communities of Albany and Augusta.
This will give our guests the chance to spot whales and dolphins, visit the State’s most south-westerly point (Cape Leeuwin) and taste some of the special wine of the region. .We will be starting at 7.30 am sharp on Friday morning, and returning latish (after 6 pm but before 9 pm) on Sunday night.

Post-Conference: Karakamia Sanctuary: mammal conservation and encounters!

Date: 2 December 2016

Participation fee: $70 per person (students / retirees $65)

Coordinator: Dylan Korczynskyj

Numbers are limited, book via the registration site.

This evening tour takes guests to Karakamia: the Australian Wildlife Conservancy’s (AWC) first sanctuary which sits on the doorstep of the Perth metropolitan area. Situated in the northern jarrah forest the 275 ha property is enclosed by a feral-proof fence. Karakamia
The absence of foxes and cats has allowed for the establishment of populations of threatened mammal species including woylie, tammar wallaby, western ringtail possum and quenda.

As well as mammals, the sanctuary is home to close to 192 species of birds, reptiles and frogs, and 249 species of plant across five ecosystem types.

Following an introduction by AWC’s South West Regional Ecologist and a chance for Q&A, guests will head out on a guided walking tour to learn more about the sanctuary’s diversity and finish with spotlighting for those rare mammals.

Karakamia - Scotia 2012
The tour includes a BBQ dinner in a picturesque location surrounded by the sounds of the bush and a relaxing cuppa before the trip ‘home’.

Approx schedule:
3pm – Depart Rydges Esplanade Hotel, and travel by coach to Karakamia (approx 90 minutes), for a BBQ dinner, followed by a talk by ecologist Dr Michael Smith.

6:30pm – 2 hour walking tour.

8:30pm – tea and coffee, before returning by coach to Fremantle.

10:40pm – Field trip concludes at Rydges Esplanade Fremantle.


Image credit: Australian Wildlife Conservancy

Post-Conference: Kings Park and Botanic Garden field tour: the management, restoration and conservation ecology of urban woodland

Date: 2 December 2016, 0800-1500

Cost: $35

Coordinator: Todd Erickson

Details: The Kings Park bushland is located less than 1km from the Perth CBD and is the epicentre of Perth’s urban woodland conservation reserve system. Known to have over 320 native plant species, 70 bird species, 20 reptile species, and many hundreds of invertebrates, the park’s conservation programs are critical to ensure the unique biodiversity of this system is protected and enhanced for future generations. In unison with the conservation programs, Kings Park’s high profile ecological restoration initiatives have evolved over decades, assisting the recovering of degraded habitats within the park’s plant and animal communities.

The field tour will begin at the Kings Park Biodiversity Conservation Centre (BCC) to view the research science lab, nursery, glasshouse and conservation seedbank facilities. A guided walk will then allow guests to experience key features of Kings Park’s conservation and restoration programs, including: the award winning Rio Tinto Naturescape (“Connecting children with nature”),  Mt Eliza Escarpment Restoration Program, state-of-the-art research and monitoring of tree ecophysiology designed to tackle the decline in urban tree health, rare species management, and integrated fire and weed management research trials. Lunch will be provided and sufficient time will be available to take in the beautiful surrounds of the gardens as we wander between each tour location.

Inclusions: Return transfers between Rydges Esplanade Hotel and Kings Park, plus lunch at Kings Park.

We would like to thank Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority for their generous support of this Field Trip


Nature and ecology photography workshop

Date: 2 December 2016, 0800-1500

Cost: $35

Co-ordinators: Alan Kwok and Aaron Greenville. email: email hidden; JavaScript is required

Location: Kings Park and Botanic Garden

Photography has become an integral part of many aspects of ecology, from its use in documenting observations, through to its use as a technique for valid data collection. Additionally, photography can be complementary to the science of ecology, forming a potentially high-impact and visual form by which to convey ecological phenomena to a broader audience. The aim of this workshop is to give ecologists an understanding of the fundamental principles of photography that will help them take the photographs they visualise. We will also cover some more advanced photography techniques that will hopefully inspire participants to be more creative with their photography. The workshop will also be fluid, catering to the skill levels and interests of the participants, and will include theoretical and practical components. Both theoretical and practical components will be held at Kings Park and Botanic Garden. A substantial portion of the course will be outside in the Park, where theoretical principles can be demonstrated and participants can engage in active learning.

Please note: Participants are requested to bring a camera, though it is not compulsory. Ideally, a camera with control over aperture and shutter speed is preferred, but not essential.

Topics covered include:

The workshop will be run by ESA members, Drs Alan Kwok and Aaron Greenville who are also photographers, whose skillsets cover a range of subjects including macrophotography, astrophotography, landscape, and general nature and wildlife photography.

Inclusions: Transport from Rydges Esplanade Hotel to Kings Park (and return if required)

We would like to thank Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority for their generous support of this Field Trip


Post-Conference: Rottnest Island Tour

Quokka (Setonix brachyurus). Photo by: Ysbrand Brouwers

Quokka (Setonix brachyurus)      Photo by: Ysbrand Brouwers

Date: 2 December 2016, 0645-1700

Cost (including bike hire): $99
Cost (bring your own bike): $94
Cost (no bike): $79

Snorkel gear hire (optional): $20
Lunch: self-catered
Bring your own: Swimming/snorkel gear

Coordinator: Niels Brouwers, Mobile: 0457024890, Email: email hidden; JavaScript is required

After a week of soaking up the amazing science at the conference, it will be time to go out and about and burn a few calories while taking in the beauty of Rottnest Island. On this active tour by bike, you will circumnavigate the island along the 25 km of stunning coastline and interior. There is no better way to explore the islands’ riches, both in terrestrial flora and fauna and marine habitats. Not only will you be able to stop at the many exciting scenic locations, it will also enable you to get up close and personal with the fauna on the island, such as the world famous Quokka. There will equally be plenty of opportunity to explore the mesmerising marine life in one of the many scenic bays.

This active day tour will show you the hotspots around the Island, and will include a 1-hour walk along the Wadjemup Walk Trail with one of the Islands’ rangers. You can leave you bike and take the bus back at any point you like, or once on the island you can completely go your own way. It’s entirely up to you! You do need to be reasonably fit to go on the 25km around the island bike tour, and please do bring your own snorkelling gear with you.
0645 -meet dockside at Fremantle B Shed (for 0715 departure)
1625 – depart Rottnest (arrive: 17.00 Fremantle B Shed)

Details required for ferry booking:

Title, First name, Surname
Mobile Phone number
Email address
Bike size: unisex (adult) or child size