Maximum Wildlife: our top Wildlife Guides

by | Jun 26, 2018 | Guide Diaries

When you do a wildlife tour, your guide is influential. Yes, the wild animals are the reason, but a top Wildlife Guide makes it unforgettable. In Australia, there are a few tourism companies that specialise in birds, native animals and plants. Echidna Walkabout is proud to be one of them.

A great wildlife tour guide will help you connect, fill you with confidence, and show you the subtleties of the animals’ lives. Their knowledge and experience will help anticipate the animals’ movements, giving you time to prepare or move to a better spot. They know when to stay, when to leave and how close to get without disturbing the animals.

The most amazing wildlife experience of my life: how a great guide made me feel safe

I was scared.

The water was clear, and below me, adorable sea lion pups played. Half our group were already in the water with them. I was the only one left on a small boat in an enormous ocean – and sea lions are the favoured prey of Great White Sharks.

My guide sensed my hesitation. He said “Janine, look at me. Get into the water and watch the sea lions. Don’t look around in the water, just look at the sea lions. I’m staying here, and I’ll watch out for you.”

He made me feel safe. I did what he said, and I had the most amazing wildlife experience of my life.

This happened many years ago, and I’ve never let fear hold me back again.

Martin Maderthaner

Top Wildlife Guide Martin’s eyes are superb. If you need to find a Peregrine Falcon – he’ll spot it half a mile away; or a Gippsland Water Dragon perfectly camouflaged on a branch – he won’t miss it. His powers of observation were forged in the bush of Kruger and the plains of the Serengeti, Africa, where his love of mammals, birds and reptiles began.

Best wildlife guides Australia

He keeps up to date with all the latest sightings, and does hours of research before each Maximum Wildlife tour. So when a Beach Stone-curlew – a rarity – appeared in East Gippsland, he was one of the first to check it out. Can you see it in the picture below?

Bird on beach

This is what you’re looking for….

Beach Stone Curlew Marlo East Gippsland

He’s also tracked down Eastern Reef Egrets, Osprey, Square-tailed Kite, Brown Cuckoo-dove, Australasian Figbird and Striated Herons in East Gippsland.

Martin has been a Wildlife Guide for Echidna Walkabout for 10 years and is our most senior guide. He leads East Gippsland, Great Ocean Road, Mungo Outback and most of our birding trips.  He leads trips in Africa every year too – read more here.

Knowledgable friendly wildlife guides


Michael Williams

When Michael is not guiding wildlife tours, he is a professional nature and wildlife photographer and amphibian researcher. His diverse wildlife interests have taken him all over Australia, Asia and Costa Rica – from cataloging Australian frogs in icy mountain streams at night, to photographing the Javan Slow Loris in Indonesia’s sub-tropical rainforests.

experienced Wildlife Guide

Wildlife Guide Michael has dedicated his life to protecting and conserving nature. You can read about his philosophy and see his magnificent image gallery here.

Michael leads East Gippsland, Great Ocean Road and Mungo Outback components of the Maximum Wildlife.

Tour guide Australia

Roger Smith

Wildlife Guide Roger’s love of nature started Echidna Walkabout. As a small boy he lived on an enormous sheep and wheat farm in Victoria’s Mallee, and his idea of playtime was a day spent looking for animal tracks in the Big Desert. He has seen wild Malleefowl, Australian Bustards and more parrots and raptors than he could count.

Wildlife Guide Roger

Later, a passion for native orchids led him to start a conservation organisation, which led to a job lobbying for vast new national parks in East Gippsland. This inspired the formation of Echidna Walkabout, with a mission to show travellers the national parks he helped create.

Mulga Parrot - one of wildlife guide's favourites

Roger leads any and all of our trips, but has a particular love for guiding the Mungo Outback, Northern Territory Top End and East Gippsland sections.

Janine Duffy

Janine is me! I fell in love with a wild koala in 1993 and from that our Wild Koala Research Project was born, and later Koala Clancy Foundation. I have the enormous privilege of having seen more koalas than I can count, but I still fall in love with each one every time.

Watching koalas lead to my fascination with their food – eucalyptus trees – and the other wildlife they share their habitat with. I now have a serious interest in birds, reptiles and mammals and more than a passing interest in butterflies and spiders. My love of plants has never ceased.

wildlife tour guide australia

I guide East Gippsland, Mungo Outback and Top End and the birding trips that Martin hasn’t nabbed.

Wildlife Guide with birds

Only our most experienced, top Wildlife Guides lead Maximum Wildlife trips. If you love wild animals, and want to make the most of your time in Australia, please contact us.




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