FAQ

Please see our most Frequently Asked Questions below. If we’ve missed your question, want more information, or just want to speak to someone from our team, you can email us at [email protected] or call us on (03) 7018 2302

What kind of tours do we offer?

We offer a variety of wildlife watching, photography, and nature tours across Victoria, Australia, and overseas. Some of our most popular trips include birdwatching, mammal-watching, spotlighting, nature hikes, and photography courses. For a full list of our tour options, please visit our Tours Page.

What are you getting when you book with Treeswift Wildlife & Nature?

When you book with Treeswift, you can be sure you’re receiving quality service, comfortable conditions, and expert guidance in the field. Our local tours are conducted in large, comfortable 4WD vehicles, equipped with First Aid supplies, water, and emergency equipment. As well as tea/coffee and delicious snacks (dietary options available), guests will have use of a spotting scope & tripod, binoculars (if specified), spotlights (for nocturnal tours), checklists (in your chosen taxonomy), field guides (birds/mammals/butterflies/etc), access to eBird/iNaturalist checklists from the trip, spare hats, rain jackets, sunscreen, bug spray, and hand sanitiser/masks if required. Guests may also pay an additional fee for the hire of a camera to help capture highlight moments from the trip – this should be organised prior to departure.

We also offer a number of additional services such as on-the-road lunches, highlight local restaurants, and special luxury champagne/picnic dinners under the stars for our nocturnal tours.

Can we customise a tour?

Yes! If you have a tour or target species/location in mind, we can help you arrange it! Whether you want to tweak one of our existing options or have a particularly niche set of preferences, we are more than happy to help you out! Some of our most regular custom requests include specific sets of species (eg. missing species from a life list, or targets from a number of different areas), budget requirements, physical preferences and/or disability needs, group numbers, and lots more. To speak with a Tour Consultant, call us on (03) 7018 2302

How many people are there on a Treeswift Wildlife Tour?

Most of our trips are for single people or groups – for example, 1x individual/couple/family/etc (or a carload). This is different to most tour agents, where you will book a single place on a much larger group tour. Because of this, our tours are limited to the amount of people that you book with, though we typically cap this at 4-8 people depending on the tour/conditions.  Not only that, but smaller groups me you get more specialist attention, often see a lot more, and get a fair superior experience than that of a larger group tour.

For our extended tours and photography courses, we specialise in running small groups and private tours, so that our guides can best serve the client’s needs, whilst offering minimal disturbance to the wildlife and habitats we are visiting.

For specific breakdowns of our tour numbers, please visit our Tours Page, or contact us at [email protected]

Are Treeswift Tours physically demanding? How hardcore are they?

Because most of our trips are for singles or small groups, the trips can be as hardcore (or not!) as you would like. Want to start at 5.00am, then drive 2 hours, hike up a forest, cross a small river, and set up camp without reception? All for that one little endemic bird? No problem! Want to start after breakfast, go for an easy walk along the beach, have an afternoon kip, and then enjoy some forest watching from the car? Also, no problem!

For specific breakdowns of our tour numbers, please visit our Tours Page, or contact us at [email protected]

Are you tours available in other languages?

One of our key ideas at Treeswift Wildlife & Nature is to make wildlife watching more accessible to the global community, and as such, we pride ourselves in making all of our tours available in multiple languages. Currently, we have guides who can offer tours in English, Vietnamese (Tiếng Việt), and Mandarin (中文). Don’t see your language above? Ask us about organising a specialist translator just for your tour!

Would my non-wildlife watching spouse/family enjoy a Treeswift Tour?

Of course! Who doesn’t enjoy getting out in nature?

More seriously, this is a common request – so we have developed optional tours designed to include more culture highlights, travel at a more even pace, and feature a variety of local attractions. A good example of this is our ‘Great Ocean Road’ tour which features all of the local attractions, brilliant accommodation and food, as well as the highlight wildlife in area.

If you have specific questions, or want help designing a custom tour to suit you and your family/partner’s needs, contact us at [email protected]

Does a Treeswift Tour include non-wildlife watching activities such as sightseeing and local attractions?

As above, we have options include local attractions and culture highlights, but end to include these at the client’s request. However, we will always stop to point our significant natural sites, historical landmarks, rare plants/wildlife, and unique sights to help enrich your experience

Accomodation & Transport Summary:

All of our local tours are conducted in a brand new and comfortable 4WD vehicle with a 5-star ANCAP car safety rating – fully equipped with field guides, emergency equipment, first aid, outdoor equipment, tea/coffee/snacks, and everything else you could possible need (or want) when out in the field.

When embarking on extended multi-day tours, accommodation options include (but may be limited due to season/location) – standard motel/hotel rooms, camping/caravan options, and more high-end luxury options, all available to suit the client’s needs and budget.

Clothing & Equipment:

We will send you a recommended list of clothing and/or equipment upon confirmation of tour booking. These recommendations will be trip and season specific – for example, gumboots for frogging in wetlands, waterproof pants for whale-watching boat trips.

Typically however, we recommend the following:

  • Light-weight and neutrally coloured clothing (bright whites/colours can frighten away animals) that will fully protect and covered your arms and legs. Long-sleeved shirts and pants will help protect you against sunburn, plants/long grass, insects, etc
  • Hiking boots, walking shoes (waterproof if possible)
  • Hat (preferably wide brim, cap’s don’t protect your neck in the sun)
  • Jumper/thermals for all nocturnal tours – even in summer it can get very cold at night!

Equipment, like clothing, can depend on the tour – though we typically recommend the following:

  • Binoculars & Spotting Scope
  • Camera (+ spare batteries/memories cards)
  • Backpack with water bottle/snacks
  • Chargers, etc

Additionally, we provide paper checklists, share our eBird/iNaturalist lists, Field Guides, spare binoculars, use of a spotting scope/tripod, torches/spotlights, water bottles, snacks etc.

A juvenile Saltwater Crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) from our Far North Queensland Wildlife Tour

A Grey-headed Flying Fox feeding her pup from our one of mammal watching tours. 

About Treeswift Wildlife & Nature:

Where are we based?

Treeswift Wildlife & Nature has run tours in North America, Australia, Singapore, and Vietnam – though due to the ongoing effects of Covid-19, our team (and majority of our tours) is currently operating in Melbourne, Australia. 

Our team:

The Treeswift Wildlife & Nature organisation is supported by a dedicated team of naturalists, staff and local guides, conservationists, and wildlife lovers from around the globe. We speak several languages, have travelled to over 40 countries, and together, aim to provide world-class nature tours, and create a more ecologically sound world through our efforts in conservation, education, and the promotion of Ethical Wildlife Watching.

Our Safety Practices:

All of our guides have current First Aid and CPR training. First Aid equipment is carried on every tour.

What is our Covid-19 Policy?

Treeswift Wildlife & Nature is committed to the highest safety practices and protection against Covid-19. In this, we follow the Covid-Safe initiatives as currently outlined by the Australian Government. Given the ever-changing landscape of Covid-19, the following information is subject to change, and should be checked by speaking directly to the Treeswift team prior to a trip departure.

What you need to know:

  • The entire team at Treeswift Wildlife & Nature is fully vaccinated against Covid-19
  • All equipment and vehicles are cleaned and disinfected before each tour
  • Guests will:
    • receive an in-depth safety briefing at the commencement of the tour
    • have access to hand sanitiser and gloves throughout the Treeswift tour (for optional use)
    • be required to wear a mask only when inside a vehicle (masks are available, though we recommend you provide your own)
    • be required to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and provide proof of vaccination prior to departure
    • be required to ‘Check In’ where appropriate whilst on tour
    • be required to comply with all Covid-safe requirements whilst on tour
    • be required to take Rapid Antigen Tests within 24hrs before multi-day tour commencements
  • Treeswift Wildlife & Nature may refuse to guide you if you are ill or showing any flu-like symptoms

What taxonomies do we use?

Typically, we follow the IOC World Bird List taxonomy for birds, the Handbook of the Mammals of the World (and www.mammalwatching.com) for mammals, the Reptile Database (by Peter Uetz, Paul Freed, Jiří Hošek) for reptiles, and the AMNH Amphibian Species of the World (ASW).

Most posts, trip reports, and other resources are written with the current classifications available, and as a result, small changes and inconsistencies may be noticed as material is added to the Treeswift website over the coming years.

Conservation Projects:

In the coming months, we will be launching ‘The Treeswift Rewilding & Conservation Foundation”, a charitable organisation dedicated to protecting the rapidly decreasing ecosystems of our planet. The foundation’s initial projects will be based in southern Vietnam and will concentrate on both protecting large areas of land to support critically endangered wildlife and flora, as well as rewilding ecosystems that have been previously harmed by agriculture and human development. For more information, please contact us at [email protected] and stay tuned for updates.

Want to learn more?

Visit our ‘About’ page for further details, or contact us at [email protected]

A group of Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo (Zanda funerea) enjoying lunch on our Great Ocean Road: Mega Animal Tour

Bookings, Quotes/Prices, and Cancellation Policy:

How to book a trip with us?

The easiest way to book with us is by following the prompts on the Tours Page. Otherwise, you can email us at [email protected] or call us on (03) 7018 2302

Are there minimum numbers required for any Treeswift tours?

For all our regular tours (anything less 3 days) there is no minimum number. You may book for just yourself, you and a partner, or a small group (max 4 + guide). For our extended tours (3 days+), we require a minimum number of 3x guests. You can book multiple spots on this tour (friends, partners, etc), or a single space. Once the minimum spots have been filled, the tour will be confirmed.  

What happens if the dates I want aren’t available or listed on your website?

Contact us! We may have more dates available or be able to contract one of our specialist guides for you!

What if I need to change my dates for already booked tour?

We pride ourselves in being flexible and ultimately want to help you get out into the field! If you have booked on one of our Regular or Private Tours, we can usually help shift dates around to suit you. Of course this isn’t always possible, but the best way to sort it out is to contact our team as soon as possible – preferably by email so we have your request in writing.

If you have booked on one of our group/extended tours, dates unfortunately are not flexible.

What happens if a group/extended tour I want is filled?

You will be added to our ‘Wait List’ and advised if there are any cancellations. Additionally, we will also record your interest and details, and contact you for the next available dates.

What is our Deposit Policy and payment details?

A 50% deposit will be required to secure your seat. Provisional bookings are accepted via telephone or email and must be followed up with a completed booking form and deposit payment within 7 days. Your booking is not guaranteed until we have received the correct deposit payment. 

Full payment is always required prior to departure. For extended tours (3+ days), payment is due 30 days before departure. For our Photography Courses, payment is due 2 weeks before the start date. For single day trips, payment is due 7 days before departure. It is in your best interest to pay the full amount as early as possible, this will gain you final trip confirmation, access to tour preparation details, trip itinerary, checklists, etc.

Do we offer single supplement?

Short answer is yes. We will make all reasonable efforts to ensure that your requirements are met.

The single supplement is a premium charged to solo travellers when they do not share a room during the tour and is levied by the accommodation establishments. The single supplement cost will be charged if you wish to have single accommodation whilst on one of our group tours.

Cancellation Policy:

To cancel the booking, you must email us at [email protected]. Please include details of your booking to help us to identify it. Your cancellation is effective on the date you send us the email.

Refund Policy:

Depending on the date on which you notify us of your cancellation (and its proximity to departure), we will deduct a refund that corresponds to the tour that you have booked. See the details as follows:

1. Unconfirmed (Group/Extended) Tour:

  • Free cancellation until the tour is confirmed. If the tour is not full at the time of your cancellation, you can choose to receive a receive a refund OR a credit voucher, minus a AU$40 administration fee per person and minus any non-refundable deposits we have made to ground agents or accommodation. Administration fees may be waived at the discretion of Treeswift Wildlife and Nature. Credit vouchers are valid for 2 years from the date of your booking and can be used as payment towards any Treeswift branded tour or product within that period.

2. Confirmed (Group/Extended) Tour:

  • More than 2 months prior to departure: You are eligible for a 50% refund of your initial deposit, minus a $40 administration fee
  • Between 1-2 months prior to departure: You are not eligible for any refund
  • Less than 1 month prior to departure: Full tour price is due and payable, even if you have not yet to pay in full

3. Regular & Private Tours:

  • More than 2 months prior to departure: You are eligible for 100% of your refund, minus a AU$40 administration fee
  • Between 1-2 months prior to departure: You are eligible for 50% refund of your initial deposit, minus a AU$40 administration fee
  • Less than 1 month prior to departure: You are not eligible for any refund
  • Less than 7 days prior to departure: Full tour price is due and payable, even if you have yet to pay in full

4. Photography Course

  • More than 1 month prior to course start: You are eligible for 50% of your refund, minus a $40 administration fee
  • Between 2 weeks and 1 month prior to course start: You are not eligible for any refund
  • Less than 2 weeks prior to course start: Full course price is due and payable, even if you have yet to pay in full

Important Notes:

  • No refunds will be considered for any unutilized services on the Tour (this includes accommodation, meals, flights, permits, and tour excursions).
  • For Extended/Group Tours: If you wish to transfer your booking to another Treeswift tour, this will be considered as a cancellation and rebooking, and the cancellation policy will apply UNLESS a replacement is found for your original booking by you or us.
  • For Extended/Group Tours: We have the right to cancel the tour for which there are insufficient reservations, two months before the departure date for the tour. If we cancel the entire tour because of insufficient reservations, all deposits and other payments will be refunded to you by us in full.
  • For Extended/Group Tours: We recommend that you purchase comprehensive travel insurance upon booking your tour, to cover any financial losses due to cancellation for whatever reason.

Events outside our control (weather, natural disaster, war, pandemic, etc)

We will not be liable or responsible for any failure to perform, or delay in performance of, any of our obligations which is caused by any act or event beyond our reasonable control (Event Outside Our Control).

If an Event Outside Our Control takes place that affects the performance of our obligations: 
(i) we will contact you as soon as reasonably possible to notify you; and
(ii) We will arrange a new date for the Tour with you after the Event Outside Our Control is over.

What happens if I need to leave a tour early?

We will do everything we can to assist you in this regard, but please note that we would not be liable for any damage, losses or expenses suffered by any participant as a result of sickness, quarantine, weather conditions, war, strikes, riots or any other cause beyond our control. If sickness or accident interrupts a tour, we shall not be liable for any loss or expense arising therefrom, save only to the extent that such sickness or accident was caused by Treeswift’s wilful act or gross negligence. For our extended/multi-day/international tours, we strongly recommended that you take out comprehensive travel insurance upon booking, to cover any financial losses due to cancellation for whatever reason.

What if I get Covid-19 just before, or during my trip?

From around 7 days after contracting COVID-19 you are generally considered “non-infectious”, so if you test positive after that time you may be able to obtain a Medical Exemption Letter from your GP to state that you are safe to travel. If you test positive during the tour you will be required to remain at the accommodation and comply with the relevant local health directions regarding self-isolating. Any costs will be at your own expense. Again, we strongly recommend you purchase Travel Insurance to cover you for any unforeseen changes. 

What happens if a border closure or other government-imposed restrictions impact my trip?

If your tour can’t proceed due to government-imposed restrictions and we are unable to reschedule the tour, we are required to provide a credit voucher to the value of all of your payments to date. This will be valid for the next 2 years to use against re-booking the same tour or a different one. Credit Vouchers are non-transferable. 

What discounts & loyalty programs do we offer?

Back-To-Back Discount: book 3x Treeswift Tours within a 12-month period and receive 10% off the third tour

The Big Five: sign up for your fifth tour with us and receive 20% off the tour price

Friend-Of-A-Friend: Receive 10% of your next Treeswift Tour when you refer someone who has not travelled with us before

A Wrentit (Chamaea fasciata) from the UC Berkeley Botanical Gardens on our Great West Coast Tour in California, US. 

The critically endangered Plains Wanderer, one of most difficult endemic species in the world – a highlight from a recent birding tour

Website & Details:

I’ve noticed an error on the website. How can I report it?

Treeswift Wildlife & Nature is a large website with information covering a wide variety of topics from all around the planet – it’s likely there are a few mistakes hovering about! If you notice something, an incorrect site, species ID, or information that’s now out of date, please feel free to email us at [email protected] and we’ll be glad to check it out.

Photo credit & usage:

Over 90% of the images and recordings used on this website are copyrighted and owned by the team and guides at Treeswift Wildlife & Nature. All images and recordings that fall outside of this are credited accordingly.

If you are interested in using any of the images, please contact us to discuss conditions and rates. All images are for sale and will be discounted if the images are being used directly for education, conservation programs, or are in line with projects that promote wildlife and nature protection.

How do we contact the Treeswift Team?

You can can email us at [email protected] or call us on (03) 7018 2302

A close-up encounter with a Lowlands Copperhead (Austrelaps superbus) from our Great Ocean Road: Mega Animal Tour

Still have more questions?

Send us a message, and we’ll get right back to you!