Nature Art Lab

NatureArt Lab offers participants the opportunity to learn new skills, meet new people and immerse themselves in art inspired by nature. Select a series of courses to suit your interests, and consider developing your foundation skills through a better understanding of colour theory, drawing skills or use of water-based mediums such as watercolour or gouache. Our team of experienced tutors will support your creative learning journey with expert instruction and guidance in a fully equipped art-science space.

Abrolhos Islands, Western Australia 27-29 November 2019 - with experienced international photographer Damien Esquerre, indigenous photographer Tracey Heimberger and ecologist Nic Dunlop




Be inspired by nature ... on a remote island archipelago 60km off Geraldton on the west coast of Western Australia. Accompanied by expert terrestrial and marine ecologist Nic Dunlop and local author Moira McKinnon as well as international wildlife photographer/scientist Damien Esquerre and West Australian indigenous Tracey Heimberger bird photography specialist. This unique three-day trip provides nature lovers a rare opportunity to experience one of the most important seabird and marine ecosystems off the Western Australian coastline.  

The Abrolhos Islands are located in pristine waters, featuring a rich biodiversity of bird and marine life. They are among Australia's most important sites for breeding seabirds with over two million birds from 35 species breeding on the islands, islets and rocky atolls. Our visit coincides with the peak breeding season for seabirds on this island. Abundant schools of pelagic baitfish provide food for colonies of shearwaters, terns and noddies. There are also many protected flora and fauna species and notable endemic species found only on these islands. See up to 19 species of land and shore birds (including the Abrolhos Islands Painted Button Quail), and 26 terrestrial reptile species. Reptile fauna comprise 11 skink species including the Houtman Abrolhos spiny-tailed skink, seven species of geckos, four species of legless lizard,  the Abrolhos dwarf bearded dragon, snakes and marine green turtles. The islands are home to the Tammar Wallaby and are the northern-most habitat for the Australian sea lion. Over 140 species of native flora have been identified, some with very high conservation values.  

The islands also have a fascinating history, named after Dutch Commander Frederik de Houtman, who discovered the islands in 1619. Learn about the shipwrecks, including the famous Batavia and Zeewijk wrecks, the stories of tragedy and atrocity and see Australia's first building constructed by Europeans.

This three-day nature adventure departs from Geraldton with a flight to Rat Island arriving mid-morning on Day One, with ecology talks, photography workshops and walks on the first two days. Participants will have the opportunity to assist with bird banding and lizard trapping activities or join night walks in search of nocturnal wildlife. Enjoy early morning walks and bird watching and free time for snorkelling. The third day will include a flight with a stopover on East Wallabi Island to snorkel in Turtle Bay - and for those interested, a chance to do underwater photography. The return flight to Geraldton will fly via Long Island, Beacon Island and the Batavia shipwreck with spectacular aerial scenic views. 

During the program there will be discussions on bird ethics, camera basics, light and composition, capturing photographs of birds in flight, and discussions on conservation and nature. Note that conditions are likely to be windy and temperatures cooler in the evenings at this time of the year.

Accommodation is in basic twin-share rooms at the island's research centre, with access to a shared bathroom, kitchen and meeting hall.  

A maximum of 7 places are available for this trip; with a luggage limitation of 15kg for flights. 

Full payment of $1,824.00 including GST is due by 20 August 2019.

Dates: 27 - 29 November 2019

- Thursday 27 November - Flight departs from Geraldton to Rat Island (accommodation on Rat Island for two nights (27, 28 November)

- Saturday 29 November 2019 - Flight departs from Rat Island to Geraldton (via East Wallabi Island, Long Island, Beacon Island and the Batavia Shipwreck)

(Note: departure times may vary depending on weather conditions)

What's included: 

- Airfares from Geraldton to Rat Island, and return

- All meals are included throughout the program from Thursday mid-morning through to Saturday evening (3 dinners, 3 lunches, 2 breakfasts, plus morning and afternoon tea refreshments)

- 2 nights basic accommodation at Rat Island with twin share rooms (no single supplements are available)

- guided walks and environmental talks each day with experienced West Australian ecologist Nic Dunlop

- Workshops and personalised mentoring with internationally experienced wildlife photographer and scientist Damien Esquerre and West Australian indigenous birdlife photographer Tracey Heimberger 

- Snorkeling equipment

- BBQ and debrief on the evening of 29 November and review of photographs at an historic local farmhouse near Geraldton.  

What's not included: 

- Airfares and travel to Geraldton; airfares and travel from Geraldton (own travel arrangements)

- Accommodation in Geraldton on Wednesday 26 November and Friday 29 November 2019 (own arrangements)

For further information please contact 

Book Now

Just fill in your details below.

Panel Tool
Float header
Default Boxed Large Boxed Medium
Header Default Header One Header Two