Observe Australia’s nocturnal animals in their natural habitat with a night bush walk in Byron Bay, NSW. By Neil McMahon.

This is fauna-spotting like nowhere else. Join Wendy Bithell on a Night Vision Walk in the Byron Bay area of NSW and you’ll experience nocturnal wildlife wanders using military-grade night-vision goggles.

Because Bithell’s groups take to the trails without any artificial light, the creatures (such as bats, owls, possums, pademelons and bandicoots) generally carry on their evening business as usual, undisturbed by their human visitors. “We’ve had animals not see us. We stand still and they walk around our feet,” she says. “There are no lights so they don’t know we’re there.”

Surely that can be a tad spooky? Yes, but Bithell doesn’t milk it. “Some people say I should tell scary stories but I say, ‘People get spooked enough!’”

Silence is imperative. There’s no point killing the light if you make a racket and frighten the critters away. The goggles take some getting used to but once you’ve adjusted, you’ll see the darkness in a whole new light. 

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