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Dr Tonia Cochran

Dr Tonia Cochran at Inala Nature on Bruny Island

Dr Tonia Cochran is the Owner, Managing Director and principal specialist guide and tour leader at Inala Nature Tours.

Tonia has over 30 years of experience in ecotourism in Australia and she designs most of the birding and wildlife itineraries for Inala Nature Tours’ guests. She is a qualified Biologist (Bachelor of Science in Botany and Zoology, with Honors and PhD degrees in Zoology) with a broad knowledge of Australian marine and terrestrial fauna and flora and she draws on her years of field experience and her wide-ranging academic and teaching background to design and lead exceptional birding and wildlife tours throughout Australia.

Tonia’s fascination with natural history began as a small child. By the age of 10 years old, she had already accumulated a substantial fossil, gem and shell collection and the family house was a menagerie that included a collection of spiders she was breeding in her bedroom, snakes and lizards and several orphaned and injured native Australian animals. Tonia moved to Inala on Bruny Island in 1988 which is still home as well as Inala headquarters. Her passion for protecting and preserving wild places and the flora and fauna within natural landscapes is demonstrated in her involvement in threatened species management, and has led her to place a conservation covenant on her 1,500 acre property at Inala, which is home to all 12 Tasmanian endemic bird species and a refuge for several threatened species.

Tonia is also committed to promoting a tourism industry that is ecologically sustainable and educational and has been active in promoting this philosophy through her position as founding Chair of the nationwide organisation “Wildlife Tourism Australia”. Tonia also regularly lectures at a number of Australian and International venues, and topics range in subject from her Antarctic experiences (where she has spent considerable time working as a Marine Biologist), to ecotourism, threatened species conservation and Ornithology. Tonia has also participated in documentaries for the Discovery Channel, the BBC and several international film companies, and has appeared in several national television series. She is also a regular contributor of articles to various magazines and the subject of numerous newspaper articles.

Recent feedback

"Our guide, Tonia Cochran made us feel at home on our 2 night stay on the grounds in a fully equipped comfy cottage and then lead us on a tour of discovery of Tasmania. Her knowledge of the flora, fauna and history of Tasmania is all encompassing. Having traveled extensively, I can truly say that she was the BEST guide that we have ever encountered and wish she and her business continued success. Thanks Tonia for a great time"
Trip Advisor

"This year's Cape York Tour in Far North Queensland was the second tour we've completed with Inala Nature Tours under Tonia Cochrane's wing. We can't speak highly enough of Tonia's warm and inclusive leadership, her passion for the environment and her desire to share wonderful wildlife experiences with others.

The organisational aspects of touring with Inala made things so easy and allowed us to relax... which is lucky because the Cape York itinerary was jam-packed with early starts for birding, evenings seeking out various nocturnal critters and plenty of good food and time for shut-eye in between. There were 7 other people on the tour with us. Tonia was attentive to each guests' needs without making a fuss - nothing ever felt like it was too much trouble for Tonia."
Trip Advisor

"Tonia is incredible! I absolutely loved our two week roam around Tassie. I have since recommended her to several friends. My visit to Tasmania was 10 years ago, and I will always be grateful to Tonia for her expertise and her travel organizing skills. Thank you!!"
CC - Fb Review