Encounters with a giant freshwater crayfish and an antechinus are two of the most fascinating wildlife encounters experienced recently by our Operations Manager, “Wombat” while on tour with our guests (the crayfish is an endangered species, the largest freshwater lobster in the world, and the antechinus is a tiny and elusive marsupial).
Nature and wildlife are synonymous with Tasmania. Under Down Under guides make it a priority to help guests to experience creatures big and small during our tours. Our passion is in showing visitors how special our wildlife is, as well as the habitat they depend upon.
In recent months on tour we’ve seen wombats, echidna, pademelons, wallabies, kangaroo, potoroos, possums, platypus, little penguins, dolphins, whales, quolls, blue tongue lizards, snakes (from a distance!). We’ve also seen wedge-tailed eagles, sea eagles, and an array of other birdlife. Just to be clear, this is spread over different tours. We can’t promise that guests will see specific wild animals every time, and some groups just have more luck than others. Ultimately, seeing a wild native animal is something special – unexpected and unpredictable. Of note, Tasmanian devils are an endangered species and nocturnal, making them more difficult to see in the wild.
Our best chance of seeing wombats is in Cradle Mountain National Park. We stop at Ronny Creek and walk along the boardwalk. Keeping on the track is essential as it protects the wombats burrows and limits erosion and other damage to the grassy habitat. The path is elevated to enable wombats to pass underneath. Some wombats completely ignore human visitors and walk right up to the path as they graze or travel from one place to another, or use it as a convenient scratching post. Other wombats keep their distance, and blend into the surroundings making it more of a challenge to determine “is it grass or is it a wombat”. If you don’t see any wombats, never fear, the Jurassic-like scenery is outstanding. This past summer we also saw an Eastern quoll in the grasslands around Ronny Creek, although that was a first for our guide.
If a guaranteed wildlife experience is essential to your visit to Tasmania, we do have selected tours that visit a conservation and wildlife sanctuary. Here guests can have close encounters with animals hard to see in the wild such as Tassie devils and learn about efforts to protect them.
We ensure responsible encounters with wildlife at all times on our tours. It’s important to appreciate whatever wildlife we do see and think of it as a gift.