Natural Wonders of Tasmania

Tasmanian Devil (picture of the sign at the Tasmanian Devil Conservation Park)

Before coming to Australia I knew very little about Tasmania. Sadly, the only image I could conjure up was that of the infamous Tasmanian devil – not the actual Tasmanian devil, mind you (I had no idea what that looked like!); what I pictured was the crazy, whirling, Looney Tunes version.

I now know what the real thing looks like (see picture above; they’re actually kinda cute!), although I still haven’t seen one in the flesh. The Tasmanian Devil Conservation Park wanted to charge us something like $30 for admission & on our budget we just didn’t think it was worth the money. We were fortunate enough, however, to see plenty of other wildlife during our two weeks in Tassie & all for free!

Friendly Beaches (not our actual campsite, but nearby)

At our camp site at Friendly Beaches in Freycinet National Park I was thrilled to have the chance to hand-feed a wallaby! Of course I know as much about wallabies as I do about Tasmanian devils, so I wasn’t really sure if he’d let me approach him, but Adam suggested I get some cereal from the back of our van & see if he’d bite (hahaha – no pun intended). So, of course I’m thinking wallabies are super friendly & tame, like the type of animal you’d have at a children’s petting zoo. I approached slowly, my outstreched hand brimming with cereal . . . the animal sized me up & cautiously made his way towards me, then happily started to munch. So cute! Adam even snapped a few pictures so I would always remember the momentous occasion.

Me feeding a wallaby @ Friendly Beaches in Freycinet National Park

What fun! Or so I thought until Adam warned, “Now, if I were you, I’d back away slowly – he might get mad when he realizes you’re out of food.”

Great. NOW he tells me!

Lucky for me my new wallaby friend was pretty easy-going after all & I made my great escape without incident. I’m still not sure if Adam’s concern was sincere or if his words were simply in jest . . . as a naive American new to this country, I suppose I make a fairly easy target. 0:-)

We walked the Dove Lake Circuit at Cradle Mountain National Park; very beautiful & peaceful

My second big “animal in the wild” experience was at Cradle Mountain. On a walk one afternoon Heather spotted a wombat up ahead of us & then, not far behind, a baby wombat!!

Baby wombat with its mama in Cradle Mountain National Park

We were shocked that they let us get close enough to take several great photos & I couldn’t help but notice that the little baby’s behavior seemed so similar to that of a human baby – never far behind its mama, always eager to cling to her for protection. To this Adam could only state the obvious – “Yeah, it’s just like a human baby except it’s a wombat. Good point, Adam . . . we couldn’t help but laugh at that one. 😉

Ridiculously cute

Another highlight of our time in Tasmania included Marakoopa Caves in Mole Creek. We received a guided tour of the “Cathedral Gardens” & saw some interesting formations as well as glow worms . . . nothing like the cute little glow worm toy I had as a child (shocker!), these are actually little bugs. Ewww. Still, it was pretty cool to look up at the ceiling of the cave & see all the tiny glowing lights. Almost makes you forget that they’re bugs. Almost. 😉

Marakoopa Cave in Mole Creek

Of course we also did several other walks/hikes along the way – they were usually free & they helped us maintain our figures after all the delicious treats we ate. My pictures below can probably give a better idea of what we saw than anything I can put into words, so I will end this post with a few of my favorite photos of the Tasmanian landscape.

Cataract Gorge Reserve, Launceston

Wineglass Bay Lookout, Freycinet National Park

The Beautiful Tasman Peninsula

Blowhole, Tasman Peninsula

Me, freezing my butt off at the top of Mt. Wellington in Hobart

Me, at the Henty Sand Dunes outside Strahan

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16 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Rose Polino
    Mar 08, 2011 @ 18:21:35

    Hi Nicole,

    I have been waiting for you to post. Looks like your getting along fine. Oh that landscape is gorgeous, and the animals…well that goes without saying. I am glad to see you are doing fine in your travels.

    Reply

    • nicoleinoz
      Mar 10, 2011 @ 09:55:53

      Thanks Rose! The animals have definitely been one of the highlights so far. Did you see my last post on the delicious sweets we ate in Tassie? Maybe I’ll end up working in a bakery/cafe while I’m in Oz & I can learn some tricks of the trade. 🙂

      Hope you & everyone in SAS are doing well!

      Reply

      • Rose Polino
        Mar 14, 2011 @ 20:03:13

        Hi Nicole,

        Yes, I did see the sweets! You may have to get me some recipes, as you know I like baking. You should try to get a job there, you never know that just might be your calling.

  2. camille
    Mar 09, 2011 @ 01:36:38

    The blue water of Dove Lake reminded me of Lake Tahoe…the most spectacular blue I had ever seen. I must say that the claws on the “friendly wallaby at Friendly Beach look quite long and sharp once I zoomed in on the photo. Glad you were able to make the great escape as the photo looks like it was captured just before you ran out of cereal! Great shot Adam!

    Reply

    • nicoleinoz
      Mar 10, 2011 @ 10:01:33

      Hahaha – I’ve actually thought of Tahoe & your amazement at the blueness of the water several times during this trip so far! Dove Lake was a beautiful blue, but wait until you see my pics of the Great Ocean Road – I only hope my camera was able to capture some of the brilliant blue-green colors we saw.

      Reply

  3. Aunt Penny
    Mar 09, 2011 @ 03:58:48

    Hi Niki,
    It sounds like you’re having an awesome time; your photos are beautiful. I’m especially enjoying seeing the three of you in the videos on Heather’s blog. Heather and Adam seem like a lot of fun to travel with.

    Reply

    • nicoleinoz
      Mar 10, 2011 @ 10:03:55

      Hi Auntie Penny,
      Yes, it is pretty amazing to be abroad & especially to be able to join friends on a road trip for a while. 🙂 Glad you’re enjoying Heather & Adam’s videos!

      Reply

  4. Christine
    Mar 13, 2011 @ 22:14:45

    Nik!

    You look like you are having a fabulous time!! Imagine me with all those adorable animals! HAHA! Really miss being able to talk with you, but so happy you are living it up. MISS YOU TONS!!!

    PS – I thought of you yesterday….I found a picture you took from 2004 of Cosmo on my suitcase 😥

    Reply

    • nicoleinoz
      Mar 14, 2011 @ 04:33:25

      You would love all the cute animals here! The only downside to the camping is that we’ve dealt with quite a few bugs, of which you know I am NOT fond of AT ALL – locusts (no joke!), crickets – I don’t know how much more of that I can take! 😦

      Missing you too – & little Coz! 😦 I’ve thought of him several times when I’ve seen people out walking their dogs, or the other day when I saw a cat at one of the wineries we visited – he was napping in his bed by the bar – what a life! 😉

      Reply

  5. camille
    Mar 15, 2011 @ 23:09:03

    The scenary along the Great Ocean Road is spectacular, the beaches are breath-taking, the food looks scrumptious and the signs are hilarious. Drive on the left (side of the road), hmmm…(sit on the right) – don’t know if I would ever get used to that! I especially love the sign about the cliffs cautioning that you would die. No beating around the bush (or should I say cliffs) there. Hope you are having the “time of your life.” Miss you.

    Reply

  6. Kele Schwab
    Mar 16, 2011 @ 12:50:30

    Bring me back a Tazmanian Devil! Sooooooo cute!…oh and some of those pastries

    Reply

  7. Auntie Marilyn
    Mar 19, 2011 @ 22:06:19

    Enjoying reading about your adventures – glad you are having an awesome time! Stay safe and enjoy yourself – Love you & miss you!

    Reply

    • nicoleinoz
      Mar 28, 2011 @ 11:22:02

      It has been a great experience (despite the pesky bugs & mice – blecch!) Can’t wait to see what the next couple of months have in store as I decide where to live & work – yikes! Love & miss you too!

      Reply

  8. Rosi
    Mar 22, 2011 @ 20:38:14

    Niki: Just wanted you to know how much I am enjoying your phographs and the tales of your travel. Be sure to get some good recipes while you are down under. I found a recipe here to make red velvet cake without the red dye. You use Moscato wine and beets! Be happy to share it with you upon your return. Stay safe.

    Reply

    • nicoleinoz
      Mar 26, 2011 @ 07:35:44

      Thanks, Rosi! Hmmm, I’m not really into beets but I’m assuming you wouldn’t really taste them. I’ve seen some chocolate cakes here that are made with beetroot; it seems to be a more common ingredient in Oz than it is back home.

      Reply

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