You can view the video compilation here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCHPf1DWtos
Feb 2nd – Arrive Hobart, night at Gumleaves Campground near Triabunna
Feb 3rd thru 4th – Maria Island NP, Hike to Encampment Cove via coastal track two nights camping
Feb 5th and 6th – Binalong Bay/Bay of Fires
Feb 7th – Devonport
Feb 8th – Loongana camping at Leven Canyon
Feb 9th – Loongana to Cradle Mountain via the Tarkine Scenic Loop
Feb 10th – Cradle Mountain to Freycinet NP
Feb 11th – Freycinet NP
Feb 12th – Hobart
Feb 13th thru 14th – Bruny Island
Feb 15th thru 16th – Mount Field NP with hike into alpine region
Feb 17th & 18th – Port Arthur/Tasman NP
Feb 19th – Return home
SUMMARY I’ve long dreamed of visiting Tasmania and it did not disappoint. This was a mammal watching/birding/fishing/hiking trip so we divided our time between various activities. The trip was marred by a variety of issues. Large portions of the state were closed due to fires sweeping thru the central lakes region and the southwest. Shortly after our arrival several days of cool weather, rain, and high winds set in which eased fire threats but made enjoying the outdoors more difficult. We overcame the challenges by altering the schedule and essentially abandoning the highlands as the high winds and rain never seemed to cease until we visited Mount Fields NP. We camped on about 80% of our trip which made nighttime spotting even easier. Many times the best spotlighting occurred in or near the campgrounds. The vast majority of animals were seen firsthand but we did pack a couple game cameras as well to supplement our trip photos.
1.) Platypus – extended looks at multiple individuals at the Tasmania Arboretum near Devonport. We arrived mid-afternoon and found them active near the hide.
2.) Short-break Echidna – 13 encounters across Tasmania. Active primarily from 10 AM to 5 PM most days. 2 near Sorel, 3 Maria Island NP, 1 Cradle Mt NP, 2 Loongana, 1 Tasman NP, 1 Bruny Island, 2 Mount Field NP, and 1 near Binalong Bay
3.) Rufous-bellied Pademelon – nearly ubiquitous. We encountered well over a thousand individuals across the state. Many tame individuals around campgrounds and the large congregations in the parking area at night across the Mount Fields visitor center are impressive.
4.) Bennett’s Wallaby – Abundant. Several hundred individuals encountered. Seen at most location except in the far northwest. Several albino individuals seen near Adventure Bay on Bruny Island.
5.) Eastern Gray Kangaroo – Much more scarce and seen at only a few locations. 9 on Maria Island NP, 10 seen near Powrana, and 1 caught on a game camera on Bruny Island
6.) Eastern Barred Bandicoot – 1 at Stewarts Bay Reserve near Port Arthur
7.) Common Brush-Tailed Possum – 20+ gray color morphs seen on Maria Island NP, 5 gray and 3 black in Loongana, 2 black at Cradle Mt NP, 30+ at Mount Field NP of varying morphs and intergrades , 20+ Bruny Island, 10+ on Tasman peninsula. Particularly fond of campgrounds especially those with electric grills where they gather to lick the grease and oil from the grills.
8.) Common Wombat – 100+ on Maria Island. Staggering numbers on a coastal bushwalk west of Encampment Cove. Maria Island is the place to encounter this species. Approximately 20 individuals encountered on night drive to Dove Lake at Cradle Mountain, saw a few individuals in the daytime as well. 1 individual seen north of Eaglehawk Neck.
9.) Eastern Quoll – 3 fawn morphs at Cradle Mountain NP on night drive to Dove Lake, 3 fawn morphs at Mount Field NP near the campground, 1 black morph Bruny Island with 5+ more caught on game cameras at Bruny Island all but one was black
10.)Tasmanian Devil – 1 small individual ran into our camp the first night at Encampment Cove on Maria Island NP. The next night 2 larger individuals were encountered chasing each other and growling near our camp. An additional 2 other individuals were caught on game cameras north of Encampment Cove and one near the Leven Canyon.