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First Trip To Australia: Tasmania and Victoria


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What, the trip is over already? Seems like it just started! :D


I can't belive 37 Koala...amazing! And we searched so hard for Koala in Queensland, and only saw two, I guess they are much more common further south. Good to know for a future trip.


Fantastic photos and of course the birds too. That combo of D500 and 200-500 is sweet for sure and perfect for a mix of mammals and birds.


Thanks for a great report!


UPDATE: Okay, I just went back to your itinerary and realize you still have Tasmania!! I wasn't paying attention ;)  Glad to know there is plenty more trip report to look forward to.


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Great trip report @Atdahl! Looking forward to reading about your times in Tasmania when we weren't able to join you.


8 hours ago, janzin said:

I can't belive 37 Koala...amazing! And we searched so hard for Koala in Queensland, and only saw two, I guess they are much more common further south. Good to know for a future trip.


I couldn't believe it either! They are very easy to spot in Cape Otway NP and the road leading up from the Kennett River. They are generally much harder to see reliably in NSW, and although I haven't tried in QLD it sounds like it could be the same there.


Another good place to see them is Flinders Chase NP in Kangaroo Island, although as I write this I just remembered that it was completely burnt out from the fires which is really sad.


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@janzin, thank you.  It certainly seems like Victoria is the place to see koalas then.  Yes, the D500 and 200-500 is perfect for me.  I debated about bringing a tripod this trip especially because I knew we would be visiting waterfalls but in the end I decided against it and that worked out fine.  While not tack sharp, the photos are good enough for me which is all that matters :).  And yes, for better or worse, this report is far from over.  On to Tasmania now!


@CheetahFan, your wish is my command.  Tasmania coming up...

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Tasmania Day 5 - Bruny Island


We actually had a pretty early morning wake up today since our airport transfer left at 7AM.  Our flight from Melbourne to Hobart on Jetstar was uneventful.  We had read horror stories about Jetstar and strict carry on weight limits so I had purchased extra baggage weight with our tickets.  But, they didn't even weigh our bags so that was money not well spent as it turns out.


We were met at Hobart airport by Karen who was our guide from Inala and would be with us for our 4 days on Bruny Island.  We decided to go with a guided trip on Bruny because we felt we would get a lot more out of the rest of our time on Tasmania if we learned from an expert in the beginning.  Plus, this saved us from having to deal with the ferry hassle to and from Bruny Island and gave me even more time to get used to driving on the left.


As it turned out, this was a great choice because we hit it off with Karen immediately.  Besides her awesome first name, we shared the same passions and ethics.  So, it was a great match.  For the sake of this report though I will have to refer to her as "Inala Karen" so as not to get her confused with the "old ball and chain".


Ow!...darn my editor has sharp elbows...


Anyway, the original plan was to drive to Mount Wellington to do some birding but we didn't get that far before we all yelled "echidna!" at the same time.  Inala Karen stopped the car and we hustled out to spend some time with this amazing little animal. We spent hours looking for one in Victoria and here we found one less than an hour after landing in Tasmania.




They are primarily eaters of ants and this one would dig its face in the dirt to hunt around for some every now and then which made it a bit dirty.

A Short-beaked Echidna to be precise


You can see why they are great diggers:

Digging up ants


As some people know, the echidna is one of only two egg-laying mammals (the platypus is the other).  On this trip we learned that the echidna on Tasmania looks different than the echidna on the mainland since the ones in Tasmania grow more fur to protect them from the cold.  So, while they both have about the same number of quills, the one on Tasmania appears to have less when in fact it's just their extra hair covering the quills.  Those quills are fantastic by the way...


One of only two egg laying mammals


This echidna was really focused on finding food and couldn't be bothered by us at all.  But, every now and then it would look up.




What a great welcome to Tasmania that was!


We ended up passing on Mount Wellington because the normal parking lots were all closed due to road construction.  So, Inala Karen took us to a nearby park instead to look for some birds.  We found a bunch.


Black Swans:

Black Swans


Silver Gull:

Silver Gull


Pacific Black Duck:

Pacific Black Duck


Kelp Gulls:

Kelp Gull Feeding Time


Tasmanian native hen which is endemic:

Tasmanian Native Hen


We stopped at a Banjo's Bakery to grab some lunch to go and got introduced to a few more great Australian eats.  First off were "toasties" which are just toasted sandwiches but are really good.  Second was smashed avocado on the sandwich.  This is something we never do at home but loved it so much that we have already done it more than once since returning.


Inala Karen insisted we get some dessert too so we got some hot-crossed buns (which were delicious) and she even slipped in a peppermint treat the Karen had been eyeing.


We drove to Drew Point where we enjoyed our lunch and did a bit more birding but only one picture is really worth sharing.


Australian pelican which has the longest bill of any bird in the world:

Australian Pelican


The ferry ride to Bruny Island is only 15 minutes but the drive from our landing point to the Inala grounds where we were spending 3 nights would be about 90 minutes.  Along the way we stopped for some scenery and a lot of wildlife...


The Neck is the area between north and south Bruny Island and is worth a stop.  This is also the place to see fairy penguins and shearwaters at night:



Not far after getting to south Bruny, we had another echidna sighting.


Another Echidna


Once again, this one was just wandering along the side of the road. We later learned that this is the best place to spot echidna since ants seem to nest more in the looser soil along the sides of roads which then attract the echidnas.


Our next sight was a true Bruny Island special.  It is only here that they have the albino version of the red-necked wallaby (AKA bennett's wallaby).  Locally, they are just known as a white wallaby and we got very lucky to spot one in a field not too far off the road.


A White Wallaby (Albino Red-necked Wallaby)


We were welcomed at Inala by lots of wildlife.  All these pictures were taken right around our cottage there.


Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos:

Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo


Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo Close-up


Tasmanian Scrubwren (another endemic):

Tasmanian Scrubwren (Tasmania endemic)


Red-bellied Pademelon.  No, that is not a earring:

Red-bellied Pademelon


Another Pademelon


These guys are really cute!


A Close-up


Scarlet Robin:

Scarlet Robin


Bruny Island has few options when it comes to food.  Your choices are the Bruny Hotel or...the Bruny Hotel.  So, after a pretty quick debate, we headed to the Bruny Hotel.  Now, there are two things you should know about this place.


One, we had 3 meals here and they were all VERY good.


Two, they are extremely unorganized and under-staffed so you WILL have a LONG wait for your food.


Tonight, it took about an hour to get our food and Inala Karen was pretty sure they forgot to put in our order until she went up 30 minutes to ask about our meals.  But, since we weren't going anywhere until dark, the wait really didn't eat into any wildlife watching time.


After dinner, we ended up doing a night drive the full length of Bruny Island and back from 8:30PM to 12:30AM.  It was the most action packed night drive we have ever had. Of course, since it was a night drive, I don't have a lot of pictures to share but I will share everything that we saw which included:


- Our 3rd echidna of the day/trip.  It was also only the 3rd time Inala Karen had ever seen an echidna at night since they are typically diurnal.

- 1 tawny frogmouth and 6 non-native european hares

- "Stella" the named white wallaby

- We stopped at The Neck to look for fairy penguins and finally found one near a burrow

- 30+ brushies.  I mean we had to stop counting there were so many everywhere.

- 30+ eastern quolls.  They too were everywhere.  We saw plenty of both light and dark morphs


The highlights of the drive were a close encounter with an eastern quoll that actually posed for a grainy picture:

Eastern Quoll (dark morph)



And, another Bruny Island special...  a "golden possum" which is just an albino brushie.


A Golden Possum (Albino


The only negative of this drive, and Bruny Island in general, is that there is so much wildlife around road kills are prevalent.  Inala Karen would drive very slowly but the same can't be said for the few cars that we encountered.  Road kill is a huge problem because not only does it kill one animal but if the carcass stays on the road, secondary kills can happen when scavengers come to eat the carcass.


So, Inala Karen (and I am sure other guides on the island) stop and move roadkill to reduce the chances of secondary kills.  We ended up stopping 6 times on this drive to move roadkill which is pretty sad.  But, as morbid a task as that is Inala Karen probably saved some animal lives that night by moving those carcasses.


Over all, we had a fantastic first day in Tasmania.  In fact, it might be hard to top this one.

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wow, echidna paradise!! And Quoll too, now I absolutely have to go to Tasmania next trip.


I actually met Tonia, the owner of Inala, here in the US at a birding show.  We had communicated with her for our Australia trip but then ended up going with another outfit. However I would surely stay at Inala if/when we get to Tasmania.


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I had been intrigued by Bruny Island previously, but this seals it. Definitely a location I'd need to visit, and you've only just begun. 

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It's just outrageous how easy it was for you to spot echidnas! And that first one you got was seriously cute. That face is adorable!!

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@janzin, as you will see, we think Tasmania has it all.  So, I am sure you would love it if you went especially because it is so easy to get around.


@Zubbie15.  Wonder know more, Bruny Island is definitely worth it.  A few nights is perfect in my book and having a guide really paid off as you will see.


@monalisa, I know. It's like we had people along in Victoria that were echidna repellent. ;)  As soon as we stepped off the plane in Tasmania...there they were.

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@Atdahl That golden possum shot is great, as is the echidna one where you seem to have gone down to ground-level to get its face.


Did Karen explain why there are so many albino possums/wallabies on Bruny?

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@CheetahFan, you know she might have explained that to us but I didn't write anything down so I don't remember.  Doing some internet searching leads to the consensus that it's the lack of predators on Bruny that has caused the swell in albinos.  So, maybe a certain % are born but the ones on Bruny have a much greater chance to reach adulthood?  Maybe another Safaritalker has more information on this.  However, we did learn that they do have predators...humans.  Some locals don't like them and will shoot them if they get on their property because all they do is attract tourists some of which at not the best behaved and venture on to private property for pictures. :(.

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Tasmania Day 6 - More Bruny Island


After the semi late night, we slept in today and didn't meet Inala Karen until 9:30AM.  What a relaxing vacation this was turning out to be.  The reason for this later start was that Inala Karen had been paying attention to the weather forecast and saw that we were due for some bad weather tomorrow which is when we were supposed to take a boat trip.  She ended up rescheduling the trip to today since the weather was going to be quite nice.


The boat trip was with Bruny Island Cruises and didn't leave until 11AM hence our ability to sleep in.  Even though this trip would be along the coastline, it can get pretty rough.  But, Inala Karen has taken this trip many times before and knew that the best place to sit on the boat to minimize the rocking was right behind the Captain.  So, she quickly grabbed those seats for us.


You need to wear a huge red parka on the cruise to not only protect you from the cold but also from getting wet since the boat traveled fast and sea spray was a given.  That made photography hard but I did manage to take a few pictures from the trip.


One of the Friars South of Bruny Island



This one shows off the type of boat we were in as well as those stylish parkas.



Those pictures are from The Friars which are some small rocky islands at the southern tip of Bruny Island.  The seas were "calm" today apparently which enabled us to travel out to them to see colonies of both Australian and New Zealand fur seals.  But, the boat was rocking so much it was really hard to take pictures so I gave up after a few tries.


Fur Seal Colony


Australian Fur Seals


We also made stops to see a blow hole (No, there weren't any politicians out there) and huge sea cliffs.  Overall, the trip was fine.  Not necessarily a must do but we did get two lifer mammals out of it, a few birds like the shy albatross, and some common dolphins playing in the boat wakes.


Bruny Island Cruises runs a very "tight ship".  The cruise was well run and so was the lunch afterwards which we enjoyed in their restaurant.  Since we ordered our food before the cruise, it was pretty much waiting for us when we got back.  Too bad their restaurant wasn't open for dinner. 😀


After lunch we made a stop in some temperate rain forest to look for the pink robin.  This was my target bird for the trip.  In fact, it was the reason that I started to look into a trip to Tasmania in the first place.  Unfortunately, the forest was really quiet and we didn't see much of anything but the walk was really nice.


We had better luck at our next stop along the coast.


Pied Oystercatcher:

Australian Pied Oystercatcher


Greater Crested Tern:

Greater Crested Tern


Green Rosella (endemic):

Green Rosella (Tasmania Endemic)


Here is a shot of a bennett's wallaby that appeared to be doing a bit of gardening.  It looks like it just planted that little shrub doesn't it?:

Red-necked Wallaby


Dinner was once again at the Hotel Bruny.  To try to ensure less of a wait, Inala Karen talked to the staff before we ordered to be sure that they got our order in tonight.  Well, that didn't work since it was almost an hour before we got our food.  However, once again our food was really good. Boy eating at the Hotel Bruny is truly a doubled-edged sword.


The night drive tonight was from 8:30 PM to midnight and was just as good as last night.  We lost count of brushies after 25 and quolls after 12.  Both were out in force again.  Karen sat in the back seat and was a spotting machine since she was able to see eye shine first and Inala Karen appreciated the assist since there were so many animals on the road again.  Fortunately, we only had to stop twice to clear recent roadkill off of the road.


We had two major highlights on this drive besides all the brushies and quolls.  The first was when a dark animal with a white-tipped tail ran across the road right through our headlights. We got great looks and I blurted out ring-tailed possum as it crossed since I thought the white-tipped tail was a dead give away.  Later on however, Inala Karen started having second thoughts about that ID.  As we discussed its movement and location more, Inala Karen realized that it wasn't a ring-tailed possum and instead was a water rat.  It too has a white-tipped tail and the animal we saw did scurry across the road like a big rat and didn't move like a possum.  So, we were positive in that ID change and that was the only water rat we saw the whole trip so we got lucky.


The second highlight was an animal that Inala Karen really searched out for us and that is the long-nosed potoroo.  It's another small nocturnal marsupial.  Inala Karen's record is 5 in one night but we would have been happy with one sighting. We went down some extra side roads tonight that were good habitat.  Well, not only did we find one, we set a new record for Inala Karen because we ended up seeing 6 of them including one along the side of the road that cooperated for a picture.


Long-nosed Potoroo


We also saw two of them mating which is a pretty rare sight.  Inala Karen had the line of the night though when she made the comment that they were doing it wrong since the road where we saw them was actually named Missionary Road.

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What a wonderful trip to Tasmania. Beautiful photos, and the Echidna are just so cute!

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Thanks @TonyQ.  Yes, the echidna certainly lived up to all expectations.  They are just such interesting animals to watch as they move around foraging.

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Tasmania Day 7 - Last Day on Bruny Island


Well, today ended up being a very wet day.  The rain started around 6AM and really didn't let up much for the whole day.  So, it was a really good thing that Inala Karen moved our boat trip to yesterday.


Inala Karen came by our cottage in the morning and we spent time inside going through our wildlife lists and our plans for the remainder of the trip.  She provided some great tips on places to go for certain animals so it was time well spent.


We had ordered a pack lunch from the Hotel Bruny so we all decided to head out for a bit since we needed to pick up lunch anyway.  Inala Karen took us to Cloudy Bay (which lived up to its name) and a few other places in route to the Hotel Bruny.  We did see another white wallaby and had a lifer sooty oystercatcher but otherwise the trip out was uneventful in the poor weather.


After returning to our cottage we agreed to meet at 3PM and try again.  So, Karen and I just ate our packed lunches in our cottage listening to the rain.  The weather that blew in was a remnant of a tropical storm apparently and a lot of rain had come down.  In fact, the water levels on the Inala property were rising very quickly and their river had overflowed into the fields.  But the rain ended up letting up in the afternoon so there didn't appear to be any damage from the flooding.


We had hoped to spend the morning walking around the Inala property but obviously couldn't do that given the rain.  So, our only "regret" the whole trip was not being able to do that. The grounds have more endemic birds and other wildlife that we missed out on.


I used the time after lunch to update my notes from the trip and write down some observations about the trip.  One of the first things that we realized after arriving was that the Aussie's aren't big fans of long words or even some short words. So, they will shorten just about every word possible and add an "ie" after it to make it sound more casual and fun.  Here are some examples:


A common brush-tail possum is a "brushie" as I have already mentioned

A grilled sandwich is a "toastie"

Tasmania is actually just "Tassie"

Sunglasses are, of course, "sunnies"

Candy is just called "lollies"

Breakfast is "breakies"


I came up with a few of my own hoping to fit in:


A camera would be a "clickie"

A lotion bottle first opened after a flight would be a "squirtie"

A hire car rented by Americans would be a "wreckie"


Anyway, Inala Karen picked us up at 3PM.  The plan was to drive out to the lighthouse since we had yet to see it and then grab some take out pizza from "you know where".  We would then drive to a location where Inala Karen has seen daytime quolls before.  We would eat our pizza dinner and stakeout the quoll site to see if we got lucky.


The rain was pretty light when we reached the lighthouse so we were able to get out and walk around a little bit to stretch our legs.  There we some rabbits and wallabies around as well as a few birds.


New Holland Honeyeater:

New Holand Honeyeater in the Rain


Beautiful Firetail:

Beautiful Firetail in the Rain


We even made a quick stop at the local bakery so I could take a picture.  You see, this isn't an ordinary bakery.  It's just a couple disconnected fridges (to keep out the wildlife) on the side of the road where a local man sells fresh bread.  It is run on the honor system but the man does take electronic payments which is nice.  Inala Karen said the bread is really good.


Honor System Bakery



As was the case with all their food, the pizza from Hotel Bruny was pretty darn good and we really didn't have to wait that long to pick it up amazingly.  We sat eating it with the windows rolled down as we did our quoll stakeout.  The only flaw in this plan was the "windows rolled down" part because as dusk approached this allowed quite a few "mozzies" to fly in the car.  After a healthy few rounds of "whack a mozzie" we took care of most of them.  This ended up being the own time we had issues with bugs the entire trip.


The timing was good on the end of  "whack a mozzie" because not long after that was done we saw some movement.  It turned out to be a potoroo eating however.  Then, a bit later, more movement and up popped an eastern quoll.  It was pretty curious of us and came a bit closer making for a decent picture.


Eastern Quoll (light morph)


It hung around for a only a short while before darting off.  At about the same time, the rain started back up again so we headed home and did a night drive on the way.  We ended up see 10 more eastern quolls on the drive back including one that was on a carcass off to the side of the road:


Eastern Quoll Scavenging


We even spotted another potoroo as well but other than that it was a pretty quiet drive back to the cottage when compared to the past two nights due to the weather.  We arrived home at around 10 PM and decided to walk around the grounds a bit since the rain had stopped but we didn't end up seeing anything.

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Tasmania Day 8 - Mt Field NP


We woke up early today hoping to catch a break with the weather that would allow us to walk the grounds a little bit, but no such luck.  Since we had to catch the 9AM ferry Inala Karen picked us up before 7:30AM for the drive north.


The ferry ride and drive to Hobart airport went by very quickly.  At the airport we said our goodbyes to Inala Karen. Boy we sure had a good time with her.  Not only is she a really good guide but we also got along very well.  Our whole trip to Bruny Island with Inala went very well and we highly recommend using them and even staying at one of their cottages.


We got dropped off at the airport because that is where we would pick up our rental car for the rest of the trip.  We rented from EuropCar and had a good experience with them but it was expensive when you add in the extra $200+ we spent on insurance.  Since we didn't know how well our cell phone coverage would be with the Optus SIM card I purchased, we paid for a GPS unit with the car. Since my cell phone coverage ended up being pretty bad, the GPS unit was money well spent.


Since I would be driving on the left in a right hand drive car for the first time, I took extra time to get to know the car before pulling out of our parking spot.  The car they gave us was a Mitsubishi Outlander and it worked out well.  However, it did take some getting used to with the blinkers on the right of the steering wheel and the wipers on the left.  I am sure there are a quite a few Tassie drivers out there still wondering why that silver Outlander kept turning on its wipers before making a turn...


Anyway, I was a bit nervous about driving on the left and did two things before the trip that I hoped would make me more comfortable.


The first was playing a driving game that actually took place in Australia where you drive on the left in right hand wheel cars.  When you change the view to inside, it was really realistic and allowed me to drive through some roundabouts and do some turning virtually which actually did help from a visualization standpoint.


The second was that I used Google street view to "walk through" our initial drive from the airport to our first stop at a grocery store to our lodging for the night.


Both of these ended up helping out a lot and it wasn't long on that first drive until I felt pretty comfortable although I did make sure I concentrated behind the wheel at all times during the entire trip.


In fact, the only thing I struggled with a bit (besides the wipers instead of the blinkers) was hugging the center line on my right.  At times, I was a bit too close to the left side of the lane but a blood curdling scream from Karen would usually cause me to slowly correct that.


We had about an hour drive to our first stop which was a Woolworths grocery store in New Norfolk where we picked up some supplies.  After that, it was another half hour or so through the pretty Tassie country side until we reached Hamlet Downs just outside of Mt Field National Park where we would be staying for two nights.


We had a nice big place at Hamlet Downs but we did share walls with the owners and other guests so it wasn't perfectly secluded but it worked out fine.


Here is the living area:

Hamlet Downs living area


And here is the bedroom:

Hamlet Downs bedroom


After settling in for a little bit, we headed out to explore Mt Field NP.


The sign is self explanatory...


We ended up hiking the waterfall loop trail.  But, Inala Karen had given us some advice to do it in reverse so that we would be going down most of the stairs instead of up them.  That was a great piece of advice as it turned out.  Going in reverse meant starting off at the trail head for Lady Barron Falls.


Nice loop hike


Mt Field is known for big trees and I must say that the forest along the loop trail was very impressive.


Mt Field NP Forest


Eucalyptus Grove


Here are those stairs that we went down, instead of up:

Easier going down



The forest got thicker and greener at the bottom.

A river runs through it


Bright green forest




The fern trees were huge:

Huge fern trees


Giants to be


The view of Lady Barron Falls wasn't great so I am not including that picture, but Horsetail Falls which was next was very pretty.  I managed to hold the camera steady enough to slow down the shutter speed a bit.


Horseshoe Falls


Looking back at stairs we came down...and not up thanks to Inala Karen.

Lots and lots of stairs


The final waterfall on the loop trail was Russell Falls which is absolutely spectacular.  The recent rain meant there was some good flow but not too much.  Outside of Yosemite, these are the most spectacular falls I have ever seen.


Obscured Russell Falls


Russell Falls


The trail finished with a nice paved section back to the visitor center that was lined by more huge fern trees.


The trail


While we didn't see much wildlife on this walk, it was a fantastic 2 hour hike.


Originally, we had thought that we might go back to New Norfolk for dinner and pick up a pizza that would make great night two leftovers.  But, since we just had pizza, we changed the plan.  We wanted to do some night hikes in the park so a sit down restaurant was pretty much out.  Instead we opted to go to New Norfolk for Chinese food at a highly rated (according to Google) restaurant called...wait for it...Ding Dings.  Well, if their food was half as good as their name, we would be satisfied.


Unfortunately, it really wasn't.  It was just so-so and we ordered enough so that we could take leftovers with us for the next night.  So, we would get to eat this again.  How nice...


We did about a 2 hour night hike around the visitor center in Mt Field NP.  I had read that this was a good spot for nocturnal mammals and that we had a chance at seeing an eastern barred bandicoot here.


Including the drive back to Hamlet Downs, we saw 25+ brushies but most were during our walk.




Brush-tailed Possums


We also saw 2 eastern quolls and zillions of pademelons.  But, the highlight was when we saw a different type of eye shine.  Once we got a flashlight on the animal we could tell that it was something new.  However, it was quite lively and would zip around the field, stop and nibble on something, and then zip off again. So, it was next to impossible to positively identify it.  Finally, it held still long enough to not only confirm that it was an eastern barred bandicoot, but I also managed to get a proof picture.


Brief glimpse of a Bandicoot


To end the night, we walked back to Russell Falls to check out the glow worms that are visible at night there.  While it wasn't as good as seeing them in a cave, they were pretty cool to see and worth the short hike.


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Love the Echidna, great sighting and photos!

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I don't understand the naming of Mount Field National Park, Is it a mountain or is it a field? They should make up their mind.


I really like the shot of the two possums, it looks like the second one is an adolescent?

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8 hours ago, CheetahFan said:

I don't understand the naming of Mount Field National Park, Is it a mountain or is it a field? They should make up their mind.


The mountain was clearly named after Mr Field. Duh!

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@michael-ibk, thanks for following along.


@CheetahFan,  Your guess is as good as mine.  But, we did see pairs of brushies a lot.  So, either it was a mother and juvie or a mating pair.


@monalisa, Is that the same Mr Field who ate all his wife's cookies?  Oh wait, that was "Fields" wasn't it, nevermind...

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9 hours ago, monalisa said:


The mountain was clearly named after Mr Field. Duh!

It took a while but I found some limited information on the naming of Mt Field.

"The current name is derived from the New South Wales circuit judge, Barron Field, who made two tours of duty to Van Diemen's Land in 1819 and 1821."

 "Barron" was his christian name and not a title.

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Thanks @ElaineAust! Good find! 


See... I knew that. It was named after Mr Field! :lol:

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Yes, thanks @ElaineAust.  I do find it interesting that there is a huge field there where we saw tons of wildlife at night and of course a mountain.  What are the odds? :)


@monalisa, we should all know better than to doubt you.  It's your other half that likes to make stuff up...;)

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Tasmania Day 9 - Mt Field NP


We slept in until 7 AM today which was great.  Hamlet Downs provides a continental breakfast and it was a really nice one with cereal, yogurt, breads, and homemade rhubarb.


After the tasty breakfast we decided to walk the grounds a bit since they have multiple ponds and there was a chance at platypus.  While we didn't see any platypus we did see some birds and I finally got a silvereye to sit still for a picture.




After the walk, the plan was to see some really big trees at the Styx Tree reserve.  But, just as we got close it started to rain and the roads weren't the greatest and I didn't want to risk getting stuck or worse so we turned around and just drove some of the paved roads in the area looking for wildlife.


This led us back to the Mt Field visitor center where we got out to stretch our legs.  We did see a different kind of possum there:


Mt Field visitor center carving


For lunch we stopped at the nearby Possum Shed.  It's in a great setting along the river and they even have a resident platypus apparently but we didn't see it.  The meal was really good and we enjoyed sitting outside since the skies had cleared up a bit.


Great lunch by the river


After lunch, we decided to drive to the dam and see if there was any wildlife along the way.  We didn't have to wait long because about a half hour into our drive we spotted an echidna along the road.  This one was really cooperative so we had a nice prolonged photo shoot.


Can't get enough echidna


Digging for ants:

Trying to hide





On a whim, we stopped at some trail heads to check out the trails so that we could stretch our legs.  The first trail was the Creepy Crawley trail but we turned around quickly when we heard a family with a screaming baby ahead of us.  So, we decided that "We're not gonna take it" and instead we moved on to the Twisted Sister trail because, well... "I wanna Rock".


I Wanna Rock!


It was another nice walk through a lush forest.


Another lush forest




The different shades of green along the trail were amazing:

And bright green


And then the trees got pretty big and it felt like we were walking among giants.

Land of the Giants


A Giant


On the way back to Mt Field, we saw another echidna but we decided not to stop (can you imagine?).  Instead, we stopped at the National Park Hotel and had a drink at their bar which was a nice relaxing stop.


After a glorious dinner of leftover below average reheated Chinese food, we decided to go back to Mt Field for our night walk to see if we could get better looks at the bandicoot.  As usual, the brushies were out in force. This one could barely get out of the trash can and was obviously well fed:




A short while later we saw the familiar zipping outline of a long-nosed bandicoot in the field but tonight it held still long enough for a much better picture.  What a cutey:


Eastern Barred Bandicoot


Since we accomplished the bandicoot mission so quickly we decided to hike up the Lady Barron trail a bit to see if any other nocturnal critters were out but they weren't.  We did see another bandicoot as we left the park however.


Back at our place a bit early, we decided to do a night walk on the grounds there.  As we headed out, we could see someone out spotlighting already and it took a while to figure out that they were at the property next door.  Could there be other wildlife enthusiasts out looking for wildlife?  Well, when the loud gunshot rang out we realized they were the opposite of a wildlife enthusiast.  Unfortunately, we learned that shooting wildlife was not uncommon in Tassie and that's exactly what that neighbor seemed to be doing.  We hustled farther away from his property and continued a distracted night walk.  The only animal of note we saw was a nice up close view of a tawny frogmouth:


Tawny Frogmouth


Since the neighbor had a dog out too that was barking at us we decided to just call it a night.  It had been a pretty good day despite the disturbing ending.


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Great to see you views and photos of what used to be my backyard (Great Ocean Road) and of Tassie which I love.  Wildlife watching in Tassie is fabulous - worth being on any wildlife lover's bucket list.  I haven't been to Bruny Island yet but have heard great things about Inala.  

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Oooo I think that echidna is even cuter than the last!! :wub:

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