Narawntapu National Park hadn’t been on our radar but when Hannah rejected our camp in the middle of the river at garden island near Clarence, after we had set up camp I may add, but we stumbled upon it as we headed towards Devonport, with only a few days left before we leave Tasmania.
Dubbed the Serengeti of Tasmania it comes as no surprise to see vast expanses of short grassland, but instead of wilderbeest, lions, and elephants, this national park is full of marsupials. Forresters Kangaroos, Bennetts Wallabies, Pademelons, Bettongs and Potoroos all can be found here. I still can’t work out which is which but the ranger told us the rule of thumb was whether they are knee or waist high, and bigger or smaller than this, but there are so many joeys around too they are starting to all look the same. The wetlands are a haven for bird lovers and one of Tasmania’s top 60 short walks is the Springlawn walk to the bird hide in the middle of the lake. Our camp was surrounded by wombat holes, but no sign of them yet!
The boardwalk takes you past swamps, melaleuca and silver banksia forest, then on to the lakehide. Black swans and coot were everywhere but also to be spotted were Australasian grebe, maned duck, pacific black duck, egrets, herons, blue billed duck, musk duck, hoary-headed grebe and many others.
Just beyond the hide the path takes you on a bush walk to the top of Archers Knob, where commanding views over the park can be enjoyed, including the full length of Bakers Beach. This beach has millions of soldier crabs parading the shoreline at low tide and the kids had a competition to see who could find the most shark and ray eggs. They found at least 4 different species.
I also spotted my first snake here – a tiger snake basking in the sun on the walking path.
The poor wombats are suffering from Wombat mange caused by mites and seeing a wombat with very little fur staggering around during the day, covered in flies was not a pretty sight.