Twitcher

Narawntapu National Park

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.

NarawntapuNP

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!

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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.

Categories: 4WD, Adventure, Animal Action, Australian Outback, Beach, Big Lap, Discover Australia, Explore Australia, Journey Narrative, Kids Travel, Location, National Park, Natural World, Photography, TAS, Tasmania, Travel, Travel Adventure, Twitcher, Walks | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Eddystone Point and Deep Creek

On the far eastern point of Tasmania, above the Bay of Fires, within Mt. William national park is Eddystone Point. Our new home was the Deep Creek campsite several kilometres away, where a handful of fishing shacks line the shoreline. A short walk from the campsite up the shallow creek takes you to a large deep pool that would be great in summer but given the weather we have been experiencing no-one was up for the challenge to jump in.

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A quick visit to the lighthouse built at the end of the 19th century was followed by a visit to nearby Larc beach. Recent storms had laid bountiful piles of seaweed on the beach, but on closer inspection one pile turned out to be a particularly gruesome seal carcass. The kids loved this, though were a little disappointed that it wasn’t a Thylacine (extinct Tasmanian Tiger). It was so badly decomposed all we saw at first were the big canine teeth and fur. With storm clouds approaching we had a quick look at the Bay of Fires beach, recommended as being one of the whitest sands to be found, before returning to camp. When we returned the following morning Xavier found a Hooded Plover nest with two eggs in it.

Categories: 4WD, Adventure, Animal Action, Australian Outback, Beach, Big Lap, Camper Trailer, Discover Australia, Explore Australia, Journey Narrative, Kids Travel, Location, National Park, Natural World, Offroad, Photography, TAS, Tasmania, Travel, Travel Adventure, Twitcher, Walks | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Douglas-Apsley National Park

A short drive north found us in the town of Bicheno, the biggest we have been in for a while and the first where we could top up the gas. First stop was the famous blowhole, for a photographic opportunity, then down to the Gulch! None of us were quite sure what a gulch was so we had to go and have a look.

 

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It was the narrow channel of water between the boat ramp and islands inhabited by hundreds of birds, particularly the crested terns. The office near the boat ramp where the glass-bottomed boat trips can be purchased caught the kids eyes and a showcase of Tasmanian underwater secrets drew them in. With giant crab pincers as long as your arm, sperm whale jaws, urchins, abalone shells all displayed randomly in a big glass showcase the kids noses were pressed against the glass trying to find some new treasure previously undiscovered – it turned out to be the piranha, and only alien in the tank. After a very informative chat with the man in the office we drove to Chain of Lagoons to camp. This lies just to the east of the Douglas-Apsley National Park, just behind the beach. All day the hills in the national park were masked by low lying clouds that constantly drizzled, and periodically this stretched down to our camp.

Waterhole at Douglas-Apsley NP

Waterhole at Douglas-Apsley NP

Next day in pouring rain we decided we couldn’t miss a trip to the famous waterhole in the national park, and somewhat reluctantly the kids agreed to come along too. It rained, and rained but that didn’t stop Xavier from finding a frog!

Frog

We then decided it was a good day to focus on schoolwork until the rain stopped.

 

Categories: Australian Outback, Beach, Camper Trailer, Car, Discover Australia, Explore Australia, Journey Narrative, Kids Travel, Location, Mitsubishi, National Park, Photography, TAS, Tasmania, Travel, Travel Adventure, Twitcher, Walks | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Freycinet National Park

Heading for calmer and warmer conditions we drove straight back up North, through Hobart with only a brief lunch stop at Richmond to see the oldest bridge in Australia, built in 1823. Then on to our next camp at Friendly Beaches, close to Coles Bay. Here we captured photographic evidence of Xavier completing an easy challenge of patting a local animal, we think it is a Forresters Wallaby – let us know if this is right or not.

XwithForrestersWallaby

Friendly Beach saw the first landing of an edible, legal size fish, with a salmon and wrasse caught from the rocks. Xavier and I had an early morning jog to the end of the beach and back.

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A trip into Coles Bay saw us visiting Honeymoon Beach, Lighthouse Lookout and Sleepy Cove. Once again the crystal clear waters and colourful landscape is hard to capture in photos, especially when you have a speck of dust on your sensor! Hannah seized the moment, donned springsuit, mask and snorkel and dived in, whilst everyone else was still feeling the cold a little too much.

At the lookout we discovered Freycinet was the place to find lizards in Tasmania and we saw two different types, everywhere!

Hannah and Oscar lay down to measure how long a Bluefin Tuna is, and Oscar eyed up how hard his challenge to catch and eat one is!

The twitching highlight was the scarlet robin and green rosellas but we also found what appears to be a small dead possum by the track.

Categories: 4WD, Animal Action, Australian Outback, Beach, Big Lap, Camper Trailer, Car, Discover Australia, Explore Australia, Journey Narrative, Kids Travel, Location, Mitsubishi, National Park, Photography, TAS, Tasmania, Travel, Travel Adventure, Twitcher | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Hannah’s first challenge complete!

Hannah received a timely challenge in Huonville, to spot and photograph a duck-billed platypus. Fortunately we were camped right next to a river with them in so after a couple of hours the challenge was complete. They were pretty skittish creatures, not surfacing for any length of time. For any twitchers out there, there were quite a few birds there too, including the striated pardalote.

 

Categories: Animal Action, Australian Outback, Camper Trailer, Challenges, Discover Australia, Explore Australia, Journey Narrative, Kids Travel, Location, Photography, TAS, Tasmania, Travel, Travel Adventure, Twitcher | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

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