Wednesday, February 17, 2010


About a month later than planned, I'm finally in Tassie! After a pleasant though fairly uneventful trip down the coast, I came across on the Spirit of Tasmania I and have spent the last week and a half exploring the island's north-west. It's been fabulous. I love being back on the road and I've seen some interesting animals and beautiful scenes.

I began by heading just east of Devonport to Narawntapu national park - coastally located with some pleasant walking through sandy banksia forest and melaleuca swamp surrounding a freshwater lagoon. The best part of this park is the sheer mass of mammals! Pademelons are by far the most common, ridiculously abundant, foraging alongside wombats. I saw a few Bennet's Wallabies and Eastern Grey Kangaroos too. Walking along one of the tracks I was glad to spot several hair-filled scats so I was keenly on the lookout for predators.

That night - only my second in Tassie, I saw not one but two Tassie devils! The first was on a road that I was slowly driving at dark with the hope of seeing something interesting. It looked up at me, showing off its white bib, before dashing into the scrub. I was amazed and incredulous. Was it that easy to see wild devils here? As I drove into camp I saw another devil actually loping around next to a caravan! I sat quietly near my tent and the devil paid me a visit. A pademelon that was grazing in the clearing saw it and stamped its feet. The devil turned to the pademelon and chased it briefly but without much enthusiasm. It sniffed around my camp then galloped off down the road. Amazing creatures! I've since seen one more devil in my headlights - pretty impressive!

I also did a bit of frogging in this park - came across Litoria ewingii, the Brown Treefrog, Limnodynastes dumerilii (Pobblebonk) and Limnodynastes tasmaniensis (Spotted grass frog).

Litoria ewingii, Brown Treefrog

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