Tasmania's Wildlife Highlights Tour 24th Feb - 5th March 2024

Tasmanian Devil - Velt Veen - Inala Nature Tours
Tasmanian Devil - Velt Veen - Inala Nature Tours
Tour date: 
Saturday, 24 February 2024 to Tuesday, 5 March 2024
10 days
AUD$ 6,165 per person twin share. Single supplement: AUD$1,180

NEW TOUR DATES DUE TO POPULAR DEMAND.  A great variation on our Tasmanian Endemics Tour which includes all the iconic and beautiful Tasmanian wildlife locations such as Maria Island, Bruny Island, Mt Field and Cradle Mountain. 
Explore Tasmania with your guide to find the twelve endemic birds as well as the many other glorious birds that call Tasmania home.  Take an eco-cruise out from Bruny Island to view magnificent Jurassic Dolerite seacliffs and discover our vibrant sealife.  Visit the Tasmanian habitats where Wombats thrive, where Wallabies and Pademelons graze, and where you have a chance to see the incredible nocturnal marsupials such as Tasmanian Devils, Eastern and Spotted-tail Quolls.  Join us on this highlight tour of our favourite locations in Tasmania. 

Start Location: 
Hobart TAS
Finish location: 
Launceston TAS

Tasmania's Wildlife Highlights Tour

A great variation on our Tasmanian Endemics Tour which includes all the iconic and beautiful Tasmanian wildlife locations such as Maria Island, Bruny Island, Mt Field and Cradle Mountain.
Explore Tasmania with your guide to find the twelve endemic birds as well as the many other glorious birds that call Tasmania home.  Take an eco-cruise out from Bruny Island to view magnificent Jurassic Dolerite sea cliffs and discover our vibrant sealife.  Visit the Tasmanian habitats where Wombats thrive, where Wallabies and Pademelons graze, and where you have a chance to see the incredible nocturnal marsupials such as Tasmanian Devils, Eastern and Spotted-tail Quolls.  Join us on this highlight tour of our favourite locations in Tasmania.

Itinerary OUTLINE:

Day 1. Sat 24 Feb 24. Arrive Hobart.
Day 2. Sun 25 Feb 24. Hobart to Maria Island.
Day 3. Mon 26 Feb 24. Mt Field National Park/Styx.
Day 4. Tue 27 Feb 24. Mt Field to Bruny Island.
Day 5. Wed 28 Feb 24. Eco-cruise and Bruny Island.
Day 6. Thu 29 Feb 24. Bruny Island.
Day 7. Fri 1 Mar 24. Bruny Island to Hobart.
Day 8. Sat 2 Mar 24. Hobart to Cradle Mountain area.
Day 9. Sun 3 Mar 24. Cradle Mountain area.
Day 10. Mon 4 Mar 24. Cradle Mountain via Narawntapu National Park to Launceston.
Day 11. Tue 5 Mar 24. Launceston area, depart Launceston airport.

Detailed itinerary:
B-breakfast, L-lunch and D-dinner.

Day 1. Saturday 24 February 2024. Arrive Hobart.
Today has been set aside as an arrival day so you are free to arrive at any time that suits your travel plans. Please make your own way to the hotel in the city (please see notes at the end of this itinerary) and we will meet at the hotel at 18:30 for a brief orientation and welcome dinner. We will meet at 7pm for dinner where we can discuss the plan for the tour.  
Accommodation: Hobart hotel (ensuite rooms). Meals included: B, L, D.

Day 2. Sunday 25 February 2024. Maria Island Day trip.
We leave this morning to travel up the East Coast to Triabunna, where we shall take the short 30-minute ferry ride across to Maria Island, an island with a rich history, a World Heritage Listed Probation Station, fossil cliffs and a great array of wildlife. On the way across to Maria Island, we shall look out for seals, dolphins, orcas and whales.  Maria is a fascinating island with a wide variety of bird and mammal species. Of the mammals, we can expect to see Forester Kangaroo, Tasmanian Pademelon, Bennett’s Wallaby and Common Wombat. Maria Island has an abundant bird assemblage, with 11 of the 12 Tasmanian endemics occurring here. We shall use our time to stroll slowly around the northern part of the island, with the chance of seeing some outstanding scenery, and many bird species including Cape Barren Geese, Australasian Pipit and Skylarks on the grazed grasslands and Forty-spotted Pardalote, Swift Parrot, Black Currawongs and several species of honeyeaters in the wooded areas. In the late afternoon, we will head back on the ferry and travel to our accommodation for tonight at a National award winning farm-stay, set in natural bushland overlooking picturesque Lake Meadowbank, close to Mt Field National Park. Tonight, we will enjoy a hearty dinner before settling into our cosy cottages.
Accommodation: Cottage accommodation (en suite cabins) near Mt Field NP. Meals included: B, L, D.

Day 3.  Monday 26 February 2024. Mt Field National Park/Styx.
Today we will spend the entire day exploring Mount Field National Park and surrounding areas. This area is an excellent back up site for our endemic target species, notably Scrubtit and Black Currawong, and is also a great place to experience a range of habitats from fern gullies with waterfalls, to alpine heathland and cool temperate rainforest boasting some of the tallest trees in the world - the mighty Mountain Ash (Eucalyptus regnans). Today we also have our first chance of seeing the bizarre Platypus, the other species of Australian monotreme. In the late afternoon we will return to our cottages for a relaxed second night. 
Accommodation: Cottage accommodation (en suite cabins) near Mt Field NP as for last night. Meals Included: B, L, D.

Day 4. Tuesday 27 February 2024. Mount Field to Bruny Island.
This morning we will travel to Bruny Island where we will spend the next 3 nights. Situated about 40km south of Hobart, Bruny Island is separated from the Tasmanian mainland by the D’Entrecasteaux Channel and accessed by a vehicle ferry. The ferry trip takes approximately 15 minutes where we will enjoy some wonderful scenery and possibly Little Penguins or dolphins alongside the ferry. This afternoon we will visit Bruny’s southern coastline to view the second oldest lighthouse in Australia where we will search for species such as Tawny-crowned Honeyeater, Olive Whistler, and Yellow-tailed Black-cockatoo. Here we also have a chance to see the Tasmanian sub-species of Short-beaked Echidna, one of Australia’s two egg-laying mammal (montreme) species. Tonight, after dinner we will visit the Little Penguin and Short-tailed Shearwater rookery to view these species at their burrows.
Accommodation: Inala and nearby Cottages, Bruny Island (own room/possible shared bathrooms if many singles in the group). Meals Included: B, L, D.

Day 5. Wednesday 28 February 2024. Eco-cruise and Bruny Island.
We have another day to explore Bruny’s coastline, from its pristine beaches to its offshore islands and rock-stacks. We will join a 3 hour wilderness cruise to Bruny’s southern coastline to see some spectacular coastal scenery and visit an Australian fur seal haul-out (weather permitting). This also provides the opportunity to see a range of seabirds including Black-faced Cormorants, Common Diving-petrel, and albatrosses (Shy Albatross is the most common species seen at this time of year). A range of cetaceans such as Bottle-nosed and Common Dolphins, Hump-backed and Southern Right Whale are also possible. This afternoon, we will have the chance to explore historic and scenically beautiful Adventure Bay to look for Hooded Plover (Dotterel) and Bruny’s rare and famous “white wallabies” which are an almost albino genetic variation of the Bennett’s wallaby.  
Accommodation: Inala and nearby cottages as for last night. Meals Included: B, L, D.

Day 6. Thursday 29 February 2024. Bruny Island.
Today we will spend most of the morning on the 1,500 acre Inala private reserve. Inala is home to all 12 Tasmanian endemic bird species. Several hides and platforms have been built around the property which provide close views of many very special species. This includes the 4-metre (13 foot) high canopy platform which has been designed to give access and close viewing and photography opportunities within one of the largest known colonies of the endangered and endemic Forty-spotted Pardalote. A variety of other species, such as the endemic Yellow-throated, Black-headed and Strong-billed Honeyeaters can also be seen here. Dusky Robin and Green Rosella are also regulars here. We will also have access to the Raptor Photography hide at Inala which has been designed using imported one-way glass to enable close views and photographic opportunities of some of the most wary and elusive bird species- the raptors. Six species of raptor visit the area: Wedge-tailed eagle, White-bellied Sea-eagle, Swamp Harrier, Grey Goshawk (white morph), Brown Goshawk and Brown Falcon. We will then explore some cool temperate rainforest, where we will search for the endemic Scrubtit and Tasmanian Thornbill and see a range of interesting flora, including Tasmanian endemic species and relics from the ancient Gondwanan Supercontinent. Tonight, we will enjoy another night trip for the chance to see a range of Tasmania’s nocturnal marsupials (including Eastern Quoll and “normal” as well as white morph Red-necked Wallaby and Brush-tailed Possums) as well as searching for Tawny Frogmouth and Tasmanian Boobook.
Accommodation: Inala and nearby cottages as for last night. Meals Included: B, L, D.

Day 7. Friday 1 March 2024. Bruny Island to Hobart.
Today we depart Bruny Island and spend a bit of time exploring the reserves in the Hobart area including kunanyi (Mount Wellington). This mountain, at a height of 1,270m (around 4,150 feet), affords spectacular views of the city and surrounding landscape on a clear day. Here we will also take a walk through a fern glade with towering tree ferns where we have another chance to see the endemic and rather shy Scrubtit as well as Tasmanian Scrubwren and the stunning Pink Robin. Further endemic highlights we will look for today include Green Rosella, Tasmanian Native Hen, Black Currawong and Yellow Wattlebird. We will also visit a lagoon for the chance to see a variety of waterbirds like Australasian Shoveler, Australian Shelduck and Black-fronted Dotterel.  Depending on the mood and weather we may opt for some spotlighting after dinner in a Hobart reserve to search for Southern (Tasmanian) Bettong, Tasmanian Pademelon, Bennett’s Wallaby and Brush Tailed Possum.
Accommodation: Hobart hotel (ensuite rooms). Meals Included: B, L, D.

Day 8. Saturday 2 March 2024. Hobart to Cradle Mountain area.
This morning we will leave the Hobart area and travel towards Cradle Mountain National Park. While this will mainly be a day of travel, we will enjoy some lovely scenery and stop en route to bird and stretch our legs. There will also be an option to visit a Wildlife Sanctuary where some of Tasmania’s rarer mammal species can be seen. We will arrive at our accommodation near the National Park in the late afternoon. This accommodation offers one of the only chances of seeing one of Australia’s most threatened and charismatic mammals, the Tasmanian Devil, in the wild and at close range. Both Tasmanian Devils and Spotted-tailed Quolls are regularly seen on the verandas of the cabins, making them an ideal hide.
Accommodation: Small wilderness Lodge near Cradle Mountain (possible shared cabins/shared bathrooms). Meals Included: B, L, D.

Day 9. Sunday 3 March 2024. Cradle Mountain area.
Today we have a full day to explore Cradle Mountain. This is a good area to search for Tasmania’s endemic bird species like the retiring Scrubtit, Black Currawong and Tasmanian Thornbill. In addition to the great birding, we will enjoy some of the interesting plants found here, including ancient rainforest species and Gondwana relics such as Pencil and King Billy Pines, Myrtle Beech, and the famous Fagus (Nothofagus gunnii) which is Tasmania’s only deciduous tree. This is also a good area to view Common Wombat and if we are fortunate, we may see Platypus. If time permits, we will visit the replica of “Waldheim”, the home of the Austrian Gustav Weindorfer, whose love of the area inspired the establishment of the national park. Tonight, we have another chance to see Tasmanian Devil.
Accommodation: Small wilderness Lodge near Cradle Mountain as for last night. Meals Included: B, L, D.

Day 10. Monday 4 March 2024. Cradle Mountain to the North Coast.
This morning we will explore the wild area around our small lodge. This includes visiting a canyon where the mighty river has carved a path through the forest toward the sea. As we make our way north, we will visit a reserve where we will have excellent chances of seeing and photographing Platypus, usually at quite close range. Tonight, we will be staying at a beautiful historic house in a unique and spectacular seaside setting. After dinner there will be another optional night tour to search for Southern Brown Bandicoot and Long-nosed Potoroo.
Accommodation: Historic house near Devonport (ensuite rooms). Meals Included: B, L, D.

Day 10. Depart Tasmania.
This morning after breakfast we travel to Devonport or Launceston airport where we will connect with onward flights back home.  If time permits, we will visit some wetlands en route where there is a chance to view several wetland species including Purple Swamphen, Australian Shelduck, Black-fronted Dotterel and the retiring Little Grassbird
Accommodation: none. Meals Included: B.

Group size: 6-8 participants and 1 Inala guide.  

Tour Price: AUD$ 6,165 per person twin share. Single supplement: AUD$1,180 

Inclusions: Accommodation for each night of the tour, specialist guiding and transport for day and night tours as outlined in the itinerary (including ferry fares to Bruny Island), all meals (B, L, D) and activities outlined in the itinerary (including the Bruny Is boat trip), National Park entry fees, GST.  

Exclusions: Any international and domestic, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and expenses of a personal nature (snacks, travel insurance, internet, laundry, tips etc).  

Please note:   Whilst we aim to follow the itinerary as planned, please note that the itinerary provided should only be used as a guideline.  Depending on individual trip circumstances, weather, and local information, the exact itinerary may not be strictly adhered to.  The guides reserve the right to make changes to the itinerary as they see fit. 

Trip Report - Tasmania Endemics Tour - October/November 2022
Guided by Cat Davidson of Inala Nature Tours


Day One - 29th October
With a slight adjustment to the schedule due to weather our trip to Maria Island switched to day one.

We met bright and early and drove the hour to the east coast to Triabunna where we caught the ferry to Maria Island. On the crossing of the Mercury passage we saw Black-faced Cormorants, Greater Crested Tern and Pacific Gull.

Upon landing on beautiful Maria Island we saw four lovely tiny Hooded Dotterel dancing in the sea foam on the beach edge and were visited by our first handsome and impressively large Cape Barren Geese with their lime green cere glowing in the sun. A pair of Chestnut Teal were floating down the creek and our first two Tasmanian Endemic birds quickly followed, with a Black Currawong and a pair of Tasmanian Native Hens.

Following his strong song, we tracked down a Flame Robin male and while admiring his stunning orange glow, a male Scarlet Robin also appeared and allowed us to compare and contrast their beautiful colours and features.

We had already spotted our first snoozing wombat down by the water, but up in Darlinghurst we had the great fortune of watching a wombat with her adorable joey poking out between her legs.

Another endemic appeared with two Green Rosellas sitting and singing on the rooftop and showing their colours. We began our walk down to the painted cliffs and along the route we had excellent sightings of Yellow-rumped Thornbill, White-fronted Chat, Australasian Pipits and Dusky Woodswallows.

Reaching the forest in the lower flats near the painted cliffs we saw some majestic and vocal Yellow Wattlebirds and many Black-headed Honeyeaters high in the canopy as well as brief but exciting views of a Forty-spotted Pardalote. Some Kookaburra laughed at us, but we tried not to take it personally and made our way back towards Darlington and had lunch on the deck of the coffee palace with wombats visiting throughout.

Refuelled, we went for a short walk towards the reservoir circuit and along the way we saw a handsome Tiger Snake basking in the sun and also got our first view of a sweet Tasmanian Pademelon as well as two Foresters Kangaroos resting amongst the bushes.

On the ferry ride back we saw a Swamp Harrier and a White-bellied Sea Eagle as well as some additional Australasian Gannets. A quick stop at Buckland Tasmanian Garden gave us a solo Australian Grebe floating in a wee dam, several pairs of Superb Fairywrens and a pair of Brown Thornbills amongst the silver wattles.

Dinner at the Old Woolstore and the opportunity to start to get to know each other better, a lovely start to a great first day.

Day Two - 30th October
We began our day by heading up to the top of Kunanyi ( Mt Wellington ) and enjoying the beautiful views over Hobart and the light layer of frost that lay over the trees and rocks, but which melted in front of our eyes as the sun began to warm the air.

A brief sighting of a female Flame Robin and a Wedge-tailed Eagle were the only birds at the top of the mountain, but when we dropped down to The Springs we were surrounded by the calls of the Crescent Honeyeaters and many adorable Superb Fairy Wrens. Dropping back down to sea-level we went to Sandy Bay and had morning tea in a lovely park where we saw Musk Lorikeet, Rainbow Lorikeet, Eastern Rosella and Galah as well as many Noisy Minor zipping about.

Our next stop took us outside the city to Sorell and Orielton Lagoon where we saw some Musk Duck out near the island and Little Pied, Little Black and Great Cormorants standing on the island and feeding in the currents. After lunch we drove to Marion Bay and saw a lovely selection of water and coastal heath birds including White-fronted Chat, Great Egret, Little Egret, Bar-tailed Godwit and Caspian Tern. The beach lookout gave us lovely views of the shoreline and a distant Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo.

On to the beautiful vistas of Pirates Bay Lookout and our final two birding spots for the day, the dog line site across the neck and the Tessellated Pavement with its incredible rock formations of loafs and pans formed by tidal erosion and salt crystal expansion. A sooty oystercatcher was our final new bird for the day.

Day Three - 31st October
A very windy day was predicted with severe weather warnings across Tasmania so we adjusted our pelagic to go the following day and planned a day of birding around the Tasman Peninsula.

Our first stop was at The Blowhole at Eaglehawk Neck followed by the stunning Tasman Arch and Devils Kitchen viewpoints. From the viewpoints out over the ocean we could see thousands of Short-tailed Shearwaters streaming past which was spectacular. A Flame Robin, Little Wattlebirds, some Brown Thornbill and two Bennetts Wallaby popped out of the undergrowth while we were admiring the incredible geological formations.

A drive to the Salt River Coal Mine site was very successful with excellent sightings of Spotted Pardalote, Striated Pardalote, Golden Whistler, Pallid Cuckoo and Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike.

After a wee drive up to Lime Bay campsite which was very windy we had lunch in Nubeena with a flock of Galahs as a splash of colour while we were enjoying our food.

Our next stop was the Remarkable Cave passing three Cape Barren Geese in a dam along the way. The views were sunny and stunning out to Cape Raoul and several beautiful alpha male Superb Fairywren were jumping around amongst the white daisy flowers of the Olearia.

A final stop for the day was Fortescue Bay where we were rewarded with fantastic sightings of Swift Parrot high in the blooming Blue Gums. A pair of Black Currawong and a flock of Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo were the final birds for the day and the icing on the cake of a lovely day in challenging winds.

Day Four - 1st November
The day dawned bright and calm, perfect for the day heading out to the ocean shelf to look for seabirds. The sailors headed out to sea with Inala guide Karen Dick as their expert companion to help them spot the birds, tell them all about them and their diagnostic features, behaviours and lives.

On the way back to shore a few wee showers came through and as we drove the hour back to Hobart there were a few pulses of lightning amongst the heavy showers.

Another lovely dinner at Old Woolstore and early to bed to be ready for Melaleuca tomorrow.

Day Five - 2nd November
The weather held well enough for us to be granted permission to fly and we made our way down the spectacular coastline to land in Melaleuca. The weather was wet and windy and yet we managed to get amazing sightings of over seventeen Orange-bellied Parrots as well as great Yellow-throated Honeyeater and Green Rosella sightings and some elusive Southern Emu-wren who called loudly but refused to show.

Once back in Hobart we had lunch at Margate before jumping on the next Bruny Ferry.

Our first stop in North Bruny gave us a Flame Robin on a fencepost, Black-headed Honeyeaters high in the Eucalypts, Striated Pardalotes and Brown Thornbills in the mid-storey and a few brief Common Bronzewings who zipped away on our approach.

Next stop was The Neck Campground where we had excellent views of a Satin Flycatcher pair, freshly arrived from their mainland migration. A Shining Bronze Cuckoo came in close and a pair of Golden Whistlers showed beautifully.

Arriving at Inala to check in to our accommodation, we were treated to a Beautiful Firetail in the carpark as we headed out for dinner at Hotel Bruny, spotting a White Wallaby on route glowing in the last light of the day.

Day Six - 3rd November
Our day on Bruny began at Inala where during breakfast we all had to temporarily abandon our food to dash out and see the beautiful Grey Goshawk ( white morph ) as it came in to land in the raptor field quickly followed by a White-bellied Sea Eagle.

We started our property walk in the Jurassic Garden and saw Tasmanain Scrubwren nicely out in the open. The Forty-spotted Pardalotes were fabulously active in the Eucalyptus Viminalis and some Black-headed Honeyeater were bouncing about amongst the leaves. Dusky Robin with two mottled chocks, Yellow-rumped Thornbill, Flame Robin and Scarlett Robin were all seen out in the Inala Fields and we then looped through the bush, seeing many great birds including Striated Pardalote and Tasmanian Thornbill.

On the way back to the office area we saw a Swamp Harrier and many adorable Tasmanian Pademelons around the old barn. Morning tea at the Alonnah Pontoon was followed by driving round to Adventure Bay. Two-tree point was stormy and beautiful with bright green seaweed contrasting with the turquoise ocean and a dark sky. We watched a fantastic number of Swift Parrots at Adventure Bay foreshore and ate our lunch surrounded by their twittering and tweeting. A hunt for White Wallaby was very successful and we saw an adorable young one relaxing on a sunny bank. We also discovered a lovely wee Echidna mosying along by the side of the road.

A walk through Mavista rainforest was quiet save for Tasmanian Thornbills and a Crescent Honeyeater feeding in the Tasmanian Laurel (Anopterus glandulosus ) and we finished up on Sharps Road with two lovely pairs of Red-capped Plovers.

After dinner we headed out to The Neck to watch the majestic Short-tailed Shearwater coming in to roost, circling silently and then singing to their mates underground. A quick look for nocturnal mammals gave us a Brush-tailed Possum, a Long-nosed Potoroo and three Tawny Frogmouths, a fantastic end to the day.

Day Seven - 4th November
After breakfast we tried again for Strong-billed Honeyeaters at Inala, but they still proved elusive. Departing Bruny we had a brief birding stop in Margate and saw some lovely Common Bronzewing, Black-faced Cuckoo Shrike and Yellow Wattlebirds followed by morning tea with the Fairy Wrens.

We travelled onward to Gould's Lagoon and saw a lovely selection of new water birds including Australian Shoveller, Australasian Swamphen, Australian Shelduck and Eurasian Coot. In the trees around the lagoon we heard many Musk Lorikeets and saw Eastern Rosella, Noisy Minor, Little Black and Great Cormorant and several adorable families of Native Hen with chicks.

Grabbing a quick lunch from New Norfolk, we zoomed on to Mount Field and on our walk to Russell Falls we had an amazing sighting of two male and one female Pink Robin. While enjoying the beautiful Pink Robin, a handsome brown Echidna strolled past giving us great views. The waterfall was looking spectacular with spray rising and sparkling in the sunlight. We had several excellent views of Tasmanian Scrubwren as they hopped amongst the moss and leaves. We walked the Tall Trees trail amongst the Eucalyptus Regnans and had two more sightings of Pink Robins with the last one being spotted in a perfect wee cup nest high in a tree fork.

Heading to Curringa Farm we had a delicious fresh dinner with Tim and Jane and spotted some Hoary-headed Grebes down on the farm Dam.

Day Eight - 5th November
Several guests came on a short walk of the regenerated land at Curringa and saw some beautiful orchids down near the water and several adorable wallabies joeys in the pouch. The rest of the team had a lovely relaxed breakfast and enjoyed their lovely cottages until we checked out and with a final farewell to Tim and Jane, headed off for the North.

First stop of the day was a dam near Bothwell where we saw a distant Black-fronted Dotterel, some White-fronted Chat and a large family of Australian Shelduck. Two Brown Falcon flew overhead while we were watching the waterbirds giving us excellent views. We drove on to the Steppes and stopped at the wildlife sculptures ( created by Stephen Walker ) viewing some lovely Yellow Wattlebirds, Black Currawong and Yellow-throated Honeyeater.

We walked through the forest to the old Homestead buildings and had morning tea surrounded by beautiful sunshine and shouty Striated Pardalotes. Our route then took us past the Great Lakes and up in altitude until we reached the Pencil Pine Lake high on the plateau. A stroll to the lake took us past Cushion Plants, Pineapple Grass, Yellow Bush and of course the magnificent Pencil Pines down to the windy wee alpine lake.

On the way back we caught the sound of a Striated Field-wren on the breeze and then had lovely close views when it flew in to observe us from near the trail.

We had lunch in Deloriane and then headed to Trowunna Wildlife Sanctuary where we joined a tour with staff member Adrian who showed us Wombats, Spotted-tailed Quolls, Eastern Quolls and Tasmanian Devils who we got to watch feeding on a rabbit, incredible to see them so close and know all about the great work the sanctuary is doing to help protect and recover the species.

Our destination for the night was the Hotel Grand Chancellor in Launceston where we had a lovely dinner before getting some rest.

Day Nine - 6th November
Today was our day to visit Cradle Mountain National Park , but first we headed North to the Tasmanian Arboretum to try to view some Platypus and being the first people in through the gates we had the dams to ourselves and saw several wonderful sightings of some sleek brown swimming magical monotremes.

After following one very lovely individual around the dam and seeing some wonderful surfacing views, we headed off on a wee birding loop seeing Spotted and Striated Pardalotes, Black-headed and Yellow-throated Honeyeaters, Yellow Wattlebird, Grey Fantail and a White-faced Heron sitting up in a tree.

We drove the winding back roads down to Cradle Mountain stopping to enjoy views of Mt Roland, and arrived in bright sunshine to enjoy morning tea at the Pencil Pine Falls where a Black Currawong joined us looking hopeful within minutes of our arrival and of course departed disappointed when we refused to share.

Walking the pencil pine loop track past the beautiful waterfall we saw Crescent Honeyeater and Tasmanian Thornbill amongst the mossy ancient Pencil Pines, Celery Top Pines and Myrtle Beech.

We headed through the barrier and into the park to drive to Dove Lake and enjoy the incredible clear sunny view of the mountain, which according to the staff was a rare occurrence for the last few weeks had been all rain and cloud.

Back at Ronny Creek we drove up to Walheim Cabin for lunch and had fantastic views over the sunny valley full of glacier features and alpine flora.

After lunch we took a walk through the wonderful Weindorfer’s Forest amongst the King Billy Pines and there we finally got good sightings of the endemic Tasmanian Scrubtit as well as a Pink Robin Female on her nest. We were spoiled by several more fabulous Wombats as we departed the centre of the park and our final stroll for the day was the Enchanted Forest Walk alongside the river where we had a second excellent view of Tasmanian Scrubtit and enjoyed the sunshine on the glowing Buttongrass.

A quick look around the gift shop and we set off back to Launceston, returning to our final delicious dinner together for the tour.

Day Ten - 7th November
Waking up on our last day of the tour we had a whole morning of birding ahead of us, as our accommodation was in Launceston we did not have far to drive so we could go to several fantastic birding sites. First was Queechy Lake at the top of the city and we got to see some wonderful new birds for the tour, Royal Spoonbill nesting on the island with some Little-pied Cormorants and gliding around on the lake by themselves, one Pink-eared Duck and one Blue-billed Duck, both so handsome and colourful. Great repeat views of Australasian Shovellers, Grey Teal, Australian Shelduck and Little-pied Cormorant. Before leaving the Lake we saw an incredible swarm of bees in a tree.

Our next stop was the Tamar Wetland which sadly was closed ( boardwalk damage, perhaps from the recent flooding ) but we did a little bit of birding from the carpark and saw Black-fronted Dotterel, Chestnut Teal, Australian Swamphen and in the sky above several Swamp Harriers.

We drove to Notley Gorge to take a lovely walk through remnant rainforest and after morning tea at the top, we set off down the loop track and immediately had a female Pink Robin, two Eastern Spinebill and half a dozen Silvereyes.

As we made our way down we had a few glimpses of Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo and they called repeatedly. Tasmanian Thornbill and Tasmanian Scrubwren flitted across the track at various times and when we reached the bottom of the gorge and were walking through the majestic tall tree ferns with incredible handing mosses and lichens, we then had a fantastic sighting of a male Pink Robin. As we made our way back up the slope we saw a handsome male Golden Whistler and could hear Shining-bronze and Fantail Cuckoos calling throughout the Eucalypts.

Just before the top of the trail, we passed a burnt out tree known as 'Bradey's Tree.' named after the 1820s bushranger whose gang is believed to have hidden in this forest. After catching our breath back at the top, we departed with two brief stops, one at a tiny dam which had Austarlaian Grebes and one for a Grey Currawong by the side of the road.

Grabbing some lunch from a bakery, we ate back at the Tamar Wetland and then began the sad business of saying goodbye, dropping Kylie at her hotel and then the rest of the gang to the two airports that would take them towards home or on to their next tours. 

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