Depart London Heathrow on a BA flight at 16.45 on 15th November 2012, arrival at Hobart on day 3 at 10.00 local time. Note the time zone difference.
Arrive Hobart at 10.00 local time and drive (three and a half hours transfer) to Lake St Clair National Park for a two night stay. After arrival we can have a rest after the long flight or go straight for photography.
Today we concentrate on Lake St Clair National Park which is great for wallabies, quolls, devils and native birds including Black Currawongs a common endemic here.
Morning photography in the same area and around midday we will start towards Mole Creek and Trowunna Wildlife Park, for approximately 6 hours drive. Most species here are captive but some of them which are very difficult to see or impossible to photograph in the wild can be placed in natural looking locations in especially for such as Spotted-tailed Quoll, Echidna and Wedge-tailed Eagle. Lodging into a local guest house for two nights.
Trowunna Wildlife Park, Mole Creek – quolls, echidnas, Wedge-tailed Eagles, Cockatoos, Platypus and other species. Here we are certain to photograph Spotted-tailed Quolls, Eastern Quolls and Wedge-tailed Eagles in natural settings and other species. Wedgies are otherwise impossible in Tasmania. Quolls are very difficult in the wild although we may have luck elsewhere, so that is a excellent chance for capturing these secretive marsupials. A nearby stream is good for wild Platypus which is often seen from a small bridge, and possibly to be photographed. However although Platypus are quite easy to see they are quite difficult to photograph being small and sit in the water and not on it like a duck. Also their movements cannot always be predicted, so they are real challenge for any photographer.
Days 7 and 8
Drive to “Wilderness Valley Eco Resort” approximately one hour drive. Lodging here is in self contained cabins, for two nights. A very good site for wild Tasmanian Pademelons, Brush-tailed Possums, Tasmanian Native Hens and other native birds. Sometimes wild Spotted-tailed Quolls may pay a visit.
This is an excellent location for wild Tasmanian Devils which are attracted to the cabins by meat scraps. Being nocturnal Tasmanian Devils only visit after dark. Flashes will be required.
However Tasmanian Devils are suffering from a fatal cancer (DFTD) which is decimating the population. The disease has now reached Wilderness Valley and by Nov 2012 they may not have any Devils left to photograph. However, our next destination at Kings Run is as far west as you can go and the disease is not expected to reach there for about 10 years. Tasmanian Devils are possibly the number one most sought after species.
One hour drive brings us at Kings Run, Marrawah on the far north west coast of Tasmania.
This is the best site anywhere to see and photograph wild Tasmanian Devils feeding. This is the world’s largest surviving marsupial carnivore and several of these iconic creatures visit after dark to feed on animal carcasses placed to attract them. Lodging is in cabins at nearby Arthur River. Evening meal can be taken at Marrawah Tavern.
Days 10 and 11
Today we will go on a cruise on Arthur River for superb White-bellied Sea Eagle photography plus the rare Azure Kingfisher. The spectacular White-bellied Sea Eagles are fed every day with fish thrown out by the boat skipper allowing superb views of these large eagles diving down from the surrounding Eucalypt trees. The beautiful Azure Kingfisher breeds on this river and normally allows quite a close approach.
There are sometimes 2 pairs of kingfishers breed on the Arthur river which can be approached by the boat. There are also 2 pairs of Sea Eagles and would expect that 2 cruises would allow us to capture very good images. Other species may include Black Swan, Pied Oystercatcher, Sooty Oystercatcher, tame Tasmanian Pademelon during daylight. The cruise is usually from 1000 hrs to 1600 hrs with lunch provided on board.
Drive to Narawntapu National Park, approximately 2 and a half hours drive. This superb coastal national park is sometimes referred to as the Serengeti of Australia. The open grassy plains, interspersed with patches of coastal scrub and Tea Tree are surrounded by hills covered in coastal heathland and Eucalypt forest. There are also superb beaches, an estuary plus a superb lagoon.
This site is one of Tasmania’s prime sites for Forester Kangaroos, Common Wombats, Bennett’s Wallabies and Tasmanian Pademelons. All of these species are wild but allow a close approach for photography. Other species here should include, Brush-tailed Possums, White-bellied Sea Eagle, Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo, Green Rosella, Musk Duck, Black Swan, Hooded Plover, White-faced Heron, Little Wattlebird plus a wealth of other bird species. Tiger snakes are common here particularly around the lagoon. Soldier Crabs are common. During our stay in the park we will accommodate in the National Park staff quarter. The park rangers’ hut is basic, but clean and comfortable and will give us immediate access to the rich wildlife around. All meals will be catered for on the site.
Days 13, 14 and 15
All three days we will be photographing the abundant wildlife in Narawntapu National Park, the “Serengeti of Tasmania” – Wombats, Forester Kangaroos and others. Most marsupials are active and visible during early morning and late afternoon including nocturnal species but birds will be active all day. Any wildlife photography can be carried out close to the lodging area or within easy walking distance of 500 m to 2 – 3 km.
Drive to Hobart for our flight back to UK where we arrive at London Heathrow on the next day.
Arrival at London at noon where our tour ends.