Australian Fur Seal
Duration: 8 days/7 nights
Type: Groups, Private Charter, Shared.
Interests: Birds, Land Invertebrates, Land Mammals & Marsupials, Marine Mammals, Reptiles & Amphibians.
Over one-third of the ‘island’ state is reserved as a conservation area and this epic adventure traverses through some of the most scenic parts, including the World Heritage Listed Cradle Mountain, Rocky Cape, Narawntapu, and Freycinet National Parks. A mix of expansive ancient temperate rainforests, spectacular coastlines, rugged mountains and sparkling highland lakes provide refuge and habitat for a rich array of rare and endemic plants and animals.
Tasmania is a delight for Marsupial lovers, with opportunities to spot Pademelons, Eastern Grey Kangaroos, Bennett’s Wallabies, Common Wombats, Tasmanian Bettongs, Long-nosed Potoroos, Quolls and of course the carnivorous Tasmanian Devil. A wide variety of songbirds, bushbirds, shorebirds and seabirds, including the Little Penguin are also highlights. Guests will be captivated by a cruise on the final day around Bruny Island, spotting Dolphins, Australian Fur Seals and seabirds along the towering 200m dolerite cliffs.
Departures on the 18th of December 2017 and 29th January 2018 receive a complimentary night accommodation pre-tour in Hobart (1 night per booking).
Departing the scenic city of Hobart, guests will venture into the heart of Tasmania’s wilderness and dramatic west coast. This region is one of Australia's last true wilderness frontiers and is home to enchanting cool temperate rainforests including the Huon Pine, one of the oldest living organisms on earth.
Passing through areas such as Lake St Clair National Park, Crotty Conservation Area and Mount Dundas Regional Reserve, visitors to the area may encounter wallabies, Short-beaked Echidnas, Eastern and Spotted Quolls, possums, Common Wombats and a variety of birdlife. In the evening, there will be the opportunity to observe adorable Little Penguins coming ashore at Bonnet Island.
Venturing into the UNESCO World Heritage Wilderness of Cradle Mountain National Park guests will be mesmerised by the beautiful alpine landscapes, where in many places, dolerite cracked into vertical columns has resulted in spectacular sculpted mountains and cliffs. Wombats are a common sight throughout this sub-alpine region, while Pademelons, Tasmanian Devils and Echidnas can also be seen. Green rosellas, Black Currawongs, Pink Robins and Tasmanian Scrubwrens are some of the more typical bird species, whilst Peregrine Falcons and Wedge-tailed Eagles can be seen sporadically, nesting on the mountains cliffs.
Guests will experience another day exploring the amazing landscapes at Cradle Mountain, with guides providing interpretation along the amazing vistas. Magical forests of Pandani (the tallest heath plant in the world), Sassafras, King Billy Pines and the deciduous Beech can be seen adjacent to spectacular glacial lakes. Guests will commonly spot birds such as Forest Ravens, Black Currawongs and Wedge-tailed Eagles whilst Echidnas, Platypus, Spotted-tailed Quoll and the Eastern Quoll can also sometimes be seen.
Upon leaving Cradle Mountain the group will venture to the Rocky Cape National Park, located on Tasmania’s northwest coast. This area boasts small sheltered beaches, banksia dominated hillsides, some of the oldest rock in Tasmania (Precambrian quartzites) and beautiful panoramic views over Bass Strait. Once a reliable hunting ground for Tasmania’s traditional owners, guests will learn about Aboriginal life on the north-west coast when caves were first occupied about 8,000 years ago.
Guests will commonly see large flocks of Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo feeding on the banksias. Other birdlife to be seen includes the White-bellied Sea-Eagle, New Holland Honeyeaters, Galah, Green Rosella and Little Wattlebird. In the evening, travellers will enjoy a wildlife spotlighting expedition in Narawntapu National Park, home to an abundance of species such as Eastern Grey Kangaroos, Common Wombats, Red-necked Wallabies, Tasmanian Pademelons, Eastern and Spotted-tailed Quolls.
After a relaxed morning in a traditional Tasmanian homestead, the group will depart for the East Coast to visit Binalong Bay, located in the Bay of Fires Conservation area. The Bay of Fires is one of Tasmania's most spectacular conservation reserve, renowned for its orange lichen-covered granite boulders and white sandy beaches, formed due of the high quartz content of the granites, which has eroded into a very pure white sand.
Birders will enjoy regular sightings of Australian Pelicans, Crested Terns, Little Pied Cormorants, Black-headed honeyeaters, Silvereyes and Superb Fairy-wrens and sometimes Beautiful Firetails and Hooded Dotterels. The day’s journey concludes at the gorgeous seaside village of Bicheno where guests will enjoy a Tasmanian Devils after dark experience to observe and learn about the island’s most iconic resident.
Today guests will have plenty of time to explore the picturesque Freycinet National Park with one of the world’s top 10 beaches, Wineglass Bay. This region is largely made up of a orthoclase-rich granite which gives the mountains and coastline a characteristic gorgeous pink tint, flanked by and native forest edged by crystal blue bays. Wildlife is abundant in this area with opportunities to see Red-necked Wallabies, Tasmanian Bettongs, Long-nosed Potoroos, Echidnas, Wombats, Eastern Quolls and Ocellated, Tasmanian Tree and She-oak Skinks. White-bellied Sea Eagles, Crested Terns, Australasian Gannets, Flame Robins and Superb Fairy-wrens are often observed in the area.
Travelling south along the East Coast, guests will have the opportunity to visit Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary, a centre for native wildlife rescue and rehabilitation. The group will continue the journey back to Hobart via the charming historic township of Richmond.
The final day of the eight day adventures see guests embarking on the award winning Bruny Island Cruise for the opportunity to spot a variety of Southern Ocean marine wildlife and fascinating coastal geology. Bruny Island boasts some of the most spectacular cliffs in Australia and is habitat for a large colony of Australian Fur Seals, with as many as 1,000 seals residing on the craggy rocks at one time.
It will also be possible to spot dolphins, migrating whales (typically during winter) and a vast array of seabirds including White-bellied Sea Eagles, Australian Fairy Terns, Shy & Black-browed Albatross, Little Penguins and up to 240,000 breeding pairs of the Short-tailed Shearwaters over the summer.