If you are keen on your wildlife and wilderness – southern Tasmania is your playground. In around ten minutes from the GPO, ampoule you can be walking on a track up the back of South Hobart feeling a world away from the capital city. And as for the wildlife, don’t be surprised if a little wallaby pops out from the foliage to say hello.
What makes Hobart and beyond special, is that you don’t have to set aside a weekend to get amongst the wilds. There’s no traffic to worry about or five hour drives to reach thick, genuine Tasmanian wilderness. Literally fill up a water bottle, and get walking.
Trails around the base of Mount Wellington, say walking up to Junction hut or from Waterworks Reserve through to Ferntree are popular with the locals because the wilderness is so accessible. Or, if you’re keen to climb and commit several hours to the cause, why not tackle Cathedral Rock for fantastic views down across Bruny Island and south to Antarctica (although we don’t promise you’ll see it).
Those with a penchant for our wildlife will be happy to know that there are two great options for seeing Tasmanian devils (and their friends) close to Hobart. Both Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary in Brighton and Taranna’s Tasmanian Devil Park are within a short drive from the city. We suggest you head for a park rather than hope to see a Tasmanian devil in the wild, as they’re fairly scarce largely due to the Tasmanian Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD) which you can learn more about at this link: tassiedevil.com.au
We have loads of furry friends for you to meet including wombats, wallabies, Forester kangaroos, spotted quolls and white bellied sea eagles. Hop on an eco-cruise, head out on a hike or even learn about Bonorong’s wildlife rescue program while you’re on one of their night or face-to-face feeding frenzy tours.
Those keen for a really special wildlife and wilderness experience should try the Wild Ocean Tasmania eco-cruise, new in 2015. You’ll be taken down the coast from Eaglehawk Neck on a three-hour adventure to a seal pup colony just near Cape Pillar. Here, leap off the boat onto a world-first viewing platform, wearing a dry suit and come nose to nose with Australian and New Zealand fur seals. Above, tower some of the highest sea cliffs in the southern hemisphere.
Our ancient wilds are waiting. Come on over and meet the wildlife who call it home.
Top image credit: Tourism Tasmania & Alastair Betts
Side image credit: Tourism Tasmania & Michael Walters Photography