Where devils roam and chocolate stirs
There is a four-legged furry that you won’t find anywhere on the planet other than the wilds of Tasmania; the iconic Tasmanian devil. And although they are harder to spot in the wild these days, the Tasmanian Devil Conservation Park at Taranna is a great way to get close to the world’s largest carnivorous marsupial.
The park has extensive breeding programs and is working hard to protect against the Tasmanian Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD), a fatal condition threatening the species. The park is also dedicated to protecting and rescuing other wildlife including endemic quolls, pademelons and sea eagles, and boasts Tasmania’s only free-flight bird show.
The sleepy settlement of Taranna has an interesting past, once the terminus for a human railway carrying passengers and supplies from Long Bay, near Port Arthur to Taranna, to save ships the dangerous journey around Cape Raoul. The carriages were pushed by four convicts, believed to be the only railway in Australia to use human horsepower. The undulating line was around seven kilometres in length.
At Taranna you’ll also find Federation Chocolates, where you can pop in and sample some unusual flavours including brandied apricot and watch the chocolate-makers in action. Wander through the small museum dedicated to the area’s blacksmithing and sawmilling past. You’ll also find a small sprinkling of accommodation options in Taranna. The small town is located along the shores of Norfolk Bay, around 10 kilometres north of Port Arthur.
Highlights not to miss