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"The Serengeti of Tasmania" - Photos from Narawntapu NP and elsewhere in Australia

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Sep 5th, 2008, 09:42 AM
  #21
 
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Patty, thanks for sharing you photos. The spotted tail quoll looked nice and the devils and wombats. I really liked all of them. You captured an amazing variety of animals. Did any of them stand on termite mounds? Which kangaroo species is most topi like? The western grey?
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Sep 5th, 2008, 10:03 AM
  #22
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Whew! I'm so relieved, Sherry

cwn,
I've read great things about Lookout B&B and their tour company. I'd love to take the Ghan someday. Have a fantastic time in Australia and Africa!

Lynn,
We chose winter for a few reasons. We wanted to travel when it was cooler in Cairns. Winter is also outside of stinger season so that was another plus. We wanted to be in Tasmania and Kangaroo Island when it was low season. The shorter winter days meant more viewing time as the animals are mostly nocturnal and during the cooler months some will be out feeding during the day as well. We don't mind cold and the temps were mild compared to northern US winters. At Narawntapu, aside from one family camping, we saw no other visitors in the park and other parks were relatively quiet too. I wouldn't hesitate to go back at the same time of year again but I would also consider any time from May through October. Outside of that, I think for us it would be too busy on the islands and too hot in the north and inland areas.

I felt that most of what we saw would be fairly typical for visitors to those locations at that time of year but a few things definitely stood out. We were hoping to see a platypus once and got to see them twice. The diversity of roo and wallaby species in the Tablelands surprised me (I wasn't able to photograph of all of them). After our fleeting glimpse of an echidna in Narawntapu, I was hoping to have another longer sighting but never expected to see them as close up as we did on Kangaroo Island. I didn't find too many detailed first hand accounts of wildlife viewing before we left so in many areas we weren't really sure what to expect.
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Sep 5th, 2008, 10:22 AM
  #23
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Thanks, MDK!

Nyamera,
The distinctive facial markings of the whiptail wallaby definitely makes it the most topi like. I didn't see any animals standing on termite mounds but the heath goannas lay their eggs in them. The inside temperature of the mound incubates the eggs.

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Sep 6th, 2008, 08:20 AM
  #24
 
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Thanks for all the responses. A pair of platypuses is a rarity I would suspect.

It seems like you posted a whole itinerary somewhere before. I'd like to see the whole thing at some point--either here, or a link to it.

No hurry. I learned some new animals with your pictures.

Your info will fill the void of detailed accounts on these destinations. Great job! These destinations may be experiencing an influx soon after more and more people see your pictures.
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Sep 6th, 2008, 03:02 PM
  #25
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Our itinerary was:

Aug 12/13 - LAX-HKG-CNS
Aug 14 - arrive Cairns, overnight Hilton
Aug 15 - heli trip to Vlasoff Cay, overnight Hilton
Aug 16 - afternoon/evening Tablelands wildlife tour, overnight Hilton
Aug 17 - CNS-MEL-SYD-DPO (was supposed to be CNS-MEL-DPO but our CNS-MEL flight was canceled), overnight Sails on Port Sorell
Aug 18 - Trowunna Wildlife Park, Narawntapu NP, overnight Sails
Aug 19 - Warrawee reserve, lunch/mini-GTG with treepol, Narawntapu NP, overnight Sails
Aug 20 - drive to Cradle Mountain, overnight Highlanders Cabins
Aug 21 - Cradle Mountain NP, [email protected], overnight Highlanders
Aug 22 - DPO-MEL-ADL, overnight Hyatt
Aug 23 - Central Markets, Migration and South Australia museums, overnight Hyatt
Aug 24 - ADL-KGC, Kingscote, Murray Lagoon, Hanson Bay nocturnal walk, overnight Hanson Bay cabins
Aug 25 - Flinders Chase NP, overnight Hanson Bay cabins
Aug 26 - Little Sahara, Seal Bay, Penneshaw nocturnal penguin tour, overnight Seaview Lodge
Aug 27 - KGC-ADL-SYD, overnight Park Hyatt
Aug 28 - Sydney Aquarium, 39 Steps at the Opera House, overnight Park Hyatt
Aug 29 - Botanic Gardens, overnight Park Hyatt
Aug 30 - SYD-LAX

Happy to fill in any more details.
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Sep 6th, 2008, 04:32 PM
  #26
 
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What strikes me about your itinerary and your multitude of great animal shots is that you did not spend days on end in these wildlife locations. That points to the abundance and accessibility of the wildlife.

"Aug 23 - Central Markets, Migration and South Australia museums" What is the Migration?

Thank you for the day by day!
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Sep 7th, 2008, 02:53 AM
  #27
 
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Thanks, Patty. Now Iíve googled the whiptail wallaby and the goanna. You have a whiptail photo and it looks OK if you canít find an antelope, but the goannas are just monitor lizards!
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Sep 7th, 2008, 09:00 PM
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Hi Patty

Great photos and great being able to recognize animals and birds - though there are so many kangaroos and wallabies, it is difficult to know them all when not from your state. I have never seen such a blond echidna - the ones I see in the north are a lot darker, that one was really quite blond.

I have never heard anyone here refer to platypus as anything other than platypus or platypi - so those names must be local names not Australian-wide.

I love the crimson rosella, but in my backyard I have only the pale-headed rosella with the colouring not as striking. Also love the
Wedge-tailed Eagles - a magnificent bird. The wombats are also cute but I have seen the injuries they can give, by teeth and claws and that wasn't so cute.

You really did choose a lovely selection of places and one day when I am over Africa - as if - I will get to Tasmania and Kangaroo Island.

Kind regards

Kaye
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Sep 8th, 2008, 05:46 AM
  #29
 
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Your pictures are great, Patty. They also show that you had a great trip. I really enjoyed seeing them and I would love to see the "other Serengeti". I'm kind of like Kaye, "when I am over Africa - as if" - I will get to Australia and Tasmania.
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Sep 8th, 2008, 09:36 AM
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Lynn,
It's the Migration museum http://www.history.sa.gov.au/migration/migration.htm - it's located in the same complex as the South Australia museum and both are very worthwhile.

Thanks, Kaye & sundowner!

Kaye,
From what I understand, the echidnas on KI are particularly blonde. It was interesting to see the size differences in the platy-whatevers in Queensland vs Tasmania.
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Jan 29th, 2009, 08:06 AM
  #31
 
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Patty, I'm in the process of putting together a trip to Vanuatu and New Caledonia for December, and I had initially planned on using my United miles to get flights on Air NZ, but Air NZ doesn't release seats until much later, so I will try to get UA flights to Sydney. So, since I'm transiting thru Sydney anyway, I am considering extending my visit by a week, and squeezing in some time in Tasmania and Kangaroo Island.

Do you have a suggestion for the best wildlife destination in Tasmania -- is it Cradle Mountain NP. It looks like I can make it there from Hobart in a couple of hours from Launceston. I'd also add a full day in Kangaroo Island, not incuding travel day to and from KI.

Do you have any recommendations for wildlife viewing in Tasmania. I am also thinking about renting a car in KI and visiting myself, instead of guided. Hopefully, that's practical.

Thanks, Michael
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Jan 29th, 2009, 10:19 AM
  #32
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Hi Michael,
We only went to Cradle and Narawntapu and found both to be very good for wildlife viewing but can't compare them to other parts of Tasmania. Cradle has the convenience of having several accommodations near the park entrance and also cabins inside the park whereas Narawntapu you'd have to stay offsite or camp/rent a camper van if you want to be inside the park. There will be more people at Cradle. August was fairly quiet but December is high season. We flew in/out of Devonport airport and the drive to Cradle took about 1.5 hours. I believe it's about 2.5 hours from Launceston. If you're flying into Hobart, you may also want to take a look at Bruny and Maria islands. Here's a wildlife viewing report I found http://www.bongariliitto.fi/matkaker...07_Hottola.pdf

Self driving on KI is very doable and what we did and would recommend. If you're thinking of 2 nights on KI, consider splitting your stay between the western and eastern ends of the island. See Flinders Chase NP and Hanson Bay sanctuary on the western side, Seal Bay on your way to or from, and penguin viewing in Kingscote or Penneshaw on the eastern side. Kingscote is closer to the airport if you're flying. The ferry goes to Penneshaw. There are also places to view penguins on Tasmania, so if you don't want to do that on KI and don't have a late flight arrival or early flight departure, you could spend both nights on the western end.

Hope this helps.
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Jan 29th, 2009, 12:59 PM
  #33
 
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Thanks, I hadn't even considered Devonport -- I wasn't aware of that airport. That may be even better than Launceston. As of now, I'm leaning towards visiting Cradle Mountain, and I read about a farm on the west coast from where you can see wild Tasmanian devils, and I may try that.

Thanks again
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Jan 29th, 2009, 02:16 PM
  #34
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I believe DPO does require a connection in MEL whereas from SYD you can fly nonstop LST. Our entire routing (except to/from KI) was on Oneworld so we would've had to connect to either airport, but if you're buying point to point tickets, you have more options.
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Jan 29th, 2009, 03:33 PM
  #35
 
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Patty, that's right, for DPO, I need to fly through Melbourne. So, I just realized that UA flies not only to SYD, but also to MEL, so I changed my outbound to fly JFK -> SFO -> SYD -> MEL. That gives me easier access to Hobart, Launceston or Devonport, whichever I select.
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Jan 29th, 2009, 03:47 PM
  #36
 
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Patty,
it is indeed nice to see your pics here, I don't usually visit the other forums so would have missed them, so thanks.

Michael,
"I am also thinking about renting a car in KI and visiting myself, instead of guided. Hopefully, that's practical".
I agree it's totally doable, we visited with a rented car. Kangaroo Island is aptly named (or could be renamed Wallaby Island) - driving at dusk was a nightmare, kangaroos and wallabies all over the road! Great place for the wildlife.
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Jun 3rd, 2009, 01:12 PM
  #37
 
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Patty - I am new to these Fodor's forums, and it's very cool that you post all this info about your trips! Your pictures looked amazing.
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Jun 3rd, 2009, 01:35 PM
  #38
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Thanks, gprybs! Welcome and hope you stick around and post some more!

And thanks to tockoloshe too. I'd missed your post previously and ironically, it looks like this thread has been moved to the Australia forum. Must have happened during the format change when they tagged trip reports???
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Jun 3rd, 2009, 09:08 PM
  #39
 
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We lived in Tasie 40 years ago,when our kids were toddlers, and we all loved going to Cradle Mountain. We always stayed in the self-catering little huts at the back of Waldheim, where the animals and birds used to come right inside if you left the door open. The huts are very basic, nothing supplied, and had shared showers a walk away, but were lots of fun. In Autumn, the Fagus Beech trees had crinkly golden leaves - the boys called them "cornflake trees".
So Patty, I really enjoyed your lovely photos - thank you. The last time we went back, in February some years ago, we had two days rain there, and one splendid day, when we climbed Cradle Mountain from Dove Lake. The rain forest in the rain is lovely though, and there are several suitable walks closer to Cradle Lodge.

But I think we'll go in winter next time, after seeing your pictures.
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Mar 4th, 2015, 10:55 AM
  #40
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Topping and updating photo links for FromDC.

Cairns
share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=0AZNnDlk5YtmbIiA

Tasmania
share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=0AZNnDlk5YtmbIqg

Adelaide & KI
share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=0AZNnDlk5YtmbIzA

Sydney
share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=0AZNnDlk5YtmbI7g
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