Wings Wildlife Park

Wings Wildlife Park is located at Gunns Plains near Ulverstone in Tasmania. The family owned park has been in the Wing family for many generations and operates solely on donations and money generated by visitors to the park. There are more than 150 different animals at the wildlife sanctuary and it is the only place in Tasmania where you can see American bison. The park also has the largest collection of Tasmanian wildlife in Australia.

You can buy feed to hand feed the kangaroos and wallabies (highly recommended!) as well as food to feed the fish (they have ponds with trout). They have wildlife presentations throughout the day as well as animal encounter experiences. You can even stay overnight at one of the cottages at the park or stay at their campsite. And their cafe has fantastic restaurant quality meals and quick and easy snack food and include gluten free, vegan and vegetarian options.

A lot of the Australian animals at the park are animals that have been brought in injured or ill and are undergoing recovery or rehabilitation and will be released back into the wild. Sadly, some animals have conditions that will not enable them to survive in the wild and so will spend the rest of their days at the wildlife park.

Here are some of the non Australian animals we saw at the park.

First up were the couple of ostriches, including two albino ones!

One ostrich was happy one moment –

And angry the next!

Some other exotic animals included bison, buffalo, camels and Scottish Highland cattle, but they were happy lazing around at the far end of the paddock.

Now onto the Aussie animals. There were so many animals, I have only decided to include a small number here.

Tasmanian devils are critically endangered because of a deadly facial cancer tumour disease.

There were several quolls there too.

Spotted quoll
Eastern quoll (dark morph)

There were a number of emus there, including this one who seemed to like having his picture taken.

In the nocturnal house we saw sugar gliders, and I filmed this funny little incident between two sugar gliders. I’m sure you’ll get a laugh out of the ending. 😄 

We also saw three albino magpies, and after enquiring with one of the keepers there, discovered that albino magpies can’t survive in the wild because they get picked on by the other magpies and end up with injuries and also become malnourished. These birds were brought in to the sanctuary individually in a bad way but now have a better and healthier life. So unfortunately for these three guys, they are permanent residents at the wildlife park.

Below is Edward who liked a scratch on the head.

And these two magpies seemed to be in unison!

There was also a swamp harrier who was interesting to see up so close. I would see these birds fly overhead looking for prey when I used to go walking at the Tamar Island Wetlands.

Make sure when you visit the park to buy some feed for the kangaroos, it was such a fun experience hand feeding them and being able to pat them. They have the grey forester kangaroos as well as wallabies and even some albino ones.

And lastly, they had a number of very cute long nosed potoroos!

Hope you enjoyed my photos of the animals and be sure to visit Wings Wildlife Park if you’re in north west Tassie, you’ll have the best time!

Wild Quoll Sighting

Last week we went on holidays to the east coast of Tasmania, and it was during this journey that I saw my very first quoll in the wild!

We had come round a slight bend in the road and there it was, sitting in the middle of the road.

Eastern Quoll

This is an eastern quoll, only found in Tasmania, and is an endangered animal.

They are nocturnal animals so it was totally unexpected to see one on our trip.

This was one of the highlights of our holiday!

(For anyone interested, we saw this quoll just before noon on 27th April 2021 just past the intersection to turn off to Little Musselroe Bay from North Ansons Road past Gladstone in Tasmania.)

Echidna Visits My Backyard

The Latin name for an echidna is Tachyglossus aculeatus which means quick tongue and spiny.

After being away for a week’s holiday, I came home to water my garden and discovered –

An echidna!

This is a short beaked echidna and some of you may notice that this one has a lot of hair in between the spines. The echidnas in Tasmania have a lot of fur which is thicker and longer than the mainland species and this is to insulate them against the colder climate here.

I have only seen a few wild echidnas before so to have one visiting my backyard was pretty cool!

A baby echidna is called a puggle.

I found that if I stayed still and quiet, the echidna happily went about his business a few feet away from me, hunting for ants. Check this out!

It seems like he had been exploring my backyard for sometime because I later found quite a number of holes in the ground and several spots where he had been digging.

The echidna is a monotreme – an egg laying mammal.

It was fascinating to watch this little guy (or girl) go about echidna business, especially up so close.

The funny thing was that I saw an echidna on my first day of holidays as it was crossing the road in front of us as we were driving to our destination. Then I saw another echidna crossing the road in front of us on our last day of holidays driving back home. Then I saw this echidna in my yard on my return from holidays. So that’s 3 echidnas spotted in 5 days!!

I hope he/she comes back to visit again! 🙂

Moon Valley Rim Circuit Walk

The Moon Valley Rim Circuit walk is in the Blue Tier Forest Reserve in north east Tasmania.  The discovery of grey gold or tin in the 1870s meant it became a a big mining area and up until 1996 about 11,000 tonnes of tin was mined from the region earnings its nickname the Tin Province.  In 1997 about 5,000 hectares was claimed as forest reserve, rich in flora, fauna and mining history. There are several walks in the reserve ranging from short easy walks to long difficult ones, and we chose to do the Moon Valley Rim Circuit, a moderate graded walk.

Driving there from Launceston was a beautiful scenic drive, lots of green hills as far as you can see, and close to the Reserve the gravel road was lined with large tree ferns and tall gum trees.

The Moon Valley Rim Circuit trail is about 3.5km long and it takes around 2 hours. It’s not a defined path and you have to follow the markers.

All along the way we saw masses of interesting white coral lichen carpeting sections of land beside the track.

Every now and then we would spot some cool looking fungi.

Tiny yellow fungi, only a few millimetres in size

This fungus was about an inch in size and is growing among some coral lichen

These were about a centimetre in size

We could hear quite a lot of little birds along the way but they were difficult to spot, but we did come upon this beautiful Bennetts wallaby close to the trail, enjoying some warm afternoon sunshine.

A reasonably gentle incline in the path led us to the summit of Mount Poimena, just over 800 metres above sea level.

Views of Bass Strait

The trail then descended gently back down.

Even though we started the walk around two in the afternoon, and it was a cold winter’s day of 12 degrees celsius, we could see little patches of frost on the path, and this shallow pool of water on the track had frozen over.

We could see water droplets falling from underneath the ice as the sun tried to melt it and we could even hear the ice cracking. Amazing!

Near the end of the circuit we came across some old mining relics.

Close by was a little creek and a lovely patch of mossy green forest before we reached our destination.

The Blue Tier Forest Reserve is a great place for nature and history, and has become one of my favourite destinations in Tasmania.

Visit to Devils@Cradle

While visiting Cradle Mountain recently, we went to a wildlife sanctuary called Devils@Cradle. The sanctuary is home to Tasmania’s three largest carnivorous marsupials that are endangered in the wild – Tasmanian devils, Spotted-tailed quolls, and Eastern quolls. The sanctuary houses around 100 of these animals and is involved in the insurance population breeding programs.

The sanctuary is open everyday, day and night! They offer a number of different tours you can do or just walk around the sanctuary at your leisure. We went on the After Dark Feeding Tour, so we arrived around 4.45pm and were able to wander around the sanctuary at our leisure, and then joined the tour at 5.30pm.

Following are a couple of videos of quolls and devils being fed, so just a heads up that the videos contain these animals eating pieces of dead animals so it may not be something everyone would like to see. 

Turn up the volume to hear what the keeper is saying, it makes for some educational and interesting listening. 🔊 👨‍🎓

Here are the Tassie devil boys feeding. Love the sniffing sounds they make!

Here they are again but they are getting more into their dinner now. Watch for the little tiff at the end!

And here are the Tassie devil girls feeding.

How undignified it must have been when the keeper picked that one up by the tail! 😀

Here is a Spotted tailed quoll being fed.

And here are the Eastern quolls being fed.

Devils@Cradle do magnificent work to help our endangered and unique animals and their set up at the sanctuary is simply fantastic and is a must to visit when at Cradle Mountain. Click here to visit their website and find out more.

You might even get taken in by the little devils (and quolls) and decide to “adopt” one (or two!) like I did.

Above are my adopted animals, Skylar the Tassie devil and Gaia the eastern quoll (the same black morph quoll seen in the above video).  Adopting a devil or a quoll is a great way to help support the sanctuary and is very affordable too. You can see what your adopted animals get up to at the sanctuary by following Devils@Cradle on Facebook and Instagram (@devilsatcradle).

Notley Fern Gorge State Reserve

About half an hour’s drive north west of Launceston in Tasmania, is a lovely spot for a forest walk at Notley Fern Gorge State Reserve.

A scenic drive brings you to a little car park from which there is a walking track taking you past tall eucalypts, tree ferns and mossy scenes, and crosses a creek a number of times. The path is a mixture of boardwalk, natural path and steps with some inclines, and the walk takes around 45 minutes on a looping track and has the occasional little sign post highlighting trees and ferns of interest.

We went for a walk there in March just before the coronavirus lockdown, and visited there again last weekend as some of our restrictions had lifted and we were once again able to get out a bit more.

I managed to spot a pademelon not far into the walk.

We quite often saw this little fern growing on the tree ferns, called common filmy fern.

We also came across this interesting plant called a kangaroo fern.

Here it is growing on one of the trees in the forest.

And here is a close up of one of the fern fronds. Can you see how it resembles a kangaroo paw?

Along the way we spied a number of different species of fungi.

I also had my first sighting of a scarlet robin!

The scenery is quite beautiful in this reserve, it felt lovely and cool and fresh, with the sweet chatter of tiny little birds in the trees, tantalisingly close but difficult to spot.

If you go there for a visit, don’t miss Brady’s Tree, a large tree with a burnt out hollow that legend says bushranger Matthew Brady and his gang hid in during the early 1820s!

Platypus At Myrtle Park

Myrtle Park is a serene campground on a river situated about 35kms from Launceston on the way to Scottsdale.  It’s a popular spot for campers and families on holiday, and day trippers are welcome too, which is great because Myrtle Park is a lovely spot not only for a tranquil picnic by the river but also for seeing a platypus!

When we visited back in March, we didn’t have to wait long before we spotted our first platypus.

Here it is having a scratch in the water.

We sighted 3 different platypus on this day. They are a joy to watch floating, paddling and diving in the river looking for food.

I took this next video about 2 metres from the edge of the river bank. It’s the closest I’ve ever been to a wild platypus and it was amazing.

Myrtle Park is a great spot to view platypus in the wild, you are almost guaranteed to see one. The best times for viewing is sunset and it helps if it’s quiet. It was a wonderful experience to see several of these amazing and unique animals in the river. It was a very special moment for me and this day will stay with me forever.

Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary

In early March before restrictions came into effect due to the coronavirus, I visited a wonderful place near Hobart called Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary.  It was a very inspiring visit, and it was very obvious that the staff there really loved the animals and there were some beautiful interactions between the keepers and the wildlife there.

This is not a zoo, it is a wildlife sanctuary in real terms. You never know what you will see at Bonorong. All the animals there are in rehabilitation, having been brought in to the sanctuary when found injured or orphaned. They have a special seabird rehabilitation area complete with a saltwater pool, as well as the recently opened wildlife hospital, and they also run a 24/7 wildlife rescue service. While there, you can go on a free tour of the sanctuary with keeper talks, get up close with the free roaming kangaroos and pat them and hand feed them, and you can pay extra for personal animal encounters or even do a night tour or feeding tour.  All the money goes back to Bonorong to care for the animals and help fund conservation programs.

An endangered Spotted Tailed Quoll sleeping


Emu having a bad hair day

Tasmanian devil

The cutest wombat ever!

Cape Barren Goose

Roos relaxing

A sleepy roo

Someone’s getting a bit too familiar lol

There are heaps of kangaroos at the sanctuary, a perfect place to go to if you want to get up close and touch them and feed them. They also have an area cordoned off from the public so the roos can escape there if they’ve had enough of humans. Most of them laze around sleeping, some just want to eat all the time, but they all seem very content and happy for a scratch on the chest.


Views of the surrounding countryside from the sanctuary

Although Bonorong is currently closed to the public due to the covid-19 pandemic, I definitely recommend a visit to this wildlife sanctuary if you’re ever in the area once the pandemic is over, you won’t be disappointed.

As a side note, today marks 2 years since I moved to Tasmania by myself to start a new life and I have to say that everything has worked out really well. I have a decent job, I live in a beautiful part of Australia, I have made some wonderful new friends and kept in contact with my old friends back in Queensland, and I now have a very special person in my life, Peter, who loves nature and wildlife as much as I do. We had just started exploring some of Tassie before the covid-19 pandemic started, so I’m looking forward to the time when the restrictions are lifted so we can continue discovering more of Tasmania. 🙂