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. πŸ˜„ 

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!

The Tasmanian Arboretum

Located at Eugenana, just south of Devonport in Tasmania, is the Tasmanian Arboretum – a vast collection of trees situated in a peaceful and picturesque landscape.

The arboretum site was originally farmland and was turned into a botanical park in 1984, expanding over the years so that it now includes 66 ha (163 acres).

There are over 5,000 trees and more than 1,500 different species, including some endangered ones.

The park is divided into different sections featuring the trees from the different continents of the world and also has a special area dedicated to Tasmanian trees.

There was even a small section devoted to lichen.

You can wander around at your leisure following all the different trails and experience the trees from different countries and enjoy the serenity of the lake.

Looking at the lake from inside the bird hide –

It had been raining a lot in the week before we visited and we discovered lots of colourful mushrooms and toadstools amongst the trees.

There is also a variety of wildlife that can be spotted in the park.

Numerous species of birds have been sighted all year round. We saw black swans, Tasmanian native hens, pacific black ducks, shellducks, little pied cormorant, eurasian coots, blackbirds, forest ravens, green rosellas, superb fairy wrens and several other little birds flitting about in the trees that were hard to identify. Early on we came across this bird running around leaf litter –

That is a bassian thrush and my first sighting of one!

You can also spot pademelons, Bennetts wallabies, possums, potoroos, bettongs, and occasionally a Tasmanian devil and echidna.

Bennetts Wallaby

However the park is well known for its regular sightings of platypus which can be seen any time of day!

We missed seeing the autumn colours on display at the park when we went, but it’s such a big place to explore and will beckon me for future visits I’m sure.

The Fairy Doors Of Rubicon Reserve

Rubicon Reserve is a small lot of bush land which can be found at the northern end of Freers Beach next to the surf club at Shearwater, Tasmania.

Entry to Rubicon Reserve with bunny guardians

Dirt trails meander their way around the area among coastal native trees and shrubs.

If you venture through the bush here early in the morning or of an evening, you are sure to see some pademelons out for their grassy meal and hear them bounding through the scrub off in the distance as you approach. You may even see some bunnies. Once I spotted a bandicoot!

Pademelon at Rubicon Reserve

But if you take careful note as you wander through this parcel of land, you will start to see fairy doors on the trees.

These miniature doors are set onto trees with the idea being that people can leave notes and gifts for the fairies that live there. I don’t know who put these doors up, or when, as I can’t find any information about this reserve, so it was just nice to enjoy the scenery as I followed the paths, wondering if perhaps I was being watched by more than just the pademelons!

Most of the fairy doors can be sighted from the trail, but I came upon two that were hidden away, so have a good look around if you’re visiting.

Have you seen fairy doors in your local park or reserve?

Platypus at Warrawee Forest Reserve

Warrawee Forest Reserve is located at Latrobe, Tasmania. There you can go camping, walking, picnicking, kayaking, spot flora and fauna and enjoy the mountain bike trails.

We followed the bush walking track alongside the river that starts at the right hand side of the car park and walked down to the bridge and back.

The walking path was quite overgrown but manageable.

The walking track along the river

Some of the gum trees were incredibly tall!

We could hear lots of different birds around us and sometimes caught a glimpse of a bird on a tree branch before it flew off. We spotted blue wrens, fantails, a pink robin, and some pacific black ducks swimming in the river.

At one point we saw two white faced herons fly over the river side by side making a racket, and then shortly after we came upon them on the opposite side of the river, in the progress of what appeared to be a courtship ritual. It was fascinating to watch for several minutes until they went their separate ways.

And I managed to get a quick photo of a bird I had never seen before, a spotted pardelote!

And finally, we were pleasantly surprised to be able to catch glimpses of two platypus in the river! Here is a compilation of some footage. When you get to 0.18 in the video, watch closely around the top right and you will see the platypus foraging in the water, he can be difficult to see.

So if you want to spot a platypus in the wild, visit Warrawee Forest Reserve and you are sure to see one, just look for the bubbles!

Grey Goshawk Sighting

The grey goshawk is native to Australia and is an endangered bird in Tasmania and I have only seen one once before, so it was quite a surprise to me to sight another one recently just across the road from my house!

The bird had landed in a gum tree and was being harassed by some magpies and seagulls, so it only stayed a short while then took off, the smaller birds in noisy pursuit.

On mainland Australia, this bird has a grey colouring, but here in Tasmania it is a white morph.

The grey goshawk is the only pure white raptor in the world and it’s also known as the most beautiful bird of prey in the world. I can’t argue with that!

Yellow Tailed Black Cockatoos

After some time off to move house to north west Tasmania, start a new job and settle into my new surroundings, I’m back in the blogging zone. πŸ˜ƒπŸ“·πŸ πŸ–οΈ

And one of the first birds I saw from my new home was several yellow tailed black cockatoos, having a snack in a banksia tree!

These birds were a joy to watch, even if they did decimate the tree of flowers and left remnants on the ground below!

Southern Brown Tree Frog

Recently I moved some pot plants and got a fright when I unexpectedly saw this little frog jump out from behind one of the pots.

It’s a southern brown tree frog, also known as a brown tree frog, whistling tree frog, or Ewing’s tree frog.

This tiny frog is native to Australia and is found in southern parts of Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and Tasmania.

This tiny little guy grows to 4.5 cm in length and is often found in suburban backyards as well as forests, farms, heathland, semi arid areas and even alpine regions.

I hope you enjoyed seeing my first frog spotted in Tasmania!

On another note, this is my last post for the year. I am taking a break from blogging for awhile as I am moving house and starting a new job and need some time to settle in.

I have loved my tree change living in Launceston for the last 3 and a half years, but now, it’s time for a sea change, and I am looking forward to sharing with you my experiences in north west Tasmania!

Hope you all have a happy and safe Christmas! See you in 2022! πŸŽ„πŸŽ‰πŸŽ†

Cataract Gorge

A Sunday morning that was supposed to be wet and miserable turned out to be a glorious spring day so it was decided to go for an early morning walk at Cataract Gorge.

A popular place for locals as well as tourists, The Gorge is just outside of Launceston in Tasmania and has it all – walking trails, views, cafe, wildlife, variety of native flora, swimming pool, and even a chairlift.

We started off following the path along the cliff face, which was built in the 1890s and looks down onto the South Esk River.

The Kings Bridge, which you can see at the end, was floated into place in 1867.

We spotted some birds early on, including plenty of seagulls flying overhead and a nankeen night heron which flew past us. Below are Welcome swallows, Little pied cormorant and Pacific black ducks.

The walls of rock are amazing, and sometimes you can watch rock climbers being adventurous.

With the rain we’ve had recently, the water was murky and brown with some interesting patterns from the foam.

Running waters down the river after the rain.

Walking through the Cliff Grounds we found plenty of rhododendrons in flower, and the grounds were looking fresh and green after the rain.

This is also where you are likely to spot a peacock or two!

Continuing on, we reached a lookout which overlooked the suspension bridge and First Basin and also across the causeway to the track where we had been.

Back down on the path, we came across the suspension bridge.

We then walked on to the cafe and playground and then returned the same way.

Looking back at the suspension bridge

Cataract Gorge – one of Launceston’s must do’s!