Our first stop in Tasmania has been Bruny Island, which is just a fifteen minute ferry ride from the mainland of the east coast.
Bruny is home to an unusually large population of albino wallabies. With their snowy-white fur and pink features, we were excited to see these unique marsupials. We had imagined photographing them in their natural habitat, surrounded by beautiful bush-land, but it turns out they prefer people’s gardens. This makes the wallabies easy to find, but slightly awkward when you’re standing at somebody’s front lawn pointing a long camera lens towards their house.
Every evening we wandered the streets white-wallaby spotting, like a game of Where’s Wally, until the light faded. We even had a “bonus” albino encounter, when a blonde possum wandered over the road in front of us.
We drove back to our campsite in the dark one evening, and it took us well over an hour to cover the 30km home. We had to drive so slowly because there were eastern quolls everywhere! Yes quolls, one of the only carnivorous marsupials! They were scurrying across the road and even sitting quite comfortably in the middle of the road. We stopped for a while and watched three quolls ripping apart a road-killed wallaby, right down to the bone. Cute and fluffy, but quite ravenous little beasts! This was a special encounter, considering eastern quolls almost became extinct on mainland Australia.
We had a great opportunity to get out on the water, thanks to Melinda Brown who took us onboard Bruny Island Cruises for the afternoon. The cruise took us along the spectacular towering cliff lines and we continued our run of fluffy animal encounters, this time with a colony of Australian fur seals.
In and around our campground, the bird life was pretty special too. Green rosellas, very beautiful Tasmanian endemics, could be seen feeding in the trees around our tent. The bird that I was most enamoured with was the tiny scarlet robin, which looks like a vampy version of the British robin!
With our wildlife spotting time on Bruny over, we are now back on mainland Tassie, getting ready to explore Freycinet Peninsula for six days. So far we have only stayed in family-style campsites, so this will be by far the most “roughing it” we have done i.e. cold showers/no showers, BYO all food and water, and trekking between sites carrying all our equipment. See you on the other side!