Tasmania Endemic Birds and Mammals Tour 29 Oct - 7 Nov 2022

Ken and Mary Campbell - Young Tasmanian Devil - Inala Nature Tours
Ken and Mary Campbell - Young Tasmanian Devil - Inala Nature Tours
Tour date: 
Saturday, 29 October 2022 to Monday, 7 November 2022
10 days
AUD$ 5,885 per person twin share. Single supplement: AUD$1050 // Tour Price with pre-tour excursion: AUD$ 6,385 per person twin share. Single supplement: AUD$1,050
All of Tasmania’s endemic birds.Sweeping alpine scenery at Cradle Mountain. Includes Southern Ocean pelagic, Maria Island excursion and Tasmanian Devils.

FULLY BOOKED!  A variation on our popular and comprehensive tour of Tasmania offers all of Tasmania’s 12 endemic birds plus iconic mammals including Tasmanian Devil, Wombat and Platypus. This exploration includes a pelagic in the Southern Ocean.

Start Location: 
Hobart TAS
Finish location: 
Launceston TAS

Tasmania Endemic Birds and Mammals Tour  - Saturday 29 October to Monday 7 November 2022

(includes Southern Ocean pelagic, Maria Island excursion and Tasmanian Devils) 

Also available with optional pre-tour flight to Melaleuca for Orange-Bellied Parrots

This itinerary is designed to adjoin our South-western Australia Tour (20 -28 October 2022)


0. Fri 28 Oct Optional - Arrive Hobart
1. Sat 29 Oct Optional extra day - Melaleuca flight Start of tour with dinner and orientation
2.  Sun 30 Oct Bird in Hobart - travel Eaglehawk Neck.  
3.  Mon 31 Oct Pelagic birding.  
4.  Tue 1 Nov Maria Island excursion 
5.  Wed 2 Nov Hobart to Bruny Island.  
6.  Thu 3 Nov Full day Bruny Island.   
7.  Fri 4 Nov Bruny Island to Mt Field area.  
8.  Sat 5 Nov Mt Field area to Cradle Mountain area.  
9.  Sun 6 Nov Cradle Mountain area.  
10.  Mon 7 Nov Cradle to Launceston and depart.   


B- breakfast; L- lunch; D-dinner. 

OPTIONAL PRE-TOUR EXCURSION ( only available if joining main tour )

Arrive in Hobart – Friday 28 October
In order to join the Melaleuca excursion tomorrow, you will need to make your way to Hobart today and so you are free to arrive at any time that suits your travel plans. Please make your own way to your hotel (please see notes at the end of this itinerary) You may wish to book into the same hotel that the remainder of the participants will be staying at, so please discuss this with the office, who will be able to help you. Please note that no activities have been planned for today, but if you plan to arrive early and would like advice on options for the day, please contact our office.
Meals Included: None.

Day 1. Pre-tour excursion Saturday 29 October - Orange-bellied Parrot flight to South West Wilderness.
Today, in a pre-tour excursion, we will leave civilisation behind us and embark on a spectacular flight (weather dependant) to Tasmania’s remote South West World Heritage area. Inaccessible by road and breathtakingly scenic, this is one of the most remote areas in Australia and is famed, not only for its unspoilt wilderness and clean air (arguably the cleanest in the world), but also for its birdlife. 

At Melaleuca, we have a chance to see one of Australia’s rarest birds, the critically endangered Orange-bellied Parrot. With less than 50 individuals left in the wild, this vivid parrot is teetering on the brink of extinction. Other specialties we hope to see are the elusive Eastern Ground Parrot, Striated Fieldwren, the delightful Southern Emu-wren, and the aptly named Beautiful Firetail. The area is also rich in history and we will learn of the fabled adventurers who braved this region in a bygone era. When we return from Melaleuca, we will join the other tour participants at 6:30pm for a welcome dinner and orientation. 
Please note that this flight is weather dependent and if cancelled, you will have a free unguided day to explore Hobart, or we can organise some additional guided touring around the Hobart area for an additional price of $300 per person. We will be unable to reschedule the Melaleuca trip within the main timeframe of the tour unless everyone elects to take this as an optional extra.  
Accommodation: Hobart Hotel (en suite rooms). Meals Included: L, D.


Day 1. Saturday 29 October  Arrive Hobart.
Today has been set aside as an arrival day so you are free to arrive at any time that suits your travel plans. Please make your own way to the hotel in the city (please see notes at the end of this itinerary) and we will meet at the hotel at 18:30 for a brief orientation and welcome dinner. Please note that no activities have been planned for today, but the tour has been designed to start on a Saturday to afford the opportunity for you to visit the renowned Salamanca market, which operates between 8am and 3pm. If you plan to arrive early and would like advice on other options for the day, please do contact our office.
Accommodation: Hobart Hotel (en suite rooms). Meals Included: D. 

Day 2. Sunday 30 October. Hobart reserves and drive to Eaglehawk Neck.
Today we begin our explorations of spectacular Tasmania by visiting several reserves in the Hobart area including Mount Wellington. This mountain, at a height of 1270m (around 4,150 feet), affords spectacular views of the city and surrounding landscape on a clear day. Here we will also take a walk through a fern glade with towering tree ferns where we have our first chance to see the endemic and rather shy Scrubtit as well as Tasmanian Scrubwren and the stunning Pink Robin. Further endemic highlights we will look for today include Green Rosella, Tasmanian Native Hen, Black Currawong and Yellow Wattlebird. In the early afternoon we will enjoy the scenic drive to Eaglehawk Neck. On arrival we will bird some of the areas of interest enjoying the spectacular sea cliffs and breathtaking scenery typical of the area. We may well see Yellow-throated Honeyeater as well as a range of more widely distributed species including White-bellied Sea Eagle and Blackfaced Cormorant.
Accommodation: Hotel on Tasman Peninsula (en suite rooms). Meals included: B, L, D. 

 Day 3. Monday 31 October Southern Ocean Pelagic.
This morning we will board a charter vessel (weather permitting), making our way into the vastness of the Southern Ocean in our quest for pelagic birds. High species diversity and the nearness of the continental shelf have earned Tasmania an international reputation as an excellent place to see pelagic species.  Not long after we depart Pirate’s Bay, we will encounter Short-tailed Shearwater in considerable number as well as our first albatross species. This is one of the finest places on the planet to see a diversity of albatross and Wandering, Royal, Shy, Black-browed, Campbell and Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross are all possible.  With land still in sight we will reach the continental shelf and begin to lay a berley trail from the back of the boat.  Possible petrels include White-chinned, Great-winged, Grey-faced, the striking White-headed, Gould’s, Cook’s and Mottled. Shearwater diversity is also good with Hutton’s, Fluttering, Sooty and Short-tailed Shearwater all possible. Wilson’s, Grey-backed and White-faced Storm Petrels and Fairy Prion are also regularly seen. There are often surprises in store, and with 30 plus species possible in these waters, there is bound to be something to delight everyone. Mammals we may encounter include Australian Fur-seals, Hump-backed Whale, Common and Bottlenose Dolphin. There will also be a chance to visit some nearby geological formations and if time permits explore Tasman National park before heading to our hotel.
Accommodation: Hotel on Tasman Peninsula (en suite rooms) Meals Included: B, L, D.       

Day 4 Tuesday 1 November Maria Island excursion:
We leave this morning to travel up the East Coast to Triabunna, where we shall take the short 30 minute ferry ride across to Maria Island, an island with a rich history, a World Heritage Listed Probation Station, fossil cliffs and a great array of wildlife. On the trip across the Mercury Passage (named after the ship carrying the explorers that landed on the Island), we shall look out for seals, dolphins, orcas and also for whales that sometimes use the passage on their migration.  Maria is a fascinating island with a wide variety of bird and mammal species, several of which were introduced in the 1960s. Of the mammals, we can expect to see Forester Kangaroo, Tasmanian Pademelon and Bennett’s Wallaby, Common Wombat and possibly Tasmanian Devil as the island was chosen as home for an insurance population of Devils that are free from the devastating Devil Facial Tumour Disease. Maria Island has an abundant bird assemblage, with 11 of the 12 Tasmanian endemics occurring here.  We shall use our time to stroll slowly around the northern part of the island, with the chance of seeing some outstanding scenery, and a large number of bird species including Cape Barren Geese, Australasian Pipit and Skylarks on the grazed grasslands and Forty-spotted Pardalote, Swift Parrot, Black Currawongs and several species of honeyeaters in the wooded areas. We shall enjoy a picnic lunch on the island. In the late afternoon, we will head back on the ferry and return to Hobart. 
Accommodation: Hobart Hotel (en suite rooms). Meals Included: B, L, D. 

Day 5.  Wednesday 2 February Hobart and Bruny Island.
Depending on our timing and conditions we may opt to start our day in reserves around Hobart or alternatively venture directly down to Bruny Island. Situated 40km south of Hobart, Bruny Island is separated from the Tasmanian mainland by the D’Entrecasteaux Channel and accessed by a vehicle ferry. The ferry trip takes approximately 15 minutes where one can enjoy some wonderful scenery and possibly Little Penguins or dolphins alongside the ferry. This afternoon we will visit Bruny’s southern coastline to view the second oldest lighthouse in Australia, and search for species such as Tawny-crowned Honeyeater, Olive Whistler and Yellow-tailed Black-cockatoo. Here we also have a chance to see the Tasmanian subspecies of Short-beaked Echidna, one of Australia’s two egg-laying mammal (montreme) species. After dinner tonight, we will visit the Little Penguin and Short-tailed Shearwater colony to view these species at their burrows.
Accommodation: Cottage style accommodation near and at Inala, south Bruny Island (en suite cabins) Meals Included: B, L, D. 

Day 6 Thursday 3 November Bruny Island.
Today we have a full day to explore Bruny Island. We will start the day birding at ‘Inala’, a privately owned 1,500 acre wildlife sanctuary which is home to all 12 Tasmanian endemic bird species, including one of the largest known colonies of endangered Forty-spotted Pardalote. Strong-billed, Yellow-throated and Black-headed Honeyeaters, Dusky Robin and Green Rosella are also regulars here. Several hides and platforms have also been built around the property which provide close views of some very special species, including a variety of raptors. At this time of year, we can expect to see the endangered white colour morph of Grey Goshawk, White-bellied Sea-eagle, Brown Goshawk, Brown Falcon and if we are lucky, Wedge-tailed Eagle. We will also visit a variety of habitats on the island, from coastal beaches for Hooded Plover, Pied and Sooty Oystercatcher, Pacific and Kelp Gull, to rainforest areas in search of Pink Robin and the endemic Scrubtit, Tasmanian Scrubwren and Tasmanian Thornbill. Tonight, we will take an evening drive in search of Tasmania’s nocturnal marsupials. We are likely to see some species which are now restricted to Tasmania including Eastern Quoll (a relative of the Tasmanian Devil) and Tasmanian Pademelon. Bennett’s Wallaby and Brush-tailed Possum are also common here and rare golden/white colour morphs of both these species can sometimes be found. If we are lucky, we may also see Long-nosed Potoroo and some nocturnal birds like Tawny Frogmouth and Tasmanian Boobook.  
Accommodation: Cottages at and near Inala, south Bruny Island as above. Meals Included: B, L, D.  

Day 7. Friday 4 November Bruny Island to Mt Field area.
This morning we will depart Bruny early for Mount Field National Park. This area is an excellent back up site for our endemic target species, notably Scrubtit and Black Currawong, and is also a great place to experience a range of habitats from fern gullies with waterfalls, to alpine heathland and cool temperate rainforest boasting some of the tallest Eucalyptus in Australia. Today we have our first chance of seeing the bizarre Platypus, the other species of Australian monotreme. In the late afternoon we will make our way out of the park to a nearby settlement where we will overnight. 
Accommodation: Mount Field/New Norfolk area (en suite rooms). Meals Included: B, L, D. 

Day 8. Saturday 5 November Mt Field area to Cradle Mountain area.
This morning we will leave the Mt Field area and travel north to Cradle Mountain National Park. While today is largely a travel day, we will enjoy some lovely scenery and stop en route to bird and stretch our legs.  

We will arrive at our accommodation near the National Park in the late afternoon. This accommodation has been chosen as it offers a chance of seeing one of Australia’s most threatened and charismatic mammals in the wild and at close range. Having become increasingly rare this is one of the only places left where one has a reasonable chance of seeing Tasmanian Devils. Here the owner places meat down for the devils at dusk and, with any luck, they will come in to feed after dark. Spotted-tailed Quolls also come to the verandas to feed and this is an excellent opportunity to view and photograph these elusive creatures.
Accommodation: Lodge near Cradle Mountain (en suite cabins). Meals Included: B, L, D. 

Day 9 Sunday 6 November Cradle Mountain area.
Today we have a full day to explore the area around Cradle Mountain and parts of northern Tasmania. This should provide a good chance to see more of Tasmania’s endemic bird species which we may have missed previously, such as Black Currawong and Yellow Wattlebird. In addition to the great birding we can view endemic Tasmanian rainforest flora with ancient Gondwanan connections such as Pencil and King Billy Pines, Myrtle and the famous Fagus (Nothofagus gunnii) which is Tasmania’s only deciduous tree. This is also a good area to view Common Wombat. We will also have a good chance of viewing Platypus, one of Australia’s most bizarre mammals. We will retrain to our small lodge for another opportunity to view Tasmanian Devils and Spotted-tailed Quoll from our cabins. 
Accommodation: Lodge near Cradle Mountain (en suite cabins). Meals Included: B, L, D. 

Day 10. Monday 7 November Launceston and depart.
This morning we travel to Launceston after breakfast where you will be able to connect with a flight of your choice to one of the capital cities. If time permits, we will visit some wetlands en route where there is a chance to view several wetland species including Purple Swamphen, Spotless Crake, Australian Shelduck, Black-fronted Dotterel and Little Grassbird.
Please note that flights from Launceston should be made from around 13:00 as the guide will deliver those clients there around midday.  Alternatively, we can organise an additional night in Launceston for you at the end of the tour at an additional cost if that is your preferred option.
Meals Included: B. 


Group size: 6-9 participants and 1 Inala guide. 

Tour Price: AUD$ 5,885 per person twin share. Single supplement: AUD$1,050

Tour Price with pre-tour excursion: AUD$ 6,385 per person twin share. Single supplement: AUD$1,050

(Pre-tour excursion only available if joining main tour)

These prices are based on the current rate of GST and may need to be adjusted if there are significant changes.

Inclusions: 9 nights en-suite accommodation, specialist guiding and transport for day and night tours as outlined above, all meals as outlined in the itinerary, activities outlined in the itinerary (including the pelagic cruise and Maria Island excursion), National Park entry fees, Bruny Island ferry fares, GST (=VAT).  

Exclusions: international or domestic Australian airfares, airport transfers on arrival, accommodation on the night before the Melaleuca excursion and breakfast on day 1, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and expenses of a personal nature (snacks, travel insurance, internet, laundry, tips etc).

Please note:  Additional services: We are able to arrange either self-guided or guided extensions to other parts of Tasmania or Australia to compliment this tour. Please enquire at the Inala office and we will happily cater for you through our licensed travel agency.   

Arrival in Hobart: There is a regular shuttle bus service between Hobart airport and the main hotels in the city. Details on the costs and timing of the shuttle can be found on the Skybus website. Alternatively, you may wish to take a taxi to the city – there is no need to pre book these, they are readily available outside the terminal building.  

Meals and drinks: Breakfast generally consists of a continental style breakfast with cereal, fruit and yoghurt and tea/coffee.  Full cooked breakfast is not generally offered at most locations. Lunch will generally consist of a packed lunch style meal eaten in the field, with sandwich/filled roll, fruit, and a drink.  Dinner is usually two course and consists of several options for main with the choice of either an appetiser or dessert. Drinks (soft and alcoholic) are generally not included but at lunches and breakfasts juice may be made available.  

The itinerary: Whilst we aim to follow the itinerary as planned, please note that the itinerary provided should only be used as a guideline.  Depending on individual trip circumstances, weather, and local information, the exact itinerary may not be strictly adhered to.  The guides reserve the right to make changes to the itinerary as they see fit. 

The South West flight and the pelagic: Both activities are weather dependant and there is no guarantee that we will be able to do either. Please see specific notes on alternatives should the flight be cancelled.

Click here for an online doc that answers many of the frequently asked questions about Small Group Tours

Trip Report - Tasmania Endemics Tour - February 2020
Guided by Cat Davidson of Inala Nature Tours

Saturday 1st Feb 2020
The first day of the Tasmanian Endemics tour was our day to arrive and congregate at our central hotel where we went out for dinner at a lovely restaurant in the hotel and began to get to know each other by talking over our plans for the upcoming tour.  We had a lovely mix of people from all over the globe and it was immediately obvious that we were going to get on like a house on fire.

Sunday 2nd Feb 2020
We drove up Kunanyi (Mt Wellington) for our first adventure and went straight to the very top to beat the traffic.  As ever, it was fresh and windy up on top, so we took a few minutes of bracing air while looking at the stunning views looking down on the city of Hobart 1270 m below us , had a quick look for Flame Robins who must have thought it equally chilly and proved elusive, and bundled ourselves back into the warmth of the van.

We next drove down the mountain where we went on a short stroll and began with excellent view of our first endemic the very tricky wee Tasmanian Scrubtit bopping about in the trees. There were a family of three and they were far more confiding than usual and gave everyone solid views. 
We also saw brief glimpses of Crescent Honeyeater and a charming family of Superb Fairy-wrens including a stunning blue alpha male.

Down in a gully we got some sightings of Scrubwren under the majestic tree ferns as well as Tasmanian Thornbill dancing high in the treetops and Grey Fantail flirting with us several times along the track.
For morning tea, we dodged the brief showers and went to a central park where we saw fantastic views of Eastern Rosella, Galah, Sulphur Crested Cockatoo and Musk Lorikeet. Noisy Miner were also fighting and shouting from the Eucalyptus and down on the shore there were Silver Gull, Kelp Gull and some Black-faced Cormorant on the jetty.
At a lagoon we took a short stroll and saw Australian Pelican, Hoary-headed Grebe, Great Cormorant and another Tasmanian endemic, the fabulous Native Hen.
On our way to Eaglehawk Neck we made a stop at a weir where we saw some Black Faced Cormorant and Little Black Cormorant posing on the weir as well as a full range of ages of Kelp Gull.
We had a stop at the top of the mountain with excellent clarity for the view over Pirates Bay and then drove down to our hotel. Before dinner we took a walk down to the magnificent Tessellated Pavement  seeing a Grey Butcherbird and the endemic Yellow Wattlebird on the way. After a delicious dinner we went to bed early to prepare for the early start and a day at sea.

Monday 3rd Feb 2020
Bright and early, the sailors hit the ocean wave, joining expert pelagic guide Karen Dick. 23 species were seen before the boat returned a little early as the route stayed closer to shore due to the weather.  Wonderfully a trawler was close to shore and had brought in a gaggle of interested birdlife from the shelf making for excellent sightings.  Here is Karen Dick’s ebird list for your records.
After a rest and late lunch we headed out for the afternoon to explore the Tasman Peninsula.  We saw a lovely pair of Cape barren Geese on the way to The Remarkable Cave and Saltwater Road where we had several great sightings of Yellow-throated Honeyeaters and Little Wattlebird.

Tuesday 4th Feb 2020
With the weather gods on our side, our flight to Melaleuca in the South West went ahead without a hitch and we flew with Gavin, Liam and Zayden over some of the most spectacular scenery in Tasmania.  Touching down on the airstrip we rushed up to Deny King’s hut for our first attempt to see Orange Bellied Parrots.  And our luck was in, after a few minutes,  there on the feeding bench and perching tree were 17 OBPs looking glorious in the morning sunshine.  After a fabulous morning tea we set off to explore the area.

Several Yellow-throated Honeyeaters were seen and Tree Martins were wheeling in all directions.
We entered the gorgeous paperbark forest and walked quietly through the tranquil habitat.  Coming back out into the buttongrass moorland we walked across the windless plains, everything was beautiful but very silent, so we walked towards the old tin mine machinery and saw at least 2 more OBPs sitting in the eucalypts near their nest boxes, such a wonderful sight to see such beautiful and vulnerable birds in the wild.  Returning to the Deny King Museum for a lovely lunch, more OBPs came in to feed while we did as well as Yellow-throated and New-holland Honeyeaters.

After lunch we saw a trio of Striated Fieldwrens sitting up on top of the bushes.
With our remaining time we went on a hunt for Southern Emu Wren but while we heard them once, they decided to stay elusive and silent. The flight home was no less stunning and we were back in Hobart in time for a delicious dinner at the Old Wool Store.

Wednesday 5th Feb 2020
Heading southward this morning, we made several stops on our way to Bruny Island and we were very successful with gorgeous weather and viewings of many Yellow and Little Wattlebirds, Dusky Woodswallows, Spotted and Striated Pardalotes, Common Bronzewing, Galahs, Black Swans, Yellow-throated Honeyeaters and many more bush birds.  The weather was still glorious as we sailed across the D’Entrecasteaux Channel to Bruny Island.

Once on Bruny we made a stop where we saw several wonderful Swift Parrots high in the Blue Gums. We then made a loop through a beautiful bay and made a profitable stop with a family of Scarlet Robin, juvenile Dusky Robin and a wee gang of Yellow-rumped Thornbill as well as a nice chat with a Bruny local.
We took a walk along the start of a walking track and whilst it was pretty quiet we did bump into Dr Andrew Hingston who was guiding with some other Inala guests.  A quick trip to the Bruny Honey store topped up everyone's gifts for back home and then we headed to Inala.

Once settled into our Bruny accommodation we had time for a walk around the 1,500 acre Inala Private Conservation Reserve and saw fabulous sightings of a Beautiful Firetail next to the old barn and several Forty-spotted Pardalote from the Pardalote platform and the white gums around it.
After a delicious dinner in Alonnah we went to The Neck and had great sightings of the Short-tailed Shearwaters as they returned to land as well as two Little Penguins waddling around amongst the Shearwaters.

Thursday 6th Feb 2020
After our early morning Inala walk where amongst a great deal of birdlife we saw excellent Strong-billed and Black-headed Honeyeaters, Brown and Tasmanian Thornbills, Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike and an incredible amount of Forty-spotted Pardalotes in the perfect windless cool conditions.
Next we headed down to Cape Bruny to see the second oldest standing lighthouse in Australia where we watched two juvenile White-bellied Sea-eagles circling high above Courts Island.  We came across a tiny Mountain Dragon on the pathway sunning itself and temperature regulating by displaying its bright red mouth.  After doing a loop through the beautiful coastal heath, we came across a handsome pair of White-fronted Chat in the garden of the volunteer’s house. 

We drove on to Jetty Beach and there we had our best sighting yet of a family of very confiding Tasmanian Scrubwrens and an excellent view of the cryptic and charming Bassian Thrush.
After lunch at Alonnah pontoon we travelled to Adventure Bay where we made several stops at Coal Point, Two Tree Point and then went to look for White Wallaby.  We were very fortunate and came across a beautiful duo of males.

Our last stop before dinner was a rainforest which was very quiet yet incredibly beautiful.  Amongst the towering Antarctic Tree Ferns we saw a fantastical bright red Stink-horn Fungi.
From temperate rainforest to mountaintop, beach to bush we covered much beautiful ground and finished our long day with another nocturnal tour where we saw several light and dark morph Eastern Quoll and an amazing sighting of a Long-nosed Potoroo who posed and twirled for us for at least a minute.

Friday 7th Feb 2020
Before we set off for the mainland, we took a trip down to Cloudy Bay where we saw a handsome group of Sooty Oystercatchers on the rocks and all three species of Gulls feeding on the beach amongst the Masked Lapwing and Pied Oystercatchers.
A stop alongside the road gave us brief views of a Crescent Honeyeater, Yellow-throated Honeyeater, New-holland Honeyeater, Grey-shrike Thrush and most surprisingly up in the tree, another Bassian Thrush.
Stopping briefly to try for Swift Parrots and we were rewarded with at least half a dozen perched beautifully out in the open enjoying the misty calm morning.  Heading for Mt Field we took time to stop at a logoon on the way, adding many wonderful water birds to our tally including Australian Shoveller, Freckled Duck and Purple Swamp Hen.  A highlight before we departed was an excellent view of the incredible cryptic Latham's Snipe camouflaged against the shore.
Russell Falls was beautiful and we had several excellent sightings of Scrub Wren on the trail amongst the arching Tree Ferns.
Departing Mt Field we made our way to our accommodation for the night where we were welcomed by our kind hosts and retired briefly to our gorgeous cabins.  A BBQ meal made for a very lovely evening and we all returned to rest in our cabin, seeing Bennetts Wallaby and European Hares along the route back.

Saturday 8th Feb 2020
Today was a big travel day as we made our way from the bottom to the top of Tasmania. 
Before departing we walked around a section of the farm and whilst it was initially very quiet, the parrots then put up their alarm call and we had a fantastic sighting of an Australian Hobby as well as a lovely selection of Eastern Rosella, Grey Butcherbird and Sulphur-crested Cockatoo as we left the farm.

Leaving our accommodation, we had a very productive stop at a dam where we had some great sightings of Blue Billed Duck, Musk Duck and Hoary-headed Grebe.  We drove through the Central Highlands, stopping for morning tea at The Steppes Sculptures, then on past Great Lake before we stretched our legs at Pencil Pine Lake at the highest elevation.  On one corner of the trail we saw Tasmanian Scrubwren, Tasmanian Thornbill, Flame Robin and Striated Field Wren amongst the ancient Pencil Pines.

Along the roadside, we stopped when we spied another wee Echidna and several strutting endemic Black Currawong.  We had a lovely lunch in Deloraine, and then continued north to a garden where no sooner had we arrived than we saw several wonderful Blue-winged Parrots feeding near the entrance. We had perfect sightings of a Platypus in the pond who swam past us less than 3 meters away.  We went on a brief walk through the trees and came upon a productive corner with Flame Robin, Beautiful Firetail, Black-faced Cuckoo Shrike and Grey Fantail.

We made our way to our home in the densely wooded in a magnificent canyon, where our remote and tranquil cabins sat nestled by the river.  Along the way we watched two Brown Falcons hunting incredibly close to the road.
A warm welcome and a tasty hot dinner prepared us to stay up late to see some of the resident nocturnal mammals.

Sunday 9th Feb 2020
To start the day we compared stories of wildlife seen in the darkness, with one excellent sighting of a Spotted Tailed Quoll, and several sightings of several different Tasmanian Devils.
Taking a walk around the wonderful private land, we saw many Satin Flycatchers, Striated Pardalote, Silvereye, Grey-shrike Thrush and Tasmanian Thornbill.

Our next stop of the day was a stroll up to a lookout, hearing Scrubwrens along the lush ferny section and Thornbills amongst the bush. The magnificent lookout had fantastic views of the canyon below and the weather was perfect enough to see far in all directions.
On the road to Cradle Mountain we stopped at the lookout over Mt Roland and had morning tea looking at the stunning view.  The Forest Ravens and Sulphur-crested Cockatoos were screaming and we soon saw why: a magnificent Wedge-tailed Eagle came gliding into sight and gave us fantastic views as it circled above us.
We drove through the park to Dove Lake, where the whole of Cradle Mountain was visible and looking stupendous in the sunshine.  We walked to Glacier Rock and heard Crescent Honeyeaters and Black Currawong calling from the tree line.

We took a lovely walk along the Ronny’s Creek boardwalk with the buttongrass gentle bouncing in the light breeze and the great shapes of the spikey Pandani along the creekline.  Our first Wombat was sleeping right by the boardwalk and was half hidden but still gave us nice views each time they scratched and readjusted.   Walking up the hill to Waldheim chalet we had lunch out in the sunshine, protecting our sandwiches from the lurking Black Currawong. We then walked the lovely wee loop track through the magnificent Celerytop Pine, Myrtle Beech and King Billy Pine forest with a maze of gnarled roots and twisted trunks like a backdrop from a Grimm’s fairy tale.  Strolling the Enchanted Walk we had excellent views of a Crescent Honeyeater with its lovely yellow wingbar and a charming Echidna scruffling about under the Myrtle Beach.

We had time for a few gift shop purchases and a quick look around the interpretation centre before we whipped down the Pencil Pines Loop to see the well-flowing falls and then departed Cradle National Park.
A delicious final dinner together and our last bird list.

Monday 10st Feb 2020
We began our morning together with several more wonderful Tasmanian Devil sightings from the night before to discuss on the road.  With everything timed to the minute, we squeezed in two stops before getting to the airport.
Firstly we scooped up some beautiful Banded Lapwing in the short grass quickly followed by another new bird, the glorious Ruddy Turnstones who were so cryptic that it wasn't until we saw the first few that we then noticed there was about a dozen more feeding in amongst the seaweed.

After zooming down to Launceston, we had a quick stop at the wetlands where there was a great surprise with a stunning Nankeen Night Heron waiting to greet us.  The first few lakes had Chestnut and Grey Teal, Purple Swamp Hen, Australian Shoveler and Black Swan as well as a final new bird for the tour, a cute wee Black-fronted Dotterel.

We then had the inevitable but always sad business of saying farewell to each other.  I loved this tour, it was such an excellent adventure in great weather  with a really lovely group who got on fantastically with each other.  Thank you all, I truly hope to see and bird with you all again one day.

109 species of bird seen in total, all 12 endemic birds seen multiple times and a fabulous selection of Mammals and Monotremes allowing us to see them in all their wild beauty.

Cat Davidson

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