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Roadtrip Australia: Van-Tastic Tasmania - Dara & Catherine Americans Dara and Catherine embark on the ultimate Aussie roadtrip as they motor around Tasmania with Van-Tastic Adventures for six action-packed, free-wheeling weeks of adventure.


AUSTRALIA | Friday, 29 January 2010 | Views [1686] | Comments [1]

North, South and East Tasmania had already been graced with our presence. It was time for Dara and I to head down the winding roads of the West. First stop Cradle Mountain.

We got there in the evening just in time for feeding at the Devils @ Cradle devil Sanctuary. We were able to walk around before the feeding and observe Tasmania's three unique threatened carnivorous marsupials; the Tasmanian devil and the Spotted-tail and Eastern quoll. Then everyone gathered inside to watch an informative video on the Tasmanian Devil and ask the caretaker questions. 

We learned all about the tragedy of the devil facial tumor disease (DFTD) and how it has wiped out approximately 50% of the devil population in the last 10 years. We were taught that ulcerated tumors appear around the jaws and head of the devil. And that the cancer is directly transmissible between two devils and spread rapidly due to the nature of their group feeding. The disease is fatal and an infected devil usually starves to death in 3-5 months. They pointed out that there is no treatment or vaccination for DFTD and that it will be difficult to control. 

Conservation programs, like the one at Devils @ Cradle, are vital to save the devils from extinction through education, breeding, research, rehabilitation, and release programs. You can do your part in these conservation efforts through financial contribution, visit http://devilsatcradle.com/content.php?id=donations.

Dara and I spent that night at the luxurious Cradle Mountain Chateau and enjoyed hot showers, scrumptious tea and biscuits and two warm beds. We saw two pademelons and a wombat hanging out on the grounds in the short time we were there.

We woke up early the next day to walk around the Cradle Mountain National Park World Heritage area and then drove south to Tullah where we met our Tarkine Trails rain forest bush walking guide, Trevor.

Trevor drove us as deep in to the Tarkine Rain Forest as far as a car can go (which isn't too far) and we sat by a drizzling creek to eat lunch and discuss the next two days. We munched away on our fresh, healthy wraps while Trevor began telling the history of the Tarkine and it's importance. When lunch was finished we hiked deep in to the lush rain forest to begin our adventure with Trevor. These two days included the extravagances of delicious organic food, enlightening conversation, and wine around the fireplace and the plainness of bush walking for two days with no shower and pooping in hole dug in the ground.

"The Tarkine Wilderness region is located in the north-west of Tasmania. The area encompasses 447,000 hectares of wilderness including the Southern Hemispheres largest single tract of temperate rain forest, a wild coastline with an extraordinary wealth of Aboriginal Cultural Heritage sites, and habitat for over 50 threatened species. There are groves of the tallest hardwood trees on the planet, numerous wild rivers, and spectacular mountain ranges. Until recently the forests of Tarkine were inaccessible for walking tours. In collaboration with the Tarkine National Coalition, Tarkine Trails has opened a forest trail that provides access to the ancient forests the Tarkine is famous for. It is without doubt, Australia’s best kept wilderness secret, but one that will not last forever, so we urge you to join us sooner rather than later while this remoteness and isolation lasts. By choosing our walks, you not only get a chance to explore Tasmania’s wildest landscapes, you also help to develop environmentally, economically and socially sustainable employment opportunities in these regions. Ultimately choosing a holiday with Tarkine Trails contributes to the long term protection and sustainable management of the Tarkine." http://www.tarkinetrails.com.au/

Tags: backpackers, campervan, nature, rainforest, tasmania, tasmania devils, travel, van-tastic adventures, wildlife, world nomads



Hear any Tasmanian tiger stories? :)

  Chris Feb 1, 2010 10:36 AM

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