Friday 7 February 2014

Tasmania Trip - Day 14

Day 14 - 7/2/2014 - Cradle Mountain (Marions Lookout)

Overnight the temperature dropped to 3 deg, which was a really nice change from the past week or so.  Today we were going to tackle the walk to Marions Lookout.  It was a about a 7.2km return walk from the Dove Lake car park.  Because we were a little bit earlier than the hordes of tourists, we decided to drive to the Dove Lake car park instead of catching the shuttle bus.  It was a good decision because we saw our first echidna of the trip.

The first half of the walk to Marions Lookout was pretty much 3.6km of uphill walking.  The legs certainly got a workout today!  The scenery was fantastic.  The day also warmed up very quickly.  The climate was so variable and it could change so quickly.  We started off walking while it was cool with jumpers on, but in no time it had warmed up and we were absolutely sweltering in the heat and couldn’t wait to get to the next ridge line to catch some of the cooling breezes.

By the time we got back to the car park it was actually starting to rain!  The weather was so unpredictable and you can see why the National Parks recommend packing for all situations, even for just a day walk.

After dinner that evening we decided to go for a walk through the Enchanted Forest near the National Parks Rangers hut to see if we could spot any wombats or platypus.

We didn’t spot any wildlife in the Enchanted Forest so we decided to go for a drive back to the Dove Lake car park to see if we could see any.  We stopped in at the Ronny Creek car park as it was fairly open with lots of ground vegetation.  As we were doing a slow u turn we spotted a shy wombat with the headlights darting behind a clump of button grass.  After waiting for a few minutes it realised that we weren’t a threat to it so it reappeared and trotted off into the distance stopping every now and then to have a munch on a bit of grass.  Our first live wombat, wow!!

We then slowly idled up to the Dove Lake car park, and on the way we saw what looked like a cat running along the road in front of us.  As we got closer it turned side on and we could see that had lots of white spots on its body.  It was then that we realised that it was a Quoll.  We were pretty excited as we had only just watched the ABC TV series Kakadu a few months before and saw that they were endangered and extremely rare to see in the wild.  We later found out that it was an Eastern Quoll and that they weren't endangered in Tasmania, but it was still pretty cool to see one in the wild.  Unfortunately I didn’t get any photos so here is a link for a photo

By the time we made it to the Dove Lake car park it was close to 10pm.  We were starting to get tired as it had been a long day again.  So I didn’t have the energy to spend too much time trying to take some night time photos again.  Here was my one and only attempt.

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