The drive from Hobart to Cradle Mountain was a long one (nearly 6 hours!) but as we approached, we had a feeling we were about to experience something special.
Signs of civilization became non-existent as the roads twisted into the mountains and beautiful natural scenery surrounded us at every angle. Unfortunately we also started dodging roadkill at a consistent but quite alarming rate.
We later learned that Tasmania is the roadkill capital of the world with somewhere between 300,000 and 500,000 animals killed on the roads last year.
That’s at least 34 animals killed every hour!
This number and regular roadkill sightings broke our hearts but we were pleased to discover the abundance of fauna living and thriving at Cradle Mountain. As soon as we pulled into our accommodation, we were greeted by our first sign of life right outside our cabin door.
An adorable pademelon!
Pademelons are essentially smaller versions of wallabies (with kangaroos being the largest in the macropod family). This little guy searched for food in the bushes near our cabin and wasn’t phased in the slightest as the two of us took photos and recorded video of his exploits.
After dropping off our bags, we slowly and watchfully drove to our Tasmanian Devil Feeding Tour and in the grass near the parking lot was a massive wombat.
This was the first time we’ve ever seen one of these creatures in the wild and would’ve loved a closer look, but this thing was humungous and somewhat intimidating – despite looking all cuddly and moving at the speed of a tortoise!
We returned to the car after the 90-minute tour to discover the wombat still foraging around the grass but now he had now been joined by a new friend.
After having dinner, we headed back to our cabin and thought our animal encounters were done for the night. But soon we heard rustling and there were 3 large possums waiting for us on the balcony.
These creatures wanted food and they knew exactly where to get it. As soon as we even touched the door, they would come running and scratching at it, attempting to break into our accommodation if presented with the smallest of opportunities.
Sneaky little critters!
Eventually they gave up and left us alone to get some sleep and we woke up the next morning for the drive out to Dove Lake – a beautiful lake situated right beneath the spires of Cradle Mountain.
It was on this drive that we came face to face with a wild echidna – another first for both of us!
We had many more wallaby sightings that day. One even hopped right past Amy who politely moved out of the way thinking it was a person coming up behind her!
If you want to see an abundance of Australian native wildlife in its natural habitat, then Cradle Mountain in Tasmania should be at the top of your list!
Who knows how many animals we would’ve seen if we actually went out looking for them!