In the thick of winter the snow covered landscapes of Tasmania are stunning enough, but add some local wildlife to the equation and you’ve got a simply unforgettable experience to savour.
We’ve been driving all over Tassie’s icy roads in our rented motorhome on a winter family holiday. Today we have arrived at one of my most anticipated destinations, Cradle Mountain National Park. We are most fortunate because in the last couple of days, the first snow falls of the season have blanketed the region in a dazzling carpet of white.
Once we make it in to Dove Lake itself, the views across to Cradle Mountain are simply spectacular. It’s no wonder it is one of the most photographed vistas in the state. The next morning I’m up early to photograph that exact view as the sun first catches the mountain tops. I’m in luck as it’s a perfectly still day, with the mountain perfectly mirrored in the lake’s surface. It is stupendously cold though at around minus 8 degrees and a little difficult to stop all the camera equipment from icing over. I’m later told these calm conditions are quite rare and such windless conditions under full snow and blue skies are only seen a few times a year.
Later that morning I head over to a nature walk at Weindorfers Forest, where locals say is your best opportunity to see a wombat in the wild. Well my good luck keeps rolling on today because I don’t spot just one wombat, I see many groups of the beautiful marsupials including some juveniles.
These wombats are obviously quite used to humankind and they seem mostly oblivious to our presence. Maintaining a neutral and stationary position, I photograph one mum and her bub shuffling slowly towards me across the snow. All the while munching furiously on the wiry grass sprouting from the snowfields. I’m totally captivated by their antics, especially when the juvenile wombat does a little dance and shakes his leg in front of me.
Wombats are indeed a curious creature. On the surface they may seem a fairly characterless animal, but up close they simply ooze with personality. Their bristling fur coats seem to come alive as they move, along with their twitching whiskers and wet noses. They do however take on a less ‘cuddly’ persona up close, with their long sharp claws on full display as they crunch across the fresh snow. And oh my, those long front teeth come out as they shred the long grasses.
After a good session photographing many of the local wombat characters of the area, it’s time to pack up and head back to camp for a hot coffee. What a wonderful time I had photographing these charming animals. I’m totally smitten!
If you would like to purchase any prints of these adorable little guys please get in contact with me.