Sunday, February 16, 2014


The Lady with a Big Heart for Animals and the Great Outdoors

Executive summary by darmansjah

Rising 1545m above sea level, Cradle Mountain is not only famous for being one of Tassie’s lankiest landmarks but also for its Overland Track – a multi-day walking trail coveted by hikers across the globe. 

Native animals such as wallabies, wombats, possums, and Tasmanian Devils roam abundant and free here, the former three often squirreling among the many lodges nestled within the park. 

The skies were a tragic slate grey at three pm when I checked into Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge (4038 Cradle Mountain Road) for my wild-luxe respite. Despite the battered weather, the National Park still glistened with organic charms, one of which was the Night Spotting Tour – an educational and spritely mini-van trip that saw me up close with active nocturnal animals. Though I must say, the beauty of Cradle Mountain truly blossoms come day time. One of 60 “Great Short Walks” peppered all around Tasmania, the Enchanted Forest Walk is an easy 20-minute circuit route just a stone’s throw from the lodge; and apt as its name, the scenic route is carpeted with cotton candy moss and mushrooms playing peekaboo   giant trees.

A visit to Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary (593 Briggs Road, Brighton) is a humbling experience that will surely leave you underwhelmed with your accomplishments in life. How many of us can boast knowing, at age eight, exactly what we want to be when we grow up? Well, Greg Iron did. Now at a sagely age of 27, his childhood dream to save and rehabilitate injured and orphaned native animals is a heaving reality. Primarily run by volunteers, Bonorong educates the public on wildlife protection via guided park tours, school talks and classes on basic animal rescue, transport and temporary care. Here, you’ll get plenty of face-time with the elusive and endangered Tasmanian Devil (which looks nothing like its sinister name), feed kangeroos and flirt with feathery friends of all sorts. All proceeds gathered from the sanctuary entrance fee and tour is pumped back into conservation efforts.

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