Stanley to Cradle Mountain

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CRADLE MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK

As we drove inland and upwards from Burnie towards the huge Cradle Mountain National Park, the landscape became wilder, the sky became greyer, and the temperature plummeted. We stopped to look out over the Vale of Belvoir (photo above). It is the only surviving grassland of its kind, unchanged since Aborigines hunted wallaby on this landscape some 18,000 to 20,000 years ago. Cradle Mountain is lerking at the righthandside of this photo and there are snow-capped mountains on the horizon.

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The photo above shows Dove Lake, We had intended to take the 2-3 hour walk around the lake but stopped after 30 minutes as the freezing driving rain (?sleet/hail) was unpleasant and there was no scenery to enjoy.

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Rather than return strait to the bus stop, we opted to take the short walk to Glacier Rock (the light coloured rock on the lefthandside of the photo below). Cold and wet, we returned to the bus where the driver regaled us of stories of life in the hills here. He also told us that the platypus was the only venomous mammal and we should avoid the spur on its hind leg.

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DEVILS AT CRADLE

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That evening we had booked ‘Dinner with the Devils’ at a nature reserve just inside the National Park. There were only the two of us for the 9 pm slot, so we were able to chat with the guide while eating and drinking delicious local produce. I think we talked too much as we ran out of time to eat everything and had to take our dessert away with us!

The young Devil with the keeper was being hand reared, so would not be released into the wild. But it could be used for breeding when old enough. There were quolls here as well as Devils and both are carnivorous marsupials.

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The Tasminan Devils do not hunt for food, but eat carrion. And, they eat absolutely everything in a hurry, the dead wallaby disappearing rather quickly. They have the strongest jaws on the planet and the noise they make, well it is blood curdling!

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Although this was quite a cold evening (3C), we thoroughly enjoyed this unique experience.


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© Helen Gray 2020