A Little Penguin Fail and Cradle Mountain

Fairy penguins and glow gorms

December 21, 2020

We decided to take another mini-trip for our last full weekend in Tasmania and drive a few hours up north past Launceston (the main town up north) and stayed in a town called Devonport, which was literally 5 minutes from a town called Penguin… you can guess why… It has tons of wild penguins!! 


The penguins in Tasmania are called “fairy” or “little” penguins. You can normally see them at sunset, but that unfortunately conflicts with our schedule, so we tried waking up to find them at sunrise. We did not find a single penguin! 🙁

Our penguin fail was unfortunate, but we did still get to do the second thing we drove up north for, which was to visit Cradle Mountain National Park. That experience was just amazing! The drive to the mountain was windy and long, but it went through fields and fields of bright purple flowers!! (I think they might have been lupins; have to double-check.) We arrived and took a shuttle because they don’t let you drive through the park, all of the way up to the Dove Lake circuit, where we explored all day!

We first hiked around in tons of grasslands… Perfect for wombats, which we were yet to spot… looked down and there was one literally 2 feet from me!!! We continued on the trail up into the mountains and lakes. Really, I have no words for how gorgeous it was up there. 


At the last moment and ill-prepared again, Alan decided we should take on Cradle Mountain itself… Which was basically rock climbing. 


He flew up the mountain; I probably made it about 80% of the way before I tapped out. I like hiking… not rock climbing. Lol. Eventually, we met up again on the way down and on our way back through the grasslands we spotted an echidna and TONS of wombats and wild birds frolicking in the fields!

On our way back to Hobart, we stopped by the Marakoopa Caves; we HAD to see some bioluminescence, and these caves were known for having glow worms! So we got there and went on our cave tour, passing the “glow worm” room and not seeing a single one… our guide told us our eyes take a while to adjust and we would stop back by it on the way out. 


So we continued the tour and got to see a few cave critters (cricket and spider) which apparently had come out of hiding because of COVID restrictions reducing the foot traffic in the caves. We went into the deepest part of the cave and shut off all of the lights… And waited a few moments before heading out to the glow worm room. 

When they shut off the lights, your eyes could start to resolve the small blue lights all over the ceiling… Within a few minutes, it was like a night sky minus the twinkling!


 I tried to take a photo since our camera should be able to pick it up, but the tracking light was giving us issues and we probably needed a tripod (not allowed on this tour)… So no shot. I licensed a couple from stock photos for this post to show you what it looked like!

We only have about a week left here! We’ll update you again soon!

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