Last week we had the opportunity to venture North once more and check out the Serengeti of Tasmania. It’s home to vast herds of Elephants, Wildebeest and Zebra roaming the expansive plains. That’s the Serengeti anyway. Narawntapu National Park is located east of the port city of Devonport where the Spirit of Tasmania brings ferry passengers from the mainland. It’s likened to the legendary African safari locale due to its own expansive plains that host a variety of wild animals of the furry and feathery variety. It used to be called the Asbestos Range National Park, not exactly a marketing stroke of genius that one haha.
We had been invited by Tasmanian photographer Natalie Mendham who is in the process of working with Tasmania’s tourism and parks and wildlife services, updating their catalogue of images on their website and promotional materials. We were to play the part of visitors to the park, walking through its many trails and just enjoying the experience. So we basically just did what we always do when we visit a new spot, point at things and take it all in with a big smile on our faces.
Our modelling career started at the visitor centre where we met Christine and Scott who were also going to be in front of the lens. We ventured forth along the Archers Knob track, stopping along the way to admire the marshy area around the lagoon. Plenty of Pademelons hopped away into the bush as we strolled along, parallel to the beach on our left and the lagoon on our right.
Soon enough we came across the lovely bird hide which looks out on the lagoon. Here we saw some lovely black swans and wading birds up close. The hide is a large wooden structure that has small slits facing the lagoon so you can watch the wildlife without disturbing the lovely critters. There were a number of Pademelons at the lagoon’s edge, drinking from the water and nibbling on the same grasses the swans were scooping out in the deeper parts.
After getting some nice shots at the hide, we carried on our way towards Archers Knob, stopping off at the grasslands beyond the lagoon. We set up a little snack spot on the edge of the plains and Nat and I wandered over to some Forester Kangaroos to get some photos. Having the equivalent of a 600mm lens came in handy here as I could fill the image with a Kangaroo without getting tooooo close and spooking them. We returned to the others and sat down for a quick bite to eat and some water, whilst a few dozen wrens hopped about in the grass around us, it was so pleasant.
There was still plenty to see so we carried on and scaled the easy walk up to Archers Knob. It provides great panoramic views over Narawntapu and Bakers Beach and is home to some really cool grass trees which sprout thick brown trunks like fence posts that dot the horizon. A couple more shots and another little rest stop and we made our way back down.-
We had been skirting the edge of the beach the entire walk so after coming down from Archers Knob, it was time to get some sand on our boots. Bakers Beach is several kilometres of golden sandy beach that ends at Little Badger Head where the shoreline becomes distinctly more chunky.
As we ventured out onto the sand, we noticed hundreds of tiny soldier crabs scurrying along the beach. They quickly buried themselves in the sand as we approached, only to re-emerge once we had passed. It reminded me of a trip Gemma and I took to Freycinet, where we had a picnic near Coles Bay surrounded by thousands of the little purple critters. You could hear them all scuttling about if you stayed quiet enough, it was awesome. Our walking/modelling trip ended at Little Badger Head where we took a look in some rock pools and stopped for lunch with a sweeping view back down the beach.
Rather than going back the way we came, we decided to walk along the beach the whole way back. It was a really nice stroll and we came across some beautiful shells and interesting washed up sea life along the way. Before long, we were back at the car park and saying our goodbyes. It had been such a lovely day out, getting to see this beautiful part of Tasmania and help do our bit in promoting it along the way. I love this little island I call home and you should too. It’s a truly beautiful place whether you’re on its northern shores gazing out towards mainland Australia or on one a rocky southern headland with nothing but ocean between you and Antarctica.
Narawntapu National Park should definitely be on your stopover list if you’re driving off the ferry from Devonport. The walks are easy, the scenery magnificent and the wildlife is abundant.