Hey, it’s Abbie and Mara! After the joy of sleeping in yesterday morning, we waved goodbye to tropical Cairns and our awesome tour guide Tracy. While waiting for the plane to Hobart, Tasmania, we also played pranks on others in the airport…
Video courtesy of Tourism Australia
Alex entertained us by fake- tripping in front of people. We sang our Australian theme song for Tassie devil donations, and made 16 dollars with Ben’s and Casey’s extra help. We then transferred from Melbourne all the way down under to the island state of Tasmania.
Hi, this is Abbie. It’s my birthday today!! Being in Australia is birthday present enough, but it’s also the first day that we’re in Hobart! We got up bright and early to eat a lovely breakfast, and then we were off to Mount Field National Park. On the two-hour bus ride, I had Australians and Americans sing the happy birthday song to me! On the bus we watched the world fly by in one of the most photogenic places on earth. There was snow on the mountains because it’s winter here, and as I write this, we’re all wearing sweatshirts and long pants!
We arrived at the park, where we were engulfed by gigantic swamp gum trees. We were greeted by a friendly park ranger who told us all about animal tracks and scats (poo). We even made our own tracks by looking at photos of tracks and recreating them in a plaster cast. I made the hind foot of a Tasmanian devil. The ranger gave us balls of clay which he had us make into different types of poo. My favorite poops are the wombat scats, because they look like tiny squares! Afterward, he took us on a hike through two miles of rain forest where we saw everything from tiny glow worms to the swamp gum, which is the third largest tree on Earth! For our hike’s grand finale, a waterfall created a beautiful terrace up into the forested mountainside.
After the hike, we warmed up with soup, sandwiches, and tea. Now we were ready for our next adventure.
Hi, this is Mara. Luckily, I am writing about the part of the day where it was slightly warmer! The high was 12 degrees Celsius, which we figured out translated to about 54 degrees Fahrenheit. After the beautiful walk around Mt. Field National Park, we met some Tasmanian students, with whom we had corresponded before the trip. The class we met up with was also part of the contest, and they had won the opportunity to team up with us to help save the Tasmanian devils. We all started helping at Bonorong, a wildlife conservation center. We split up into three groups: One to bring mulch to the new Tasmanian devil enclosures, and two to plant grasses in the enclosures.
The devils seemed to enjoy our efforts and the noises they made were warm thank you’s, or so we were told! We watched as the Tasmanian devils were released into their new home. They were very curious and surprisingly cute! We got to feed the kangaroos and wallabies and saw lots of joeys peeking out of their mommas’ pouches.
Bonorong looked out over the beautiful city of Hobart and the mountains in the background made an incredible picture! Tasmania is gorgeous, and the plants and animals so diverse! Today was a wonderful day, and a great intro to the unique island of Tasmania!