Special Report

The Top 10 Places to See in Tasmania

With Tasmania’s 3.4-million acres of protected wilderness, this alluring isle feels close to heaven—Tasmanian devils included

Sunrise at Cape Tourville. (© DanieleC / Alamy)

5. Feed a Devil

Tasmanian Devil
(© Gerry Pearce / Alamy)
Unlike the famed Warner Brothers cartoon version, the real Tasmanian devil is a small, hyena-like marsupial with a haunting hiss—a sound “like that of a woman being strangled,” in the phrase of Tasmanian novelist Richard Flanagan. Convicts first thought they were tormented souls in the bush. Today, the devils are a beloved island icon—although one that is endangered by a mysterious cancer, the Devil Facial Tumor Disease (DFTD). Luckily, visitors can help. The environmental group Devils@Cradle has created a specially designed “devil sanctuary” near Cradle Mountain to enable visitors to view the nocturnal marsupials at close range, raising awareness of their plight (and funds for their defense). The Keepers Tour offered during the day, when they are more docile, includes the possibility of petting devils. But the most spectacular viewing comes after dark, when the carnivorous critters indulge in loud, snarling feeding frenzies.

Comment on this Story

comments powered by Disqus