Friday, 19th October – Cradle Mountain to Launceston

Sad to leave the Cradle Mountain Hotel – certainly one of the better ones we\’ve been to on our travels. However, this place is very wet – yesterday was the wettest day we\’ve had since we arrived in Australia. However, we must move on.

We decided to visit the local Tasmanian Devil sanctuary. I think most people know that this is on the endangered list of animals worldwide, and is now, since the extinction of the Tasmanian tiger, the largest carnivore in Tasmania. Yes, there are others, of which more later. The sanctuary is instrumental in plans to reintroduce the devil to its wild habitat.

Despite their reputation, Tasmanian devils are reasonably peaceable animals who tolerate each other unless food is involved. They are scavengers rather than hunters. Cue lots of cutesy pictures on a guided tour of the property:

Mum has to cart these critters around for several months. No wonder she\’s looking fed up…
Just a yawn, actually…..
The sanctuary also hosts two other species of animals which are distant relatives of the Tasmanian devil – the tiger kwoll and the Eastern kwoll. These are also carnivorous marsupials, like the devil, but smaller:

Tiger Kwoll

Eastern Kwoll
The Eastern kwoll is so-called because it used to be plentiful on the eastern side of Australia. It is now found only in Tasmania. What damage we do…….
Next stop was a place called Devonport, which is where the ferries from the mainland stop. This was talked up quite a bit in the Lonely Planet book in our possession (courtesy of a neighbour of ours), but was actually a bit of a dump. We had a coffee and left quickly.
Launceston was our destination, so got to the hotel to check in. To our consternation, they had no record of our reservation – the first time we had encountered problems of this nature. The poor girl at Reception was really upset, particularly as we could prove the reservation without difficulty. However, it all got sorted out in the end – an admin error somewhere that nobody was admitting to.
Nice room, with a nice view over the River Tamar:

Thence to the Mudbar restaurant attached to the hotel, at which we both had a superb steak meal. 
A trip along the Tamar river is planned for tomorrow.

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