Devil’s in the detail
EARLY IN THE YEAR I jumped at a three-day expedition to see Tasmanian devils at Devil Ark, a captive breeding facility in the Barrington Tops region of NSW. Devil Ark founder Tim Faulkner and his team work tirelessly to protect endangered native Australian wildlife.
The adventure began as soon as we hit the dirt road, when Tim spotted echidnas, bearded dragons and an eastern brown snake. Once at the breeding facility, we loaded the ute up with buckets of roadkill kangaroo, causing hungry devils to bound over. We learnt how to set up devil traps, and returned the next day to find a few unhappy residents, ready for their regular check-ups.
We helped monitor and feed timid eastern quolls, while bandicoots skittered about our feet. Inside the research centre, we were handed adorable devil joeys in hand-sewn flannel sacks donated by locals.
Once the sun set, we got back out on the road to go night-spotting. In the space of a few hundred metres the high beam skimmed across wild wombats pottering off into the shrub, while red-necked wallabies looked up, bewildered, before hopping away. We spent a good while searching for the Davies’ tree frog down by a creek, while wide-eyed possums stared down at us from the treetops. If you’ve ever thought spotting wildlife was simply a combination of luck and patience, then you’re yet to meet Tim, who’s an eagleeyed treasure trove of knowledge.
As a result of this special experience, we learnt a little about what’s happening in wildlife conservation in Australia. Devil Ark’s successes are the result of the single-minded passion and dedication of Tim and his team. It was a privilege to have such a uniquely Australian wildlife encounter.
From $1350 for adults and $800 for children
An eager Tasmanian devil waits patiently for its lunch of roadkill roo to be delivered.Devil Ark’s managerDean Reid holds a Tasmanian devil while its joey gets a health check-up.