Meeting the penguins
16 December 12
Tonight’s animal encounter was on the other side of the Tamar River at Low Head Coastal Reserve just north of George Town. Low Head Penguin Tours offer fully guided tours to the beach where visitors can watch penguins exit the water and make their way to their burrows.
Approaching the reserve, we could see that the tours didn’t start until 9pm, but we decided to walk the tracks and see what they were like. We didn’t see any penguins, but there was plenty of evidence that a large number of ground-dwelling birds lived in the area.
At 9pm, we made the short drive from the playground where we had been waiting and joined the tour. We were a bit later than the main group, and our tour guide Emma cheerfully took us down to the beach and sat with us on the sand as we waited for the birds to show themselves.
When the wind became too cold for the girls, we headed back up the beach to the relative shelter of the scrub. Penguins were making their way along the paths, and we stopped to have a look at some burrows, listening first to hear the chicks calling for food.
We loved seeing the penguins so close. Our tour with Emma was very personal, and we learned many interesting things about penguins and their habitats. I’ve never seen a penguin in the wild before, and so this was a special moment for me. For any visitors to Tasmania, the Low Head Penguin Tour is highly recommended!