Wings Wildlife Park: Gunns Plains, Tasmania
We ventured to Wings Wildlife Park from our accommodation in Ulverstone to visit Tracey and Megan Wing, and learn more about their business. One thing I would say right from the outset, is that we’ve already been to several wildlife parks in Tasmania. Would this one be more of the same? Haven’t we covered enough of that territory? The answer to that would be a resounding NO! You can never meet too many Tasmanian wombats or Tassie Devils.
Personally, I think Tasmania does the wildlife experience and distributes Tasmanian devil info pretty well. In each corner of the state there’s a chance to interact with and meet the local creatures. In the Gunns Plains corner, three generations of the Wing family now work at the park, which was launched over ten years ago.
Caring for injured animals, and releasing those that are rehabilitated, is a priority of Wings Wildlife Park. They like to give the public Tasmanian Devil info, and they run a successful breeding program. The timing of our visit was perfect, because we were introduced to two of their baby Tasmanian devils. Very cute!
Now the world’s largest remaining meat-eating marsupial, the most crucial Tasmanian Devil info is this: the species is endangered. Devil Facial Tumour Disease, domestic animals and road-kill all threaten the existence of the animal.
But Wing’s Wildlife Park isn’t just about educating people; it’s also about having fun. During the devil-feeding display, three critters put on a hilarious show. They must have run miles, chasing each other around for the leg-of-wallaby lunch they were supposed to share!
A Room Full of Reptiles
When you enter the wildlife park, you’re given a map of the exhibits which cover more than 150 animals. They do offer guided tours, or you can make your own way around. You can buy a bag of fish-feed and have huge trout jumping out of their tanks. And there’s a room full of reptiles if you’re into lizards, skinks, Copperheads and Tasmanian tiger snakes!
Obviously, these displays are inside, so Wings Wildlife Park does cater for things to do in wet weather. You can always wait out any rain in the souvenir shop and cafe, but they have so many animals on show (kangaroos, quolls, ducks, monkeys, koalas…) they suggest allowing two hours to see them all.
We probably spent even longer than two hours, which is why we missed the Gunns Plains Caves tour and will have to go back again! That’s a shame; we’ll have to go back to Gunns Plains Goodies for lunch again too!
Camels, Buffalo and American Bison in Tasmania
The Wings have imported animals like American bison at their Gunns Plains wildlife park in the north west coast region of Tasmania, which roam in large paddocks, along with buffalo and camels. And farm animals like to get your attention, particularly the goats. We thought one of them was going to jump the fence to get into our animal feed.
When we visited this Tasmanian attraction, a huge aviary was being built as a new home for the larger birds of prey. It’s nice to know they have the welfare of their animals at heart, while always looking for ways to improve their attraction. The cruise season is their busiest time of the year, as passengers docked at Burnie join a bus tour and drive out to Wings Wildlife Park. You’d have to be a turkey not to consider a visit in your itinerary!
Stay at Wings Wildlife Park
As far as I’m aware, Wings Wildlife Park is the only one offering accommodation onsite. They have cabins they like to call “rustic” and are rightly proud they don’t include mod-cons like TV. We agreed that eliminating the idiot box was a great way to force families to play cards and board games. And actually have a conversation!
While the cabins do have hot water and heating, you can get right back to basics and bring a tent. The Leven River is famous for trout fishing, so don’t forget the rod and reel to catch a fish. Both onsite accommodation options include discounted entry to the wildlife park, so you can visit the animals every day after exploring Gunns Plains, or even the north west coast region: Ulverstone, Penguin, Burnie and Devonport.
The writer and her family were guests of Wings Wildlife Park.
See their website for more information, or phone (03) 6429 1151
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