The candles are lit and the little hut glows with a type of warmth that draws you in. Nanna blankets are at the ready for our two-course dining. It’s 6pm when we gather together for our Twilight Nature Experience Tour. We’re only a few minutes from Hobart’s CBD but it feels a world away from the city streets. Idling cars in traffic are replaced with evening tweets high in the Eucalypts.
The twilight tour is one of three offered by Nature. Be In It, a new Tasmanian tourism venture by Canadian-born teacher, mindfulness guide and former Park Ranger, Kara Spence. Kara fuels us with a few hearty nuts to begin our four-hour wildlife and dining adventure.
A gentle stroll into the Tasmanian bush is first up. Recent rain brings the scents to life, and only a few minutes in we are issued with magnifying glasses. I must admit I haven’t peered through one since childhood, but Kara wants us to view the wilderness in a way that will leave our senses awakened and ourselves restored. I peer into the microscopic world of the moss beneath my feet, and I’m taken aback. It’s a mini-world of amazing. We carry on, each wandering to what moves us; delicate leaves, the tree rings of a fallen giant, or lichen-dressed rocks.
Kara has a way about how she encourages us to discover. We’re asked to look through black frames, in a way re-framing our own position in the landscape. We’re asked to pause, to take it all in. In fact, Kara leads us to a space where we sit in silence, punctuated only the the thud of a mother wallaby with baby in tow.
Back at the hut, Tasmanian wine, cheese and lentil soup awaits around our candlelit table. I’m quick to secure my nanna blanket and settle in with new-found friends and a couple of familiar faces (after all it is Tasmania). There’s something special about eating in the grand outdoors and as nightfalls the sounds become blissful.
Our enchanting evening isn’t over yet though. After our chef-crafted two courses round out with a Bruny Island cheese platter, we venture out for some spotlighting. The air is crisp and fresh. Within minutes little eyes appear in the torch-light. Bettongs, rather rare, stare inquisitively back at us. Wallabies stand tall with enquiry, before bounding away. Birds grow quiet, but are spotted high above us. Their night is just beginning. But for us, it’s 10pm, our cue to let the wildlife carry on festivities into the night.
To head out with Kara visit: www.naturebeinit.com. We think the locals will love this experience as much as visitors – a different way to connect to your own backyard, relax and restore after the work week.
Minutes from Hobart, miles from the crowds.
Book Now t: 0430 181 925 e: Kara@naturebeinit.com
Words & images: Alice Hansen, a guest of Nature. Be In It.
Your launch pad for exploring Tasmania like a local.