The opportunity to get up close to an Australian treasure, like a Tasmanian devil, is pretty rare but it has just become a little bit easier.
Ausse Ark is a sanctuary set up in Barrington Tops National Park to help protect the endangered Tasmanian devil and other endangered and threatened animals through a breeding program, which relies heavily on donations.
Typically, the public is only welcome to visit this precious breeding ground as part of a monthly tour which has limited spots and can be quite costly as a family excursion, however for the January school holidays, the ark has opened it doors to everyone.
Kicking off on January 1, cars were lined up for the 10am opening for a chance to check out these adorable creatures.
Gloucester’s Julie Andrews was one of the keen attendees on New Year’s morning taking with her family visiting from from Sydney.
“The organisers were very surprised and a little overwhelmed with the amount of people that had arrived over the first three sessions,” Julie said.
It was the first time Julie had been to the ark, with the cost having always been a factor, but at $30 per adult and $15 per child and $85 for a family (2 adults, 2 children), it was an opportunity not to be missed.
“They had the little devils and quolls out for us to touch.”
Julie said was impressed with how dedicated the team of carers and volunteers are about the project.
“They were so excited to see so many people coming to visit the animals.”
Tim Faulkner, general manager of Aussie Ark, said this is the first time the not-for-profit conservation site has opened its doors to the public.
“Since we started putting devils up here in 2010, we’ve been aware of the incredible support from the community,” Tim said. “This is an opportunity to give a little back and let more people come to see what we are doing.”
Over 700 people had already taken up the chance to visit the devils within the first week of the doors being open.
“It’s really rewarding in have so many people support what we are doing.”
Aussie Ark will open daily from 10am-2pm until January 27, 2019, with tours running at 10.30am, 11.30am and 12.30pm. No booking required, tickets are available at the gate. For more information, visit www.aussieark.org.au/visit-the-facility/.