There is one of those, “I must go there one day” places along the Bass Highway between Ulverstone and Devonport. I am ashamed to say it took me eight years in Tasmania before I pulled off the highway to explore Lillico Beach Conservation Area. The reserve is home to a colony of the world’s smallest penguins, aptly named the Little Penguin or Fairy Penguin. I entered the walkway and immediately spotted little concrete shelters scattered through the vegetation.
The artificial burrows are used when there is a lack of natural burrow habitat and offer protection from predators such as feral cats.
I wandered along the viewing platform, distracted by the spectacular panorama of Bass Strait at low tide.
The burrow designs are quite innovative and seem perfectly sized for a penguin who is only 30cm high and weighs around one kilogram.
This important wildlife corridor hugs the coast for 2.5kms,
the shingle beach and rock pools make for stunning scenery.
If I were living at Lillico Beach, this would be my choice of home,
if only for the location.
There were no penguins to be seen on this day, they were all out fishing in the beautiful blue ocean. We will visit one summer evening to watch them waddling back to their burrows. I won’t wait another eight years.