Wombats @ Cradle Mountain
Seeing a wombat is high on the list of most visitors to Cradle Mountain National Park.
Somehow, these funny, furry little creatures have endeared themselves and everyone hopes to catch a glimpse of a solid, squat, bearlike body, covered in thick, coarse brown or black fur running across the button-grass plains.
The wombats at Cradle Mountain National Park weigh about 20 kg and live in shallow burrows. You will often see them either running into or reversing out of their little hidey holes from the boardwalk at Ronnie’s Creek.
Wombats are night time vegetarians and love to eat plants, especially native grasses and shrubs. They also seem to enjoy roots, bark and herbs, but their absolutely favourite food is definitely moss. In the winter, when their favourite foods run out, wombats are happy to dig up patches of dead grass and eat the roots. Wombats use their front feet to pick up their food to put into their mouth.
A very interesting thing about wombats is the shape of their droppings! You will always notice them, as they are shaped like little cubes. This cube shape is pretty handy to wombats, because they use droppings to mark their territory. Keep an eye out for cubes on boardwalks, or on fallen trees, rocks, sticks and even mushrooms! The shape of the dropping helps the little parcel stay where the wombat leaves it. If you find one and poke it with a stick, you will see it is all grassy.
Wombat’s mate in winter, which means there are usually plenty of baby wombats wombling around Cradle Mountain National Park each summer – which is a real bonus for visitors.
Many thanks to Adam Holbrook for sharing his terrific mother and baby wombat image. You can buy it on his site!