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In Search of Tasmania’s Endemics with Elise Tardieu

Elise Tardieu knows a thing or two about Tasmania's rich ecology, history and culture, and loves to share her knowledge with Premier Travel Tasmania guests. "I switched from teaching to guiding nearly 18 years ago and haven't looked back," she says. 

Originally from France, Elise was drawn to Australia's largest island when she first set foot there 40 years ago. "I fell in love with Tasmania immediately. Winter days are my favourite days out. It's sunny on the whole and the wild landscape lends itself to cooler months. "Despite her love of the cold, Elise is happy to show guests beautiful Tasmania year-round, and loves the variety her job brings. "The pure air, the smell of eucalyptus, and the abundance of beautiful plants is mesmerising, and listening to Tasmania's endemic birds adds wonder to the experience," she says.

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Winter is a beautiful time to be in Tasmania. Image: Premier Travel Tasmania.

Sometimes Elise finds that it's easier to hear the birds such as Brown Thornbills, Eastern Spinebills, Fan-tailed Cuckoos and Firetail Finches before spotting them. "Recognising birds by their call is something I've been practicing and it has brought so much joy to my life" she says.

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Firetail Finch (Beautiful Firetail). Image: Premier Travel Tasmania.

The joy that Elise experiences carries through to her work, and she genuinely loves every day out in the wild. "A new day brings new people to meet, different adventures, and the opportunity to spend time in one of the world's most beautiful outdoor arenas," she says.

"Mount Field is one of my favourite places to visit. It's home to the tallest flowering plants in the world, it has the most intricate little mosses, a wide variety of fungi, and the tree fern, Dicksonia antarctica which hosts a variety of epiphytic ferns. If we're lucky we might see a Pink Robin – a stunning and elusive little bird. There are Silvereyes, Grey Fantails, Tasmanian Scrubwrens, Tasmanian Thornbills and Black Currowongs. It's fun trying to spot endemic pademelons, or the oldest mammals in the world: the echidna and the platypus. It's a true paradise.

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Pink Robin at Mt Field National Park. Image: Premier Travel Tasmania.

Related Experience - 1 Day Birdwatching Mt Field National Park (Full Day)

Mount Field National Park is the oldest in Tasmania and one of the most diverse. You will have the opportunity to try and spot 11 out of the 12 Tasmanian endemic species.

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Conservation In Action 

  • Participate in citizen science programs, including atlassing rare flora and fauna

  • Includes financial contribution to Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary or Devils @ Cradle as part of their adoption program

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Q&A With Guides