One of the many highlights of our first Light to Light Camps tour earlier this month was a sneaky little visit by a Southern Brown Bandicoot at our Bittangabee Bay campsite, just before we all retired to our comfy beds.

One of our walkers caught sight of this cute little omnivore, which is currently listed as endangered on the Australian mainland, as it crept around our campsite on the hunt for insects and plants.

Leading a fairly solitary life, this creature exists in only a few small areas in Australia, with the far south coast region of NSW one of its preferred habitats.

The Southern Brown Bandicoot is listed as an endangered species in New South Wales and is known from only two areas. In New South Wales, one population is found on the south coast and the other just north of Sydney. (source: https://australianmuseum.net.au/southern-brown-bandicoot)

Bandicoots are small marsupials native to Australia and New Guinea. They use their long pointed noses to sniff out their preferred food such as insects and larvae – leaving a series of small holes called ‘snout pokes’! They then use their front feet to dig up the morsels.

With a stocky body, short snout and short, rounded ears, they measure around 50cm in length and weigh just over 1kg. Their fur is short and greyish in colour, with a lighter coloured underside. Their tail is relatively short at 13cm and their gait when on the run is described as a ‘gallop’.

So on one 3 day/2 night tour, this group encountered a very rare Eastern Ground Parrot (twice), an Endangered Southern Brown Bandicoot, a Brushtail Possum, several Eastern Grey Kangaroos, a Goanna, and a few Swamp Wallabies – and they were just the terrestrial species.

The far south eastern corner of Australia is truly unique in the diversity of native animals, birds and marine life it supports. People hiking the Light to Light Walk are likely to encounter a number of species on one trip that are difficult to see in other parts of the country.

It’s truly a nature experience like no other. Do it in comfort – book now for an experience of a lifetime.

Jenny Robb, who has spent the last 3 decades exploring the rivers, trails, forests and beaches of the Far South Coast, is the founder of Light to Light Camps. She is passionate about this region – its natural beauty and its communities. For a guide to the history and nature of the area, Jenny is worth having a chat to. (Anyone who knows her, knows she loves a chat!)

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