Our Latest News

Horsetail Falls walk now open


Visitors to the West Coast are in for some spectacular views on the new Horsetail Falls walk near Queenstown.More

Bruny Island Neck lookout re-opens


The walkways and lookout at the Bruny Island Neck will re-open to the public today, following the completion of a new, larger car park that will provide improved access to the popular lookout.More

Maintaining vigilance with campfires


Parks and Wildlife Service staff have thanked the many campers who have heeded the restrictions placed on campfires and pot fires, but ask that park and reserve visitors continue to take care while the fire risk remains high in certain areas of the State.More

Mammoth effort to rescue Narawntapu whales


The PWS played a lead role in the attempted rescue of four sperm whales at Bakers Beach on Tuesday.

The 10-metre-long whales, each weighing about 20 tonnes, were discovered by tourists camping just behind the beach in Narawntapu National Park.

Northern Parks and Reserves Manager Chris Emms was incident controller for the difficult rescue operation which was made more challenging by the sheer size of the whales, low tide and shallow water.

As always with whale rescues, those at the scene offered help.

A group of RAAF cadets camping at Narawntapu helped with crowd control, the Port Sorell-Hawley Surf Life Saving Club used their boat to check for more whales in the area and the State Emergency Service provided great backup.

Despite intense rescue efforts by PWS and DPIWE officers and about 30 volunteers, only one whale survived the day.

A moat was dug around the whale and a pump sprayed water to keep it cool and wet.

It was hoped the whale would be able to right itself to meet the high tide. However it died early on Wednesday morning.

Samples will be taken from the whales before they are buried.

While the result was disappointing, useful information was gained from the rescue attempt.

Sperm whales are the largest of the toothed whale. They spend 90 per cent of their time in deep water and feed on squid and fish.

The last recorded stranding of sperm whales in Tasmania was in December last year when 20 died at Trial Harbour.

A sperm whale was herded out to sea from Macquarie Harbour in June 2004 and 11 died on Flinders Island in March 2003.

Mammoth effort to rescue Narawntapu whales

Parks staff and a volunteer kept the whale cool by pouring water onto it.