This tale is about the day we got attacked by Tasmanian Devils! After travelling all over the east coast without any major events, my partner and I met up with my parents from Sweden to rent a motorhome and see the Great Ocean Road, Tasmania and Adelaide. Yes, I know, it already sounds like a disaster; imagine living with your girlfriend from a different country and travelling in a motorvan for three weeks with parents who barely speak English. My partner is a brave soul that is for sure.

Anyway, after seeing the Great Ocean Road, along which we stayed in various camping spots where kangaroos and other animals were more common than humans, we ended up in Cradle Mountain, Tasmania. We had seen so much amazing nature, even for Swedes – from the land of beautiful nature – and after a long day of driving we felt we were deserving of some crackers, cheese and wine, while we relaxed on our chairs and table next to the motor home at our camp site.

As the sun set we drank more wine, but more importantly all the creatures showed up from nowhere. First came one harmless wallaby peeking for scraps. Five minutes later, there was suddenly a colony of wallabies jumping next to us for a while. We were stern and said “no” to these cute animals, but just when the wallabies left, a flock of big black crows flew in and sat down on branches as well as on our motorvan. They were noisy and it was dark by now, so it was a scary feeling hearing these birds and seeing their yellow eyes glaring at us from the dark corners of our little camping spot.

We fended off several attacks before they eventually disappeared. But the Tasmanian animals must have had a pact to keep harassing us poor foreigners, because it didn’t take long before the birds were exchanged for scores of big fat rat-like creatures coming from everywhere.

They were mid-size and didn’t hesitate a second. They started to climb up our legs, on the table, drinking our wine, eating our cheese and crackers. It seemed like we did not even exist!

We all got scared, because if you are in Tasmania and see a black semi-large, hungry animal climbing over you, you automatically think it is a Tasmanian Devil. We had also learned these devils have got their name because they can be vicious, angry, infected by diseases and many more from horror stories told by the locals.

We tried to scare them away through typical human-like behaviour (read kicking and screaming), but they just looked at us and kept on with their business, climbing over our laps and licking the rest of our wine from the glasses without being frightened at all.

After they finished off our food and drinks they left as hurriedly as they came, most likely to terrorize some other poor tourists without guns or any other kind of weapons. We were pretty shaken up, and locked ourselves into the motor home for the night.

When we peaked out we saw various creatures climbing the trees around us and making sounds. It was a terrifying night.

The next day we asked in the camp reception what kind of animal we got attacked by. We really thought we were being attacked by these vicious devils, because however you look at it, anyone who drinks a human’s wine must be evil, right? The receptionist smiled and asked, “Did these animals act like they owned the joint?” 
“Yes”, I answered, and she replied it was the typical behaviour of the wide brushed possums. We all felt touristy and dumb, but we all agreed that when we tell the story back in our countries, we will leave out the last little detail. I can’t wait to see my friends’ faces after I tell them how we got attacked by the bear-sized Tasmanian Devils, who began chewing our legs and drinking our blood before we escaped and locked ourselves in the van!

WIN – Send us a travel tale (preferably about Oz) and if it’s published you’ll win a $300 travel voucher redeemable on Oz Experience passes, ATA NT camping trips and with Wayward Bus. Email your tales (700 words max), with a picture of yourself, to