Spend a day exploring the Chauncy Vale Wildlife Sanctuary at Bagdad and rediscover Tasmania’s inspiring landscape, natural beauty, and unique wildlife. Beloved children’s author Nan Chauncy and family called this special place home. Today, the sanctuary is open daily for everyone to enjoy.

Unravel the rich history

The Chauncy Vale Wildlife Sanctuary was established in 1946 and is one of the oldest private conservation areas in Tasmania. Prior to European settlement, Tasmanian Aboriginal people inhabited the area. Later, early bushrangers used the site as a hideout. In the 1920s, there were regular sightings of the elusive Tasmanian tiger.

Live out an adventure story

Nan drew inspiration from the landscape at Chauncy Vale to create her adored, award-winning adventure novels. Nan’s writing evokes a vivid picture of the Tasmanian landscape, its people, and its wildlife. Explore the sanctuary’s large area of creek, cave and forest habitats and live out an adventure you’ve read about in Nan’s stories. It might even inspire you to create something yourself!

Discover key points of interest

Formed tracks lead to points of interest such as Secret Cave, Brown’s Caves Creek, Guvy’s Lagoon and Flat Rock lookout (consult the Reserve Map and Visitor Map for details). Enrich your experience trekking through the bush by listening to the series of audio files featuring Heather Chauncy. Guided walking tours are also available (2–3 hours, from $15 per person), highlighting the sanctuary’s nature, wildlife, stories, history and heritage.

Step back in time at Day Dawn

Day Dawn, the house at Chauncy Vale, was the family home of Nan Chauncy. Nan’s father and brother built the house between 1916 and 1918, and Nan and her husband extended it in the 1940s and 50s. Today, the house is a living museum—a glimpse into a past time of simple joys—featuring the furniture used in the 1960s. Entry is a $2.00 donation by appointment (the house is open Tuesdays from 10am to 12pm).

Keep an eye out for wildlife

Chauncy Vale is particularly important in terms of its threatened vegetation communities and habitat for threatened species. The sanctuary’s dry sclerophyll woodlands support a high diversity of wildlife. As you explore the walking tracks, keep an eye out for wallabies, kangaroos, echidnas, possums, quolls, pademelons, bats, wombats, snakes, frogs, and other locals. Bird enthusiasts, the array of birdlife is a highlight, so bring your camera!

Stay awhile

The sanctuary is open daily from 9am to sunset (with the exception of days with total fire bans). Entry is a $2 donation per adult (no charge for children) which goes towards the upkeep of this special place. There are lots of wonderful spots to settle in with a picnic or enjoy a BBQ lunch. If you’d like to stay longer, there are several RV / campervan site options available.

We love it when you share your adventures with us!

Tag @midlandstasmania and use #MidlandsTasmania or #HeritageHighway and we’ll share our favourite photos on InstagramFacebook, and in our Blog.

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Header image:
Brown’s Caves | @travelysium/Instagram

Isabel Galloway