Charleville Bilby Experience
Once we had eaten lunch we drove back to the Charleville Tourist Information Centre for our 1:30 booking. First up we dropped Mel off with a staff member who had agreed to look after her while we attended the Bilby centre. Next a staff member booked us in and asked us to wait with the other attendees. A little after the session time was due to start the final group arrived. We were then shown along the old train station platform and into a small theatrette and asked to take a seat by a young lady. She introduced herself and began to give a slideshow presentation about bilbies and the Save the Bilby Project. Her name was Lisa and she was very knowledgeable and clearly extremely passionate about bilbies. The session was full and we numbered about 40. At the end of the presentation she asked could we split into two groups. This would enable us to have the best chance to see the bilbies in their enclosure in the next room. They have a mating pair and at the time of our visit a baby of a few months old also. The room was kept in night time conditions using infra red ray lights, as bilbies are nocturnal, and then during the night lights were turned on to simulate day time, during which they would sleep in an artificial burrow. So the conditions for photography were somewhat challenging. The other challenge is that bilbies are extremely active so even though I took about a dozen photos there are only a few to include here that weren’t blurred because of the low lighting conditions.
You may just see the entry to their artificial hideout at the top left of this photo.
On the next photo I have managed to take all three bilbies but its not a very sharp photo.
The third photo is a bit better I think. Two of them are hidden in the background. This was shot just after Lisa threw in a small handful of bugs and fly larvae which the bilbies enjoyed scurrying around for.
Final photo shows the baby quite clearly but the adult is moving quickly so is blurry.
Interestingly the first photo was taken with my camera but the other three are shot on my iPhone and I was happier with the results. After observing the bilbies for about 20 minutes our half of the group gradually began to leave and the next half group started to come in. They were certainly very active. The exit was via the souvenir shop. We purchased some bilby chocolates and made a small donation towards the Save the Bilby fund.
Taking just over an hour it had been a wonderful and unique experience we felt. Here’s a final shot just outside the Bilby centre.