Photo of stubborn wombat storms in to win popular prize

14 September 2017


Photographer Charles Davis of Cooma, NSW, has been named the People’s Choice winner of the 2017 Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year competition at the South Australian Museum for his image ‘Guthega wombat’.

He snapped the award-winning photograph of a common wombat (Vombatus ursinus) after a three-day period of snowstorms.

“I knew the wombats would be hungry and tired, and I was sure the warm sunshine would bring them out into the open,” Mr Davis said.

“I spotted this one on the far side of a valley and made haste to ski there before it disappeared.

“Wombats are very stubborn, and once they have a path in mind they will stick to it no matter what.

“I positioned myself in front of it. As I lay there in the snow it headed straight towards me without a care in the world,” Mr Davis said

It seems the photograph has universal appeal. Within 24 hours of Mr Davis posting it on his website it had been viewed two million times, and since being selected as a finalist in the Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year competition the image has gone on to be on the cover of Australian Geographic magazine.

Mr Davis said he was incredibly excited to win a prize for his image.

“I’m stoked everyone likes him!” Mr Davis said.

Following recent storms Mr Davis says he has more captivating images of snowed-in marsupials on the way.

“The latest bunch of storms have been amazing,” Mr Davis said.

“I spent two days last week lying on my stomach in the snow photographing kangaroos and joeys, with snow coming down everywhere.”

The Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year exhibition is on display at the South Australian Museum in Adelaide until 24 September and the Australian Museum in Sydney until 17 November 2017. The competition is produced by the South Australian Museum.


The Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year competition is proudly supported by:

  • Australian Geographic (Principal Sponsor)
  • Atkins (Production Partner)
  • Heritage Expeditions (Prize Sponsor)

The South Australian Museum gratefully acknowledges the support of Dr Stuart Miller AM, founder and patron of ANZANG, and his sister Mrs Alison Huber in memory of their parents, Dr Robert and Mrs Clarice Miller, both late of Waikerie, South Australia.