Peekaboo – where are you?

Wandering unsuspectingly through the mountain landscape, I kept hearing a kind of chirping sound. Sometimes it got louder, sometimes quieter. I glanced around. Suddenly...There! In front of me... Had I seen something move? I would have bet anything that I saw something. The chirping got louder. And there it was...this cute little animal with long front teeth. A marmot.

Marmot World in Kaltenbach

©Elisabeth Frontull

Created by Marion Pepeunig

Marmots are surprisingly easy to find

I took a photo and, when I got home, showed it proudly to my nephew (7 years old) and niece (3 years old).  They were fascinated and, of course, were desperate to see a marmot (known as a Murmeltier in German and a Mangal in the Zillertal dialect) themselves. However, after countless hikes, we still hadn’t caught so much as a glimpse of one and they were starting to lose patience. So, I came up with the perfect solution: we are going on a day out to the Marmot World in Kaltenbach (Murmelland Kaltenbach). 


Excursion to Marmot World in Kaltenbach 

We drive from Hippach along the Zillertaler Höhenstraße to the Kaltenbach Ski Hut and park in the car park just next to the hut. Here, at 1,800m, the kids discover an absolute children’s paradise waiting for them to explore. There is so much to see and do that they don’t know where to start. They are completely delighted. 

Marmot World Zillertal
©Andreas Lackner
Marmot World Zillertal
©Andreas Lackner
Marmot World Zillertal
©Andreas Lackner

The burrow – home of the marmot

First, we run over to the small enclosure, where we spy our first marmots. They have plenty of space to run around and play. We also see some lots of small holes, where a few are hiding. The holes lead to a network of tunnels, which the marmots have burrowed themselves. These range in length from 10m to 70m. One marmot is eating - they mostly eat grasses and herbage. All of a sudden I hear that distinctive chirping again. This is how they communicate, sometimes warning of danger with a whistling noise. 

A children’s paradise

After observing the animals and their habits, we move on to the petting zoo. We stroke and feed the goats, rabbits, guinea pigs, donkey and, of course, marmots. Afterwards, the kids enjoy the playground with its slide, swings, digger, water play and much more. My niece and nephew are having a great time playing so I make myself comfortable on the terrace and enjoy a coffee and some cake. 

Marmot World Zillertal
©Andreas Lackner
Marmot World Zillertal
©Andreas Lackner
Marmot World Zillertal
©Andreas Lackner
Marmot World Zillertal
©Andreas Lackner

The Alpine Flower Garden

The Murmelland and its children’s playground are not the only things worth seeing here. The Kaltenbach Ski Hut is also the starting point for some lovely walks and hikes. For example, the 30 minute walk through the Alpine Flower Garden, where you can find out lots about alpine blooms, or, a hike up to the Marchkopf (2,499m) or Wetterkreuzspitze (2,254m) peaks. Follow this link for further information about these hikes. 

However, on this occasion we leave the hiking for another time and, late in the afternoon and sad to leave, my niece, nephew and I make our way home. We all agree that we had a great day at the Marmot World in Kaltenbach and that we will visit again very soon. 

Contact: The Schweiberer family, Neuhütten 1, 6272 Kaltenbach, T: +43 676 6104250, skihuette@aon.at, www.MurmelLand-Zillertal.at
Please note: The Marmot World is only open in summer! Further information is available on their Facebook page.