Tasmanian wildlife is pretty unique. Have you heard a Tasmanian devil growling? It sounds unearthly! And what’s with our big round wombats and their curious square poos? We just have a lot of questions, okay! Luckily, we know some top spots to find out the answers.
Here are five places to whip our your best ‘Crikey, isn’t she a beauty?!’ (Full disclaimer: there are no crocodiles. But, we do reckon it works on anything – quolls, echidnas, buff kangaroos, your date this Friday night…)
1. The Tasmanian Devil Unzoo
If you feel darkness clutching your soul and you seek the thrill of a dance with the devil, we know just the place. At the Tasmanian Devil Unzoo, on the Tasman Peninsula, the animals run free (like your heart). That means no fences between you and the wildlife! Regular feedings keep a variety of animals coming back for more, so don’t worry about not being able to find any little mates.
There are some animals who do live safely in an enclosure, namely the Unzoo’s resident devils (with jaws that strong, you don’t want them grabbing hold of your leg). However, there are wild devils roaming about, as evidenced by the Unzoo’s nightly video monitoring. Learn about what’s being done to save the Tasmanian devil from the deadly facial tumour disease.
2. Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary
Bonorong is a wildlife sanctuary run by a passionate and devoted team, located in the Southern Midlands, about a half hour drive from Hobart. Join one of the daily guided tours (free with entry) to meet some of the most popular residents (wombats, devils and koalas) and learn some interesting facts and stories about them. Hand feed the (slobbery) free-roaming kangaroos, and see if they’re keen for a nice scratch on the chest! Make a day of it and bring a picnic and/or book one of the BBQ areas, or grab something from the Food Hut onsite.
Bonorong also offer a special range of night time tours. Enter the animals’ world and help to hand-feed weird and wonderful creatures like Eastern quolls, tawny frogmouths and sugar gliders. You’ll also get a behind-the-scenes look at the sanctuary’s rescue and rehabilitation work.
3. The Tasmanian Raptor Refuge
Birders will be frothing over this one! The Raptor & Wildlife Refuge of Tasmania is located at Kettering, in the Southern Trove. They are a working refuge first and foremost, however it is possible to book a private Walk & Talk tour. The photos of their raptor releases are super uplifting (pun intended), and we can only imagine how rewarding it must be to return a raptor to its natural habitat. If you are interested in raptor rescue, book yourself into one of their Rescue to Release workshops. Educating people about these glorious birds and conservation is an important part of their work, and they have a purpose-built Education Centre onsite.
4. Chauncy Vale Wildlife Sanctuary
The Chauncy Vale Wildlife Sanctuary, near Bagdad in the Southern Midlands, was established in 1946 by renowned children’s author, Nan Chauncy, and her husband. It is one of the oldest private conservation areas in Tasmania, with 380 hectares of native bushland to explore, and is open daily from 9am to sunset (except for days of total fire ban). There are some lovely walks to points of interest such as Secret Cave, Brown’s Caves Creek, Guvy’s Lagoon and Flat Rock lookout points. Keep an eye out for birds and other winsome wildlife as you trot along on your adventure.
5. Go in to the wild
We are spoilt for choice with beautiful national parks and reserves in Tassie, so there’s no need to go too far to observe wildlife in their natural habitat. I once actually witnessed a wallaby hopping down the middle of Macquarie Street (admittedly it was late on a Saturday night, but other people saw it too). Around Greater Hobart, wallabies, potoroos and other creatures hang out at Wellington Park, Knocklofty Reserve, Waterworks Reserve, and Risdon Brook Dam.
If you’re up for a longer adventure, choose from Mount Field National Park, the Hartz Mountains National Park, the Southwest National Park, the Tahune Forest (FYI the staff at Tahune Adventures have been known to name their resident snakes), the South Bruny National Park (see if you can spot a famous white wallaby) and the Tasman National Park. You never know, you might get a fleeting glance at a Tasmanian Tiger, disappearing into the distance…
We love it when you share your adventures with us! Share your snaps by tagging @hobartandbeyond and using #HobartandBeyond on Instagram and Facebook – we’ll share our favourite pics on social media and in the blog.
Tassiegrammer Visits Bonorong Wildlife Park and Rescue Service
Unravelling the Mystery of Kettering
Tasman’s Taranna: Devils, a Chocolate Factory & Waterfront Sunsets
Five Reasons to Explore kunanyi / Mt Wellington
Devil at Bonorong by @howardtsenggggg/Instagram