Where to See Wildlife in Southern Tasmania

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Tasmanian wildlife is absolutely beautiful (and yes, it’s also a little bit weird, but that’s why we love it). Our curious creatures are a thrill to spot in the wild. We’ve put together a few tips on where to see wildlife in Southern Tasmania.

Please keep a fair distance, respect the environment, and don’t feed native animals human food (more scones for you).


Land creatures

Tasmania’s national parks and reserves are fantastic for wildlife watching (remember to grab a Parks Pass if you are entering a national park). Parks and reserves that incorporate bushland are great for spotting wallabies, echidnas, possums, snakes (keep your distance), birdlife, and other lovable locals. Our tips include: Wellington Park, Waterworks Reserve, Knocklofty Reserve, Risdon Brook Dam, the Peter Murrell Reserve, and Chauncy Vale Wildlife Sanctuary. Try your luck spotting Bruny Island‘s famous white wallabies around the Adventure Bay entrance to the South Bruny National Park.

Search for the elusive platypus in the rivers in and around the Mount Field National Park (the Possum Shed Cafe at Westerway actually has a resident platypus named Flossie). South of Hobart, the Geeveston Platypus Walk offers good odds. If you are in Hobart, there are regular platypus sightings along the Hobart Rivulet Track.

Watch for wombats around Derwent Bridge and the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, or do the East Coast Cruises and Maria Island Shuttle day tour from Hobart. You can also join Tasmanian E-Bike Adventures for a day tour of Bangor on the Forestier Peninsula, with regular wildlife sightings including wombats and wedge-tailed eagles.


Ocean dwellers

The waters around Southern Tasmania are home to a plethora of creatures, including dolphins, seals, migrating whales, and seabirds. At Dover, head out with Peninsula Cruising and perhaps spot dolphins playing around Esperance Bay. Join Pennicott Wilderness Journeys on one of their eco-cruises—such as Bruny Island Cruises or Tasman Island Cruises—for a thrilling 3-hour experience. Diving enthusiasts, explore the enchanting world underwater with Eaglehawk Dive Centre.


Birdlife

As well as spotting seabirds on the cruises, take advantage of the many great opportunities for land-based bird watching in Southern Tasmania. Bruny Island is a twitcher’s paradise, with all 12 of Tasmania’s endemic species seen on the island. The Neck Game Reserve’s resident little penguins and short-tailed shearwaters are another drawcard.

The Southwest National Park offers habitat for the critically endangered orange-bellied parrot. Fly into Melaleuca with Par Avion Wilderness Tours or charter a boat (try Tasmanian Boat Charters or SailTas). Also in the Southern Trove, the Tinderbox Hills Reserve contains important white gum forest—critical habitat for the threatened forty-spotted pardalote.

In Tasmania’s Midlands, visit the Lake Dulverton Conservation Area, where as many as 77 different bird species have been recorded. Keep an eye out for majestic birds of prey soaring above the open plains.


Sanctuaries

Alternatively, visiting the wildlife sanctuaries near Hobart is a great way to see a variety of species and learn all about Tasmania’s amazing creatures.

  • Visit Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary (a half hour drive north from Hobart), join one of the guided tours, learn about the amazing rehabilitation work they do, and get up close and personal with the lovable locals.
  • The animals come and go as they please at the Tasmanian Devil Unzoo on the Tasman Peninsula. With the exception of the permanent resident Tasmanian devils, there are no walled enclosures.
  • The Raptor Refuge at Kettering run private tours by appointment, as well as rescue-to-release workshops and other special events.


Check out our guide to what’s on this spring or browse our up-to-date list of upcoming events.

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.


Related posts:
The Best Things to Do in Southern Tasmania in Spring
16 Unique Places to Stay in Southern Tasmania
The Ultimate Road Trip: Tasmania’s Western Wilds
Craft a Tasman Peninsula Getaway Around the Three Capes Track
50 Things to Do with Kids in Hobart & Surrounds
10 Tips for Wildlife Watching in Southern Tasmania

Header image:
@melissa_bone_photography/Instagram

Words:
Isabel Galloway

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