Rob Burnett
Rob Burnett
Travel Tip

3 Ways to see Tassie’s Cute and Cuddly Creatures

Kathryn Leahy
Tasmania’s wilderness provides a safe haven for an extraordinary array of wildlife found nowhere else in the world. The island is the only place you can see a Tasmanian devil, eastern quoll, pademelon, spotted-tailed quoll and bettong in the wild. Come September, the cute and cuddly factor is dialed up a notch as their adorable spring babies become more adventurous, exploring beyond the pouch.

1. Watch them in their natural habitat

In Tassie, it’s easy to spot kangaroos, wallabies and wombats in the wild. Although used to their somewhat celebrity status, they’re still wild. Give them space and avoid touching or hand-feeding them

Wallabies

Although shy, you can spot wallabies almost anywhere on the island, just after dawn and at dusk, just outside the cities.

Kangaroos

Your best chance to spot a large Forester kangaroo is in Narawntapu National Park (dubbed the ‘Serengeti of Tassie’) or Maria Island National Park at dawn or dusk.

Kanaroors grazing at sunset at Narawntapu National Park
Kath Leahy
Kangaroos grazing on Narawntapu plains

Wombats

Head to Ronnie Creek in the Cradle Mountain–Lake St Clair National Park and on marsupial lawns all over Maria Island.

Wild wombats roaming while a woman takes a photo
Great Walks of Australia
Maria Island wildlife

Spotted-tail quoll

Spotted-tail quolls (native cats) are nocturnal and shy, yet at a cabin set among bush in Loongana (Mountain Valley Wilderness Retreat) these curious cuties come right up to your veranda.

Platypus

Watch for ripples at riverbank edges or book a guided tour at the Information Centre in Latrobe, the town calls itself the Platypus Capital of the world. In Waratah, the old quarry (now a lake) is another reliable place to spot platypus.

Albino wallaby

Frequently seen on the southern side of Adventure Bay on Bruny Island, Tassie’s white wallaby is an adorable addition to any nature-spotter’s checklist.

Tasmanian devil

This little devil is quite the talk of the island. In 2003, as the Tasmanian devil population began declining due to a Devil Facial Tumour Disease, wildlife specialists banded together to look for a disease-free home and breeding ground for healthy devils. Maria Island, an island that is entirely a national park was the obvious choice. Today their growing population adds to the already-rich wildlife experience on Maria and on Tassie’s mainland.

Cute adolescent Tasmanian devil
Masaaki Aihara
Tasmanian devil

2. Join a wildlife tour

Little penguins

See them emerge from the water and heading to their burrows under the guidance of Low Head Penguin Tours and Bicheno Penguin Tours.

Quolls

Pepper Bush Adventures will take you into the bush for an evening of campfire dinners and quoll (native cat) spotting.

spotted tail quoll tasmanian wildlife
Rob Burnett
Spotted-tail Quoll

Bird life

You don’t have to be a twitcher to take Inala Nature Tours up on an invitation to Bruny Island to see Tassie’s 12 endemic birds or the south west wilderness to see the endangered Orange-bellied Parrot. One of Australia’s rarest birds, the forty spotted pardalote can be found on Maria and Bruny Island.

Whales, seals, dolphins

Want to see seals lounging in the sun, dolphins leaping at the bow and whales on their migratory path? Adventure cruises Pennicott Wilderness JourneysWineglass Bay Cruises and Stanley Seal Cruises will make it happen. Or slip on a dry suit and Wild Ocean Tasmania will take you one step further, allowing you to observe seals underwater. Spring pups join seal colonies throughout December.

A wilderness cruise boat in the ocean dolphins jumping at the bow
Joe Shemesh
Bruny Island Cruises

3. See them in a sanctuary or wildlife park

Local wildlife parks and sanctuaries work together to prevent Tasmania’s unique wildlife from disappearing. So when you visit a wildlife sanctuary in Tassie you not only get up close to the animals, your tickets often support their survival. Many wildlife parks take part in breeding programs, so come September baby Tasmanian devils and other joeys start to emerge from their mums’ pouches.

Infant Tasmanian devils at Tasmania Zoo
Courtesy of Tasmania Zoo
Infant Tasmanian devils at Tasmania Zoo, Riverside (Launceston)

Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary is so devoted to rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing wildlife that they opened Tasmania’s first Wildlife Hospital. They also run private tours to hand-feed and touch wombats, sugar gliders, tawny frogmouths and kangaroos.

a lady handfeeding a kangaroo at bonorong wildlife sanctuary tasmania
Rob Burnett
Hand-feeding at Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary

Devils@Cradle hold after-dark feeding tours educating visitors about local conservation efforts to save Tasmanian devils from the deadly facial tumour disease – grown-ups can even dine with the devils.

Tasmanian Devil Unzoo have removed or concealed their barriers so you can meet curious devils face-to-face by popping your head inside a glass dome inside a devil enclosure.

two people under a glass dome viewing a Tasmanian devil at a wildlife park
Courtesy of Tasmanian Devil Unzoo
Checking out the devils up-close and personal

Trowunna Wildlife Park has regular devil feedings (spoiler alert: it’s carnage!).

At Wings Wildlife Park you can feed the devils, enter the koala enclosure, hand-feed the kangaroos and take a nocturnal tour to see animals that come out at night.

East Coast Natureworld has 150 acres to wander and meet wildlife and they’ll pick you up after dark in Bicheno for a night tour to a secret location to see Devils in the Dark.

Guides at Platypus House get you up close to a platypus and take you to an echidna garden to teach you how the two are related as echidna wander about your feet.

Tasmania Zoo cares for a range of injured and orphaned Tassie wildlife and is a great spot for you to get up close to Tassie devil joeys when they leave the pouch between September and October.

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For more information to help you plan your trip to Tassie, feed your curious at our other helpful site, Discover Tasmania.

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