3 Ways to See Tassie's Cute and Cuddly Creatures
Tasmania's wilderness is a safe haven for an extraordinary array of wildlife found nowhere else in the world. The island is the only place you can see Tasmanian devils, eastern quolls, pademelons, spotted-tailed quolls and bettongs 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
Although shy, you can spot wallabies almost anywhere on the island just after dawn and at dusk, just outside our cities.
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.
Forester Kangaroos at Narawntapu National Park / Kath Leah
Dubbed the Serengeti of Tasmania
Head to Ronnie Creek in the Cradle Mountain–Lake St Clair National Park and on marsupial lawns all over Maria Island.
Wombats on Maria Island / Great Walks of Australia
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.
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.
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.
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.
Baby Tasmanian devil / Masaaki Aihara
Today their growing population adds to the already-rich wildlife experience on Maria
2. Join a wildlife tour
Pepper Bush Adventures will take you into the bush for an evening of campfire dinners and quoll (native cat) spotting.
Eastern Quoll / Rob Burnett
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 Journeys, Wineglass 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.
Pennicott Wilderness Journeys / Joe Shemeh
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.
Tasmanian devils at Tasmania Zoo / Tasmania Zoo
come September, baby Tasmanian devils and other joeys start to emerge from their mums' pouches
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.
hand-feed and touch wombats, sugar gliders, tawny frogmouths and kangaroos
Feeding a kangaroo at Bonorong Wildlife Park / Rob Burnett
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.
A Tasmanian devil at Tasmania Devil Unzoo / Courtesy Tasmania Devil Unzoo
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.
Banner image: Rob Burnett