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Three Ways to See Tassie's Cute and Cuddly Creatures

Tasmania's wilderness provides a safe haven for wildlife found nowhere else in the world and is the only place you can see a Tasmanian devil, eastern quoll, pademelon, spotted-tailed quoll and bettong in the wild.

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3 Ways to See Tassie's Cute and Cuddly Creatures

Tasmania has rare wildlife that you won’t find anywhere else in the world. The island is the only place you can see Tasmanian devils, eastern quolls, pademelons, spotted-tail quolls and bettongs in the wild. Come September, the cute and cuddly factor is dialled up a notch as spring babies become more adventurous, exploring beyond the pouch.

1. Watch them in their natural habitat

There’s an abundance of wallabies, wombats and echidnas on the island. Spot them as you explore by foot or car. Try to avoid driving at dawn and dusk as they don’t know the road rules. And remember, they are wild so please don’t feed or touch them. Just ‘oh’ and ‘ah’ from a distance with the camera ready.

Wallabies

Although shy, you can spot wallabies almost anywhere on the island, including the inner-city suburbs. They are at their busiest at dawn and at dusk.

A Bennetts Wallaby sits on a mossy log in the undergrowth of My Field National Park

Wallaby in Mt Field National Park / Off the Path

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.

Kanaroos grazing at sunset at Narawntapu National Park

Forester Kangaroos in Narawntapu National Park / Jess Bonde

Narawntapu National Park is dubbed the ‘Serengeti of Tassie'

Wombats

Head to Ronnie Creek in the Cradle Mountain–Lake St Clair National Park to see a waddling wombat in the snow. Maria Island is a natural wildlife sanctuary and you’ll see many wombats grazing on the lawns.

A wombat forages in short grass on Maria Island, watched by two people in the far distance

Wombat on Maria Island / Stu Gibson

Spotted-tail quoll

Spotted-tail quolls (native cats) are nocturnal and shy. They like to explore and feed by cover of night. If you head out with a torch you might see them on Bruny Island, and rumour has it that at Mountain Valley Wilderness Retreat these curious cuties come right up to your veranda.

Platypus

Watch for ripples at riverbank edges and lakes to spot a platypus. 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.

.A closup photograph of a platypus half submerged in water at the banks for a river

Platypus in Geeveston / Ash Thomson Photography

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.

An albino Bennetts Wallaby stands in tall grass.

Albino Bennetts Wallaby on Bruny Island / Nick Osborne

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.

Adolescent Tasmanian devil

Baby Tasmanian devil in Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park / Masaaki Aihara

Today their growing population adds to the already-rich wildlife experience on Maria

2. Join a wildlife tour

Little penguins

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

An adult Little Penguin shelters in a burrow.

Little Penguin at Low Head / Chi Kueng Renault Wong

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

Eastern Quoll in the Huon Valley / Ash Thomson Photography

Bird life

At Inala Nature Tours on Bruny Island, you can see Tasmania’s 12 endemic birds. One of Australia's rarest birds, the forty spotted pardalote, can be found on Maria and Bruny Island. For a true wilderness adventure, head to the Southwest National Park where the endangered orange-bellied parrot goes to breed each year.

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.

A wilderness cruise boat in the ocean dolphins jumping at the bow

Pennicott Wilderness Journeys, Bruny Island / 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 becoming extinct. So when you visit a wildlife sanctuary 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.

Animal sanctuary staff at Devils@Cradle hold a pair of Tasmanian Devil joeys in a red, knit puch.

Tasmanian devil joeys at Wings Wildlife Park / Lauren Bath

Come September, baby Tasmanian devils and other joeys start to emerge from their mums' pouches

Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary, on the outskirts of Hobart, 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.

An animal sanctuary staff member cradles a juvenile wombat in his arms.

Bonorong Wildlife Park, Brighton / Rob Burnett

Hand-feed and touch wombats, sugar gliders, tawny frogmouths and kangaroos

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

Tasmanian Devil Unzoo on the Tasman Peninsula has removed or concealed barriers so you can meet curious devils face-to-face by popping your head inside a glass dome inside a devil enclosure.

Two young women observe a Tasmanian Devil up close from behind the glass of a sherical portal, sitting at ground level in Tasmanian Devil UnZoo.

Tasmania Devil Unzoo, Taranna / Courtesy Tasmania Devil Unzoo

Trowunna Wildlife Park at Mole Creek has regular devil feedings (spoiler alert: it's carnage!).

At Wings Wildlife Park, Gunns Plains, 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 at Bicheno. After dark, you can be picked up in Bicheno for a night tour to a secret location to see Devils in the Dark.

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

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

Banner image: Pademelon, Rob Burnett