10 best places to spot wildlife in Tasmania

10 best places to spot wildlife in Tasmania

Places to see in Tasmania
Photo: Tourism Tasmania & Alastair Betts
Places to see in Tasmania
Photo: Tourism Tasmania

Did you know Tasmania has 33 native terrestrial mammals and 41 marine mammals? The island state is home to pademelons, eastern quolls, bettongs and Tasmanian devils. Tasmania has 12 species of birds you’ll not find anywhere else on Earth and a number of species that only breed in Tasmania, such as the endangered orange-bellied parrot and swift parrot. Around 20% of Tasmania is covered in wilderness and the island is a haven for wildlife. Here are 10 best places to spot wildlife in Tasmania.

1-The Tarkine

Tasmanian wildlife
Photo: Tourism Tasmania & Joe Shemesh

Tasmania’s Tarkine is a 477,000ha of awe-inspiring wilderness. Mount Donaldson is a favorite destination in the Tarkine for hikers. It’s a four-hour walk which is rewarded by a breathtaking view at the top. After the hike, explore Lucy Creek and Philosopher’s Falls, where the sound of water is soothing to the soul.

In Spring, there are guided walks. You might be lucky to spot Tasmanian devil pups roaming playfully. The Tasmanian devil is under threat of extinction due to devil facial tumour disease (DFTD), an aggressive cancer that has caused lots of deaths among the Tasmanian devils.

2-Freycinet National Park

Tasmania wildlife
Photo: Tourism Australia & Hugh Stewart

Freycinet National Park is 125 km northeast of Hobart on the east coast of Tasmania. The national park’s moniker is its coloured pink granite peaks, pristine beaches and abundant wildlife.

The Moulting Lagoon is a home to black swans, water fowl and other migratory birds.

Sometimes white-bellied seaeagles can be seen scouting for food over the ocean. Freycinet National Park is home to the Brushtail Possum, Ringtail Possum, Sugar Glider, Eastern Pygmy Possum, Little Pygmy Possum, Echidna, Wombats and New Holland Mouse.

3-The Western Wilderness

Tasmania wildlife
Photo: Christina Pfeiffer

The Western Wilderness is considered one of Australia’s true wilderness frontiers. It’s a sanctuary for wildlife.

Here you might spot Tasmanian masked owls resting on tree branches. Tasmanian masked owls are an endangered species. There are only 615 pairs remaining.

A top spot to see fairy penguins or blue penguins is Bonnet Island in the Western Wilderness. They are the world’s smallest penguins, measuring to only 40cm in height and the average weight is around one kilogram. In the evenings, the fairy penguins waddle into the water and around the rocky shoreline of the island.

4-Mount Wellington Park

wildlife in tasmania
Photo: Tourism Tasmania & Nick Osborne

Mount Wellington Park is a 20-minute drive from Hobart. It’s not a national park but it has natural beauty, with temperate rainforests, glacial rock formations and a panoramic view of Hobart from the summit. You can tackle Mount Wellington by car, motorbike, trike or by foot. On your way you might spot pademelons, bandicoots, possums and echidnas.

5-Cataract Gorge

wildlife in tasmania
Photo: Tourism Tasmania & Chris Crerar
wildlife in tasmania
Photo: Tourism Tasmania & Rob Burnett

One of the special things about Cataract Gorge is it’s a 15-minute walk from the city centre of Launceston. It’s easy to see why it is one of Tasmania’s top tourist attractions.

Cataract Gorge has the world’s longest single-span chairlift. It’s a top spot for a family picnic, where you might spot peacocks that add an extra dash of colour to the beautiful gardens of Cataract Gorge, along with the wallabies and birds.

Cataract Gorge Reserve volunteers offer interpretative walks through the reserve, starting at Basin Cottage where you’ll find old photos dating to the 1860s and other interesting information about the reserve. There are also monthly special event walks.

6-Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park

Tasmania wildlife
Photo: Great Walks of Australia

Lake St. Clair is at the southern end of Cradle Mountain. It was named after Clare of Assisi when a European explorer discovered it on the feast day of St. Clare of Assisi. Although it seems like it’s a remote destination, Lake St. Clair is only a 2.5-hour drive from Hobart. It’s the finishing point of the Overland Track and Australia’s deepest lake.

Tasmania wildlife
Photo:Great Walks of Australia

Cradle Mountain is in the northern end of Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park. It is 1,545m above sea level and is certainly one of the most well-known places in Tasmania.

A number of bird species including green rosellas, black currawongs, pink robins and Tasmanian scrub wrens can be seen here.

The mountains are where Peregrine falcons and wedge-tailed eagles nest. Tiger snakes are also found in the area, along with wombats, pademelons, Tasmanian devils and echidnas. Visit [email protected] to learn more about the plight of the Tasmanian devil.

7-Wineglass bay

Tasmania wildlife
Photo: Tourism Australia & Hugh Stewart

Wineglass Bay is the star of Freycinet National Park. This beautiful bay has been tagged as one of the world’s 10 best beaches by publications from around the world.

Some say that the landscape is an antipodean version of Hawaii. Wallabies are often seen patrolling around the bay while seals relax on the sandy beaches.

8-Bay of Fires

Tasmania wildlife
Photo: Tourism Tasmania & Kathryn Leahy

Bay of Fires, in Tasmania’s north east, was named by Captain Tobias Furneaux in 1773 when he saw numerous fires of the Aboriginal people along the coast. Aboriginal middens (shell and bone deposits) can be found in the sand dunes around the area.

In season, pods of dolphins and whales pass by the Bay of Fires and are a spectacular sight to watch from the beach.

9-Maria Island

 

Places to see in Tasmania
Photo: Tourism Tasmania & Dominic Zeng

Maria Island is a mountainous island shaped like a figure eight.

The island can be reached either by a boat or a plane from Triabunna, the nearest town. The island is rich in history. It was a convict settlement during the first half of the 19th century and became a national park in 1972.

Wildlife on the island include bare-nosed wombats, Tasmanian pademelons, eastern grey kangaroos, red-necked wallabies, Cape Barren geese, Fallow deer and Tasmanian devils frolic among the island’s historic ruins.

10-Tasman Peninsula

Places to see in Tasmania
Photo: Tourism Tasmania

The Tasman Peninsula is south-east of Hobart is a beautiful part of the world. It’s best known for Port Arthur Historic Site and rugged coastline with eye-catching rock formations such as Devils Kitchen, Tasman’s Arch and Blow Hole.

Learn about Tasmanian devil conservation at the Tasmania Devil Conservation Park on the main highway in Taranna.

The Tasman Peninsula is a wonderful place to go hiking. Another memorable way to explore the region is on a boat trip where you’re likely to spot sea lions, seals and dolphins. The peninsula is also a sanctuary for the endangered Swift Parrot and Forty-spotted Pardalote.

Discover Tasmania

For more things to do in Launceston and Hobart see Best of Tasmania and Discover Tasmania.

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