From fur seals and dolphins to cuddly koalas and Tassie devils, there are plenty of opportunities to see wildlife around Australia’s island state.
Here are five of our favourites kids will love in Tasmania:
You can’t go to Tasmania without tracking down a devil, and a top place to find one is at Trowunna Wildlife Park, at Mole Creek. The privately-owned park boasts having Australia’s largest and longest-running devil conservation breeding program, and children will love learning more about the endangered marsupials during feeding times (11am, 1pm, 3pm).
The park is set on a 65-acre property and is also home to wombats, spotted-tail and eastern quolls, masked owls, Bennetts wallabies and eastern grey kangaroos. Win brownie points with the kids with the baby wombat meet and greet.
Quolls & Other Furry Friends
For an animal encounter of a different kind, head to Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary, in Brighton, for a night tour. During the 2.5-hour experience, you will get the chance to hand-feed Eastern quolls, a species that no longer exists outside of Tasmania. You will also be delivering dinner to loveable sugar gliders, fascinating tawny frogmouths and resident Tasmanian devils. Children as young as three can take part in the night tour, which starts between 5pm and 6pm depending on the time of year.
At the north-western tip of Tasmania is a small fishing village called Stanley and it’s here you can get up close to an Australian fur seal colony. Head to Fishermans Dock and join Stanley Seal Cruises for a 75-minute boat tour to Bull Rock, where seals sunbathe and frolic. The tour is suitable for all ages, and you’re never far from shore so won’t have to worry about taking littlies out into a rough sea.
Whisk the family away to a magical underground world at Marakoopa Cave, in Mole Creek Karst National Park, near Launceston. Children will learn about stalactites and stalagmites, but the most memorable experience will be watching glow worms light up the darkness of this limestone cave. They’ll be high above, so you won’t be able to get up close, but your imagination (and that of your children) will certainly light up. The cave has two streams and is cold and wet, so be sure to dress the brood in comfortable enclosed shoes and jackets.
They might not sound as exciting as devils and seals, but nature lovers will be awed by the beauty of an albatross gliding on the wind and a shearwater flying across the sea’s surface off Bruny Island. You can also expect to see rare nesting seabirds and even sea eagles above the cliffs on a Bruny Island Cruises tour with the award-winning company Pennicott Wilderness Journeys. If you visit in winter, keep an eye out for migrating whales, and don’t forget to look down at the bow of the boat for surfing dolphins. Due to the possibility of wild weather and swell, these tours are most appropriate for teens.
With a passion for adventure, Australian journalist Jennifer Ennion always seeks out the “wild” when travelling. From swimming with belugas in sub-Arctic Canada to hiking in Nepal and camping around Australia, Jennifer loves telling stories that motivate people, especially families, to explore the outdoors.