Wildlife travel: What animals can I see in Tasmania?

An isolated island off the south coast of Australia, Tasmania offers encounters with such amazing Antipodean delights as wombats, wallabies and wedge-tailed eagles.

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Illustration by Dawn Cooper

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1. Wedge-tailed eagle, Tarkine Wilderness

Wedge-tailed eagle (Aquila audax), Australias largeset bird of prey, 105 cm long, wingspan to 230 cm. Peron Peninsula, Western Australia

Wedge-tailed eagle © Auscape / Getty

This wilderness, which is one of the last substantial tracts of temperate rainforest left in the country, is dominated by moss-clad myrtle and towering pine trees. Look out for the endemic subspecies of Australia’s largest bird of prey soaring above them.

2. Common wombat, Narwntapu National Park

AUSTRALIA, Tasmania, Maria Island National Park
Common wombat
YEAR: 2007
No model or property releases

Common wombat © Andrew Bain / Getty

Described as Australia’s Serengeti, Narawntapu’s open grasslands are famed for their huge numbers of placidly grazing marsupials.

3. Platypus, Scottsdale

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Platypus © Kevin Schafer / Getty

It lays eggs, has a duck-like bill and sports enormous spurs on its back legs – it’s perhaps not surprising that the first scientists to examine a platypus thought it was a hoax.

4. Tasmanian devil, Bicheno

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Tasmanian devil © Eric Bean / Getty

It may be the ultimate after-dark experience for wildlife lovers – watching the world’s largest surviving carnivorous marsupial tearing chunks out of a wallaby carcass.

5. White wallaby, South Bruny

White albino wallaby, Bruny Island, Tasmania, Australia

White wallaby © Australian Scenics / Getty

A trip to the south side of Bruny’s Adventure Bay is like Alice’s journey into Wonderland, only the white ‘rabbits’ are considerably larger and actually rare morphs of the common-as-much Bennett’s wallaby.

6. Orange-bellied parrot, Southwest National Park

The rare and endangered Orange-Bellied Parrot ( Neophema chrysogaster ) Migrates across Bass Strait between Tasmania and Southeast Australia.

Orange-bellied parrot © Ted Mead / Getty

This rare and unusual parrot migrates between southern Australia and the southern tip of Tasmania to breed – you might be lucky enough to spot one from a bird hide at Melaleuca between October and March. 

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