One of the great joys of visiting Tasmania is seeing an abundance of native wildlife as you travel across the state. From wombats on Flinders Island and at Cradle Mountain and many other locations, to spotting an orca or humpback whale off the south-east coast of Tasmania as they migrate south to the Southern Ocean. Pods of dolphins are very common – if you are lucky you may also see our magnificent white sea eagle or native Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle. One of the more popular pastimes with visitors to Tassie is trying to spot the shy and elusive Platypus. This amazing creature, a Monotreme, is one of only three main groups of mammals that lay eggs – another other being the echidna, which is also commonly seen in warmer months across Tasmania. And like other mammals, monotremes are warm-blooded with a high metabolic rate, have hair on their bodies, produce milk through mammary glands to feed their young, have a single bone in their lower jaw and have three middle-ear bones.
There are many opportunities to see a platypus in Tasmania in the wild. You could be out bushwalking and be lucky enough to come across them playing in a shallow brook or creek, or as you walk alongside an inland stream. However, for the best chance of seeing a platypus, we recommend the following places at either dawn or dusk – particularly during daylight savings months October – April.
- Latrobe – Bells Parade or Warrawee Forest Reserve
- Waratah – Lake Waratah, next to the Waratah campground
- Geeveston – Geevestone Circuit Platypus Walk
- Strahan – Botanical Creek Platypus Stream
- Cradle Mountain – Boardwalk next to Cradle Mountain Lodge, Dove Lake
- Liffey Falls – Anywhere along the walks to Liffey Falls
- Lake St Clair – Platypus Bay
- Burnie – Ferndale Reserve
- Westerway – Tyenna River
- Loongana Ulverstone – Leven River