Separated from mainland Australia for thousands of years, Tasmania is an ark of animals – an island of curious creatures, many of which are found nowhere else on Earth. The spring season is a great time to meet some of these unusual islanders, as furry families welcome Tasmania’s newest residents.

Look forward to close encounters with everything from pocket-sized predators to birds of prey and waddling penguins.

The world-first Tasmanian Devil Unzoo is a global leader in shaping the way zoos evolve. It’s described as a place where the public learns about wild animals, plants and ecosystems through interaction with and immersion in natural habitats.

This ‘zoo’ of the future lets you discover animals of the Tasmanian bush, from wild possums and birds in nesting boxes; hand-feed free-ranging wallabies and wild parrots; and encounter wild echidnas, pademelons, native fish instreams…even wild sea-eagles, as you explore the bushland environment.

Best of all, you can come face to face with the famous, endangered Tasmanian devils and learn how the Unzoo is helping save the last isolated, natural population of devils left in the world.

Bonorong is a sanctuary for wildlife which aims to get healthy animals back to the wild. Run by Greg Irons, 2012 Young Australian of the Year, Bonorong has put together a new kind of experience that puts animals and their welfare at the heart.

Just 30 minutes north of Hobart's CBD, the sanctuary looks after many animals that are extinct everywhere, except this island refuge. The ever-changing menagerie of survivors includes wombats, devils, quolls, native birds, lizards, snakes and emus. They also welcome free- roaming Forester kangaroos that are always keen for a good scratch on the chest and some gentle hand feeding (roo food included with entry).

A visit to Bonorong is not complete without joining one of the daily guided tours. These tours are free with entry and give you the opportunity to meet some of the sanctuary’s most popular locals.

During the breeding season, Tasmania’s fairy penguins are busy preparing for their offspring. The male penguins are especially busy during this time, as they take on the important task of building burrows to protect their growing families. They work tirelessly to create a safe and cozy home that meets the expectations of their mates and their offspring.

Bicheno Penguin Tours aims to create a unique experience that allows visitors to witness the natural beauty of the area, while fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation of the local native wildlife. Departing at dusk, you can listen to knowledgeable guides as you observe the fairy penguins waddle up the beach in their natural habitat.

Quamby Brook
If you’ve ever been curious about milking a dairy goat, wanted to cuddle a baby goat, or wished to learn more about sustainable farming and how small-breed livestock can live together and help a farm grow, Little Things Farm’s farm tours are for you. Meet the intelligent “capricious” animals here, say hi to the Alpaca guardians, and see how they happily live alongside the farm’s small cattle and horse breeds, ducks and more.

The farm’s Family and Group morning and afternoon tours make it more convenient than ever to visit. The smaller (4-6 person), individually led format offers a more intimate look at Little Things Farm and allows you to get up close and immerse yourself with the farm animals. Morning tours last for 1hr; afternoon tours 90min including afternoon tea.

East coast
This island national park is a natural animal sanctuary and home to the World Heritage-listed convict probation site of Darlington. Maria Island (pronounced “ma-rye-ah”) has seen convicts, an ill-fated industrial enterprise, and is today home to some of the most visible and plentiful wildlife in Australia.

Just a 30min ferry ride from Triabunna on the east coast, expect to see an abundance of wombats, wallabies, Tasmanian devils and Cape Barren geese. Many of Tasmania’s endemic bird species also live here. Tasmanian devils have been released on the island and are thriving, while seals and even whales might be seen in its waters.

Established in 1978, Tasmanian Devil Unzoo is committed to the conservation of the Tasmanian devil, which is threatened by a fatal contagious cancer.

See more of what adventures can be had at


Image credits:

1  Baby Wombat (Vombatus ursinus) Mandatory credit_ Sean Scott.jpg

2.  Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary Mandatory credit_ Dearna Bond

3. Credit Supplied Courtesy of Tasmanian Devil Unzoo