Are you an animal lover? Spotting our local wildlife is a real treat, especially when their cheeky personalities shine through! The Southern Trove is home to a real eclectic bunch, from giant whales to tiny little penguins.
We’ve listed some of our favourite creatures, with tips on where to find them. Remember to look after our wildlife by respecting their space and habitat, and slowing down on the roads (especially at night).
1. White wallabies
Wallabies are very cute, but did you know that Bruny Island has a relatively strong population of white wallabies? Their unusual colouring is thanks to a recessive gene emerging in the local island population. If you’d like to meet one of these sweet souls, go for a wander around Adventure Bay (particularly near the Fluted Cape entrance to the South Bruny National Park).
2. Little penguins
The Bruny Island Neck Game Reserve is a special place for some little locals. Wait quietly on the viewing platforms at dusk and watch as little penguins (and short-tailed shearwaters) make their way up the beach back to their nests. During peak times (September to February), a Parks and Wildlife guide is present to advise on penguin watching guidelines and answer any questions.
3. Beautiful birdlife
In the Far South, the critically endangered orange-bellied parrot has been spotted at Melaleuca, in the remote Southwest National Park. Another endangered species is the forty-spotted pardalote, which can be found in white gum habitat in the South Bruny National Park, at Tinderbox, and in the Peter Murrell Reserve near Kingston.
4. Pods of whales
After being almost hunted to extinction during the 19th century, whales are thankfully increasing in numbers and swimming through Tasmanian waters for their annual migration. It’s such a thrill to spot one of these gentle giants and pure magic to see them up close!
Playful humpbacks head north between May and July and south between September and November, while southern right whales migrate north from June to September and return between September and late October.
Bruny Island Cruises regularly spot whales on their tours (as well as dolphins, seals, seabirds, and more). Cockle Creek is another great spot to watch for whales, and you’re guaranteed to see one if you walk to the giant whale sculpture!
5. Noisy seals
Seals can be a bit stinky, but these layabouts have such character and are hilarious to watch! They aren’t afraid to shout about how fabulous they are, either. Take an adventure cruise with Bruny Island Cruises to get up close and personal.
6. Curious platypus
Platypus are strange, mysterious and elusive, so it’s very special to see one with your own eyes! David Attenborough taught us that Tasmanian platypus are relatively big and can run (or waddle) across land to other rivers and streams. They can also occupy lakes and farm dams. Try your luck on the Platypus Walk in Geeveston.
7. Spiky echidnas
These fellows can come off a bit prickly, but they’re actually quite cute. Like humans, they love their sleep, and emerge from hibernation in June/July. Echidnas are partial to tasty ants, like to shelter in rotten logs, stumps or bushes, and have been spotted waddling across the road (so drive carefully). Their secret talent is swimming!
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Platypus at Geeveston via @ashley_thomson2/Instagram