Nestled in the heart of Tasmania lies a world of unique wildlife and natural beauty. Among its many remarkable inhabitants, the wombat stands out as an iconic marsupial, renowned for it’s cute ‘teddy bear-like’ appearance and slow waddle. If you dream of seeing a wombat during your time in Tasmania, look no further. We’re going to share exactly where to see wombats in Tasmania.
In this comprehensive guide, we cover everything you need to know about wombats in Tasmania, such as: the best places to see wombats in the wild, the best places to see wombats in captivity, the best times to see wombats, whether wombats are dangerous and so much more. Get your camera ready and prepare for this unique opportunity to see the endearing wombats of Tasmania.
Where to See Wombats in Tasmania in the Wild
There’s nothing more special than seeing a wild animal in their natural habitat. As one of the best places in Australia to encounter wombats in the wild, Tasmania offers an array of prime wombat-spotting locations.
Below are some of the best places to see wombats in Tasmania in the wild.
1. Cradle Mountain – Ronny Creek
A true wombat wonderland, Cradle Mountain is the ‘go to’ spot for anyone who wants to see a wombat in Tasmania. Besides being one of Tasmania’s most well-known and most-visited national parks for it’s pristine beauty and incredible hiking trails, it’s a paradise for wildlife enthusiasts hoping to see a wombat in the wild.
The rugged terrain of Cradle Mountain provides an ideal habitat for wombats. Located throughout the whole park, the best place to see wombats within Cradle Mountain is at Ronny Creek where they graze and amble through the open area of this alpine landscape.
During our time at Cradle Mountain, we went to Ronny Creek at midmorning on a sunny day (after a few days of snow and rain) and we spotted over 20 wombats dotted around within 500 metres of the car park. We even spotted a mom and baby wombat who came close to the boardwalk and hopped onto the boardwalk multiple times. We saw a couple of other wombats near the Enchanted Walk trail but sightings in this area were few and far between.
A parks pass is required for entry to the Cradle Mountain Lake St Clair National Park. At the time of writing this (November 2023) a daily pass for Cradle Mountain is $27.95 per adult and $11.20 per child (5-17 years old). Daily passes can be quite expensive. If you’re visiting multiple national parks or spending multiple days at a national park during your time in Tasmania, getting a longer pass would be better value. 2 month holiday passes are $89.50 per vehicle (up to 8 people), an annual pass is $95.30 per vehicle and a two year pass is $121.75 per vehicle.
Here’s the mom and baby wombat who were grazing along the Ronny Creek boardwalk for hours.
2. Maria Island
With a wombat population so plentiful that they’re referred to as a ‘tripping hazard’, a trip to Maria Island is bound to bless you with some incredible wombat sightings. With few predators on the island, no vehicles and no domestic animals, the wombats of Maria Island flourish. The flourishing wombat population has quickly made Maria Island just as popular as Cradle Mountain for anyone who wants to see wombats in Tasmania.
As a small uninhabited island off Tasmania’s east coast, the only way to get there is by a short 30 minute ferry from Triabunna (around 1.5 hours away from Hobart). Wombats can be spotted across the entire island, leisurely grazing in the open fields. Most visitors see wombats as soon as they disembark from the ferry so it typically doesn’t take much effort to see them.
Maria Island stands as a testament to the unspoiled natural beauty and pristine wilderness of Tasmania. It’s a place where nature remains undisturbed, creating an idyllic environment for wildlife to thrive. A trip to Maria Island offers a unique opportunity to observe wombats in the wild, in a setting of remarkable tranquility and beauty.
A parks pass is required for entry to Maria Island National park. At the time of writing this (November 2023) a daily pass is $44.75 per vehicle (up to 8 people), 2 month holiday passes are $89.50 per vehicle, an annual pass is $95.30 per vehicle and a two year pass is $121.75 per vehicle. You will also need to book the ferry to get to Maria Island. At the time of writing this same day return is $52 per adult, $32 per child (4-16 years old) and children under 3 are free. Overnight return is $62 per adult, $38 per child (4-16 years old) and children under 3 are free.
3. Flinders Island
Just 60km off the northeast tip of Tasmania is Flinders Island. An island of dramatic landscapes, rugged ranges, pristine beaches and abundant wildlife, it’s also another fantastic destination for spotting wombats in their natural habitat. Home to a thriving wombat population, Flinders Island is a haven for these endearing marsupials.
There’s no particular spot on the island for wombat sightings. Your best chance of seeing a wombat is by enjoying a leisurely stroll along one of the island’s fantastic walking trails at dawn or dusk. Witnessing the wombats go about their ‘daily routines’, with a backdrop of unspoiled beauty is an experience that will leave an indelible impression on your time in Tasmania.
To get to Flinders Island you will need to take a flight from Launceston, Hobart or Melbourne or you will need to catch the weekly barge. Prices for these will vary depending on which you decide on.
4. Mount William National Park
While sightings are less frequent here than the other spots mentioned, Mount William National Park is still an ideal setting to observe wombats in their natural habitat. Nestled on the northeast coast, this pristine paradise has incredible walks, spectacular beaches and an abundance of native wildlife.
The park is home to forester kangaroos, echidnas, bennett’s wallabies, pademelons and the iconic wombat. Enjoy one of the fantastic walking trails in the soft hues of dawn or dusk for your best chance at spotting the resident wombats.
A parks pass is required for entry to Mount William National park. At the time of writing this (November 2023) a daily pass is $44.75 per vehicle (up to 8 people), 2 month holiday passes are $89.50 per vehicle, an annual pass is $95.30 per vehicle and a two year pass is $121.75 per vehicle.
Where to See Wombats in Tasmania in Captivity
To guarantee you see a wombat during your time in Tasmania there are multiple wildlife parks and sanctuaries you can visit. These facilities provide a controlled environment where you can observe and learn about wombats up close.
Below are some of the best places to see wombats in Tasmania in captivity.
1. Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary
Renowned for it’s commitment to wildlife rescue, conservation and education. Bonorong also offers visitors to it’s sanctuary the opportunity to see wombats, as well as a variety of other native wildlife.
Included with your entry fee, Bonorong offers daily tours at multiple times throughout the day. These tours offer an excellent opportunity to meet the sanctuary’s resident wombats. In addition to wombats you’ll also have the opportunity to meet the resident Tasmanian devils and echidnas on this tour.
For those seeking an even more personal experience, Bonorong offer a number of short animal encounters, including a wombat encounter. During the wombat encounter you’ll spend quality time (approximately 10 minutes) with their friendly wombats. This intimate interaction allows you to pet and connect with these endearing animals, gaining a deeper appreciation of their unique behaviours and characteristics.
At Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary their mission extends beyond merely showcasing wildlife, it’s about giving back to the Tasmanian environment. Running Tasmania’s largest 24/7 wildlife rescue service and relying on entry fees to fund the care of the thousands of suffering animals they help every year, by visiting Bonorong you not only get to see wombats but also actively contribute to the conservation of Tasmania’s remarkable wildlife.
At the time of writing this (November 2023) day pass fees are $97 for a family (two adults and two children), $33.50 per adult, $19.50 per child (3-15 years old) and free for infants (under 3). The short animal encounter costs an additional $30 per person.
Location: Brighton (south east, 31 minutes drive away from Hobart, 2 hours drive away from Launceston).
2. Trowunna Wildlife Sanctuary
Nestled in the scenic surroundings of Mole Creek, Trowunna Wildlife Sanctuary is home to a range of native Tasmanian wildlife, including the iconic wombats. Strolling through the park’s well-maintained enclosures, you can observe wombats in their element, exhibiting their distinctive behaviours and charm.
Trowunna have 45 minute interactive tours included with your general admission. These tours include making friends with their resident wombat who you get to pat, meeting a Tasmanian devil and witnessing a devil feeding.
A visit to Trowunna Wildlife Sanctuary promises an enriching experience where you can see wombats and connect with Tasmania’s other native wildlife. The dedicated staff are passionate about sharing their knowledge, fostering a deep appreciation for Tasmania’s unique fauna and emphasising the importance of conservation efforts.
At the time of writing this (November 2023) general admission is $30 per adult, $18 per child (3-15 years old) and a family pass is $85 (2 adults and 2 children).
Location: Mole Creek (central highlands, 3 hour drive away from Hobart, 48 minutes drive away from Launceston).
3. East Coast Natureworld
A captivating wildlife park located in the idyllic coastal town of Bicheno. East Coast Natureworld has a collection of Tasmanian and Australian native wildlife that call the park home, including wombats.
With 150 acres of natural bushland, you can enjoy wandering around the sanctuary at your own leisure. After checking out the resident quolls, kangaroos, wallabies, pademelons, birds, reptiles, possums, sugar gliders, bandicoots and echidnas make your way over to the wombat enclosure. Here you’ll get an excellent opportunity to see wombats up close, allowing you to appreciate their characteristic waddle and unique behaviours.
For those seeking a more personal connection with the wombats make sure to book in for a wombat encounter. During this encounter you’ll have 15 minutes with a dedicated keeper to enter the wombats enclosure to give them a pat and give them a bum scratch.
A journey to East Coast Natureworld guarantees an enriching experience as you explore the park, connecting with Australia’s native wildlife. The park’s dedication to the well-being of it’s animal residents and it’s commitment to educating visitors create a truly immersive experience.
At the time of writing this (November 2023) standard admission fees are $32 per adult, $19 per child (3-15 years) and children under 3 are free. They also have family passes available which are $89 for families with two children and $99 for families with three children. The wombat encounter costs an additional $60 per person.
Location: Bicheno (north east, 2.5 hour drive away from Hobart, 2 hour drive away from Launceston).
Other Locations that Have Wombats:
- Devils @ Cradle – Devils @ Cradle despite being focused on Tasmania’s three largest carnivorous marsupials (Tasmanian devils, spotted-tail and eastern quolls) have one resident wombat, Pancake. Pancake is charmingly fussy and will only come out of her den when the weather is perfect so sightings aren’t guaranteed. Location: Cradle Mountain (central highlands).
- Tasmanian Devil Unzoo – Tasmanian Devil Unzoo has an open zoo concept where the animals roam freely. Apparently Unzoo has some resident wombats but the open zoo concept can make it harder to spot them. None of their 1100+ Google Reviews mention wombats. Location: Taranna (south east).
- Wings Wildlife Park – Wings Wildlife Park have a range of native, exotic and farm animals on display, including wombats. They also have a wombat encounter where you can meet and pat their resident wombat. Additionally these guys have accommodation and camping sites available. Location: Gunns Plains (north west).
- ZooDoo – ZooDoo are a more ‘traditional zoo’ with both native and exotic animals on display. Among the residents in their enclosures are wombats. Location: Tea Tree (south east).
- Tasmania Zoo – A ‘traditional zoo’ with native and exotic animals in their residence, including wombats. Tasmania Zoo also have an additional wombat encounter where you can pet and hold a wombat. Location: Riverside (north east).
What’s the Best Way to See Wombats in Tasmania?
To increase your chances of spotting these incredible creatures, we’ve listed some tips to help you see wombats during your time in Tasmania:
1. Choose the Right Spot – Selecting the right locations that are known for frequent wombat sightings is crucial. Research and identify locations where wombats are regularly seen in Tasmania (such as wildlife reserves and national parks).
We’ve listed the best locations to see wombats in Tasmania in the wild and in captivity above. We’d recommend reading through this list and identifying which location is most suitable for your needs. You can do this by considering the following:
- Do you want to see wombats naturally in the wild or do you want a guaranteed sighting in captivity?
- Are you happy seeing wombats from a distance or do you want to get a closer and more personal experience with them? If you want to get close to and pet a wombat you should consider going to a sanctuary where this is suitable, doing this in the wild is not ok.
- Where are you visiting in Tasmania and how far are you willing to drive to see wombats? Which location suits your travel itinerary best?
2. Visit at the Right Time – Wombats are primarily nocturnal animals, grazing late in the evening, during the night and early in the morning. This makes early morning and late afternoon (just before sunrise and after sunset) prime viewing times.
With that being said, they can be active during the day, particularly in areas with cooler weather such as Cradle Mountain. As this is less likely we’d still recommend planning your outings for early morning or late afternoon to increase your chances of seeing a wombat in the wild.
3. Look for Signs of a Wombat – Keep an eye out for signs of wombat activity so you know you’re in the right spot for a possible sighting. The most obvious clue is wombat poo, the unique cube-shaped poo is easy to recognise and is a clear sign that a wombat has been (or is currently in) the area.
Another thing to keep an eye out for is wombat burrows. While wombats build long and complex burrows, from the surface they just look like big holes in the dirt. Once you’ve seen a wombat burrow it’s easy to know what to look for. We’ve included photos below of the wombat burrows we spotted along the Enchanted Walk at Cradle Mountain.
4. Stay Quiet and Move Slowly – Move quietly and avoid sudden movements when looking for wombats so you don’t disturb them or make them feel threatened. Wombats can be quite shy and may hide if they sense your presence so moving slowly and quietly will increase your chances of seeing them in the wild.
5. Be Respectful – Wombats are wild animals so it’s important you treat them as such. Maintain a considerate distance from them and refrain from attempting to touch or feed them. This is for both your safety and the wombat’s safety.
If you want to take a photo of them do so discreetly, don’t get up in the wombat’s personal space. If the wombat decides to move away from you or seems bothered by your presence, it’s best to let it be, avoid following or chasing it.
Unfortunately at Cradle Mountain we saw dozens of people blatantly disrespecting the wombats’ personal space, getting in their faces to take photos and touching them. If you witness someone doing the wrong thing, make sure to call them out and let them know.
Please also be respectful of your surroundings, stay on designated paths and leave no trace.
Frequently Asked Questions About Wombats
As you set out on this incredible journey to see the charming wombats of Tasmania, curiosity is sure to spark questions about their intriguing characteristics and behaviours that make them unique. In this section we’ve answered frequently asked questions about wombats such as; when wombats are active, whether they’re dangerous, how many species of wombats there are, how much they weigh, how fast they can move and why their poop is cube shaped!
When are Wombats Most Active?
Wombats are primarily nocturnal animals, sleeping most of the day and grazing late in the evening, during the night and early in the morning. With that being said, they can be active during the day, particularly in areas with cooler weather, such as Cradle Mountain and in the cooler months of winter.
When is the Best Time to See Wombats?
The best time to see wombats in the wild is during their most active periods which is early in the morning and late in the evening (around dusk or dawn).
Are Wombats Hard to Spot?
No, typically wombats graze in open areas with short grasses and shrubs, making it relatively easy to spot them. Familiarise yourself with what wombats look like beforehand to make it easier to spot them off in the distance.
Are Wombats Dangerous or Aggressive?
Wombats are not considered dangerous animals and encounters with them are generally safe as long as you respect their space and don’t get too close. They are typically shy and reclusive animals who will avoid direct contact with humans. When encountered in the wild they’ll typically retreat, seeking cover in dense vegetation or a burrow. If threatened however, a wombat could get aggressive. There are reported instances of wombats charging at humans, knocking them down, scratching them and biting them.
If you are lucky enough to see a wombat in Tasmania make sure to treat it with respect; maintain a safe distance from the wombat and refrain from touching or handling it. If you come across an injured wombat please reach out to the appropriate rescue service, in Tasmania this is Bonorong Wildlife Rescue who are Tasmania’s largest 24-hour wildlife rescue service. You can contact them on 0447 264 625.
Can I Pet a Wombat?
No, wombats are wild animals who need to be treated as such. It is never ok to approach and touch a wild animal, it’s dangerous for both yourself and the animal. If you’d like to pet a wombat we recommend you seek out a sanctuary or zoo where it’s appropriate to do so.
We were extremely disappointed to see multiple people at Cradle Mountain attempting to touch the wombats. If you spot someone trying to pet a wombat make sure to remind them that it’s not ok.
How Much do Wombats Weigh?
The weight of a wombat varies depending on the species and individual factors such as age and health, however a wombat typically weighs between 20kg and 35kg.
How Big are Wombats?
Wombats are commonly known as stocky and sturdy creatures. They vary in size based on their species, age and other factors but average around 1 metre in length and 20-35kg in weight.
What do Wombats Look Like?
Each wombat species varies in appearance, the common wombat however has thick coarse hair that varies from grey, sandy brown and dark brown, stubby legs, sharp claws, a round stocky body, a large round head, small rounded ears, small eyes, long front teeth and a large flat nose. Wombats are often referred to as looking like a cross between a bear and a gopher.
How Fast Can Wombats Move?
While Wombats are typically not known for their speed and agility due to their bulky appearance and slow movements they can actually run up to 40 kilometres per hour! This short burst of speed is only when a wombat feels threatened and needs to retreat to it’s burrow for shelter but it can maintain this speed for 150 metres. The average pace of a wombat however is quite leisurely as they slowly waddle around grazing on the surrounding vegetation.
What do Wombats Eat?
Wombats are herbivores with a diet that mainly consists of native grasses (such as snow grass, wallaby grass and kangaroo grass), rushes, sedges, the roots of shrubs and tree bark. Their diet varies based on the availability of vegetation in their habitat. Majority of a wombat’s water intake is from the plants they eat so they don’t need to drink much water.
Wombats have a specialised digestive system that allows them to efficiently break down their diet of tough and fibrous plant material. They also have strong jaws with continuously growing teeth and large incisors to handle the tough and abrasive plant material they consume.
Why is a Wombat Pouch Backwards Facing?
The unique backwards-facing pouch of a wombat protects the joey from dirt and debris while the mother is digging. Wombats are strong diggers with an exceptional ability to excavate intricate burrows. The backwards-facing pouch is invaluable for allowing the mother to continue digging without disrupting or harming the joey.
Why do Wombats Poop Cubes?
Wombats poop is cube shaped as a result of the drying of the faeces in the colon and muscular contractions in the intestines that form the uniform size and corners of the poop.
For humans, digesting food takes a couple of days, for wombats it’s significantly longer, with it taking up to 14 days to digest food. This is because the wombat’s intestine takes up as much nutritional content and water as possible from their food, that then results in very dry poop. A wombat has two firm and two flexible areas around the circumference of it’s intestine, this varying elasticity is what helps sculpt the poop into perfect cubes.
Wombats use their poop to mark their territory. The square shape of their poop helps it from rolling away, particularly in areas of uneven terrain such as mountainous regions. The shape also makes it possible to create stacks of their poop to mark their territory.
Where do Wombats Sleep?
Wombats sleep in underground burrows that are typically close to waterways such as creeks or gullies. Wombats are excellent diggers who create complex burrows and tunnels in areas with well-drained soil. These burrows can be up to 30 metres long and up to 3.5 metres deep with numerous connecting tunnels, sleeping chambers and multiple points of entry. The depth of these burrows protect wombats from fires. The sleeping chamber within the burrow is typically slightly elevated from the burrow entrance to protect from floods also.
A wombat can have multiple burrows, including short burrows up to just 2 metres long that a wombat may use to hide or escape from a predator. Despite being very territorial over their feeding grounds, wombats typically share their burrows with other wombats and other animals.
How Long do Wombats Live?
In the wild the average lifespan of a wombat is around 5 to 15 years, depending on various factors such as habitat conditions, predation and access to food.
In captivity, where wombats are protected from many of the natural challenges they face in the wild, wombats can live even longer. Wombats can live up to 20-30 years in captivity.
How Many Species of Wombats are there?
There are three species of wombats; the common (or bare-nosed) wombat, the northern hairy-nosed wombat and the southern hairy-nosed wombat.
These three species of wombats are each unique with their own distinctive features. The common (bare-nosed) wombat is the species most commonly associated with Tasmania as it can be found at a number of different spots around Tasmania (from sea level areas to alpine regions) and is the only species of wombat in Tasmania.
Enjoy Your Journey to See Wombats in Tasmania!
That’s the end of our guide on everything you need to know about seeing wombats in Tasmania. We hope our post has helped you prepare for your own exhilarating wombat-spotting adventure during your time in Tasmania.
Watch Our Experience Seeing Wombats in Tasmania!
If you’d like to watch our video where we see wombats in Tasmania at Cradle Mountain you can in our YouTube video below.