Best time to travel to Tasmania

Echidna in Tasmania

Watch one of the most extravagant animals of the island in the wild

Best time: June–August

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Planning your Tasmanian journey for the wintertime, visit the east coast of the island to watch one of the most extravagant animals on the globe – an echidna. Usually, they aren't afraid of people and you can easily watch them ambling down the roads. You'll definitely distinguish them from any other animals on the island. As their its long spine-like hairs and unusually​ big for a hedgehog size will surely draw your attention.

Practical info

What is the unique creature commonly known as a spiny anteater?

The echidna is an egg-laying mammal that is native to Australia and is famously known as the spiny anteater. They have a long and sticky tongue used to eat ants and termites. It is covered in spines, and can live up to 50 years in captivity. They play a critical ecological role, considering them as a keystone species. Show more

What are the recommended areas to spot echidnas in Tasmania and what should be kept in mind while viewing them?

The east coast of Tasmania is the best place to spot echidnas, and they can be seen in wooded or grassy environments and also by the side of the road. The best locations for viewing are the Douglas Apsley National Park, Mt. William National Park, and the Freycinet Peninsula. Given that they can be easily stressed, it is important to keep an appropriate distance from them and avoid any physical interaction. Show more

When is the ideal moment to travel to Tasmania to witness echidnas, and what should be taken into consideration?

Echidnas are visible all year in Tasmania, but the winter months from June to August is an excellent opportunity to spot them as they are more active during this period. Echidnas search for food during this season to increase their fat consumption for the winter. Their spines at this time are more noticeable. However, the Tasmanian winter weather is unpredictable, so visitors should bring adequate warm and waterproof clothes. Show more

What are the protection mechanisms of echidnas against potential predators?

Echidnas shield themselves against predators, such as feral cats and foxes, with sharp spines covering their bodies. By housing themselves in a tight curl with their spines sticking outwards, they find it difficult for predators to capture them. By leveraging their sturdy front legs, echidnas could dig a hideout in the earth to escape predators. Furthermore, echidnas' highly developed sense of smell helps identify predators from a distance. Show more

Is it possible to keep echidnas as pets?

Echidnas are a protected species in Australia, so it is illegal to keep them as pets. Along with that, echidnas necessitate specific care, and a specialized diet that is difficult to provide within a domestic setting. They are difficult to handle as well since echidnas can be easily agitated and stressed. If you're interested in echidnas, it's best to visit a wildlife sanctuary or go on a guided tour with a licensed operator. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin