Tasmania Zoo, Devils Heaven, Launceston Lakes

Tasmania Zoo is situated in the foothills of the Tamar Valley, about eighteen kilometres from Launceston. The Zoo is on about 360 hectares of native bushland and is home to over fifty species of native and exotic animals, including the Devils Heaven Tasmanian devil facility.

Australian animals include Tasmanian Devils, Wombats, Echidnas, Kangaroos, Wallabies, Quolls, Sugar Glider, Possum and Koala, as well as some lizards and snakes. There are also various native birds including King Parrots, Rosellas, Lorikeets, Cockatiel, Budgerigar, Galah, Black Cockatoos, Corellas, Emu and Wedge-tailed Eagle. Exotic animals exhibited include Macaque monkeys, Deer, Alpacas and some exotic birds.

A highlight of the park is the Tasmanian Devils at Devils Heaven. You can see the devils feeding at 10:30 am, 1 pm and 3:30 pm followed by the opportunity to pat of one of the young devils. Devils Heaven is home to a growing colony of Tasmanian Devils, with about thirty animals. The colony at Devils Heaven started with six orphaned devils whose mothers died from the deadly Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD), an aggressive transmissible cancer that has caused the death of Tasmanian Devils in eastern parts of Tasmania. At the time it was unknown whether the young carried the disease, but the young devils survived with no sign of the disease. The animals remain disease free, and now three generations later there has been no occurrence of the disease in the colony. It is now established that mothers do not pass on DFTD to their young.

Night tours round the Park are available. Your tour starts with a barbecue meal including hamburgers, sausages, steak, chops and salad. You then head out on a Safari Bus to see the nocturnal animals. You might see Wombats, Wallabies, Possums, Quolls, and maybe a Tasmanian devil.

Facilities at the park include a reception centre, a cafeteria with balcony overlooking the wildlife park and the fishing lakes in the distance. Snacks and drinks are available, as well as a range of gifts and souvenirs. Barbecues are available in the zoo for your use, without additional charge.

Tasmania Zoo is open every day (except Christmas Day and Good Friday) .from 8:30am to 5:30pm during daylight saving, and from 9am to 4:30pm in winter.

Trout Fishing

Also on the property is Launceston Lakes, a private trout fishing reserve. There are five lakes surrounded by natural bush land. The three largest lakes are about 300m long and over 100m wide. Launceston Lakes caters for private fly fishing for trout and offers visitors tuition in angling. The lakes are stocked with brown trout and rainbow trout, with fish up to six kilograms. Only fly fishing is allowed, and you don’t need any fishing licence. Near the lakes there are barbecue and picnic facilities, with a play area for children.

Tuition is available with four hour lessons from experienced guides. Your guide will kit you out with the right gear and take you to one of the lakes for fly fishing lessons. After you have mastered casting you can go out onto the main lakes for solo fishing. Trout Fishing can be booked for half day or full day fishing. If you already know how to fly fish, you can hire gear only for half a day or full day. Fishing is catch and release only.

Wet & Wild Buggies

On the property is a 17km bush circuit where you can drive round the bush track, and through mud and water in an all terrain buggy. The circuit takes about 30 minutes. Drivers must have at least a Learners Drivers Licence. This is a separate operation to the zoo, and bookings are essential.

Getting There

Tasmania Zoo and Launceston Lakes is situated at 1166 Ecclestone Road, Riverside about 20 km west of Launceston.

Related posts:

  1. Tasmanian Devil Conservation Park, Taranna, Tasmania
  2. Devils@Cradle, Tasmanian Devil Sanctuary, Cradle Mountain
  3. Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary, Brighton, Tasmania
  4. Tasmanian Devils at Devil Ark, Barrington Tops, NSW
  5. Wing's Wildlife Park, Gunns Plains, Tasmania

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