TASMANIA ZOO has a large collection of Tasmanian, as well as foreign birds and animals. It also boasts a dinosaur park and a Tasmanian devil breeding program. Tasmanian zoo has good facilities and is easy to tour, so it is a good place to go to see Tasmanian animals. Best of all, it is located just north west of LAUNCESTON. The address is 1166 Ecclestone Road, Riverside. The other attractions of Launceston are also discussed in the LAUNCESTON CITY, TREVALLYN, TAMAR ISLAND and CATARACT GORGE pages.
The Tasmania Zoo is 20 minutes from CARRICK and WESTBURY. It is 30 minutes from both BEACONSFIELD and BEAUTY POINT. It is 40 minutes from GREENS BEACH and GEORGE TOWN. Nearby places are described in the TAMAR REGION page.
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FACILITIES: There is a cafe at the Zoo. The telephone is (03) 6396 6100 or 0419 886 698 The nearest shopping precinct is in LAUNCESTON. There is much accommodation in LAUNCESTON and in the WEST TAMAR.
SIGHT: If you have come to Tasmania to see the unique wildlife then you best chance is to visit a wildlife park. Tasmania Zoo is located just north of LAUNCESTON. It was formerly called "Devils Heaven", because it has a Tasmanian Devil breeding program. You can also see a variety of other animals and birds there, plus dinosaurs, as you can see in the photos below. You will see the keepers touching animals, but you would be unwise to touch them yourself.
ROUTE: Drive north on the western side of the Tamar River on A7 West Tamar Road. On the northern edge of the city at Riverside, turn west into C734 Ecclestone Road and drive west about 12 kilometres. The last one kilometre before the Tasmania Zoo is gravel, but it is usually well graded.
1/ The Tasmania Zoo is just north of LAUNCESTON in northern Tasmania. The Tasmania devil is a carnivore with a vicious bite, even if he does look cute. Tasmanian Devils have a habit of stopping to smell the air, as this one is doing. Some people think they look cute, however, it is dangerous to touch them, as they have a powerful bite.
2/ The Tasmanian devil has a very powerful bit. This one is demonstrating the size of his mouth and his sharp teeth. Again never attempt to touch a devil.
3/ This photo shows an echidna. Echidnas prey on ants. They are protected by sharp spines on their backs.
4/ You can also see Kangaroos at the Tasmania Zoo. Again you should remember that Kangaroos have a vicious kick, so do not attempt to touch them.
5/ The Tasmania Zoo also has a number of wombats of the Tasmanian subspecies.
6/ This animal looks just like the Australian wild dog, the "dingo", but it is, in fact, a hybrid. The wild dingo population in Australia is under massive threat from cross breeding with domestic dogs that go wild. The dingo never came to Tasmania, which allowed the former apex predator, the thylacine to survive in Tasmania.
7/ This is an exotic pony with its foal. This pony was only about one and a half metres high.
8/ Tasmania zoo has 3 crocodiles on show. Crocodiles are a tropical creature. They are common in Australia, but are not found in cooler Tasmania. They are extremely dangerous and easy to mistake for logs. There is a famous saying: "Never smile at a crocodile". If you ever see a crocodile warning sign in northern Australia - obey it! Crocodiles regularly ambush and eat people.
9/ Meerkats are native to Africa - not Tasmania. They are very sociable animals. Tasmania Zoo has an interesting meerkat enclosure. These animals were just relaxing in the sun.
10/ Meerkats run on 4 legs, but stand high on 2 legs like humans. Perched high on 2 legs, at least one meerkat in the clan is always on the lookout for predators. This one was just relaxing in the warm sun.
11/ Tasmania Zoo has an aquarium with many exotic fish. This is one of the gold fish.
12/ Also in the Aquarium was this exotic lung fish. It is believed that long ago lung fish evolved into reptiles.
1/ Tasmania Zoo has many interesting birds on display. These are a pair of colorful budgerigars or "budgies".
2/ This budgie was a brilliant green in color. Budgies are native to Australia and Tasmania and come in a huge number of colors, as you will seen.
3/ This is an example of multi colored budgie. This example shows all the colors that budgies can come in.
4/ This budgies was colored yellow and white. Budgies are commonly kept as pets in both Tasmania and Australia.
5/ This triptych shows three more examples of colorful budgies. There are many many subspecies or breeds of budgies in Australia and Tasmania.
6/ There was no sign for this lovely bird, but I know that it is not a native of Tasmania.
7/ There was a large flock of these turkeys that were free to just wander around the Tasmania Zoo. Again these birds are not native to Tasmania.
8/ Penguins like these are commonly seen in many places around the coast of Tasmania.
9/ There was a large display of exotic chickens at Tasmania Zoo.
10/ Tasmania Zoo has regular visits from wedge tail eagles. This one was resting by the Lake. Eagles are birds of prey and are dangerous to approach
11/ I was fortunate to be able to shoot this photo of a young wedge tail eagle from quite close up, at another location. I was both pleased and surprised that he did not fly away, as I approached.
12/ Tasmania Zoo has an emu enclosure. Emus are a large walking bird with a dangerous kick. There was once a small emu unique to Tasmania, but unfortunately, it has not been seen in decades.
13/ Cockatoos are commonly seen in large flocks both in Tasmania and Australia. Tasmania Zoo has a good display of them.
14/ This is a kookaburra, which is a snake eating bird. Kookaburras were introduced into Tasmania from Australia to kill snakes. Unfortunately, they now threaten Tasmania's unique snakes species.
15 / Parrots are a colorful bird and are quite common in Tasmania and Australia. Tasmania Zoo has a number of parrots on display.
16/ This strange bird is a tawny frog mouth. Notice how it blends into the tree branch. These birds are native both to Tasmania and Australia.
17/ These lovely birds are macaws. They are not native to Tasmania.
18/ This lovely white bird is a corella. They are native to Australia, where they appear in large flocks. They are one of a small number of birds that have thrived as a result of human changes to the environment.
1/ Tasmania Zoo has a special section called "Jurassic Swamp", where you can see dinosaur statues. This one shows a small tyrannosaurus. The tyrannosaurus was the apex predator of the Cretaceous Era. Examples that were 5 metres high and 13 metres long have been found.
2/ This is an allosaurus, which was the apex predator of the Jurassic Era. This statue was about 5 metres in height, which was the approximate height of the allosaurus.
3/ These are a pair of brachiosaurus. These were a class of dinosaur called "sauropods", which were the largest animals to ever walked on Planet Earth. Examples of brachiosaurus 15 metres high and 25 metres long have been discovered. In recent years other even larger sauropods have been discovered.
4/ This is a hadrosaurus, which was a plant eating dinosaur. These dinosaurs grazed in large herds and were prey upon by predators like tyrannosaurus.
5/ This is a mother stegosaurus with her infant. These plant eating dinosaurs had strange projecting plates on their backs.
6/ This is a tricerotops. This dinosaur were noteworthy for its three horns, which were used to protect it from predators.
7/ These are two velociraptors. These were a man size dinosaur of the Cretaceous Era. Velociraptors were an intelligent, pack hunting predator. They were made famous in the movie "Jurassic Park".
8/ This is a utahraptor, which was a very similar dinosaur to the velociraptor described above.
9/ Most dinosaurs were small, like these two dog size dinosaurs. Even the largest dinosaurs started life as very small dinosaurs. It is estimated that only a very small % of the larger dinosaurs every survived beyond infancy.
10/ This is a minmi. It was a small sub species of ankylosaurus that was found in ancient Australia. The minmi grew to only 3 metres in length.
11/ These are two baby iguanodons. The iguanodon was a large herbivore of the Mesozoic Era. They could grow to 10 metres in length.
12/ This is a dimetrodon, a small 2 metre long dinosaur of the Permian Era. The dimetrodon was noteworthy for having both reptilian and mammalian features.
13/ It was recently discovered that frogs once came as large as dogs. These giants frogs once ate baby dinosaurs.
14/ This dog size, giant toad was also a predator of baby dinosaurs.
15/ There was also an example of a pteranodon. This was a unique class of flying dinosaur
16/ The crocodile is a survivor of the age of dinosaurs. This is a 9 metre long crocodile that was common in the Jurassic Era. Unfortunately, crocodiles of this size are known to have existed in northern Australia in recent times.