At Platypus House, get a close-up look at Tasmanian platypuses and echidnas, two uniquely Australian “monotreme” mammals. Learn about their biology at the center, and watch the animals play in a natural environment set on the Tamar River.
Both platypuses and echidnas are iconic Australian animals, but they’re not easy to see in the wild. Here you can observe them in close proximity, and see how the Tasmanian varieties of these mammals are biologically different to those on the mainland. See the animals playing, feeding, and foraging in natural enclosures, tanks, and burrows—then, take a 35-minute guided tour of the center and watch a short educational film. Most travelers visit independently while staying in or around Launceston.
Things to Know Before You Go
Grab snacks and drinks at an on-site café overlooking the Tamar River.
The center is wheelchair- and stroller-friendly, and has accessible toilets.
Children aged 3 and under get free entry.
Tours depart regularly throughout the day.
How to Get There
Platypus House is located at Beauty Point on the Tamar River, near the northern coastline of Tasmania. The nearest city is Launceston, which is about 30 miles (48 kilometers) to the south-west, a journey of about 45 minutes. Some buses are available from Launceston, but they take much longer than driving—your best bet is to rent a car or join a guided tour from Launceston.
When to Get There
Platypus House is open every day of the year except Christmas. Hours vary by season, and are typically shorter in winter (May through October).
The Tamar Wetlands Centre and Reserve
Travelers to the Launceston and Tamar River area can also check out the Tamar Wetlands Centre and Reserve. Just ten minutes by road from Launceston, travelers can combine visits to the Platypus House and the wetlands in a single day. There are boardwalks through the wetlands and hide-out areas from which you can watch birds, as well as an interpretation center with more information on the area’s flora and fauna.
- Seahorse World
- George Town Watch House
- Beaconsfield Mine & Heritage Centre
- Low Head Pilot Station Maritime Museum
- Grindelwald Swiss Village
- Tamar Island Wetlands
- Home Hill Devonport
- Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery (QVMAG)
- James Boag Brewery
- Cataract Gorge Reserve
- Launceston City Park
- National Automobile Museum of Tasmania
- Design Tasmania
- Tamar Valley
- Launceston Planetarium