After our recent move to Tasmania, we have been getting out and about and exploring as much as possible. This past weekend when I was looking for something to do with my sons aged 4 and 8, Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary sounded like the perfect answer!
Previously known as the Bonorong Wildlife Park Tasmania, I have visited this place many times in the past. It only has fond memories of getting up close to Australian animals in a fun environment. I was excited to share it with my kids.
And while there have been some changes since I last visited, this is still a top place to visit in Hobart for anyone wanting to learn more and get close to Tasmanian animals.
Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary Review
Bonorong Tasmania is a sanctuary for wildlife focused on conservation. They are home to a rescue service (more below), a wildlife hospital and a seabird rehabilitation program among other efforts like breeding programs for endangered species.
So a visit not only lets you get close to Tasmanian animals but also to help with this effort with money generated by visits helping these efforts. So you can feel good on every level with you visit here!
Since my last visit years ago, the focus has firmly shifted from Australian to Tasmanian animals thanks to its conservation efforts although there are still some animals there, like koalas, that were there from before the change.
The Bonorong Sanctuary itself is a big open area which you can wander around visiting different animals. There is a big open kangaroo space which is likely to be the highlight and entry also includes Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary tours which I highly recommend you go on.
The park also has many picnic tables, a kiosk and shops. You can take your own picnic (which is what we did).
There isn’t a huge amount of animals but you can get close to what is there and there is some nice variety. The tours run regularly and involve visits to Tasmanian devils, koalas and wombats where the guide gives you more information on these animals, both the species in general, how the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary Tasmania helps these animals and the story behind the animal in question.
The tour is very interesting and I especially enjoyed watching the animals interact with the guide. There was definitely love and playfulness in both directions.
The kangaroo area is big with many kangaroos. You can walk around much of the area and are given food as part of the Bonorong Wildlife Park entry fee to feed the kangaroos as well as told how to rub their chests (which they so obviously enjoy that it’s a really fun experience).
Quite a few kangaroos had joeys in their pouches and they were very friendly. Our kids just loved getting to feed them and getting up close. They both picked their favourite kangaroos, named them and were sad to leave.
Another highlight is the wildlife hospital. There is one way glass to where they are treating the animals and we were able to watch surgery on a blue tongue lizard! Quite the experience.
There are some optional tours for extra prices including a Bonorong night tour in small groups where many animals are hand fed and the chance to have a 10 minute up close encounter with a tawny frogmouth, wombat, ringtail possum or echidna. You can find tickets and more information about this here.
Bonorong Wildlife Rescue
Bonorong operates Tasmania’s largest wildlife rescue operation and they are who you should contact if you find injured or orphaned wildlife. You can also volunteer to be part of this initiative. Some of the animals found end up at the sanctuary.
You can find more details on their rescue program here.
Bonorong Park Tasmania Location
The Bonorong Wildlife centre is located in Brighton, just outside Hobart, and is a quick and easy drive from the centre. Hobart to Bonorong Wildlife Park is about 29 kilometres and takes about 30 minutes.
If you don’t have your own car and are wondering how to get to Bonorong Wildlife Park from Hobart, there are Bonorong Wildlife Park tours which include transport from Hobart.
Click here for more details on a tour that combines Bonorong with Richmond and Mt Wellington. I highly recommend this.
You can also find more tour options here.
Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary Prices
Entry prices include the standard tour discussed above. At the time of publishing, it is $32 for an adult, $18 for a child and $93 for a family of 4. It includes a bag of kangaroo food.
The optional extras, such as animal encounters and night tours, cost a variety of prices which you can find here.
You can also buy tickets before visiting here.
We had a fabulous time visiting Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary. It’s a lovely park and a great opportunity to learn more about Tasmanian animals and get up close to them. I think anyone can enjoy a visit here, and it’s especially great for families.
If it wasn’t that the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary entry fees were funding their conservation programs, I would think the entry price is steep. However, the experiences are great particularly the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary tour, kangaroo area and the hospital and it is definitely worth a visit.
Find more fun things to do around Hobart here.
Sharon grew up in Tasmania, moved away and then came back with her family twenty years later. She loves re-discovering her home state and sharing it with you here.