Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary is a wildlife centre and sanctuary located in Brighton, about 27 km to the north of the Hobart CBD. The name ‘Bonorong’ means ‘native companion’ and here you can find out how humans affect the Tasmanian animals that also live in the state. The facility operates a wildlife rescue service 24 hours a day, and people can bring animals in distress to the centre for treatment and rehabilitation. There is a Tasmanian tree frog breeding programme and a programme to breed Tasmanian devils, which have become endangered in just two decades because of Tasmanian devil facial tumour disease.
Of course the Sanctuary welcomes visitors to come and see the animals and what Bonorong is doing to help them. Among the animals that you may find here are Tasmanian devils, naturally, as well pademelons, bettongs and quolls, possums, emus, echidnas, wombats and potoroos. There are kangaroos that you can feed by hand and you can also interact with species like sugar gliders, koalas, blue-tongued lizards and the owl-like birds known as tawny frogmouths.
Bonorong conducts short 45-minute tours at 11:30 and 14:00 every day and these tours are included in the price of your admission ticket. You can also take a 15-minute tour at 15:00 to see the Tasmanian devils. In addition, you can book an interactive tour for close encounters with the animals. These tours can start at any time between 9:30 and 14:30. There are evening tours too, which start at either 17:00 or 18:00, depending on the season. Each of the interactive tours lasts about two and a half hours but you need to book a day or two in advance. However, the price of the tour includes admission to the Sanctuary.
If you want more than a quick tour, you can also book a hiking trip of four or six days in the Tarkine Rainforest through Bonorong. The Sanctuary also presents free courses where you can find out how to go about rescuing wildlife and giving wild animals first aid.
The Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary has picnic and BBQ facilities as well as a kiosk and gift shop, so it’s easy to bring the kids and make a day of it.
Visit the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary website here.