Platypus House Tasmania – Plan Your Visit

Platypus House in Beauty Point near Beaconsfield is one of the best places to spot the shy and elusive Platypus. While these remarkable monotremes are in many of Tasmania’s waterways, Platypus House is both a great way to get up close to an active platypus during the day and avoid wet weather.

I don’t know how many dusks and dawns we have spent trying to spot a platypus. We finally saw them from a canoe on a cold morning at Lake Elizabeth in the Otway Ranges. We have also since spotted them at Mountain Valley Wilderness cottages in Loongana and at the Tasmanian Arboretum near Devonport.

But as exciting as it is to see a platypus in the wild, you can’t beat Platypus House for the convenience of seeing them just metres away swimming, feeding and playing.

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Platypus House
Platypus House + Seahorse World

Getting to Platypus House in Tasmania

Platypus House is on Tasmania’s North coast on the banks of the Tamar River at the Wharf in Beauty Point.

  • Launceston to Platypus House and Seahorse World – 46 minutes
  • Devonport to Platypus House and Seahorse World – 60 minutes
  • Beaconsfield to Platypus House and Seahorse World – 10 minutes

The wharf at Beauty Point is also a popular fishing spot so if you have a rod and reel, after your visit you can wet a line. It is also not unusual to a Royal Australian Navy submarine moored at Beauty point. There was one there the day of our visit and it was an impressive sight.

Skip the queue & book your tickets

Playtpus House

Plan your Platypus House Visit

Platypus House is not like an aquarium or zoo, here you can only get around the place on a guided tour. The tours run on the hour starting at 10.00am and the last tour is at 3.00pm. The Platypus House tour runs for 45 minutes.

While some might weigh up the value of a 45 minute tour, we thought the views you get of the platypus make it worth every cent.

During school holidays you might want to book your time slot in advance, this is especially the case if you want to coordinate your visit with a walk around neighbouring Seahorse World. 

Besides the tour, there is a small gift shop and café. So how long will you need for Platypus House? One hour will do it, after the tour and a look around the gift shop you’ll have done all there is to do.

Playtpus House

Platypus House Prices

Family tickets are the best value way to see Platypus House. For 2 adults and up to 3 children you are looking around $60. Single adult prices are around $26.50 and children under 4 are free of charge.

Platypus House Tours & Tickets

YouTube video

Best things about the Platypus House Tour 

If you have struggled to spot a platypus in the wild, Platypus House is fantastic. You won’t get a better look at a platypus than you do here. The guides are great, they are passionate, friendly and knowledgeable and really add to the experience.

The tour starts with a short information session where you’ll learn all kinds of interesting platypus facts. For instance, we learnt that the Tasmanian platypus is the biggest variety in Australia – they can be as much as 60cm long and weigh 3 kg which is significantly larger than their mainland counterparts.

After the brief talk it is off to the platypus tanks where you first look from above then from underwater as they swim around. The first thing you notice is that they are huge! Then it suddenly strikes you that you are seeing much more of a platypus than you usually do – and it is fascinating. There is a big difference to seeing the top of the body scoot along a lake for a few seconds before submerging and seeing what you do here.

It is amazing to see what they get up to underwater and how they swim. They are given a bit of food as you watch and seeing them eat is fun too – it’s all stuff you would never be able to do in the wild. You are allowed to take pictures, and this is a great chance to get some of a platypus as they are so close and active. We could have watched them for hours, but after 30 minutes it was off to see another hard to spot Australian animal.

Platypus House Echidna
Platypus House Echidna

Platypus House Echidnas

It makes sense that if there are only two types on monotremes in the world, you have both under the same roof – and they do at Platypus House. From the platypus viewing you move into a different room which is home to a handful of echidnas. We love echidnas and have spotted them a few times in the wild, but it is always fun seeing them up close and you can certainly do that here.

Our group sat on the ground as the parade of echidnas made a beeline for food that had been put out for them. Because they have bad eyesight, if there are some feet between them and their food, they are going to trundle straight over the top of you. The echidnas in Tasmania are especially cute with a lot more fur than the mainland variety.

Platypus House

Is Platypus House worth visiting?

So, weighing up the cost versus a 45 minute tour, is Platypus House worth visiting? We love seeing wildlife so for us that is a big yes. This is one creature that can break your heart when you are trying to spot it in the wild so having the chance to see it here and watch it underwater is a real treat.

It is also a good family activity as it isn’t too long for the kids, and they will love seeing the platypus swimming around. It is certainly easier than getting them to sit quietly at dawn or dusk when you try to see them in the wild!

YouTube video

Seahorse World

Seahorse World is right next door to Platypus House on the wharf at Beauty Point. We found this an equally interesting place to visit. It works much the same way as Platypus House in that you can only go through on a guided tour, and it takes about one hour. This is a commercial seahorse operation that provides seahorses to Asian and European pet markets.

On the tour you will see thousands of seahorses in the amazing seahorse nursery, seahorses from around Australia and the world, have a go at the seahorse petting tank and look at some local marine creatures in aquariums. Seeing the extremely rare and spooky looking handfish is worth the admission cost alone.

You can run between Platypus House and Seahorse World to get to consecutive tours but we suggest you leave a session between them and pop into Seahorse World’s Cormorant Café for a snack or warm drink. Their homemade soup is amazing!

Seahorse World Tours & Tickets

Tasmanian Arboretum Platypus
Tasmanian Arboretum Platypus

Other places to see a Platypus in Tasmania

Platypus House is great for getting a close look at a platypus, but it is still fun spotting them in the wild. Here ae a few places to spot a platypus in Tasmania – we tried each of the with mixed success!

  • Tasmanian Arboretum – 15 minutes from Devonport, this is our new favourite place to spot a platypus. We were there late morning and saw them popping up all over the lake there.
  • Leven River, Loongana – We spotted a couple here at dusk. There are a few vantage points to try including at the bridge near Mountain Valley Wilderness Holidays.
  • Fern Glade – 10 minutes from Burnie, there is a great platypus spotting platform here. They didn’t show up for us, but it is a lovely walk and a likely looking spot.
  • Russell Falls – Located in Mount Field National Park, we haven’t seen them here, but there are reports of them swimming around the base of the falls.
  • Hogarth Falls – A couple of minutes out of Strahan, keep an eye on Botanical Creek as you walk to the falls. The people walking in front us saw one, but it wouldn’t show itself again for us.

If you enjoyed this story you might also like:

Cradle Mountain Short Walks Discover Bicheno  |  Strahan Attractions

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Platypus House
Platypus House
Platypus House
Platypus House
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