Tasmanian Devil Unzoo

Tasmanian Devil Unzoo is an innovative eco-friendly place where visitors from around the world come face to face with Tasmanian devils and many other interesting wild bush animals and birds. Unlike typical zoos or wildlife sanctuaries however, which display animals in cages and pens, it offers a very natural experience that is pioneering new ways for wildlife exhibition.

John and Caroline Hamilton founded their unique wildlife and nature centre on Tasman Peninsula in 1978. Its purpose was to show visitors the wonderful animals and plants of Tasmania. Nearly 40 years on their mission has not changed with the preservation of the Tasmanian devil still the centrepiece.

However the displays differ greatly as for the past decade the Hamiltons have been embracing the innovative “unzoo” principles of leading international designer Jon Coe. Gone are the old cages and essentially the Tasmanian Devil Unzoo has no boundary fence so the local wild animals can come and go as they wish.

With the preservation of bushland and extensive plantings of local trees and shrubs on the former apple orchard, a host of wild pademelons and 
red-necked wallabies, native hens, numerous species of honeyeaters and parrots now have made the property their home.

Wild sea eagles feeding at the waterfront replace the birds of prey that were once on display locked in aviaries.

Along two kilometres of bush trails dozens of native trees, shrubs and little native orchids have been identified and interpretation signs tell many interesting botanical stories.

In the middle of all this are the Unzoo’s precious Tasmanian devils, all free from the devastating contagious fatal cancer that has blighted the wild devil population around Tasmania.

The story of the Unzoo’s ground-breaking work in helping to preserve this famous but endangered species is told by expert zoologist guides who lead tours and presentations around the Unzoo’s trails throughout each day.

They are well grounded as John Hamilton was on the founding Save the Tasmanian Devil committee that developed the first strategies to conserve the species, which included isolating the devils on Tasman Peninsula where the Unzoo is located.

These local devils now represent the last safe natural population of Tasmanian devils left on Earth.

Nowadays the Unzoo’s unique Devil Tracker Project monitors the local wild devils with special secret infra-red night cameras to ensure they show no signs of the fatal disease and that they are breeding successfully.

This ‘hands-off' conservation project is now the basis of the Unzoo’s "behind-the-scenes" Devil Tracker daily eco-tour.

Tasmanian Devil Unzoo is open daily from 9am at Taranna on the Tasman Peninsula (except Christmas Day). Devil Tracker tour bookings and Unzoo tickets are available at www.tasmaniandevilunzoo.com.au.


5990 Arthur Highway, Taranna TAS 7180
p: 1800 641 641
e: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Open: 9am-5pm, 9am-6pm (summer)