river and bridge

6 Places To Find The Biggest Platypus In Derwent Valley Tasmania

Platypus are big in the Derwent Valley. Some would even say the biggest in the world. Why so big? That’s something we often ask ourselves. Maybe it’s because of the pure water of the Derwent River? The fertile banks? Or maybe, it’s just some weird hangover from the time of the dinosaurs whose bones can be found buried throughout ‘The Valley’. Regardless, Tasmanian animals are abundant here and platypus are just one of our many claims to fame. If you’re after more things to do in Hobart and beyond, here are six places you can spot the world’s biggest platypus in Derwent Valley Tasmania.

1. Enjoy coffee with a view at The Possum Shed – while waiting for the resident platypus to make an appearance.

If their famous carrot cakes and scones aren’t enough to get you there, the stunning river views will. Even the Possum Shed staff will say they never get sick of the views. Come and see why. The river height is forever changing with the season – sometimes every day. Meanwhile, the surrounding Tasmanian wildlife are bound to put on a show. Pull up a chair on their beautiful outdoor deck, where you will likely spot an array of unique birds and the resident platypus Flossy, who often pops up to say hi. The Possum Shed is a great place to stop before embarking on a Tasmanian road trip around the Derwent Valley.

possum shed westerway

The Possum Shed Cafe

2. Mingle with platypus and alpacas, at Giants’ Table and Cottages.

Positioned on a beautiful, large property in Maydena is Giants’ Table and Cottages – a place where spotting platypus will preoccupy your mind and everyday worries will fade away. And if the platypus are being shy, the three friendly alpacas are always meandering the grounds. Recently refurbished, choose between one of their eight cottages if you’re after a great value, budget Tasmanian accommodation option. You won’t have to wander far to spot a platypus either, with their gorgeous lake being home to four platypus. In the afternoon, your hosts will invite you to help feed the alpacas and happily show you the platypus hotspots. Maydena is also where you’ll find Tasmanian attractions Mount Field National Park and Maydena Bike Park. 

giants table wines

Giants’ Table and Cottages

3. Meet the family of platypus who have taken up residence in the ponds, at Hamlet Downs.

There’s a lot about Hamlet Downs that will make your experience special. Like the warm hospitality from your host Jenifa, or the little touches in the rooms like knitting kits and subtle nods to Shakespeare (you guessed it, Hamlet Downs is also named after the play). Though, this property’s best feature is the stunning country views of lupin filled gardens and luscious green paddocks. It’s no wonder why platypus have taken up residence here. Spot them foraging through the cumbungi at the edge of all the ponds. Find this fantastic Tasmanian B&B in Fentonbury, near Maydena. 

hamlet downs dam

4. Spot a platypus (or ten) while kayaking the wondrous Derwent River, with Tassie Bound Adventure Tours.

Some say the Derwent River has magical powers. Of course, we know the pure water could very well be the reason behind why platypus grow so big. But the river also has a magical calming presence over those who endure it. Whatever your theories or beliefs, Tassie Bound Adventure Tours will take you to all of the hotspots along the Derwent River. Their twilight paddle tour will pass through gentle currents in search of the mysterious marsupials, before stopping for a tasting platter. This Tasmanian adventure activity is perfect chance to get in touch with nature at its finest and see the Derwent River’s many natural marvels along the way. The tour departs from Gretna War Memorial Oval which is around 15 minutes by car from New Norfolk. 

tassie bound kayaking

Tassie Bound Adventure Tours

5. Take a dip with countless platypus while glamping at Truffle Lodge, for a luxurious experience.

You don’t need to rough it in order to sleep amongst the wilderness at Truffle Lodge. Guests can expect to experience luxury Tasmanian accommodation in the form of tent rooms equipped with plush king beds, coffee machines and artisanal wooden bathtubs. If you’re feeling a bit hot, why not take a dip and swim alongside our famous marsupials themselves – they won’t mind sharing their part of the river. However, if the weather isn’t on your side though, you’ll be bound to spot countless platypus from the comfort of your personal deck. Truffle Lodge can also be found in Gretna. 

truffle lodge aerial view

6. Watch the platypus happily swimming in the everchanging Dew Rivulet, while staying at Rathmore.

Rathmore is a beautiful, Georgian property and farm stay accommodation that dates back to 1828. Owner Cally has put her heart and soul into creating the perfect homely, Tasmanian farm stay experience for her guests – and the platypus think so, too. One of the most magical parts about this property is its Dew Rivulet, which changes seasonally from a lake to a flowing river. Residing in this Dew Rivulet are approximately seven platypus that live there quite happily. Utilise the rowboat and kayaks on offer to get up close and personal with a platypus in their natural habitat. Or, participate in the ‘Platypus Experience’ which is an in-depth farm tour taking you around the property. Rathmore can be found in Hollow Tree, in the Central Highlands part of Derwent Valley. 

tinny on the dam at Rathmore

Rathmore House & Shearer’s Quarters

So, in case you didn’t catch our drift, we can confirm that you will find platypus everywhere in the Derwent Valley. And the best part yet, you don’t even need to go to our Tasmanian Parks & Wildlife reserves to spot them. Pondering through the ponds of properties, sliding across ski fields in Mount Field, or bumbling across roads and bringing traffic to a halt. Only in the Derwent Valley can the weirdest animal in the world be that little bit weirder. 

If you spot one of our famous platypus on your next Tasmanian holiday, be sure to share your snaps by tagging @Derwent Valley Tasmania on Facebook or Instagram, or by using #DerwentValleyTasmania and #UnquestionablyDerwentValley.