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7 Best Places To See Platypus In Melbourne 2024

15/09/2023
4 mins read
Platypus
Source: Chris Ring

Discover the enchanting world of the elusive platypus in Melbourne with our guide to the best places to spot these fascinating creatures. From the serene Lake Elizabeth in the Great Otway National Park to the tranquil confluence of the Yarra and Plenty Rivers, Melbourne and its surrounding areas offer a variety of locations to witness these captivating animals in their natural habitats. Venture out to the picturesque Warrandyte State Park or learn about platypus conservation at the renowned Healesville Sanctuary. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, the thrill of spotting a platypus in the wild is an unforgettable experience. So, grab your binoculars and embark on an adventure to explore the best places to see platypus in Melbourne.

1. Lake Elizabeth in the Great Otway National Park

Nestled deep within the Great Otway National Park, Lake Elizabeth is a hidden gem that offers a serene and picturesque setting for spotting platypus. The lake is surrounded by lush eucalypt forests and tree ferns, providing a tranquil environment for these elusive creatures.

Otway Eco Tours offers dawn and dusk canoeing tours on the lake, boasting a 95% success rate in spotting platypus. The tour begins with a 1km walk through the beautiful forest, where you might even spot koalas.

  • Address: Lake Elizabeth, Forrest-Apollo Bay Road, Barramunga, VIC, 3249
  • Fare: Free to visit the lake, but there may be fees for camping or guided tours
  • Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/8vzohwhuNJp5r2SW8

2. Yarra and Plenty Rivers Confluence

The confluence of the Yarra and Plenty Rivers near Melbourne is an excellent spot for observing platypus in their natural habitat. The best time to visit is at dawn or dusk, so make sure to bring binoculars to increase your chances of success.

The area offers a peaceful setting for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts alike.

3. Warrandyte State Park

Located just 24 km north-east of Melbourne, Warrandyte State Park is home to a local population of platypus along the Yarra River. The park provides a peaceful and natural setting for visitors to observe these fascinating creatures.

In addition to platypus spotting, the park offers various activities such as bushwalking, canoeing, and birdwatching.

  • Address: Warrandyte State Park, 24 km north-east of Melbourne, access via Heidelberg-Warrandyte Road, Research-Warrandyte Road, and others
  • Fare: Free
  • Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/V6fPy158zD1jZyQY9

4. Healesville Sanctuary

Healesville Sanctuary is a world-renowned destination for its role in platypus care and research. The sanctuary offers visitors the chance to watch resident platypuses at play in the World of the Platypus exhibit and even book a close encounter to wade with them.

Informative keeper talks about platypus conservation and biology are also available, making this an educational and exciting experience for all ages.

  • Address: Badger Creek Road, Healesville, VIC
  • Fare: Adult – $46.00, Child (4-15 years) – Free on weekends and holidays, $23 on weekdays, Child (0-3 years) – Free
  • Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/zfjHaqPKENBKaLKK6

5. Dandenong, Werribee, Maribyrnong, and Westernport Rivers

These rivers and creeks around Melbourne are known for platypus sightings during their mating season (August to October). The best time to visit is at dawn or dusk, so make sure to bring binoculars to increase your chances of success.

Each river offers a unique environment for observing these fascinating creatures in their natural habitat.

6. Olinda Creek between Lilydale and Mount Evelyn

Olinda Creek, situated between Lilydale and Mount Evelyn, is part of the Melbourne waterways where platypus have been recorded. The best time to visit is at dawn or dusk, so make sure to bring binoculars to increase your chances of success.

The creek offers a serene environment for observing these fascinating creatures in their natural habitat.

7. Toorourrong Park

Toorourrong Park, located in the outer NE suburbs near the Kinglake Ranges at Whittlesea, is known for platypus sightings. Although specific highlights or insider information about this location is limited, it remains a suitable place to include in the list.

The park offers a peaceful setting for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts to observe these elusive creatures.

Best Places to See Platypus in Melbourne at a Glance

Our list of best places to see platypus in Melbourne goes like this:

  • The best spot within a national park: Lake Elizabeth in the Great Otway National Park
  • The best confluence of rivers for sightings: Yarra and Plenty Rivers Confluence
  • The best state park for platypus spotting: Warrandyte State Park
  • The best sanctuary for platypus encounters: Healesville Sanctuary
  • The best rivers for sightings during mating season: Dandenong, Werribee, Maribyrnong, and Westernport Rivers

Discover these amazing locations and more in our comprehensive guide to the best places to see platypus in Melbourne!

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the best time to see platypus in Melbourne?

The best time to see platypus is at dawn or dusk, as they are most active during these times. Make sure to bring binoculars to increase your chances of success.

Can I access these locations using public transport?

Some locations, such as the Yarra and Plenty Rivers confluence and Warrandyte State Park, are accessible by public transport. For other destinations outside the city, like Lake Elizabeth in the Great Otway National Park, it may be more convenient to rent a car or join a guided tour.

Are there any guided tours or encounters available for seeing platypus?

Yes, Otway Eco Tours offers dawn and dusk canoeing tours on Lake Elizabeth in the Great Otway National Park, with a 95% success rate in spotting platypus. Healesville Sanctuary also offers close encounters where you can wade with the resident platypuses.

What is the best season to see platypus in Melbourne?

Platypus can be spotted year-round, but sightings may be more frequent during their mating season, which occurs from August to October.

Madie

Madie is a lifestyle and travel writer at HumbleTrail. With her roots in the sunny coastal town of Eden, New South Wales.

She moved to Melbourne straight after high school and is now the go-to person in the team for the best local gems around Melbourne. She's got her ways in staying up to date with the upcoming cafes in the city before they become mainstream.

Madie's day starts off at 5 AM for her morning gym session. By 10 AM, you'll find her energized with her second coffee of the day, often sharing her latest K-pop crushes with the team.

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