Made of almost 150 acres of mud flats, lagoons and islands, the Tamar Island Wetlands Reserve is home to a wide range of plants and a diverse population of animals including birds, frogs, fish, invertebrates and threatened species.
The area was cleared in the early 1800s to be used as farmland. When farming stopped in the 1950s, the Estuary began the process of reclaiming its wetlands and the plants and wildlife came home. All plants and animals in the Reserve are protected.
Along with the help of volunteers, Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service operates the Interpretation Centre to teach visitors about the wetlands. Located near the main gate, it’s a great place to get your bearings before you begin exploring. Volunteers can provide information about the animals you’ll see, conservation and Tamar Wetlands history. They can also answer questions and make suggestions on what to do first.
Less than a half-mile walk from the Interpretation Centre there’s a bird hide, or camouflaged shelter with seating, where visitors can watch birds on the lagoon. In all, there’s about two miles of handicap accessible boardwalk visitors can stroll on for views of the wetlands and the wildlife that call it home.
The Tamar Island Wetlands Reserve is a ten-minute drive from Launceston, and is open every day from dawn to dusk. The Interpretation Centre is open daily, April through September from 10am to 4pm. Hours are extended 9am to 5pm, October through March. There are picnic and gas barbecue facilities for those who want to make a day of their visit.