Located right next to Seahorse World in Beauty Point, Tasmania is Platypus House. Its similar in size to Seahorse World and takes approximately the same amount of time to visit. Expect to spend no more than one hour, the tour is 30-40 mins and then allow a few minutes for the souvenir shop.
Peter the new owner of Platypus House had only taken the business over the week that we visited. I spoke to Peter and he told me that he has some great plans for the business. The exhibition is a bit small at the minute but it is enough to keep the kids interested.
Inside Platypus House:
We arrived just in time to join Sharon’s tour. We gathered just inside the doors before going into the platypus area and Sharon gave us a quick talk about the platypus and how the Tasmanian platypus is not nocturnal like the mainland platypus. I found this very interesting as I’ve never seen a platypus other than at the Melbourne Zoo.
We went through to the viewing area and there were a couple of large tanks with two platypus in them. You could see them swimming around in the tanks and they were quite active. They were also coming right up to the window but unfortunately I was struggling to get a good photo as it was dark in the tank and they were moving quickly through the water.
We went through another door to a large viewing pool. This platypus had to be kept separate from the others as he was a bit on the aggressive side. He was quite inquisitive though and was interested in seeing what we were doing. Again it was difficult to get a good photo but as everyone was leaving I managed to get one snap. I think he came up to see where everyone was going.
Strangely enough, Platypus House also houses echidnas! We went through to another room and there were four little echidnas running around the room. They came straight up to us and we were advised to be careful where we stood! All the kids sat on the floor and the echidnas were going right up to have a sniff of them.
Sharon put some bowls of prepared food down for them and we watched as they ate their food with their very long tongues. It was great to see them polish off their lunch, they licked those bowls clean. There was a natural habitat area set up in the corners of the room and the echidna’s then went off following each other. Sharon showed us the underside of the echidna and unfortunately I wasn’t quick enough to get a photo but they have quite long claws.
As I mentioned in the Seahorse World post, I managed to get the Lets Go Kids booklet from the Information Centre at Exeter on the way down to Beauty Point. Inside the booklet were vouchers for both Seahorse World and Platypus House. This allowed me entry for two children free with the purchase of one adult ticket. We paid a total of $30 for the four of us, admission prices without the vouchers are;
What did the kids think:
The kids enjoyed the echidna’s as they were more interactive and they loved that they were walking around at their feet. It was something they are not likely to experience again, especially how they are such noisy little eaters! We probably spent about 20 mins in with the echidna’s and that was the perfect amount of time.
The platypus were not as exciting, they were difficult to see and they don’t really do much. My kids are of the age were they are happy to listen to a brief information session but it has to keep moving so I think it was good that they had the tanks then we moved on to the pool out the back. Sharon also let the kids throw some worms in the pool so that kept them interested for a little and then the discussions about what the aggressive platypus gets up too. Sharon was a good tour leader and kept them entertained well.
Overall I was chuffed with the vouchers from the Information Centre, it provided a very good saving for me so I felt it was worth what I paid. The kids enjoyed it and I will be interested to see what changes Peter makes to his new business as there is a lot of opportunity there for him.
While in Beauty Point we stayed at the Beauty Point Riviera Hotel, a lovely art deco family run hotel right on the Tamar River. Definitely worth a visit, even if just to watch a sunset out the big bistro windows! The kids and I travelled to Tasmania in the Spirit of Tasmania and took our car across with us.