Six of the best places to see platypus
Spotting this duck-billed delight is a lottery, but dusk and dawn are a good bet.
1. Hidden Valley Cabins, QLD
In a tangle of paperbarks in Running River, with towering blue gums reflected in the still pool, eastern long-necked turtles and platypus surface.
Wander down to Running River bridge at about 5pm and look for ripples. There are estimated to be 300 platypus in this 13km stretch of water.
2. Nymboida River, NSW
A quiet stretch of this turbulent river between Pollacks Bridge and the Nymboida Coaching Station Inn is home to platypus so friendly they sometimes swim up to children splashing in canoes.
Pitch your tent at Platypus Flat, a serene grassy campsite beside the river in nearby Nymboi-Binderay National Park and swim with the creatures that make this water home.
3. Bombala, NSW
Best bet is Platypus Reserve on the Bombala River (off Delegate Road) in the early morning or late afternoon. A raised platform makes viewing easy for young and old. Platypus can stay underwater for up to 14 minutes, but more commonly remain submerged for only 60–90 seconds. Be patient, wait quietly and you’ll be rewarded.
Wild platypus photographed in a creek in Tasmania. (Image: Klaus/flickr)
4. Lake Elizabeth, VIC
Paddle this peaceful lake in Great Otway National Park at dawn and watch the mist slowly rise to reveal ‘swimming logs’.
5. Mountain Valley Private Nature Reserve, TAS
The visibility isn’t great in the tannin-stained River Leven, but it doesn’t bother these stream dwellers, which “see” prey by detecting faint electric pulses. Look for them foraging for food in still reaches.
6. Latrobe, TAS
Calling itself the “platypus capital of the world”, Latrobe is home to the Warrawee Forest Reserve beside the Mersey River, where you’re almost guaranteed to see a platypus. Film crews from around the world have set up cameras on the boardwalks here.