Are There Monkeys In Tasmania?

Many folks choose to visit the stunning island regions of Tasmania, due to its close proximity to Australia. Being an Australian state, it is known for also encompassing over 1000 surrounding islands. Despite this, the population of the entire state is just over half a million – with the vast majority of the economy being based on agriculture and tourism.

Folks can look forward to the sights of the coastal island, the beautiful beaches, and the lovely capital city of Hobart – where the majority of the population resides. With it being such a tourist-driven state, there is an abundance of choices of activities for everyone young and old to enjoy.

However, prior to visiting a place, many folks love to be aware of the different options they have for outings, activities, stay, etc. In terms of Tasmania, many travellers love to find out what sort of wildlife they can expect to see when visiting. From the famous Tasmania devils to kangaroos, and koalas – many are excited to see the wildlife that is in store for them upon arrival.

Now, it’s important to be aware that there are no native monkey species residing in Tasmania. This is not exactly a suitable climate for monkeys, and there are no species of them that can truly call this island their home.

However, there are still monkeys that can be seen in Tasmania. Much to the surprise of many, there is a small group of native Japanese macaque, also known as snow monkeys, that reside in the city of Launceston.

The city of Launceston is known for being a riverside city in northern Tasmania. This charming city is known for being the perfect mix of both country and city. It’s well known for its panoramic views, hiking trails, sculpted gardens, and of course, the Japanese monkeys.

By Nick-D – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Why Are There Monkeys In Launceston?

As these monkeys are not native to Australia or Tasmania, many folks often wonder how exactly they came to reside in central Launceston. Oddly enough, these monkeys were actually given to the community of Launceston as a gift. The monkeys came from Launceston’s famous sister city, which happens to be Ikeda, Japan. They were given as a gift in 1980, and this was done in exchange for a group of ten wallabies.

These monkeys actually filled the gap that the city was feeling, after the last Rhesus monkeyOpens in a new tab., which had formerly held residence in the park, died in the summer of 1979. Because of this, the monkeys were welcomed into the city with open arms, and have been treasured members of society ever since.

Are There Monkeys In City Park Launceston?

The Japanese macaques that are known far and wide in Tasmania do reside within the City Park of Launceston. As previously mentioned, they were gifted to the city and have become beloved residents every since. Some may question how these sweet primates reside in Tasmania, however, this species of monkey is known for its adaptability.

They certainly acclimatize themselves to a new environment quickly, and are, therefore, well-suited to live in Tasmania. The Japanese macaques can handle the often cold and wet climate in Launceston with ease.

Because these adorable monkeys have become such favourable citizens in Launceston, they have a stunning enclosure to keep them feeling comfortable. It was designed to reflect the natural habitats that they would be accustomed to in Japan. These primates enjoy trees and branches to swing along, a pool to swim within, and even cute huts to tuck themselves into if they so choose.

Although the city was only gifted ten Japanese macaques, the population has since grown due to the careful care of their caretakers. At the moment, the city boasts a population of twenty monkeys, with that population steadily growing every year due to healthy and safe breeding.

How Long Have The Monkeys Lived In Launceston?

Considering the fact that the monkeys were first gifted to the city of Launceston in the year 1980, they have now resided in the City Park for over four decades. In the year 2022, the monkeys will have taken up permanent residency for exactly forty-two years.

Where Do You Go To Visit The Japanese Macaques?

Folks wishing to visit these beloved monkeys will have to take a trip to the City Park. The enclosure holding the monkeys is absolutely free of charge to visit, making it a highly popular location. The enclosure is open to the public daily from 8 am to 4 pm in April through to September.

These times do change from 8 am to 4:30 pm in the month of October through to March. This beautiful location can be found on Cameron Street, which is very central. Many folks find it easy to locate, as it is directly around the corner from the well-known Radio building.

What Other Animals Can One Look Forward To Seeing In Tasmania?

Aside from the Japanese macaques, there is an abundant amount of native animals to Tasmania that folks can look forward to hopefully having the opportunity to encounter. One of the favourites of domestic residents and international visitors alike is the wombat. These grazing marsupials are incredibly common in both Australia and Tasmania.

They are famous for their adorable disposition, with many tourists flocking to get a famous “wombat selfie“. An interesting fact about these little sweeties is that they use their big booties to fight off predators. Since they live in burrows in the ground, they will protect themselves and their young by hiding in the hole, with their butts facing out. Considering they are made up of mostly cartilage, they can handle taking some scratches and bites.

Another fantastic creature that one may have the possibility of seeing is none other than the duck-billed platypus. These sheer natural oddities are a sight to behold. Not only do these odd mammals lay eggs, but they are also considered to be venomous – sporting enormous and dangerous spurs on their back legs.

Last, but certainly not least, may be the most famous mammal of them all – the Tasmanian devil. These little night lovers are known for their nocturnal habits and for being the world’s largest carnivorous marsupial. Oddly enough, they got their name from their unearthly screaming and growling sounds. When settlers originally heard them, they assumed the screams were coming from evil spirits or the devil – hence the name!


We have travelled to many great places around Australia and hope to share our travel tips, hacks, and adventures with you. So come with us as we explore the great down under!

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