Want to see some wombats in Sydney? Here are the best places to see wombats in the wild and even meet them at the zoo!
These bulldozers of the bush look a bit like short, stocky bears. Some might even say they resemble a hairy pig. Whatever you compare them to, one thing is for certain: Wombats are adorable.
Wombats are only found in certain parts of southeast Australia and are among the largest burrowing mammals in the world.
These chonky creatures are generally friendly, but have been known to bite and scratch as a protection method in the wild. Wombats also have a large boney plate in their rump. They can use this to pat down soil on the edges of their burrows, but wombats can also use the plate as a defensive tactic if something follows them home that shouldn’t. They can quite literally twerk predators to death against the roof of their burrows.
As marsupials, momma wombats care for their young in pouches on their underside. But because they are burrowing creatures, the pouches open backward so they don’t fill up with soil while digging!
When wombats get the zoomies, they can run as fast as 25 miles (40 kilometers) per hour. It’s truly a sight to behold.
Taronga Zoo is a classic place to see wombats in Sydney. The zoo’s name is an Aboriginal word that means “beautiful water view.” It’s the perfect name for the zoo because you can see the famous Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge from most places on the property.
Taronga Zoo hugs the hilly shore in the north of Sydney Harbour on Bradley’s Head. You can drive to the zoo, take a bus from the city (boring!) or take a ferry straight from Circular Quay (the best option by far).
Skip the line on the day and buy your tickets in advance by clicking here. I recommend not purchasing any upsells with ferry tickets included because those are private ferries. It’s always cheaper to just take the public ones.
You have the chance to see two types of Wombats while at Taronga Zoo. The first is the southern hairy-nosed wombat. You won’t find these in the wild around Sydney, so if your trip Down Under doesn’t take you to the states of Victoria or South Australia, this is your best bet on seeing one.
However, wombats are most active in the nighttime. So if it’s really sunny and/or hot on the day you visit (as it often is in Australia), they might be asleep in their burrow.
Don’t worry! Because you can just head on down to where the common (bare-nosed) wombats live. Even if they are asleep inside, you can access a special wombat-viewing platform to take a peek inside their burrow. Don’t feel disappointed if they are sleeping, I promise they are even cuter that way.
Wildlife Sydney Zoo
This is a great place to see wombats in Sydney because you can see all of the other classic Aussie animals, too. If you are short on time in the Harbour City, you can still see the “Big 5” Australian animals without going bush. That’s a kangaroo, koala, wombat, saltwater crocodile, and platypus. Unfortunately, the resident saltwater croc passed away in 2022. The zoo is mourning his loss and making plans to replace him.
The Wildlife Sydney Zoo’s resident wombat is a sweet little bare-nosed guy named Ringo. I’ve seen him twice and I adore him. Once, I spent about 20 minutes standing outside his enclosure watching him bash his food bowl against a rock. Cheeky bugger.
You can buy tickets in advance and skip the line by clicking here.
This place also has one of the best gift shops in Sydney for wombat-related merchandise. I have five stuffed wombats and the biggest one (nearly the size of an Ottman) came from here.
Featherdale Wildlife Park
It’s very easy to get to Featherdale from Sydney with or without a car. The park is in Blacktown, which is about an hour from the city’s CBD. If you want to take a train, take the North Shore and Western line to Blacktown Station. When you arrive, look for bus stand E. Hop on the 729 bus for a 10-minute ride, which will drop you right outside Featherdale’s gates. If you aren’t sure where to go, there are plenty of station staff around to help you.
Like Taronga Zoo, Featherdale has both southern hairy-nosed and common (bare-nosed) wombats living there. However, the exciting thing about Featherdale is that you have an opportunity to meet the wombats! To have a wombat encounter in Sydney, you need to pay extra for a private animal encounter. I paid about $150 per ticket, on top of the price of admission.
While the animal encounters listed on the parks’ website vary, you can always reach out to the park ahead of your visit to see what you can purchase, per an official Trip Advisor post.
In 2018, I got to meet Fernando and my life changed forever.
Fernando’s mom was hit by a car when he was just a baby wombat in the pouch. He was rescued and brought to Featherdale to grow up safely. His primary carer was a big Abba fan, hence his name. I named my first stuffed wombat in his honor and every single one since has been a variation on the name. Fernan-dos, Fernan-tres, Fournando, Fivenando, etc.
Australian Reptile Park
You will need a car to see wombats at Australian Reptile Park, as it’s technically just a bit out of Sydney up on the Central Coast. However, it’s easily reachable whether you want to spend the entire day up there, or just an afternoon.
Despite its name, you can actually see lots of other animals in the park besides reptiles. When I visited, they had a beautiful Wombat named Hope who they took on a walk around the park! I got to pet her and she was very sweet.
Beendeela Recreation Area
This is the best place to see wombats in the wild in New South Wales. Sure, there are lots of other places you could go and maybe see a wombat. But, if you are on a short timeframe and want to see one (let’s be honest, you will see dozens) 100% guaranteed, go to Bendeela Recreation Reserve.
It’s a campground near Kangaroo Valley, just south of Sydney. You will need a car to visit Bendeela.
If you don’t have a car and still want to see wombats in the wild, you can take a wild wombat tour from Sydney with a tour company. Click here to buy tickets. I haven’t been, but the reviews are glowing.
I’ve been twice and both times I was overwhelmed by how many wombats I saw. They were everywhere.
The best time to see wombats at Bendeela is just before dusk. If you are not camping there, plan to arrive about an hour before sunset. It might take a while to see your first one, but as dusk draws nearer, more and more friends will start to emerge.
If the front campground is too busy, walk back past the bathrooms and through the pedestrian gate. The back field has plenty of wombat burrows. You’ll see them marked with fences and caution flags. You can also find burrows down by the river.
Remember, as cute as the wombats are, they are still wild animals. If you are near a burrow, don’t go up to it. Instead, stay back and give the wombat plenty of room to emerge safely. Never try to pet a wild wombat.
Important safety tip: When I worked for WIRES, I was in charge of installing wildlife warning signage on the roads of NSW. The area around Beendeela Recreation Area is a hotspot for road accidents with wildlife. Please, while visiting the area, especially around dawn and dusk, drive WELL BELOW the posted speed limit.
On both of my visits, I narrowly avoided hitting one of the wombats I was making a special visit to see, even while driving slowly. The wombats have terrible road safety skills and never look both ways, so we really have to watch out for them.
What to do if you see a sick or injured wombat
Per WIRES on injured wombats:
Please do not approach any injured adult wombats in the wild.
Instead, call the WIRES Rescue Office 1300 094 737 or fill in the Rescue Form. The rescue office is open 24/7 and will tell you what to do next.
If you have found a wombat that has recently been killed, perhaps hit by a car, please check for joeys. A joey is what we call a baby marsupial, like a wombat, kangaroo, or wallaby. Look inside the mother’s pouch and also in the surrounding area as the joey could have been bumped out of the pouch, or it may be hiding in nearby bushes.
When I worked for WIRES during my time in Sydney, many of the wombats we had in care were actually orphans rescued from road accidents. So checking pouches is very important!
If you find the joey please keep it in a warm, dark, quiet place (like wrapped in a towel or sheet in a ventilated carrier ) and contact WIRES immediately. As the joey will need immediate care, you can also transport it directly to your nearest vet, please still contact WIRES to let the team know which vet you are going to. This way, they can arrange for a carer to come to pick up the joey once it has been evaluated.
You might also encounter a wombat that looks like it has mange. Mange is a highly contagious skin condition caused by mites, resulting in itchy sores over a wombat’s body, fur loss, and eventual blindness. Mange is spreading across Australia and currently, around 90% of wombat populations have it, putting this species at risk.
If you see a wild wombat with dry skin or patchy fur, call WIRES immediately to report it. Take note of the wombat’s exact location and where on the body it is affected.
Best Places to see Wombats in Australia
Wanting to see wombats outside of NSW? No worries! I have found these sweet furry chonks all over the country. Here is where to find wombats in the wild.
Best places to see Wombats in Victoria
If you are taking a holiday in Victoria, you are likely to see wombats. The best place in Victoria to see wombats is in Wilson’s Promontory National Park. They are everywhere! Especially in the campground, so be sure to stay until dark to get a glimpse.
Best places to see Wombats in Tasmania
If you love wombats, you’ll love Tasmania as they are all over the place. Check out Cradle Mountain National Park or Maria Island for up-close encounters with these sweet creatures. The abundance of animals in the wild in Tasmania is the closest you’ll ever get to having a pet wombat.
Can you have a wombat as a pet?
No! Having a pet wombat is not only illegal in Australia (and most other countries!) but very harmful to the wombat and its overall health. Yes, I know we all dream of having a pet wombat, but if you really love wombats, you will leave them in the wild. If you see anyone advertising wombats for sale or asking to buy a wombat, either redirection them to conservation information or report the seller to the local police.
Do Australians eat wombats?
Nope! Although this is a valid question since Australians DO eat kangaroo and you will often see it sold at local supermarkets. However, Australians do not eat wombats.
How fast can a wombat run?
Wombats can run at speeds up to 40 kilometers per hour which is just under retired sprinter Usain Bolt’s fastest recorded speed. These little furballs are quite stocky, so if you see one sprinting your way, get out of the way! A wombat impact to the shins can cause some major damage.
Did I miss any of the best places to see Wombats in Sydney? Let me know and I’ll update the post.