If you’re the kind of person who loves nothing more than seeing a wild animal in their natural environment, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve rounded up some of the best locations to see Australian animals in their native environments.
The quokka, Rottnest Island
Situated off the coast of Perth in Western Australia, Rottnest Island is a protected nature reserve that’s home to the quokka, a small, wallaby-like marsupial that’s been dubbed the happiest animal on the earth by the Huffington Post in 2012, thanks to their little smiling snouts and the hundreds of selfies the animal has been snapping with visitors to the island.
Australian Sea Lions, Kangaroo island
Kangaroo island is a safe haven for a colony of Australian sea lions. There are only around 15,000 Australian sea lions left in the wild and are now a species listed as needing special protection. Kangaroo Island lies off the mainland of South Australia, southwest of Adelaide. Kangaroo Island is also home to many kangaroos, echidnas, koalas and wallabies.
Turtles, Great Barrier Reef
The Great barrier Reef in Queensland is known for turtle sightings, as sea turtles are often found swimming in the warms waters off the coast. Of the seven marine turtles in the world, six are found in Australian waters such as the loggerhead, green, hawksbill, leatherback, Olive Ridley and flatback turtles. Nesting season is October to March, hatchlings emerge around January.
Whales, Hervey Bay
Hervey Bay is a coastal city in Southern Queensland that’s well-known for sightings of humpback whales. Every winter thousands of humpback whales make their way from Antarctic waters the warm ocean surrounding Queensland, eventually stopping in Hervey Bay to have their calves.
Crocodiles, Daintree Rainforest
The Daintree Rainforest in Queensland is one of the oldest surviving rainforests in the world and it’s home to many critters, most notably, salt water crocodiles. Join a boat tour through the swamps to get up close and personal. Darwin is another location in Australia for seeing crocodiles, as in the north there is an almost one-to-one ratio of crocs to people!
Penguins, Phillip Island
Phillip Island in Victoria is famous for its large colony of little penguins. At sunset you can watch them waddle from the sea to their hidey holes by the beach, just be sure to familiarize yourself with the island’s penguin-watching guidelines.
Tasmanian Devil, Tasmania
The Tasmanian devil is famous for its blood-curdling screams. It’s one of the world’s largest carnivorous marsupials and they can weigh up to 12kg. This nocturnal scavenger is unfortunately difficult to find in the wild as they are endangered, and shy away from human eyes. Your best bet to see a devil is by visiting one of the many wildlife sanctuaries in Tasmania. However, these little creatures live everywhere on the island, so you might be lucky to spot one in the bush on your trip.
Dingoes, Fraser Island
Dingoes are found throughout Australia, especially on Fraser Island. They are the top terrestrial predator on the mainland and they eat birds, mammals and retiles. You can catch a glimpse of a dingo on the island, which sits off the coast of Southern Queensland, along 75 Mile beach.
Echidnas, Cradle Mountain
Cradle Mountain in Tasmania is an excellent place to spot some echidnas. They’re visible at most times of the year and you can usually spot one rummaging through the brush by going for a walk through the Cradle Mountain National Park.
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