Where to See Australia’s Wildlife in the Wild

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One thing I love about Australia is the abundance of wildlife. Spotting all the funny and fluffy animals has become one of my favorite pastime in here in Australia.

Here are my tips where to see Australia’s wildlife in the wild!


australia wildlife kangaroo

Kangaroo

Kangaroo is probably the first animal that comes in mind then talking about Australian wildlife. There is approximately 34 million kangaroos in Australia so it so it goes without saying that they are not very hard to find. Especially if you are driving you rather not see kangaroos since they have bad habit jumping on the roads just in front of you.

If you want to meet some roos that are human friendly and don’t jump away when you try to take close pictures or selfies, it is possible at least in these places:

  • Jervis Bay, ACT – Especially around Booderee National Park.
  • Diamond Head National Park, NSW. 
  • Arakoon National Park, NSW. 

australia wildlife koala

Koala

Koala is one of the most iconic animals of Australia. Most of the time these fluffy grey fur balls sit on the branches of eucalyptus trees and sleep. I learned when visiting the Koala Hospital in Port Macquarie that Koalas sleep about 20 hours a day and eat four. I have seen wild koalas in:

  • Noosa National Park, QLD – Take some of the walks around the National Park and keep your eyes on the trees.
  • Great Ocean Road, VIC – There is plenty of opportunities to see koalas in the Great Ocean Road, especially in the Cape Otway National Park. When you drive the road to the Lighthouse, look up to the trees and you will most certainly see koalas. The population of koalas in this area has grown so large that it’s causing problems to the ecosystem of the area.
  • Tower Hill, VIC –Tower Hill Nature Reserve is located about 15 kilometers West from Warrnambool. There is a lot of wildlife in this area including koalas, we took the lava tongue boardwalk and saw 6 koalas on the way.

Also Magnetic Island (QLD) is popular place to spot koalas.


australia wildlife wombat

Wombat

Wombats are my favorite animals in Australia. These cute, chunky, short-legged creatures can run as fast as 40km/h even though you wouldn’t believe it from their appearance. They have big claws for digging and they live under ground in the burrows and tunnels they have created. Like many Australian animals, wombats are nocturnal and the best chances of seeing them is during dusk and dawn when they crawl out from their burrows. I have seen wombats in:

  • Ronny Creek, Cradle Mountain, TAS – There is a lot of wombats in Ronny Creek area at Cradle Mountain. These wombats are quite used to people so you can get really close to them.
  • Kangaroo Valley, NSW – Kangaroo Valley is about two hours South from Sydney. There is one free campsite in the Valley and after dark there is heaps of wombats strolling around the park.
  • Wilsons Promontory National Park,VIC – There is plenty of wombats in this national park. We managed to see few strolling around Mount Bishop just after sunset and more on the roadside when it was already dark.

I have heard that Narawntapu National Park (TAS) is also good place to spot wombats.


australia wildlife platypus

Platypus

This unique creature is one of the hardest ones to see in the wild cause they are nocturnal and generally shy. Luckily, I know a perfect place where you can almost certainly spot a platypus – Deloraine River in Tasmania. There is a family of eight platypuses living in the river and because the river is located in the middle of the town the platypuses are used to sounds and are not shy at all.


Read More: 5 Places to Go in Tasmania 


echidna australia wildlife

Echidna

Echidnas are found all over Australia but the ones I have seen have been in Cradle Mountain in Tasmania, Otway near the Great Ocean Road and in Wilsons Promontory National Park in Victoria.


australia wildlife cassowary

Cassowary

Cassowaries look like giant turkeys wearing a helmet. They live in Northern Queensland and the one in the picture we saw on our way to Nandroya Falls (west from Innisfail). As we know, Australia is home of many dangerous animals and unsurprisingly Cassowary is the most dangerous bird in the world – if it feels threatened, it will attack you. Cassowaries are endangered and not that easy to find, but if you happen to see one I suggest to keep your distance.


australia wildlife emu

Emu

I have heard that there is a lot of emus in the outback, but if you are staying close to the coast Tower Hill (VIC) is good place for spotting emus. We also saw a lot of emus when driving in South Australia.


australia wildlife dolphin

Dolphins & Whales

There is plenty of dolphins living near the Australian coast. If you spend a lot of time on the beaches in the east coast, especially between Yamba and Agnes Waters, it is hard to miss them. Dolphins are keen surfers so you usually find them from the surf beaks. I don’t have very good pictures of dolphins because almost every time I see them I’m in the water. Pippi Beach in Yamba and beaches around Byron are good places for dolphin spotting. If you want to get closer, grab a surfboard and paddle out – Sometimes they come really close to you and play around. If you are lucky you might even catch a party wave with them!

Whale migrating season on the East Coast is from May to November. You can book whale watching tours from various locations, Hervey Bay being probably the most popular one. If you are broke or just don’t want to go on a tour, you can also do whale watching from the land. Although, usually they swim quite far. Byron Bay Lighthouse is good spot for whale watching. I have also seen a lot of whales from Brunswick Heads, which is about 10km North from Byron Bay.


In addition to these there is a lot more interesting animals to be found, like possums, various reptiles and different birds, but these you can see all around Australia.

australia wildlife possum

australia's wildlife python

australia's wildlife kookaburra

If you have some good tips for wildlife spotting in Australia, please share in the comments. 🙂


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australia's wildlife in the wild

Australia's Wildlife in the Wild

 

11 Responses

  1. Awesome post, I didn’t know about the wombats in NSW! I thought you could only really see them in Tasmania (not that they’re not anywhere else, just hard to spot lol).

    Another couple of great spots are Cape Hillsborough for kangaroos on the beach at sunrise and Broken River in Eungella park for platypuses, both near Mackay. 🙂 I was really surprised by that whole area!

    You got really lucky with wildlife though! I didn’t see a platypus that close up, or any (live) echidnas. Even went to Etty Bay (supposed to be the best place to find cassowaries) and missed one by ten minutes! Haha.

  2. Helena this is a great post! In fact we just launched a wildlife spotting app in order to help users find places to go based on real time wildlife sightings. Check it out and let us know what you think http://wildlifespottingapp.com/

  3. Lauren says:

    This is outstanding! I love playing with animals but only when I’m certain they’re being treated properly… Checking out from a safe distance isn’t bad either 😉.

    • helenatravels says:

      Cool 😀 I don’t really like the idea keeping animals in captivity. Luckily in here there is the whole zoo out there in the nature!

  4. Wow! The wildlife in Australia looks so amazing 🙂 I miss this in Europe so much!!

  5. What a great post. I have been thinking of doing something similar but never quite got around to it. Can I add a few suggestions. Koalas – there is a small island, called Raymond Island in Victoria reached by a two minute ferry. You cannot fail to see koalas there. Platypus – If Tasmania isn’t on your itinerary then go to Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve in the ACT. Try not to go on a hot day – ask as the Visitor Centre where the platypus ponds are. You will also see a large number of kangaroos there and emus if you are lucky.

  1. July 20, 2016

    […] Where to see Australia’s Wildlife in the Wild […]

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