Australia seems to have developed a reputation for housing some of the most frightening animals in the world. But we also share our country with countless adorable native creatures too!
These animals can live a pretty tough life, continually staving off predators, including that infamous drop bear! But they’re still sneaking around, some with the help of committed conservationists who work very hard to maintain habitats and care for sick and injured wildlife. Australia’s animals are genuinely unique, having developed quirky characteristics that assist them to survive in this diverse yet harsh climate. In this article, we’ll look at Australia’s famed native animals, celebrate their diversity and see where can view them in their natural habitat.
Quokkas must be the friendliest and happiest little creatures on earth! They’re small, but they definitely aren’t shy, and will gladly hop into your selfie to steal the show. Most of Australia’s Quokka population live on Rottnest Island, just off Perth’s coast in Western Australia. They’re nocturnal animals, so the best chance of seeing them is in the late afternoon or evening. Just note that the Western Australian government has classified the Quokka as ‘vulnerable, so you aren’t allowed to touch or pet these little balls of fluff. But you certainly can enjoy their perennially smiling faces!
Wombats are big meandering marsupial boulders which feast on vegetation who love a good burrow. You can spot the common, bare nosed wombat around the Ronny Creek area of Cradle Mountain in Tasmania, or near Kangaroo Valley, which isn’t far from Sydney. Unfortunately, the northern hairy-nosed wombat is critically endangered, and small colonies now live in just two areas of Queensland where local rangers diligently protect them.
We couldn’t compile this list without mentioning the cute, cuddly and very sleepy koalas. Tourists and locals alike can find koalas in many of Australia’s national parks including Noosa National Park, on Magnetic Island in Queensland and Otway National Park in Victoria. Keep an eye out for them curled up and wedged in the fork of a Eucalyptus tree for a midday nap.
Echidna’s may be very spiky, but they sure are lovable! Short-beaked echidnas live all over Australia, and can usually be seen snuffling for termites in the national parks of East Gippsland in Victoria, in the Cradle Mountain area of Tasmania and on Flinders Island and Kangaroo Island. Echidna’s are notoriously shy and will curl up into a little spiky ball if they feel threatened, so be sure not to get too close!
Wallabies are the Kangaroo’s smaller, much less intimidating cousin. While kangaroos are one of Australia’s most iconic animals, we would call them majestic sooner than cute. Wallabies, on the other hand, only grow to about one meter tall and exude a cuteness that’s captivating, especially amongst the joeys. There are many different species of wallabies roaming across several different locations around Australia. See rock wallabies at Geoffrey Bay on Magnetic Island (off the North Queensland coast), and red-necked wallabies in Freycinet National Park in Tasmania.
Fairy penguins, also known as little penguins, are one of Australia’s most incredible native creatures. Many would presume that Australia’s climate would be much too hot for penguins, but not these tiny flightless birds! Watch the penguin parade on Phillip Island, just off the coast of Melbourne, as the entire colony emerge from the ocean in the evening, and waddle endearingly back to their warm burrows on land.
Our list could go on! There are plenty more charming and delightful Australian animals including the elusive platypus, magnificent sugar gliders, pademelons and sea lions! We’re spoilt for choice when it comes to exotic wildlife here in Australia.
Do you want to immerse yourself in Australia’s unique flora and fauna? Adagold Luxe creates custom holiday itineraries to exclusive luxury locations, focusing on experience and comfort. From the vast wilderness of the Kimberley’s to Australia’s red centre, we can organise a holiday concentrated on experiencing Australia’s astounding wildlife at its liveliest. Contact us today to begin your ultimate Australian adventure!