Australia’s Native Animals

Dingos on Fraser Island

Australia is known for its koalas and kangaroos but did you know we have many other unique animals too?

You will find native animals like kangaroos, koalas and wallabies throughout our country but it’s some of our most unusual creatures that are the rareist of all.

If you’re lucky you may get to see these animals in their natural environment but don’t forget to check out our zoos and wildlife parks too.

Discovering Australia’s animals is one of the highlights for many visitors to our country.

Dingoes, Numbats, Quolls, Bilby’s and Tasmanian Devils

Australia’s mammalian wildlife is unique from the rest of the world. The dingo, or wild dog, is our largest carnivorous mammal, while the numbat, quoll and Tasmanian devil are much smaller.

Quolls are endangered and often difficult to spot in the wild, but love the damp forests of southeastern Australia and Tasmania, and a small parts of northern Queensland.

Numbats are found only in Western Australia and the Tasmanian Devil can only be seen in wildlife parks or in the Tasmanian wilderness. The bilby can be found in Francois Peron National Park in Western Australia.

Dingoes can be found all around Australia, except for Tasmania.  The best places to spot them include Queensland’s Fraser Island and anywhere in ‘The Outback’ such as the Kimberleys in Western Australia and the deserts regions of the Northern Territory and South Australia.

Kangaroos, Wallabies and Koalas

Australia Koala

Australia has more than 140 species of marsupials such as kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, and wombats.  We have 55 different native species of kangaroos and wallabies which vary greatly in size and weight and colour.  Kangaroos and wallabies will be seen in most areas of Australia.

Contrary to popular thought, most people are surprised to learn that our native koala is not a bear although affectionately known as ‘drop bears’.  Koalas live in areas heavily forested with eucalyptus gum trees and can be found across most southern states of Australia.

The wombat is one of our little-known native creatures.  A cute, chubby little animal that lives in a burrow is often found in the National Parks in the Blue Mountains in New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.

Birdlife of Australia

Jabiru at Fogg Dam Northern Territory

We have over 800 species of birds in Australia, many of which are unique to our continent.

Kookaburras and kingfishers are found across Australia.  There are 55 species of parrots in Australia, including a spectacular variety of cockatoos, rosellas, lorikeets, cockatiels, parakeets and brightly coloured budgerigars which are often seen in rural and urban areas.

Australia bird sanctuaries are some of the most spectacular places to visit where you will see a range of birds from tiny honeyeaters to the large, flightless emu and cassowaries of tropical Queensland rainforests.    Fogg Dam is home to brolgas, jabirus and royal spoonbills and other rare birds found only in the Northern Territory.

In the southern parts of Australia you’ll find penguins.  Make sure you visit Kangaroo Island  in South Australia or Phillip Island in Victoria for this extraordinary experience.

Platypus and Echidna

Egg-laying mammals or monotremes are also one of the rare species found in Australia.

The most scarcely seen is the platypus, a river-dwelling animal with a bill like a duck, a furry waterproof body and webbed feet.  Platypus’ live in burrows, dug into the banks of rivers.  They’re difficult to spot, but look for them in small streams and waterways in the National Parks of Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.

The echidna, otherwise known as the spiny anteater, is another of Australia’s unique creatures. It has a prickly coat like a hedgehog or porcupine – so don’t try to pick one up!

Venomous Snakes, Crocodiles, Lizards and Turtles

Australia has more deadliest snakes than any other continent with 21 of the world’s 25 most venomous!

We are famous for our crocodiles.  The freshwater crocodile (commonly called a ‘freshie’) is found nowhere else in the world, and the estuarine crocodile (also known as the saltwater crocodile) are the two species found in Australia. The Kimberley, Kakadu National Park and Darwin are prime places to see crocodiles in their natural habitat.

Six of the seven species of marine turtles in the world, can be found here in Australia including the flatback turtle, green turtle, hawksbill turtle, leatherback turtle, loggerhead turtle and olive ridley turtle.  Bundaberg in Queensland, Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia and Eco Beach in Broome are the best places to see turtles.

Australia has an amazing array of lizards, ‘dragons’ and goannas (monitor lizards), such as the spectacular frilled-neck lizard and bearded dragon. Thorny devils can be found in the Northern Territory and Western Australia’s desert habitats.

Coral reefs, Whales and Dugong and Dolphins

Heart Reef - Great Barrier Reef

World Heritage-listed, the Great Barrier Reef is one of greatest marine environments.  We have the world’s largest coral reef system hosting brightly coloured fish and around 1,700 different species of living coral.

You must swim with our largest sea creatures, it’s an amazing experience!

Go whale watching along the east coast of Australia as they’re migrating north along the Great Barrier Reef.

Take the chance to snorkel with gentle whale sharks on Ningaloo Reef for the opportunity of a lifetime or head to Monkey Mia in Western Australia to swim with the dolphins.

Australia has so many magnificent creatures that are native to this great southern land.  There’s a good chance you’ll see many of them in the wild during your visit although, they probably won’t be hopping down the main street of Sydney!

Enjoy the Australian experience, love the adventure and take plenty of photos to show off to family and friends back home!  Don’t forget #braggie is the latest Instagram & Twitter trend!

What did you see on your trip Down Under?  What was your favourite experience?  Drop me a note to share your story.
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