10 Best Places To Visit In Australia For Animal Experiences
Experience Australia’s wild islands, lush rainforests and wetlands full of rare species unique to this geographically isolated nation! Cuddle with kangaroos or dive in with whale sharks! You’re bound to encounter something exotic here!
Visit the Flinders Ranges to spot red-feathered birds of paradise and yellow-footed rock wallabies; on Port Lincoln’s beaches you may also spot endangered Australian sea lions.
Kangaroos are among Australia’s most beloved creatures, making an impactful statement about life on this continent. Their hind legs act like springs that convert energy to movement at an incredible rate allowing them to hop between food sources and water reservoirs with speed.
Find these herbivorous animals across Australia, but a great place to see them would be at a wildlife sanctuary that prioritizes animal welfare and ethical interactions – Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary provides visitors with an ideal opportunity for feeding and petting kangaroos safely in a controlled environment.
Join a tour of Kangaroo Island for an unforgettable wildlife encounter, where you can spot quokkas on Rottnest Island, watch kangaroos cluster together as the sun rises and sets over Cape Hillsborough National Park, meet echidnas resembling more porcupines than platypuses, with long darting tongues ideal for sucking up insects such as ants and termites, or meet echidnas with long darting tongues designed specifically to slurp up insects!
Koalas are among the most beloved Australian creatures, known for their adorable faces and comfortable sleepers in Eucalyptus trees. Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary of Brisbane hosts one of the world’s largest populations, and entry tickets help fund native animal research and welfare.
For an up-close experience with wild koalas, head to Mikkira Station on Eyre Peninsula. Australian Wildlife Journeys’ Kangaroo Island in Style trip takes travelers here for an exclusive koala experience amidst a private property with a high concentration of koalas residing. Take a stroll along its trail while keeping an eye out for these cute bearded felines lounging high above in their treetop homes!
Lighthouse Road in Cape Otway may also offer the chance of seeing koala sightings if you visit early morning or at sunset when they’re most active, while chances of sighting koalas at Grassdale in Kelly Hill Conservation Park and Black Swamp in Flinders Chase National Park should also increase significantly.
FNQ Nature Tours’ canoe tours on Lake Elizabeth at Great Otway National Park provide an excellent chance for seeing these mysterious animals (they claim a 95% success rate!). With them comes an excellent opportunity for sighting the legendary platypus!
Healesville Sanctuary in Melbourne’s Yarra Valley Wine Region provides unique animal encounters, such as feeding kangaroos and wading with platypuses – these activities are very popular so make sure to book in advance to secure your spot!
Port Lincoln in South Australia’s Seafood Frontier is an exceptional place to see whales, dolphins, sea lions and rare tammar wallabies, as well as subspecies of echidna. Kangaroo Island also provides ample opportunity for wildlife sightings from shore – rare tammar wallabies can often be spotted along its beaches while rare subspecies of echidna can also be spotted on its inland sand dunes.
4. Whale Sharks
Swimming with Whale Sharks in Western Australia is an unforgettable adventure that should not be missed. Join a tour from Exmouth to Ningaloo Reef, a fringing coral reef located approximately 20km north of Perth, between March and July for a remarkable encounter with these massive beasts as they feast upon its nutrient-rich coral spawning site. You will also encounter tropical fish shoals and turtles at this UNESCO World Heritage-listed site.
Kangaroo Island offers incredible wildlife encounters, especially its waddling little penguin parade. Koalas, emus and rock wallabies found here include Crimson Mallee Wallabies (crimson mallee and yellow-footed rock wallabies). On FNQ Nature Tour’s Tablelands and Crater Lakes day tour (where Platypus are often present), visitors can spot them among other birds, roos and birds! You may also get lucky enough to spot Platypus on Lake Barrine (an open freshwater lagoon).
5. Fur Seals
An Australian vacation isn’t complete without seeing mobs of kangaroos graze on open grasslands, fuzzy koalas slumber under eucalyptus trees and unique platypus wading along rivers and lakes – or joining one of Victoria’s Yarra Valley Wine Region tours like Healesville Sanctuary to hand feed kangaroos and wade alongside platypus for an unforgettable animal encounter! Join one such as that offered at Healesville Sanctuary located within Victoria’s Yarra Valley Wine Region tour for unforgettable animal encounters with both creatures! Join tours like Healesville Sanctuary located within Victoria’s Yarra Valley Wine Region tour which gives guests the chance to hand-feed kangaroos while wade alongside these unique creatures like no other tour provider can!
Phillip Island is an excellent wildlife destination, featuring some of the cutest Australian creatures such as penguins that take part in its nightly Penguin Parade on beaches at sunset. Furthermore, Phillip Island hosts one of the country’s largest colonies of fur seals which can be spotted frolicking near Seal Rocks on its southern tip – considered marine sentinels and helping monitor ecosystem health!
6. Daintree Rainforest
Australia may have a reputation as a dusty desert continent, but Queensland’s mix of tropical waters and rainforests support an abundance of wildlife. You might see musky rat-kangaroos scampering through the rainforest floor or golden orb spiders weavers spinning webs – not forgetting Cairns Birdwing and Ulysses butterflies at the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary located near Kuranda village!
Get up close with Australia’s wildlife with a tour of Daintree Rainforest Wildlife Centre, an animal conservation centre which recreates ecosystems where many of these creatures reside in nature, teaching guests about their habits and habitat. Go behind-the-scenes to meet koalas, wallabies or Eclectus parrots! Additionally, Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures provides an exciting chance to spot our most iconic reptile; take river or lagoon boat tours and spot these iconic beasts basking alongside you!
7. Kakadu National Park
Kakadu National Park in Australia’s Northern Territory is an outstanding example of natural wonder and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, featuring impressive wetlands, exotic animals and ancient Aboriginal rock art. Located about 400 km southwest of Darwin, it makes up part of one of Australia’s greatest UNESCO sites.
Start exploring some of Kakadu National Park’s iconic sites from Darwin with a scenic flight. On board you’ll spot waterholes, rivers and gorges that would otherwise be inaccessible by land.
Visit Baird Bay early spring for an aquatic experience, making friends with Australian sea lions and dolphins. After that, head on over to Njulbitjlk Beach in Njulbitjlk to witness flatback turtles lay their eggs. Additionally, don’t miss Ubirr Aboriginal rock art gallery, considered among the finest examples worldwide, located near Nourlangie. A visit here should definitely top any Kakadu experience list!
8. Ningaloo Reef
Ningaloo Reef may not be as famous as its more-famous counterpart, the Great Barrier Reef; however, one of its stars attractions – whale sharks – are sure to leave an impressionful memory on you and will no doubt share tales about this once-in-a-lifetime experience with future generations. Swimming with these gentle giants whose mouths seem cartoonishly enormous is truly unforgettable and you’ll cherish every second spent swimming alongside these aquatic giants with cartoonishly large mouths for years after.
Ningaloo Reef’s shallow waters create an ideal deep-sea habitat that attracts marine life, drawing divers into its Labyrinth dive site. Here you’ll find white tips napping in caves and crayfish creeping over staghorn coral bommies; manta rays glide by, along with schools of fusilier, octopus, sweet lips, goatfish and rabbitfish. Among many pelagic species like bottlenose dolphins and humpback whales which visit seasonally; dugongs also roam these waters – beware naturally shy dugongs, as they’re relatives of manatees!
9. Mary River
Experiences such as swimming alongside whale sharks in Hervey Bay or diving with Great Whites off of Port Lincoln can be truly memorable experiences. Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary – perfect for cuddling koalas and viewing sea lions – and Lucky Beach on Sunshine Coast also provide excellent opportunities to encounter these magnificent marine animals up close and personal.
The World Heritage-listed Daintree Rainforest is home to some of the highest biodiversity levels in Australia and an amazing environment in which to see exotic bird of paradise and cassowaries by day, tree-kangaroos by night (the only kind that can climb trees!), as well as guaranteed sightings of crocodiles (or Australia Zoo’s Crocoseum in Brisbane for a show with an educational mission!). Don’t miss a cruise along its mangrove-lined river for guaranteed croc sightings or visit Australia Zoo’s Crocoseum in Brisbane for an entertaining croc show with conservation messages!
Quokkas, Australia’s smallest marsupials, are adorable and unafraid of humans. They reside on Rottnest Island’s idyllic turquoise waters and white-sand beaches – ideal for exploring on bicycle or via ferry from Fremantle.
10. Montague Island
Montague Island, situated within NSW’s Eurobodalla region and within close distance from Narooma, is renowned for whale and seal watching and seal encounters. As part of a heritage-listed lighthouse island nature reserve and wildlife sanctuary it provides stunning ocean vistas.
It serves as the breeding grounds for three species of shearwaters and hosts a large colony of little penguins. Furthermore, it hosts both Australian and New Zealand fur seal bachelor colonies during certain months.
Island of Ocracoke is a year-round attraction with boat tours providing swimming with seals and bird watching activities as well as whale observation during spring migration. Stay at either the lighthouse keeper’s cottage or assistant’s cottage for an unforgettable stay; fishing trips are available to catch kingfish, yellow fin tuna and marlin for unforgettable fishing trips!