Exploring Australia’s Unique Wildlife: Top Animals to See

Exploring Australia’s Unique Wildlife: Top Animals to See

Exploring Australia’s Unique Wildlife: Top Animals to See – Australia’s unique and diverse wildlife is a significant draw for nature enthusiasts worldwide. From the endearing quokka to the elusive platypus, Australia’s fauna offers unforgettable encounters. This guide highlights the top animals you must see while exploring Australia’s wildlife, based on insights and research from Audley Travel.


Exploring Australia’s Unique Wildlife: Top Animals to See

Quokkas, often called the “happiest animals on Earth” due to their cheerful expressions, are incredibly popular among visitors. According to Audley Travel specialist Tom Pegram, quokkas’ grinning faces and inquisitive nature make them engaging and photogenic.

Predominantly found in the southwest region of Australia, Rottnest Island, off the coast of Perth, is the prime spot to see them. Despite being nocturnal, quokkas on Rottnest Island are often active during the day because of the absence of predators, providing excellent opportunities for observation.


Exploring Australia’s Unique Wildlife: Top Animals to See

Koalas are another quintessential Australian animal, easily recognisable by their fluffy ears and calm demeanour. To protect their well-being, it’s best to avoid experiences that involve direct contact, such as hugging. Instead, visit Kangaroo Island in South Australia, where you can see koalas in their natural habitat.

Observing these marsupials in the wild provides a more authentic and respectful experience. Kangaroo Island is home to a large population of koalas, often found resting in eucalyptus trees. Guided wildlife tours offer the chance to learn about their behaviour, diet, and conservation efforts. The island’s diverse ecosystem also supports other wildlife, making it a must-visit for animal lovers.


Wombats are robust marsupials known for their impressive burrowing abilities and surprising speed. “As wombats are primarily nocturnal, one of the best ways to see them is first thing in the morning, when they’re sleepy and moving at a slower pace,” says Tom Pegram. The full list of the top 10 most popular Australian wildlife species can be found on Audley Travels website, helping inspire your trip here.

Visit Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge in Tasmania to catch a glimpse of these fascinating creatures as they wander the trails at dawn. Wombats are solitary and territorial animals, often creating extensive burrow systems. Understanding their nocturnal habits can increase your chances of spotting them. Tasmania’s wilderness areas, such as Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, offer guided tours that focus on wombat sightings and the unique flora and fauna of the region.


The platypus, with its duck-bill and webbed feet, is one of Australia’s most unusual and fascinating animals. These egg-laying mammals are elusive and shy, making them a rare but rewarding sight. Tasmania and Queensland are among the best places to spot platypuses in rivers and streams, where they are more commonly found.


No visit to Australia would be complete without seeing kangaroos in their natural habitat. These iconic animals are a symbol of the country and can be found in various regions. Kangaroo Island is aptly named for its significant population of kangaroos, providing a fantastic opportunity to observe them up close in the wild.

Tasmanian Devil

The Tasmanian devil, known for its fierce temperament and distinctive screech, is a unique carnivorous marsupial native to Tasmania. Conservation efforts are crucial for the survival of this species, which faces significant threats. Visiting wildlife sanctuaries and reserves in Tasmania is the best way to see Tasmanian devils and learn about ongoing conservation efforts.


Emus, Australia’s largest birds, are notable for their towering height and powerful legs. These flightless birds can be seen in various parts of the country, often in open grasslands and forests. Their curious nature makes encounters with emus memorable, as they frequently approach humans out of curiosity.


The cassowary, a striking bird found in the tropical rainforests of northern Australia, is known for its vibrant blue and black plumage and helmet-like casque. Cassowaries play a crucial role in the ecosystem by dispersing seeds. While spotting a cassowary in the wild is rare and thrilling, visitors should exercise caution as these birds can be aggressive when threatened.


Echidnas, or spiny anteaters, are unique for their spines and burrowing habits. These egg-laying mammals are found throughout Australia in diverse habitats, from forests to deserts. National parks and wildlife reserves are excellent places to observe echidnas foraging for insects and other small invertebrates.


Wallabies, smaller relatives of kangaroos, are equally fascinating to observe. They inhabit a variety of environments across Australia, including forests, grasslands, and coastal regions. Wallabies are particularly active during dawn and dusk, making these times ideal for spotting them in the wild. Their gentle nature and smaller size make them a delightful sight for wildlife enthusiasts.


Australia’s unique wildlife offers an unparalleled experience for nature lovers. Each animal on this list provides a glimpse into the country’s natural beauty and ecological significance. By visiting these incredible creatures in their natural habitats, you not only enjoy unforgettable encounters but also contribute to the conservation efforts that protect these species for future generations.

This guide, informed by research from Audley Travel, ensures that your Australian adventure includes some of the most cherished wildlife encounters. Whether it’s the smiling quokkas or the majestic kangaroos, Australia’s fauna promises a remarkable and enriching experience. Happy wildlife spotting!

Poppy Watt

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