If, like me, you are animal crazy, I bet you are super excited to experience all of the amazing wildlife Australia has to offer. From deadly snakes and sharks, to super cute and cuddly koalas and quokkas, Australia has a number of unique animal encounters for you to check off your bucket list!
1) Take a selfie with a quokka on Rottnest Island
If you head over to Western Australia, make sure you plan a day trip to Rottnest Island to encounter the CUTEST animal in Australia, the quokka!
Despite being nocturnal, you will find quite a few quokkas out and about during the day. I would avoid the one’s near Thomson Bay as they can be a bit aggressive (too much sugar!), you will find some cute ones on the Kingsway path on the way to the Basin (see pin on map).
*Please remember not to touch or feed the quokkas*
2) Chill on the beach with some wild kangaroos
Australians love to go to the beach, and the most iconic Australian animal is no different! There are two places in Australia where you will commonly find wild kangaroos on the beach; Lucky Bay in Esperance (Western Australia) and Cape Hillsborough in Queensland.
For Cape Hillsborough you will need to go for sunrise to catch the kangaroos, and at Lucky Bay it will depend on the time of year. During the summer you will need to go around sunrise/sunset but around winter they will likely be on the beach all day.
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What do you call a lazy baby kangaroo? A pouch potato! 🦘🤣 :::: I want to use this post to say goodbye to this beautiful country I've called home for the last year. 🇦🇺 :::: Living and working in Sydney within walking distance of several beaches was an absolute dream! 🏖 :::: We chilled with kangaroos, watched the sunrise over uluru, saw 3 shows at the @sydneyoperahouse, swam with whale sharks in Exmouth, bathed in countless waterfalls, roadtripped the Great Ocean Road and hiked to some incredible viewpoints. But we never put another shrimp on the barbie 🦐🤣 so I guess we need to return! :::: If any of you have any questions about Australia, ask away! 😘🇦🇺 I’ve already answered a few in my stories 🥰 :::: TRAVEL TIP – We visited Lucky Bay at the end of April and the kangaroos were on the beach all day, I found that the best time to take a photo was before 9:30am as that's when there aren't as many cars/people. :::: Edited with my Golden Film Preset 🌟 :::: #esperance #luckybay #justanotherdayinwa #westernaustralia #seeaustralia #iamtb #naturegramy #speechlessplaces #sheisnotlost #awesomelifestyle
3) Swim with the biggest fish in the ocean: the whale shark
One of the most amazing things I have ever done! You can’t quite grasp the enormity of a whale shark until it’s swimming alongside you.
The Ningaloo reef in Western Australia is the most eco-friendly place in the world to swim with whale sharks, but it does not come cheap! All of the tour companies offer similar packages for around $400. I decided to book with Three Islands Whale Shark Dive as they offered complimentary photos (via email or onto your own USB), their own private spotter plane (some tour companies share one) and a good ‘no-show’ policy where you can get a free repeat tour or 50% refund.
I would recommend staying at least two nights in Exmouth if you want to swim with whale sharks. Whale shark season in Exmouth runs from March to August/September. If you’re not able to be in Western Australia during this season then you might want to look into swimming with Humpback Whales!
4) See a real life cuddly toy – the wombat!
A wombat looks like a mix between a cuddly toy, a guinea pig and a bear. They are incredibly cute and fairly easy to spot in the wild in Tasmania.
The best place to spot wombats in Tasmania is at Cradle Mountain (Ronny Creek car park) and on Maria Island.
If you’re at Cradle Mountain make sure you keep your eyes open for echidnas and wallabies!
5) Witness hundreds of turtles hatching
Although we missed the main hatching season in Exmouth (February/March), we had the chance to see one turtle hatchling making it to the sea, words can’t describe this magical experience! I can’t begin to imagine how it must be like during the hatching season!
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Australia day!🥳 . If we should choose the best moment we have had in Australia in 2018, Exmouth would win without any doubts! . Watching hundreds turtles coming to shore, mating and laying eggs on the beach was an experience we wont forget! . Some things you can’t put on your bucket list until you will get to live them through ♡ . Did you ever feel this way too? . . . . . . . ✄ – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – #australia #westernaustralia #exmouth #wildlife #australiagram #travelgram #traveling #traveller #travel #salty #beachday #seeaustralia #beachlife #summertime #summer #sheisnotlost #travelphotography #droneoftheday #outdoorstodolist #discoverearth #travelblogger #takemetoaustralia #wandermore #westisbest #justanotherdayinwa
6) Snorkel with sea turtles
Australia isn’t just a great place to see turtle hatchlings, but also to swim with turtles in the wild!
7) Spot some wild koalas
There is nothing quite like spotting animals in the wild, and seeing a cute koala all snuggled up in a tree definitely has to be one for your Australian bucket list!
They aren’t the easiest to spot as they are the same colour as the eucalyptus tree, they don’t move much and they are usually high up.
For your best chance to see koalas in the wild I would recommend going to Magnetic Island in Queensland, or the Great Ocean Road in Victoria.
8) Try not to get eaten by a crocodile
What I found crazy about Australia is the fact that some beaches have signs saying to be careful for crocodiles! In the north of Australia, there are quite a few places where you shouldn’t swim, just in case!
If you’re in North Queensland, a road trip up to Cape Tribulation is a must, here you’ll be able to go on a cruise up the Daintree and spot crocodiles! Darwin is also the perfect spot to see crocodiles.
9) Swim with a Great White Shark
Swimming with a great white shark is definitely the scariest thing to do in Australia, would you be able to brave your fears and take the plunge? If you want to tick this off your bucket list you will need to head to South Australia.
10) Walk in the shallows with baby sharks and rays
One of my most memorable days in Western Australia was hiring a kayak at Monkey Mia and kayaking over to the shark nursery in Francois Peron National Park. This part of the beach is only accessible by water so you might be able to have it all to yourself!
Along this stretch we were able to walk in the shallows spotting baby nervous sharks, shovel nose rays and sting rays!
11) Get close to the endangered Tasmanian Devil at an unzoo
Due to an aggressive strain of contagious cancer amongst the Tasmanian Devils, they are sadly gradually becoming more and more endangered. If you make a trip to Tasmania I definitely recommend a stop at the unzoo on the Tasman Peninsular. Due to the peninsular regulating the flow of wildlife, the Tasmanian Devils here are fortunately in full health.
12) Swim with sea lions
Easily the most interactive swimming companion, sea lions are just like underwater puppies and are extremely curious and playful! Have fun with them by blowing bubbles and doing somersaults under water. I spun around in the water and had a sea lion copy me! The best place to swim with sea lions is in Jurien Bay (Western Australia).
13) See wild dolphins in Monkey Mia
Australia is a haven for dolphins! I saw so many in the wild all over the country, but never in such proximity as the dolphins in Monkey Mia (Western Australia).
If you head to Monkey Mia in the morning (I recommend going for the 7:45am feed) you will be able to see a few dolphins in their natural habitat. Usually I wouldn’t promote places which feed/disrupt animal behaviours, but at Monkey Mia they only feed a couple of dolphins one fish every day so they won’t depend on it. It really is such a incredible experience seeing them from so close!
14) Feed some rainbow lorikeets
Australia is full of some incredible birds, from the strange looking Ibis (nick-named the bin bird) to the beautifully coloured rainbow lorikeets, to the laughing kookaburras!
I was lucky enough to feed some rainbow lorikeets on Magnetic island, I had about 5 land on me! Just head to Bungalow Bay Koala Village at 16:15 to join in the fun!
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Developing friendcheeps in Australia 🇦🇺🤣 :::: How beautiful are these rainbow lorikeets? 🌈 Head over to the Bungalow Bay Koala Village in Magnetic Island at 16:15 to feed them! :::: I had a funny first encounter whilst trying to get a selfie – swipe for more (please excuse my horrible high pitched voice 🤣 I was so surprised!) :::: What’s the funniest encounter you’ve had with an animal? I was also once licked on the face by a giraffe🦒 :::: #magneticisland #rainbowlorikeets #bungalowbaykoalavillage #exploretnq #queensland #visitqueensland #sheisnotlost #dametraveler
15) Find the illusive Cassowary in Tropical North Queensland
The southern cassowary is now listed as endangered in Australia, with scientists estimating only around 1500 cassowaries being left in the wild. Therefore they are getting increasingly hard to spot, I wasn’t fortunate enough to see any in the wild but I have some friends who did.
I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy all of these animal encounters in Australia bar two, and growing up watching Jaws, I’m not sure I’ll ever be brave enough to jump into water with a great white shark!
I hope you have an amazing time with the most incredible wildlife of Australia!
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