5 places to spot Australian animals in the wild
No matter how well they are looked after in captivity, a wild animal's needs can only be fully met in their wild environment. And there’s no more special or exciting way to see them.
Wombats in Kangaroo Valley, NSW:
Just two hours south of Sydney, Bendeela in Kangaroo Valley is the ideal place to see wombats. Set up camp at the Bendeela Recreation Area and wait for dusk when the wombats – nocturnal creatures – are known to come out from their burrows and graze on the grass of the campground. Make sure to be as quiet as possible and keep your distance so as not to frighten them.
Cassowaries at Mission Beach, QLD:
The cassowary is a magnificent black bird with a bright cobalt blue head. Mission Beach, between Townsville and Cairns, is home to the highest density of cassowaries in Australia. You can see them at dawn and dusk walking through fields, crossing roads and passing through resorts and locals’ gardens around Mission Beach. Be careful in cassowary territory – they can be dangerous. In addition to not approaching cassowaries or their chicks, the Environmental Protection Agency suggests you slow down when driving in areas where cassowaries live, and never stop your car on the road to look at them. It’s also dangerous and illegal to feed cassowaries.
Quokkas on Rottnest Island, WA:
Quokkas are a type of small wallaby native to Rottnest Island off the coast of Perth. Between 10,000 and 12,000 quokkas live on the island, so you have a good chance to see them. Visit in early spring and you could even see joeys!
Crocodiles in Kakadu National Park, NT:
There are 10,000 crocodiles in Kakadu, and you can spot them safely from the viewing platforms at Cahills Crossing and Yellow Water. The end of the dry season (August to November) is the best time to go as the crocs will be more concentrated in the shrinking water bodies. Depending on the weather and the time of day you might see them warming in the sun or keeping cool in shade or the water.
Dingoes on Fraser Island, QLD:
Fraser Island off the coast of Queensland has some of the purest dingoes in eastern Australia and is probably the best place to see a dingo in the wild. There are between 25 and 30 dingo families on the island. Unlike throughout the rest of Australia, dingoes are protected as wildlife in Queensland national parks – that means they are left free to roam, hunt and live as wild animals. It’s important to follow the safety precautions, such as locking away all food items, keeping children close by you and cleaning up your rubbish. When watching dingoes, stay a safe distance away and avoid making loud noises.
Remember that all these animals are wild animals. Their behaviour is unpredictable, and you should always keep a safe distance and avoid approaching them.
Enjoy experiencing Australia’s beautiful wild animals in the wild where they belong.