Where 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.
Koalas in Noosa National Park, QLD:
Koala numbers have declined sharply in past decades but, luckily, they’re still relatively easy to find in Noosa National Park. It’s just a short walk from the town of Noosa Heads into the park, where a blackboard at the entrance will show you where koalas have been sighted recently. Spot them munching on the leaves of the eucalyptus trees that are their home and food source. And remember not to disturb them as they need a lot of sleep.
Kangaroos at Murramarang National Park, NSW:
Kangaroos are fairly common to see. But if you want to see a large population in a picturesque location, Pebbly Beach on the south coast of New South Wales is the place to go. The eastern grey kangaroos who live here are quite happy to be admired and photographed from a distance. You may have heard of Pebbly Beach as being the home of the surfing kangaroos. The myth started when a kangaroo was photographed in the low surf, probably after being chased there by a dog.
Emus at Exmouth, WA:
Exmouth is the gateway to Ningaloo Reef and known for its friendly emu population. The birds can be seen wandering the streets and walking through the town centre, as well as along the road between Exmouth and Coral Bay. Look out for them when driving and give them right of way. As with any wild animal, show them respect and do not feed them.
Platypuses at Bombala, NSW:
The Bombala region in the Snowy Mountains is known as Platypus Country. Its pristine rivers and streams are home to high numbers of platypuses. Just out of the town is Bombala Platypus Reserve, where a raised platform makes it easier to see the platypuses down below when they emerge in the early morning and late afternoon. Platypuses can stay underwater for up to 14 minutes – so be patient and quiet as you watch. You can also take the Bombala River Walk, which follows the river through Bombala and has a few good platypus viewing spots along the way.
Tasmanian Devils at The Tarkine, TAS:
Tasmanian Devils are not easy to spot in the wild. An aggressive cancer has sadly killed many of them, so they are growing rarer and rarer. The Tarkine is a huge reserve in northwest Tasmania with an incredibly diverse landscape of rainforest, sand dunes and coastal heathland. It is home to a wide range of wildlife, so even if you’re not lucky enough to see the nocturnal carnivores, you could spot platypuses, echidnas, wombats, bandicoots, possums, gliders and quolls. It’s a true wildlife destination.
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.