mob of ruly 'roos in Hall's Gap reserve, Grampian Highlands.
Click on the image for more Australia Animal Pictures
Photos and Information: Melbourne
| Sydney | Uluru
Travel Guide |
is blessed with a collection of totally unique and bizarre animals
that any traveller would want to see, and quite a few that a
traveller would prefer to avoid. But, unfortunately, Australia
animals are not that easy for tourists to find.
of the best places to see wildlife are - naturally - off the
beaten track and mostly predator-free (e.g. dingoes and foxes).
The southerly island of Tasmania
hums with wallabies, possums, wombats and Tasmanian devils,
though the weather is chilly for Australia and a flight will
Kangaroo Island, 13kms off the
coast near Adelaide and accessible by car ferry is home to kangaroos
and even platypus in Flinders Chase National Park and wallabies,
echidnas (a kind of hedgehog), possums, koalas, goannas (big
lizards), sea lions, fur seals and penguins in different locations.
Plenty of birds too, and whales in season (June-September).
kangaroos mostly live in the outback, a massive area
a long way off the normal tourist route. Even then kangaroos
generally rest up during the heat of the day, feeding at night,
so the first sight of one might be in the headlights of your
bus as your driver applies emergency braking.
On a quick two or three week trip taking in the country's prime
tourist targets - Sydney, Cairns, Uluru and perhaps Melbourne
the average joe is very unlikely to stumble across an average
joey (joey = a baby kangaroo).
However, Anglesea Golf Course, just off the Great Ocean Road
(near Melbourne) is famous for hosting some remarkably relaxed
(small kangaroos) seem to be more urban and less nervous animals
than most 'roos and may be spotted lurking around quiet suburbs
of small towns or standing by the road chewing a leaf wondering
whether to hop in front of your shiny new rental.
too are not that easy to find since they're well camouflaged
and spend 18 hours a day up a gum tree asleep, the rest of it
moving little more than their leaf chewing apparatus.
Of Australia's 400 or so varieties of Eucalyptus koalas enjoy
only four, and those are found near the sea, so sharp eyes on
a coastal road such as the Great Ocean Road between Lorne and
Apollo Bay will yield sightings - first wait for koala road
warning signs, then look for fat, furry blobs in eucalypts near
the road or even above the road.
closely related to koalas, are almost impossible to see in the
wild (pretty difficult to see even in zoos since they're almost
always asleep), as they are rare, stay underground for lengthy
periods - up to a week - and would trash Sleeping Beauty in
a lengthy nap competition.
and varied possums lurk in many
trees but are tricky to spot, being well-camouflaged, nervous
and nocturnal. Melbourne's Botanic Gardens are supposed to be
writhing with the little critters after dark - joggers are always
stumbling across them - but the Bugcrew didn't see any (maybe
because we don't jog?).
can be seen hanging around most city gardens and flying at dusk.
Birds: There's plenty of birdlife around Australia. Sydney, for example,
hosts hundreds of bold ibis that are almost as city-cool as
pigeons, while its Botanic Gardens are chaotic at dusk as parrots
and parakeets chatter to one another and cockatoos raucously
fight it out for prime nesting rights.
keen on seeing and getting decent animal pictures have three
1) Stay for a longer time to enable more extensive travel, such
as a drive along the Great
Ocean Road, as mentioned above.
2) Be content with visiting one or more of the excellent wildlife
parks. We found Adelaide's Cleland Wildlife Park to be exceptionally
spacious and user-friendly. e.g. visitors can walk among kangaroos,
wallabies, emus and more, feeding them the park's grain.
3) Join a tour that specialises in viewing wild animals.
following pages show pictures of some of Australia's odd, but
harmless creatures. We don't have pictures, however, of the
ones that you don't want to meet on a dark night. They are equally
difficult to come across, fortunately.
These critters are not looking for trouble and if you give them
a chance they will slither the other way. Don't get paranoid
now, just keep your eyes open...you don't run across the road
without looking do you?
Oz hosts ten of the deadliest 'Joe Blakes' in the world, among
them the tiger, brown, smooth and death adder. Don't ever try
to catch one and wear boots and long trousers when walking.
bites for more information.
Two highly unpleasant beasts are the funnel-web and the redback,
both enjoying the hospitality of east coast urban areas and
more. Eyes peeled, even when entering the swimming pool! See
bites for more information.
Saltwater crocs, aka Salties, can live in freshwater as well
as salt water estuaries and grow up to an incredible 6m (18ft)
long, the world's largest reptile.
However hot and dusty you may be, never swim where there are
no locals participating or signs giving the OK. Salties like
white meat and don't mind if you've still got your boots on.
attacks for more information.
These cute little animals like to hunt in rocky pools on/near
the shore. The size of a hand, they pack a hideously toxic punch.
Just ensure that the kids don't play with any marine life lurking
near the beach, even if it seems dead. See blue-ringed
octopus for more information.
The box jelly is THE most toxic creature on earth and
its little brother, irukandji, is nearly as bad, especially
if you have a weak heart. They like warm waters around the Great
Barrier Reef and are common November-April. Swimming is usually
discouraged on beaches north of Rockhampton (north of Brisbane)
in the high season unless stinger nets are in place or you wear
a lycra stinger suit. See jellyfish
stings for more information.
No worries mate! You have the same chance of being killed by
a shark as being killed by a falling coconut. Accidents happen
of course, and if a Great White with myopia thinks you are a
seal, then, goodbye. Stay away from surfing if you're nervous
and/or wear a colourful wetsuit. See shark
attacks for more information.
relax, but not too much. Look out!
Just kidding, really, it's OK, if Australians can flourish with
these beasties about, so can you.