5 Oct 2022
Australia is home to some of the cutest and the most unique wildlife on the planet, from the curious platypus to the prehistoric saltwater croc. Seeing these amazing creatures in the wild is often a holiday highlight, with so much variety in what you can see around the country.
We’ve rounded up some of our favourite animal experiences from all around Australia so you can inject some totally wild fun into your next holiday plans.
See dingoes in the wild – Fraser Island, QLD
Fraser Island is one of the best places to see our largest mammal predator. Home to 25-30 packs, the island has one of the country’s purest dingo populations. With their golden coats and mesmerising howl, seeing dingoes in the wild is something truly special. Keep your eyes peeled around sunset for the best chance of spotting them by the beach. But don’t get too close: while they look like your dog at home, they are unpredictable and should not be approached.
Watch the penguin parade - Phillip Island, VIC
Did you know Victoria’s Phillip Island is home to the world’s biggest colony of little penguins? Around 32,000 little penguins call the island home, and you can see them return to their burrows after a busy day at sea each dusk from the observation boardwalks at Phillip Island Nature Park. There are a range of guided tour options available including self-guided and group tours, and ticket proceeds go towards protecting the habitat of these sweet little seabirds.
Swim with the whale sharks - Ningaloo Reedf, WA
Truly the stuff of bucket lists, imagine swimming or diving with the world’s biggest fish, the whale shark. Whale sharks can grow up to 12m long, with a mouth that can open over 4 feet wide! World Heritage-listed Ningaloo Reef is one of the only places in the world where whale sharks are often seen close to shore. Tours are available to cruise, swim or dive, so you and the family can marvel at these amazing creatures. Tours run from March to September.
Learn about Tasmanian Devils - Taranna, Tasmania
Endangered and solitary creatures, it can be tricky seeing Tamanian Devils in the wild. For the best chance to see and learn about the world’s largest carnivorous marsupial, you’ll want to head to the Tasmanian Devil Unzoo in Taranna, Tasmania – about an hour from Hobart. Unlike a traditional zoo, here most enclosures and cages are removed, offering resident and wild animals the opportunity to interact in the same natural environment.
Go shark cage diving - Port Lincoln, SA
If you’re looking to get your blood pumping with a close encounter in the deep, you’ll love shark cage diving! An incredible opportunity to see Great White Sharks in their natural habitat, hop on a tour from Port Lincoln with Calypso Star Charters for a once-in-a-lifetime experience you’ll never forget. No diving experience is required to take on this exciting adventure and you’ll come home with a fantastic up-close understanding of these iconic marine creatures.
READ ALSO: SA's best destinations for a quick getaway
Go on a jumping crocodile cruise - Adelaide River, NT
Getting up close and personal with the Saltwater Crocodile is a must-do when visiting the Top End – but safely of course! Climb aboard a Jumping Crocodile Cruise on the Adelaide River, home to over 16,000 of these living dinosaurs. An unforgettable day for nature-lovers and thrill seekers alike, keep the camera handy as crocs launch themselves from the river and snap their mighty jaws just inches from the boat.
Experience turtle hatching season - Sunshine Coast, QLD
Six out of the world’s seven turtle species can be found on the Great Barrier Reef and from January to March each year the sandy beaches come alive with hatchlings. These tiny shelled babies are only 5-7cm long, weighing in at just 15-30 grams, and can be spotted with care in hotspots like Lady Elliot Island, Lady Musgrave Island and Great Keppel Island.
Snap a selfie with a quokka - Rottnest Island, WA
Known as the world’s happiest animal for a reason, the quokka loves a good selfie! Rottnest Island was named when Dutch explorer Willem de Vlamingh mistook quokka for rats, but these fluffy marsupials are a favourite with WA locals and tourists alike. Take the ferry from Perth or Fremantle to Rottnest Island and you’re sure to spot them, most often in the mid-late afternoon when they are most active.
READ ALSO: A quick guide to Rottnest Island
Dive with the giant cuttlefish - Whyalla, SA
Every May to August, Australian Giant Cuttlefish undertake their annual migration through the waters off Whyalla. These unique creatures can weigh up to 5kg, with eight arms and two tentacles. Around 100,000 take part in the migration, making it a spectacular underwater event, not seen anywhere else in the world. Whyalla Diving Services can set you up with all the equipment you need for a snorkeling or diving tour like no other.
With wildlife as diverse as ours, you’re sure to spot some animal favorites no matter where you choose to go for your next holiday.