While it rings true that Australia is home to much dangerous wildlife, you needn’t worry all too much about any of the creatures in this country posing a serious threat to you for no reason. While many people will joke that Australian wildlife is out to get you, the reality is that if you are careful, avoid direct contact with animals and don’t irritate them, you should be pretty safe. Incidents that do occur are generally treated successfully. So, if you’d like to see some of these wild and wonderful creatures, how can you go about making the most of Australia’s wildlife during your travels? Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Turtles are generally found in the warm waters off Australia’s coast year-round, so no matter when you visit, you’ve got a good chance of being able to spot them if you put in the effort. Chances are that you’ll have a better chance of seeing them lazily floating through the waters than on the shores, so you’re going to have to take to the sea if you want a close encounter. Of course, one of the best spots to catch sight of these bizarre creatures is the Great Barrier Reef. Alongside a vast ecosystem of beautiful fish and corals, you can hope to spot Green Turtles and Loggerhead Turtles! Chances are that you don’t have a complex working knowledge of these reefs, so pair up with professionals from ReefFree Tours to find your way and take in as much nature as possible. Alternatively, check out Mon Repos, Ningaloo Reef, or Bare Sand Island.
Affectionately referred to as “Koala Bears”, these cuddly creatures aren’t actually bears at all. Rather, they are actually marsupials, carrying their young in pouches. It is estimated that there are around 80,000 koalas in Australia. However, they are relatively difficult to come across in the wild. If possible, avoid visiting these gentle animals in zoos. They belong in the wild, not in captivity, and even though a photograph holding one may seem appealing, and something that you’d love to place on your social media feeds, they’d much rather be up in the trees chewing on Eucalyptus leaves! For an organic encounter with koalas, try visiting Port Stephens National Park, or Raymond Island in Victoria.
Another popular marsupial inhabiting Australian lands is the kangaroo. Featured on the Australian national coat of arms, this is the only place in the world where you can see this unusual mammal. While people tend to assume that you will see kangaroos hopping about any area of Australia, the reality is that you aren’t going to find any wild roos in the cities. An obvious place to start your search is Kangaroo Island, where one-third of which is protected land filled with national parks, conservation parks, and reserves.
These are just three majestic creatures that Australia has to offer. Of course, there are many more species out there, but these are some of the greats that people want to tick off their list!
MR LEE FRASER