Wildlife in Australia
Australian flora and fauna is unique to the island, the result of having been isolated from the rest of the world for millions of years. Amongst Australian animals are a large group of marsupials (mammals with a pouch) and monotremes (mammals that lay eggs). Just some of the animal icons of Australia are the kangaroo (national symbol) and the koala. A visit to Australia would not be complete without taking the chance to see some of these animals in their natural environment. Koalas are present in forests around Australia, but are very notoriously hard to spot, and walking around looking upwards into the boughs of trees will usually send you sprawling over a tree root. Best seen during the day, there is a thriving and friendly population on Raymond Island near Paynesville in Victoria. You have a good chance on Otway Coast, on the Great Ocean Road, or even in the National Park walk near Noosa on the Sunshine Coast.
Wildlife parks and zoos are in every capital city, but also check out the animal parks if you are passing through smaller towns, like Mildura or Mogo, or staying on Hamilton Island. See the Warrawong Fauna Sanctuary if you are in South Australia, or visit the koalas with best view in the world, at Taronga Zoo in Sydney.
Kangaroos and wallabies reside in national parks all around the country. You won’t see any kangaroos hopping down the street in Central Sydney, but they are common on the outskirts of most urban areas. There is a famous group which make their home on the grounds of the University of the Sunshine Coast, in Queensland.
Wombats and echidna are also common, but harder to find due to their camouflage and tunneling. See lots of echidnas on Kangaroo Island.
Emu are more common in central Australia. You will certainly see some if you venture to the outback national park at Currawinya
Platypus are found in reedy flowing creeks with soft river banks in Victoria, Southern New South Wales, and the very southern region of Queensland – seen at dusk and dawn – you have to have a bit of luck to see one. Try the platypus reserves in Bombala or Delegate in New South Wales, or in Emu Creek at Skipton just out of Ballarat.
Cockatoos are a family of birds that can be found across the continent, including in major cities. The iconic sulphur-crested cockatoo is a very common sight even in inner Sydney, as are galahs and corellas. Wild cockatiels are uncommon and limited to certain rural areas. They are easily observed early in the morning or in the evening.
Australian Magpies can be found across the continent, and are especially common in suburban areas, but watch out for swooping!
Kookaburras are another iconic species found are not quite as common, but still quite prevalent, particularly on and around the Great Dividing Range.