aus kangaroo island australian sea lion

Close encounters with Australian wildlife

Are you a wildlife lover? Imagine hiking through the Aussie bush and looking up to the eucalyptus trees to a sleeping koala. Or admiring seals sunbathing on the rocks. Sitting on your porch at dusk with a glass of red in hand and watching the kangaroos grazing in your front yard. Having a close encounter with Aussie wildlife is a special experience and should not be missed during your journey through Australia.

At Seal Bay, you can find a colony of approximately 1000 sea lions
Did you know? Echidnas have the lowest body temperature of any mammal

Australia's most iconic animal: the kangaroo

Whether you are soaking in the bath, lying on your bed, or relaxing on your terrace; at our unique accommodation in McLaren Vale, The Grampians, Atherton Tablelands, Flinders Ranges, and Seventeen Seventy, you can marvel at kangaroos. This makes it almost impossible not to spot one of the most iconic animals of Australia.

When you stay at one of the cottages in The Grampians, you can watch and enjoy a spectacle of nature at 4:30 pm, when kangaroos start grazing in your backyard. A grassy field of kangaroos gives you the real Australian feeling. At a lodge in Far North Queensland, you cannot ignore the wildlife, because your host Margit lovingly takes care of sick and orphaned animals, especially the tree kangaroo.

Marvel at kangaroos at Gawler Ranges
© TravelEssence
Kangaroo Island is one of the world's greatest nature destinations

But you can also come face to face with this unique Aussie animal in many other places in Australia. Here are some of our favourite places:

Say G'day!
© Meg Jerrard
Spot kangaroos beachside at Lucky Bay
© TravelEssence
Aus Waterlilies in Kakadu Darwin NT

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Australia's cuddly animal: the koala

With a teddy bear-like appearance, the koala is oozing with cuteness. The koala does like to cuddle but with a tree, to keep the body cool. In many cases, these are eucalyptus trees, because they only eat the leaves from these trees. Koalas also like to sleep in eucalyptus trees, no less than 20 hours per day! This makes the koala one of the longest sleepers in the animal world.

Did you know? Koalas can sleep up to 20 hours per day
At birth, a koala joey is the size of a jellybean!

The best place to spot these little beauties is on Magnetic Island. Here, the Forts Walk is a must and takes approximately an hour and a half. When you walk along the Forts Walk at the end of the day, you can admire the sunset from the top. But make sure, you bring a flashlight for the way back. Our colleagues Ilona and Brooke also saw a koala at one of our accommodations on Magnetic Island. They spotted it in the backyard!

Other places to spot koalas in the wild are:

Magnetic Island is home to approximately 500 koalas
Adult koalas weigh approximately 14 kilograms and measure 60-85cm long

One of the largest birds in the world: the cassowary

The third-largest and second heaviest bird in the world lives in Tropical Far North Queensland. This bird is between 1 and 1.70 meters and, together with the ostrich and emu, takes the crown in the top three largest birds. The cassowary - with its graceful blue, green, red, pink, and orange coloured neck and head - parades in Mission Beach and the Daintree Rainforest, among other places. When you stay at one of our lodges, you can spot this elusive bird walking around the garden.

A cassowary is wingless and lives mainly in the rainforest of Australia and on nearby islands. Do not try to approach this shy bird, because they can lash out aggressively.

Cassowary| Australia
Did you know? The cassowary are descended from dinosaurs
© TravelEssence
The cassowary is the heaviest bird in Australia

Tasmania's rarest animal: The Tasmanian Devil

Cradle Mountain is a desolate wilderness where you can come face to face with the Tasmanian devil. This marsupial was found in Australia approximately 3,000 years ago, but can now only be found in conservation areas in Tasmania. The reason for this is that the animal is threatened with a contagious form of cancer, where a tumor develops on the animal's snout and they can no longer hunt or eat. Other unique places to encounter this rare animal are in Loongana, at the Mountain Valley Wilderness Retreat property, and at the interesting Tasmanian Devil Unzoo on the Tasman Peninsula.

Another special animal that you can spot in Tasmania is the albino wallaby. You do this on Bruny Island during a walk along the rugged coastline and through the rainforest.

Did you know? The Tassie Devil has a loud and disturbing scream!
© TravelEssence
When a joey is born, they are the size of a rice grain
© TravelEssence

The seal colony on Kangaroo Island in Southern Australia

The main reason to visit Kangaroo Island is for its nature and wildlife. The island split off from Australia approximately 10,000 years ago, giving special animals the opportunity to develop here. Seal Bay Conservation Park is home to seals. In fact, Australia's third-largest seal colony lives here. To see these unique animals waddling along the beach and sunbathing on the rocks, you will need to pay an entrance fee. This is for the protection of the seals and the other Australian animals that live here.

Kangaroo Island wildlife | Australia wildlife
Kangaroo Island can be visited throughout the entire year
© TravelEssence
Bottlenose Dolphin | Australia wildlife
Kangaroo Island is Australia's third-largest island, after Tasmania and Melville Island
© TravelEssence

Atherton Tablelands bird paradise: the rainbow lorikeet and platypus

Atherton Tablelands is a paradise that every nature lover dreams of. The hosts of one of our lodges in Atherton are nature enthusiasts. Here, you can enjoy the tropical rainforest and its inhabitants from a treehouse. Imagine waking up in the morning to the song of the rainbow lorikeet. Then, you walk out of your treehouse and start the day with a friendly conversation by the creek and spot the cute platypus.

A local tip: “Have a chat on the waterfront to spot the platypus. Keep talking a lot, because it can sometimes take up to 20 minutes before the animal shows itself. Platypus are attracted to the sound of human voices, so they know that dangerous animals are not nearby.”

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