Australia is an incredible wildlife destination, blessed with a unique richness of biodiversity, including endemic creatures found nowhere else on the planet. Whilst a visit to Australia will undoubtedly mean you travel through some of the larger cities and towns; the majority of wildlife encounters are experienced out in the wild, or the ‘Outback’ as its affectionately known by the locals! Prepare to spend days in vast expanses to get up close and personal and be prepared to work hard to find the wildlife – Australia is not like the African savannahs where sometimes the wildlife appears to be on-demand. Coastal locations that play home to some incredible marine species (Whale Shark, Humpback Whale, Orca) are also in off-the-beaten-track locations so factoring in journey time is essential.
Eight miles off the coast of South Australia and around 30 minutes by plane (or 45 minutes by ferry) from Adelaide, Down Under’s answer to The Galápagos plays host to some remarkable wildlife in its conservation areas and national parks. Known to the locals simply as KI, this surprisingly large island is divided into seven regions, with four major towns: Kingscote (the capital), Penneshaw (where daily ferries disembark), American River, and Parndana. Expect to see all manner of interesting bird species as well as large goannas, rare tammar wallabies, a unique subspecies of echidna, and the Kangaroo Island kangaroo (a shorter version of the western grey kangaroo found on the mainland). The island is also home to the Seal Bay Conservation Park - the only place in the world where you can walk among endangered Australian sea lions
Set in the Ningaloo Coast World Heritage Area that covers over 708,350 hectares of coastal waters and land, the 300-kilometre-long reef at Ningaloo Marine Park is a rich treasure trove of underwater life. Known as Western Australia's answer to the Great Barrier Reef, this incredible place is home to 200 species of hard coral, 50 species of soft coral, and over 500 species of fish. Whale sharks weighing 20 tons and measuring in excess of 40-feet-long are a likely sighting for those who fancy plunging into the deep. There’s also four species of turtle (loggerhead, green, hawksbill, and leatherback), two species of manta ray, six species of toothed whale, and eight species of baleen whale. Those heading to the nearby Cape Range National Park will see emus, red kangaroos, rare black-flanked rock wallabies, euros, five types of bat, 80 species of reptile, and over 200 species of bird.
Stretching for 2,300 kilometres along the northeast coast of Australia, the world’s largest living structure measures 135,135 square miles and encompasses 2,900 reef systems, 600 islands, and 300 coral cays. Not only is this World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef the most bio-diverse coral reef ecosystem on the planet, but it’s even visible from outer space. The animals that call the Great Barrier Reef home include 1,800 species of rainbow-coloured fish, 134 species of shark and ray, six of the world's seven species of threatened marine turtle, 17 species of sea snake, and over 30 species of marine mammal.
The vast and desolate interior of Australia is called “The Outback”. The Outback is what defines the Northern Territory as one of the most unique environments on the planet. The vast ochre deserts, spectacular skies, surreal rocky outcrops and deep, snaking canyons of this sparse and iconic landscape reward visitors with an unforgettable Territory experience.Many people visualize the place as an arid desert but the Outback can be divided into several climatic regions ranging from tropical to arid, semi-arid, and temperate. In general, the Outback is characterized by low population density, low-intensity land uses, and moderately to highly intact natural environment. The Outback also hosts a plethora of flora and fauna that varies according to the different habitats of the various Outback regions. The remoteness of the places in the Outback and the raw nature of such locations attract many adventurers and backpackers to explore them. The fauna of these places also lures many nature lovers to the Outback with highlights including kangaroos, frilled lizards and various other reptiles and insects.
Unlike anything you’ll find on Australia’s mainland, this ravishing nature park where ancient rainforests fringe glacial lakes and icy streams cascade down rugged mountains is one of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area's most standout. Home to the world-famous Overland Track and the dazzling Dove Lake, it provides an exciting landscape for wildlife fans, walkers, anglers, and hikers keen to spend the day tackling Cradle Mountain’s summit.
Covering over 2,000 kilometres of South Australia’s western coast and bounded on the east by Spencer Gulf, the west by the Great Australian Bight, and the north by the Gawler Ranges, this triangular-shaped peninsula (named for 19th century English explorer Edward John Eyre) is the promised land for adventurers. Most head here to camp in the wilderness, swim with dolphins, come face-to-face with great white sharks, and explore the sublime national parks.The marine life in this aptly-named Seafood Frontier is amazing, especially in the waters around the beautiful Port Lincoln (expect sea lions, sharks, dolphins, tuna, and cattlefish). Further inland, you’ll see kangaroos, emus, wombats and amazing birdlife whilst on safari in the stunning Gawler Ranges (this is also the stomping ground of the crimson mallee and the yellow-footed rock wallaby).