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Australia is made famous for its array of unique mammals, birds, and landscapes which stand second to none. It is extremely biodiverse, in which more than 84% of the land mammals are endemic. Every year, millions of travelers enjoy the richness of culture, sport, adventure, and choose from a group of amazing wildlife tours in Australia!
Australia is the sixth largest country in the world, with landscapes from deserts to tropical rainforests. It is home to the Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest reef system and a major tourist destination.
Below, are some animals you can expect to see on a wildlife tour in Australia:
The kangaroo is one of the most recognized animals of Australia. There are 4 species of kangaroo including the red kangaroo, western grey kangaroo, eastern grey kangaroo, and antilopine kangaroo. They are most notable for their powerful hind legs and long tails, as well as their ability to hop. The kangaroo is a herbivore and typically feed on various grasses and shrubs.
While fighting or “boxing” has been observed by all species of kangaroo, it is most often seen by males grazing together.
Where to visit to see Kangaroos:
Kangaroos are found all over Australia through many national parks. Most popular cities are within a reasonable distance of a national park, sanctuary or reserve that is home to a variety of kangaroo. A few to check out include:
You might consider joining an exciting conservation-minded tour of Australia’s Northern Territory. This small group 6-day Australian Wildlife Tour with Echidna Walkabout takes you from Darwin circling through Kakadu National Park, Mary River National Park and so much more!
Koalas are often referred to as the koala bear due to its close resemblance to a bear. Visitors to Australia are often enamored by the koala always hoping to capture a photograph of one as it clings lazily to a tree.
The koala has a very small brain and therefore has many difficulties with complex behaviors. Anything out of the ordinary such as eating a leaf from anywhere other than a branch can cause distress for a koala. Some of the biggest threats to koalas include habitat loss, motor vehicles, dog attacks, stress leading to illness (chlamydia), and competition for food or territory.
Where to visit to see koalas:
Like Kangaroos, koalas are found in a number of places. Your best chances to see koalas in the wild are either with a tour or visiting one of these destinations:
There are also a number of sanctuaries that you can visit to learn more about the koala and the threats against them.
One way to make sure you are not contributing to undue stress for koalas is by joining a tour that carefully operates to ensure koalas are not impacted negatively by your visit. Join Echidna Walkabout on a 3-week epic wildlife tour.
Another marsupial unique to Australia is the wombat. A wombat has short legs with short stubby tails, rodent-like teeth, and strong claws. They are known to dig elaborate burrows and like koalas and kangaroos have a pouch. A wombat’s pouch is found on its back, which ensures that they do not collect soil in it while they are burrowing.
Groups of wombats are referred to as a mob, colony, or wisdom.
Where to visit to see wombats:
Wombats can be found in south-eastern Australia in the heathlands, as well as Tasmania and Queensland.
A tour with Echidna Walkabout may offer you the opportunity to see a wombat in its natural habitat. Have a look at their conservation-minded trips.
Another member of the marsupial family, the Tasmanian devil is the largest carnivorous marsupial in the world. It is short, stocky, smells bad, makes a horrifying screech, has a great sense of smell, and feeds ferociously. The Tasmanian devil is nocturnal, however, can sometimes be found resting in the sun. After being weaned, a Tasmanian devil tends to be solitary.
Where to visit to see Tasmanian devils:
The Tasmanian devil once used to be found on mainland Australia but is now solely found on the island of Tasmania.
The Echidna is a strange looking animal, resembling an anteater with spines. It is one of only 4 living mammals that lay eggs. The echidna is known to be a timid animal and when threatened makes an attempt to bury itself or curl into a ball. The biggest threats to echidnas include wild cats, dogs, and snakes.
The echidna is regarded as a culinary delicacy to the Aboriginal Australians.
Where to visit to see Echidnas:
Because of their inability to tolerate extreme temperatures, the echidna is generally found in forests, hiding under roots. They are found on the Australian Mainland, Tasmania, Kangaroo Island, King Island, and Flinders Island.
The echidna may be difficult to find on a tour, but if you are traveling to Australia, have a peek at Echidna Walkabout’s tours that include amazing fully guided tours anchored around responsible wildlife experiences.
Like the echidna, the Platypus is one of the four known egg-laying mammals, known as monotremes. They are characterized by their duck-like bill and are endemic to Australia, particularly Eastern Australia and Tasmania.
The platypus is quite unusual in its appearance. They have a beaver-like tail, duck-like bill, otter-like feet, and is one of few venomous mammals. The platypus has a carnivorous diet and feeds on worms, insect larvae, and freshwater shrimp.
Where to visit to see a platypus:
It’s rare to see a platypus in the light of day, so dusk or dawn is your best bet. A few places to possibly witness a platypus in the wild include Nymboida River, Lake Elizabeth, Mountain Valley Private Nature Reserve, Bombala, and a few other nature reserves. They are a protected species, and one should take great care in looking for them in the wild.