Tuesday, November 3

Experience Australia’s Amazing Wildlife Up Close

Want to walk on the wild side on your next holiday? Then book a trip to Australia and marvel at the country’s diverse wildlife. Its mountain ranges, tropical rainforests, beaches, and isolated islands are home to some of the world’s most amazing creatures. When planning your itinerary, take a look at this list see for yourself why Australia is a dream destination.

Walk with kangaroos at Kangaroo Island in South Australia

Photo credit: sg.southaustralia.com

One of the first things you’ll think of when you hear Australia is the kangaroo. After all, it’s the country’s national animal. For a truly unique experience, walk with this fascinating marsupial at Kangaroo Island. This island is located in South Australia and provides a secluded home for the endemic kangaroo. As you trek across the island’s parks and reserves, you’re sure to encounter a roo or two. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to see mom and pop walking around with their little joey (baby roo).

Cuddle with a koala at the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Queensland

Photo credit: www.travelonline.com

What’s furry, cuddly, cute, and always has minty, fresh breath? Koalas! Well, they don’t exactly have minty fresh breath even if they eat lots of eucalyptus leaves, but they sure are cute and furry. If you want to cuddle with these critters, head to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. At this zoo, you get to cuddle a sleepy koala. Or, pretend you’re a tree and let it climb up your legs and arms. Just be careful with the claws; they’re mighty sharp and strong. Don’t forget to take a selfie with your new BFF.

Take a quokka selfie at Rottnest Island off Western Australia

Photo credit: www.ria.wa.gov.au

A quokka selfie is probably one of the best souvenirs you could get when visiting Australia’s Rottnest Island. This lush paradise is home to the quokka, a relative of the kangaroos and looks like a cat-sized hamster. It’s a cute, furry creature known as the world’s “happiest animal on earth.” Just do a quick “quokka selfie” search online, and you’ll be bombarded with photos of quokkas smiling and posing with tourists and locals. These furry marsupials aren’t camera shy, and they always have something to smile about. Just don’t touch or feed them since human food doesn’t go well with their diet.

Swim with whale sharks in Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia

Photo credit: www.australiascoralcoast.com

Craving for a breathtaking experience? Book a swim tour at Ningaloo Reef, a world-heritage site known for its amazing marine ecosystem. It’s also home to plenty of whale sharks. Despite their size and appearance, these gentle giants only eat plankton and pose no danger to humans. When visiting the Land Down Under, look for authorized tour providers to see a whale shark up close. If the water conditions are perfect and you’re lucky, you could actually swim side by side with this filter feeder and marvel at its size and beauty. Bring the whole family since many tour operators provide kid-friendly packages.

See a cassowary in action at Mission Beach in North Queensland

Photo credit: www.cairnspost.com.au

A trip to Queensland, Australia wouldn’t be complete without seeing a Southern Cassowary. This giant bird is usually seen trekking across roads, fields, paddocks, and even the locals’ gardens. If you see one, never approach it because it’s highly territorial. When it feels threatened, this dinosaur-looking bird can attack and cause serious injuries. So keep a safe distance and marvel at this endangered species as it forages for fallen fruits.

Snorkel at the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland

Photo credit: lychee-tree.com.au

Want to see Nemo, Dory and the gang up close? Head to the Great Barrier Reef, one of the world’s natural wonders, and snorkel your way down into the shallow waters. Beneath the calm, clear turquoise waters is an underwater paradise. Swim with schools of clownfish, coral trouts, snappers, and sea turtles. Marvel at the amazing ecosystem and at the fascinating reef structures made of limestone. The list of animals you can see underwater is practically endless, but make sure your snorkeling tour is scheduled within the months of June to November; you don’t want to suddenly cancel the tour because of unexpected rainshowers.

Feed the dolphins at Monkey Mia Beach in Perth, Western Australia

Photo credit: www.pinterest.com

Start your day right by hitting the Mia Beach at around 8am. From this time until noon, you can feed the dolphins that usually swim close to the shore for their daily breakfast. Under the strict supervision of a ranger, you get to wade along the shallow waters and hand-feed the dolphins. Each of these dolphins are known for their distinct and playful personalities, so don’t be surprised if one of them nudges you as you feed them. Bring the kids with you; it’s a fun, learning activity for the entire family. On peak seasons, hit the beach before 8am to get a good spot.

With such a diverse wildlife, Australia is a haven for nature lovers. It’s the place to be if you want to experience new things, learn more about animal conservation, or just marvel at amazing creatures. So for your next holiday, book a ticket to Australia, pack some hiking boots and a swimsuit, and get to know the Land Down Under’s incredible animals.

About the author: Katrina is a budget traveller and travel writer working with Alpha Car Hire, a Brisbane-based rental company with branches in Gold Coast, Sydney, and Melbourne. When she’s not writing about fun things to do in Australia. She has also worked for AusPak Driving School in Melbourne.