Even if you are not exactly a digital native, you might have seen photos or heard rumours of the dangers of Australia—well, the animals Down Under. We’re not denying the fact that there are some pretty scary ones like sharks, snakes, jellyfish, crocodiles and *gulps* spiders. Still, needless to say though, we’ve got some smackingly awesome (and friendly) ones too.
Don’t believe us? Here are ten of the most Australian animals, some of the top zoos and national and natural parks you can find them!
Wallaby. If you thought Australia was all about kangaroos, then you’ve been wronged. Although a wallaby may look like the most famous mammal in the country which is the kangaroo, you’ll see some striking differences upon close inspection. The easiest way to distinguished them are through their size. The wallaby is smaller and its legs are shorter—making it more proportionate to the other parts of its body. Another thing you’ll notice is that the wallaby’s fur coating is brighter. Drive a campervan to Flinders Rangers in South Australia or in Tasmania’s Freycinet National Park.
Kangaroo. Perhaps the most popular marsupial (pouched mammal) in the world, the kangaroo has always been one of the most iconic things (not just animals in Australia). The Kangaroo is endemic in Australia; there are 55 different species and about 35 million are found in the country. The males of these large footed creatures are known for boxing with other males to win the heart of the females in breeding. To find the kangaroos in Australia Flinders Ranges, in Kangaroo Islands, Anglesea in Victoria and in the Grampians.
Koala. Koalas, often also referred to as Koala Bears because of their semblance to the toys, are native in Australia. These cuddly herbivorous marsupials get their daily fluid intake from mint leaves and are active only two hours per day—sleeping for up to 18 hours. they are often found tucked in tree forks or dozing off at nooks. When travelling to Australia, drive to the coasts of Queensland in Victoria and in South Australia for wild Koalas.
Quokka. One thing’s for sure: the quokka may very well be awarded as the most adorable animal in the world. Another marsupial belonging to the macropods family, quokkas are friendly herbivores who like to take photos. We mean to say that the cat-sized furballs have increasingly jumped into the bandwagon of selfie-loving millennials. Find them in Western Australia particularly on Rottnest Island near Perth or Bald Island in Albany.
Echidna. Gamers will recognize an echidna to be what Knuckles, Sonic the Hedgehog’s first nemesis, is. In real life, echidnas aren’t red; they are brown, have a long beak of a mouth, have spikes shooting out of their bodies and eat ants—thus the name spiny anteaters. They are part of the monotreme family which means they are mammals that lay eggs. Another fun fact is that they are the oldest living mammals today which means they are well protected and conserved. If you’d like to see one, make Southern Queensland part of your self-drive holiday itinerary.
Platypus. The platypus is another monotreme that does not fall short on looking weird. The strange semi-aquatic creature looks like a crossover between a duck and a beaver with a bill-like mouth, webbed feet and a tail like that of the dam building animals. They may look harmless but male platypuses are able to secrete venom from their ankle spurs for defense and to assert dominance. The duck-billed platypus, as it is otherwise known is found in eastern Australian and mostly in Tasmania.
Tasmanian Devil. If this doesn’t scream Australian, we don’t know what does; it already has Tasmania on its name so you surely won’t be lost. The Tasmanian devil shares some characteristics with its Looney Tunes hit cartoons counterpart; they are both “specifically carnivorous in nature, [with a] voracious appetite, surly disposition” and “crazed behaviour”. Their main difference, however, lies in the appearance; the real life Tasmanian devil dons and black fur coat with a white line across the top of its front legs.
Australian Dingo. The dingo may look like a regular village dog but the main difference lies on the ecology. Dingos are free-ranging; roaming around mainland Australia is varying terrains such as grasslands, desert, tropical regions and woodlands. Dingos can be domesticated but they still have a penchant for hunting small animals like ground-dwelling birds, sheep, wallabies and even kangaroos. Fancy spotting one? Try a quick drive to the Australia Zoo!
Saltwater Crocodile. Steve Irwin likes a challenge and to challenge a saltwater crocodile he does. In fact, this is one of his favourite animals and where he got his daughter’s name, Bindi, from. The estuarine croc is the largest species of all living reptiles with sizes reaching up to six metres. They are considered to be the most dangerous animals in Australia and that is exactly the reason why more people would like to see them. For a thrilling Outback adventure with them, they could be found in of the zoos across Australia in the north.
Great White Shark. The Great White Shark, like the Saltwater Crocodile, may not be natural in Australia but they certainly are one of the most wanted animals in terms of tourism. People flock for heart-stopping thrillers and this is exactly what a Shark Cage Diving Experience provides! The most famous destinations are found in South Australia’s Port Lincoln so you better wait no longer for your dose of adventures!
Travel one by one in Australia’s top destinations to see all of the most Aussie animals you can find with Salamanda Travel! Got a suggestion or comment or are you looking for the latest updates on our blog? Like and follow our Facebook and Twitter accounts today. If you need a vehicle for a self-drive holiday, you may click here!