Unleash Your Inner Explorer with These 5 Unique Wildlife Adventures in Australia

4 min read

Hang out with some of the strangest – and rarest – animals on the planet in their natural Australian habitat. Australia is home to spectacular creatures you won’t find anywhere else on the planet and nothing compares to that feeling of pure joy you get when you spot one in the wild. What’s even better is knowing your experience is helping to protect animal populations. From the duck-billed otter – which is how the platypus was described when it was first seen by Europeans in the 18th century – to giant hopping dogs (aka the kangaroo), meet our weird and wonderful creatures with these unforgettable experiences.

Get Up Close and Personal with the Platypus

Head to Healesville Sanctuary, a one-hour and 10-minute drive from Melbourne to catch a glimpse of one Australia’s most elusive creatures. The platypus is perhaps the most wonderfully weird animal that nature has to offer – so you won’t want to miss a chance to experience these elusive little water babies. Just over an hours’ drive from Melbourne (through the stunning Yarra Valley wine region), you can play with a platypus during this exclusive close-up encounter at the Victoria Zoos’ Healesville Sanctuary. Try your hand at being the animal’s keeper in this once-in-a-lifetime experience. After a quick video presentation and briefing from the Healesville Sanctuary keepers, you’ll wade in the animal’s ‘play pool’ and have the opportunity to tickle, feed and see these unique little creatures swimming through the water. This experience is extremely popular, so booking ahead of time is a must.

Save the Spotted-Tailed Quoll

Just a 90 minute drive south of Cairns in Danbulla National Park you’ll discover the spotted-tailed Quoll. The last Tasmanian tiger (thylacine) died more than 80 years ago, but this unique creature’s lesser-known cousin, the spotted-tailed quoll – the largest marsupial carnivore on mainland Australia – still survives in small numbers in Queensland’s rainforests. Also known as tiger quolls, these nocturnal creatures that hunt for possums and small wallabies under the cover of darkness are one of Australia’s most endangered animals. Join FNQ Nature Tours in secret rainforest locations where you can join researchers who document sightings and study quoll behaviour. It’s a rare chance to not only get to know these extraordinary creatures, but to also help save them from extinction. Spot quolls alongside researchers on a two-day behind-the-scenes-tour.

Experience the Wonders of the Echidna

Make your way to the Australia Zoo just an hour drive north of Brisbane to meet an Echidna, what is also known as ‘spiny anteaters’. These prickly, slow-moving critters are one of Australia’s most loved unusual native animals. The echidna has spines like a porcupine, a beak like a bird, a pouch like a kangaroo and lays eggs like a reptile. They're small, solitary mammals so spotting them in the wild can be a bit tough. Luckily, you can encounter the echidna, getting up close and personal, at one of Australia’s most respected wildlife parks, Australia Zoo (the famed home of the Irwin family). Take part in an interactive, educational experience with one of Australia’s native icons at Australia Zoo. This sticky-beaked creature is one of the most interesting animals around, and you’ll never forget this up close encounter. They may even sit on your lap so you can hand feed them. Crikey!

Dare to Meet Dingoes

Want to combine your love for dogs with iconic Aussie wildlife? Look no further than our native dog – the dingo. From the cutest of cuddles with the pack, playing games with their toys through to getting the ultimate photo, these experiences will make a lasting impression. Experience the dingo encounter at Symbio Wildlife Park, just south of Sydney, takes you in behind the scenes to play around with adults and pups. Near Melbourne? you can make a dingo date at the Moonlit Sanctuary.

Devilish Delight: Experience The Tasmanian Devil

Where better to see the infamous Tasmanian devil than its eponymous island state? If you're driving around Tasmania, it's possible to glimpse Tasmanian devils in the wild, but they are elusive and difficult to spot. For a guaranteed encounter, there are multiple sanctuaries, zoos and enclosures to get up close and personal to these wildly adorable little critters. Head to Devils@Cradle, in Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park and book a Day Keeper Tour, an After Dark Feeding Tour or a Dine with the Devil experience. Closer to Hobart is the Tasmanian Devil Unzoo, which offers a Devil Tracker Experience – a 4WD tour on which you help track the devils' movements.

With so much more wildlife to witness down under, discover amazing wildlife encounters you can only have in Australia. 

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