Best Places to Go Animal Spotting in Australia


Best Places to Go Animal Spotting in Australia

Unveiling the wonders of Australia's diverse wildlife with this guide to the best spots for animal spotting across the continent...

Australia is a large and diverse country that is home to many weird and wonderful animals that can only be found in this part of the world. For many animal lovers, a trip to this impressive country is their only opportunity to spot many of these incredible creatures in their natural habitats. From the sunburnt plains of the Outback to the misty rainforests of Queensland, Australia boasts an unparalleled richness of biodiversity.

We’re going to unveil the top spots where you can witness kangaroos bounding across the open plains, koalas nestled among fragrant eucalyptus trees, and a myriad of other fascinating creatures in their natural habitats. Whether you’re a passionate wildlife enthusiast, a family seeking unforgettable experiences, or a curious traveler eager to connect with nature, these destinations promise an immersive journey into the heart of Australia’s natural wonders.

Pack your binoculars, lace up your boots, and get ready for an adventure like no other as we guide you through the best places to go animal spotting in Australia.

Best Places to Go Animal Spotting in Australia

The Ocean Life

For any animal lover, no trip to Australia would be complete without a visit to the Great Barrier Reef. A listed world heritage site and classified as one of the official Seven Natural Wonders of the World, the world’s most extensive coral reef stretches for hundreds of miles off the Queensland coast.

The crystal clear waters surrounding this impressive sight are brimming with marine life, including whales, stingrays, and an array of colourful tropical fish. You can explore this region via glass-bottomed boats or swim alongside these ocean animals through diving and snorkelling tours.

Hopping Kangaroos

The kangaroo is one-half of the national coat of arms, along with the mighty emu, and is arguably one of Australia’s most celebrated animals. Four different species of kangaroo are found throughout the country, including the Red, Antilopine, Eastern Grey, and Western Grey. The Red kangaroo holds the record of being the largest marsupial in the world.

Kangaroos can be found all over Australia. In fact, they outnumber the Australian population. They are incredibly social animals, so if you spot one, you will likely be able to find more close by. They tend to rest during the peak afternoon heat and are most active at dusk or dawn.

A Tropical Paradise

Australia is a massive country with many different ecosystems and biomes to explore and enjoy. For those who want to indulge in the lush diversity of the tropical rainforests found here, there is no better place to visit than Queensland’s World Heritage-listed Daintree Rainforest.

Here, you will be treated to birds of paradise, cassowaries, and a wide variety of other birds that can be spotted throughout the day. When the sun goes down, you may be lucky enough to spot tree kangaroos, who make their appearance at night.

Best Places to Go Animal Spotting in Australia


One of the best places to see koalas living in their natural habitat is along the famous Great Ocean Road in Victoria. Easily accessible by car, they are particularly common between Lorne and Apollo Bay, heading towards the Kennett River and Koala Cove Cafe.

Koalas are known to sleep for up to 19 hours a day and become more active at night. Magnetic Island, Queensland, and Kangaroo Island in South Australia are other fantastic places to spot these cuddly marsupials.

Tasmanian Devils

Tasmanian Devils are found exclusively on the island from which they get their names. This small but fierce carnivorous marsupial resembles its carton persona, with plenty of snarling teeth and an attitude to match. Based on its size, the Tasmanian Devil has the most powerful bite in the world.

Due to their nocturnal lifestyle and somewhat dangerous instincts, they are difficult to find in the wild. Instead, head to the Tasmanian Devil Conservation Park in Taranna, a quick drive outside Hobart, the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary north of Hobart, or the Cradle Wildlife Park near Cradle Mountain National Park, for an up-close view of these feisty creatures.

The Smallest Species

Penguins may not be the first animal that comes to mind when you think of Australia, but Philip Island, just two hours away from Melbourne, is home to a colony of small penguins. The best way to see these small feathered friends is by joining a visitor tour with any of the experienced rangers working at Phillip Island Nature Park. Experience the magic of these little penguins returning home at sunset after a busy day of fishing.

Best Places to Go Animal Spotting in Australia

Wombat Watching

Wombats are incredibly cute nocturnal marsupials that closely resemble the koala. They live in burrows and emerge at night to feed on a diet of different grasses, bark, and roots. Three species of wombats live throughout Australia, with the bare-nosed wombat being the most common.

Because wombats thrive in cool, damp environments, head to the coastal areas, grasslands, and forest regions of New South Wales or Victoria for an opportunity to see these remarkable animals.

Northern Territory Treats

Kakadu National Park, located in the vast Northern Territory, is a fantastic place for birdwatchers, particularly towards the end of the dry season, around November. Here, you can spot over 280 different species of birds, home to roughly one-third of all bird species found in Australia.

You are also guaranteed to see crocodiles around the park and in the Territory Wildlife Park outside of Darwin. Two distinct species of crocodiles are native to the northern territory. The smaller of the two, the freshwater crocodile, is generally less aggressive and mostly eats fish and birds.

Essential Tips for Traveling to Australia: Rules and Regulations

Australia, with its stunning landscapes and vibrant cities, is a dream destination for many travellers. However, before you embark on your adventure Down Under, it’s crucial to familiarise yourself with the country’s rules and regulations to ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip. Here are some practical tips to help you navigate your journey:

Visa Requirements

Most visitors to Australia need a visa to enter the country. Make sure to check the specific visa requirements based on your nationality and the purpose of your visit. You can apply for a visa online through the official Australian government website or consult with your nearest Australian embassy or consulate.

Biosecurity Laws

Australia has strict biosecurity laws to protect its unique environment from pests and diseases. Declare all food, plant materials, and animal products upon arrival, and be prepared for thorough inspections at customs. Failure to comply with biosecurity regulations can result in hefty fines.

Health and Safety

Australia is generally a safe destination for travellers, but it’s essential to take precautions to stay healthy and safe. Apply sunscreen regularly, stay hydrated, and be mindful of Australia’s harsh sun, especially during the summer months. If you plan to explore the Outback or remote areas, inform someone of your itinerary and take appropriate safety measures.

Driving Rules

If you intend to drive in Australia, familiarise yourself with the local road rules and regulations. Australians drive on the left side of the road, and seat belts are mandatory for all passengers. Speed limits are strictly enforced, and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal.

Respect Indigenous Culture

Australia’s Indigenous culture is rich and diverse, with a deep connection to the land. Show respect for Indigenous traditions and customs, especially when visiting sacred sites or participating in cultural activities. Seek permission before taking photographs or entering Indigenous-owned land.

Alcohol and Smoking

Australia has strict laws regarding the consumption of alcohol and smoking in public places. Drinking alcohol in designated areas, such as licensed venues and private residences, is permitted, but public intoxication and drinking in prohibited areas can result in fines or legal consequences. Smoking is banned in many public spaces, including restaurants, bars, and public transport stations.

Navigating Vaping Regulations

Much has been written recently about the vape ban in Australia, so it is important to stay informed on the country’s evolving vaping laws; from 1 January, 2024, the Australian Government banned the importation of disposable vapes into Australia. Seek medical advice for accessing therapeutic vapes legally. Comply with regulations to avoid fines. Explore alternative cessation methods if needed.

Environmental Conservation

Australia boasts some of the world’s most breathtaking natural wonders, from the Great Barrier Reef to the ancient rainforests. Help preserve these fragile ecosystems by minimising your environmental impact. Avoid littering, follow designated hiking trails, and refrain from touching or disturbing wildlife.

By familiarising yourself with Australia’s rules and regulations and adopting respectful behavior towards its people and environment, you can ensure a memorable and rewarding travel experience in the Land Down Under. Prepare adequately, embrace the adventure, and soak in the beauty of this remarkable country. Safe travels!