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9 Unique Animals You Can Only See in Australia

Did you know that more than 80% of Australia’s animals can’t be found anywhere else in the world?

This very large, down-under island is home to some incredible and unique animals that bring flocks of tourists to the country. So, what are some of the great animals you can see travelling in Australia? Here’s a taste from our Australian travel journal…

1. Kangaroo

While Australian kids DON’T really ride kangaroos to school, these strong animals weight up to 90kgs and can run up to 70km/hour. You’re likely to see one in most rural parts of the country. Watch for them crossing roads and don’t mistake them for their smaller relative, the wallaby.

2. Koala

Contrary to popular belief, one, the koala is not a koala BEAR and two, they’re not cuddly! Koala’s are aggressive and territorial marsupials that spend all day either sleeping or eating eucalyptus leaves, which are toxic to almost all other animals. You’ll find them up and down the east coast.

3. Dingo

Dingoes are native wild dogs and they’re Australia’s largest predator. They can be found all over the country with the exception of larger towns, cities and Tasmania.

4. The Tasmanian Devil

Although you won’t find dingoes in Tasmania, it’s the only place to see the endangered Tasmanian devil in the wild. About the size of a small dog, it’s the largest carnivorous marsupial in the world and it’s very unique with a pungent odour, extremely disturbing screech and strong, ferocious bite. Don’t worry though, they’re not known to attack humans unless provoked.

5. Platypus

The platypus is an egg-laying mammal, or monotreme, which are distinct to Australia. The live in burrows near rivers, have a duck-like bill, a furry body and webbed feet for swimming. They’re very shy and hard to spot but head to the coastal areas of eastern Australia or the zoo for your best chance.

6. Echidna

Echidnas might look like a hedgehog but they’re another unique monotreme with a long, sticky tongue that they use to eat ants from their holes. Don’t try picking one up!

7. Wombat

This solid, muscular and short, burrowing animal isn’t often seen in the wild but can be found throughout the south-eastern regions of Australia. Weighing up to 36kgs, they have rodent-like teeth, powerful claws and a backwards pouch to carry their young.

8. Emu

The flightless emu is the second tallest bird, after the ostrich. They can be found all over rural Australia and are well adapted to the harsh climate, only requiring water and food infrequently. Their meat was an important food for native Aborigines and although uncommon, you might be able to taste an emu egg that’s the size of 8-10 chicken eggs.

9. Perentie

These shy native goannas are the forth-largest type of lizard. If you see one of these in arid areas, west of the Great Dividing Range, count yourself lucky! They can overpower small birds, mammals and reptiles with their strong claws and tail and are an important part of Aboriginal culture and traditional diet.

Write about your unique experiences with Australian animals in our Australasia Travel Diary. 10% of all proceeds are donated to the Yellow-Eyed Penguin Trust, helping to save New Zealand’s rare and unique bird.


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