Top Wildlife Experiences in Australia

Top Wildlife Experiences in Australia
on Jul 31, 2018

Get up close with the incredible Australian fauna

Seeing the unique wildlife of Australia in its natural habitat is an experience you won’t soon forget. It’s not hard to see a kangaroo, a Tasmanian Devil, a kookaburra or a crocodile at a zoo, but to see one in the forests, bushlands, lakes, deserts, rivers or oceans of the Land Down Under itself is something else. We have put together a guide to the best wildlife watching destinations for anyone with a motorhome rental in Australia.

Daintree Rainforest, QLD

A turtle peaks its head out of the water at Daintree National Park, Cape Tribulation, Australia

This famously lush forest in Northern Queensland is home to some fascinating critters: the Southern Cassowary, Tree Kangaroos, Lesser Spotted Owls, Spotted-Tail Quolls, Golden Orb Spiders, Ulysses Butterflies and more. Sign on for a walking tour or boat cruise for the best chances of spotting wildlife, or make your own way and see what you can find.

A motorhome rental from Brisbane or Cairns will get you to Daintree.

Nymboida River, NSW

Platypus are unique even among the zany collection of Australian natives! These semi-aquatic egg-laying mammals are fascinating and are a bucket list creature for any wildlife spotting enthusiast. The Nymboida River, particularly the section that stretches south from Nymboida and into the Nymboi-Binderay National Park, is prime for platypus watching. Book a site at Platypus Flat campsite and nab yourself front row seats to spot these amazing animals!

The river lies halfway between Sydney and Brisbane, so pick up your wheels in either. A self-contained motorhome is a great option for staying in national park campsites like Platypus Flat.

Kakadu National Park, NT

A crocodile skulks through the waters of Kakadu National Park in Northern Territory, Australia

This vast national park is one of Australia’s highlight destinations, a wonderful place to get acquainted with the country’s diverse ecology - including the wildlife. It comes in at number one on our global list of wildlife experiences, and offers a range of chances to see incredible Aussie natives in the wild: crocodiles in the waterways (a cruise is a great way to spot these), turtles, quolls, wallabies, kangaroos, myriad birds, frill-necked lizards and many others. Dawn and dusk are good times to spot creatures, and waterholes are gathering points for a lot of species.

A motorhome rental from Darwin will get you to Kakadu in just a few hours. It is a must-visit spot on our Red Centre motorhome itinerary.

Kennett River, VIC

Koala in a eucalyptus tree at Kennett River, Great Otway National Park, Victoria

Image: By KobiWiki, CC BY-SA 4.0, from Wikimedia Commons

Koalas are an Australian icon, furry and cute marsupials that live in the gum trees. Kennett River in Victoria is home to many colonies of koalas that you can visit in their natural habitat - although you aren’t likely to get that “cuddling a koala” photo for your Instagram here, and we don’t recommend you try! Wander the (free) Kennett River Koala Walk near Kennett township to spot them.

The bonus of koala watching at Kennett River is that it happens to be along the Great Ocean Road, a famously scenic drive which we have listed as one of the most beautiful road trips you’ll ever take. Pick up a Melbourne campervan hire and get started.

Great Barrier Reef

Colourful blue fish swim over coral in the Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Back in Northern Queensland, this one is an obvious choice. To see the magnificent marine life that occupies the tropical waters around the reef, you’ll need to get more than just your feet wet - sign on for a diving or snorkelling experience and get beneath the waves for a glimpse of the vibrant colours and abundant life that is under there.

A motorhome rental from Cairns or Brisbane is a good start to seeing the reef, and you can get on a boat out there from most coastal cities in the northern reaches of the state. Try the Sydney to Cairns itinerary for an extended adventure.

Zoos and animal sanctuaries

Of course, sometimes you need a zoo or a sanctuary to help you get up close and personal with the animals, and there are plenty of those available around Australia. Taronga Zoo in Sydney, Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary and Australia Zoo in Brisbane, Caversham Wildlife Park in Perth, and Reptile Encounters in Melbourne are just a few of the places you can go for in-depth and close wildlife encounters, perfect for families or anyone with just a short time to spend in the country.

Be safe and respectful

When encountering Australia’s fauna, ensure you are keeping both yourself and the animals safe. Stay a reasonable distance from dangerous creatures like snakes, spiders, crocodiles and sharks. Give kangaroos a wide berth, too, even the friendly ones - they are bigger and stronger than one might think! It’s also important that you don’t disturb any animals or their habitat. Look with your eyes, and from a distance! Always clean up after yourself, and don’t leave any litter behind.

Once you’ve picked your wildlife viewing location, you’re ready to roll! Check out our motorhome rentals in Australia and start planning the critter-filled journey of a lifetime.