The wildlife of Australia is incredibly diverse and unique and is often a bucket list experience for many visitors. However, spotting these elusive animals in their natural habitat can often be a challenge.
"Our purpose at Unique Boutique Collection is to ensure you have every opportunity to experience Australia’s unique wildlife in its natural habitat by offering a range of accommodation and touring options specifically focused on wildlife."
Most of Australia’s wildlife is found nowhere else in the world, making its conservation crucial to long term sustainability – 87 per cent of the mammal species, 93 per cent of reptiles, 94 per cent of frogs and 45 per cent of the bird species are found only in Australia.
Kangaroos: There are 55 different native species of kangaroos and wallabies throughout Australia which vary greatly in size and weight. They live in small groups called troops or herds (“mobs” by Australians) and female kangaroos sport a pouch on their belly, made by a fold in the skin, to cradle baby kangaroos called joeys.
Koala’s: Despite popular belief, the native koala is not a bear. They can be found living in the eucalyptus forests of Australia and when they are not sleeping, they are usually eating. Koalas sleep on average 18-22 hours per day.
Wombat: The wombat is a large stocky mammal that uses its strong claws to dig burrows. They live in these burrows, which can become extensive tunnel-and-chamber complexes. They are nocturnal and emerge to feed at night on grasses, roots, and bark.
The Platypus is only found in Australia and is an egg-laying mammals. They are a river-dwelling animal with a bill like a duck, a furry waterproof body and webbed feet. Platypuses live in burrows, which they dig into the banks of rivers. They are difficult to spot, but your best chance to see them is in small streams and calm rivers.
The Echidna, otherwise known as the spiny anteater, is another of Australia’s monotremes. It has a prickly coat like a hedgehog or porcupine – so don’t try to pick one up! Kangaroo Island is one of the best places to spot them in the wild.
There are more than 800 species of birds in Australia, and about half cannot be found anywhere else. They range from tiny honeyeaters to the large, flightless emu, which stands nearly two metres tall. You can see the cassowaries in the tropical north rainforest, kookaburras in open woodlands and emus in sclerophyll forests and savanna woodlands.
There are also 55 species of parrots in Australia, including a spectacular variety of cockatoos, rosellas, lorikeets, cockatiels, parakeets and budgerigars, which are seen in rural and urban areas.
Of the seven species of marine turtles in the world, six can be found in Australian waters including the flatback turtle, green turtle, hawksbill turtle, leatherback turtle, loggerhead turtle and olive ridley turtle. The best time to see these are between November and February.
Sure, there are venomous snakes but not all are poisonous and there are many species of beautiful python and tree snake to see. Australia is also famous for the large crocodiles, and host two different species, the freshwater crocodile, which is found nowhere else in the world, and the more aggressive saltwater crocodile.
There are an amazing array of lizards, ‘dragons’ and goannas (monitor lizards), such as the spectacular frilled-neck lizard, bearded dragon and the thorny devils.
The World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef system where there are countless species of colourful fish and around 1,700 different species of coral.
Larger marine species include the humpback, southern right and orca whales, the dugong (or manatee), several dolphin species and a number of different sharks. You can see the whales during their migration along the east coast from May to November, or swim with gentle whale sharks on the west coast at Ningaloo Reef between April and September.
Kangaroo Island is one of the best places to see beautiful Australian fur seals and sea lions and Penguins can be spotted just south of Melbourne at Phillip Island.