Australia boasts an amazing diversity of wildlife across every state. From the Rays of Hamelin Bay in Western Australia, the very vocal Tasmanian Devil of our south and the ferocious saltwater crocodile up in the north, our wildlife is unique and likely to fascinate the entire family. However, unless you live in the country, daily encounters with some of our less abundant wildlife is rare.
With so many opportunities to see and possibly interact with Australian Wildlife across Australia, the KidStyleFile team have gathered together a dozen experiences to help kick start your family interactions with our animals. Where will you start?
- Trowunna Wildlife Park, Tasmania. Possibly the best place in Australia to get up and close with the Tasmanian Devil.
- Mon Repos Turtle Centre, Queensland. This amazing location boats the largest concentration of nesting marine turtles on the eastern Australian mainland. Right here you can learn all about the conservation and research programs that are protecting them at the turtle centre. Of course, a turtle encounter is highly likely.
- Taronga Zoo Keeper for a Day, New South Wales. Taronga Zoo is highly regarded around the world for its conservation efforts. During the school holidays and/or weekends, children aged 8 years and over can participate in a Keeper for a Day program where they learn all about animal husbandry and what it really means to be a keeper.
- Rottnest Island, Western Australia. Home of the Quokka, Rottnest Island is one Australian location you should ensure is on your bucket list. Here you can see these little marsupials in their natural habitat.
- The Australian Reptile Park, New South Wales. Touted as a ‘hands on zoo’, you are more than likely to have a few animal encounters at this venue. With a plethora of exotic and native reptiles on site as well as Australian wildlife, your whole family will have fun. Make sure to check out the daily Crocodile show.
- Crocosaurus Cove, Northern Territory. Crocosaurus Cove is famous for its Cage of Death, a crocodile dive where you can experience 15 minutes in the enclosure with one of these massive reptiles. I’m not sure if I could do it!
- Famous Jumping Crocodile, Northern Territory. If diving with crocodiles isn’t really your thing, the Jumping Crocodile Cruise on the Fitzroy River might be your thing. Here you stay nice and comfy in the boat where you can watch Salt Water Crocodiles in their native habitat from behind thick glass windows.
- Seal Bay, Kangaroo Island, South Australia. Seal Bay has been home to a group of Australian sea lion for thousands of years. It is the only place in the world where you can see Australian sea lions at such close proximity within their untouched habitat. The wildlife experiences don’t stop there! You can also swim with leafy sea dragons!
- Penguin Parade, Victoria. Phillip Island boats Australia’s most famous penguin colony. Every night visitors can watch the Little Penguins return to their nests after a day of fishing. The kids will love this experience!
- Tin Can Bay, Queensland. Dolphins are a marine animal that almost every kid would recognise but not many have seen let alone fed. At Tin Can Bay, visitors can feed the resident wild Australian Humpback Dolphins that come in to shore each day to say hello. You will get wet but I don’t think there is any debate about how awesome this experience would be.
- Hamelin Bay, Western Australia. This sleepy little beachside town is home to a group of sting rays who like swimming close to humans and even enjoy feeding out of your hand. It’s a totally wild experience.
- Aquascene, Northern Territory. I have been visiting this site since the early 80s! Each day friendly friendly and inquisitive milkfish, mullet, catfish, bream, batfish and barramundi arrive from the wild to enjoy a feed from Darwin locals and visitors. It’s an experience that you need to add to your Darwin itinerary.
Wondering about which zoo to visit in Australia? Head to the KidStyleFile coverage of Australian zoos for inspiration.