If you are planning to move to Australia, it’s a great idea to familiarise yourself with the animals and wildlife that also make Australia home. Some animals you might want to seek out and some you will want to avoid. Knowing about them is the best way to know how to find them or how to avoid them.
Kangaroo Photo Credit: Australia.com
Kangaroos can only be found in Australia. They definitely symbolise our country and appear on our coat of arms. Kangaroos are in the marsupial family and there are 55 kangaroo species spread all over Australia. If you want to travel to see Kangaroos, you can see them in Victoria on the Great Ocean Road and in the Grampians. In South Australia, you can see them on the beach on Kangaroo Island or in Flinders Ranges. In New South Wales see them in Namadgi National Park or Kosciuszko National Park. They can also be found in Pebbly Beach. Kangaroos also inhabit Tasmania and can be seen on Maria Island.
Koalas Photo Credit: Australia.com
Koalas are probably the second animal that comes to mind when you think of Australian animals; it’s usually right behind the kangaroo. Koalas are often called koala bears because of their appearance, but they are not bears at all. They are marsupials and their closest relative is actually the wombat. Koalas mostly live along the east coast where the temps are moderate. Koalas run wild on Phillip Island in Victoria. In New South Wales, they are around Port Stephens. You can find them near Canberra in Tidinbilla Nature Reserve. In Queensland you can see koalas at the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. One of the few spots where they live in the wild and not on the east coast is in Yanchep National Park in Western Australia.
The Great White Shark
Great White Shark Photo Credit: Wikipedia
Great white sharks swim in all of Australia’s waters. Most of the popular beaches have lifesaving crews on duty in spring and summer time. They set up red and yellow flags and advise beachgoers to stay within the flags. Even though shark attacks to happen they are very infrequent compared to the amount of swimmers. However, the government and scientists are doing what they can to reduce the instances of shark attacks while also studying them. In Western Australia, sharks are being tagged with beacons that actually tweet their whereabouts on Twitter when a tagged shark moves within a certain distance of shore.
Crocodiles Photo Credit: Wikipedia
There are fresh water and salt water crocodiles in Australia. That means that crocodiles can be present in the ocean waters, streams, rivers, and brackish waters, which are a mix of salt a d fresh water. Look for signs and always heed warnings about crocodiles being present.
Humpback Whale Photo Credit: Australia.com
Over half of the whales in the world spend time in Australian waters. This includes over 45 species of whales, dolphins, and porpoises that can all be found in the waters off of Australia’s coastlines. The 6 regions with the best whale watching include Western Australia, Queensland, Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia, and Tasmania. Whale watching is one of the top tourist activities in Australia. Since there are so many whale watching spots throughout Australia, wherever you are, you are likely not far from a great whale watching spot.
Wolf Spider Photo Credit: Wikipedia
Not all of Australia’s animals appear cute and cuddly. Some strike fear into the hearts of most and will also strike at you if you step in the wrong place at the right time. Since the advent of anti-venom death from spider bite is very rare. Getting bitten in the first place is also very rare in the first place. When you are walking in areas of the rainforests, forests, or deserts where spiders can be present, wearing protective footwear prevent a problem from happening.
Green Tree Python Photo Credit: Wikipedia
In Australia, we share the land with 140 known species of snakes. Some of the most venomous snakes in the world are in Australia. However, your chances of encountering them are very small. As with spiders, you should wear protective footwear and clothing when walking through areas where snakes can be found. Since the development of anti-venom, fatalities have been cut down to four to six deaths each year, according to AustralianGeographic.com.au. The website quotes Associate Professor Bryan Fry, a herpetologist and venom expert at the University of Queensland, “Snake bites are very, very rare [in Australia] and often the fault of the person being bitten. Most bites occur when people are trying to kill a snake or show off”. Your best bet if you do encounter a snake is to back off. It likely just wants to slither away and will avoid confrontation unless provoked or threatened.
Emus are well-known in Australia. They are flightless, large birds that can run up to 50 km per hour. Emus can be found in less populated areas like grasslands, sclerophyll forests and savannah woodlands throughout Australia.
Fairy Penguins Photo Credit: Australia.com
Fairy Penguins are the smallest penguins in the world. They are also called Little Penguins. They can be found on the southern coast of Australia from Port Stephens in the east to Perth in the west.
The Cassowary is a large, flightless black bird related to the emu and the ostrich. It is thought to be one of the closest living relatives to dinosaurs. Cassowaries make their home in Australia’s rainforests.
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