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Wildlife Locations

36 recommended locations:

Adelaide International Bird Sanctuary

This is one of Australia’s newest and most important nature reserves. The Dry Creek Salt Fields in the Adelaide International Bird Sanctuary support 25,000 waterbirds including the vulnerable curlew sandpiper. This pristine coastline is a must for any bird-lovers passing through the city of Adelaide.

  • Where: South Australia
  • Ideal for viewing: Pacific golden plover, curlew sandpiper, sharp-tailed sandpiper, red-necked stint, lesser knot
  • Excellent for: Self-drive, Birdwatching

Arnhem Land

Located in the north-eastern corner of Australia’s Northern Territory, around 500 kilometres from the capital Darwin, Arnhem Land’s prolific wildlife includes the region’s largest predator – the saltwater crocodile – along with dugong and nesting turtles. It is home to hundreds of bird species.

  • Where: Northern Territory
  • Ideal for viewing: saltwater crocodile, dugong, barramundi, azure kingfisher, black-necked stork
  • Excellent for: Walking safaris, Vehicle safaris

Atherton Tablelands

The Atherton Tablelands occupy 32,000 square kilometres of fertile plateau in part of Queensland’s Great Dividing Range, inland from Cairns. Although it lies within tropical latitudes, the elevation of between 500 and 1,280 metres gives a climate suitable for dairy farming.

  • Where: Queensland
  • Ideal for viewing: Atherton scrubwren, bush stone-curlew, sarus crane, pied monarch, tooth-billed bowerbird
  • Excellent for: River safaris

Broome

Lying 2,240 kilometres north of Perth, on the traditional lands of the Yawuru in the Kimberley region, the coastal town of Broome is famed for its pearling industry. Home to the Broome Bird Observatory, millions of waders and shorebirds feed here on the intertidal mudflats and roost on the red sand beaches.

  • Where: Kimberley region
  • Ideal for viewing: red-collared lorikeet, flying fox, flatback turtle, broad-billed flycatcher, mangrove golden whistler
  • Excellent for: Wildlife cruises, Vehicle safaris, Self-drive

Bruny Island

Bruny Island is the ultimate Tasmanian wilderness experience with preserved natural environments, abundant wildlife, tranquil beaches and soaring sea cliffs. A birdwatchers’ paradise, the island’s national park attracts all 12 of Tasmania’s endemic birds including the rare forty-spotted pardalote.

  • Where: South-east Tasmania
  • Ideal for viewing: forty-spotted pardalote, white wallaby, little penguin, short-tailed shearwater, Australian fur seal
  • Excellent for: Wildlife cruises, Walking safaris, Birdwatching

Cooktown

Cooktown is a small town (population around 2,500) at the mouth of the Endeavour River, on Cape York Peninsula in the far north of Queensland where James Cook beached his ship, the Endeavour, for repairs in 1770. Both the town and Mount Cook (431 metres) behind the town were named after him.

  • Where: Queensland
  • Ideal for viewing: laughing kookaburra, southern cassowary, Bennett’s tree kangaroo, striped possum, yellow-bellied glider
  • Excellent for: Self-drive

Coorong National Park

Stretching more than 130 kilometres, Coorong National Park forms a wetland of international importance, where saltwater lagoons, sheltered by the sand dunes of the Younghusband peninsula, provide a sanctuary for bird species including the Australian pelican, Eurasian coot and Cape Barren goose.

  • Where: South Australia
  • Ideal for viewing: Cape Barren goose, emu, fairy tern, Australian pelican, red-necked avocet
  • Excellent for: Birdwatching

Daintree National Park

Daintree is home to the largest range of flora and fauna on earth within Australia’s largest remaining tract of rainforest. This area of around 1,200 square kilometres contains the highest number of plant and animal species that are rare or threatened with extinction of anywhere in the world.

  • Where: Queensland
  • Ideal for viewing: Bennett’s tree kangaroo, swamp wallaby, saltwater crocodile, southern cassowary, striped possum
  • Excellent for: Self-drive

East Gippsland

Due east of Melbourne, East Gippsland stretches east and north from the western watershed of the Mitchell and Thomson Rivers to the border of New South Wales, covering some 14% of the state of Victoria. The region is famous for its forests and wildlife – particularly big mammals, birds and reptiles.

  • Where: Victoria
  • Ideal for viewing: koala, swamp wallaby, superb lyrebird, yellow-tailed black cockatoo, southern hairy-nosed wombat
  • Excellent for: Vehicle safaris, Self-drive

Eyre Peninsula

With over 2,000 kilometres of coastline, pristine Eyre Peninsula offers the opportunity for close encounters with a rich variety of wildlife, on land and in the sea. Explore Gawler Ranges and Lincoln National Parks to see rare endemics in their own environment, and swim with sea lions and dolphins.

  • Where: South Australia
  • Ideal for viewing: southern right whale, Australian sealion, koala, yellow-footed rock wallaby, red kangaroo

Flinders Ranges

Flinders Ranges is South Australia’s largest mountain range and one of the region’s two ‘National Landscapes’ – famous for dramatic rock formations, national parks, aboriginal rock art, wildlife which includes yellow-footed rock wallabies, and flora specially adapted to the semi-arid environment.

  • Where: South Australia
  • Ideal for viewing: yellow-footed rock wallaby, wedge-tailed eagle, Lake Eyre dragon, emu, common wallaroo

Fraser Island

Stretching for more than 123 kilometres, with a maximum width of 22 kilometres, Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world. A precious part of Australia's natural and cultural heritage, its UNESCO World Heritage listing places it alongside Uluru, Kakadu and the Great Barrier Reef.

  • Where: Southern Queensland
  • Ideal for viewing: humpback whale, swamp wallaby, short-eared possum, black flying fox, dingo
  • Excellent for: Walking safaris, Self-drive, Whale watching

Freycinet National Park

Occupying most of the Freycinet Peninsula on Tasmania's dramatic east coast, the Freycinet National Park, with its pink granite mountains and beautiful white beaches, is a haven for birdlife. The park’s jewels include a RAMSAR wetland, home to migrants such as black swan and white-bellied sea eagle.

  • Where: East Coast Tasmania
  • Ideal for viewing: Tasmanian pademelon, Australasian gannet, white-bellied sea eagle, black swan, little penguin
  • Excellent for: Wildlife cruises, Birdwatching

Gawler Ranges National Park

Well known for its stunning rock formations, Gawler Ranges is a refuge for wildlife and home to over 162 mammal and bird species, including the brightly coloured Australian ringneck parrot, the pink cockatoo and the southern hairy-nosed wombat. The park also supports over 400 species of plant.

  • Where: South Australia
  • Ideal for viewing: yellow-footed rock wallaby, Major Mitchell’s cockatoo, wedge-tailed eagle, red kangaroo, blue-breasted fairywren

Gluepot Reserve

Gluepot Reserve is one of South Australia’s best regions for spotting resident and migrant birdlife. It is the largest expanse of protected mallee scrubland in the country and supports many nationally threatened bird species as well as an astonishing variety of wildlife and flora.

  • Where: South Australia
  • Ideal for viewing: malleefowl, black-eared miner, Gould’s wattled bat, red kangaroo, short-beaked echidna
  • Excellent for: Self-drive, Walking with wildlife, Birdwatching

Great Barrier Reef

The world's largest coral reef system of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands covers an area of approximately 344,400 square kilometres. The biggest single structure made by living organisms is composed of, and built by, billions of tiny coral polyps and is easily discernable from space.

  • Where: Queensland / East Coast
  • Ideal for viewing: dugong, green turtle, saltwater crocodile, white-bellied sea eagle, roseate tern
  • Excellent for: Wildlife cruises

Great Ocean Road

A piece of Australian national heritage, the 243-kilometre-long Great Ocean Road runs along the southeast coast of Victoria from Torquay to Allansford. Built between 1919 and 1932 by returned soldiers, it was dedicated those killed during World War I, making it the world's largest war memorial.

  • Where: Victoria
  • Ideal for viewing: eastern grey kangaroo, hooded plover, rufous bristle-bird, swamp antechinus, glossy grass skink
  • Excellent for: Self-drive

Kakadu National Park

Lying 240 kilometres east of Darwin, Kakadu is Australia’s largest national park. Covering almost 20,000 square kilometres it is a place of huge biodiversity whose rare endemic animals include more than a third of the country’s bird species and a quarter of its freshwater and estuarine fish species.

  • Where: Northern Territory
  • Ideal for viewing: saltwater crocodile, agile wallaby, antilopine wallaroo, flying fox, sugar glider
  • Excellent for: Walking safaris, Vehicle safaris

Kangaroo Island

Surrounded by the Southern Ocean, Kangaroo Island is a haven for Australia’s endemic wildlife – more than 60 percent of the island comprises national parks and reserves. Here is nature at its best; amongst sheltered beaches, rugged cliffs and bushland, kangaroo, koala, birds and sealions abound.

  • Where: Southwestern Australia
  • Ideal for viewing: tammar wallaby, Australian sealion, short-beaked echidna, glossy black cockatoo, Kangaroo Island kangaroo
  • Excellent for: Penguin watching, Birdwatching

Kondalilla National Park

This park is located near Montville in the scenic Blackall Range some 100 kilometres north of Brisbane, in the hinterland of the Sunshine Coast. Named after the spectacular Kondalilla Falls, which plummet 90 metres into a rainforested valley, it is an important refuge for native plants and animals.

  • Where: Southern Queensland
  • Ideal for viewing: short-beaked echidna, red-necked wallaby, yellow-bellied glider, king parrot, cockatoo
  • Excellent for: Walking safaris, Self-drive

Lady Elliot Island

This coral cay lies at the southern tip of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Great Barrier Reef, roughly 80 kilometres northeast of Bundaberg and between Fraser Island and Lady Musgrave Island. It is the closest Great Barrier Reef island to Brisbane, Queensland’s capital.

  • Where: Southern Queensland
  • Ideal for viewing: whaleshark, manta ray, brown booby, green turtle, red-tailed tropicbird
  • Excellent for: Walking safaris, Whale watching, Dolphin watching

Maria Island National Park

World Heritage listed Maria Island mixes convict-era architecture, industrial heritage and diverse wildlife. One of Tasmania's great wildlife hot spots, this is one of the rare locations to see healthy Tasmanian devil in the wild, together wtih other rare species such as the Cape Barren goose.

  • Where: Tasmania
  • Ideal for viewing: common wombat, Bennett’s wallaby, Tasmanian devil, dusky robin, Cape Barren goose
  • Excellent for: Wildlife cruises

Mary River National Park

150 kilometres east of Darwin, Mary River National Park consists of various small reserves that protect the catchment area of the river and its floodplain. Freshwater billabongs, paperbark and monsoon forests offer excellent opportunities for watching wildlife, fishing, bushwalking and photography.

  • Where: Northern Territory
  • Ideal for viewing: saltwater crocodile, magpie goose, black-necked stork, white-bellied sea eagle, water buffalo
  • Excellent for: Walking safaris, Vehicle safaris

Murray River

The Murray River is one of Australia’s most important inland waterways. Its floodplains are teeming with native and migrant birdlife as well as a striking variety of land mammals. This giant river meanders between vast red-gum forests and lofty mountain gorges, offering a variety of habitats.

  • Where: South Australia
  • Ideal for viewing: platypus, Australian pelican, eastern grey kangaroo, Australian white ibis, regent parrot
  • Excellent for: Self-drive, River safaris, Birdwatching

Nitmiluk National Park (Katherine Gorge)

Nitmiluk a.k.a. Katherine Gorge is a system of 13 immense gorges carved from the region’s ancient stone over the millennia by the Katherine River. The gorges are of huge cultural significance for their traditional owners, the Jawoyn, for whom Nitmiluk is the place where the spirits of creation dwell.

  • Where: Northern Territory
  • Ideal for viewing: freshwater crocodile, saltwater crocodile, great bowerbird, osprey, Gouldian finch
  • Excellent for: Self-drive

North Queensland Outback

Outback is the term used to describe Australia’s vast, remote, arid interior – even more remote than "the bush" which refers to any area outside a main urban zone. Due to low, erratic rainfall and infertile soil, it is sparsely settled and over 90% of Australians live in urban areas on the coast.

  • Where: Queensland
  • Ideal for viewing: comb-crested jacana, white-bellied sea eagle, freshwater crocodile, blue-faced honeyeater, rainbow bee-eater
  • Excellent for: Walking safaris, Flying safaris, Vehicle safaris, River safaris

Orpheus Island

Lying only 80 kilometres north of Townsville amidst the turquoise waters of the Great Barrier Reef, Orpheus Island boasts 11 kilometres of immaculate coastline, and comprises a pristine national park while the surrounding waters are a UNESCO World Heritage-listed marine park.

  • Where: Northern Queensland
  • Ideal for viewing: manta ray, humpback whale, green turtle, short-beaked echidna, orange-footed scrubfowl

Phillip Island

Named after the first Governor of New South Wales, Arthur Phillip, the island’s southern and western coasts are an Important Bird Area, with significant populations of little penguins, short-tailed shearwaters and Pacific gulls. At the western end of the island, Seal Rocks is home to Australia’s largest colony of fur seals.

  • Where: Victoria
  • Ideal for viewing: eastern grey kangaroo, little penguin, swamp wallaby, fur seal, short-tailed shearwater
  • Excellent for: Walking safaris, Vehicle safaris, Walking with wildlife, Penguin watching

South West National Park

At over 600,000 hectares, South West National Park is Tasmania’s largest park, and one of Australia’s wildest places. Amongst its avian highlights are the flame robin, black-headed honeyeater and endemics such as Tasmanian scrubhen and Tasmanian thornbill, and the endangered orange-bellied parrot.

  • Where: South West Tasmania
  • Ideal for viewing: orange-bellied parrot, black-headed honeyeater, fame robin, Tasmanian thornbill, Tasmanian scrubwren
  • Excellent for: Wildlife cruises

Tasman National Park

A dramatic coastline consisting of soaring 300 metre cliffs and monumental rock formations form this spectacular area of natural beauty. Wildlife is in abundance with Australian fur seals, little penguins, brushtail possums, swift parrots, and the endemic forty-spotted pardalote all seen here.

  • Where: Tasmania
  • Ideal for viewing: forty-spotted pardalote, brushtail possum, little penguin, Australian fur seal, swift parrot
  • Excellent for: Wildlife cruises, Birdwatching

The Kimberley

The Kimberley region occupies the far north of Western Australia, lying between the Great Sandy Desert and the Timor Sea/Indian Ocean. Animals found here include huge saltwater crocodiles and a particularly rich variety of birds – such as channel-billed cuckoo, Pacific koel and several endemic species.

  • Where: Western Australia
  • Ideal for viewing: northern quoll, golden bandicoot, saltwater crocodile, purple-crowned fairywren, Gouldian finch
  • Excellent for: Wildlife cruises, Walking safaris, Vehicle safaris, River safaris

Adelaide

The gateway to one of Australia’s finest wine regions, Adelaide boasts colonial buildings, lively markets, art galleries and an array of festivals. Just a short drive away you can find beautiful beaches and the Adelaide Hills, home to some of Australia’s best known national parks.

  • Where: South Australia
  • Excellent for: City stopover

Cairns

Cairns is the perfect location to experience Australia’s wonderful biodiversity. From the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef and its marine wonders, to the tropical rainforest of Daintree National Park, or the dry, remote outback, everything is just a short distance away.

  • Where: Queensland
  • Excellent for: Beach stay, City stopover

Darwin

The capital and largest city of Australia’s sparsely populated Northern Territory, Darwin lies on the Timor Sea. Originally a pioneer outpost, the area is the ancestral home of the Larrakia Aboriginal people and gateway to the impressive Kakadu National Park and Arnhem Land.

  • Where: Northern Territory
  • Excellent for: City stopover

Hobart

An eclectic mix of modern and historic, the small city of Hobart has a vibrant art scene and interesting museums, alongside several bars, cafes and restaurants. It provides access to some of Tasmania’s best natural attractions – including Maria Island National Park and Bruny Island.

  • Where: Southern Tasmania
  • Excellent for: City stopover, History & culture

Melbourne

Victoria’s state capital and most populous city, second in Australia only to Sydney, Melbourne is frequently called Australia’s cultural capital, and is home to many of the country’s largest and oldest cultural institutions. It is the hub of the Australian film industry and gateway to the stunning scenery of the Great Ocean Road.

  • Where: Victoria
  • Excellent for: City stopover, History & culture

View trips to these locations

Wildlife trips

Australia has evolved like nowhere else in the world, its mix of wetland and rainforest combining with the harsh, arid central desert to create some unique wildlife species. The land ‘down under’ hosts such bizarre and wonderful creatures as kangaroo, koala, echidna, kookaburra and cassowary.

12 recommended trips. Our trip ideas are offered to inspire you and can be tailored to suit your requirements.

Tablelands, Reef & Rainforest Self-drive

This comprehensive self-drive visit to Northern Queensland includes the great ‘must-dos’ – a relaxing cruise on the Great Barrier Reef and a stay in Daintree Rainforest – as well as an opportunity to explore lesser known places and see the region’s wildlife on excursions with expert local operators.

  • When to go: Apr-Nov
  • Duration inc. flights: 17 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £4,195 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea

Wildlife of Australia’s Nature Coast

Enjoy Queensland’s unique wildlife on this tailor-made itinerary. Fraser Island is home to dingos, dugongs, turtles, mangrove swamps and many migratory birds, Kondalilla National Park boasts wallabies, possums and birdlife, and on the Great Barrier Reef Lady Elliot Island offers marine biodiversity.

  • When to go: Aug-Oct
  • Duration inc. flights: 11 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £2,595 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea

Kangaroos, Sealions & the Gawler Ranges

Explore two of South Australia’s finest wildlife locations: Gawler Ranges and Kangaroo Island, travelling from the Outback to the sea. Visit a koala colony, study geological formations, swim with sealions, and seek out rare species such as echidna, glossy black cockatoo and the elusive platypus.

  • When to go: Jan-Dec
  • Duration inc. flights: 11 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £7,995 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea

South Australia in Style

Staying in luxury properties at Kangaroo Island and Flinders Ranges, explore the picturesque landscapes of South Australia in search of its wildlife, including Australia’s largest macropods: red kangaroo, western grey kangaroo and common wallaroo, as well as fur seal colonies and prolific birdlife.

  • When to go: Jan-Dec
  • Duration inc. flights: 12 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £6,095 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea

Penguins, Koalas & Great Ocean Road

This innovative itinerary combines self-drive, a short small group tour and excursions around Melbourne. Visiting the contrasting areas of Great Ocean Road, Phillip Island, East Gippsland and the Wilderness Coast you’ll see the best of Victoria’s wildlife, including many iconic Australian species.

  • When to go: Sep-May
  • Duration inc. flights: 13 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £4,395 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea

Northern Queensland in Style

Northern Queensland boasts an astonishing diversity of habitat, flora and fauna. This distinctive journey visits iconic locations such as the Daintree Rainforest, Great Barrier Reef and the Outback, to see the best of this rugged land while staying in unabashed comfort at the finest accommodation.

  • When to go: Apr-Nov
  • Duration inc. flights: 14 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £7,195 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea

Tasmania’s Wilderness Coast

Join us on a wildlife cruise along the southern coast of Tasmania, visiting five national parks and two world heritage areas, as we explore the pristine landscapes and spectacular coastlines of this fascinating island in the hope of seeing its 12 species endemic birds and mammals.

  • When to go: Nov-Feb
  • Duration inc. flights: 12 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £4,395 pp
  • Trip type: Group tour

Wings over the Top End

Flying over Kakadu National Park, and into Bamurru plains and Arnhem Land, gives you a fantastic bird’s-eye view of the incredibly rich biodiversity. The coastal floodplains of Northern Australia are home to prolific birdlife, while Kakadu and Arnhem Land are the heartland of its indigenous culture.

  • When to go: May-Oct
  • Duration inc. flights: 12 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £5,595 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea

Crocodile & Jabiru Self-drive

This self-drive trip covers the best of the Top End, visiting four national parks: Mary River, Kakadu, Nitmiluk (Katherine Gorge) and Litchfield. Various excursions designed to showcase these iconic locations are included, but there’s still time to do your own thing and arrange activities locally .

  • When to go: Apr-Nov
  • Duration inc. flights: 13 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £3,495 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea

Wildlife of Kimberley & Bamurru Plains

The remarkable Kimberley Coast is home to towering waterfalls, rugged outback landscapes, ancient Aboriginal art and abundant wildlife – there is no place on earth quite like the Kimberley, and no better way to discover it than on an unforgettable small ship cruise between Darwin and Broome.

  • When to go: May-Sep
  • Duration inc. flights: 22 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £8,595 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea

Kakadu Wildlife Bonanza

This special journey through Australia’s tropical Outback – the Top End – is for curious adventurers with a taste for wilderness and wildlife. During your stay in Arnhem Land at Kakadu and Mary River National Parks you’ll walk and visit rock art sites, and learn about the Top End’s remarkable fauna.

  • When to go: Aug
  • Duration inc. flights: 17 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £6,495 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea

Islands, Rivers & Ranges

Visiting some of South Australia’s diverse and wildlife-rich habitats, we hope to see over 200 species of birds including Cape Barren goose, little penguin and three species of cockatoo, as well as many fascinating endemic mammals, such as short-beaked echidna, southern hairy-nosed wombat, koala and kangaroo.

  • When to go: Sep-Oct
  • Duration inc. flights: 15 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £4,745 pp
  • Trip type: Group tour

When to go

Most of Australia has four seasons, opposite to those of the northern hemisphere, and you can visit at any time. However the tropical north has just two: wet and dry.

Seasons

  • Spring

    Sep to Nov: The transition months leading into summer
  • Summer

    Dec to Feb: The three hottest months
  • Autumn

    Mar to May: The transition months before the arrival of winter
  • Winter

    Jun to Aug: The coldest period of the year

Wildlife events

  • Sep to Oct: Humpback whales migrate along the East Coast
  • Jul to Jul:

    Southern right whales arrive on the South Coast

  • Aug to Aug:

    Humpback whales migrate along the East Coast

Where to stay

Wildlife cruise vessels