Replies: 23 - Last Post: Apr 27, 2013 11:48 PM Last Post By: rijo
Apr 15, 2013 2:32 AM
15Saw koalas in the wild in Cape Otway, during our Great Ocean drive from Adelaide to Melbourne.
A great place to see Kangaroos is in the Blue Mountains! Apparently they just walk around the area and bother people on golf courses!
I never saw a platypus, but we did see sharks while shark cage diving in Port Lincoln! Amazing! ;)
Salt Water Crocodiles --Northern Territory--they are very dangerous and the one thing Ozzies are actually scared of (otherwise I think Ozzies are the toughest people considering they live amongst some of the deadliest animals in the world!)
I am Canadian, and my boyfriend and I did a very similar route but didn't get up to Cairns (instead we did some time in the Outback). We loved every bit of it. Helpful hint: if you are planning to rent a car, there are often 'relocating' deals from city to city where you can get a rental car for CHEAP! I often saw some from Adelaide to Melbourne and from Cairns to Sydney. We booked a car for 5 days from Adelaide to Melbourne and paid $9/day (seriously!).
Have fun and enjoy!
Apr 16, 2013 3:36 AM
Apr 16, 2013 3:43 PM
17I second that the Atherton Tablelands just outside Cairns are great for wildlife spotting. You are almost guaranteed to see platypus in the late afternoon at the viewing platform in Yungaburra. There is a lovely hostel there (www.onthewallaby.com) that offers tours where you can see a lot of wildlife (in the wild!!), not just platypus, but also the rare tree kangaroos and green ring tail possums. Plus birds and much more. The night canueing is great and affordable.
Also not far from Cairns is the Daintree area and a river cruise on the Daintree river should bring you wild crocodile sightings and many birds, as already mentioned.
Koalas and kangaroos can be easily seen at the great ocean road (saw heaps of koalas in Kennett River).
A heaven for wildlife lovers is Kangaroo Island off Adelaide (koalas, wallabys and kanagoos, seals and sea lions). I loved it. Another great possibility in the South is, as already mentioned, Wilson`s Promontery 3 hours from Melbourne. The beaches are fantastic, the scenery beautiful and you are guaranteed to see lots of wombats around the campground at night. Also very easy to see grey kangaroos and emus along the road into the reserve. Bunyip Tours offers backpacker tours if you don`t have a car.
From Brisbane, I recommend whale watching (in season) and dolphin tours all year. You have a good chance at spotting dugongs during the dolphin tours from www.dolphinwild.com.au.
You really don`t need to stick to zoos/sanctuaries, seeing wild animals in the wild is so much cooler!!
Edited by: udina
Apr 18, 2013 5:03 PM
18Kangaroos: you'll see these just driving down the highway, don't have to go anywhere special for that.
Koalas: go to Magnetic Island, off the coast of Townsville, and do the Forts Walk. It's one of the best places to see koalas in the wild in Australia. I also believe Queensland is the only state where you are legally allowed to touch a koala (in wildlife parks - it is not recommended to touch a wild koala!) but I could be wrong there.
Crocodiles: the Daintree area north of Cairns, but again, crocs are something that are scattered all over the place.
Platypus: Eungella National Park is generally considered the best place in Queensland, and one of the best in Australia, to view platypuses, although somehow I've never been there despite living in Queensland! You can also see them at Josephine Falls and Yungaburra in North Queensland. However, the only one I have ever come close to seeing (I missed it by 15 seconds) was at Mt Field National Park in Tasmania.
I second the suggestion of Wilson's Promontory for wombats, possums and other wildlife.
I would also recommend going to some wildlife parks where you can see these animals up close. Wildlife parks are generally better than zoos because they have a greater range of Australian animals (zoos are great but there are fewer Australian animals and more exotic animals like tigers, giraffes, elephants etc) and also normally have a better environment for them to live in. The one exception is Australia Zoo - it does have exotic animals but it is dedicated to Australian animals. It's super expensive though. My favourites are The Territory Wildlife Park (just outside Darwin) and The Desert Wildlife Park (near Alice Springs), both in the Northern Territory. As well as the normal Australian animals they feature animals you probably haven't heard of (and a lot of Australians haven't heard of) and which I have never seen in any other zoo or wildlife park. They are a long way off your planned route though.
Apr 21, 2013 2:46 AM
19Defenitely the Atherton Tablelands for seeing kangaroos, wallabies, platypuses (Platypus Park near Tarzali Lake, for example - bring binoculars!), bush turkeys and if you're lucky a tree kangaroo. No garanties ofcourse, but your best chance of seeing a tree kanga is in the forest behind the Malanda Falls Visitor Centre, just before sunset. Go to Noosa for koala spotting! The Daintree river is filled with crocodiles, I would suggest not to go swimming in there :) You can take a boat trip up the river to see crocs, but if you drive along the river you'll probably see some as well. Also, if you up to Cape Tribulation, you might even see a cassuary!
Apr 21, 2013 4:15 PM
20There's a winery just 40 minutes outside Brisbane's city heart, called Sirromet (at Mt Cotton) where wallabies and kangaroos roam free. You'll always spot some there in the wild. Great spot to sit, at their cellar door, and enjoy a glass of wine and cheese platter too. Wine tours as well if you're interested, but the wildlife is well worth the trip. If you're lucky you might also see koalas in the eucalypt trees.
Apr 22, 2013 1:42 AM
21You didn't mention but must see Cassowaries in the wild. South of Cairns you will find Mission Beach where they wander free. Standing 5-6ft tall they are truly impressive and unique birds, we stayed there for two nights and saw them by the side of the road on consecutive days. For all others you mentioned try Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary just outside Brisbane, Koalas to hold, Kangaroo and Wallabies to hand feed, Platypus viewing area, limited on the crocs but they are there and lots more.
Apr 22, 2013 7:20 AM
Apr 27, 2013 11:48 PM
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