When people think Australia – they usually think of world-class beaches, vast outback, and of course, a diverse array of native Australian animals. It’s no secret that Australia is home to a lot of the world’s most deadly wildlife, but don’t let that scare you from going into the wild! Encounters with dangerous animals are not as often as people believe, and it’s actually an extremely rare occurrence to be seriously hurt by one of these animals.
In reality – you are much more likely to encounter a group of humble kangaroos, emus, parrots, lizards, or even a koala if you’re lucky. Of course, you can visit a zoo to see these animals in an enclosure, but there’s no more thrilling and organic experience than spotting them in their natural habitat. Many of these animals are active in the early morning or at dusk, so the best opportunity to do this is when you’re camping. Here are our top five campervan and camping locations in Australia to see some (friendly) critters!
Booderee National Park – Jervis Bay, NSW
In Booderee National Park, there are several campsites just moments from stunning white-sand beaches and scenic nature walks. Within the pristine natural setting, native residents such as kangaroos, wallabies, possums, and echidnas thrive. You can camp in a tent or park your campervan at the beautiful Green Patch campgrounds and go bird watching to see the hundreds of bird species that live there. Then, sleep under the stars with the sound of the ocean right beside you, but make sure you keep a torch nearby for when you hear the scurry of a possum outside!
The Kimberley Region, WA
The Kimberley region of north-west Australia is a vast and fascinating area of land, filled with spectacular canyons, fresh-water swimming holes, and of course, high volumes of unique wildlife. Here, the animals are varied and plentiful – home to creatures great and small such as dingos, wallabies, bilbies, and lizards. At El Questro wilderness park, you can stay at powered campgrounds for around $20 per night, and wake up strategically located to the best wildlife spotting spots in the heart of the Kimberley.
Great Ocean Road, VIC
Not only is it one of the best road trips in Australia – the Great Ocean Road is also home to plenty of great campgrounds and holiday parks full of cute Aussie animals. You can sleep beside the rugged coastal scenery of the 12 Apostles, and spot whales migrating off the coast as you cook up your camp dinner feast. Alternatively, take the trip into nature and camp in the Great Otway National Park. Here, stop off along the drive at Kennett River, one of the best places in Australia to see wild koalas in the gum trees.
Kakadu National Park, NT
Kakadu National Park in tropical north Australia is a place of enormous and fascinating biodiversity. Covering almost 20,000 square kilometres, it is Australia’s largest terrestrial national park and home to more than one-third of Australia’s bird species and one-quarter of its freshwater fish species. Kakadu has no shortage of crocodiles, and there are many spots to safely observe the prehistoric predators around the park, such as the Yellow Water wet grounds. Base yourself at the Cooinda Camping Ground next to Yellow Water Billabong and sleep among the spectacular landscapes of Kakadu and witness unique animals right at your door!
Daintree National Park, QLD
Saving the best for last – the incredible Daintree Rainforest in tropical north Queensland is one of the most biologically diverse rainforests on the planet. The World Heritage Listed region hosts the highest number of plants and animals that are rare or threatened anywhere in the world. Here you can spot creatures such as the large Southern Cassowary bird, tree kangaroos, ringtail possums, owls, extraordinary butterflies, and much more. The spectacular rainforest jungle is located on the shores of golden sand beaches and contains many caravan and campgrounds where you can sleep right amongst nature.
Photography by Martin Stringer
We love our beautiful and unique wildlife in Australia, and we know first hand that there is no better way of seeing animals than in the wild! No matter what state, coast, park, or jungle you explore in Australia, there’s almost certain to be an abundance of friendly critters camping out with you!
Check out the Travellers Autobarn Road Trip App to find more awesome campgrounds and places to visit. Available on Android and iOS.