Let’s face it, Australian animals have a reputation for being deadly and terrifying and not for being cute and cuddly. But, outside the outback’s prickly veneer, Australia is also home to many adorable and diverse creatures. Many of Australia’s wildlife colonies can be seen just a short drive outside of the major cities.
Here is a top 5 of cute animals that will let you get up close on your road trip:
1. Wombats – Healesville, VIC
Image source: buzzfeed.com
Wombats may look cute, but they are actually an adorable bundle of muscle. Wombats can run 100m in less than 10 seconds, which puts them on par with Olympic finalists.
Wombats can be found right across Australia from WA to Tasmania, and it is recommended that you slow down and keep an eye out for the Wombat Crossing signs when on the road.
With a bit of luck you can spot wombats around the Great Ocean Road as they emerge from their burrows to forage for dinner.
2. Koalas – Cape Otway, VIC
Image source: buzzfeed.com
There is a myth that Koalas sleep a lot because they ‘get drunk’ on gum leaves. Fortunately, this is not correct! Most of their time is spent sleeping because it requires a lot of energy to digest their toxic, fibrous, low-nutrition diet and sleeping is the best way to conserve energy
If you are looking to spot this cuddly creature in the wild your best bet is to head to Victoria and stay at one of the campsites along the Great Ocean Road such as Bimbi Park at Cape Otway.
This site is about an hour from the 12 Apostles rock formation and features a colony of wild koalas as well as an outdoor cinema, laundry and kiosk. Unpowered campsites begin from $20AUD a night for two adults.
3. Seals – Montague Island, NSW
Image source: Visitnsw.com
Montague Island, off Narooma on the Princes Highway in southern NSW, is inhabited by the State’s largest colony of fur seals, which shares the clean waters with penguins, dolphins, migrating humpback whales and the occasional killer whale.
It is possible to spot the Australian Fur Seals all-year round on a chartered tour. Explore the underwater world and scuba dive with the playful fur seal pups. Tours will last between 3-4 hours and will cost around $95 AUD.
Baby turtles (also known as hatchlings) are possibly the most adorable reptiles. Whether hatchlings are male or female depends on the temperature where they are in the nest, known as the “pivotal temperature.” After around 45 to 70 days, the hatchlings break their soft egg casing and begin their march to the surf.
Mon Repos Conservation Park near the beach town of Bargara, is the place to be during hatching season. Visits start from $11.25AUD. Drive the 4.5 hours from Brisbane for the chance to hold a turtle egg (gently!), or help carry the newborns down to the water’s edge. Traveller’s tip: book way, way in advance, or you may miss all the action.
5. Kangaroos and Joeys – Murramarang National Park, NSW
These quintessential Australian animals are often seen in national parks, reserves and campsites around the country. Kangaroos are most active during dawn and dusk.
A popular spot for reliably seeing kangaroos in the wild is at Depot Beach in Murramarang National Park, 10 km north of Batemans Bay down the NSW south coast. They graze around the campsite and grassy verges of the beach.
In addition to the five animals mentioned above, the sugar glider is also a must-see. If its eyes were a lot bigger, then it would appear like a real-life Pokemon. This little possum has a membrane that connects its hind legs and forelegs, allowing it to easily glide through the air.
Sugar gliders are often seen gliding from one tree to another around the trees of the north and east coasts of Australia.
If you ever make it to the tropical rainforests of Northern Queensland and encounter tree-kangaroos, then consider yourself lucky. The population of this species is in significant decline because of hunting and habitat destruction.
Now, if you start planning your road trip, rent or buy at Travellers Autobarn and create your own Aussie masterpiece! Call 1800 674 374.
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Bastian is the Sales & Marketing Manager here at Travellers Autobarn. He holds a Master of Commerce in Marketing and International Business Management, and 20+ years experience in campervan hire, road trips and travel.