One reason visitors flock to Australia is to see the unique range of native wildlife that roams this beautiful country. From koalas sleeping in gum trees, kangaroos hopping across open plains, sea lions basking in the sunshine, and a sea filled with whales, penguins, marine life and more, there really are wildlife experiences available throughout the land.
For one stop wildlife spotting, explore the southern State of South Australia! Pair a wildlife journey with the spectacular landscapes of the Barossa Valley with its award-winning wines, the wildlife haven of Kangaroo Island, the many festivals and cultural activities in Adelaide, an outback experience in the Flinders Ranges or a seaside experience in Port Lincoln.
The most popular and easily accessible wildlife destination from Adelaide is the aptly named Kangaroo Island. The Island is the size of New York’s Long Island and with more than two thirds of it deemed National Park or wildlife reserve it offers a protected wilderness for wildlife to thrive. Get close to kangaroos, koalas, wallabies, wombats and echidnas on this island paradise and discover the rugged rock formations and the stunning National Parks. There is also an abundance of birdlife here including rare glossy black cockatoos, pelicans, sea eagles and wedge-tailed eagles. There is also a rich marine wildlife waiting to be discovered under the surface including blue devils, boarfish, harlequins, coralfish and the elusive leafy sea dragon. Join one of the wildlife tour operators on the Island who can take you on a day tour or overnight adventure to help you get the most out of your Kangaroo Island experience. The knowledgeable guides will help you spot the animals and provide you and share their knowledge and passion for this special place.
Flinders Chase National Park features a network of walking trails and boardwalks offering a great way to look for wildlife. Spot koalas and kangaroos in the bushland, follow creeks and other water sources where platypus live, and find sea lions and penguins on many of the deserted beaches. While exploring the National Parks and meeting the native wildlife, be sure to save some time to discover the bounty of delectable Kangaroo Island food and wine.
Visit the Eyre Peninsula and pair pristine landscapes with great seafood and rich wildlife. If you like fishing as much as you enjoy eating seafood then this is the destination for you. Cast your line from secluded beaches and sheltered coves, or purchase whiting, snapper, prawns and lobsters fresh from fisherman.
If you’re brave you can get up close and personal with a great white shark with cage diving near Port Lincoln, or if playful sea lions and friendly dolphins are more your scene you can swim with them at Baird Bay. Take a four-wheel drive safari in the Gawler Ranges and discover unique native species in number rarely found elsewhere including three large species of kangaroos can be seen in amazing numbers.
For something a little different landscape wise head to the rugged mountain ranges, spectacular gorges and the secluded creeks that attract an abundance of wildlife in the Finders Ranges National Park. Numerous Australian wildlife species call this area of the country home including brilliantly colored parrots, yellow-footed rock wallabies, kangaroos and emus and Australia’s largest bird of prey – the wedge-tailed eagle.
Within Adelaide there are a number of wildlife parks and zoos to visit including Adelaide Zoo and Cleland Wildlife Park where you can feed kangaroos as they laze and wander the 35 hectare park as well as hold a koala and surround yourself with more than 130 species of native Australian wildlife.
Wherever you choose to visit in South Australia, you will find a number of opportunities to discover and get close to native Australian wildlife.
For more information, check out Down Under Answers.
Editor’s note: Down Under Answers is a sponsor of Budget Your Trip.
Bryan has visited exactly one more country than his wife, and she won’t let him forget it! Also an avid photographer, he enjoys entrenching himself within the local culture in order to learn more about the people of a place. He is the co-founder of Budget Your Trip and loves a good adventure, an exotic meal, or a passionate conversation about global events.