Where can I see Koalas and Kangaroos?
Everyone who goes to Australia wants to see our unique, cute, furry wildlife, especially Koalas and Kangaroos. So in this blog post, I’ll tell you a bit more about these iconic Australian creatures and where you can see Koalas and Kangaroos on your Australia vacation. After all, not all wildlife experiences in Australia are made equal! Depending on where you go and what you want to do there, you can experience these Australian animals in several different ways.
What are Koalas and Kangaroos?
Is a Koala a bear?
Koalas bears aren’t bears — just like kangaroos aren’t rabbits. They’re both marsupials, which means they’re mammals who carry their young in a pouch on the front of their bodies. In Australia, they are just known as Koalas.
More than any other country, Australia has over 200 different species of marsupials, including wombats and Tasmanian devils, Quokkas, and Possums. However, we’ll discuss the koala and kangaroo here because they’re two of the most well-known and popular animals in Australia.
Where in Australia can I find Koalas and Kangaroos in the wild?
You can either see koalas and kangaroos in their natural habitat or in a wildlife park (which is like a zoo but tends to have rescued animals in a more open setting).
For animals in the wild, your best bet is Kangaroo Island. This is a large island about the size of Puerto Rico that lies off the southern coast of Adelaide in South Australia. True to its name, Kangaroo Island is chock full of Australian wildlife and offers the best chance of spotting koalas, kangaroos, and many other Australian marsupials.
We recommend spending one or two full days on Kangaroo Island for the most fulfilling experience. Hire an expert guide and driver, so you’re privy to all the best locations to find these animals in Australia. Your guide could take you to a meadow filled with bouncing kangaroos. Or, maybe they’ll stop on the side of the road so you can stand under a eucalyptus tree to watch a curled-up koala sleeping.
If your schedule or budget doesn’t allow a trip to Kangaroo Island, you could also consider doing a day tour on the Great Ocean Road outside Melbourne through the Cape Otway National Park. Head out from the city to the hinterlands with a specialist guide to show you the hidden pockets like the Kennett River Koala Walk, formerly known as Grey River Road, where wild koalas can be found. However, there are no guarantees of seeing Koalas in the wild — remember, wild animals don’t always stick to the schedule!
Remember that you won’t be able to hold any Australian animals you find in the wild. Being wild animals, it’s neither safe for you nor for them to try and catch or hold them.
Where in Australia can I touch or hold a Koala and Kangaroo?
If getting up close and personal with Australian wildlife is essential, you won’t be satisfied viewing wild animals from a distance. Instead, you’ll want to go to a wildlife sanctuary like Australia Zoo, where you will see an abundance of animals found in Australia.
Most wildlife parks only allow you to stand next to a koala, so for touching or holding a koala, make sure to go to a state that allows it by law. The states of Queensland (including Port Douglas, Hamilton Island, and Brisbane) and Western Australia (outside Perth) all have options for holding a koala. You can expect to hold one briefly, just long enough for a photo, not long enough for an extended snuggle session.
By contrast, you can touch a kangaroo at most wildlife parks across the country, regardless of the state. Wildlife parks in all states have options for touching and feeding kangaroos in captivity. You can buy a bag of food and hand-feed them. Just remember that if there were many tourists that day, they might not be hungry!
Can I find Kangaroos pretty much anywhere?
Well, sort of. Kangaroos are so numerous that you can find them in the wild almost anywhere. Just keep your eyes open and watch open fields, even at golf courses, where you could find them grazing.
You could also see them while driving, especially at dusk and dawn in rural areas when kangaroos love to go for a wander. Drive carefully. During the day, kangaroos tend to lie under a tree for shade. If it’s rainy, then they may come to the roadside looking for water.
While there are kangaroos in most rural areas, the only way to guarantee to spot in the wild is to hire a guide on Kangaroo Island or outside Melbourne, especially if you want an expert who can show you where you’re most likely to find them.
For many travelers, a wildlife park is their best bet for an experience with Australian animals, including those cute koalas and kangaroos. Many tour companies include a stopover at a wildlife park as part of a more extensive day tour. So if you want this experience, just let us know so we can choose a suitable tour for you to see the animals of Australia.
Is it safe to touch a Kangaroo?
Being wild, it’s not safe to approach these kangaroos. They can quickly attack with their hind legs. So best to keep a safe distance. Wild Kangaroos are also very nervous, so if you see some, watch from a safe distance and be quiet because as soon as you make a noise or move, they will jump away – which is often quite amusing to watch when there are a lot of them! For your safety, only touch them at an Australian Zoo or Wildlife Park if the option is available.
Are you ready to go to the home of two of the world’s strangest creatures? Then contact us today to plan your trip to Australia. We’ll ask questions about what sort of experience you seek and send you wherever suits your interests on your customized itinerary.
We hope you enjoyed this post on the animals you might find in Australia!
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