If you think of a place that you want to travel to, there usually is a good reason. Great food, beautiful scenery, good hiking trails, visiting friends or family, etc. Most destinations have particular attractions. Though Australia has many, one of the reasons why I wanted to go was for the animals.
The animals there are not as scary as people claim them to be. I can’t say the same for those notorious spiders everyone here talks about, but for the most part, I was able to get close to the animals. We’re not allowed to actually hold a koala in our arms, but it’s also not because they’ll attack. Worst off, I had been avoiding dingoes for a couple of days because I was told that they are wildly dangerous, but my tour guide explained that many are actually very gentle and sweet. We put our hands out into the gate and let the dingoes come to us – they came over to sniff our hands, and that was that!
There are tons of animals that I’ve never heard or seen before. Besides the fact that I get to experience meeting them, I’m really excited to share my sights and stories with my students. The more they know, the better!
Anyhow, I can write pages and pages about the animals, but let’s get some visuals going. Some of these aren’t particularly Australian animals, but I just loved them anyway! I’ll share some fun facts I’ve learned in between.
Koala – Some can actually be pretty cute, and some like this one, can look a bit scary. Contrary to rumors, koalas aren’t high or drunk all the time. Out of 24 hours, they sleep for 20 hours because their only diet, eucalyptus leaves, results them in a lack of energy. They are quite cuddly though. I had a blast hugging this little fella at Moonlit Sanctuary!
Laughing Kookaburra – Got to spot them twice! They may look cute and cuddly, but they are actually carnivores!
Wombat (Either Hairy-Nosed or Common) – One of my favorite animals in the world. Unfortunately, they can be considered as hazards because their body is so hard, that if you hit one on the road when you drive, it’ll do a lot of damage to your car. Two fun facts: Did you know their poop is cubed so it doesn’t roll and it protects them from predators? 🙂 Also, their pouches are upside down so the dirt doesn’t get in the pouch when they dig!
Lorikeets – they will come to you anytime you have food!
Australian Magpie standing on the edge of the farm I was in outside of Melbourne – their bird song is really unique. (see my Instagram video)
Cape Barren Geese – mama and the babies
An Emu – second largest living bird in the world!
Kangaroo – most of the day, they just lay in the sun. I saw more kangaroos hopping than wallabies, probably because of the timing of when I went. Fun fact: Did you know that pregnant kangaroos can retain their baby inside and not give birth until living conditions are safe? What a skill to have!
Wallabies! Such beautiful eyes. Most of them loved to come to you and say hello (but their claws are quite sharp). This one came to my friend Irene who had some goodies in her hand for him!
Last but not least, one of the most unique experiences for me (though I’m sure it happens a lot in the U.S.) was watching a sheep dog bring the herd of sheep together. She was quite obedient!
Call me crazy, but I would move there just to study the nature of Australian animals. There’s something special about each of them! : ) What’s your favorite animal? Send an email and share!