Australia Nature & Wildlife plus UNESCO World Heritage Sites
With an abundance of flora and fauna throughout the country, Australia truly is a nature lover's dream. Much of the nature and wildlife found on the continent is unique to the island courtesy of it being isolated from the rest of the world for millions of years. With wildlife parks and zoos located in each of the capital cities plus many World Heritage Listed sites throughout the country, there is always an opportunity to spot and enjoy Australia’s wildlife.
Despite being home to 21 out of the world’s 25 deadliest snakes, Australia is not known for large predatory animals. In fact, the largest carnivorous mammal is the dingo, a free-roaming wild dog. Other mammals unique to Australia are the Numbat - a termite-eating mammal found in southern Australia, the Quoll (or native cat) a solitary and nocturnal species composed of 6 types, 4 of which are found in Australia with 2 in New Guinea, and the Tasmanian Devil, currently listed as an endangered animal that can only be found in the state of Tasmania.
There are around 828 bird species found in Australia and approximately half of them are unique to the country. Perhaps the most famous of Australian birds are the flightless emu which stands at a shocking two metres tall and the Kookaburra, made infamous by Marion Smith’s children’s song written in 1932. Known for its hysterical and almost human-like laugh and the fact that it is fairly common in both the countryside and city suburbs means the kookaburra is easily spotted. There are also many waterbirds found in Australia including fairy penguins, cassowaries, black swans and lyrebirds. Along with the many waterbirds, there are several species found on and around the coasts of Australia.
Various types of whales including whale sharks, baleen whales, humpbacks and right whales plus dwarf minke whales are often spotted. There are also 21 species of oceanic dolphins as well as various shark species. Other marine animals like fur seals are popular with Kangaroo Island being one of the best places to see them not only in Australia but also in the world.
Despite the many different species that call Australia home, the most commonly associated with the land Downunder belong to the marsupial family (marsupial referring to the common trait of carrying young in pouches). There are 140 marsupial species located on the continent, with 55 of them being native to the kangaroo and wallaby families. The main difference between these marsupials is size with the wallaby tending to be the smaller of the two. The kangaroo population is estimated at between 30 - 60 million. Koalas, although commonly referred to as bears are in fact marsupials and can be found all along the temperate coast. Spending 16-18 hours a day lounging, Koalas spend the rest of their day eating large amounts of eucalyptus leaves. Wherever one goes in Australia, spotting interesting and unique wildlife is a certainty.
UNESCO World Heritage Listed Sites
With such a wide variety of animal life, it is not surprising that Australia has an equally diverse landscape. With 19 UNESCO World Heritage Listed Sites, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
Greater Blue Mountains Area - New South Wales: listed in 2000, the Blue Mountains are made up of 1.03 million hectares of sandstone plateaux, escarpments and gorges all covered by eucalyptus forests. It is the eucalyptus that causes the mountains to appear hazy blue.
Great Barrier Reef - Queensland: listed in 1981, the Great Barrier Reef is a popular tourist spot that houses the world’s largest collection of coral reefs (400 types of coral, 1500 types of fish). It is the largest World Heritage Site and is amazingly the biggest thing made up of living things on the planet.
Kakadu National Park - Northern Territory: listed in 1981, Kakadu has been inhabited continuously for approximately 40,000 years. It serves as an excellent reference point to examine the lifestyles of early Aboriginals through ancient cave paintings, rock carvings and archeological sites. It is also home to a vast range of species unique to Australia.
Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park - Northern Territory: listed in 1987, and is made up of two different parts: Uluru, an immense monolith and Kata Tjuta, rock domes located to the west of Uluru. Kata Tjuta has many Dreamtime legends associated with it, and still hosts many spiritual ceremonies (typically at night) to this day.
Ningaloo Coast - 1200km north of Perth: listed in 2011 and is made up of a large network of underground caves. As an immense habitat for numerous marine species, it is also home to annual gatherings of Whale sharks.
We Love Animals
Goway is also dedicated to the preservation of the world's unique environment and wildlife and we support various community and conservation programs throughout Australia and New Zealand. In Australia, we sponsor Zeke, the Tasmanian Devil at Australia Zoo, Matilda, Walter and Kiah, and koalas at Rainforestation near Cairns. In New Zealand, we sponsor Jackson and Darwin, our Kiwi birds at Kiwi Encounter in Rotorua.
Australia Vacation Information
At Goway we believe that a well-informed traveller is a safer traveller. With this in mind, we have compiled an easy-to-navigate travel information section dedicated to Australia.
Learn about the history and culture of Australia, the must-try food and drink, and what to pack in your suitcase. Read about Australia's nature and wildlife, weather and geography, along with 'Country Quickfacts' compiled by our travel experts. Our globetrotting tips, as well as our visa and health information, will help ensure you're properly prepared for a safe and enjoyable trip. The only way you could possibly learn more is by embarking on your journey and discovering Australia for yourself. Start exploring...book one of our Australia tours today!
Extend Your Stay
Consider an additional stopover to your Australia vacation at one of Goway's South Pacific destinations. You can choose from our selection of New Zealand vacation packages, Tahiti vacation packages or stay at one of our Fiji resorts or perhaps take a Cook Island vacation. This can be done stopping over en route to or from Australia.
Book your Australia tour with Goway!
With more than 250 Australia tours and experiences, Goway’s Downunder wizards can offer you many ways to explore and enjoy Australia. Choose from a simple city stopover, see the country highlights on one of our classic itineraries, enjoy an Island stay, a self drive holiday, a Holiday of a Lifetime and more. We want to be your first choice when next you go globetrotting.
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