88% of Malaysians think Australia is all about kangaroos and koalas.
Australia is an animal lover’s paradise with an abundance of wildlife to encounter. In New South Wales, you can interact with Australia’s most famous animals - like kangaroos and koalas - but you can also spot more unique creatures. Swim with playful seals, ride a camel along the beach and be entertained by a hungry crowd of pelicans in wildlife experiences that are unlike any other.
Port Stephens is known for its immense coastal sand dunes that you can explore on quad bike and sand board. But there’s another form of transportation that’s even more unique. In Port Stephens, you can get to know the local camels as you ride along on their backs. Embark on a camel ride along Stockton Beach, where your camel train will cruise along the sand and even into the gently crashing waves. From the back of your camel, you’ll be able to see the vast sea of golden sand that surrounds you. Opt for the sunset cruise for a peaceful way to end the day.
With its stunning white sands and crystal clear waters, Jervis Bay is a world-class beach holiday destination. While you can spot kangaroos on Pebbly Beach, be sure to look towards the horizon for an even more thrilling wildlife sighting. Each year, between late May and November, the East Coast of Australia becomes a highway for migrating humpback and southern right whales. All along the coastline there are walking trails and headlands that offer incredible vantage points for spotting whales, but if you want the chance to see them at closer range, book a whale watching cruise with Jervis Bay Wild. They’ll take you on a journey to explore ancient caves, quiet coves and, of course, to spot migrating whales and resident dolphins.
Australia is home to a vast variety of wildlife on the land and in the water. One of the most playful underwater creatures you can meet is the fur seal. At Montague Island off the coast of southern New South Wales, you’ll have the opportunity to spot and even swim with these special animals. Various tours depart from Narooma on the New South Wales South Coast for the island and offer a great variety of things to do and see, from snorkelling and diving to whale watching and visiting a colony of little penguins. You can even stay on the treasured island, known as Barungaba to Yuin Aboriginal people. Check into the beautifully refurbished Montague Island Lighthouse Keepers' Quarters, built in 1881, and see the idyllic island from a new vantage point.
From koalas to wallabies, Australia has no shortage of cute and cuddly creatures. In Sydney, you can meet and greet yet another adorable animal. Wombats - Australian marsupials with short legs and a round, huggable body - are naturally shy, but will come running for an offer of veggies. At WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo, you can learn about the animals from one of the zoo’s keepers before stepping into the pen to feed a resident wombat. At the Australian Reptile Park, just over an hour north of Sydney by car, you’ll spot not only wombats but also Tasmanian devils, dingos and a range of reptiles. If you’re on your way to the Blue Mountains, stop by Featherdale Wildlife Park located in Sydney. Featherdale provides a home for over 1,700 native Australian animals and sometimes even has baby wombats to show off.
On the Central Coast, located just over an hour north of Sydney, you can encounter a range of Australian animals, but there’s one wildlife experience that’s unlike any other. Head to The Entrance on the Central Coast to see a crowd of hungry pelicans that show up at the same time each day. At 3:30pm every afternoon, the birds assemble at Pelican Plaza - a specially-built section of Memorial Park - to eat whole fresh fish in a tradition that’s more than 20 years old. Today, locals and visitors can get up close to these unusual Australian birds in a wildlife sighting that’s both unusual and exhilarating. After, meet and greet other wildlife in the nearby national parks and nature reserves. Two of the prettiest walks are the Bouddi coastal walk and The Coast walking track.