88% of Malaysians think Australia is all about kangaroos and koalas.
Australia has more than its share of cute and cuddly animals, but there’s a plenty of wildlife to encounter beyond koalas and kangaroos. Whether you’re spotting seals on Kangaroo Island, diving with great white sharks in the Eyre Peninsula or spotting spikey echidnas in Yorke Peninsula, you’ll soon discover a different side to Australian animals.
Get up close to Australian sea lions on Kangaroo Island
Kangaroo Island might sound like it’s filled with adorable roos – and it is – but the island is also home to many other native animals like sea lions and echidnas. Seal Bay, on the island’s south coast, is the only place in the world you can get up close to a colony of approximately 1,000 Australian sea lions. Guides will bring you into the heart of the colony and teach you about the rare animals. You can even walk along the same beach where seal pups play and bulls bask in the sun. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for echidnas, the island’s small and spikey residents, which can be seen in the wild and at Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park. At Raptor Domain, you can spot species ranging from kookaburras to kestrels and learn about their hunting techniques and natural behaviour. Make it a day trip and visit a local brewery, or snorkel and kayak to experience the island’s scenery.
Swim with wildlife in the Eyre Peninsula
The Eyre Peninsula is a haven for a huge variety of marine life and is readily accessible to visitors. Just a 50-minute flight from Adelaide, the Eyre Peninsula is the perfect addition to your South Australian itinerary. Sharks, whales, dolphins and more swim just off the shore, and visitors can observe, dive and swim with the many marine animals. Swim with friendly sea lions in their natural habitat or head underwater and scuba dive with giant cuttlefish and leafy sea dragons, which are only reliably found in South Australia. If you’re ready for a heart-pumping adventure, hop on an Adventure Bay Charters cage diving tour to view great white sharks from the safety of an eco-certified cage, or stay dry in their 360-degree Aqua Sub. Along the way you might even spot a pod of dolphins or whale, in season.
Connect with wildlife in the Yorke Peninsula
A favourite with Adelaide locals, the Yorke Peninsula is a great place to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of city life. The peninsula is located an easy two-hour drive from Adelaide, but with coastal landscapes and spectacular cliffs, you’ll feel a world away. Visit Innes National Park, set on the southwest tip of Yorke Peninsula, where you can drive through yellow canola fields before reaching rugged coastline. The area is home to an abundance of local wildlife, and you’re almost guaranteed to see animals such as emus, wallabies, dolphins - sometimes even seals come close to shore. Don’t miss Ethel Beach, a picturesque stretch of sand with the ruins of a 1900’s Norwegian ship named “The Ethel” still laying at the base of the coastline. At the tip of the Yorke Peninsula you’ll find Inneston Lake, which features crystal clear waters perfect for an Instagram snap.
Whale watching in the Fleurieu Peninsula
Whales are some of the most majestic creatures you can see in Australia, and one of the most accessible viewing spots is in South Australia’s stunning Fleurieu Peninsula. Just a one-hour drive from Adelaide, the Fleurieu Peninsula offers whale watching experiences from both the shore and the sea. First, visit the South Australian Whale Centre in Victor Harbor for interactive activities and whale watching tips from the pros. Then, grab your binoculars and head to one of the peninsula’s whale watching hot spots, including Encounter Bay, Port Elliot, Middleton and The Bluff at Victor Harbor. For a closer look, set out to sea on a whale and wildlife tour with The Big Duck Boat Tours. During whale watching season, from May to October, you’ll be able to spot not only giant whales, but also dolphins, seals and a variety of birdlife.