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Australia’s top 5 wildlife encounters

Australian animals are unique and abundant. Our country is one of the best in the world for up close and personal wildlife encounters. From marine life to furry marsupials, exotic birds and more, there are amazing creatures to meet around the country.

Many visitors dream of capturing a candid ‘just chilling with a kangaroo’ photo. The good news is, this vision (and more) can become a reality. From cuddling koalas to admiring beautiful sea life, we’ve picked our top five Australian wildlife encounters.

1. Feed the dolphins at Monkey Mia

State: Western Australia

Where to stay: RAC Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort

Tickets: Perth to Monkey Mia Return 4 Day Tour

About 40 years ago, Monkey Mia’s dolphin feeding tradition began. Between 8am and midday every day, dolphins swim around the shallows of the beach, waiting for a bite to eat. These tasty morsels are fed to the dolphins by friendly visitors (you).

This experience is one of Australia’s most famous wildlife encounters. It’s something you should definitely add to your WA bucket list, particularly if your family includes younger children.

(Image by @travellingourbigbackyard – Shared with permission)

2 Cuddle koalas in Brisbane

State: Queensland

Where to stay: Brisbane Gateway Resort

Tickets: Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

If you’re looking for the ultimate koala cuddling experience, visit Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. Located just 12km from Brisbane city, it’s the world’s first and largest koala haven. Here you can hold one of the 130 plus koalas, hand feed kangaroos and meet many more of Australia’s beautiful native animals. The park is open daily from 9am to 5pm.

(Image by @gabrym93 – Shared with permission)

3. Swim with whale sharks at Exmouth

State: Western Australia

Where to stay: RAC Exmouth Cape Holiday Park

Tickets: Swim with Whale Sharks

At Ningaloo Reef, you can encounter the world’s biggest shark up close and personal between April and July each year. Relax, whale sharks are plankton-eating wonders of the deep, and won’t consider you a snack.

You can snorkel alongside these remarkable creatures, some of which can be up to 18 metres long. You’ll also be surrounded by beautiful coral and fish species. If you have a GoPro, we suggest bringing it.

(Image by @memassimow  – Shared with permission)

4. See the penguin parade at Phillip Island

State: Victoria

Where to stay: A Maze’n Things Holiday Park

Tickets: Phillip Island Nature Parks Penguin Parade Entry

Phillip Island Nature Park is renowned for its nightly penguin parade. Located 90 minutes from Melbourne, it’s a magical experience. You will see the sun set while watching little penguins waddle up the beach. There are also a range of visitor activities available including educational ranger talks.

(Image by @toursbyrophael – Shared with permission)

5. Encounter a quokka on Rottnest Island

State: Western Australia

If you haven’t seen a quokka before, you’re missing out. Rottnest Island, just off the coast of Perth, is home to these beautiful animals. Quokkas are not only cute and cuddly, they’re also friendly. If you bring your camera, you can snap a selfie with one! Rarely spotted anywhere else in Western Australia,  Rottnest Island is a must to visit.

(Image by @hoolanni – Shared with permission)

That sums up some of  our favourite Australian wildlife encounters. However, there are many more to discover. Wherever your next road trip takes you, you’ll be sure to meet creatures great and small.

Do you need a little help planning your next road trip? Campstay can help you find, compare and book holiday parks and campgrounds. Check out our website here, or download our android / itunes app. You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or join our group – Holiday Park recommendations Australia.