Whether you are an enthusiastic ‘birder’ or not – there is HUNDREDS of birds inhabiting the Great Southern Land here. Take note, we show you where to head for our flying and flightless friends!
The Emu is Australia’s answer to the Ostrich. Very tall in real life (up to almost 2 metres), running is their strength (up to 50 km/hr) since they are flightless. you will find them all over Australia except Tasmania.
Emus are also adept at breaking into travellers tents and bags if you leave anything unsecured. Inland Australia is ideal to spot these birds but they do inhabit some coastal areas. Uluru Camel Tours in Yulara, Northern Territory provide the chance to feed them up close!
Cassowaries are a similar-looking counterpart with tropical colours up in the northern rainforest regions of Queensland. While not so common as the Emu, they can be spotted near Etty Bay in Queensland. Check out Going Gum Nuts for the Fabulous Flora of Australia!, for another secret spot!
The Little Penguin is the most likely Penguin to see on your trip in Australia. They have had a bumpy history with people encroaching on their habitat, foxes and cats preying on them and even tourists removing them from the wild. All the more reason to understand appreciating them but without disturbing their existence!
Don’t flash torches at Penguins or photograph with flash, it damages their eyesight! Phillip Island is home to a large colony and the Penguins flock to the shoreline every day at sun down (Penguin Parade). We recommend rather than sitting on the platform, roam the board walk and see them scuttle right next to you or even right in front! Little Penguins are found right across southern Australia so there is lots of opportunity but Melbourne Zoo have them on display too!
If you travel across Australia, you will find the Kookaburra is a bird widespread and thriving in the bush. With a call that sounds much like a laugh this is why they are known as the Laughing Kookaburra. Kookaburras are in fact the largest Kingfisher in the world!
While the Laughing Kookaburra lives all along the east coast, southern Australia and the south west corner of Australia, Blue-winged Kookaburras reign up north. We are pretty certain you will spot one just about anywhere other than central Australia!
After Brazil, Indonesia and Columbia, is Australia for most species of Parrots. They thrive here! We have some incredibly unique and well known ones too. The adorable Budgerigar, that so many people keep as a pet – is native to central Australia. In the deserts they travel in giant flocks and are great, flying, plumes of green and gold! Some of the common parrots you will see here are; Sulphur-crested Cockatoos, Rainbow Lorikeets, Crimson Rosellas, Galahs, Corellas, King Parrots and more.
One of our favourites is the large, Palm Cockatoo which can live to over 100 years, but you only see them close to the top of Australia in Cape York. While the parrots all favour different habitat and foods, you can be sure to spy a few of these colourful birds at many a picnic table!
Wedge Tailed Eagles are Australia’s answer to the American Bald Eagle. They are the giants of the sky here and for a while were hunted to the brink of extinction as farmers thought they killed their sheep. Despite typically flying at high altitude, you can always recognise them because of the tail being a perfect kite shape!
Warm, bright sunny days are ideal to see Wedge Tails since they will utilise the thermal updrafts. If you’re still struggling to have a look, head to Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Park in Pearcedale, Victoria or Raptor Domain in Seal Bay, Kangaroo Island, South Australia.
While not as flashy as the more famous peacock, Lyrebirds are far more talented! This bird has the astonishing ability to mimic sounds. Not only sounds from the forest but manmade inspired as well! We rescued a young Lyrebird after its mum had been hit by a car. Luckily it was old enough to survive and be reintroduced when matured!
These cunning creatures can be found from southern Queensland right down to the forests of Tasmania. Healesville Sanctuary in Victoria have opportunities to see Lyrebirds in an enclosure since they are quite shy around people.
No where else in the world will you have the chance to see a Black Swan (unless it has been introduced)! The fauna emblem of Western Australia, these graceful birds favour wetland, river estuaries and flooded pastures.
Black Swans despite being Australia wide, are more common in the southern half. Head to Perth Zoo for these magnificence Swans on display.