There are plenty of locations around Australia to experience our native wildlife in their natural habitats. Just remember: especially for children, when in the wild it is always best to give animals their space – even the really, really cute ones!
For something a bit different, take the kids to The Entrance waterfront in New South Wales for the daily Pelican Feed, which has become one of the Central Coast‘s most popular attractions. With a huge pelican colony flocking in for the show each day, it is a great experience for the whole family!
The Great Barrier Reef is the perfect entertaining and educational family destination – parents and children can swim, snorkel, dive and sail, getting up close and personal with diverse marine life of the most vivid colours. Take a trip to Lady Elliot Island to swim with sea turtles, search for the real “Nemo and Dory” from Finding Nemo on one of many snorkelling tours, or for something a bit more action-packed – jump on the Daintree Crocodile Express to see saltwater crocodiles in their natural habitats.
Families looking for a truly magical experience can head to Phillip Island in Victoria, where you can line the observation boardwalks at Phillip Island Nature Park at dusk to watch the little penguins emerging from the sea and waddling up Summerland Beach to their burrows
The South Coast of New South Wales is perfect for a dolphin or whale watching cruise in Jervis Bay, along with a stop for a family game of beach cricket on the whitest sand in the world at Hyams Beach.
Rottnest Island is known around the world as the home of the cutest and most photogenic animal in the world, the quokka. These tiny animals have no fear of humans, so bring your selfie stick and, if you’re quick, you can even pose for a selfie with one!
For a breathtaking experience in Western Australia, families can snorkel alongside 14-metre whale sharks in the Ningaloo Marine Park, where you can often also find tropical fish, manta rays, turtles and dolphins in the wild.
Head to South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula for a swim with the “puppies of the sea”, sea lions! These playful critters are naturally friendly and will often swim right up and put on a show for you.
They may be tricky to spot in the wild, but head to the beautiful Wilsons Promontory National Park in Victoria at dusk and you will often see groups of fuzzy wombats emerge from their burrows to feed on the grass and thump around at the entrance to the main beach.