Discoveries Down Under: The Animals and Wildlife of Australia

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Posted by: Xanterra on October 3, 2017

Over 80% of the wildlife you see in Australia is unique to the continent.

Many people view a journey to Australia as the trip of a lifetime. We agree! The sights, sounds, and food of Australia are one-of-a-kind. But if you are an animal-lover, perhaps the most rewarding experiences in the land down under are the encounters with the wildlife you’ve only seen on TV or at the zoo. In fact, over 80% of the wildlife you see in Australia is unique to the continent. Your chances to see many of the indigenous animals are good on any given trip to Australia, but here are three of the most unusual (and fun!) animals to seek out on your Australian adventure.

Koala

1. Tasmanian devil. Standing about 12 inches tall at the shoulder, the Tasmanian devil is a marsupial. This means that females carry their young in pockets. (Like kangaroos!) Tasmanian devils used to be abundant throughout Australia, however now they are only indigenous to the island state of Tasmania and are a protected species.

2. Kangaroo. An iconic animal of Australia, the kangaroo can travel almost 35 miles per hour and leap more than a distance of 29 feet. They live and travel in small groups called troops (or ‘mobs’ by Australians). Kangaroos are known for carrying their babies – known as joeys – in a pouch on their belly. Joeys do not leave the pouch permanently until 10 months of age.

3. Koala. Though often called a koala “bear”, this creature is not a bear at all. In fact it is a marsupial, like the Tasmanian devil and kangaroo. Koalas typically feed at night and sleep during the day, sometime for up to 18 hours! They love to eat leaves from the eucalyptus tree and actually eat so many that koalas take on a distinguishing scent from eucalyptus oil.
To see beautiful photos of these animals and more, check out Australia on Instagram.

Tasmanian Devil

How to Explore

Now that you have your Australian wildlife bucket-list in hand, what does your trip down under look like? If you have a good itinerary in mind but are overwhelmed with pulling it all together, consider a group tour.

Let Holiday Vacations help you find these fantastic animals and others as part of their magical Australia and New Zealand tours.

  • A trip through Southern Queensland’s Lamington National Park allows you to see the colorful birds and iconic kangaroos in their native Australian habitat. The Wonders of Australia tour at Holiday Vacations will guide you through this exceptional wildlife experience.
  • Kuranda Koala Gardens features some of Australia’s most popular wildlife. Visit the Koala Gardens as part of the Grand Australia and New Zealand tour for your chance to cuddle with a real Koala!
  • If birds are on your wildlife list, perhaps you should discover the Kiwi and Birdlife Park in New Zealand. As part of Holiday Vacation’s Spectacular New Zealand tour, you’ll spend time learning about New Zealand’s most iconic bird.

Holiday Vacations is one of America’s most reputable tour companies. With over 44 years of experience featuring unique and popular rail, air, cruise, and motorcoach guided tours to 65+ destinations worldwide. For more information visit holidayvacations.com or talk to a friendly Tour Consultant by phone at 800-826-2266.

If you’re not into traveling with a group, and you’ve always been curious about a “walkabout”, consider exploring Australia on a self-guided walking vacation with Country Walkers. Spy some of the region’s most beloved creatures as you follow tranquil pathways on foot, at your own pace. Country Walkers has all the details of your journey planned, but you can enjoy your vacation, your way.

  • On Country Walkers’ Australia: The Great Ocean Walk eight-day self-guided walking tour pick your own route, as your daily path splits between beach walks and hilltop options, allowing you to choose your preferred vista for the day. Spot wild kangaroos, koalas, peregrine falcons, kookaburras and more during strolls through wildlife reserves, as well as scenic wonders like waterfalls, shipwrecks, and the iconic “12 Apostles” sea stacks.
  • The shorter six-day Australia: Sydney to the Blue Mountains self-guided Country Walkers tour takes you through Australia’s Blue Mountains National Park, one of the world’s most magnificent backdrops for walking. Explore eucalypt forests, keeping an eye out for lyrebirds and 100-year-old mining relics on this incredible walking tour.

For over 38 years, Country Walkers has provided active, immersive, and unforgettable travel experiences on five continents, and on every one of their tours, guests enjoy superb local cuisine, first-class guides, fine accommodations, and authentic cultural and natural encounters. Visit countrywalkers.com or call 800-234-6900.

For more travel experiences to Beautiful Places on Earth™ available from Xanterra Parks & Resorts and its affiliated properties, visit xanterra.com/explore.


Written by: Renee Bonjour

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