Tell your pals and family that you’re headed to Australia and you’ll no doubt get remarks like “aren’t you scared you’ll get eaten by a shark/ bitten by a spider/ or boxed by a kangaroo?”.
Umm, that’s not why we booked the flight, no… and while the wildlife in Australia can be pretty deadly, there are so many fluffy critters, impressive birds and serene underwater beings to ogle at, without the risk factor.
With this in mind, here are our fave spots in Western Australia to channel your inner David Attenborough and experience the unique animals and nature that flourish there.
1. Bottlenose dolphins, Monkey Mia
Big fan of the film ‘Flipper’? Well, this is the real deal. Catch sight of the local friendly dolphins as they peruse Monkey Mia’s coast. If you’re headed out for a swim or kayak, you might get the opportunity to be at one with this flippered crew as they cruise around you.
2. Emus and giant pelicans, Shark Bay
Australia likes its birds SUPERSIZED. Spot groups of emus playing on the beach and in the water, as well as the majestic giant pelicans that nestle on Shark bay’s shoreline.
3. Whale sharks, manta rays and turtles, Ningaloo Reef
A triple whammy of sea life to see (and a lot more). Turtles and manta rays can be spotted year-round at Ningaloo reef, so get your go pro stick and snorkel gear at the ready for a turtle-y awesome selfie with these peaceful swimmers. But now for the big guys, from late March to late July, get ready to share water space with the incredible whale shark. One for the bucket list, there’s no doubt about it.
4. Bat spotting, Karijini National Park
If scaling red rock formations, jumping into gorges and bathing in natural lagoons is your thing then Karijini is a must-do. This incredible ecosystem is home to a fair few Aussie animal favourites such as red kangaroos, rock-wallabies, echidnas and bats that litter the sky at dusk.
5. Quokkas, Rottnest Island
You won’t catch a glimpse of these cutie pies anywhere else, so ‘Rotto’ is worth the ferry ride from Perth just for that! However, once you’re there you’ll soon realise you’re in some kind of WA island paradise: secluded coves with white sandy beaches, a shipwreck dive spot offshore, coral formations to uncover snorkelling, and a seriously good beer selection at the Rotto Beach hotel. Don’t want to leave? Then don’t. Stay the night and camp under the stars.
6. Camels at sunset, Cable Beach
Yep, there are camels in the outback of Australia. Lots of camels in fact! Head to cable beach in Broome just before sunset and watch these unusual animals stroll calmly across the horizon. Think Arabian-nights but Aussie style.
So there you have it, just a sprinkle of the unique wildlife that can be discovered in Western Australia, the rest is over to you!
Spend more time on the lookout for animals and less time on the planning. Explore all these spots and more on one of our small group tours, designed for backpackers.