An Australian wildlife tour is the highlight of any trip down under! Australia is packed with unique wildlife, with an average of 7,500 total animals calling the country home! But, did you know that 90% of animals in Australia are found nowhere else in the world? Seeing wildlife down under is truly a magical experience, and there are plenty of options to choose from, no matter where you’re visiting.
Here are the top 10 wildlife tours in Australia from our luxury travel specialists:
1. Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas
Port Douglas, Queensland
Wildlife Habitat is one of our favorite places to cuddle a koala! Image courtesy of Vanessa Massey
Witness free-ranging Australian animals and even cuddle a koala at this wildlife sanctuary near the Great Barrier Reef! Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas has been named Australia’s leading environmental experience, which allows the animals to roam in their recreated wildlife habitats.
2. Pepper Bush Adventures
If you’re looking for wildlife tours in some of Australia’s most authentic wilderness, Pepper Bush Adventures is the perfect experience for you! Explore the remote regions of Tasmania with a private guide to see elusive animals like echidnas, platypi, and quolls. In the evening, gather around a campfire to enjoy gourmet “bush tucker” fare and watch Australian wildlife wander right up to you! This is the ultimate wildlife and wilderness experience and a favorite for our clients.
3. Great Barrier Reef Tours
Cairns, Port Douglas, and Hamilton Island, Queensland
Snorkel with sea turtles in the Great Barrier Reef. Image: Tourism Queensland
The Great Barrier Reef is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, filled with beautiful coral and unique marine life. This massive natural wonder supports an amazingly diverse ecosystem, made up of 350 different species of dazzling corals, over 1,500 species of tropical fish, 10,000 types of sponges, 125 types of sharks, and 4,000 species of mollusks. No trip to Australia is complete without snorkeling or diving in the Great Barrier Reef! Ask our Australian travel specialists about the best tour option for you.
4. Echidna Walkabout Tours
Spot adorable koalas in the wild! Image: Echidna Walkabout Tours
What’s a better way to experience the wildlife of Australian than venturing into their natural habitat? Echidna Walkabout Tours lets you witness kangaroos, koalas, and other iconic creatures in the wild just outside of Melbourne! Read our guest post from the owner, Janine Duffy, about what it’s like to watch these fascinating animals in nature.
5. Australia Zoo
Channel your inner Crocodile Hunter at Australia Zoo!
You can’t get a more quintessential Australian wildlife experience than visiting the Australia Zoo and seeing Steve Irwin’s legacy firsthand. The Australia Zoo, founded by the original Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin, runs one of the largest wildlife conservation programs in the world. All money raised is put back into wildlife projects and conservation efforts around Australia.
6. Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary
Witness Australian animals, including the unique Tasmanian Devil, and even interact with them at Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary! The nighttime feeding tour is a favorite here at Down Under Endeavours, along with the naturally recreated environments which make the wildlife feel right at home.
7. Healesville Sanctuary
Yarra Valley, Victoria
Enjoy encounters with wombats and other Aussie animals at Healesville Sanctuary. Image courtesy of Laura Tober
This wildlife sanctuary is located near Melbourne in the Yarra Valley Wine Region. We can’t think of a better way to spend a day than sampling delicious wines and finishing with some close-up animal encounters! See koalas, kangaroos, and dingos, as well as lesser-known animals like the pygmy possum or barking owl. Healesville Sanctuary offers some fabulous unique wildlife tours, like hand-feeding kangaroos or wading with the platypus! These experiences are reserved for a small number of guests for the animals’ well-being, and they are very popular, so be sure to book well in advance.
8. Kangas and Kanapes
Kangaroo Island, South Australia
Kangas and Kanapes experience at Southern Ocean Lodge. Image: Luxury Lodges of Australia
Located on Kangaroo Island, Southern Ocean Lodge offers a number of unforgettable wildlife tours as part of its signature experiences. One of our favorites is the Kangas and Kanapes experience, otherwise known as Roos and Booze! Drive out to a secret local spot where wild kangaroos come to graze, enjoying a glass of premium Australian beverages and tasty “kanapes” as the sun sets on one of the world’s most beautiful islands.
9. Australian Coastal Safaris
Port Lincoln, South Australia
Swimming with sea lions in the Eyre Peninsula. Image: Tourism South Australia
Want a once-in-a-lifetime adventure? In Port Lincoln, one of the stops on the Great Ocean Road, you can snorkel with friendly sea lions—or, if you really want an adrenaline rush, go cage diving with Great White Sharks! The company prides itself on preserving the natural ecosystem for the animals, respecting their space and home. The experience will draw you in while the local town and its delectably fresh seafood will beg you to stay.
10. Paddle with the Platypus
Mount Field National Park, Tasmania
Platypus swimming in the water. Image: Tourism Australia
This tour from Tassie Bound Adventures in Tasmania offers an opportunity to slow down, spot platypi in their natural habitat, and learn about their very secretive lives. This kayaking tour guarantees a 95% chance of seeing up to 5-10 platypi—a rare opportunity since they are such shy creatures!