Australia is home to a whole host of deadly animals, but it’s not without some adorably cute ones too. From quokkas to wombats to koalas, you can meet these native animals in the wild or in wildlife sanctuaries. Here are seven cute Australian animals and where to see them!
Quokkas are dearly loved by locals and foreigners alike. Their adorable faces look like they are permanently smiling, and they also have a friendly, curious nature. It’s not uncommon for them to approach a human, and they’ll even let you take a selfie with them! The best place to encounter the quokkas is in Rottnest Island in Perth. Even though you can also see them in zoos within Australia, there’s just something special about seeing them in their natural habitat. And although they’re cute, please do not feed them with your picnic food, as human food can harm their health!
2. Sugar gliders
With their big round eyes, there’s no denying that the sugar gliders are some of the cutest animals around. They live in trees in the forests and woods throughout most of Australia. In fact, these little possums are so popular, they’ve made their way into many American homes as pets. Not really what we’d recommend, and if you also prefer to try to spot them in the wild instead, you have a good chance in any forest, especially along the East Coast. Their popularity also means that you can find them in most Australian zoos!
We can’t have a list of cute Australian animals without including the koala. With their large fluffy ears, what’s not to love about them? These adorable creatures munch on eucalyptus leaves and mostly hang out on gum trees, right along the east and south coast of Australia. You can also find them in Australian zoos and wildlife sanctuaries, and some will even allow you to cuddle with them! Some Australian states prohibit this, but if you want some koala cuddles, head over to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary near Brisbane, or Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary in Queensland, or Cleland Wildlife Park near Adelaide.
Here’s a funny story – when British biologist George Shaw first encountered the platypus in 1799, he thought that it was a ‘deceptive preparation by artificial means’, aka, a hoax. He thought that someone had collected a duck’s bill and had it sewn onto an otter or beaver’s body! He eventually learnt that the platypus was indeed very real. These Pokemon-like creatures inhabit the east coast of Australia with no risk of endangerment. However, they are notoriously shy and are hard to spot in the wild. If you want to see a platypus, head to Healesville Sanctuary in the Yarra Valley. Here, you can step into a pair of waders and head into the platypus play pool to splash around with them!
With their short legs and rotund body, the four-legged marsupial looks like it’s meant to be cuddled. You can find them waddling around in some of Australia’s protected national parks, such as Wilsons Promontory National Park. Look out for their distinctive cube-shaped poo! They are nocturnal, so it might take some patience and luck to spot them in the wild. If you prefer not to rough it out, book a stay at the Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley, a conservation resort beyond the Blue Mountains where wombats wander freely.
6. Sea lion
There’s no shortage of deadly animals in the waters of Australia, but luckily the sea lion is one of the cute Australian animals of the sea. These puppies of the sea are playful and curious, and some will even put on a show of backflips and somersaults! You can dive and swim with them in Eyre Peninsula, where operators such as Baird Bay Ocean Eco-Experience and Calypso Star Charters will take you out to sea with a boat.
How can we leave out Australia’s national icon? They’re not hard to spot, with kangaroos outnumbering humans 2:1. Although, we highly advise against approaching them, since some of them quite literally pack a punch. In the wild, you can observe them in many places. This includes the grassy bush, hopping across the red sand in the outback, or even sunbathing on the beach! It’s exciting to see them in the wild, but if you want an experience hand feeding them, you can head over to Symbio Wildlife Park in New South Wales, Australia Zoo in Queensland, or Urimbirra Wildlife Park in Adelaide.