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Our unique animals are one of the many reasons people visit our country. Australia has more than 378 mammal species, 828 bird species, 4000 fish species, 300 species of lizards, 140 snake species, two crocodile species and around 50 types of marine mammal.
More than 80 per cent of our plants, mammals, reptiles and frogs are unique to Australia and are found no-where else. Some of our best-known animals are the kangaroo, koala, echidna, dingo, platypus, wallaby and wombat.
Australia’s native animals can often be difficult to spot in the wild, but you are guaranteed to see them in our world-class zoos and wildlife parks across our major cities and regional areas. These include Sydney’s Taronga Zoo, the Rainforest Habitat in Port Douglas, Victoria’s Healesville Sanctuary, South Australia’s Cleland Wildlife Park and Queensland’s Australia Zoo, amongst others.
We have 55 different native species of kangaroos and wallabies. Kangaroos and wallabies vary greatly in size and weight, ranging from half a kilogram to 90 kilograms.
The main difference between them is size — wallabies tend to be smaller. Estimates of Australia’s kangaroo population vary between 30 and 60 million. You should easily be able to see kangaroos in the wild in most rural parts of Australia. In Victoria see them in Anglesea on the Great Ocean Road and in the Grampians. Spot them in South Australia’s Kangaroo Island and Flinders Ranges. Get up close in Namadgi and Kosciuszko National Parks in the Australian Alps, in Pebbly Beach in New South Wales and Tasmania’s Maria Island. In outback regions, you will often see them as they bound across the road. Wallabies are widespread across Australia, particularly in more remote, rocky and rugged areas. Spot them in South Australia’s Flinders Ranges, Tasmania’s Freycinet National Park and in Namadgi and Kosciuszko National Parks in the Australian Alps.
The koala is everyone’s favourite, but be aware – it’s not a bear. You can spot koalas all along Australia’s temperate eastern coast. Some of their top hangouts include Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, near Canberra; Port Stephens in New South Wales and the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Queensland. Observe them in the wild on Victoria’s Phillip Island and Yanchep National Park in Western Australia.
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