Australian native wildlife

Adventure Tours Australia: Australian native wildlife

These are just some of the amazing land-based animals you can see with Adventure Tours Australia and the tours you can see them on. Check out our individual tours for more details.

Aside from the famous kangaroo and koala, you may have heard of the echidna, wombat and platypus but what about the potoroo, quoll, numbat, dunnart or bilby?

These are all lesser-known marsupials that were once plentiful throughout Australia and are endangered, but can be seen in the animal sanctuaries and parks many of our tours visit. However, there are many native animals in the wild and Adventure Tours Australia gives you lots of opportunities to see them, whether it's through hands-on experiences or just stopping to watch the animals that we come across while we're travelling. Here are some of the animals you might see.

Kangaroos are plentiful throughout Australia, with species including the red, eastern grey and western grey. These timid animals can be seen in mobs throughout remote areas or you can get up close with them at many of the wildlife parks our tours visit, including this tour which includes a visit to see the rare white western grey in Bordertown, South Australia.

Wallabies are marsupials like kangaroos but are much smaller in size. They are placid and nurse their young in a pouch, and can be found in remote, wooded and rugged areas of Australia. The yellow-footed rock wallaby is just 60cm high and can be found in tours of the Flinders Ranges and many remote or national park areas around Australia.

Koalas are not a bear but a marsupial and can be hard to spot in the wild unless you know where to find them. However, many national parks are home to koalas and offer opportunities to cuddle one.

Echidnas (also known as spiny anteaters) are shy but can sometimes be found wandering remote roads in places such as Kangaroo Island, while the platypus is even rarer. These duck-billed mammals are best seen in wildlife parks and zoos.

One animal you won't want to get too close to is the saltwater crocodile. Found in northern Australia, 'salties' grow up to 7m (about 23ft) long, though most are no bigger than 4m (about 13ft). On our tours, you can see them on a cruise of the Mary River Wetlands or on the 3 Days 4WD Kakadu and Litchfield Explorer of the Adelaide River, Litchfield National Park.

Australia has abundant birdlife, with more than 800 species of Australian native birds, as well as many non-native species. You can find about a third of them in Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory, with 60 species in the wetlands alone. These include whistling ducks and magpie geese, which can be seen in many of our Top End tours.

While on the subject of birds, there are 11 species of cockatoos found only in Australia. You can often see flocks of native parrots in trees or near sources of food. These include the common galah (rose-breasted cockatoo), sulphur-crested cockatoo and the rarer glossy black cockatoo.

And don't forget the kookaburra which, thanks to its distinctive 'laugh', is easier to hear than see.

Emus are Australia's largest native bird, growing up to 2m tall. Flightless they may be, but they can run at speeds of up to 50km/h, and can often be seen in flocks in central parts of Australia.

Also sharing the skies are bats, with more than 90 species in Australia. Colonies of two of the rarest species – ghost bats and orange horseshoe bats – can be seen at Tolmer Falls on our tours of Litchfield National Park, Northern Territory.