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The fauna of Australia consists of a huge variety of animals. Did you know that more than 80% of mammals, nearly 90% of reptiles and more than 90% of amphibians that inhabit the continent are endemic to Australia? It is no coincidence that a red kangaroo and an emu appear on the coat of arms of Australia! Compared to the other continents, Australia has only a few native placental mammals, which left the door open for the marsupials to occupy the ecological niches of the country. To protect its unique fauna, the Australian government has created more than 500 national parks and passed several legislation. You will therefore have many occasions to discover the Australian fauna in its natural environment! So which animals are you likely to see during your trip to Australia?

  • Mammals:
    • Marsupials: They are certainly the most famous Australian animals! A distinctive characteristic is that most of the young are carried in a pouch. That is of course the case of kangaroos. There are in fact many species of kangaroos: Eastern grey kangaroos, Red kangaroos, Western grey kangaroos, Tree kangaroos... You might also see wallabies, which are smaller than kangaroos, and wallaroos, which are even smaller! Another emblematic species of marsupials is koalas. The koalas look like small teddy bears! They sleep most of the day, and do not need to drink, since they obtain all of the moisture they need by eating leaves. Australia is also home to less-known marsupials, like the large, pudgy wombats, and the carnivorous Tasmanian devils.
    • Monotremes: They are probably the most exotic animals of Australia, a transitory group between mammals and reptils! You have certainly heard about the platypus, this crazy mammal with a duck beak. They are the only mammal that lay eggs instead of giving birth! The platipus is the animal emblem of the state of New South Wales. You might see some of them along the Eastern coast of Australia. Less-known are the echidnas. In Australia, you might see short-beaked echidna (that look like hedgehog with a beak!), while long-beaked live in New Guinea.
    • Placentals: As stated before, there are only a few native placental mammals in Australia. Dingoes are one of them. For many Australians, the dingo is a cultural icon. They play a prominent role in the Aboriginal culture. Dingoes are the largest terrestrial predator in Australia. They play an important role as an apex predator. However, they are seen as a pest by farmers, due to attacks on animals.
  • Reptils and Batracians:
    • Snakes: Australia is home to 140 species of snakes. Uniquely, Australia has more venomous than non-venomous species of snakes! The most dangerous are the inland taipan, the tiger snake and the common death adder. Fortunately, the snakes are shy animals that flee contact with humans. Casualties are therefore really rare.
    • Crocodiles: Saltwater crocodiles can be find along the Northern coast of Australia. They are the largest of all living reptiles. Males can reach sizes up to 6.30m! The saltwater crocodiles are carnivorous predators, that are dangerous for humans. Signs have been displayed to inform people that crocodiles live around, but do no hesitate to ask locals for more details. Freshwater crocodiles are much smaller (2-3 meters) and are not known as man-eaters. However, they might bite if you disturb them.
    • Other species: Lizards, turtles and frogs are well represented in Australia. The country features the highest diversity of lizards in the world, with over 360 species. Australia does not has any tortoise but counts 29 species of aquatic turtles. Regarding amphibians, more than 200 specied have been referenced. Among them, 93% are endemic!
  • Fish and marine animals: About 25% of the world's species of fish can be found in the Australian waters. The Great Barrier Reef is listed as a UNESCO world natural site since 1981. Australia is home to 1700 species of corals, and is therefore a paradise for divers and snorkelers! Those that want to watch whales will also find happiness in Australia. Humback whales are the most common species. They migrate every year along the Australian coasts, from north to south and then back. If you are thrill seeker, you will be able to dive with the sharks... A quieter option would be to swim with the dolphins!
  • Birds: There are over 800 species of birds in Australia. Half of them are endemic. The best spots to watch them are the Broome Bird Observatory and the Kakadu National Park. Some species are really unusual. The emus, the second-largest living bird by height, are able to run as fast as horses... but cannot fly! Swans are more likely to be black than white. The Kookaburras, an Australian species of kingfisher bird, do not sing, they laugh! Australia also features different species of colourful Parakeets and Parrots.


Australia has a huge diversity of plants (27 700 plant species according to the last studies), due to the fact that the country is huge and the climate is different from one region to another. From the rainforests of the North Queensland to the dry vegetation of the Red Centre, from the temperate plains of the NSW to the forests of Tasmania, diversity seems to have no limit. Even in the most arid parts of the country, sudden rainfalls can turn a desperate landscape into a field of wildflowers. Among Australia's thousands of plant species, some are more emblematic than others. One of the best known Australian tree is the Eucalyptus. More than 2 500 species of Eucalyptus are represented in Australia! On warm days, eucalyptus forests are sometimes shrouded in a smog-like haze. The Blue Mountains, 70kms west of Sydney, take their name from this haze. Australia also has around 1 000 species of acacia, that they call "wattles". If you want to see Australia's tallest trees and some of the world's Giants, you should go to the south-west of the country, in the Valley of Giants. Some of them are more than 60m high! If you are fond of nature, you should also not leave Australia without going to the Daintree Rainforest. Located in North Queensland, this forest is the oldest tropical rainforest on earth, dating back 135 million years! Since 2015, most of the forest is listed as a UNESCO world natural site. The Kakadu National Park and its wetlands (also called billabongs) are another must-do for nature lovers. The Kakadu is not only Australia's largest National Park, it is also a UNESCO world natural and heritage site!

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