Australia is an absolute paradise for those looking for encounters with exotic animals or plant life like none other in the world. Since it has been an isolated continent for approximately 50 million years, the plants and animals have been able to develop unusual and intriguing characteristics while trying to survive in a challenging, unique habitat. Forests cover five per cent of Australia’s land mass, and it has amazingly picturesque green regions, many of which are easily accessible from various big cities. couches melbourne
In these forests you can see some of Australia’s 20,000 species of plants, including amazing living fossils like the Wollemi pine and the grass tree, as well as vibrant carpets of some of the 12,000 species of wild flowers that bloom in this continent. Or you could watch animals like the platypus, the kangaroo, wallabies, possums, bandicoots—the list is almost endless, and includes fascinating marine animals like sea lions, seals, whales and dolphins, and you could even possibly interact with some of them.
The oceans surrounding Australia contains one of the finest examples of marine biodiversity on earth, and host nearly 4,000 varieties of fish, and almost innumerable species of invertebrates, plants and micro-organisms, and almost 80% of Australia’s southern marine species are not found anywhere else in the world. These can be seen firsthand at nature resorts on Australian beaches, while swimming and snorkeling around its many beaches.
Australia is home also to around 800 species of birds, 400 of which are only found on the continent. The 55 species of parakeets found here are a riot of color and other birds like large kingfishers, brightly plumed rainbow lorikeets, the staid emus are all a treat to watch, and hearing the boisterous laughter of the kookaburra is an experience you will be unlikely to forget.
In order to protect its wildlife heritage and allow regulated interactions with enthusiasts, Australia has established a number of national parks and protected areas all across the country which help showcase the incredible diversity of flora and fauna with which nature has blessed this continent. Here are a few of the prominent places to visit, but this list is the proverbial tip of the iceberg, because Australia is practically chock full of such places.
Kangaroo Island is a mere half an hour by air from Adelaide or you could opt for the scenic 45-minute ferry ride from the mainland. It contains the sprawling Flinders Chase National Park, where you can watch kangaroos, wallabies, possums, koalas, platypus, fur seals and a variety of birds, including the rare Cape Barren geese. Activities on the island include wildlife observation like watching sea lions, right whales and penguins at Seal Bay beach or bird watching at Lincoln Bay Park and Gawler Ranges Park.
If you like adventure, you could try wading in the wetlands, exploring the longest cave systems at Murrawijinie Caves or walking on the spectacular Nullarbor Plain above them, snorkeling near the coasts, or scuba diving. For those who want to take it easy, there’s fishing or farm visits to taste Ligurian honey and sip Chardonnay and Riesling from the local wine producers, or try the fresh lobsters, local cheese and crisp farm produce.
The Blue Mountains near Sydney is one of the recent most World Heritage areas in Australia where you can go for bush walks and see exotic animals like swamp wallabies and myriad species of birds against a background of dramatic canyons, steep valleys, thundering waterfalls and gum forests. You could step into the Mount Tomah Botanic Garden or explore the Jenolan caves. In short, there is more than enough to do at Blue Mountains for a day trip and more. Close to this are the forests of Wollemi Pine that form the Wollemi National Park. If you want to watch Humpback whales in winter, Byron Bay is the place for you where you can also do a spot of surfing, diving, shopping, clubbing or pubbing.
The Daintree Rainforest north of Cairns in Queensland is an incredible hundred and thirty-five million years old and is remarkably stocked with unique birds, reptiles and marsupials. A spectacular national park, it is a wonderful document of the process of evolution itself. You can enjoy the untouched beauty of a tropical forest, put up at camping sites, go for hiking, trekking trips, picnics, scenic tours, loll about on golden beaches and sample local cuisine.
A completely captivating sight at sunrise and sunset, Uluru(Ayers Rock) is an enormous monolith at the absolute heart of Australia. Rising majestically out of the desert, it has been held in great veneration by the aboriginals throughout living memory, and aboriginal beliefs do not recommend climbing the rock. In fact, only the very fit should even attempt it, because heart attacks while climbing the rock are not uncommon. The paintings in the surrounding caves will fascinate you or you could explore the surrounding smaller monoliths called the Kata Tjuta (The Olgas). In sum, the Uluru and its surroundings are a feast of visual delight.