Australians love their native animals — the furry little fellas appear on everything from our coins to our national sporting teams — and that’s no surprise when they’re this cute. Check out the 10 most adorable animals Australia has to offer.
Meet the Aussie animal that’s as cute as it is rare. Only found in small numbers in the south-west corner of Western Australia, the quokka looks like a cat-sized kangaroo — but they’re more friendly than your average roo, happy to bound up to humans for a selfie (even tennis ace Roger Federer posed for one!). Rottnest Island is the best place to meet these nocturnal marsupials, with a resident population of 10,000.
When British biologist George Shaw first laid eyes on the platypus in 1799, he wrote that he thought it was a hoax, and even used a pair of scissors to examine whether some skilled taxidermist had sewn a duck’s bill onto a beaver’s body. Scientists eventually learned that this semi-aquatic egg-laying mammal was indeed very real, inhabiting the east of Australia.
These four-legged marsupials are so roly-poly it was almost like they were designed to be cuddled. Wombats are found waddling around wooded areas of south-eastern Australia and you can spot their habitat by their distinctive cube-shaped poo, which scatters the bush like little brown dice.
Sharks, crocodiles, jellyfish, stingrays… there’s no shortage of scary animals swimming around Australia’s waterways, but the sea lion isn’t one of them. The puppies of the sea occupy the waters around the south-west coast of the country, and you can even splash around with these inquisitive, friendly seals off the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia.
No, this doesn’t just refer to Skippy hiding in the forest — the tree-kangaroo is its own distinct arboreal species that’s native to the rainforests of tropical Far North Queensland. There are 14 known subspecies of tree-kangaroo but, sadly, the population is in perilous decline due to hunting and the destruction of habitat.
Fluffy ears, puppy dog eyes, big button nose, cuddly body, the kind of sleepy demeanour that comes with sleeping 20 hours a day… what’s not to love about the koala? The adored tree-dwelling marsupial is found right along the east and south coast of Australia — basically anywhere they can find a gum tree to laze around in all day.
British colonisation killed one species of bilby but another strain of these desert-dwelling, pointy-eared, long-nosed marsupials has survived in Central Australia, although they are considered endangered. In fact, many Australians tuck into chocolate bilbies each Easter as a conservation effort, replacing the traditional rabbit, which is a devastating pest Down Under.
Echidnas are so cute that you still want to give them a hug despite knowing that they’re covered with thousands of sharp spikes. Australia’s most widespread native mammal, the four species of echidna are the only surviving monotremes (egg-laying mammals) on earth, alongside the platypus.
We couldn’t leave the national symbol off this list of Australia’s cutest animals — and they’re not hard to spot around the country at the moment as the population booms past the 50 million mark, outnumbering humans two to one. An adorable appearance hasn’t saved Skippy from ending up on the dinner plate, though, with experts encouraging Aussies to get some kangaroo meat on their forks to combat the over-population problem.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.