Wild places to vacation in Australia
Wild places to vacation in Australia
Nature explorers are wild about wildlife. With millions of visitors annually, increasing numbers of domestic and international tourists are channeling their animal instincts when creating a beeline for some of Australia's most popular wildlife destinations. Many of these popular destinations are also some of Australia's most romantic places to visit.
Here are the wild places to vacation in Australia
Great Barrier Reef, Queensland
- Great Barrier Reef in Queensland is World Heritage-listed and world-renowned for being the world's most extensive coral reef system and for snorkeling and diving tours. It is plentiful in its natural wildlife wonders. More than 2,900 individual reefs on 900 islands cover more than 2,300 kilometers.
The Great Barrier Reef is home to more than 500 species of coral, more than 100 species of sharks and rays, six species of sea turtles, more than 30 species of marine mammals, and more than 215 species of birds.
To explore this incredible abundance of wildlife, you can sail Michaelmas Cay, ride a seaplane over Heart Reef, tour Agincourt Reef, or stay at Herron Island on the reef. Hotels.com offers a range of accommodations that reach the incredible wonders of the Great Barrier Reef.
Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia
- Ningaloo Reef is a heritage-listed area of ??705,015 hectares located approximately 1,200 kilometers north of Perth in Western Australia. The reef stretches for more than 300 kilometers, and unlike most reefs that tend to be offshore, Ningaloo Reef hugs the coast for most of its length.
Ningaloo Reef is a paradise for marine wildlife. For example, it is the only place in the world where large numbers of whale sharks congregate every year from April to July near the shore. The Exmouth Visitor Center provides information on the many tour options available to encounter these sea giants.
Aside from whale sharks, the reef is home to manta rays and six species of sea turtles. In addition, humpback whales visit the Ningaloo Reef on their annual migrations between their breeding grounds in warm tropical waters and their feeding grounds in Antarctica.
There are plenty of accommodation options in Ningaloo and the surrounding areas to suit all budgets and lifestyles.
Kangaroo Island, South Australia
- Known as one of the most memorable places to visit in South Australia, Kangaroo Island is known for its natural beauty and wild sanctuaries. Over a third of the island is protected in nature reserves. Kangaroo Island is home to Australian sea lions, New Zealand fur seals, and their subspecies of western gray kangaroo, wallaby Tamar, koala, echidna, platypus, and an abundance of birds.
- Must-see places include Seal Bay for sea lions, Admiral's Arch for fur seals, Flinders Chase National Park for echidna and platypus, Cape Barn geese, the American River for marine colonies, and the small desert of a patch of dunes on the island.Stay in properties on Kangaroo Island, where the fantastic wildlife can be seen from your window and could be right outside your door. Check out this trip report for details onKangaroo Island's best wildlife hotspots.
Wilsons Promontory, Victoria
- Wilson Promontory National Park is located at the southernmost tip of the Australian mainland, southeast of Melbourne. It is known for its rugged granite mountains and abundant wildlife, including western gray kangaroos, emus, echidna, and wombats.
- A network of hiking trails connects the Tidal River settlement to Squeaky Beach, with its famous white quartz sand. Mount Oberon rewards dedicated walkers with views of the Bass Strait and offshore islands.
While many visitors choose to camp in the national park, there are also great Wilson Promontory lodgings if you prefer a roof over your head.
Daintree Rainforest, Queensland
- At 1,200 square kilometers, the World Heritage-listed Daintree Rainforest in northeastern Queensland is part of the largest continuous area of ??tropical rainforest on the Australian continent. It is a reminder of Australia's hot and humid past millions of years ago, before the continent's climate became much drier.
Daintree Rainforest has been designated an Important Bird Area (IBA) by Birdlife International, primarily because it is home to the southern cassowary bird population. They also provide a home to two endemic species of bowerbirds, beautiful fairy birds, ferns, owls, kingfishers, and many other bird species.
Visitors can choose from hotels near the Daintree Rainforest to suit all budgets and sightseeing inclinations.
Montague Island, New South Wales
- This continental island, located within the Montague Island Nature Reserve, is known for its seal colonies, bird life, and diving opportunities. You and your family can stay on Montage Island so you can wake up quickly and explore the fantastic landscape and wildlife without wasting a minute.
Fraser Island, Queensland
- Fraser Island is Australia's national whale-watching capital and, along with its neighboring Hervey Bay, is the largest sand island in the world, stretching over 120 kilometers. This ecotourism destination also offers abundant wildlife sightseeing, such as the indigenous dingo and swimming opportunities on pristine beaches and Lake Mackenzie. Affordable resorts on Fraser Island are located in a natural setting that induces serenity.
The Eyre Peninsula, South Australia
- Known for its rugged coastline and endless white sandy beaches, the Ayr Peninsula is abundant in world-class salmon, abalone, oysters, and tuna (which tourists can swim among). Watching sea lions and glistening dolphins are also natural attractions, such as southern right and humpback whales during their migrations.