Australia is a massive country with everything about this country being huge – starting from its beer glasses to its dangerous reptiles! Really, the country has an exceptional wildlife that’s easily one of the most fascinating on the planet. Most of the country’s wildlife is found nowhere else. Australia’s 87% mammal species, 93% reptiles, and 45% bird species are found only in this country. No wonder, this is such a popular travel destination among wildlife lovers and animal enthusiasts. For those hoping to spot unique species of birds, reptiles, and animals in the country, here is a list of the most popular protected areas, national parks and wildlife sanctuaries in Australia.
Kakadu National park
Established in 1979, Kakadu National park is a unique archaeological and ethnological park in the country. Located in the Northern Territory, this place is famed for its aboriginal rock paintings, carvings, stone tools, and interesting flora and fauna.
Around 1700 different types of plants and a wide variety of birds and animals including dingoes, antilopine kangaroos, black wallaroos, agile wallabys, northern quolls, brush-tailed phascogales, brown bandicoots, frilled neck lizard, freshwater crocodile and saltwater crocodile can be spotted here.
Royal National Park
Famed for its vast landscape, mangroves and cliffs, Royal National Park is one of the oldest national parks in Australia. Established in 1879 by Sir John Robertson, it is home to a wide range of plants, birds and animals including honeybees, wallaroos, Tachyglossus aculeatus, Phascolarctos cinereus, canis lupus dingo and the spotted quoll. Apart from spotting these species, you can enjoy numerous other interesting activities here, like bushwalking, surfing, whale watching, fishing, cycling, trekking, hiking and camping. Jibbon Point, Eaglehead Rock, Garie Beach, Figure 8 Pool, Werrong Beach and Lady Carrington Drive are the tourist top attractions here.
Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park
Located in the Northern Territory, Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park is one popular attraction in the country. Established in 1958 in order to preserve the country’s aboriginal culture, it is home to the famous landmarks – Uluru and Kata Tjuta – as well as interesting flora and fauna. Mallee fowl, brushtail possum, rufous hare wallaby, bilby, burrowing bettong, black-footed rock wallaby, red kangaroo, Australian bustard and black-faced woodswallow are among the birds and animals spotted in the park.
Nitmiluk National Park
Featuring over 13 sandstone gorges, numerous cliffs and giant rocks, Nitmiluk National Park is another famous national park of Australia. Situated in the southeast end of Darwin, this park, established in 1977, is home to freshwater and saltwater crocodiles, ospreys, red-tailed black cockatoos, great bowerbirds, white-gaped honeyeaters and red-winged parrots. Several aboriginal rock paintings can be found across the park. The 58 km Jatbula Trail, starting from the visitor centre and ending at Edith Falls, is a major highlight of the park.
Springbrook National Park
Established in 1990 to protect endangered animal species, Springboard National Park is a must-visit in Australia. Located close to the city of Queensland, it is home to several species of native birds and animals including yellow tailed black cockatoo, rufous fantail, satin bowerbird, whipbird Albert’s lyrebird, red-necked pademelons and koalas. The ancient Tweed Volcano and Mount Cougal are famous attractions here.
Lamington National Park
Lamington National Park is another top pick among wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers who fly to Australia from all parts of the world. Located on the famous Lamington plateau, this park is famed for its stunning landscape, varying forests and mountain ranges and is home to an interesting population of mammals, invertebrates, reptiles and birds. Red carabeen, soft corkwood, Coxen’s fig parrot, Albert’s lyrebird and Richmond birdwing butterfly are a few of the species that can be spotted at the park. Rare species such as rainforest cool-skink, elf skink, Fleay’s barred frog, giant barred frog and the cascade treefrog can also be spotted.
Daintree National Park
Covered with vast tropical rainforests and featuring an incredible biodiversity, Daintree National Park is one of the well-known protected areas in the country.
Situated in northwest Brisbane, this 1988 park features a diverse range of birds and animals including a few endangered ones. Wompoo fruit-dove, Boyd’s forest dragon, eastern water dragon, chameleon gecko, northern leaf-tailed gecko, amethystine python, keelback, northern tree snakes, Australian lacelid, white-lipped treefrog and mist frog are the among the animals and reptiles found here.
Purnululu National Park
Purnululu National Park is yet another famous national park in Australia. Located in East Kimberley region, it is home to some of the stunning canyons, steep slopes, rock caves and rich traces of the aboriginal people who lived in the region for over 40000 years. Ancient rock paintings, carvings, homes and burial sites that are excavated here can be explored. Usually not many animals and birds can be found here but seasonally a few of the native ones can be spotted at the park. Guided tours and special excursions are available for those willing to explore the rich cultural history of the park, its surrounding landscapes and other attractions.