Many of us immediately think of exotic creatures when we think about planning a holiday in Australia. If you’re travelling to Oz for an extended break or you’re working there on your gap year, take time to explore the wildlife, and enjoy some animal encounters. It’s not all about adventure travel and coming face to face with the world’s deadliest species. You can also enjoy some cuddly encounters too. Here are some of the best animal experiences on offer Down Under.
The Cage of Death
You’ve probably guessed by the name that this is no friendly snuggle with a koala. The Cage of Death is a unique experience offered by Darwin’s Crocosaurus Cove. This is the only place you can dive with crocodiles, and it’s a must for any reptile lover. The experience has been running since 2008 and it involves spending 15 minutes in the crocodile tank. Keepers feed the crocodiles during your visit to make them more active, and some are more than five metres long. You can watch them gliding in the water and, hopefully, catch a glimpse of their menacing teeth from the safety of the cage. While you’re in the tank, photographers will also snap away, and you can take souvenir photos away with you.
Koalas are one of Australia’s most treasured species. For many tourists, the opportunity to cuddle a koala is top of their travel wish-list. It is still possible to handle koalas under supervision, but this is not permitted in all states. There are plenty of places you can see koalas hanging out on the tree branches. However, you can’t always touch them. Visit Brisbane’s Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, Billabong Sanctuary in Townsville or Kuranda’s Koala Gardens for the best hug you’ll probably ever have.
Walking a wombat
Australia Zoo is a fantastic place to spend the day. It’s not just home to hundreds of native and exotic species. It also offers incredible wildlife encounters, including the opportunity to feed red pandas and take a wombat for a walk. During your experience, you’ll be told everything you could ever wish to know about wombats, and you’ll get the chance to give them a stroke if they stay still for long enough.
Under the sea
Australia is famed for its vibrant sea life. The best way to discover incredible natural wonders like the Great Barrier Reef is to book a scuba diving tour. If you’d rather stay afloat, a dolphin cruise comes highly recommended.