Kids and animals in Australia

Travelling with children in Australia is very easy and an absolute joy. One of the highlights for my daughters has been the opportunity to get up close with the local fauna, both with farm animals and with wildlife so different from what we have in Europe.

Leaving the more alarming ones aside for now, here are a few of the more affable species of Australian wildlife.

Kids and animals in Australia

Alex found a connection with this gorgeous little koala bear first time we were in New South Wales.


Kids and animals in Australia

Everywhere in Australia, kangaroos abound – and some don’t mind being petted. But some tire of the constant attention. In Steve Irwin’s wonderful Australia Zoo, a grumpy roo pushed Cat away and left her with a scratch mark on her forehead. But then, how many toddlers – outside of Australia – can add a Skippy scratch to their CV?

kids and animals in Australia

not the grumpy one


In Victoria, in the Dandenong Ranges outside Melbourne, these crimson rosella parrots were practically tame.

Dandenong Ranges, VIC Dandenong Ranges, VIC

And back in New South Wales, this beauty named Pippa lives in Bateman’s Bay. Alex has all kinds of animal allergies, but not to wombats she was glad to note.

With Pippa at Bateman's Bay, NSW

I think the spiny anteater – more correctly known as an echidna – is charming in its own way, but best kept at a certain distance perhaps.
Echidna, Bateman's Bay, NSW

On Phillip Island (also in Victoria), fairy penguins come out of the ocean and walk up to their nests on shore every night as they have for thousands of years. A tourist attraction very much worth seeing. Photography is not allowed as the flash disturbs the little ones and tourists can’t seem to control their cameras.

Have you had close encounters with Australian wildlife?

To see more travel photos, pop over to this week’s Travel Photo Thursday

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  1. Ana O 6 February 2013 at 2207 - Reply

    I never heard of fairy penguins. I wonder what they look like.
    And, yes, best stay away from the echidna 🙂

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 7 February 2013 at 1453 - Reply

      Fairy penguins are utterly adorable.

  2. Leigh 6 February 2013 at 2314 - Reply

    I hiked the Cradle Mountain Trail in Tasmania over about 5 days – and every night we had the cute little wallabies visit us at our camp.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 7 February 2013 at 1502 - Reply

      Tasmania is high in my list. Wallabies, too 🙂

  3. Jackie Smith 7 February 2013 at 0831 - Reply

    What a fun time and what delightful photos. I could almost imagine being there and holding one of those cuties. . .well, not the anteater, of course.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 7 February 2013 at 1503 - Reply

      Good memories indeed 🙂

  4. Muza-chan 7 February 2013 at 1036 - Reply

    So cute 🙂

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 7 February 2013 at 1503 - Reply


  5. budget jan 7 February 2013 at 1132 - Reply

    I love Australia and her animals – but then I am prejudiced!

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 7 February 2013 at 1503 - Reply

      And rightfully so 🙂

  6. Andrea 7 February 2013 at 1354 - Reply

    Definitely plenty of these animal encounters all over Australia. Koalas and wombats are so sweet!

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 7 February 2013 at 1504 - Reply

      Aren’t they… love the peculiar animals of Australia.

  7. InsideJourneys 7 February 2013 at 1414 - Reply

    Cute animals, even that spiny anteater.
    It’s good that your daughter found an animal that she wasn’t allergic to.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 7 February 2013 at 1504 - Reply

      Only trouble is, it’s difficult to find a pet wombat in Norway…

  8. [email protected] 7 February 2013 at 1441 - Reply

    I still love it when we see a koala in the wild( which isn’t often!) but I must admit we take seeing kangaroos for granted. Our wildlife can be very cute and different.. Just anther reason to come and visit us!!

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 7 February 2013 at 1505 - Reply

      One of the thousands of good reasons to visit Australia 🙂

  9. EverywhereAmy 7 February 2013 at 1805 - Reply

    My children would love petting a koala. I think we might have a hard time getting them back on the plane to America after that…

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 8 February 2013 at 1023 - Reply

      Know exactly what you mean 🙂

  10. The koala looked so cute. I didn’t realize you could pet them! Kids and animals mix no matter where you are.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 8 February 2013 at 1024 - Reply

      They really do, don’t they…

  11. Michele @ Malaysian Meanders 8 February 2013 at 0222 - Reply

    Wallabies came by our Kangaroo Island cabin every night. And my son also had an altercation with a kangaroo who was tired of all the attention. Your girl looks like she’s enjoying herself.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 8 February 2013 at 1026 - Reply

      Wallabies coming by every night – the kid must have loved it. We still haven’t made it to South Australia, but will definitely include Kangaroo Island when we do.

  12. My younger daughter knows very little about Australia apart from the fact that there are kangaroos and koalas there – and that’s reason enough for her to want to visit. Love your photos!

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 8 February 2013 at 1027 - Reply

      You know, I think it’s a good enough reason to visit, too 🙂

  13. Salika Jay 8 February 2013 at 0549 - Reply

    Koala bears are just so adorable. They look so innocent and cute. Reminds me of Sam the koala who was saved in an Australian forest fire. Alex must have been happy to hold a wombat without any problems.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 8 February 2013 at 1028 - Reply

      Gotta love wombats 🙂

  14. ItalianNotes 8 February 2013 at 0900 - Reply

    I’ve only encountered Australian wildlife in pubs and zoos. This looks a lot more authentic.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 8 February 2013 at 1029 - Reply

      Good point; I’ve met a few examples of Australian wildlife in the pubs, too 🙂

  15. Turtle 9 February 2013 at 0414 - Reply

    I’m glad you left the dangerous animals off the list. You make Australia look much friendlier with wombats and koalas.
    I too was attacked by a kangaroo when I was a little kid. But I tend to think it’s a rite of passage as a young Aussie 🙂

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 9 February 2013 at 1036 - Reply

      That’s cool to hear, Michael – a rite of passage for young Aussies, shared by my little Chinese Norwegian. She likes that 🙂

  16. [email protected] 9 February 2013 at 1613 - Reply

    I love the photo of Alex with the blue koala! My husband and I visited Healesville Sanctuary in Victoria. We got to pet the kangaroos, saw koalas unclose, fed emus, etc. It was an amazing experience, I can just imagine much more so it is for the kids.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 9 February 2013 at 1832 - Reply

      Isn’t that just the greatest experience in Australia… 🙂

  17. Stephanie - The Travel Chica 10 February 2013 at 1942 - Reply

    You don’t have to be a kid to get excited about seeing exotic animals.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 12 March 2013 at 1010 - Reply

      Very true.

  18. Natasha von Geldern 11 February 2013 at 0017 - Reply

    The wildlife in Australia is unbelievably exciting – for grown ups as well as kids! Having wombats and kangaroos wandering through campsites has just been amazing 🙂

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 12 March 2013 at 1010 - Reply

      Would love to have these animals casually wandering/hopping about in the neighbourhood every day.

  19. Andrew Graeme Gould 11 February 2013 at 0135 - Reply

    AIex was lucky to get an awake koala that day. After spending most of my life in Australia, I can say that i only ever saw them sleeping! About close encounters, So those are my close encounters, then!!! It IS worth going to Australia, though, as there’s just so much to see, so don’t let me discourage anyone…

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 12 March 2013 at 1011 - Reply

      We adore visiting Australia, for the wildlife and everything else…

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