Wildlife encounters of South Australia

Capturing our favorite wildlife encounters of South Australia

South Australia is an animal lover’s paradise. Just a short drive outside of the capital city of Adelaide you’ll have the opportunity to see wildlife in the air, on land, or at sea.

To the west, visit Port Lincoln, where you’ll be able to swim with dolphins or dive with great white sharks off the coast. To the east, check out the fascinating amphitheater of mountains known as Wilpena Pound, where you can observe the endangered rock wallaby. You also can get up close and personal with kangaroos and koalas in their natural habitats, or you can visit them in wildlife sanctuaries where people work tirelessly to rehabilitate and care for injured or orphaned animals.

The Wildlife of South Australia is adorable, diverse, and fascinating. If your goal is to see various animal species when traveling Down Under, this is the place for you. These photos capture some of our favorite wildlife encounters in South Australia. Enjoy!

 

Cute koalas

Cute koalas

One of the best places to see koalas in South Australia is Mikkira Station, near Port Lincoln. We were lucky to see this particular animal sitting up and alert, especially considering koalas sleep 20 hours a day.

Yellow-footed rock wallaby

Yellow-footed rock wallaby

Wallabies are closely related to the kangaroo. The yellow-footed rock wallaby in particular is listed on the endangered species list, but you have a good chance of seeing this animal in Wilpena Pound.

Birds of prey

Birds of prey

The Birds of Prey show on Kangaroo Island is an excellent way to get up close and personal with many of South Australia’s feathered friends. All of the birds in the show were rescued and rehabilitated by owners Dave and Leeza Irwin; Dave is the cousin of the late Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin.

Kangaroo sanctuary

Kangaroo sanctuary

Kangaroos are plentiful in Australia, but there are still sanctuaries to help injured and orphaned kangaroos. Visiting one of these facilities is a wonderful way to see these cute creatures up close. If you go, much like Dave in this picture, you will have the animals eating out of your hands.

Swimming with dolphins

Swimming with dolphins

Swimming with dolphins in Baird Bay is an experience you’ll never forget. These wild dolphins love to interact with people, and once you jump in the water, they are eager to play with you. It’s up to them how long they stay, but the more relaxed you are (and the more you flip and twirl yourself in the water), the longer they’ll stick around.

Kangaroos

Kangaroos

You can get into the Outback quickly from Adelaide, and the Gawler Ranges is an excellent place to view kangaroos in the wild. Make sure to book a camping safari so you can spend time exploring the land, too.

Great white sharks

Great white sharks

It’s a two-hour boat ride from Port Lincoln to Shark Bay, where you can hop in a cage and dive with great white sharks. In South Australia, outfitters attract the sharks with music, as opposed to chumming the water (which they do in other places around the globe).

Casper the owl

Casper the owl

Casper is the name of a barn owl in the Birds of Prey show on Kangaroo Island. When we visited, the audience yelled the bird’s name, he popped his head from his tree, and then flew onto the stage. What a cutie!

Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary

 Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary

The Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary is a place where you can go on a koala walk. Sanctuary staffers set out markers each day to let you know where the koalas have been spotted previously. Sightings are guaranteed.

Pelicans

Pelicans

At Kingscote Wharf on Kangaroo Island, you can watch a “Pelican Man” feed hundreds of pelicans, who visit the area daily for a snack. Like clockwork, the animals fly in every evening for their feeding frenzy; a $5 donation will give you a prime seat for viewing.

Seals of Kangaroo Island

Seals of Kangaroo Island

If you want to see seals in their natural habitat, there are a couple of different viewing opportunities around Kangaroo Island. First, the pinnipeds like to hang out on the rocks and arches at the Cape Willoughby Lighthouse. They also frequent the conservation area of Seal Bay, where you can spot them basking in the sun or surfing in the waves.

Snorkeling with dolphins

Snorkeling with dolphins

Did we mention you can snorkel with wild dolphins? It’s an activity that is so nice, we had to name it twice!

Kangaroos

Kangaroos

We thought it was fitting to end this photo essay with a kangaroo. When walking through a conservation area, we saw a dozen kangaroos like this guy, standing on their hind legs to eat leaves high on the trees.

What are your best tips for spotting wildlife in the wild?

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The Planet D

Dave and Deb wrapped up their tenure as Expedia Viewfinder bloggers at the end of 2015. They continue to inspire adventure in everyone. They've spent 8 of their 15 years of marriage exploring more than 100 countries on all 7 continents inspiring their international audience to follow their dreams and push their boundaries. Dave and Deb prove that ordinary people can live extraordinary lives. As spokespeople and brand ambassadors, The Planet D have had the opportunity to work with some of the world’s top companies and have spoken around the globe about pursuing passion and what it takes to make it happen.They've appeared regularly on TV and have been featured in such publications as The National Post, BBC Travel, and National Geographic.

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