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by December 12th, 2018

Animals of Australia

The wilderness of Australia is well known for its animals but do you really get to see them on a normal trip?  On our tour with the camper along the east coast we went on the track of this. We visited national parks, booked wildlife tours and were constantly on the lookout for the cute koalas and their numerous friends.

So it’s not as if they’re just waiting for us to be able to walk in front of the camera but during the three weeks on site we came across an amazingly long list of animal species. Funnily enough, we didn’t see most of the animals on extended hikes in their natural habitat, but in small spots in urban areas.

Exceptional among the mammals are of course all the marsupials and even more blatant the egg laying cloacal animals. Absolutely amazing, even for laymen, is the enormous variety of birds. One is constantly accompanied by the most different sounds and chants. People, this is fantastic and inspires even me as a 13-year-old.

Many animal species are threatened by the deforestation of the native forests and a multitude of introduced species sometimes cause real catastrophes among the native animals. Nevertheless we have many places, a crazy number of nature reserves and fantastic landscapes to look for the strange fauna of Australia.

Dear people, I am a Waldorf student. Let me dance and enjoy life and nature but don’t expect any masterpieces in grammar.


Eastern grey giant kangaroo

To find these hops you don’t need any real experience or luck, because the big baggers have got used to the people long ago. One can observe them well on camping and picnic places. The Eastern Grey Giant Kangaroo is the second largest and most common kangaroo to be seen along the east coast. Only the red giant kangaroo surpasses it in size. Now imagine this – kangaroo mothers can lower their pregnancy in bad times until there is enough food available again. They wait until better times come and then accelerate again – crazy. Kangaroo babies are called Joey´s in Australia by the way. In addition, mothers can produce two different types of milk at the same time, one for the embryo and another composition for the larger Joey outside the pouch. We could already see the first specimens in the Blue Mountains, right at the campsite.





Koalas enjoy a very quiet life, they sleep a good 20 hours a day. They spend the remaining hours eating. But for that they only have to stretch out their paws. They hang around  only in the branch forks of the eucalyptus trees anyway, but only eat twelve of the 600 eucalyptus species. There is not much choice left. In order to digest the actually poisonous leaves, koalas must have a lot of bacteria in their intestines. These are already inoculated into the babies by the mother feeding them with a special excrement. Sounds appetizing, doesn’t it? It takes more luck to see koalas than kangaroos does. Simply wandering around in the forest and looking at the trees doesn’t do much. However, there are a few places with a particularly good chance. The peninsula Port Stephens, for example, has a large population of koalas, especially in the Tilligery Habitat. Magnetic Island is another good place to observe koalas.



The Platypus is probably one of the most extraordinary animals in the world. It looks like it comes from another world, it is a mammal and still lays eggs. During the day the Platypus usually sleeps, but in the evening it begins to search the ground with its soft duckbill for crabs, snails and mussels. Thus, the twilight is also the best time to search. When diving they close their eyes and ears, but they can still orient themselves well under water. To do this, they rely on the electric sensors on their beaks. Even more crazy is the poison sting at the hind foot, which can cause strong pain with touch for days. To be able to see them with certainty, it is best to book a guided tour. Alternatively there are a few places where you can watch them almost with certainty. Great with us was Tarzali Lakes, close to Miranda.


Helmet cassowary

Already alone the word “helmet cassowary” makes my mother sweat with fear, the huge bird is considered aggressive and dangerous. At the campsite in Mission Beach a bird dad with his giant chick suddenly appeared behind us. My mother hissed like a rocket and the birds followed. That may not be funny now but it was still eThat may not be funny now, but it was still a picture for gods. With a height of up to 1.70m it is the second largest bird in Australia, and thus the third largest in the world. The Helmkasuar is regarded as one of the rarest birds of Australia and is therefore very difficult to see, but at some places like Mission Beach or the Daintree N.P. one has great chances to meet the primeval birds. In Mission Beach there are even some hiking trails to observe the cassowaries. But we had no luck there.


Groin Crocodile

With a length of up to seven metres, the groin crocodile is by far the largest crocodile on earth. Due to its adaptability, the saltwater crocodile is also known as the saltwater crocodile. It lives in both saltwater and freshwater. By far the most important weapon of the crocodile is its powerful teeth with its 60 to 70 impressive teeth. Crocodiles cannot chew their prey, they swallow it with skin, hair and bones. The aggressive stomach acid does the rest. When diving it uses many tricks. Thus the eyes are protected by a protective layer, the so-called nictitating skin. The pharynx is closed watertight by a flap, so that it does not drown with the opened mouth. They are easy to observe in the Daintree NP, easiest and safest on a “Crocodile Tour”.


The Humpback Whale

Humpback whales are the darlings of the whale watchers, because they are extremely trusting and come close to the boats. Here one of us stretched his moustache up to the boat, like a dog who wants to be cuddled. I’ve been lucky enough to see some but never so close. What I really didn’t know is that they are colored black and white similar to killer whales. With us they were madly playful, clapped with their huge fins again and again on the water, jumped into the air and apparently had fun to be observed by us. What I still found really beautiful, were the whale songs to be heard with the water microphone. Sometimes they sound beautiful like an opera or a gentle ballad and sometimes like long sighs. The capital of whale watching is Bayron Bay, a little south of Brisban.


Tree kangaroo

So first I thought to myself – Whaaaaat there is a kangaroo that lives on trees, really?

But yes, there are. Of the eleven tree kangaroo species there are, only two live in Australia, the Lumholtz and the Benett, the rest live on Papua New Guinea. You don’t have to be an expert to distinguish between the two Australian species. The Lumholtz only occurs south and the Benett only north of the Daintree River. A saying says that cats have nine lives and they jump from great heights, always landing safely on their four paws.  This saying definitely belongs to the tree kangaroos. These jump from up to 18m height without even bending a hair. From tree to tree they still make 9 meters. Try this with a cat. Unfortunately the tree kangaroo is strongly threatened, the forests are cleared and it finds hardly still habitat. One could think to be able to observe them thereby more easily crowded together in the last refuges. Unfortunately this is not true. We could observe two of the cute animals on the “Neranda Tea Plantation” in the Atherton Tablelands.


Hunter list, laughing Hans or Kookaburra

The Jaegerliest, better known as Laughing Hans or Kookaburra, measures almost half a meter and belongs to the kingfisher family. The Jägerliest is a fearless picnic place robber, not to see him and above all to hear him is practically impossible. His laughing reputation is not only the eponym of his name, but above all serves to mark his territory. I love him, his reputation is an acoustic adventure. Normally he feeds mice, skinks and snakes. It does not prefer a special habitat and even occurs in big cities like Sydney or Cairns.



All-coloured lorikeet

The Allfarblori is probably one of the most beautiful birds of the world. They all differ a little, hardly two birds are the same. It must be said that there are also more than 35 subspecies! In Australia, the distribution area extends practically along the entire coast from Western Australia to Cape York. Allfarbloris are very adaptable birds and occur in a variety of very different habitats, from rainforests to dry eucalyptus forests and mangroves. They feed mainly on pollen and nectar, but also eat flowers, leaves, fruits and my ice cream. You don’t have to search for these beautiful animals, they will surely find you.



Grey-headed Flying Dog

The Grey-headed Flying Dog is the only animal I know that can be seen, heard and smelled at the same time.  With their somewhat habitual smelling excrement they mark their territory. Flying foxes are among the largest bat species in the world, their wingspan is often one meter and more . Their spread-area stretches the whole coast along from Victoria over New south until Queensland. At dusk they leave their resting places and search for food like nectar, pollen and fruits. During the day they hang like Dracula head down in the trees and argue loudly with their neighbours.  They like to be close to people and can hardly be overlooked in parks.

Dear people, ask me where I can learn more. In school or with my new friends on the way, the Koalas and Co. ?


Specialist for animal observations

Jonathan Munro


Species of animals really seen by us in Australia



Sydney, Botanical Garden

Hunter’s Kingfisher, Kookaburra, Dacelo novaeguineae

Australian water dragon, Water dragon, Intellagama lesueurii

Masked Plover, Masket Lapwing, Vanellus miles

Kormoran, Great Comoran, Phalacrocorax carbo

Barred Frigate Bird, Great Frigate Bird, Fregata minor

Whiskered Crested Tern, Chlidonias hybrida, Whiskered Tern

All-color Lory, Rainbow Lorakeet, Trichoglossus moluccanus

Pennant Parakeet, Crimson Rosella, Platycercus elegans

Rock Pigeon, Rock Dove, Columba livia

White-fronted Miner, Noisy Miner, Manorina melanocephala

Flute bird, Australian Magpie, Gymnorhina tibicen

Shepherdmaina, Common Myna, Acridotheres tristis

House Sparrow, Passer domesticus, House Sparrow

Brown-breasted Mannikin, Chestnut breasted Mannikin, Lonchura castaneothorax

Moluccan Ibis, Australia White Ibis,Threskiornis molucca


Blue Mountain – Glenbrook, Euroka Clearing

Eastern Grey Giant Kangaroo, Eastern Grey kangaroo, Macropus giganteus

Crested Pidgeon, Ocyphaps lophotes, Crested Crested Pigeon

Yellow-crested cockatoo, Sulphur crested cockatoo, Cacatua galerita


Port Stephens

Splendid Wren, Superb fairy wren, Malurus cyaneus

Barking owl, Ninox connivens, Barking owl, Barking owl

Australian Ghost Bat, Ghost bat, Macroderma gigas

Koala, Koala, Phascolarctos cinereus

Fuchskusu, Common brushtail possum, Trichosurus vulpecula

Blue winged kookaburra, Dacelo leachii, Blue winged kookaburra, Blue winged kookaburra

Black swan, Cygnus atratus, Black swan

Pennant Parakeet, Crimson Rosella, Platycercus elegans


Coffs Harbour, Dorrigo NP

Bush Turkey, Alectura lathami, Bush Grouse

Green Catbird, Ailuroedus crassirostris, Green Catbird

Whipbird, Eastern Wipbird, Psophodes olivaceus

Gold Ear Honeyeater, Lewin´s honeyeater, Meliphaga lewinii

Yellow-tailed cockatoo, Calyptorhynchus funereus, Yellow-tailed cockatoo, Yellow-tailed raven cockatoo

Spectacled Pelican, Australian Pelican, Pelecanus conspicillatus


Byron Bay

Eastern Grey Giant Kangaroo, Eastern Grey kangaroo, Macropus giganteus

Red-naped wallaby, Red necked wallaby, Macropus rufogriseus

Red Leg Filander, Red Legged Pademelon, Thylogale stigmatica

Koala, Koala, Phascolarctos cinereus

Coot, Eurasian Coot, Fulica atra

Rosakakadu, Galah, Eolophus roseicapilla

Fish Eagle, Osprey, Pandion haliaetus

Grey-capped Glossy Dove, Emerald Dove, Chalcophaps indica

Gold Robin, Eastern yellow Robin, Eopsaltria australis

Grey-headed Flying Dog, Grey headed flying fox, Pteropus poliocephalus

Black flying fox, Black flying fox, Pteropus Alecto


Fraser Island

Whistling Kite

Humpback whale, Humpack whale, Megaptera novaeangliae

Bottle Nose Dolphin

Cape Hillsborough National Park

Flinkwallaby, Agile Wallaby, Macropus agilis


Mission Beach

Casuar, Casuarius Casuarius

Fish Eagle, Osprey, Pandion haliaetus

Noisy Friarbird, Philemon corniculatus, Noisy leatherhead



Platypus, Platybus, Ornithorhynchus anatinus

Johnstone snapping turtle, snapping turtle,

Bush Stone Curlew, Burhinus grallariusneae, Bush Stone Curlew

Lumholtz tree kangaroo, Lumholtz’s tree-kangaroo, Dendrolagus lumholtzi

Mareeba rock kangaroo, Mareeba rock wallabie, petrogals mareeba


Daintree National Park

Mosaic tail Giant rat, Giant white-tai

led rat, Uromys caudimaculatus