5 Unique Australian Animals

Fun facts about the unique Australian Animals

Australia’s wildlife heritage represents one of Australia’s most fascinating attractions. Australian wildlife evolved over millions of years, and 80% of all Australian animals are unique to this country.

From cuddly animals to the most dangerous ones, in Australia, you find many marsupials like the popular Kangaroos,  Koalas and Wombats, which cannot be found anywhere else in the world.

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Let’s look at 5 cute and unique Australian animals you will see and admire during your travel to Australia.

  • Koalas

    The Koala is probably the cutest among all Australian animals because of its look with furry “bear ears”. Koalas are, for this reason, often referred to as “Koala bear” Koalas are not related to the bear, though. Koalas are marsupials.Like Kangaroos, they carry their young in a pouch. Koala is an aboriginal word meaning “no water” In fact, Koalas rarely drink water because they get the fluid they need from the eucalypt leaves.

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    You can spot Koalas in eucalypt forests in Tasmania and the woodlands of south-east Queensland to South Australia. Koalas only eat eucalypt leaves, but not all of them are good for their diet. In fact, they climb up to the highest branches of eucalypt trees.

    They can eat up to 1 kg of eucalypt leaves every day, making them asleep most of the time. To mark the territory, the Koala rub its chest against eucalypt trees. It has a  life span of 10-12 years. The major threat for Koalas is represented by the destruction of their natural habitat and predators like dogs, foxes and dingos.

  • Kangaroos

    Australia’s most popular animal, Kangaroos or just roos“, as the locals call them,  represent Australia’s most recognized icon all over the world.  According to an estimate, there are over 40millions of Kangaroos in Australia, thanks to their fast and efficient breeding way.

    The interesting fact is that the female kangaroo is permanently pregnant. In fact, a female kangaroo can have 3-4youngs at the same time, one joey (the name for the young) inside the pouch, an older one outside the pouch but still drinking milk from one teat and 1-2 embryos awaiting birth.

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    Kangaroos can be found everywhere in Australia, from open dry plains to the Outback regions to forests and rocky hills and cliffs. There are 45 species of kangaroos, but the most famous species are the Red Kangaroo and the Grey Kangaroo.

  • Wombats

    Wombat is the one I like most among all the cuddly Australian animals.  Wombats are also marsupials with a distinctive backwards pouch so that the dirt does not get into the pouch while burrowing.

    They are closely related to the Koala. They have a heavy body and can reach 30-40kg, with a short tail and short legs. It has stiff, grey-brown fur.

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    They are extremely good burrowers. With their strong claws, they can dig burrows up to 2 meters deep and 20 meters long. There are 3 types of Wombats: the common Wombat, the Northern and Southern hairy-nosed wombat.

    You can see wombats on the south-eastern coast of Australia and in Tasmania. Their habitat is eucalypt forests and woodlands areas. Wombats are solitary and mostly nocturnal, and despite their sluggish look, they can run up to a speed of 40km/hour when alarmed.

    Yes, the biggest threat you have guessed is the humans: wombats are continuously trapped and shot by farmers who want to stop them from digging the burrows into their cultivated fields.

  • Wallabies

    A Wallaby looks like a kangaroo, but it is smaller. You will be seeing many of them in Australia, and they can be found all over the country. Adorable animals. Wallabies like Kangaroos belong to the large family of macropods (great-footed animals), including the wallaroo and other lesser-known species.

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    There are so many Wallabies types: from tail-wallabies to rock wallabies to yellow-footed wallabies that you can see in the Flinders Ranges. Wallabies have strong back legs and long feet. They can be found all over the country and in different habitats. Wallabies tend to be active at night and sleep during the day, and they eat grass and leaves from the bush.

  • Quokkas

    Quokkas are believed to be a kind of wallabies, but scientists found out that they are instead a group of their own. They can be found only in South Western Australia, Perth, and you can spot plenty of them on Rottnest Island.

    This is where the name Rottnest Island comes from. This island was named by a Dutch explorer who thought that Quokkas were rats and named the island in 1658 “Rotte nest”, which in Dutch means “Rats nest”.

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    A Quokka has a cat’s size, has long coarse grey fur, weigh 4kg, and is 80cm long, with a short, stiff tail and short hind feet.

    Quokkas hop like wallabies and are nocturnal animals eating grass and leaves of the tree to get enough moisture, especially in summer when there is almost no water on Rottnest Island’s western part.

So these are some interesting, fun facts about 5 cute Australian animals. There are many, many more unique Australian animals that are worth mentioning.

Go to Dangerous Australian Animals

Go to where to see Australian Wildlife

First published in 2014, last updated in 2021.