Walk on the wild side: 6 top tips on seeking out Australia South’s wildlife

Discover Australia’s South and seek out unique wildlife adventures with these six top tips from Flight Centre’s team…

Team Wanderlust
11 October 2019

When you think of Australian wildlife, kangaroos and koalas may spring to mind first – but the country’s fauna is actually very diverse. Combining Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania, (all part of Australia’s South) in one epic trip puts everything from wild wombats to whale watching within easy reach.

Planning such a big trip can be daunting, but Flight Centre is here to help. The local expertise of its globe-trotting team sets it apart from many other tour operators: they have all the knowledge and insight you need to create an unforgettable itinerary, and they make booking a breeze. Here, six Flight Centre experts reveal the region’s top wildlife encounters – and plenty more incredible things to do…


Don’t miss Phillip Island’s penguins (Shutterstock)


Don’t miss Australia’s largest koala community (Shutterstock)

1. Linda Pugh on Phillip Island

Look out for Tasmanian devils at Cradle Mountain

Countries visited: 23
Favourite city: Melbourne
Top tip: A group tour from Melbourne is a popular way to see the penguins on Phillip Island, but I would recommend hiring a car and staying overnight. This way, you won’t have to rush to leave the penguins (it’s hard to drag yourself away from watching them waddling up the beach at sunset). Spend the day seeing the other wildlife, such as koalas, Australia’s largest seal colony, and even echidnas every now and again.


Coles Bay (Shutterstock)

2. Faye Rowe on French Island National Park

Meet Fred the wombat at Cleland Wildlife Park

Countries visited: 40
Favourite city: Melbourne
Top tip: Next to Phillip Island, you will find French Island National Park – its larger yet quieter sibling. With fewer than 200 people living on the island, you can enjoy a wildlife experience in peaceful and unspoilt surroundings. The diversity of the island’s landscapes, including mangrove saltmarsh areas and open woodlands, means that flora and fauna thrive here – including the biggest koala community in Australia. And don’t miss French Island Vineyards, whose wines are all grown, fermented and bottled on site.


Wisteria Lane in the Adelaide Botanic Gardens (Shutterstock)


3. Nikki Metcalfe on Cradle Mountain

Countries visited: 49
Favourite city: Hobart
Top tip: For incredible wildlife sightings in Tasmania, I recommend Cradle Mountain, which is surrounded by beautiful landscapes. In spring, wild wombats are everywhere, and you may even see snow. You should also look out for platypus. Exploring the mountain at night is great fun too – look carefully, and you might spot a Tasmanian devil.


4. Dona Barbagallo on Freycinet National Park

Countries visited: 21
Favourite city: Melbourne
Top tip: Visit Freycinet National Park and walk from Coles Bay (at the foot of the granite mountains known as the Hazards) for 1.5 hours to reach one of Tasmania’s most incredible sights: Wineglass Bay. There’s an abundance of wildlife to spot on the way, including wallabies on the ground, sea eagles sweeping overhead, and even the occasional whale or dolphin making a splash in the topaz waters. A two-hour drive south-west will bring you to Mona, where you can take a tour of the Moorilla winery. It’s the second oldest vineyard in Tasmania, and you can sip wine straight from the tanks. 


South Australia

5. Sophie Murray on Cleland Wildlife Park

Countries visited: 40
Favourite city: Adelaide
Top tip: If you want to get up-close with wallabies, dingoes and elusive echidnas, visit Cleland Wildlife Park – less than twenty minutes from Adelaide city centre. Here you can see and learn about much of Australia’s wildlife, including the friendly resident wombat called Fred. The park also offers a thrilling night walk, on which you’ll see native nocturnal creatures. While you’re in Adelaide, squeeze in a trip to one of the famous wineries. Penfolds is just a ten-minute drive from the city, or head to Barossa for wine tasting.


6. Charlotte Dickson on Adelaide Botanic Garden

Countries visited: 38
Favourite city: Adelaide
Top tip: For nature lovers, I highly recommend a trip to the 130-acre Adelaide Botanic Garden. Peace and tranquillity abound here, and it’s always relaxing to stroll amid the exotic flowers. Next, venture south to Kangaroo Island – where koalas, sea lions, pelicans and the park’s namesake critters run wild. Drop into Dudley Wines, one of the island’s original wineries, to try their wide range and enjoy some seriously tasty food too.


All of these tips come from Flight Centre’s expert staff – based everywhere from Head Office to high-street stores all over the world. Armed with their insider knowledge and excellent contacts, they can tailor-make your perfect southern Australia holiday – the easiest way to get the most out of your adventure Down Under. Find out more here

Australia made easy

Flight Centre’s Australia’s South trip is an epic 15-day adventure through the wild highlights of Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania. It includes international flights with Qantas and an action-packed itinerary, including a helicopter ride above the Twelve Apostles. From just £2,799 per person, incl flights.



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