1854: Goldminers stage a rebellion at Ballarat.
It’s that time of year again, when the humpback highway is about to hit peak blubber to blubber as humpback whales migrate up Australia’s east and west coasts from Antarctic waters.
The only frog endemic to the state of Victoria lives in the state’s high-altitude alpine bogs.
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Witnes a turtle hatchling head to sea
Between November and February, sexually mature marine turtles nest along the south Queensland coast and around Western Australia’s northern coast. About eight weeks later, usually at night, the tiny hatchlings emerge and race to the sea. Coming across a hatchling is largely a matter of luck, but you can increase your odds of success by travelling to nesting sites such as Lady Elliot Island or Eco Beach, WA.
Swim with whale sharks
The whale shark (Rhincodon typus), the world’s largest fish, can grow up to 18m in length.
Swimming with these docile behemoths – which involves endeavouring to keep pace with their graceful glide while you observe, wide-eyed, via a snorkel mask – will leave you breathlessly elated and eager for more.
Go whale watching
Whether you’re scanning calm waters from a headland such as Cape Byron, New South Wales, gazing beyond the surf break from an open beach, or stationed, camera-ready, on a tour boat, it’s difficult to refrain from jumping for joy when a whale appears and momentarily launches itself from the water in a spectacular breach.
Spot a platypus
They’re Australia’s most comically featured native species, with dark brown fur, webbed feet, and a rubbery, duck-like bill. And they’re one of only two egg-laying mammals on the planet. This is often the best view you’ll see of these shy creatures.
In the running for Australia’s cutest marsupial is the wombat – the world’s largest burrowing herbivorous mammal, growing up to 1.3m long, with stubby, powerful legs, a pudgy body, and a prominent, adorable snout.
Welcome home fairy penguins
Little or fairy penguins (Eudyptula minor) are the smallest of the world’s 17 penguin species; their breeding range in Australia extends along the southern coast from Fremantle (WA) all the way to Sydney (NSW) and includes Tasmania.
Dive with minke whales
For a few weeks in June and July, this subspecies of the northern or common minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) is commonly seen along the Ribbon Reefs north of Cairns.
Snorkel with manta rays and sea turtles
When snorkelling and diving the Great Barrier Reef (Qld) or Ningaloo Reef (WA), many visitors keep fingers and flippers crossed that they’ll witness the water dance of that wise and adept mariner, the sea turtle, as well as the graceful motions of the exquisitely elegant manta ray (Manta birostris).
Encounter a cassowary
When driving near the Southern cassowary’s (Casuarius casuarius johnsonii) north Queensland territories (parts of the Wet Tropics, for example, Mission Beach, as well as the Cape York Peninsula), proceed slowly.
Walk among quokkas
In 1696, Dutchman Willem de Vlamingh named an offshore island after the nest of a sweet little marsupial, which he mistook for a large rat. Well over three hundred years later, Rottnest Island supports Australia’s largest quokka (Setonix brachyurus) population.
Home Topics Wildlife Gallery: Best Australian wildlife experiences
Most animals on Earth have two sexes, male and female, that combine and mix their genes when they reproduce. We are so accustomed to this state of affairs that the existence of all-female species that don’t have sex, but instead reproduce by cloning, comes as a great surprise.
Add some interest to your office space with this classic ornament.
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