Wildlife Uncaged.

Want to experience Kangaroos hopping about in the a great open plain? Koalas lounging, taking a nap in a eucalyptus tree on a summer’s afternoon? While it’s cool to see animals at the zoo it’s never quite like seeing them while you’re on a walk or hike. The Australia wildlife is unique compared to the places where we have been in the world. As you set off on your day hike the only things to keep your eye out for are snakes and venomous spiders. The one great thing in Australia is you never worry about any big carnivores like tigers, jaguars, mountain lions or bears sneaking up on you for their afternoon lunch.  Also, Australia also offers the world biggest barrier reef in the world with tons of sea life to explore. We started our wildlife adventure down south on the Great Ocean Road, specifically on Kenneth river road.

Kennett River Road (Great Ocean Road)

Animals: Koalas, beautiful birds, and lizards

When reading up on the Great Ocean Road by Melbourne Australia the articles mentioned seeing live Koalas in their natural habitat. They were located right off the Great Ocean Road on Kenneth River Road about ½ mile up the dirt road. I asked a few locals in Melbourne about Koalas, and he responded, “good luck with that, I have never seen a Koala outside of the zoo”. I said “I’ll make sure to send you the pictures when we see some”. As we turn off on Kenneth River Road we see a group of people feeding some bright red birds. I slow the car and the birds are landing on all the people shoulders, heads, and arms with the food in it. It was a pretty funny site. We continue up the dirt road with our eyes on the tree tops to catch a glimpse of a koala. As we drove for 10 minutes we start to think well looks like there aren’t any koala’s here. We pull up to a vehicle and look ahead and see a couple with their cameras pointed at some trees in front of them. I stop the car and we start to walk toward them, they say in a soft voice there are two koala’s right there. There they are as peaceful as can be sleeping in between three branches swaying in the wind. The guy also mentioned we missed another koala in one of the trees we just drove past. Koalas look like a little blob in a corner of a tree where some branches come down. They sit and sleep literally all day. Since they are nocturnal, you might get them to take a quick peek at you when they are yawning or something, but otherwise it’s their bedtime. You can rest assure I sent the local aussie a picture of the koala’s.

Wilson Promontory

Animals: Lizards, Kangaroos, Wombats

Here in the south-east corner of Australia is a beautiful peninsula with mountains, beaches and some great wildlife viewing. Once at the Tidal river camp site area pick up the bus for a quick 10 minute ride to the starting point of the Mt. Oberon trail. We saw this funny creature that kids were petting, it was fury short fat animal and was grazing the grass. We both look at each other and reminded ourselves of the yellow signs on the highway to not hit this funny looking creature. We ask a fellow Australian and he says “yeah that’s a wombat.” He then goes into full documentary mode and says wombats can run up to 60km/h (40mph) and dig a hole to bury themselves from predators in less than 30 seconds. So as 10 people started to surround the wild animal it just kept eating the grass.  As we made our way up Mt. Oberon we experienced some unpleasant nature. As we made our way further up the mountain these flies started to land on us. These were no ordinary flies though, they were about a bumble bee size and had a mosquito like stinger mouth.  As we kept hitting each other up the mountain to clear the flies off one another I felt a pinch on my back. We realized at that point these flies are not just flies but they are biting flies. I took off my hat and start to swing it around like a crazy man to knock the shit out of these flies. For some reason, they were attracted to me more either because I stank more than Cierra or my bright blue shirt. As you get towards the top of the mountain the trail tightens up a rocky face with stairs. Here lizards are running around as you take each step up the stairs.

First Kangaroo experience

As we drove out of Wilson Promontory we saw a couple car’s parked in a big open area where there was a trail. So I pull off the road and ask a group of people getting back in their car “is there anything interesting out there?” they reply “yeah there are a bunch of kangaroos hopping about”. I look at Cierra and said “score.” About 5 minutes into the walk we stumble upon on a baby kangaroo with its mom. They sit there eating the grass about 15 feet from us in the shade. A unique experience as they trotted around looking for the best grass to eat. As we made our way further along the loop trail, we started noticing something moving out in the open field to our left. Sure, enough there were about twenty to thirty kangaroos eating and hanging out.  As we came to the end of the trail a mature kangaroo was hanging out in the bushes eating. He would bend down to eat then raise up to about 5ft tall to check out what was going on. Cierra and I both said “Now we wish we can see a kangaroo do its hop”. We pleaded with the kangaroo for about 5 minutes then it started to go hopping down our trail (see video above). If you want an up close encounter with a kangaroo I would highly recommending coming to Wilson Promontory any time of the year.

Kangaroo Valley

Animals: Wombats, Kangaroos, fishing

About 2 hours south of Sydney is a huge camping area near the river for some of the best wildlife viewing. When working our way into kangaroo valley you come over a mountain pass into the beautiful Kangaroo Valley. If you have time I would defiantly recommend doing the canoe tour down the river to get a great unique experience in nature. We were unlucky when arriving to kangaroo valley since it hit 100 degrees Fahrenheit that day. When it gets that hot the wildlife tends to find shade and just rest. We did get lucky in seeing an old wombat who looked like it had been rode hard and hung out wet, grazing in the campground. A few articles online have said this is one of the best place to get a view of some kangaroos in the wild.

Newcastle

Animals: Tons of birds, Wombats, Wallabies, Kangaroos, lizards, frogs and Owls

A great reserve, although a zoo like experience in Newcastle. The Blackbutt wildlife reserve is a donations only (and small parking fee) wildlife rescue facility that is home to a bunch of wildlife.  Arriving to the park it was located at was very nice and inviting. We walked up an elevated viewing path and started to go by each animal habitat. The reserve had some of the most beautiful birds I have ever seen. The reptile exhibit was great with some cool frogs and snakes. We then walked into a big oval exhibit that had netting on top and nice scenery area in the middle. Birds were flying all around you and running around the grounds of the exhibit. As we walked by a few trees we realized that there were Koalas in each of these trees we almost ignored. They were only about 10 feet from the observation deck but they are so still in the trees they are hard to pick out unless you are looking for them. As you make your way around the other end of the park you come to the ostridge, wallabies, and kangaroo area. The ostridge’s are very curious so they come right up to the fence and the wallabies (miniature kangaroo) hop around looking for seeds to eat. This is the nicest free zoo I have ever been to and the best small zoo I have ever seen. Great design and beautiful place to visit.

Port Macquarie

Animals: Dolphins, Whales, Albatross, fish, lizards, birds

When arriving to this small town north or Sydney make sure to give yourself at least couple of days to experience nature. I would highly recommend even taking a tour boat out to view the dolphins (year-round) or whales (seasonal). If your more into the active lifestyle I would head out to Settlement Point to grab a kayak ($30/3 hours dual). Here you can take it down the river to the harbor and experience dolphins, fish, albatross, and many other birds. Make sure to bring your snorkel with you on the kayak or a fishing pole ($10 rental). The other great place to fish is off the side of the rocks where the river meets the ocean. We saw some serious fish pulled out of here in the small amount of time we were around.

Make sure to take in the great coastal walk. One option would be start up around the port and take the 9km walk down to the light house. Then grab a public bus on your way back into town. This trail will lead you through the rainforest with lots of wildlife scurrying around. Some of the walk is paved and other parts are on the beach. There will be plenty of picture opportunities along the way with the giant goanna lizards or the huge salamanders running around. Keep your eyes peeled for the Koala’s hanging out in their favorite tree.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Gold Coast

Animals: Snakes, lizards, birds,

Yes, the Gold Coast is a cement jungle in itself but only an hour west you will find some beautiful rainforests with wildlife about. As we made our journey back down the epic Mt. Warning trail head Cierra jumped backwards, and I said “whats up?” She says look, it was a huge snake that had its prey half way down its throat. We almost stepped on the thing since it was a rainforest green and black stripped color blending into the scenery. Later research revealed it was a carpet python that literally had its body wrapped around its victim. As we passed within 2 feet of this snake it didn’t make a move. All it could do as we stared at it was work this possum further down its throat. A couple of the bigger lizards you would experience on the trails seemed not to be phased by you stepping right by them. Several times I stepped and the lizard would only move a few inches enough for me to notice it about 12 inches away from my foot. The gold coast is also one of the places where the bull sharks swim up the lagoon areas to hunt. I spoke to a couple locals who have caught a few in fresh water. I would highly recommend if you are a fisherman to rent a pole and fish off the shore in the lagoon areas. There are so many plentiful fish in these lagoons. I had some of the biggest bites of my life here with my line breaking on a few. Don’t forget to purchase your 3 day fishing license instantly for $7 online

 

So take a minute and capture a unique experience with the wildlife for free in one of these places on the East coast of Australia.

 

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Wildlife Uncaged.

Want to experience Kangaroos hopping about in the a great open plain? Koalas lounging, taking a nap in a eucalyptus tree on a summer’s afternoon? While it’s cool to see animals at the zoo it’s never quite like seeing them while you’re on a walk or hike. The Australia wildlife is unique compared to the places where we have been in the world. As you set off on your day hike the only things to keep your eye out for are snakes and venomous spiders. The one great thing in Australia is you never worry about any big carnivores like tigers, jaguars, mountain lions or bears sneaking up on you for their afternoon lunch.  Also, Australia also offers the world biggest barrier reef in the world with tons of sea life to explore. We started our wildlife adventure down south on the Great Ocean Road, specifically on Kenneth river road.

Kennett River Road (Great Ocean Road)

Animals: Koalas, beautiful birds, and lizards

When reading up on the Great Ocean Road by Melbourne Australia the articles mentioned seeing live Koalas in their natural habitat. They were located right off the Great Ocean Road on Kenneth River Road about ½ mile up the dirt road. I asked a few locals in Melbourne about Koalas, and he responded, “good luck with that, I have never seen a Koala outside of the zoo”. I said “I’ll make sure to send you the pictures when we see some”. As we turn off on Kenneth River Road we see a group of people feeding some bright red birds. I slow the car and the birds are landing on all the people shoulders, heads, and arms with the food in it. It was a pretty funny site. We continue up the dirt road with our eyes on the tree tops to catch a glimpse of a koala. As we drove for 10 minutes we start to think well looks like there aren’t any koala’s here. We pull up to a vehicle and look ahead and see a couple with their cameras pointed at some trees in front of them. I stop the car and we start to walk toward them, they say in a soft voice there are two koala’s right there. There they are as peaceful as can be sleeping in between three branches swaying in the wind. The guy also mentioned we missed another koala in one of the trees we just drove past. Koalas look like a little blob in a corner of a tree where some branches come down. They sit and sleep literally all day. Since they are nocturnal, you might get them to take a quick peek at you when they are yawning or something, but otherwise it’s their bedtime. You can rest assure I sent the local aussie a picture of the koala’s.

Wilson Promontory

Animals: Lizards, Kangaroos, Wombats

Here in the south-east corner of Australia is a beautiful peninsula with mountains, beaches and some great wildlife viewing. Once at the Tidal river camp site area pick up the bus for a quick 10 minute ride to the starting point of the Mt. Oberon trail. We saw this funny creature that kids were petting, it was fury short fat animal and was grazing the grass. We both look at each other and reminded ourselves of the yellow signs on the highway to not hit this funny looking creature. We ask a fellow Australian and he says “yeah that’s a wombat.” He then goes into full documentary mode and says wombats can run up to 60km/h (40mph) and dig a hole to bury themselves from predators in less than 30 seconds. So as 10 people started to surround the wild animal it just kept eating the grass.  As we made our way up Mt. Oberon we experienced some unpleasant nature. As we made our way further up the mountain these flies started to land on us. These were no ordinary flies though, they were about a bumble bee size and had a mosquito like stinger mouth.  As we kept hitting each other up the mountain to clear the flies off one another I felt a pinch on my back. We realized at that point these flies are not just flies but they are biting flies. I took off my hat and start to swing it around like a crazy man to knock the shit out of these flies. For some reason, they were attracted to me more either because I stank more than Cierra or my bright blue shirt. As you get towards the top of the mountain the trail tightens up a rocky face with stairs. Here lizards are running around as you take each step up the stairs.

First Kangaroo experience

As we drove out of Wilson Promontory we saw a couple car’s parked in a big open area where there was a trail. So I pull off the road and ask a group of people getting back in their car “is there anything interesting out there?” they reply “yeah there are a bunch of kangaroos hopping about”. I look at Cierra and said “score.” About 5 minutes into the walk we stumble upon on a baby kangaroo with its mom. They sit there eating the grass about 15 feet from us in the shade. A unique experience as they trotted around looking for the best grass to eat. As we made our way further along the loop trail, we started noticing something moving out in the open field to our left. Sure, enough there were about twenty to thirty kangaroos eating and hanging out.  As we came to the end of the trail a mature kangaroo was hanging out in the bushes eating. He would bend down to eat then raise up to about 5ft tall to check out what was going on. Cierra and I both said “Now we wish we can see a kangaroo do its hop”. We pleaded with the kangaroo for about 5 minutes then it started to go hopping down our trail (see video above). If you want an up close encounter with a kangaroo I would highly recommending coming to Wilson Promontory any time of the year.

Kangaroo Valley

Animals: Wombats, Kangaroos, fishing

About 2 hours south of Sydney is a huge camping area near the river for some of the best wildlife viewing. When working our way into kangaroo valley you come over a mountain pass into the beautiful Kangaroo Valley. If you have time I would defiantly recommend doing the canoe tour down the river to get a great unique experience in nature. We were unlucky when arriving to kangaroo valley since it hit 100 degrees Fahrenheit that day. When it gets that hot the wildlife tends to find shade and just rest. We did get lucky in seeing an old wombat who looked like it had been rode hard and hung out wet, grazing in the campground. A few articles online have said this is one of the best place to get a view of some kangaroos in the wild.

Newcastle

Animals: Tons of birds, Wombats, Wallabies, Kangaroos, lizards, frogs and Owls

A great reserve, although a zoo like experience in Newcastle. The Blackbutt wildlife reserve is a donations only (and small parking fee) wildlife rescue facility that is home to a bunch of wildlife.  Arriving to the park it was located at was very nice and inviting. We walked up an elevated viewing path and started to go by each animal habitat. The reserve had some of the most beautiful birds I have ever seen. The reptile exhibit was great with some cool frogs and snakes. We then walked into a big oval exhibit that had netting on top and nice scenery area in the middle. Birds were flying all around you and running around the grounds of the exhibit. As we walked by a few trees we realized that there were Koalas in each of these trees we almost ignored. They were only about 10 feet from the observation deck but they are so still in the trees they are hard to pick out unless you are looking for them. As you make your way around the other end of the park you come to the ostridge, wallabies, and kangaroo area. The ostridge’s are very curious so they come right up to the fence and the wallabies (miniature kangaroo) hop around looking for seeds to eat. This is the nicest free zoo I have ever been to and the best small zoo I have ever seen. Great design and beautiful place to visit.

Port Macquarie

Animals: Dolphins, Whales, Albatross, fish, lizards, birds

When arriving to this small town north or Sydney make sure to give yourself at least couple of days to experience nature. I would highly recommend even taking a tour boat out to view the dolphins (year-round) or whales (seasonal). If your more into the active lifestyle I would head out to Settlement Point to grab a kayak ($30/3 hours dual). Here you can take it down the river to the harbor and experience dolphins, fish, albatross, and many other birds. Make sure to bring your snorkel with you on the kayak or a fishing pole ($10 rental). The other great place to fish is off the side of the rocks where the river meets the ocean. We saw some serious fish pulled out of here in the small amount of time we were around.

Make sure to take in the great coastal walk. One option would be start up around the port and take the 9km walk down to the light house. Then grab a public bus on your way back into town. This trail will lead you through the rainforest with lots of wildlife scurrying around. Some of the walk is paved and other parts are on the beach. There will be plenty of picture opportunities along the way with the giant goanna lizards or the huge salamanders running around. Keep your eyes peeled for the Koala’s hanging out in their favorite tree.

 

Port Macquarie

Animals: Dolphins, Whales, Albatross, fish, lizards, birds

When arriving to this small town north or Sydney make sure to give yourself at least couple of days to experience nature. I would highly recommend even taking a tour boat out to view the dolphins (year-round) or whales (seasonal). If your more into the active lifestyle I would head out to Settlement Point to grab a kayak ($30/3 hours dual). Here you can take it down the river to the harbor and experience dolphins, fish, albatross, and many other birds. Make sure to bring your snorkel with you on the kayak or a fishing pole ($10 rental). The other great place to fish is off the side of the rocks where the river meets the ocean. We saw some serious fish pulled out of here in the small amount of time we were around.

Make sure to take in the great coastal walk. One option would be start up around the port and take the 9km walk down to the light house. Then grab a public bus on your way back into town. This trail will lead you through the rainforest with lots of wildlife scurrying around. Some of the walk is paved and other parts are on the beach. There will be plenty of picture opportunities along the way with the giant goanna lizards or the huge salamanders running around. Keep your eyes peeled for the Koala’s hanging out in their favorite tree.

 

Gold Coast

Animals: Snakes, lizards, birds,

Yes, the Gold Coast is a cement jungle in itself but only an hour west you will find some beautiful rainforests with wildlife about. As we made our journey back down the epic Mt. Warning trail head Cierra jumped backwards, and I said “whats up?” She says look, it was a huge snake that had its prey half way down its throat. We almost stepped on the thing since it was a rainforest green and black stripped color blending into the scenery. Later research revealed it was a carpet python that literally had its body wrapped around its victim. As we passed within 2 feet of this snake it didn’t make a move. All it could do as we stared at it was work this possum further down its throat. A couple of the bigger lizards you would experience on the trails seemed not to be phased by you stepping right by them. Several times I stepped and the lizard would only move a few inches enough for me to notice it about 12 inches away from my foot. The gold coast is also one of the places where the bull sharks swim up the lagoon areas to hunt. I spoke to a couple locals who have caught a few in fresh water. I would highly recommend if you are a fisherman to rent a pole and fish off the shore in the lagoon areas. There are so many plentiful fish in these lagoons. I had some of the biggest bites of my life here with my line breaking on a few. Don’t forget to purchase your 3 day fishing license instantly for $7 online

 

So take a minute and capture a unique experience with the wildlife for free in one of these places on the East coast of Australia.

 

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