As a result of continental drift and the isolation of this vast land, Australia’s rich wildlife boasts unique species that are found nowhere else on earth. With over 450 mammals, 300 species of birds, 180 species of freshwater fish and 300 species of lizards, there are plenty of creatures to see in addition to the kangaroo. This largest of living marsupials, can easily be seen up close when staying at One&Only Emirates Wolgan Valley, close to the Blue Mountains (a three-hour drive from Sydney). Here, guests can learn to distinguish the eastern greys from the wallaby and admire their natural behaviour amongst the wild bushland - all whilst riding on horseback, cycling, trekking or simply sitting on a homestead deck! Here, too, visitors can see wombats, superb birdlife and take part in vital conservation work, such as protecting the unique flora and fauna.
Accessible from Adelaide, Australia’s premier wildlife destination is, perhaps, Kangaroo Island. Here, guests staying at the luxurious Southern Ocean Lodge can truly appreciate all the coastal residents, such as penguins, koalas and sealife – in addition to the popular kangaroo. The lodge’s resident naturalists provide excellent guided tours, which allow guests to fully appreciate the dramatic southern coastline, sugar-white beaches and endemic wildlife. Of course, Australia’s coastal waters are equally attractive and bountiful, with the tropical north home to the world’s largest coral reef – the spectacular Great Barrier Reef, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This beautiful and vital biosphere provides visitors with a tropical underwater world that is perfect for scuba-diving and snorkelling. Families can easily access the reef by boat from nearby Hamilton Island, while couples can indulge in the luxury available at qualia or Lizard Island, before taking a cruise, or flying to, the equally stunning natural wonders of Heart Reef and Whitehaven Beach.