Take a Walk on the Wild Side of Australia
The course of true adventure never did run smooth… A Shakespeare misquotation, passion for exploring, a taste for danger and the love of nature are the soul's fuel to set out and discover Australia's unique wildlife. The journey will take the adventurous at heart far from the comfort of developed cities and the safety of civilisation in exchange for a koala's cuddle, the sight of jolly dolphins, the bewilderment of immense humpback whales, and the spellbinding mermaids' songs… The latter might not be certain, yet the encounter of a natural world found nowhere else in the planet is guaranteed.
Pack your backpack, get ready to board a boat, camp out in the desert or trek through eucalypt forests, and let the quest begin:
1) Observe turtle nesting (Mon Repos, Queensland) The place has the largest concentration of nesting marine turtles on the eastern Australian mainland. In Mon Repos, you can take an active role and not only watch marine turtles come ashore to lay their eggs, but also you might end up carrying their eggs across a beach in the middle of the night. This is part of the conservation effort at Mon Repos, where visitors' help welcomed if a turtle has laid her eggs too low on the shoreline.
2) Camel riding (Alice Springs, Northern Territory) The camels found around Alice Springs are mostly wild, but in one farm “cameleer” Marcus Williams has tamed a herd and now offers camel rides through the stunning White Gums Valley. The camel tour takes the rider into the mountain ranges and unforgettable landscapes where kangaroos, wallabies, birds of prey and lizards en-route run free.
3) Quokka spotting (Rottnest Island, Western Australia) In Rottenest Island, visitors can find quokkas which are animals that look a cross between a wallaby and a giant rat, a fact that made the Dutch sailors call the new-found land “Rat's Nest Island”. Even though quokkas are the main attraction of the island, visitors can also spot humpback whales passing by the coast.
4) Wild dolphin swimming (Bunbury, Western Australia) At the Dolphin Discovery Centre, visitors can take the tour called Swim on the Wild Side. As part of the tour, visitors can board a boat into the waters of Kommabana Bay to join scientists monitoring wild dolphin behavior. Researchers make use of tourists' dollars to fund their research. This is part of a cetacean project affiliated to Murdoch University.
5) Forest flying (Mackay, Queensland) An innovative eco-attraction around 70 km inland of Mackay called “forest flying” is a treetop cableway that allows visitors to glide over pristine forests at the same height as the canopy, where they can spot birds and bats. Watch some rare creatures and ancient forests while having fun.
6) Koala spotting (Magnetic Island, Queensland) The interior of the island hosts the largest colony of wild koalas in the country. It is not recommended to try and get a hug from these particular koalas. Take a walk in the area and scan the eucalypt tree line to spot these pointless creatures that sleep 20 hours per day cuddling around a tree branch.