Key Highlights

  • Western Australia is home to a diverse range of unique wildlife species.
  • Some of the must-see wildlife species in Western Australia include the Quokka of Rottnest Island, kangaroos at Lucky Bay, whale sharks at Ningaloo Reef, the unique Numbat, dolphins at Monkey Mia, Australian sea lions of Jurien Bay, the elusive Bilby, echidnas on the Bibbulmun Track, Carnac Island’s little penguins, Yanchep National Park’s koalas, the saltwater crocodiles in the Kimberley, and dugongs of Shark Bay.
  • Western Australia’s unique ecosystems support rich biodiversity, and conservation efforts are in place to protect the native flora and fauna.
  • The best times and locations for wildlife viewing in Western Australia vary depending on the species and their habitats.
  • Responsible wildlife tourism is essential for conserving these species, and tips are available for ethical wildlife photography and contributing to conservation efforts.

Western Australia is a haven for nature enthusiasts, wildlife lovers, and incredible animals. Its vast landscapes, from the rugged Kimberley to the stunning Ningaloo Coast, are a sight to behold in the wild west with natural wonders. The diverse ecosystems, from the lush forests of Yanchep National Park to the pristine marine environments of Ningaloo Reef and coral coast, are teeming with unique flora, fauna, fish, and world. Western Australia is home to a wide range of native animals that are unique to the world, from the iconic kangaroos and koalas to the elusive quokkas and numbat. Exploring the wildlife species in Western Australia provides a glimpse into the country’s rich biodiversity. It offers a chance to witness the beauty of these unique creatures in their natural habitats, making it a must-see for any Aussie adventure.

In this blog, we will take a closer look at some of the must-see wildlife species in Western Australia. We will explore the Quokka, a subspecies of kangaroos at Lucky Bay, whale sharks at Ningaloo Reef, the unique Numbat, dolphins at Monkey Mia, Australian sea lions of Jurien Bay, the elusive Bilby, echidnas on the Bibbulmun Track, Carnac Island’s little penguins, Yanchep National Park’s koalas, the saltwater crocodiles in the Kimberley, and dugongs of Shark Bay. We will also delve into the significance of Western Australia’s distinct ecosystems and the ongoing conservation efforts for wildlife. Furthermore, we will provide information on the best times and locations for wildlife viewing in Western Australia and tips for responsible wildlife tourism. So, let’s discover the fascinating wildlife species that Western Australia calls home.

Western Australia is home to a plethora of native animals that are unique to the region. From marsupials like the quokka and kangaroo to marine creatures like whale sharks and dolphins, there is an abundance of wildlife to see in this part of Australia. Some of the top wildlife species to see in Western Australia include the Quokka of Rottnest Island, kangaroos at Lucky Bay, whale sharks at Ningaloo Reef, the unique Numbat, dolphins at Monkey Mia, Australian sea lions of Jurien Bay, the elusive Bilby, echidnas on the Bibbulmun Track, Carnac Island’s little penguins, Yanchep National Park’s koalas, the saltwater crocodiles in the Kimberley, and dugongs of Shark Bay. Each species offers a unique and unforgettable wildlife experience that showcases the diversity and beauty of Western Australia’s fauna.

1. The Quokka of Rottnest Island

Rottnest Island is home to the Quokka, one of Western Australia’s most famous wildlife species. Known as the “world’s happiest animal,” the Quokka has gained international recognition for its friendly nature and adorable smile. The island has the largest known population of Quokkas, making it the perfect destination to see and interact with these unique marsupials.

The Quokka is a small marsupial that belongs to the same family as kangaroos and wallabies. They have round bodies, short tails, and short ears and are approximately the size of a domestic cat. Quokkas are herbivores and mainly feed on grasses, leaves, and bark. They are known for their curious and friendly behaviour; they often approach visitors and pose for selfies. They also have a unique feature—a quoll-like pouch—where they feed their young on milk. Unlike other mammals, they do not have nipples, but the milk oozes out of the skin in the pouch, and the puggle (baby quokka) licks it up.

Rottnest Island provides a natural habitat for Quokkas, with diverse vegetation and ample food sources. Visitors can explore the island by bike or foot and spot Quokkas in their natural habitat. While Quokkas are friendly, respecting their natural behaviour and not feeding or touching them is essential. By practising responsible tourism, you are ensuring the preservation of these unique ecosystems for future generations to enjoy.

2. Kangaroos at Lucky Bay

Kangaroos at Lucky Bay are a common sight, offering a unique chance to observe these iconic Australian marsupials in their natural habitat at dawn or dusk. Against the stunning coastlines, you can see these kangaroos, including the eastern grey and western grey species, hopping around freely. Lucky Bay’s tranquil setting provides a serene environment for visitors to witness these magnificent creatures up close, making it a must-visit location for wildlife enthusiasts.

3. Ningaloo Reef’s Whale Sharks

Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia is renowned for its mesmerising whale sharks, the largest fish species globally. These gentle giants gather along the reef from April to July for annual feeding, providing a captivating sight for snorkelers and divers. The Ningaloo Marine Park offers a unique opportunity to swim alongside these creatures in their natural habitat. This unforgettable experience highlights the region’s commitment to preserving its native marine life.

4. The Unique Numbat

The unique numbat, also known as the banded anteater, is a small marsupial native to Western Australia. The numbat, with its striking appearance of reddish-brown fur and white stripes, is an iconic animal in Australian fauna. Known for its termite diet, you can spot this diurnal creature in woodlands and eucalypt forests, primarily using its long tongue to feast on its prey. Conservation efforts are in place to protect this endangered species, making it a must-see in the region.

5. Dolphins at Monkey Mia

The crystal-clear waters of Monkey Mia in Western Australia attract mesmerising dolphins. These friendly marine animals often swim close to the shore, allowing visitors to witness their playful antics. Dolphin encounters at Monkey Mia are exciting and educational, providing insights into the lives of these intelligent creatures. Watching these dolphins gracefully glide through the water is a captivating experience that showcases the beauty of Australia’s marine life. Dolphins at Monkey Mia truly embody the unique wildlife diversity of Western Australia.

6. Jurien Bay’s Australian Sea Lions

In Jurien Bay, Western Australia, you will encounter unique wildlife with Australian sea lions. These marine animals, known for their playful nature and agility in the water, thrive along the coastline. Observing them in their natural habitat provides a glimpse into the region’s diverse marine life. With distinctive features and behaviours, Australian Sea Lions enhance the allure of Jurien Bay as a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts.

7. The Elusive Bilby

The elusive Bilby, a lesser-known Australian marsupial, is a rare sight in Western Australia. With its rabbit-like ears and silky blue-grey fur, the bilby is a nocturnal creature that predominantly inhabits arid deserts. They perfectly adapt their pointed snouts to sniff out insects and larvae in the sandy soil, an essential part of their diet. Conservation efforts are crucial due to habitat loss and threats from invasive species, highlighting the importance of protecting this unique animal. It is best spotted in the Kimberley and Pilbara regions of Western Australia. 

8. Echidnas on the Bibbulmun Track

Discover the fascinating monotremes of echidnas along the Bibbulmun Track in Western Australia. These spiky creatures, known for their unique egg-laying reproduction, are a sight in their natural habitat. The Bibbulmun Track offers a serene setting for observing these quiet but intriguing animals as they forage for ants and termites. Keep an eye out for these elusive , also known as baby echidnas or puggles, as you trek through the stunning landscapes of the track.

9. Carnac Island’s Little Penguins

Found off the coast of Western Australia, Carnac Island is home to delightful little penguins. These petite aquatic birds, also known as fairy penguins, charm visitors with their small size and distinctive bluish plumage. Nestled within the island’s rugged terrain, these penguins navigate the rocky shores with agility, offering a unique sight for wildlife enthusiasts. Observing these endearing creatures in their natural habitat on Carnac Island, located near Fremantle, is a must-do experience for anyone exploring the rich biodiversity of Western Australia.

10. Yanchep National Park’s Koalas

Among the unique wildlife of Western Australia, Yanchep National Park boasts adorable koalas. You can spot these iconic Australian animals, known for their cuddly appearance, lounging in the eucalyptus trees. The park provides an opportunity to observe these marsupials in their natural habitat, delighting visitors with their charm. Primarily active at night, koalas rest or graze on eucalyptus leaves during the day. They consume up to one kilogramme (2.2 pounds) of eucalyptus leaves daily, providing a glimpse into their peaceful lives amidst the region’s native flora and fauna.

11. The Saltwater Crocodile in the Kimberley

The Kimberley’s waters are home to the formidable saltwater crocodile. Known for their powerful jaws and stealthy hunting tactics, these creatures play a vital role in the ecosystem. Growing up to seven metres in length, they are the most giant reptiles in the region. Their presence highlights the rich biodiversity of Western Australia, which is captivating and awe-inspiring to observe in their natural habitat. Visitors must exercise extreme caution and respect when encountering these majestic creatures to ensure safe coexistence.

12. Dugongs of Shark Bay

Known for its seagrass meadows, Shark Bay in Western Australia is home to fascinating dugongs. These marine animals, also known as sea cows, graze contentedly in the shallow waters, gracefully gliding through the bay. Their gentle nature and unique physical characteristics make them a must-see for wildlife enthusiasts. Dugongs play a vital role in the ocean ecosystem, representing a delicate balance that highlights the importance of marine conservation efforts.

Understanding Western Australia’s Unique Ecosystems

Western Australia boasts diverse ecosystems that support a range of native wildlife, including iconic animals like the quokka and kangaroos. The region’s biodiversity is evident in its marine life, with Ningaloo Reef serving as a habitat for whale sharks. Conservation efforts are vital to protecting these species and their natural habitats. Understanding the balance within these ecosystems is critical for Western Australia’s unique fauna and flora’s sustainability. Conserving this rich biodiversity ensures the preservation of Australia’s natural heritage for future generations.

Biodiversity is important.

In Western Australia, biodiversity is critical for maintaining ecosystem balance. The variety of native animals and plant species, like the iconic quokka and unique numbats, contribute to the region’s natural habitat. By preserving diverse habitats, such as the coastline for marine animals and the mainland for marsupials, biodiversity ensures the survival of various species. Conserving this rich fauna and flora is vital for Western Australia and the entire ecosystem.

Conservation Efforts for Wildlife Protection

Conservation efforts in Western Australia aim to protect native wildlife and habitats. Various organisations work tirelessly to preserve this region’s unique animals and ecosystems. Strategies include habitat restoration, species reintroduction programmes, and raising awareness about the importance of biodiversity. These efforts help safeguard iconic species like the quokka, the numbat, and various bird species under threat, ensuring their survival for future generations to appreciate and enjoy. Protection measures are crucial to maintaining the delicate balance of Western Australia’s diverse natural environment.

The best times and locations for wildlife viewing

Specific times and locations offer the best opportunities when planning to observe Western Australia’s unique wildlife. Lucky Bay and Monkey Mia are ideal for spotting native animals like kangaroos and dolphins. To witness the impressive whale sharks, Ningaloo Reef is a must-visit destination. Additionally, Yanchep National Park provides an excellent setting to observe koalas and frogs in their natural habitat. Exploring these locations during the appropriate seasons enhances the wildlife viewing experience while ensuring responsible tourism practices.

Seasonal Wildlife Events

Experience unique seasonal wildlife events in Western Australia, such as the annual migration of southern right whales along the coastline. During September, lucky visitors can spot these majestic marine animals breaching the waters near Perth. Another remarkable event is the marine turtle nesting season on mainland beaches. This spectacle offers a rare glimpse into the natural habits of these fascinating creatures. Plan your visit during these times to experience the magic of Western Australia’s diverse wildlife.

Tips for Responsible Wildlife Tourism

Remember to respect wildlife habitats by observing from a safe distance. Avoid feeding animals, as it can disrupt their natural behaviours and diet. Stay on designated paths to minimise the impact on their environment. Choose eco-friendly tour operators that prioritise animal welfare. Refrain from touching or disturbing the animals for your safety and theirs. Avoid flash photography, loud noises, or sudden movements to prevent unnecessary stress. Follow these tips to enjoy wildlife encounters while contributing to conserving Western Australia’s precious species.

Discover a diverse range of wildlife species in Western Australia. From the adorable Quokkas on Rottnest Island to the majestic whale sharks at Ningaloo Reef, each encounter promises a unique experience. The conservation efforts emphasise the significance of protecting these precious creatures and their habitats. To witness these wonders responsibly, consider the best times and locations for wildlife viewing, and adhere to ethical wildlife tourism practices. By contributing to conservation endeavours during your visit, you play a crucial role in safeguarding the rich biodiversity of Western Australia for generations to come.


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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best time of year to see whale sharks at Ningaloo Reef?

The best time to see whale sharks at Ningaloo Reef is from March to July. During this period, these majestic creatures visit the reef to feed on plankton, offering a unique and awe-inspiring wildlife sighting experience.

How can I see quokkas in their natural habitat?

To see Quokkas in their natural habitat, head to Rottnest Island. These friendly marsupials roam freely on the island, especially around the Settlement and the boardwalk area. Remember not to feed them, as it can harm their health. Enjoy responsibly observing these adorable creatures!

Are there any endangered species I can see in Western Australia?

Discover some endangered species in Western Australia, like the numbat and bilby. Conservation efforts play a crucial role in protecting these unique animals. Experience the thrill of spotting these rare creatures in their natural habitat.

What wildlife can I see near Perth?

Discover a variety of wildlife near Perth, Western Australia. From the adorable quokkas on Rottnest Island to the majestic kangaroos at Lucky Bay and the fascinating dolphins at Monkey Mia, they explore diverse species in their natural habitats. Experience unique encounters with Australia’s extraordinary fauna.

Tips for ethical wildlife photography?

When capturing wildlife, prioritise their well-being by maintaining a safe distance. Avoid disturbing natural behaviours and habitats. Use quiet equipment and opt for non-intrusive photography techniques. Respect local guidelines and regulations for ethical wildlife photography.

How can tourists contribute to conservation efforts in Western Australia?

Tourists can support conservation in Western Australia by practising responsible tourism, respecting wildlife and habitats, participating in eco-friendly tours, and supporting local conservation organisations through donations or volunteering.

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