Animals in the Wild
You’ll spot an amazing array of native animals in their natural habitats in magnificent national parks and nature reserves, and in beautiful marine parks and wetlands. From kangaroos to koalas and little penguins to whales, you’ll find animals in the wild in many locations in the wonderfully diverse NSW.
Bushwalking is a great way to see native animals. National parks range from the UNESCO World Heritage areas of the Blue Mountains, the Gondwana Rainforests and the Willandra Lakes, to the spectacular parks on the coast and in the interior, including towering red gums along the rivers.
You can meet kangaroos at Pebbly Beach in the Murramarang National Park, between Bawley Point and Batemans Bay on the South Coast. Koalas are adorably furry and you can see them in the wild at the Koala Reserve in the Murrumbidgee Valley National Park, near Narrandera in Country NSW.
The platypus is an incredibly shy creature. With luck, you can spot the monotreme early in the morning or late in the afternoon at the Bombala Platypus Reserve, a nature reserve near Bombala in the Snowy Mountains. You’ll need to keep a close watch for a V shape moving through the water.
From the mighty Murray River to lovely estuaries, wildlife is abundant along the waterways. There are river cruises and houseboats on the Murray or explore the rivers on the North Coast, such as the Hastings in Port Macquarie, the Brunswick in Brunswick Heads and the Tweed in the Tweed region.
The wetlands are teeming with wildlife, from waterbirds to marsupials on the foreshores. They’re also homes to endangered or vulnerable bird species such as the superb parrot and the Australian painted snipe. Under the Ramsar Convention, wetlands of international importance in NSW include:
- The Hunter Wetlands, near Newcastle
- Myall Lakes National Park, between Hawks Nest and Forster
- Little Llangothlin Nature Reserve, between Armidale and Glen Innes
- Macquarie Marshes, near Coonamble
- Fivebough Wetlands, near Leeton
- Murray Valley National Park, between Deniliquin and Moama
There are wonderful ways to enjoy the wetlands, including kayaking, canoeing and bushwalking around the edges. Marsh Meanders offers kayaking tours of the beautiful Macquarie Marshes. What about a houseboat? You can hire a Luxury Houseboat and explore the pristine Myall Lakes.
The marine life is incredible. Enjoy diving adventures such as Fish Rock Cave, a haven for grey nurse sharks. Montague Island, off Narooma, is home to a colony of little penguins and sea lions. Whale watching is between May and November or spy dolphins all year in Jervis Bay and Port Stephens.