You won't be able to take your eyes off these 9 cute and unusual animals to celebrate Australia Day
Australia is home to all sorts of terrifying animals, from spiders to snakes, sharks to jellyfish – but it’s not fair to tar all Oz’s creatures with the same brush.
Certain species seem far less intimidating, although that’s not to say you shouldn’t treat them with respect and, at times, a great deal of caution…
To celebrate Australia Day, here are some of the most striking creatures you can find on the other side of the world.
1. Tasmanian devil
National Geographic’s website says the Tasmanian devil has “a notoriously cantankerous disposition and will fly into a maniacal rage when threatened by a predator, fighting for a mate, or defending a meal.”
There you have it, then – give these critters some space.
Now that's a strange looking dolphin! Perhaps because it's not a dolphin, it's a dugong; a slow-moving marine mammal often referred to as a 'sea cow'. @typeppernell was lucky enough to bump into this one when snorkelling off #CoralBay in @westernaustralia. The #NingalooReef Marine Park in @australiascoralcoast supports 10% of the world's dugong population, although they are quite elusive creatures so spotting one is pretty exciting stuff.
We thought these were Pokemon, but thankfully, we were mistaken. What a majestic, giant vegetarian beast.
The grass is always greener on the other side, right? This little wombat certainly seemed to think so, until curiosity got the better of him - he certainly makes a quick exit after bumping into @tasmayo's camera! This furry fellow lives on #MariaIsland in @tasmania, which has been likened to a Tassie version of Noah's Ark due to a large number of endangered species that thrive on this now protected island sanctuary.
Would you care to meet this curious chap? The wombat is a nocturnal creature, a member of the marsupial family who lives in a burrow. Nice to meet you, friend.
"Is that from the Rottnest Bakery? Excellent choice!" - No trip to @rottnestislandwa is complete without a visit to its famous bakery, even the local quokkas will tell you that! Rottnest has some great foodie offerings - check out the popular @hotelrottnest for lunch or dinner with a view, @geordiescafe_rottnest on the far side of the island for fabulous food and coffee, and of course; @simmosicecreamery in Thomson Bay mall for delicious hand-made ice cream.
Quokkas have super strong hind legs for jumping and climbing – they also have outrageous levels of cuteness, as is demonstrated here.
[Editor's note: Please remember when taking your quokkaselfie to keep a reasonable distance. These beautiful creatures are wild and should not be touched, fed human food or provided an artificial water supply. More information available here, www.rottnestisland.com/protectwildlife]
5. Duck-billed platypus
The duck-billed platypus, or as we like to call it, real-life Psyduck from the original Pokemon series. What else is there to say?
"Care to join me for breakfast?" - @grace_franky came face to face with this beautiful turtle snacking on some sea grass in the tropical waters off @lizardisland in @tropicalnorthqueensland. This exclusive island resort is 100% protected national park and is home to 24 beautiful white sandy beaches, fringed by coral gardens and ribbon reefs. Access to the island is by a one-hour scenic flight from #Cairns over the spectacular @gbrmarinepark
Turtles seem pretty cool, that’s if Finding Nemo is to be believed. “Mr Turtle is my father, the name’s Crush.” (We promise not all our animal knowledge comes from cartoons…)
7. Eastern rosella
The beautiful Eastern Rosella of Australia. #Rosella #Australia #Parrot #Pinterest
The eastern rosella is said to be a loud, gregarious creature – the colours don’t exactly scream ‘shy and retiring’ now, do they?
Apparently, not exclusively sitting in old gum trees. #kookaburra
Another bird – check out those feathers on fleek.
And we finish with the echidna – this one’s actually being held by Prince Harry no less. What a prickly little customer!