Sadly, the Fairy Penguin colony that called these island home is all but extinct, no night tours until further notice — Carrie, Flying with a Baby. The migratory path from the cold waters of Antartic and the Southern Ocean up to the Indian Ocean that hugs the Western Australian coast makes this coastline prime whale-spotting territory. The rare Blue Whale may occasionally be spotted to along with other marine life such as dolphins, seals and many species of seabirds. Although there are numerous paid tours to get out close with whale watching, there are plenty of opportunities for land sightings too which can keep the kids entertained for hours!
As well as catching sight of the largest known pod of Killer Whales in the Southern Hemisphere, you can also spot sharks, giant squid, sperm whales. Both whale and dolphin spotting is possible from most parts of Australia at various times of the year. See also in this article Hervey Bay.
Baby lambs, piglets to pet, alpacas to feed, rabbits to cuddle; as well as kangaroos and a resident koala — the Denmark Animal Farm has everything you would expect of a small family run farm. Mention Denmark …and our 6-year-old daughter immediately glows and asks to visit the animals. On the other hand, parents will fully appreciate the amazing array of wineries along Scotsdale Road including Rickety Gate and Rockcliffe which can be combined with a visit to the Denmark Animal Farm.
Mostly Western Greys but a few other species too. The majority are either road accident victims or their mums are killed and the joeys rescued from the pouches. Volunteers are needed to help with round the clock feeding and maintenance of the property. Whilst entry is completely free, donations are suggested.
Often misunderstood to be dangerous animals, stingrays are docile and curious creatures. At Hamelin Bay, in the south-western area of Western Australia, a friendly family of stingrays have been visiting the shore for years, attracted by fishing debris left from fishing boats that use the ramp.
While the stingrays are unlikely to harm humans, remember they are wild animals, protected by law, and are best observed from a distance. The gorgeous quokkas are the star attractions on Rottnest Island, a small island off the coast of Perth in Western Australia. About the size of a domestic cat, these marsupials are wild but are also curious and unafraid of humans. A selfie, however, is a must if you can manage it!
The most popular way to get around the island is by bike which can be taken with you on the ferry or hired on the island. A tourist bus also operates helping passengers to overnight accommodation which varies from camping to premium lodges and a hotel.
Book early for peak seasons, especially WA school holidays. Under the careful instruction of park rangers, visitors can stand up close to bottlenose dolphins in the shallow waters. Over the decades though it was clear the dolphins were becoming overfeed and suffering from their domesticated ways. Park rangers now ensure only a small handful of fish are given out at three feeding slots a day to encourage the dolphins to continue foraging for their own food.
There is the RAC Monkey Mia resort only meters away from the daily feeding area offering a range of accommodation to suit different budgets, however, most visitors stay in the slightly larger town of Denmark 25kms away. Shark Bay is otherwise a very remote peninsula of Western Australia, the most westerly point of the country and the first part of Australia discovered by Europeans.
The sleepy seaside town of Coral Bay is home to world heritage-listed Ningaloo Reef — a km long coral reef where you will find turtles, tropical fish, manta rays — even whale sharks.
Some measuring up to 5m wide this is a truly unique experience. Year round marine life lives. You can expect to see Whale Sharks during March to June; from June to October you will catch the migration of humpbacked whales from the tropics to Antartica, and November to February is the turtle nesting season. The area is heavily protected from further development so you will only find 3 choices on accommodation nearby, most visitors will base themselves in the next large regional centre Exmouth.
Given the distance to any international airport, this is truly one of the most remote and serene places in Australia to experience marine life and pure relaxation. Upon his death in , the Douglas Family relocated to much larger grounds on the outskirts of Broome to continue his conservation efforts.
Whilst most famous for their huge saltwater crocodiles, the wilderness park includes emus, a cassowary, kangaroos, euros and wallabies, as well as snakes and lizards. The park is only open to visitors in the afternoon where the crowd is broken into smaller groups to be shown around the park at feeding time, you are then free to explore the grounds and grab an ice cream before closing time — perfect amount of time to cover the grounds.
Another popular attraction in Broome is camel rides along Cable Beach. Several tour companies are permitted to operate from the northern half of the beach providing this iconic experience. From the comfort of your river cruise vessel, a serene journey down the river your guides will slowly start pointing out the beady eyes watching you from the banks.
Some croc measures up to 6m longSee spectacular jumping action as the staff. Those with a week disposition may want to remain inside the cabin! Those with a very weak disposition may want to remain on shore. There are various different companies running the cruises with different sized vessels to suit your level of comfort with the crocs getting up close and personal.
From Brisbane and the Gold Coast in the south to Cairns, Port Douglas and the Great Barrier Reef in the north, Queensland packs one of the most powerful punches in the world for animal action. Have we saved the best for last? Set on over acres, Australia Zoo is home to over animals, and offers a plethora experiences, shows and animal encounters. Walk through the open, spacious grounds of the zoo, seeing many Australian native animals in their natural habitats.
Pat or even hold a koala, feed a kangaroo or waddle around with a wombat! The live wildlife shows are a must see — entertaining and educational. The wildlife warriors in the Crocosseum are a favourite amongst children and adults alike, interacting with the crowd as they feed and play with some huge, ravenous crocodiles. Aside from all of the Australian animals, the zoo is also home to many animals from Africa and South East Asia, including rhinos and the only giraffes and zebras in Queensland.
Our kids rate Australia Zoo as one of the best they have ever visited! With a diverse range of wildlife, one of our favourite things was being able to get up and personal with kangaroos and wallabies, walking amongst them in a paddock and hand-feeding them. Our kids have always wanted to see a koala, and there were so many of them in the koala enclosure, sleepily munching away on eucalyptus leaves.
For an additional charge see link below , you can even cuddle one and have your photo taken with them. Our kids even got to wave to Blinky Bill on the way past! The Gold Coast is renowned for its beaches, shopping, dining and theme parks, but did you know that one of these theme parks could get you up close and personal with a large array of wildlife?
At Dreamworld on the Gold Coast , there are koalas and snakes to cuddle, crocodiles to feed, kangaroos to pat, dingoes to encounter, and even tigers to admire. Dreamworld packs an awful lot into one theme park, with big thrill rides, family rides including Dreamworks Experience and Wiggles World, a huge waterpark, Tiger Island and Corroboree.
This attraction provides great interactive experiences for families celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage, culture and wildlife. Dreamworld is a fun full day out. The big thing we love about Dreamworld is that it provides a great variety of activities that will keep everyone from the toddler to the teenager, plus the all-important adults happy.
Seeing dolphins in the wild is an amazing and exciting experience for any child, so imagine how incredible it would be for them to actually be able to feed one as well!
At Barnacles Dolphin Centre, under the watchful eye of caring volunteers, you can hand feed beautiful, wild Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphins. For over 30 years these gentle creatures have been coming to the centre every morning to interact with the volunteers and be fed fresh fish.
Could there be a more spectacular and unique natural wildlife experience in Australia than visiting the Great Barrier Reef? We got up close to hundreds of fish, sea creatures, giant clams, coral, a turtle and even a barracuda. One of the best places for first time visitors is Agincourt Reef which gives you the best of both worlds in terms of being able to experience the incredible outer reef, while still having a few comforts.
We chose to go with Quicksilver Cruises who have their own pontoon on the reef, which is great with children, as it provides safety and ease of getting in and out of the water, while showing you some of the best the reef has to offer. If you have children under five, we would recommend looking at visiting one of the islands instead. Its conservation and education programs are perfect for kids to absorb in the evenings after coming face-to-face with marine life in the wild during the day.
One of the reasons I love visiting with my daughter Emmie is because the lagoon at high tide is full of friendly turtles — who often swim over for a back scratch — and the open water on the other side of the island is fabulous for diving and snorkelling. Education is so important on the island, and movies and talks are given every night on marine issues like shark conservation and plastic pollution.
Kids learn so much from the young marine biologists who talk about their passions and lead the snorkel safaris out on the reef or in open water. Daily tour 2pm; Entry Charge. Unfortunately, many turtles become sick and injured from ingesting and becoming entangled in plastics in the ocean. The Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre rescues and cares for these turtles and re-releases them back into the wild.
They are also involved in research and educating the public about the risks to these magnificent creatures. If you are in Cairns and visiting Fitzroy Island on a day trip or as an overnight guest, you can visit the Rehabilitation Centre.
Sign up at the General Store for the daily 2pm information centre and tour. A volunteer will explain the organisation, the challenges for turtles in our oceans and you will visit the small rehab centre on the island. When we were there we were able to see one of the injured turtles up close and a few of the others in tanks further away.
Since these turtles will be re-released into the wild, the. Since these turtles will be re-released into the wild, the organisation tries to minimize human contact. Our kids loved seeing a sea turtle up close, hearing stories of rescued turtles and learning what they can do to help protect sea turtles. Every year, from late July right through until November, humpback whales make their way to Antarctica after spending time in the warm waters of the tropics calving.
During this migration, they pass right through the pristine and calm waters of Hervey Bay, where tourists flock to see these majestic creatures up close.
Many whale watching tours operate out of Hervey Bay. One of the longest running and most reputable is Tasman Venture and with an experienced and knowledgeable crew, they offer unforgettable up-close encounters.
Over the years the whales have become so comfortable with the boats, that they happily come within metres of them, putting on spectacular displays of breaching and tail flapping. They often have their calves with them, which in itself is an incredible sight for kids to see up close. Wildlife Habitat is just on the outskirts of Port Douglas and is a real highlight for kids visiting Tropical North Queensland.
This immersive wildlife experience puts you right in amongst the action — walking amongst flying birds, feeding kangaroos and wallabies and even cuddling a koala. A fun way to start the day is to get there early for Breakfast with the Birds — a tropical breakfast buffet in amongst the cacophony of sounds and colours of the birds as they fly and roam around you. Set on the site of a commercial crocodile farm, there is plenty of croc-related fun to be had here. You can even pose for a photo with a snake round your neck.
As you can see, pretty much wherever you head in Australia you are bound to come close to our wildlife! We have mostly discussed paid for experiences, but there a vast number of National Parks, State Parks, Conservation Reserves and protected areas where you can enjoy for free or minimal cost all Australia has to offer for nature lovers.
A huge thanks to all the families who opened up their photo albums and their own childhood memories! Do you have a favourite? Any Australian animal encounters you think we may have missed? There are also affiliate links for other hotel and tourism services. Our full disclosure policy can be found here. Stacey Bark, Shalom Shalom Preggy. After the birth of my son I started to think about how I could use my skill set and experience to give back to the community.
When I think about my legacy and imagine my family in the future, I want my son to understand the meaning and importance of community. What is special about PJ Library is the way it brings Jewish values into our everyday lives. PJ Library focuses on fostering the next generation and providing a foundation for young children to understand Jewish values.
For us PJ Library books provide a special link between myself, my husband and son. It is not an understatement to say that Limmud changed the course of my life by connecting me with people, ideas and movements from the global Jewish community. I thought I had seen a lot of what the Jewish community in Sydney and beyond had to offer — until I attended Limmud-Oz in Hearing from both international and local presenters on a range of topics concerning Judaism, Israel, politics, literature and more, opened my eyes to the amazing things happening in the global Jewish community.
Limmud encouraged me to think more deeply about Judaism and issues affecting the Jewish world, and helped me build strong ties to the international Jewish community. I have now seen Limmud from all angles — as a presenter and participant at Limmud-Oz , and as a member of the volunteer team and Shalom staff organiser for Yom Limmud Sydney Through each of those experiences, I have come to appreciate the profound effect that Limmud can have on an individual and why we are so fortunate to have this global learning movement in Australia.
Eli Levi, Shalom Limmud. As regular attendees of many Limmud events Limmud-Oz, Limmud Fest and Yom Limmud Sydney over more than a decade, we have attended sessions and been stimulated by wonderful presentations on a vast range of topics, frequently laughed with friends at light hearted comments and have incorporated into our lives many of the things we have heard.
We have met interesting people and exchanged ideas with them on a wide variety of subjects. We have loved both the serious and the light-hearted sessions and have also enjoyed the social side of the events.
Limmud is a great community event and everyone who has attended is the richer for the experience. We hope that an ever increasing number of people in our community will come and join us at future Limmuds. Molly and Alan Joffe, Shalom Limmud. From the moment I arrived, I knew that I was a part of something truly special.
The energy in the room was both comfortable and electric. The friends that I have made from that night are now some of my closest and most trusted bringing a smile to my face with every message and meeting. It is no exaggeration when I say Live Stories has changed my life — I truly feel that I am a much stronger person because of it! My family recently moved to Sydney from overseas. My month-old son and I joined Shalom Baby to meet other like-minded Jewish mothers and become involved with the community.
We were welcomed with nothing but warmth and kindness by everyone we met and everyone made us feel included and comfortable as we transitioned to living in a new city. Shalom Baby has now become part of our weekly routine and we look forward to attending every Monday.
My son and I both enjoy the social time and community that Shalom Baby provides and we are so lucky that we have found such a great group in our new home. Thank you, Shalom Baby! Danielle Maslan, Shalom Shalom Baby.
Live Stories by Shalom dwells elegantly at the juncture between renaissance salon and shtetl yeshiva. From its inception, there has been a sense of genuine intellectualism in the room: The interludes between performances are full of that same atmosphere, the same excitement and passion for the cerebral and the transcendent.
At Live Stories, I felt for the first time in my adult life the great potential that dwells in the Jewish community of Sydney — the potential to grapple and laugh and sing together, the potential for us to shape for ourselves a shared place in the world of which we may be proud. My gratitude to organiser Shailee Mendelevich is inexpressible.
She is the consummate salon madame. Every single time she hosts an event like this, she manages to make one plus one plus one equal magic.
These Live Stories dwell on the very edge of history, and I am eager indeed to see what wondrous fruit so sweet a tree shall bear next. Yitzi Tuvel, Shalom Live Stories. Keep up to date with our latest news and events.This is an amazing experience for kids! We got up close to hundreds of fish, sea creatures, giant clams, coral, a turtle and even a barracuda. The Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre rescues and cares for these turtles and re-releases them back into the wild. Taronga Zoo also has the single best view of any zoo in Australia, with a wide vista overlooking Sydney Harbour. You may also like. Meeting Women Online Dating.
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