A huge part of travel’s appeal is taking the time to meet the locals. Whether it’s a worker behind the bar, the bus driver taking you to your next destination or the owner of the hostel, it’s the locals who really know the places you are exploring.
In this blog we take a look at some of Australia’s most famous locals, but it’s not the kind you’re going to be able to have a chat with… well, not a two-sided one anyway.
These guys get a bit of a bad wrap from time to time but like most wild animals if you leave them alone they will generally leave you alone. Dingoes are more widely spread in Australia than you might think with populations across Queensland, much of the Northern Territory and parts of Western Australia and even New South Wales. Probably the most famous Dingos, at least from a backpacker perspective are those found on Fraser Island.
In the wild, Dingoes only live to be about five or six years old.
Probably one of the most iconic Aussie locals, the Koala is just about as Australian as they come. Mainly found throughout the eastern parts of Queensland, New South Wales and southern Victoria, it’s not hard to spot these guys if you know where to look. This fluff ball is a placid animal that’s far more interested in munching on eucalyptus leaves or it’s afternoon nap than it is in you.
Despite being called a Koala Bear, they are not bears at all, they’re marsupials.
Resembling something like an overgrown hamster on steroids, wombats are little mounds of fur-covered muscle that grow to be about one metre long. These guys like to keep to themselves and if you do see one, consider yourself very lucky because there are many Aussies who have never seen a wombat in the wild.
Although usually friendly, wombats will defend their burrow if they feel threatened and can reach up to 40 km/h at top speed.
Up there with the koala, the kangaroo is an Australian icon. Probably the most common animal on this list to catch a glimpse of in the wild, the Eastern and Western Grey varieties are fairly common and not too hard to find. If you really want to get up close and personal, there are zoos and wildlife parks around Australia where you can hand feed these Aussie locals.
The largest official Red Kangaroo on record stood around 2.1 metres tall and weighed almost 100kg! Not the sort of local you want to get on the wrong side of.
These feisty little fellas really do live up to their name and can be found in populations across Tasmania. While Devils only grow to be about 8 kg they are not the friendly locals you might come to expect and have sharp teeth and a spine-tingling screech that will let you know exactly who’s boss.
Tasmanian devils are carnivorous and are known to eat small kangaroos and wombats.
While Australia is home to many native birds, perhaps none are more famous than the Kookaburra. With an iconic laughing call, this Aussie local is one you might hear before you see. Mainly found in Eastern regions, the Kookaburra embodies the sound of the Australian bush for many people.
The Kookaburra is the largest member of the kingfisher family except they don’t actually eat fish…go figure!
Start planning your next great Australian travel adventure today and be sure to make plenty of time in your itinerary for catching up with some of these iconic Aussies. View our range of flexible travel packages to suit any adventure.