One of the first images that come to mind when foreigners travel to Australia is the furry face of the koala. Arguably the most iconic animal Down Under (alongside the kangaroo), the koala is certainly cute, but there are plenty of other darling Australian animals to look out for when you arrive.
Australia is also home to a wide variety of animals that aren’t so cute, and are even a little dangerous. It’s good to know that, while venturing throughout the country, you might also come across some creatures that are friendly and cuddly.
Keep reading to find out what 10 cute Aussie animals you should see, that aren’t koalas.
10 Sugar Gliders
Found throughout mainland Australia, a sugar glider is a small marsupial with a super cute face. A kind of possum, the sugar glider has a membrane that connects its hind legs and forelegs, which makes it possible for it to glide through the air. They can normally be found up high in the trees around the north and east coasts of the country.
The nocturnal marsupial is known as the sugar glider because it enjoys sweet foods, such as sap and nectar. Normally living in colonies, sugar gliders prefer to be with other sugar gliders rather than by themselves.
The quokka is as cute as the more famous Australian animal, the koala, but it’s nowhere near as common. These little furry creatures, which are sometimes described as kangaroos the size of cats, are only found in the southwest of the state of Western Australia.
Most people looking to get up close and personal with a quokka head to Rottnest Island, which is home to around 10,000 of the nocturnal marsupials. They are also said to be among the friendliest Australian native animals and are often outgoing enough to hop up to tourists for a selfie.
Does it really get any cuter than this cuddly little marsupial? Wombats are found in the Australian bush, mostly in the southeastern areas of the country, including the Blue Mountains National Park in New South Wales. Well-known for their burrowing habits, wombats like to dig long tunnels underground using their powerful claws, which they tend to hide in.
You might not be able to spot a wombat easily in the wild since they often retreat underground to their burrow system. But you will know that a wombat is around if you spot their distinctive cube-shaped droppings.
Dingoes aren’t exactly known for being cute. It’s true that these mammals have come under fire in the past for attacking human babies, but they actually are as cute as any other dog. You just have to remember that they are wild dogs, which means that they are carnivorous.
You can find dingoes throughout the states of Australia, excluding Tasmania. One of the best places to see them is on Fraser Island in Queensland, in Western Australia’s Kimberley, and in the deserts of South Australia and the Northern Territory.
One of the rarest animals in the world, the echidna is a spiny anteater, not unlike a porcupine. You won’t actually want to pick up one of these creatures and hug them since they’re covered in sharp spikes, but you’ll feel like giving them a squeeze when you see their cute faces. Alongside the platypus, the echidna is the only surviving monotreme (a mammal that lays eggs) on the planet.
Echidnas are found all over mainland Australia, as well as New Guinea. You might also come across them in Tasmania, or on King Island, Flinders Island, and Kangaroo Island.
The other kind of monotreme you can find in Australia is the platypus, which is basically a cross between a duck, a beaver, and an otter. Pretty darn cute! The first time the platypus was discovered by British biologist George Shaw in 1799, he believed it was a hoax. He even tried to determine whether the duck’s bill had been sewn onto a beaver’s body.
These creatures are difficult to stumble upon in the wild since they like to dig burrows in the banks of rivers. The best place to see them (if luck is on your side) is by any quiet river in the coastal areas of eastern Australia.
Equally as famous as the koala, the kangaroo is another iconic Australian animal that tourists want to see first-hand when they arrive Down Under. In most wildlife parks in the country, you can get up close and personal with these hopping creatures, even getting a chance to feed them.
Kangaroos are also commonly found in the wild in rural Australia, sometimes even finding their way to major cities. Though they are cute, you’ll want to tread with caution if you run into a kangaroo in the wild, especially if it’s an alpha male guarding his territory or a mother with a joey. They have a mean kick!
A wallaby is a small kangaroo that is far less known than its larger counterpart. The smallest member of the kangaroo family, wallabies might be even cuter than larger kangaroos, thanks to their small size. They are also commonly found in wildlife parks throughout the country. It’s worth paying the entry fee to stroll through one of these parks and have the chance to feed and pat one while you’re in Australia.
Sadly, one of the two species of wallaby is now endangered because it’s frequently hunted for meat and fur.
Tree-kangaroos look completely different from the hopping kind that most tourists are familiar with, but they’re still incredibly cute. This arboreal species is native to the tropical rainforests of Far North Queensland, and sadly, the population is in decline due to the destruction of habitat and hunting.
The size of a small dog, these marsupials typically eat leaves and fruit that they can gather from the trees. Some tree-kangaroos are omnivores, eating snakes, eggs, and birds while in captivity. While on the ground, tree-kangaroos walk slowly as they try to balance their heavy tail.
1 Tasmanian Devils
Tasmanian devils don’t sound cute, but look at that face! Found wild only in the state of Tasmania, or in wildlife parks around the rest of the country, these carnivorous marsupials are known for having a bit of a bad temper. That’s why early European settlers referred to them as The Devil.
Tasmanian devils also emit spine-chilling screeches, which certainly would have put off the early settlers. One found in the wild all over mainland Australia, devils have been hunted for their teeth for thousands of years, which contributed to their extinction in all areas but Tasmania.