Wildlife in Brisbane – Top 10 Wild Native Australian Animals in Brisbane!
Let your Brisbane kids go wild at the best places to spot wild Native Australian Animals in Brisbane! Native Australian animals can be spotted in any of Brisbane’s zoos and wildlife parks but seeing a native Australian animal in the wild is something really special and your Brisbane kids will LOVE it. Brisbane is at the heart of kangaroo, koala and sea life territory and your Brisbane kids will love heading out for an evening of wildlife spotting!
Top Ten Places to Spot Wild Native Australian Animals in Brisbane
Kangaroo Spotting Places
Buchanan Street Rothwell, Pooh Corner Reserve Wacol, Hays Inlet Parklands at Anzac Ave Mango Hill, Donnybrook, Stradbroke Island, Sandgate, Coombabah Wetlands at Helensvale, Kooralbyn and many parts of Jimboomba are all known to be frequented by wild kangaroos. Best spotting times are at dawn and dusk.
Discover wild dolphins at Tangalooma, Shorncliffe, Bribie and all along Moreton Bay. For a big day out or weekend away, Byron Bay and Ballina are great places to spot dolphins and whales in season. You can feed wild dolphins at Tin Can Bay and Tangalooma Island Resort.
Koalas live in the wild all across South East Queensland which is why we are known as the koala coast. Petrie, Kumbartcha Sanctuary, Kurwongbah, Wellington Point, Daisy Hill Koala Centre (the wild ones), Beckwith Street Ormiston, around Ormiston Train Station are just a couple of places known to have clusters of resident koalas. Koalas usually reside in eucalyptus trees, though they are tricky to spot when they are just resting during the day, You are most likely to find them active at night and during their mating seasons in Spring and Summer.
Cedar Creek, off Mount Samford Road, is well known for being home to the platypus. Additionally, Wildlife QLD has found evidence of platypus at Pullenvale, Pinjarra Hills, Karana Downs and Wacol, as well as the Caboolture and South Pine rivers in addition to Moggil Creek. They are one of the most difficult Australian native animals to spot and are often noise shy, so sitting quietly near a lagoon is your best chance.
Wallabies are plentiful in urban areas across Brisbane and have been spotted at Warner on Brisbane’s Northside, Bridgeman Downs and Mount Gravatt just to mention a few. Wallabies are also known to enjoy the grounds around Sirromet Winery, Mt Cotton as well as Mt Coot-tha and Daisy Hill Koala Centre. You do need to remember that most wallabies are also nocturnal and are best viewed overnight, at dawn or dusk. If you want to visit more plentiful populations then you could take a drive to Binna Burra, O’Reilly’s or the Bunya Mountains.
Flying Foxes and Other Bats
There are over 20 known bat colonies in Brisbane with Indooroopilly Golf Club, Redcliffe Botanical Gardens and the City Botanical Gardens all known homes to the very important bat. Despite their critical importance to our ecosystem and pollination, bats are still carriers of Lyssavirus and you should avoid all close contact with bats and their excrement. Regardless, they are a wonderful native species and many locals enjoy watching them during their evening flight path from the airport west across Enoggera with roosting spots all the way to The Gap.
Possums are everywhere throughout Brisbane both in forested and urban areas. Brisbane Botanical Gardens, Lamington National Park (Gold Coast)and just about anywhere there are fruit trees will feature possums! From the very common brushtail to the much smaller and rarer sugar glider there are a number of species in Brisbane. Chances are if you know a handful of people in Brisbane you will know someone who has a possum who frequently visits them in their backyard.
Stingrays can be found all over Sandgate and Shorncliffe beaches, Deception Bay beaches, Noosa waterways, Redcliffe and Redland Bay. Stingrays love warm, shallow water and if you do happen to see one, make sure you give them plenty of room. Keep an eye out for soldier crabs, worms, toadfish and other bay beach favourites while you watch for rays!
Finding turtles in Brisbane isn’t difficult depending on what type of turtle you are talking about. There are 14 species of freshwater turtles in Brisbane and often frequent at popular lagoons like Sandgate Einbunpin Lagoon, Ipswich Nature Centre, Nudgee Water Hole, Jacob’s Well Environmental Reserve, Kumbartcha Sanctuary waterhole, Crystal Waters Thornlands, The Logan River, the list goes on. If you want to check out sea turtles, then you might get lucky and spot one in Moreton Bay, otherwise, you will need to head to Fraser Island or Mon Repos, Bundaberg for when the turtles lay their eggs and later when the eggs hatch.
Seeing your first humpback whale is an experience you are unlikely to forget. The huge majesty of these precious creatures, where boats are dwarfed and sprayed by a tail slap (if you are lucky). As numbers increase, it is fair to say, a trip to the Sunshine or Gold Coast during migration will see you spot a whale from the land without too much trouble. If you are after something more up close and personal (and we recommend it!), then consider Tangalooma Whale Watching Cruise or another popular whale watching tour. Most will guarantee sightings and many boat trips can be taken as a half or full day experience.
Other things to consider when wild animal spotting
- Read our resource of what to do if you spot an injured wild animal
- Before going native animal spotting, encourage your Brisbane kids to research the animal and then keep a “wildlife spotter’s diary” of their encounters. This will help turn an animal adventure into a wonderful learning experience. It’s never a bad time to get kids interested in science and nature!
- Be sure to treat all wild animals with respect, stay well away and never take it upon yourself to feed them!
Have you spotted some native Australian animals in the wild near Brisbane? We’d love to see your photos, and add your “Brisbane Wild Spot” to our list!