Occurs in: Eastern Australia (Koala)
Your Aussie adventure begins in eastern NSW, home to the arboreal Aussie icon that is the Koala.
Koalas eat the fresh tips of eucalyptus leaves, and need about a kilogram’s worth each day.
Processing eucalyptus leaves is tough work however, which is part of the reason you’ll often see Koalas having a snooze. Expert sleepers, Koalas can spend up to 19 hours a day throwing Z’s!
Visit the Koala at map ref. 10K - or book a VIP behind-the-scenes encounter!
Occurs in: Mt Kosciuszko National Park (Southern Corroboree Frog), Brindabella and Fiery Ranges (Northern Corroboree Frog)
Next, you’ll press south to the marshlands of the Snowy Mountains of NSW, on a quest to find Australia’s most iconic amphibians.
Distinguished by the bold yellow and black longitudinal stripes that cover its body, the Corroboree Frog is one of the most visually spectacular frogs in the world but it is near impossible to find in the wild.
Both the Northern and Southern Corroboree Frog are now critically endangered, with the spread of the deadly Chytrid fungus along with the destruction of breeding grounds by both exotic plants and the hooves of feral animals contributing to their decline.
Taronga is heavily involved in breeding and releasing Corroboree frogs into the wild in a National Recovery Program to help save the species.
Visit the Corroboree Frog at map ref. 11K - or book a VIP behind-the-scenes encounter!
Freshwater Crocodile, Green Tree Python and Southern Cassowary
Occurs in: Northern Australia (Freshwater Crocodile), North Queensland (Green Tree Python and Cassowary)
The from the wirey, alpine scrub of Kosciuszko, you’ll progress north to the thick, dense rainforest of Far North Queensland.
In the creeks and swamps you’re likely to spot the slender-snouted Freshwater Crocodile (11L). While ‘freshies’ have much sharper teeth than Saltwater Crocodiles, they’re typically shy and reserved animals, unlike their much larger cousins.
Masters of camouflage, you’d be forgiven for missing the Green Tree Python (13L) as it sits, coiled amid a sea of green. This tree-dwelling serpent might not be venomous, but sports an impressive pair of recurved fangs – perfect for keeping hold of prey!
As you traverse the rainforest floor, be sure to keep an eye out for the Southern Cassowary (7I). While it mightn’t be as tall as an Emu, the Southern Cassowary is Australia’s heaviest bird, with females weighing up to 76kg. Famed for the helmet-like casque atop its head and vibrant blue neck, the Cassowary is also equipped with a razor-sharp claw on the inside toe of each foot.
Visit the Freshwater Crocodile at map ref. 11L
Visit the Green Tree Python at 13L (Reptile House)
Visit the Cassowary at map ref. 7I
Occurs in: Eastern Australia
As you push south into the Blue Mountains, you’ll be on the lookout for an increasingly rare and iconic native species.
Despite frequenting the fresh waters of eastern Australia for thousands of years, the Platypus remains a secretive and elusive creature.
As an amphibious monotreme (egg laying mammal), the Platypus is one of the most unusual creatures on Earth. Platypuses are also one of just a few venomous mammals in the world. Males have a spur on their hind feet that is connected to a venom-secreting gland and is capable of delivering an excruciating sting.
Visit the Platypus at map ref. 4I or 4J
Occurs in: Tasmania
Your expedition south ends at the continent’s southernmost point – the island of Tasmania.
Here, you will discover the world’s largest carnivorous marsupial, with a muscular jaw capable of delivering one of the most powerful bites of any mammal on Earth, pound for pound.
The Tasmanian Devil, named not only for its bright red ears, but also the blood-curdling screams and growls it makes when eating, was once common throughout mainland Australia, but is thought to have eventually been out-competed by the dingo.
Despite having few natural predators, the Tasmanian Devil is now listed as endangered – largely owing to the proliferation of a catastrophic illness known as Devil Facial Tumour Disease.
Visit the Tasmanian Devil at map ref. 3E
Australian Sea Lion
Occurs in: South and west coasts of Australia
Having traversed from the far north to the deep south, your journey ends on the west coast of Australia, gazing out across the magnificent Indian Ocean.
These waters, and the islands within them, provide a home to one of Australia’s most special and unique marine mammals; the Australian Sea Lion.
Australian Sea Lions are sexually dimorphic, meaning that the two sexes exhibit significantly different characteristics. The female of the species are usually silver or fawn in colour, with a cream underbelly, while males are usually dark brown in colour, with a yellow mane and can grow to be double the size of a female.
When breeding, Australian Sea Lions are capable of embryonic diapause, which allows them to pause the development of their embryo until conditions are optimal for birth.
Taronga recently welcomed the arrival of four-month old pup Amalie to mum Nala and dad Charlie. Be sure to keep an eye out for her as you scope the seas!
Visit the Australian Sea Lion at map ref. 9E, 10E and 11E or as part of Seals for the Wild powered by Red Energy at 11am and 1pm each day in Seal Theatre.