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Featured animals: Eastern Grey Kangaroo | Western Grey Kangaroo | Red Kangaroo | Quokka | Platypus | Koala | Wombat | Tasmanian Devil | Emu | Numbat | Bandicoot | Echidna | Ring-Tail Possum | Frilled Lizard | Saltwater Crocodile
Featured sea life: Australian Sea Lion | Australian Fur Seal | Southern Right Whale | Humpback Whale | Dugong | Green Turtle | Whale Shark | Bottle-nosed Dolphin
Featured birds: Lyrebird | Carnabys (Black) Cockatoo | Kookaburra

Pt. Labatt Australian Sea-Lion colony

Point Labatt, 55 km south of Streaky Bay on South Australia's Eyre Peninsula, is the best place to view Australian sea lions. These fascinating animals - Australia's only permanent mainland colony - can be seen in their natural habitat from a clifftop viewing platform. The reefs around the foot of the cliffs here provide a resting place for the sea-lions, which have often spent several weeks at sea catching fish before returning here to rest and play.

The cliff top viewing area about 50 metres above the colony provides a view of the sea-lions and other coastal wildlife. Binoculars and/or a telephoto lens are recommended for enhanced viewing. Point Labatt has exposed headlands, sheltered bays and is also known for bird life including the Osprey and the Whitebellied Sea-eagle. The Point Labatt Conservation Park was dedicated to protect the sea-lion colony. The Aquatic Reserve below the cliffs is a prohibited area. Penalties apply for illegal entry into the Aquatic Reserve.

Off South Australia's West Coast, in the Great Australian Bight, are several colonies of the Australian sea-lion. Found in no other country in the world, they are one of the rarest seals and Australia's most endangered marine mammals. The sea-lion colony at Point Labatt is the only permanent breeding colony on the mainland. All other colonies occur on the offshore islands.
A visit to Pt. Labatt could be included as part of a day trip through the area along a scenic route out of the township of Streaky Bay called Westall Way Loop. Pack a picnic or snacks to have along the way as there are no food or drink outlets along the way. Murphys Haystacks and Mount Westall are some of the many local attractions worth visiting along the way.

Location: 50 kilometres south of Streaky Bay on the Calca Peninsula, Point Labatt is accessible by an unsealed road via Sceale Bay or Calca. Simply follow the road signs. The roads are regularly graded, however, care should be taken as the surface can be loose and slippery.  There are also grids to be crossed on the Peninsula Road.

Click on one of the 25 rotating images below for more details about that animal, including where in Australia you can see it in the wild

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State and Territory Wildlife Destinations

Click on a state or territory to find places within it where Australian wildlife may be viewed at close range. The localities listed are just some of many places recommended for spotting Australian wildlife. Those listed have been chosen for their ease of access, particularly from capital cities. Please remember that, where animals are viewed in the natural habitat, they are not in cages or pens and there are no handlers controlling them so sightings cannot be guaranteed.

Close Encounters of the Wildlife Kind

Jumping crocodiles, NT

If you travel the Northern Territory during the cooler months of June, July, and early August, you won't normally see a crocodile. Most of the time it's warm, and the crocodiles are buried in the mud under the trees in the shade. Unless, of course you take a Jumping Crocodile cruise on the Adelaide River near Humpty Doo. Here, the crocodiles know the cruise boats and leave their place of hiding. Certain ones are only too happy to leap out of the water and be fed. To see these giant creatures in their natural habitat, yet so close you could almost reach out and touch them, is a truly unforgettable experience.

Tropical Butterflies at Kuranda, Qld

The Australian Butterfly Sanctuary at Kuranda Village, North Queensland is the largest butterfly flight aviary and exhibit in Australia. It is home to over 1500 magnificent tropical butterflies that are hand reared on the premises. All are local rainforest species, including an iconic Kuranda butterfly, the electric blue Ulysses Butterfly, and the majestic fluoro green and yellow Cairns Birdwing. As you walk through the aviary they fly all around you, and if you stand still for even a short length of time, chances are they'll land on your arm or hand as if posing for a close up photograph.

Hand feeding Tawny Nurse Sharks, Talbot Bay, WA

Take a cruise along the coast of the West Kimberley region of WA and you are likely to have an encounter with a Tawny Nurse Shark. When cruise vessels drop anchor for the night in Talbot Bay, these nocturnal creatures of the deep come up to the vessels hoping for a feed or a friendly pat from the passengers on board. Growing up to 2m, the tawny nurse shark, is a usually docile variety, like the ones encountered at Talbot Bay. More info ...

Whale sharks at Ningaloo Reef, WA

Every year from April to July following the mass spawning of coral, the world’s biggest species of fish congregate in the Ningaloo Marine Park, near Exmouth, WA. These are the Whale sharks! The chance to snorkel with these gentle giants on Ningaloo Reef is the opportunity of a lifetime and visitors from all over the world head to the reef during Whale shark season. These massive filter feeders can grow up to 18m long. They cruise the world’s ocean in search of concentrations to feed on. Ningaloo Reef is one of the only places they appear regularly in large numbers.  More ...

Feeding the birds at Currumbin, Qld

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary on the Qld Gold Coast has an enviable reputation as a great place to see Australia's wildlife. A favourite among children and overseas visitors is when clouds of wild, but camera conscious, parrots, mainly lorikeets and rosellas, descend on the park at 'feed time'. This popular event gives a rare chance to see these birds at very close range. More ...

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