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Meet Australia’s iconic wildlife in NSW

Look At Me Now Headland, Emerald BeachCredit: Destination NSW

See wildlife in a whole new way in New South Wales.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Meet Australia’s iconic wildlife in NSW

Look At Me Now Headland, Emerald Beach Credit: Destination NSW

See wildlife in a whole new way in New South Wales.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Hashtags #lovensw #newsouthwales

NSW’s animals are as welcoming as its locals. From kangaroos to snoozing koalas — and everything furry or finned in between — Australia’s wild animals are as unforgettable as the land they call home. Here’s where to find these incredible creatures in their natural habitat across New South Wales.

See kangaroos by the sea

Thrill to the sight of kangaroos, one of Australia’s most iconic native animals, in the wild all across Country NSW. Keep an eye out for eastern grey kangaroos at beautiful Diamond Head Beach in Crowdy Bay National Park on the Barrington Coast, a 3.5-hour drive north of Sydney. Let the unforgettable sight of a mob of ’roos backdropped by the deep blue of the Pacific Ocean put a spring in your step as you stroll along the 1.6km loop trail at the Look At Me Now Headland in the Moonee Beach Nature Reserve, at Coffs Harbour on the Mid North Coast. And refresh with a dip in the ocean as curious eastern greys look on from grassy clearings at Depot Beach and Pebbly Beach in Murramarang National Park, a four-hour drive from Sydney on the spectacular NSW South Coast

Gaze up at koalas

Discover the eucalypt forests around eastern NSW and you may well spot a koala snoozing among the gum-trees. Marvel at these tree-dwelling marsupials from viewing platforms in the stunning bushland at Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary, less than an hour’s drive from Newcastle, or three hours north of Sydney. Then settle into your four-star glamping tent, studio room or deluxe suite at the sanctuary for a night among these iconic creatures. Head to Guula Ngurra National Park, an easy two-hour drive south of Sydney in the Southern Highlands, to hike  through some of the 3,358 hectares of protected koala habitat in the recently created park (Guula Ngurra means “Koala Country” in the local Gundungurra Aboriginal language). Or hone your spotting skills at Narrandera Koala Reserve, around an hour’s drive from the regional town of Griffith in the Riverina region in the state’s southwest, where more than 200 koalas live among river red gums.

Dive in with wild dolphins

Come fin to fin with wild dolphins with Dolphin Swim Australia in Port Stephens, just an hour’s drive north of Newcastle or three hours from Sydney. Feel a surge of adrenaline as a  catamaran tows you through the ocean among these playful creatures.  Prefer to stay dry? See Port Stephens’s resident pod of bottlenose dolphins, many of them so friendly that the locals know them by name, on an outing with Imagine Cruises. Or head south for close encounters with dolphins in sheltered Jervis Bay, on the NSW South Coast, with Dolphin Watch Cruises Jervis Bay and Jervis Bay Wild.

Shoal Bay, Port Stephens Credit: Destination NSW

Dolphins swimming in Shoal Bay, Port Stephens.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Shoal Bay, Port Stephens Credit: Destination NSW

Dolphins swimming in Shoal Bay, Port Stephens.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Whale watching, Sydney Credit: Destination NSW

A whale breaches out of the water off Sydney waters.

#ilovesydney

Whale watching, Sydney Credit: Destination NSW

A whale breaches out of the water off Sydney waters.

#ilovesydney

Let whales stir your spirit

Marvel at the majesty of humpback whales as they travel along the New South Wales coastline from May to November each year. Embrace the sublime as you witness some of the 40,000 humpback and southern right whales that make their way along on the ‘Humpback Highway’ from Antarctica to the warm waters of their breeding grounds in the north. Clamber aboard a boat for an unforgettable day of whale watching in Sydney, join a cruise from seaside towns or find the perfect vantage point on land to see these magnificent creatures leap from the water all along the NSW coastline.

Meet a Tasmanian devil

Get up close with free-roaming Tasmanian devils without leaving mainland Australia at Aussie Ark’s wildlife sanctuary in the rugged Barrington Tops, a five-hour drive northeast of Sydney. Feel yourself moved by the stories you’ll hear on Aussie Ark’s 2.5-hour guided Devils in the Wild tour — the team behind this conservation initiative is breeding a wild population of the endangered carnivores to ensure their survival. And be astonished as you see Tasmanian devils thriving in the wild and, if you visit in breeding season, dote on super-cute devil joeys exploring their surroundings.

Play with seals

Come alive with a sense of joy at Montague Island Nature Reserve, a revered wildlife destination that’s home to little penguins, a huge colony of Australian fur seals and 90 types of birds just 9km off the town of Narooma, in the South Coast’s Eurobodalla region. Be delighted by their playfulness as you discover why friendly fur seals are called the puppies of the sea on a seal snorkel with Narooma Charters. Or delight to the sight of penguins waddling back to their nests after a day of fishing on a sunset tour with Montague Island Discovery Tours.

Montague Island Highlight Selects Credit: Destination NSW

Be immersed in wildlife experiences off Montague Island.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Montague Island Highlight Selects Credit: Destination NSW

Be immersed in wildlife experiences off Montague Island.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Be captivated by a platypus

Be rewarded for your patience when you spot a platypus in the wild: while platypus inhabit a number of regions in NSW, these shy little icons can be very tricky to find. Increase your chances by visiting Bombala, about an hour’s drive from Cooma in the Snowy Mountains — it’s known as ‘Platypus Country’ because a large number of these mysterious monotremes (egg-laying mammals) live there. Practise mindfulness at the Bombala Platypus Reserve, 4.5km outside of town, where a viewing platform over the river makes spotting them easier. Or try a guided Platypus Walk with Vision Walks Eco-Tours near Byron Bay, on the far North Coast.

Bliss out with turtles

Discover the underwater wonderlands of the North Coast at Cook Island, less than 1km offshore from Fingal Head, just south of Tweed Heads on the far North Coast of New South Wales, to encounter astonishing numbers of green, hawksbill and loggerhead turtles. Deepen your respect for the incredible beauty of the underwater world on a memorable snorkelling tour with local operators such as Watersports Guru or Cooly Eco Adventures.

Take off to an island of seabirds

Look at the skies with awe as hundreds of thousands of seabirds wheel above you on Lord Howe Island, 700km northeast of Sydney in the Pacific Ocean. Fill your diary with sightings of the 130-odd permanent and migratory bird species found on the country’s premier bird-watching destination. Come in winter to see providence petrels circle in spectacular courtship rituals during their breeding season, while shearwaters return in awe-inspiring flocks at dusk each day from spring to late autumn (September to May).

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