Australia is popular for its rich biodiversity. The “land down under” is truly like no other. Many people flock to see what the area offers since there are approximately one million native species there. You will find a wide array of flora and fauna. Most of the species here are endemic to a particular area while others appear across ranges of parks. A huge percent of the country’s mammals, flowering plants, frogs, and reptiles are found only in Australia.
To the delight of many gardeners, some native Australian plants are now being cultivated worldwide. They are versatile enough to be grown and styled alongside different types of greens. In order to ensure the preservation of its vast environmental landscape, the Australian government deserves credit for its initiative to establish a number of legislations and more than 500 protected national parks. When on an Australian holiday, one can take pleasure in the one-of-a-kind sights and sounds and untouched nature. Aside from the beaches, the country’s flora and fauna are also a sight to behold.
The adorable koala is known for its vibrant button eyes, and large fluffy ears. These species are star attractions in zoos around the world, including in its native Australia. While they are considered to be Australia’s symbol of unique wildlife, they can only be seen in the wild parts of the eastern and southeast sides of Victoria and South Australia. You can find these furry creatures lounging in eucalyptus trees, without worry. One can say they have their home security down pat! They enjoy munching on eucalyptus leaves and can eat up to a kilogram daily. For most animals, the eucalyptus can be poisonous, but thanks to their fiber digesting organ called a caecum, Koalas can cleanse out the harmful chemical found in the leaves.
The strange, narrow, and tapered snout of the Australian Freshwater crocodile makes this reptile stand out from the rest. Its close relative and small cousin is the Australian saltwater crocodile. The reptile’s tail is strong, and its feet are webbed and clawed while its legs are solid. The freshwater crocodile lives in rivers, freshwater wetlands, creeks, and swamps. They can also be seen in billabongs of Queensland, Western Australia, and the Northern Territory.
Some groups of these animals live in areas where water is limited causing them to turn inactive. Those kept in captivity can be hostile around their own kind. In the wild, these crocs have an alpha male as their leader who would cause harm to crocodiles belonging to the lower rank to assert dominance.
In springtime, the shrubs of this plant grow bunches of stunning orange/and or red pea-flowers. The plant is endemic to Western Australia. Leathery in texture, the leaves are heart-shaped and grow up to six centimeters long. These plants thrive in light, well-drained soil with a lot of sunshine and minimum shade. Summertime is when this wonder plant blooms even more. Any degree of change in the temperature can affect its growth.
This colorful shrub is great for dainty rockeries and quaint cottage gardens. The attractive colors of orange and pink hues make this plant an instant favorite. There are around 18 species of this plant and is one of those colonizing plants that rapidly pop out after fires. It provides nitrogen for the soil through its roots.
Tasmanian devils are small marsupials with rat-like features, sharp teeth, and coarse black or brown fur. Diminutive as it may be, don’t be fooled: This creature has a fighting style that is quite intimidating. It measures around 20 to 31 inches tall and only weighs 9 to 26 lbs. The small marsupial can be spotted on the island of Tasmania located in Australia. Although it can live almost anywhere, this creature prefers to reside in forests and coastal scrublands. The Tasmanian devil doesn’t need services from a moving company. They adapt easily and sleep in caves, burrows, and rotting logs. When threatened, this animal snarls shows its teeth, and attacks just like its namesake. It prefers to stay in solitude.
The Platypus is one quirky creature. It is a mammal that is known to lay eggs. Its bill is composed of thousands of cells that enable the animal to have some form of sixth sense. The sensitive beak helps the platypus hunt, with credit to electrolocation. This mammal is also known to stay in water for long periods. They trim their bulky coat so they can add air bubbles for insulation in the cold rivers where they chase prey, just like an otter.
On land, it is known to give out 30 percent more of its energy compared to another land-based animal that is alike in size. The webbing found in their front claws help them adapt and acts as a boon when wading through currents.
The Australian outback is home to the famous kangaroos. These marsupials can leap 9m in one jump. They live in groups called mobs and keep their young warm and safe inside their pouches. For these creatures, the primary mode of moving around is by hopping. Kangaroos have powerful hind legs, lengthy ears, and large feet. Their claws are special since they are fused together, which come in handy when they need grooming.
Red kangaroos are the largest species of kangaroo. They can reach 1.8m high while standing. They are powerful inbuilt and are covered with reddish-brown coats for males and blue-grey coats for females. These kangaroos usually reside in central Australia. These creatures can travel great distances without needing a moving company.
The elusive Echidna has a bird’s beak, a porcupine’s spine, and a kangaroo’s pouch. These small, lone animals can be found in Australia, New Guinea, and Tasmania. They are also called spiny anteaters and weigh between 4 and 10 pounds, and can span from 12 to 17 inches long. The spines on echidnas are actually modified hairs. They are covered with 2-inch long spines. The fur found in the middle of the spines provides insulation. Their lifespan is rather lengthy as they can live up to 50 years when in captivity. Similar to the platypus, echidnas are also egg-laying mammals. To their credit, despite their small mouths, they are able to use their long tongues to reach for termites, ants, insect larvae, and worms.
Known to be one of Australia’s most iconic flowers, the Waratah appears in a variety of different forms. The most recognizable kind is the New South Wales Waratah. It has a bulbous, crimson flower head and sharp leaves. The image of the Waratah is so popular that it can be found on tea towels, belts, and stamps. If you’re visiting Australia, bring a Waratah souvenir home. This is one investment you won’t regret.
According to Aboriginal tales, the Waratah was originally white until a pigeon bled on the flower following a hawk attack. Collections from the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences revealed that the Waratah has even been depicted in various artifacts such as sheet music and leather bookbinding.
Wombats use their powerful rumps to protect themselves from predators. Since their butts are mostly made of cartilage, bites and scratches do not hurt as much. When being chased, wombats hurry to the nearest burrow and use their powerful behinds to block the entrance. They can even crush intruder’s skulls using their bums! These mammals construct wide burrows with their powerful claws and feet that help them clear up dirt at a fast rate. These creatures run on their own electricity. They have stocky bodies and stubby legs, but they can sprint fast in the face of danger. Wombats have a diet that includes hard-to-digest items like scrubs, grass, bark, and roots. Their bodies contain special enzymes that enable them to break down their food.
The greater bilby or macrotis is also known as Australia’s Easter Bunny. It is a marsupial that has long, slender hind legs, and hairless ears. Its fur that is blue-grey in color is soft and silky. It also has tan, thin, and colorful patches around it. The base of the marsupial’s tail is grey and has white tips. When it gallops, the macrotis drags its tail stiffly almost like a banner. It was once abundant across southern Australia.
Presently, they are constrained to tiny, dispersed places and are divided between two subspecies, namely the Western bilbies, and the Eastern bilbies. The animal has no need for home loans as they prefer open and humid spots like dunes, grasslands, and deserts.
Ave Lira de Alberto
The Ave Lira de Alberto is a huge brown bird with an extremely long tail. These birds are very common in Australia. The male’s tails are shaped spectacularly like a lyre. The curved outer tail feathers can’t be seen in their young and the female of the species. These birds reside in rainforests where they can forage for food.
They are also known for mimicking other birds, other animals, and even artificial sounds from engines of cars. These birds can be found dwelling in moist forests and can be seen roosting in trees during nighttime. They are sedentary and can barely cross large distances. Too bad they can’t call a moving company to help them out—that would have made things easier!
Cane toads are tough creatures and ravenous predators. They hunt insects and feast on small prey. Though they are native to South and Central America, these cane toads can also be found in northern Australia. It was in 1945 when the species was first spotted in Brisbane. By the 1980s, they spread across Queensland. In 2009, cane toads also crossed the Western Australian borders and are often unintentionally transported to new areas through loads of timber. It seems like nature has its own moving company!
These animals need to be constantly moisturized in order to survive. They absorb water through their stomach’s skin. These critters can also die from dehydration. They have no known predators and the toads can breed all year round.
Illawarra flame tree
The flame tree can be found around Australia’s east coast and is relatively common in subtropical rainforests found on the south coast of New South Wales and Cape York. The history of these trees go way back. It is said that the inner bark of flame trees was utilized by Aboriginal Australians to make fishing nets, traps, string.
It was also a source of food because of its protein-packed seeds, which have the taste of raw peanuts. We give credit to the natives for discovering many uses for this plant. During summertime, the trees show-off a marvelous color. The growth of this tree is known to be erratic in nature. There are years when flowers may appear for some branches and others were it might be bare.
The wallaby is a member of the kangaroo family. There are approximately 30 various species of wallabies. Unlike the kangaroos, wallabies are smaller in size. These critters are spread throughout Australia and its neighboring islands. They are also found in New Zealand. Wallabies are small to medium in size and can weigh somewhere between 2 to 24 kilograms.
Their tails are used for balance and are also used as support, while their hind legs are for hopping and distance jumping. With their powerful legs, these creatures don’t need to worry about gas to get to places. Males also use their hind legs when in combat. Wallabies prefer staying in wooded and secluded places. Some smaller species are also known to dwell in forests.
Native to Australia, Tasmania, Papua New Guinea, and other parts of Indonesia, sugar gliders have gained recognition for being adorable. These marsupials live approximately 10 to 15 years in captivity but are best left in the wild. These cute critters are five to six inches long, with their tails adding another six inches.
They have furry, stretchy, thin, membranes that expand from their wrists to down to their ankles. With this, they are able to glide 150 feet in the air. Sugar gliders are known for their huge eyes that give them an extra degree of sight. Being nocturnal, they hunt for prey at night. Both male and female sugar gliders also have a variety of scent glands, soft fur, and sharp teeth.
Dingoes gained notoriety for being one of Australia’s largest predators. For farmers in Australia, dingoes are considered to be their number one enemy since they enjoy preying on livestock. Local sheep owners have decided to use “guard donkeys” as a means to defend against them. These donkeys help scare away the dingoes—more effectively than the average home security system. The varying Australian climate possibly altered the number of dingo varieties that can be found in different places around the continent.
Alpine dingoes with light cream coats are the rarest kind, while the more common desert dingoes are reddish and have sand-colored coats. They are usually compact in size compared to the other types. Dingoes also have superior visual senses and can even rotate their heads approximately 180 degrees.
Sydney Rock Orchid
The Sydney Rock Orchid is described as one of the planet’s most fascinating orchids since it produces the biggest display blooms for any orchid species. It can endure harsh living conditions and bear almost any kind of temperature degree without sustaining damages. It can be seen in the wild but would fit in a home garden. Adding a beautiful orchid is a fun addition if you’re doing home improvement, including roof repair.
Open, bright, and breezy conditions help this plant’s mass blooming. Its root systems are blanketed with moist mosses and ferns. It is also known to be fast-growing and is easy to tend to. This type of plant grows into huge clumps and can be found growing on top or around rocks in bushlands.
Native to Australia, the Grevillea is known for its various sizes that include small to medium shrubs, trees, and ground clovers. Its colors range from yellow, orange, pink to red. Grevilleas adore the sun but they can also thrive in partly shady spots. These plants are not too keen on having wet feet either. They do not like it when their roots are disrupted so it is best to handle it with utmost care.
This plant has been in cultivation since the early 1980s. It has olive-green leaves that are approximately 100 to 150 mm long and are deeply lobed. Unlike similar species, they are tender to touch and not prickly at all. It can tolerate drought and can handle moderate to a freezing degree of temperature.
There are 6 species of the Pigface or Angular Pigface plant in Australia, which can be found along the coastline. It has upright leafy branches and comes with thick, fleshy leaves. From October to January, the plant blooms with deep pink-purple daisy-like flowers. It also has a red-purple berry fruit, which was consumed by the Aboriginal people as a source of food. They used to roast its leaves as a salt replacement.
The fruit’s flesh is said to taste just like salty apples. The plant is also known for its medicinal properties. Its leaves can be used as a pain reliever. Explorers from Europe get credit for discovering its use as a treatment against scurvy. This plant thrives in sand dune fronts.
Birds Nest Fern
Well-known in the world of cultivation, the birds nest fern is an epiphytic fern that has huge elliptical-shaped fronds, which create a beautiful nest shaped plant. These fronds spread around 3 meters in diameter. This plant can develop into a massive size and make for a great garden plant that can provide shade.
The underside spores found in this plant grow in parallel rows. They can easily thrive on rocks, in trees, and grow best in damp soil. These ferns are also great for containers. Though these plants prefer a lot of moisture, they are not prone to root rot at all. The birds nest fern can even withstand frost. Through the warmer months, they can be nourished with a half-strength liquid fertilizer.
The tremendously venomous inland taipan is native to central east Australia. Its color is dark tan and ranges from a rich, dark shade to a brownish light-green— all depends on the season. The snake’s back, tail, and sides may sometimes come in various shades of grey and brown.
Inland taipans reside in the semi-dry regions where the Queensland and South Australia borders meet. These animals are at their most active during the morning and also enjoy spending their time lying around the sun, and scavenging. Inland taipans can also be spotted during the afternoon in cooler temperatures. These creatures mostly live in remote locations so they rarely interact with people. Nonetheless, travel insurance is still important when visiting new places.
The kangaroo paws’ unique color and shape are the reasons why this plant is of export quality. At present, they are being commercially-grown in various places such as Israel, Japan, and the USA. These plants naturally occur in the southwest of Western Australia. They can be found growing in various soil types and habitats. Its fine colored hairs give the plant a degree of color. The kangaroo paws’ flowers are pollinated by birds and the stalks also serve as a perch for birds. The flowers’ shape helps pollen to be deposited on feeding birds’ heads. As the birds feed, the pollen is transported from flower to flower. There are 11 known species of this plant but each type of specie transfers pollen differently.
The goanna is a monitor lizard closely related to the Komodo dragon. It is among the biggest lizards on the planet. This reptile can span 4.6 feet long and can weigh 13 pounds. Its body is covered with scales and depending on where it lives, can be black, brown, and green in color. They reside in Northern and Eastern parts of Australia and like open grasslands, woodlands, and watery areas like swamps.
Call your environmental lawyer since these animals frequently experience habitat loss. Fortunately, they are not considered endangered. Like snakes, their lengthy, forked tongues are used for prey detection. Flicking their tongue gathers scent molecules in the air to help identify prey. They are carnivorous and feed on other lizards, eggs, birds, and insects.
Cyads belong to an ancient species of vascular plants that were once an important part of the Earth’s plant life. Back in the Jurassic period, these plants were very common. Presently, they are only found in tropical and subtropical areas and are not a dominant plant type anymore. Since the Jurassic era, these plants have not undergone evolutionary changes. Most of the species of cyads occur in diverse hotspots like Australia, Mexico, China, Vietnam, and South Africa.
They dwell in various habitats, from wet rainforests to semi-desert climates, grasslands, and seasonally dry forests. They thrive in rich organic soil, rock, sand, and even in swampy or salty soils. It really feels like you’re receiving a history degree just learning about it!
Tiger quolls mostly dwell in Tasmania and mainland Australia. These creatures live in various types of habitat, though most of them prefer rainforests, creeks, closed Eucalyptus forests, and river forests. Females are their home security system as they sternly defend their homes against intruders. Tiger quolls are nocturnal and spend the daytime resting in the underground hollows that also double as a den for them. However, they are also known to come out of their dens to go sunbathing or foraging during the day. These silent critters communicate with vocalizing sounds. Mothers communicate with their young by using a unique clucking call, which the offspring respond to. They can also emit growls and high-pitched sounds in the face of danger.
Banksia is a type of flowering plant that is a member of the protea family. There are approximately 170 species of banksias and most originate from Australia and New Guinea. It can be seen in woodlands, scrubland, forests, and heath lands. Most of its kind thrive on gravelly or sandy soil, or in wet spots. Some of its species grow fern-like leaves while others develop huge, narrow leaves with coarse edges.
They also produce elongated, cone-shaped spikes comprised of numerous flowers. It is known to be rich in nectar, which is what attracts various creatures like bats, rats, birds, bees, and birds. These forest creatures get credit for this plant’s pollination process. You can enroll in an online class to know more about this majestic plant.
The Thorny Devil is a tiny lizard found in Australia. It is also known as the mountain devil, thorny devil, thorny lizard, thorny dragon, and moloch. This lizard lives in dry scrub lands and deserts that cover a vast part of central Australia. Its average size spans between 5.9 and 9-inches in length and its weight is around 2.5 and 3.4 ounces.
The top part of its body is surrounded by scales and spikes that aid in defending it from predators. It also has a “false head”, which it uses as a decoy for predators while hiding its real head—mother nature’s own form of insurance. These creatures can be spotted in the sand ridge and sand plain desert in both the continent’s deep interiors.
The elkhorn fern is a huge plant that grows on other plants and rocks instead of soil. They consist of two different types of leaves, which are either fertile or infertile. The fertile leaves are 30 to 35 inches long and warm green in color with a silver-green felt on the underside. The fertile leaves are green, which eventually turn brown and die when it’s time to mature.
The dull, old fronds serve as support for the plant. The elkhorn leaves are fork-shaped and resemble a stag horn—as the name suggests. This particular species is a tough type of plant and mostly occurs in Northern Queensland to southern New South Wales. If you’re able to maintain this plant at home, we give you credit!
Fan flowers are mostly shrub and herb plants that are native to New Guinea and Australia. Its Latin name translates to “left-handed” since it blooms on only one side. These tolerant, resilient plants are great for hanging baskets, containers, and rockeries. Gardeners will love how easy it is to maintain this non-stop bloomer. It comes in a variety of shapes and colors since the plant has been already hybridized.
The plants grow up to 8 to 10 inches tall and span up to 24 inches wide. During the summer, the blooms start showing and turn out fan-shaped. Usually, they come out as blue but oftentimes they grow as pink and white as well. You don’t need a finance degree to appreciate how priceless fan flowers can be.
Lomandra is known to be pleasant for wet and dry landscapes. This native Australian grass is often called as spiny-head mat-rush or basket grass. This plant’s growing conditions can change from sandy to moist in mountains, forests, swamps, creek banks, and wide hillsides. Aborigines traditionally used this plant to make various items, including baskets, and nets. A certain species of the Lomandra plant also used as a food source.
There are about 10 varieties of the Lomandra grass around for sale. Taking care of this plant is fairly easy since it has minimal problems relating to insects or disease. Most of these varieties thrive in different temperatures. Its color may change a degree depending on the amount of sunlight exposure too.