Moving north and into the Outback, there is the Arkaroola Sanctuary, a private wilderness in the Flinders Ranges characterised by dizzying granite peaks and zigzagging jagged gorges. Keep your eyes peeled to see the endangered yellow-footed rock-wallaby as well as peregrine falcons. Birdlife in the ranges is rich and varied with more than 100 native species recorded, including the brilliantly coloured rainbow bee-eater and the red-capped robin.
The Red Centre may be most famous for majestic Uluru, but here you will see camels, dingos and lizards, creatures that are especially suited to the searing heat, as well as the fabulously named thorny devil.
As you continue north, another wildlife highlight is Kakadu National Park, east of Darwin. Its sandstone cliffs, thundering waterfalls and wild bushland are home to black wallaroos, flat-back turtle, black flying foxes and much more. Kakadu has 40 species of migratory bird but is home to nearly 300 species in all.
When you reach Darwin, you’ll find it teeming with exotic birdlife, mammals and reptiles. Basking in an endless summer, Darwin Botanic Gardens showcase the area’s plant life, from baobabs to mangroves. To see flatback turtles in their natural habitat, take a cruise to remote Bare Sand Island where a large population next in the sand dunes.
East Point Reserve, Darwin’s largest park area, is home to wallabies, bandicoots, brushtail possums and numerous species of reptiles, butterflies and birds. Make sure you keep your binoculars to hand as Darwin is an unexpected birdlife haven. Whether you’re watching whiskered terns at East Point or masked lapwings everywhere in the city, many of the species will be pleasingly unfamiliar.
To round off your holiday, a cruise on the Adelaide River – famous for its crocodile population – about an hour from Darwin, will bring you as close as you would want to get to these prehistoric creatures. Australia’s wildlife is truly special. Prepare to be amazed…