Australia is home to some of the cutest animals on the planet. These adorable animals will hop, fly, and swim their way into your heart.
The wallaby is an Australian marsupial closely related to and often confused with the kangaroo. Although wallabies are a separate species, they have many of the same characteristics as kangaroos, including large feet, pouches, and muscular tails.
Wallabies range in weight from about 4-50 pounds, eating a primarily herbivorous diet of leaves and fruit. They have adapted to many habitats but are only native to Australia and Papua New Guinea. They include different species: rock wallabies, brush wallabies, scrub wallabies, and hare wallabies.
Koalas are a classic Australian animal, so it wouldn’t be right to leave them off this list, given how absolutely delightful they are. Koalas have long been mistaken for bears with big ears and black noses, and while they look like teddy bears, they are marsupials. There are an astounding 250 marsupial species in Australia.
While all Koalas are cute, their babies, called joeys, are next-level charmers. If you see one, it will probably be sleeping because koalas naturally sleep for about 18 hours daily due to their slow metabolism. After they are old enough to leave the pouch, joeys cling to their mother’s back for another six months before heading out on their own.
Australian Sea Lion
Sea lions, seals, and walruses are all part of the same order of species and are known as pinnipeds. Australian Sea Lions are the only pinniped native to the continent of Australia and can be found along the southern Australian coast in places like Dangerous Reef and Kangaroo Island.
People often confuse sea lions and seals because they are similar, but the sea lions have small ears that stick out, making them even more charming.
Marsupials dominate Australia’s list of cute animals, and wombats join this category as quadrupedal marsupials. Unlike bipedal kangaroos and wallabies, wombats run around on all four legs. They have thick, barrel-shaped bodies, which makes them appear chunky and cuddly, and with their sweet faces, they are deceptively endearing. When threatened, wombats can move quickly and have been known to attack humans and bowl them over.
The hairy-nosed wombat lives in a fenced area safe from predators at the Epping Forest National Park. It shares this home with 251 other animal species. This national park is a national scientific park and is not open to the public.
Quokkas were named the world’s happiest animal by the World Wildlife Federation (WWF) because they always look like they’re smiling. These small wallabies are about the same size as a cat, and you might want to pick them up and cuddle them, but it’s best to leave quokkas alone when you see them in the wild.
Due to decreasing populations, quokkas are listed as Vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. To see them in the wild, you can visit Rottnest Island, where volunteer guides run daily “Meet the Quokkas” tours.
Become a Conservation Volunteer
Even though you may only be able to admire these darling animals from afar, you can still do a lot to help them. Volunteer conservation groups are always looking for help spreading the word. You can also create fundraisers and make donations.
You can sign up to work directly with professional conservationists at rescue centers and shelter homes if you live in Australia or can travel there. At rescue centers, volunteers work hard feeding and nursing animals back to health so they can be released back into the wild.