While Australia might be home to some terrifying species, it’s also the place that thousands of cuddly animals call their home. These cuties make a trip to the country completely worthwhile.
There are many great reasons to visit Australia. If you’re a keen surfer, the country offers some of the best beaches to grab your board and catch a few waves. The coastline is also great if you want to see nature at its finest, with the north-east of the country home to the Great Barrier Reef. What’s more, people looking for a warmer winter are in luck here thanks to Australia being in the southern hemisphere.
Of course, while this island makes for a fantastic vacation spot, certain things will probably put potential visitors off. Take the wildlife, for instance. Australia is known for being home to a variety of terrifying animals, from massive spiders and snakes to some incredibly deadly jellyfish. Getting on the wrong side of these creatures is the last thing you want to do, but it’s not all bad.
For every dangerous animal that lives in Australia, there’s plenty of cuddly critters who make the risks worth it. Who wouldn’t want to go somewhere where these creatures are considered the locals?
The symbol of Australia
If there’s one animal that people most closely associated with Australia, it’s the kangaroo. They’re such an important species to the country that they appear as a symbol on everything from money to the island’s coat of arms. There’s a huge love for these creatures over there, and we can see why.
Baby kangaroos – or joeys, as they’re called – are so cute you just want to reach out and cuddle one. However, anyone wanting to hug a joey should remember what these animals are capable of. While kangaroos generally live in harmony with humans, they will lash out if they feel threatened.
Not a morning person
How do you feel when you wake up in the morning? A bit like this? Trust us; you’re not the only one out there. Even the Australian wildlife apparently hate those early starts during the week. Of course, these two probably look super sleepy because they’re not daytime creatures.
Much like owls, these Australian natives prefer to go about their business during the night. That’s actually not the only way these cuddly critters are mistaken for their fellow nocturnal birds. The coloring of the tawny frogmouth is very similar to some species of owl, meaning the two often get confused for one another.
Given that koalas are an animal native to Australia, you’d probably think that meeting one wouldn’t be too much of a challenge. However, they don’t populate every corner of the island, especially as they’re currently considered a vulnerable species. Koalas were once hunted for their fur, and their numbers have been dwindling ever since.
The spread of urbanization and booms in agriculture continue to cause problems, threatening their habitats and leaving them fighting for survival. Luckily, there are still plenty of these adorable animals living along the east coast of Australia, and they’re all as cute as this curious little creature.
Sharing a resemblance
You might not have heard of a sugar glider before, but you may be familiar with another animal it bears a resemblance to – the flying squirrel. These two don’t share much in the way of genetics, but they’ve both evolved very similar traits and behaviors.
The most obvious of these is their ability to glide through the air, something that pretty much allows them to fly without having wings. These acrobatic animals can be found across many parts of eastern Australia, and there’s plenty of them roaming around. Plus, these wide-eyed cuties are just as adorable as their name suggests.
An endangered species
The eastern quoll is an animal you may not be familiar with, and that’s partly because very few of them live in mainland Australia. These animals went extinct from the region during the ‘60s, and it’s only in the last few years that they’ve been reintroduced.
Most of the spotted creatures on the mainland live in sanctuaries, with a few now back in the wild. Hopefully, their numbers will start to thrive again, because they’re currently considered an endangered species. The only place you can see them in a large number is in Tasmania, so it might be worth visiting there sometime.
Loved and protected
With so many animals facing extinction these days, wildlife sanctuaries are more important than ever. They protect what’s left of endangered species and try to help them begin to thrive again. Their assistance is vital, but that’s not the only great thing about these sanctuaries.
They’re also a place where people can go to meet animals they might not have crossed paths with before. Whether they be on the verge of extinction or they’re not easily spotted in the wild, sanctuaries like Bonorong are somewhere you can finally say hello to them. Why wouldn’t you want to do that with cuties like this?
Saved from the fire
Just as we get hurt and have to go to the hospital to get ourselves fixed, so too do the animals of Australia. Injuries in the wild happen all the time, and they sometimes require human intervention to stop them from being fatal. Thankfully, this cute creature is one of the lucky ones.
They were apparently caught up in a bush fire, with their leg getting most of the damage. A kangaroo that can’t bounce around is a massive target in the wild, so it’s fortunate they were taken in and cared for. Doesn’t he look so adorable in that diaper?
Time for bed
When it comes to food, Koalas are incredibly picky. There’s only one thing they eat, and they struggle to cope without it. We’re of course talking about eucalyptus leaves, a food source that is considered too toxic for most species.
Koalas thrive off the stuff, although it’s because of these leaves that they spend much of their lives being sedentary and sleepy. Considering many of us would love to spend up to 20 hours of our day asleep, we can certainly relate to these adorable critters. Now, we just need to find a koala to cuddle and have a nap with.
Stealing people’s hearts
It’s pretty clear to see how sugar gliders got their name. The animals are enormous fans of sugary foods, meaning they love to chow down on stuff like sap and nectar. Combine that with their ability to glide through the air from one tree to another, and their name becomes obvious.
It seems that these cute critters have stolen the hearts of so many people online that they’ve become a somewhat popular choice of pet. However, bringing one of these animals into your home isn’t always a great idea. Their nocturnal lifestyle and need to climb don’t usually work well in a cage.
Small but mighty
If you let out an “aww” while looking at this photo, you’re not alone. This cute dingo is only four weeks old here, and they look so adorable having a snooze. We wouldn’t blame you if you mistook the animal for someone’s dog because they certainly bear a lot of similarities.
However, while dingoes might seem like a wild version of people’s pet pooches, they’re actually their own species. These creatures are just as much wolves as they are dogs, which is why you should always approach them with caution. Yes, they look cute and cuddly, but they do have a vicious side.
A kangaroo cuddle
There are so many cute critters out there that we want to just scoop up and cuddle. However, it’s pretty rare that we actually get to do that, especially given how wary these animals can be of human contact. This is one very lucky man getting to live out our – and possibly your – dreams of hugging a kangaroo.
There’s no sign of this joey lashing out as they lean into this guy’s arms and appear to give him a peck on the cheek. This display of affection just has us wanting to fly over there and cuddle a kangaroo ourselves.
Living in harmony
While caring for a sugar glider can be hard work given you’re taking them out of their comfort zone, there are ways to make things easier for both you and them. Access to outdoor spaces, close proximity to other sugar gliders, and opportunities to live a more nocturnal lifestyle can all make a huge difference.
While it’s still an incredible commitment and one you shouldn’t necessarily take on, at least it’s possible to live in harmony with these cute critters. After all, who could resist the opportunity to have one of these furry friends as a pet to cuddle all day long?
There are so many different species that have found a home at Bonorong Wildlife Rescue in Tasmania, including wombats. This species isn’t necessarily that rare, but their habitats are often in places that people don’t come across. Thankfully, anyone hoping to see one of these creatures doesn’t have to go searching the heathland of south-eastern Australia.
Just take a trip to Bonorong where sleepy cuties like this critter can be found. While being in captivity might not always seem like the best solution for wild animals, at least wombats have a chance of living for thirty years in sanctuaries like this.
Taking over Australia
If you only cross paths with one animal during your stay in Australia, the chances are it’s going to be a kangaroo. That’s because there are seemingly more of these creatures on the island than there are people! In 2017, the kangaroo population hit over 50 million, almost double what there was eight years earlier.
In comparison, only 25.1 million people are living on the island right now. Given how much kangaroo numbers seem to be growing, it’s only a matter of time before they take over the whole country. When they’re this cute, though, do we really want to stop them?
Ready to escape
It’s easy to mistake this photo as being a screenshot from a live-action animal film. The stance of this brushtail possum looks far too human, as though it’s been brought to life through computer wizardry. However, we can assure you that this creature isn’t from Disney’s latest foray into the talking animal genre.
No, it’s a real baby possum attempting to break out of their new home. The lid to its cage was left open, so it decided to try and stage an escape. Thinking about it, that sounds exactly like something that would happen in one of those movies…
Nursed back to health
It easy to forget how cute and innocent creatures look when they’re newly born. Some people might not consider flying foxes to be the most adorable animals out there, but this young critter looks anything but menacing. They were apparently two weeks premature when they were found and taken to a vet, and you can see that in how fragile the animal looks.
The poor thing appears so small and weak, though we imagine they’re much healthier now after so many weeks of expert care. This is precisely why we appreciate everything that veterinarians and wildlife rescuers do for the world.
The replacement pouch
It’s a terrible situation for anyone to be orphaned, whether they’re human or animal. Being without any parents can have a significant impact on your life, especially if you live in the wild. There are plenty of animals who wouldn’t last more than a few days without a mother or father to look out for them.
Sadly, these cute critters here lost their parents, so they didn’t have their mom’s pouch to hang out in during their early days. Luckily, a generous stranger set up these contraptions to mimic that unique experience between mother and child. Isn’t that so adorable?
Smaller than normal
Pygmy is a word that’s generally used to refer to someone whose size is smaller than the average. It primarily relates to tribes in parts of Africa and Asia who are known for their height difference. However, it’s also used to talk about all manner of adorable little animals.
That includes the western pygmy possum, which is a miniature version of the creature people are more used to. The animal’s small size instantly makes it adorable, especially when you see those wide eyes staring back at you. You just have to be very gentle if you want to cuddle this creature.
They mean no harm
As well as being the “mother of monsters” from Greek mythology, Echidna is also what people call these spiny anteaters that live in Australia. The name for these animals actually stems from the mythological half-woman, half-snake because echidnas are considered a blend of both mammal and reptile.
For instance, these creatures lay eggs, but they also produce milk. Despite getting their name from a fearsome myth, though, echidnas aren’t usually anything to be feared. They never mean to cause harm, with the animals generally going into defense mode when under threat. However, their spines can hurt if you’re not careful with them.
Cuter than they look
Anyone with a fear of bats probably wouldn’t dare to go near a flying fox. After all, they’re part of the same family and act very similarly to the creatures. However, before you go dismissing these animals forever, we urge you to take a look at this photo right here.
Does that face not scream innocence to you? That slightly derpy expression – complete with a stuck-out tongue – proves that these critters can be adorable when they want to be. You just have to be willing to let them into your heart and embrace the things that might not be as cute.
A cheeky smile
We’re not too sure what this tawny frogmouth has just seen, but clearly, it was good enough to put a smile on their face. That cheeky expression is something we can definitely relate to, and it just makes us love these birds even more. If you want to see one yourself, they’re not too hard to find in mainland Australia.
They’re spread throughout most of the country, including in Tasmania, and they thrive in many different types of habitat. Whether they’re in woodlands, heathland vegetation, or savannahs, they seem to have little trouble adapting to their surroundings and loving life.
A taste for termites
There are several names for this cute little critter, the most common of which being the numbat. An endangered species primarily found in Western Australia, it mainly lives off termites located in the wild. Tasty right? Given its specialized diet, you never have to be worried about a numbat seeing you as its next meal.
Of course, given it’s such a small creature, it’s no match for any human it encounters anyway. Baby numbats, in particular, are tiny and can easily fit into a person’s hand. They’re hard to cuddle at this size, but if you’re gentle, you can do it.
The happiest animal on Earth
We dare you to find a critter that looks as happy as this quokka. We’ve never seen so much pure joy in an animal before, and it seems this beaming smile is common from these creatures. Quokkas are apparently just permanently delighted animals – what’s not to love about that?
If you want to see some of these joyful critters for yourself, you’ll need to visit one of the islands in Western Australia. Supposedly Rottnest Island is an excellent place to find them, although don’t expect them to be roaming around everywhere. They’re a vulnerable species, so their numbers are dwindling.
Two species in one
If you saw this animal in the wild, what would you think it was? A rabbit? A bandicoot? Well, it’s actually a bilby. Sometimes referred to as the rabbit-eared bandicoot because of its appearance, it’s a nocturnal creature that lives in the arid regions of central Australia.
Technically, this creature is a greater bilby, but given the lesser bilby went extinct in the ‘50s, it’s usually just known as the bilby. There are fears that this cuddly critter could also go the way of its relatives if things don’t change soon. They’re already considered vulnerable, and their numbers continue to decline.
They’re not the same
Some people think that kangaroos and wallabies are the same animal, but that’s not the case. While these two are certainly from the same family and share plenty of similarities, there are some clear differences between them. For instance, the size is never the same, with kangaroos always towering over their wallaby relatives.
This is because they have longer legs made for speed in open terrain, as opposed to shorter ones designed for forested areas. What wallabies lack in size, though, they make up for in cuteness. Plus, being smaller just means that they’re far easier to give a hug.
Too cute to be cruel
With a name like the Tasmanian devil, you’d probably expect the creature to be incredibly vicious. They’re certainly willing to put up a fight, especially with such a strong jaw, but how can something that looks this cute and cuddly be considered a devil?
This animal looks like its bark is a lot worse than its bite, although that may simply be because it’s so young. Either way, numbers of these creatures are falling dramatically by the year and leaving the animal in a concerning position. They were declared endangered a decade ago, and things haven’t been looking up for them since.
Size does matter
While baby numbats might be cute because they’re so small and innocent, it seems the creatures don’t lose their appeal once they’re older. Judging from this picture, adults of the species are just as adorable, especially when they have their long tongues sticking out.
These usually come in handy whenever it’s feeding time because they help the numbats scoop up their meals. It doesn’t matter if the termites try to hide away; those tongues have no trouble getting into tight spaces. That might not sound particularly appealing, but at least they still look adorable when they’re being playful like this.
Hop on for a ride
We don’t know why, but there’s something about seeing animals with their young that just makes them even more adorable than usual. Koalas are already pretty cute, but this photo makes them so endearing. The fact that this mother is carrying her joey around on her back makes us love these animals even more, and we were already pretty huge fans.
Sure the species might be capable of passing on certain diseases that no-one wants to catch, but that’s beside the point. Do those eyes look like they belong to someone who wishes you harm? No, no, they do not.
Love is in the air
Whether human or animal, most creatures want to have that special someone in their lives to love. It allows you to bond with another and share your special moments with them, no matter what they might be. Having a partner can really make a difference in your life, even if you’re an echidna living in an Australian zoo.
These two cuties are Tonka and Diesel, and they’re apparently a couple of lovebirds at Wild Life Sydney Zoo. They’re just two of the many residents at this sanctuary, although not everyone has been as lucky as them at finding a significant other.
Caught off guard
If you’ve ever given a dog a bath then wrapped it in a towel, this is usually the result. That look of astonishment and confusion is one we’ve seen many times before, although never on a wombat. Of course, this creature hasn’t been through the torture of being bathed; they’re just incredibly cozy in their makeshift pouch.
The poor thing lost its mother, so they were taken in by a wildlife carer to ensure they were looked after. While the animal might have missed its family, at least they had someone around to keep feeding them and ensure they developed okay.
Decreasing in number
While numbats were once a thriving species, their numbers have decreased a lot over the years. They used to be prevalent throughout the south of Australia, but human intervention has seen them continue to be in decline. That’s why they’re now listed as an endangered species with fears the critters might disappear completely one day.
There are only two regions in Western Australia where the numbat is somewhat common, although attempts have been made to introduce them to new areas. They can be found in sanctuaries across the country, with the hope that captivity will help them to repopulate the species.
In their mother’s pouch
Quokkas are quite possibly one of the most delightful creatures you’ll ever meet in Australia. As if these animals weren’t already adorable enough with their beaming smiles, they get even cuter when you see them looking after their young. Much like kangaroos and wallabies, quokkas have a pouch where their joeys spend the first six months of their life.
Once it’s time for the baby to leave, they still rely on their mother’s milk for another two months. However, after that point, they’re finally old enough to start caring for themselves. Thus, the cycle of life begins all over again.
An intimate moment
If it were humans in this photo, we’d have said it was posed to give off the impression of true love. However, the last time we checked, koalas aren’t known for being the perfect models. They don’t even know what cameras are, let alone how to behave when they’re around.
This moment was completely natural, and that’s what makes it so much more intimate. There’s no denying the love in their eyes and the pure happiness on their faces. We may think we’re very different from animals, but we still share quite a lot of similarities with all these creatures.
A brand new life
There are several places in the world where you might be fortunate enough to see a green turtle, and Australia is one of them. These majestic creatures can usually be found swimming around in the ocean, although don’t expect them to be everywhere you look.
Sadly, numbers of this creature have been dwindling due to exploitation, leading them to become endangered. While moves have been made to protect them, there aren’t as many around as we’d like there to be. That’s why we’re so happy every time a new turtle hatches. We just want to see these adorable creatures thrive in the wild.
A dad’s responsibility
In most cases, it’s the mother who has a greater responsibility for her children over the father. However, it’s the complete opposite when it comes to emus. After laying the eggs, the mom leaves the dad in charge, making him the sole parent of his little ones for several years.
It’s a huge task to take on, especially when you have this many chicks to watch out for. However, this father seems to be doing just fine at his job. These chicks all look so adorable as they scamper after their dad and follow him on his walk through Coffin Bay National Park.
Pose for the camera
If you ever had doubts that koalas were capable of putting on the moves, this should set you straight. We’re not sure who this critter is trying to impress here, but they certainly look like they’re attempting to woo someone as they chill out in the tree.
That doesn’t look like the most comfortable position, but they’re playing it cool while laying back and giving the photographer quite the shot. Perhaps these animals do know what cameras are. That would definitely explain why this creature is working their magic for the lens. Whatever the case, it’s hard not to love this cutie.