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Creatures & Curiosities: An Adelaide's Animal Extravaganza

Creatures & Curiosities: An Adelaide’s Animal Extravaganza

Welcome to the City of Adelaide, where furry, feathered, and scaly animals take the wild’s center stage! 

From the enchanting rainbow lorikeets in the Botanic Garden to the quirky wild dolphins in Glenelg, our city’s wildlife provides a journey of discovery and wonder.

We’ll help you embark on that journey with this list of wildlife encounters in Adelaide!

What are the common animals living in the wildlife of Adelaide?

Kangaroos: Happy hoppers like the Eastern Grey Kangaroos and Red Kangaroos are prevalent in Adelaide and its surrounding grasslands and plains.


Koalas: These cuddly cuties are living wild and free in preserved regions of Adelaide, particularly in eucalyptus forests and conservation parks.


Possums: The treetops of Adelaide’s forests are swinging playgrounds of the common brushtail possums and the common ringtail possums.


Birds: Adelaide’s birds fly free! Some commonly sighted species include rainbow lorikeets, magpies, sulfur-crested cockatoos, galahs, and various types of parrots.


Echidnas: These unique and shy egg-laying mammals live on the outskirts of Adelaide. They’re generally solitary creatures and are master diggers and foragers—just ask ants and termites.


Lizards: Adelaide is home to multiple scaly sweethearts, including the cunning Eastern blue-tongued lizard and the so-called “king of the chill,” bearded dragon. These reptiles scurry and stride in bushland and suburban gardens.


Insects: From fluttering and buzzing wonders to creepy crawlers, Adelaide has awide range of insects and spiders, including butterflies, bees, ants, and huntsman spiders, among others.


Adelaide’s Awesome Wildlife Encounters

Dive with dolphins at Glenelg

Website: http://temptationsailing.com.au/
Address: 10 Holdfast Promenade, Glenelg SA 5045
Contact details: 0412 811 838
Operating hours: 

  • Mon to Thu – 9 AM to 5 PM
  • Fri to Sun – Closed


Wild Dolphin Swim (Non-Peak Season – Sep, Oct, Nov, Mar, Apr)

  • Adult – $139
  • Child (0-9 yrs old)- $129

Wild Dolphin Swim (Peak Season – Dec, Jan, Feb)

  • Adult – $149
  • Child (0-9 yrs old)- $139

Wild Dolphin Watch (Non-Peak Season)

  • Adult – $78
  • Child – $68

Wild Dolphin Watch (Peak Season)

  • Adult – $88
  • Child – $78

Twilight Cruise

  • Adult – $44
  • Child – $39

Coastal Day Cruise

  • Adult – $34
  • Child – $29

Afternoon Tea Cruise

  • Adult – $79

Can you say no to the aquatic acrobats swimming and playing in Glenelg’s sapphire waters? 

Dolphin diving in Glenelg is a wet, wild, and fin-tastic experience that gave us the unique opportunity to witness the ocean’s smart and friendly flippers in their natural habitat!

For our adventure, we went with Temptation Sailing, and oh boy, did we hit the jackpot of dolphin delight! 

They offered us different yet equally fun and educational packages. A few of us went dolphin watching while most swam along with the sea’s sweethearts!

Wildlife Wisdom: Dolphins are sociable creatures, but they love their personal space.

When swimming with them, be sure to approach them calmly and respectfully, allowing them to initiate any interactions. Maintain a safe distance to avoid any unintended disturbance or stress to these magnificent creatures. 

Wildlife-watch at Belair National Park

Website: https://www.parks.sa.gov.au/find-a-park/Browse_by_region/Adelaide_Hills/belair-national-park
Address: Upper Sturt Rd, Belair SA 5052
Contact details: (08) 8278 5477
Operating hours: Daily – 8 AM to 7 PM
Price: Entrance is free

Belair National Park is tough to beat: it’s shaded by lush pines, cooled by fresh air, and surrounded by wondrous wildlife. From furry kangaroos to feathered divas serenading tourists, this park is a stage for some of the most adorable critters in our city!

Keep your eyes peeled for playful possums, soaring kookaburras, and cheeky echidnas, too! Once you see one, carpe diem and take tons of pictures, as these animals are known to be the introverts of the wild—you might not get another chance, mate!

Wildlife Wisdom: When watching the wildlife at Belair National Park, be patient and embrace the art of stillness. Find a cozy spot, settle in, and let the natural world unfold before your eyes.

Remember to be quiet and observe from a distance, allowing the animals to roam freely and undisturbed. Rushing will ruin the experience. 

Bushwalk among koalas at Morialta Conservation Park

Website: https://www.parks.sa.gov.au/find-a-park/Browse_by_region/Adelaide_Hills/morialta-conservation-park
Address: Morialta Falls Rd, Woodforde SA 5072
Contact details: (08) 8336 0901
Operating hours: Daily – Open 24 Hours
Price: $5 entrance fee

With koalas relaxing on branches and Eucalyptus-adorned trails, bushwalking at this park is a koala-ty experience. 

As we trekked here, we saw many of these fuzzy, tree-hugging fluffballs eating, napping, and playing!

Seeing many of them was a spellbinding moment for us, as these animals are known to be timid. We even bumped into a mama koala carrying her little one on her back—a snap-worthy scene that made our hearts skip a beat!

Wildlife Wisdom: We know how cute koalas are, but you must be extremely careful when approaching one—especially males. Although typically friendly, male koalas can be feisty fighters if they feel threatened.

Koala-watching is peaceful and fun—especially if you’re not getting chased around by one!

Feed and cuddle critters at Cleland Wildlife Park

Website: https://www.clelandwildlifepark.sa.gov.au/
Address: 365 Mount Lofty Summit Rd, Crafers SA 5152
Contact details: (08) 8339 2444
Operating hours: Daily – 9:30 AM to 5 PM

  • Adult – $31
  • Concession – $26
  • Child (4 to 15 yrs old) – $16
  • Family – $77
  • Student (for school groups) – $12.50
  • Group of 10+ Adults (per person) – $25
  • Group of 10+ Children (per person) – $`3

The “C” in Cleland stands for many things: cute critters, cuddly creatures, and charming chirpers, to name a few! This wildlife park offers a furry fiesta that includes feeding cockatoos, playing with echidnas, sharing a pic with koalas, and many more!

Tenacious Tasmanian devils and precious potoroos also roam this park! If you prefer brooding creatures of the night, there’s an area here where microbats and tawny frogmouths rest, patiently waiting for dusk.

Wildlife Wisdom: We recommend checking the feeding schedule of the park’s animals for more interactive encounters. Get up close, connect, and learn about their fascinating feeding habits!

If slithery and scaly reptiles don’t scare you, we also suggest popping by the reptile section, where you can hold different lizards and snakes—a sssuper fun activity!

Explore Adelaide Zoo

Website: http://www.adelaidezoo.com.au/
Address: Frome Rd, Adelaide SA 5000
Contact details: (08) 8267 3255
Operating hours: Daily – 9:30 AM to 5 PM

  • Adult (15 yrs old and above) – $42.50
  • Child (4 to 14 yrs old) – $22.50
  • Concession (15 yrs old and above) – $31
  • Cub (0-3 yrs) – Free
  • 1 Adult plus 3 or 4 Children – $107.00
  • 2 Adults plus 1/2/3 Children – $107
  • 2 Adults plus 4 Children – $115.50
  • 2 Adults plus 5 Children – $124

With over 2,500 animals, Adelaide Zoo should be on top of every wildlife enthusiast’s travel spot list. During our last visit, we boarded the panda hype train and met the zoo’s superstars, the giant pandas Wang Wang and Fu-Ni!

Our team also didn’t miss the wonders of the savanna: the mischievous meerkats and the majestic lions. Later that day, we also saw fearsome alligators and cute waddling penguins.

One animal that really caught our attention was the tamarin, a primate with a supermodel’s mane and a suave mustache! 

Explore Adelaide Zoo

Wildlife Wisdom: Don’t miss the daily animal presentations and keeper talks! These informative and entertaining sessions provide fascinating insights into the lives of the zoo’s residents. 

Also, try to beat the crowds and arrive early in the morning! Not only will you have a better chance of avoiding long queues, but you’ll also have the opportunity to observe the animals during their most active time of the day—except for bats, of course! 

Discover Coorong National Park’s coastal wildlife

Website: https://www.parks.sa.gov.au/find-a-park/Browse_by_region/Limestone_Coast/coorong-national-park
Address: Coorong SA 5264
Contact details: (08) 8575 1200
Operating hours:

  • Mon to Fri – 9 AM to 5 PM
  • Sat to Sun – Closed

Prices: Entrance is free

Coorong’s coastal wildlife extravaganza is an adventure we couldn’t miss. Going to this spot was like stepping into a real-life nature documentary where seabirds soar in the skies, spirited dolphins dance in the waves, and showy seals strike a pose on the rocks!

The park provides a sanctuary for a remarkable array of 115 local and international species. Among them, you’ll discover 79 kinds of birds, 2 amphibians, 15 mammals, and 4 reptiles.

Wildlife Wisdom: Bring binoculars! Coorong National Park is a haven for birdwatching enthusiasts, with an incredible variety of bird species to spot. 

There’s a feathered spectacle waiting around every corner, from graceful pelicans to majestic eagles. With binoculars in hand, you can observe these high-flying creatures up close and appreciate their beauty in great detail.

Take care of animals at Adelaide Koala and Wildlife Center

Website: http://www.akawhospital.org.au/
Address: 282 Anzac Hwy, Plympton SA 5038
Contact details: (08) 8297 2455
Operating hours:

  • Mon to Fri – 9 AM to 5 PM
  • Sat to Sun – Closed

Together with vets, Adelaide Koala and Wildlife Center is on a mission to save and aid wounded, ailing, and abandoned critters. Join their cause and be a wildlife superhero!

Aside from providing volunteers with animal welfare wisdom, the team of this center will also let you interact with their fully-rehabilitated furry and scaly pals. Your kindness will be paid with cuteness overload and our biodiversity preservation!

Wildlife Wisdom: Always follow the guidance of the knowledgeable staff when interacting with the center’s animals. Approach them with gentleness and care, allowing them to feel safe and comfortable in your presence. 

Additionally, keep noise levels low and avoid sudden movements to prevent causing any stress or agitation. 

Check Gorge Wildlife Park’s exotic birds and beasts

Website: http://gorgewildlifepark.com.au/
Address: 30 Redden Dr, Cudlee Creek SA 5232
Contact details: (08) 8389 2206
Operating hours: Daily – 9 AM to 5 PM

Gorge Wildlife Park’s animals are tourist magnets. The exotic birds and beasts here can get scary, but their unique qualities and extraordinary appearances attract wildlife enthusiasts and intrigued wanderers from all corners of the globe.

There are so many animals to see here, but our favorite has to be the park’s massive American alligators and the ninja-like spider monkeys! Keep an eye out for the regal cassowaries, and be prepared for encounters with curious emus. 

Wildlife Wisdom: Prepare your cameras ready for a burst of vibrant colors at the park’s tree-lined areas, where lorikeets, cockatoos, and parrots put on a colorful symphony! 

Strike a pose and let these feathered performers be the backdrop to your Insta-worthy adventure! 

See dolphins with Dolphin Sanctuary Kayak Tours

Website: http://dolphinsanctuarykayaktours.com.au/
Address: Lot 204 Garden Island Rd, Port Adelaide SA 5015
Contact details: 0419 022 354
Operating hours: Daily – 8 AM to 5 PM

  • Eco Kayak Tour – $72
  • Guided Eco Kayak Tour – $80
  • Self-Guided Eco Double Kayak Tour – $80
  • Guided Single Kayak Tour – $50
  • Self-Guided Single Kayak Tour – $50
  • Guided Eco Kayak Tour for Two Package – $144

If you’re not keen on swimming but still want to dolphin-watch, hop on a kayak adventure with Dolphin Sanctuary Kayak Tours! 

We tried this once, and their guides took us through winding waterways of mangrove creeks where dolphins gather to feast and chill. 

Our team also paddled past spectacular shipwrecks, remnants of bygone years and the current sanctuary of waterbirds! If you get lucky like us, you might find an antique necklace or an old bottle along the wreckage.

Wildlife Wisdom: Don’t forget to bring your waterproof camera or phone to capture those magical moments with the dolphins and the stunning scenery. You may be on a kayak, but you’ll likely get splashed along the tour!

Additionally, dress comfortably and wear sunscreen, as you’ll be spending time under the sun. A hat and sunglasses can also provide protection—and extra fashion points.

Encounter nocturnal wildlife at Warrawong Wildlife Sanctuary

Address: 47 Stock Rd, Mylor SA 5153
Contact details: (08) 8423 6030
Operating hours: 

  • Sat, Sun, Mon – 11 AM to 4 PM (dusk tour available)
  • Tue to Fri – Closed


  • Up to 4 persons – $240
  • Up to 8 persons – $384
  • Up to 12 persons – $504
  • Up to 14 persons – $546

Nighttime at Warrawong Wildlife Sanctuary unveils a dark world brimming with wildlife As the last rays of the sun disappear on the horizon, bandicoots begin to sprawl, wallabies emerge, and bats take flight.

Known daytime sleepers like bettongs and potoroos also enter the nighttime realm to forage for food. If Lady Luck smiles at you on your visit, you might even run into the sanctuary’s platypuses—elusive creatures rarely seen during sunny hours. 

Wildlife Wisdom: Bring a flashlight or headlamp during the Dusk Tour. This will not only help you stay safe but also enhance your chances of spotting some of the elusive nocturnal animals.

Keep your illumination tools in check, though. Remember, most animals here prefer the gentle twilight glow, so tone down the brightness to not distract or spook them.

Chill with rainbow lorikeets at Adelaide Botanic Garden

Website: http://www.botanicgardens.sa.gov.au/
Address: North Terrace, Adelaide SA 5000
Contact details: (08) 8222 9311
Operating hours: 

  • Mon to Fri – 7:15 AM to 5:30 PM
  • Sat to Sun – 9 AM to 5:30 PM

Flowers aren’t the only pretty attractions at the Adelaide Botanic Garden. This top-tier tourist destination has rainbow lorikeets, too! 

Our routine here is simple: we find a picnic spot near the lorikeets’ habitat and snack while listening to their songs.

Chill with rainbow lorikeets at Adelaide Botanic Garden

Sometimes, these radiant and outgoing birds would flutter down to join us as we enjoy our meal, so better prepare some bird-friendly treats. If you don’t, well, you’ll hear a lot of squawking instead of serenades!

Wildlife Wisdom: Want to see drunk lorikeets? When late spring or summer arrives, the Adelaide Botanic Garden transforms into the hottest party spot for these fabulous flyers. 

These party animals gather in the iconic Drunken Parrot Tree and drink its fermented nectar, causing them to get drunk! If you don’t mind the noise these hammered birds will make, you shouldn’t miss this sight—the Oktoberfest of bird kind, as we call it.

Explore the world of marine animals with Adelaide Scuba

Website: http://adelaidescuba.com.au/
Address: 3 Cygnet Ct, Glenelg North SA 5045
Contact details: (08) 8294 7744
Operating hours: 

  • Mon to Tue – Closed
  • Wed to Thu – 9 AM to 5:30 PM
  • Fri – 9 AM to 7 PM
  • Sat to Sun – 9 AM to 5:30 PM

Adelaide’s wildlife encounters don’t end on land. You’ll be surprised by the marine marvels the water hides! 

We went scuba diving at Glenelg’s beaches and saw countless enchanting aquatic animals.

Our team was treated to the sights of graceful seahorses twirling amidst swaying kelp forests, prying octopuses showcasing their shape-shifting talents, and majestic stingrays gliding gracefully through the azure waters! 

We didn’t see the leafy seadragon, but the dive was a total knockout!

Wildlife Wisdom: Before diving, familiarize yourself with the dive site’s specific conditions, such as water temperature, visibility, and potential underwater hazards. 

Ensure your equipment is in proper working order and check for any local regulations or restrictions. 

Plan your dive according to your experience level and always dive with a buddy for added safety. Lastly, bring a waterproof camera to capture the ocean’s well-kept secrets! 

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