Finding it difficult to spot a koala? Don’t know where all the kangaroos are jumping about? Trying to find a place with nice, pretty flowers? Well, consider yourself extremely lucky as I’m about to shed some useful information on native Australian plants and animals in ‘Australia close up’. In today’s blog, I’ll give you tips on where to spot some wild animals & flowers, especially for those interested in photography.
Let’s start with our animals; we all know kangaroos and koalas tend to be the most popular as they are shown quite a lot in media. However, these adorable creatures are hard to find in urban landscapes, as they are not much of a city-dweller! Koalas are mostly noticeable in national parks and bushland areas, but there are often times when koalas decide to make red-carpet appearances at our university. Kangaroos are another set of creatures that can be difficult to find; while I haven’t heard any latest gossip of a kangaroo making its debut red carpet appearance, I can certainly tell you that these animals can be found playing golf at 5am in the morning (true story). But if you are pretty serious about capturing a photo of a koala or kangaroo, then my best bet would be to head over to a national park or bushland area as those places tend to be their natural habitat, which is mostly the case for other wild animals. Otherwise, there’s always a zoo…..
If you are desperate to spot some animals, then birds are your next option. If you ever land in Australia, you’ll mostly notice two birds; magpies and crows. Crows are definitely on your friendly side and they’re a great sight to watch but magpies on the other hand; well, some days are good and some are bad. Don’t worry though, these birds are mostly harmless and if you ask nicely for a photo, I’m pretty sure they won’t bite. Both these birds are easily found just about anywhere, so it’ll definitely be easy. Other types of birds that you can commonly find in your area include:
- Rainbow Lorikeet: these birds are hard to miss due to their vibrant colors, with a combo of blue, green and orange. I mostly find these guys hanging around local parks, but you can also find them flying about in large grassy areas.
- Kookaburra: ever heard of a bird that laughs? The kookaburra is definitely one laughing matter! These birds are not easily found, but they often make few appearances throughout the year. I usually find them hanging on transmission lines though I was lucky to find one at university.
- Seagulls: these are one group of birds that don’t hesitate to ask for a modelling contract if they have to! Just bring your camera with you and they are ready to dazzle. Your best bet for finding a seagull is near beaches and parks with a lot of sand/water nearby. Just don’t bring an actual modelling contract; it’s better to make one up on the spot.
Though these are just examples, there is a longer list of birds that you can learn about and find in your area or elsewhere. Or you can see which birds won the most votes in the competition to be Australia’s favourite birds.
Now, while I’m no expert on what flowers are best for Valentine’s Day, I can give basic insight on Australia’s most popular plants! Areas like national parks are definitely a good spot to capture some beautiful shots, but local parks or home gardens are also suitable. Flowers like frangipani, daffodils, roses, orchids, hibiscus can be found in any neighbourhood or any local park; roses and marigold flowers are mostly grown in home gardens – I’ve some growing in my backyard as we speak! Australia is also home to some native plants like the golden wattle which is part of the national floral emblem. Some of these flowers also serve as food for our animals and if you ever spot a koala, you might see them hanging around eucalyptus trees, which are also quite popular in Australia! Many of these plants can be found at local/national parks or even in bushland areas, making it easy to spot & photograph; some flowers are only found in a particular place and might not be available where you live. But don’t be disappointed, as local communities or cities hold flower festivals and exhibitions, where they display a variety of flowers. Like I said earlier, I’m definitely no expert on this topic, but I found a pretty handy website which gives you information about all the native plants located in Australia.
So a few things to remember:
- If you are trying to find some local animals/flowers, make sure you try a national park or even a local park, close to where you live.
- Bushland / forest areas are your best bet for spotting koalas and other wild animals. Kangaroos are a little bit harder to find, but I’ve noticed a few practicing their golf skills (no joke!) just make sure you’re up at 5am in the morning.
- Birds can be found hanging around in any area, so they are easier to spot; finding the right type however is a little bit tricky. But keep searching as you might encounter a different variety of birds every day.
- Like birds, flowers can be spotted anywhere; whether it be a park, a neighbourhood, etc. There tends to be a lot of flower festivals and exhibitions, so make sure you keep an eye out for them if you are interested.
Hope you guys are able to get some neat shots like I did. Let me know your favourite photography spots in the comments. Happy hunting!!!!