An astonishing 87 percent of mammals, 93 percent of reptiles and 45 percent of birds are only found in Australia. This mega-diverse nation is, in fact, home to more species than any other developed country in the world, including egg-laying mammals, hopping kangaroos and eucalyptus-munching koalas.
There’s a lot more to Australia as well, of course — from stunning Sydney Harbour with its man-made marvels, to the natural grandeur of the Great Barrier Reef and vast outback, to world-class surfing at amazing beaches. But a true Australia experience demands a focus on its extraordinary and, yes, often adorable animals.
Here’s how you can check out some of the continent’s most amazing native wildlife, up close and personal.