Where to Find Australia’s Best Wildlife

Punk Turtles in the Mary River

Australia boasts a freshwater turtle that not only sports a punk-styled green-algae hairstyle, cat-fish-like protrusions under its chin and an exceptionally long tail, but also breathes through its genitals.

This incredible creature is dubbed the Mary River turtle, and its name is a clue: It can only be found in the vast spread of the Mary River system in southern Queensland. And unfortunately, due to its popularity as a pet in the 1960s and 1970s and habitat deprivation, it is now facing extinction.

Spotting the Mary River turtle is a bit of a challenge, not only due to its severely dwindling numbers, but because of the vastness of the river system, which covers 3,705 square miles and features countless creeks and arms. Plus, these reclusive reptiles can stay underwater for up to three days.

However, the region is accessible to hikers and campers, and those with true patience and luck may spot one of these rare and truly unique turtles.