Top 10 Safari Vacations in Australia and the South Pacific
This part of the globe boasts some of the most remote areas, deserts and bizarre collections of fauna in the world. Travel here can also be pretty dangerous and rough so bring your wits and fortitude for journeys of a lifetime. A safari across Australia gets you up close with crocs and dingoes, dives you amongst the marine animals of Fiji and introduces you to New Zealand’s amazing birds and whales.
- Kakadu National Park
Don’t take any inspiration from Steve Irwin; never smile at a crocodile, particularly these saltwater menaces in the superb wilderness of Kakadu. Take a boat safari and marvel at the bird life and wetlands from the safety outside the water.
- Fraser Island, Queensland
Grab a 4wd and safari over to this amazing sand island taking in wildlife such as dingo, wild brumbies (horses), the odd snake, echidnas and abundant bird life. Cute and cuddly these animals might look but dingoes and brumbies are actually wild and best not approached. Between August and September some 1500 whales pass through the safe waters protected by Fraser Island.
- Camel safari, Outback Australia
Known as the ships of the desert, these gnarled creatures have found a real home in the Australian bush and provide the perfect means for appreciating the harshness and raw beauty of this land. Safaris start out from almost everywhere. Look at options from Broome in Western Australia, Quorne in South Australia or Noosa in Queensland.
- Whale safari, Kaikoura
Take an eco-marine safari from Kaikoura to see giant sperm whales in their natural habitat with the beautiful backdrop of snow capped mountains behind you. In addition to the whales you can also encounter friendly New Zealand fur seals or dolphins that will come to check out your boat; plus albatross, penguins and other off-shore sea birds.
This is the ultimate in cruise wildlife safaris. Rug up and take to the polar seas to see populations of whales and penguins, albatross, seals and sea lions.
- Bird safari, New Zealand
Few would know but the islands south of New Zealand are somewhat of a forgotten Galapagos. Revel in the unspoiled environment of Snare, Auckland, Macquaire, Campbell, Antipodes or the Bounty Islands and their seabirds and marine animals. There are albatross, penguins and sea lions. Some are rare or endemic only to this region.
- Surfing and diving safari, Fiji
The southern coast of Viti Levu is considered one of the best left breaks in the South Pacific. You can even dive below the break and watch sharks watching the surfers. The coast is also home to the enormous Beqa Lagoon, a fabulous location for muck diving. Dig around the bottom of the soft-coral reef and search for the harlequin ghost pipefish and juvenile sea horses that feed here.
- Baiyer River sanctuary, Papua New Guinea
If the intoxicating mix of stone age, natural and human history won’t entice you to PNG perhaps the biodiversity will. This wildlife sanctuary in the western highlands, is home to the largest population of birds of paradise in the world. The rich rainforest boats other wildlife and a number of maintained trails, making it a perfect way to explore the highlands and nature together.
- Canoeing and diving safari, Kosrae, Micronesia
Take an outrigger canoe or kayak to explore the canals of the Utwa Walung marine park to see the monitor lizards, crabs, fish and birds who call these mangroves home. Then dive the fabulous reef gardens where shark, tuna, barracuda and eagle rays roam.
- Scuba safari, Ningaloo reef, Western Australia
Dive with the world’s largest fish along the unique coral reefs of Western Australia. The size of these sharks is enough to get your heart pumping but they are actually completely harmless, with more interest in feeding on the rich plankton than curious, goggled humans.