We’re all familiar with the word ‘selfie’ by now, and what taking a selfie entails. However, mix that popular concept with a super-cute, unpredictable Australian animal and you have yourself an animal selfie (or as we’re coining it, an #animelfie).
Before we get into the best ‘#animelfies’ Australia has to offer, let’s look at the origins of the selfie itself. It’s believed to have originated in our own back yard back in 2003; if you think about it, the slang of the word and its additional ‘ie’ on the end is very Australian.
We’ve shortened fireman into firie, a tinned beer into a tinnie, we’ve even shortened ourselves – Australians – into Aussies. So it seems like the logical conclusion is that Aussies should be great at taking selfies, and even better at taking #animelfies.
We’ve done our research and come up with some of the best locations in Australia to snap the best picture with some of our most iconic wildlife. Whether you fancy a koala cuddle, a kiss from a fish or a close encounter with the internet-famous quokkas, Australia is your one-stop shop.
Check out our list of the top 10 places to take a snap with a cuddly, friendly or slithering animal friend. #animelfie!
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
Gold Coast, QLD
Here you’ll get to hang with some of the coolest kangaroos on the block. You’ll have these ‘roos eating out of the palm of your hand (literally) while striking some of the laziest poses out there.
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary spokeswoman, Sam Mistal, says “Trying to take kangaroo selfies can be an ordeal.. but the kangaroos are very friendly and approachable.”
“The funniest ones are when the kangaroos are showing human-like emotions such as sticking their tongues out.”
– Sam Mistal, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
Make your way through the large walk-through paddock and mingle with these Aussie icons. Currumbin’s ‘roos can often be found lounging on the grass with a human bowing to their every demand, kissing a new girlfriend or pulling a face for the camera.
Sunshine Coast, QLD
Kangaroos are the largest marsupial living on earth today, so of course, this Australian animal is one of the main attractions at the Sunshine Coast’s Australia Zoo. Despite the zoo being filled with rare and exotic animals from around the world, these Aussie natives take out first place in the selfie ranking.
“We have a fair few people who often come into the Zoo and take a variety of animal selfies with a wide range of animals – most popular are our kangaroos!”
– Australia Zoo Spokesperson
You can get up close to the zoo’s Red Kangaroos and Grey Kangaroos in their open range enclosure, giving visitors great selfie opportunities. They love posing for photos in exchange for a handful of food (they’re very smart) and will often pull a few cheeky faces just for the camera.
Port Douglas, QLD
This award-winning wildlife park is home to some of the friendliest kangaroos in town. Home to the largest range of kangaroos and wallabies in Queensland, you will get to mingle with some statuesque Eastern Grey Kangaroos as well as the petite Parma Wallabies. The park lets you get up close to these boxing bad boys and hand feed them with some kangaroo food from reception.
“They say the way to a man’s heart is through his belly, the way to our kangaroo’s hearts is to have a little brown paper bag in your hand; they know what we put in those brown paper bags”
– Narelle Spencer, Wildlife Habitat
Wildlife Habitat spokeswoman Narelle Spencer believes the secret to finding the best selfie buddy is to find an animal who is relaxed in its environment. If you remain calm and quiet the animal will feel relaxed and at ease, letting you close enough to snap a good selfie; “Fast movements and loud voices will scare the animal away,” she says.
These internet sensations are on the list for a reason, their playful nature and natural love for the camera make them the perfect selfie subjects. The Quokka is Rottnest Island’s favourite marsupial and in the afternoon are out in full swing.
Quokka selfies have been flooding the internet for a while now, but it’s not too late to get in on the action – these animals are more than happy to oblige.
You can take a free guided tour around the natural habitats of these cute creatures and if you’re lucky, get up close enough to snap a cute picture of the two of you. Quokka selfies have been flooding the internet for a while now, but it’s not too late to get in on the action – these animals are more than happy to oblige.
Featherdale Wildlife Park
Here you will find the adorable, fluffy and friendly Koala, Archer. Featherdale’s Archer was voted THE cutest Australian animal last year and we couldn’t agree more! That is one face that screams selfie! Archer loves saying g’day to visitors and posing for a snap as much as he loves his daily feeding of eucalyptus leaves (and he really loves his eucalyptus leaves).
Archer loves saying g’day to visitors and posing for a snap as much as he loves his daily feeding of eucalyptus leaves (and he really loves his eucalyptus leaves).
Koalas are one of the most snapped Aussie animals so it is no surprise they are aware of the camera and know how to pull a few cute faces. If you’re in Australia, a selfie with a koala is a must!
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Despite the name, the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is one of the best emu selfie destinations in Australia. You can get up close to these giant Australian birds at the open plan sanctuary and snap a selfie or two with them. Their hilarious expressions make for the perfect selfie and their friendly nature allow you to get up close and frame the photo. Emus are the second-largest living bird by height and cousins to the ostrich and if you’re not visiting Lone Pine Sanctuary for the koalas, then come for the emus.
Their hilarious expressions make for the perfect selfie and their friendly nature allow you to get up close and frame the photo. Emus are the second-largest living bird by height and cousins to the ostrich and if you’re not visiting Lone Pine Sanctuary for the koalas, then come for the emus.
Emus are the second-largest living bird by height and cousins to the ostrich and if you’re not visiting Lone Pine Sanctuary for the koalas, then come for the emus.
They have a face that is begging you to photograph them and their surprised expressions give them an exciting appearance during their photo shoot.
The sanctuary holds presentations and talks at various times throughout the day and gives visitors the chance to walk on the wild side with their range of wildlife encounters.
Manly SEA LIFE
Jump into the deep end at Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary’s Shark Harbour and snap a selfie with one of the ocean’s most dangerous predators. Displaying a 4 million litre Oceanarium filled with stingrays, turtles and sharks. The aquarium has two resident Grey Nurse Sharks named Murdoch and Freckles who despite their scary physical demeanours are quite friendly and curious.
Murdoch and Freckles are joined by Pallas, Huey, and Striker who swim around owning the tank with their overpowering size. These sharks are known as the Labradors of the sea and aren’t considered dangerous to humans.
Sharks are a popular choice as they have such lovely toothy smiles.
– Shannon Baldwin, Manly SEA LIFE
You won’t have to ask these sharks to smile, Murdoch and Freckles love showing off their sharp teeth for the camera. Different species of sharks can have up to 3000 teeth spread over 5 rows and back up teeth growing in case one is lost – so yeah, they know how to smile.
For those brave enough to face the tank, Shark Dive Xtreme will take you face to face with these huge sharks for the best photo opportunity available your guide will kindly snap a lovely photo of you and your new underwater friend. If you’d prefer to stay dry and behind the strong, thick glass, you can join in one of the free daily tours highlighting fun facts about the animals.
Out of the 1500 animals that call Perth Zoo home, the matriarch of the Zoo’s Asian Elephant her, Tricia, is considered the selfie queen.Though she might not know it, Tricia’s behind is the focus of many selfies taken at the zoo. Every day she will make her way around the Zoo posing for photos left, right and centre as people try to capture her at her best angle.
“Whilst you can’t touch her, this is your one opportunity to take a selfie with one of the biggest land animals in the world.”
– Kieran Parkes, Perth Zoo
You don’t need Tricia to smile in your selfie for it to be a hit, just getting this close to this iconic animal is more than enough to wow your audiences.
Tricia and her Asian Elephant friends are most comfortable in forests and rainforests but are stellar subjects behind the lens – the sheer size of them is awe-inspiring.
Birdworld is just that, a world filled with birds! Nestled in the lush rainforest of Kuranda, a visit to Birdworld will get you up close to some of their rare and exotic birds and snap a few prize selfies with your new feathered friends.
The park features a range of bird species including the endangered cassowary, that you can hand-feed and hold.Birdworld’s Wildlife Manager, Peita Harrison has seen it all and knows what it takes to make a bird become the perfect selfie companion.
“People coming into the aviary are usually carrying many different things during their travel that can be very exciting to a bird that just wants to play. This means that items such as cameras, hats, bags and buttons can draw the attention of our birds that are curious to see what it’s all about.”
“As they are inquisitive in their nature, our parrots love to interact with the many people that visit Birdworld on a daily basis.”
– Peita Harrison, Birdworld Kuranda
Housing Australia’s largest collection of free flying birds, these residents love a good photo opportunity. Showcasing their fun and cheeky sides the birds love perching themselves on shoulders, heads, bags and hands all while enjoying a good bit of feed.
The secret to making friends with these creatures is food! “There are bags of feed available for purchase at the front desk to give you an even greater opportunity to interact with some of the more timid species of birds too,” says Peita.
Green Island, QLD
The Great Barrier Reef is THE destination for all things underwater, so there’s no surprise when we tell you the best place to snap a selfie with some tropical fish is on the reef, more specifically Green Island’s Seawalker.
Here you will put on your underwater helmet and make your way all the way down to the seabed (while keeping your head dry). Here your guide will help you walk along the sand amongst some of the most colourful, friendly fish the Great Barrier Reef has to offer.
Gavin the parrot fish is no stranger to the camera and is always up for a snap, but no pouting, it’s smiles all round for this selfie king.
Sea walkers favourite parrot fish, Gavin, loves the camera! He’s constantly photo bombing new friends and showing off his beautiful grin. A photo with Gavin is one to strive for, his beautiful colours and friendly nature making him a great underwater selfie buddy.
Gavin the parrot fish is no stranger to the camera and is always up for a snap, but no pouting, it’s smiles all round for this selfie king. While walking around the seabed, you can also bump into some curious sea turtles swimming between the wide range of tropical fish.
In addition, if you’re looking for all the top things to see and do around Australia including activities, attractions and more, be sure to check out our main region section to browse and book online!