Wildlife on the Coral Coast

Western Australia’s Coral Coast is a nature lover’s delight, with dazzling wildflowers, unique wildlife and reef systems teeming with marine life. This is the State’s premier location for wildflower viewing and is home to thousands of unique flowering species. The region’s marine environments are equally as diverse and offer the experience of a lifetime - swimming with the world’s largest fish, the whale shark.

Visit the region’s National Parks and marine parks, or follow a wildflower trail and marvel at the beauty and diversity of wildlife and wildflowers on Western Australia’s Coral Coast.  

Australian native animals of the Coral Coast

The unique habitats of Western Australia's Coral Coast support a diverse array of native animals. Wildlife encounters can be enjoyed throughout the region, particularly at dawn and dusk, as many species are nocturnal.

Black footed rock wallaby

Formerly widespread throughout the State, this rare wallaby is now only found in a few isolated localities with populations of less than 100 animals per site. They can be found year round sheltering within the gorge walls at Yardie Creek Gorge in the Cape Range National Park near Exmouth.


Western Australia's Coral Coast is home to two varieties of these iconic Australian animals - the western grey kangaroo and the red kangaroo. The grey kangaroos like to graze in grassy patches of bushland and forest habitats and can be found in areas such as Cervantes. The red kangaroo prefers the arid climate of Shark Bay.

Thorny devils

This Australian reptile has an interesting appearance. Covered in thorns and growing up to 20 centimetres in length, they may look quite dangerous but they are in fact harmless. They feed mainly on ants and can be found in desert habitats including Shark Bay, Carnarvon and Exmouth. The thorny devil’s biggest threat is the car, so keep a look out when driving in the region.


The bilby (a member of the bandicoot family) is an endangered species. In Shark Bay, on Western Australia’s Coral Coast, bilbies are bred in captivity and released into Francois Peron National Park (an area free of all threats) as part of the local ‘Project Eden’ conservation initiative. To find out more about the conservation of the bilby visit the Shark Bay World Heritage website.

The National Parks of Western Australia’s Coral Coast offer many great opportunities to encounter native animals in their natural habitat.

Birds of the Coral Coast

The Coral Coast of Western Australia provides some of the State’s best bird watching opportunities. Home to more than 240 varieties, its populations represent over 35% of Australia’s bird species. Emus can be spotted in the bush, by the roadside and even roaming freely on the streets of some Coral Coast towns. The cheeky laugh of the kookaburra can also be heard in treed areas throughout the region.

You might even be lucky enough to see a wedge-tailed eagle, Australia's largest living bird of prey, soaring in the open skies. But it’s the large breeding colonies of seabirds that congregate along the coast and islands that draw many bird watching enthusiasts to the region - more than 90 species of seabird have been identified on the Abrolhos Islands of Western Australia Coral Coast alone.

Marine life of Western Australia’s Coral Coast

With over 1100 kilometres of coast encompassed along Australia's Coral Coast, there are plenty of opportunities to discover underwater wonders of coral gardens, ancient life forms and lots of fish species.

Ningaloo Reef coral gardens and other reef systems

The Ningaloo Marine Park on Western Australia’s Coral Coast protects Australia's largest and most accessible fringing reef system and a huge variety of marine life. The shallow lagoons and deeper offshore waters create a diverse array of habitats for a multitude of colourful corals and more than 500 species of fish.

The region’s significant reef systems also include the largest marine embayment in Australia, Shark Bay Marine Park, the coral communities of the Abrolhos Islands and the Jurien Bay Marine Park located in the southern corner of Western Australia’s Coral Coast. All are populated with a unique mix of temperate and tropical marine life.

Extraordinary marine life encounters:
See tours and activities to find out more about marine life encounters, attractions and tours on Western Australia’s Coral Coast.

Also in this section