This area is home to unique animals and birds that are found nowhere else on earth such as the duck billed platypus, which for many years defied scientific description, kangaroos,wallabies and birds like the cassowary, kiwi and emu.
Australia also hosts some of the most venomous snakes, spiders, box jellyfish and stonefish in the world, but these animals are rare so the chances of coming across them in the wild are limited.
Kakadu National Park
Australian world heritage site with fantastic fauna and flora
There are 681 natural areas that are designated as National Parks in Australia alone, but the situation is confusing because some of them should actually be called state parks. Fiji - 6, Guam - 1, New Zealand - 13, Papua New Guinea - 15, Samoa - 1, Solomon Islands - 1, Tonga - 4.
This area has some of the most unique mammals in the world including marsupials like kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, bandicoot, pademelons, tasmanian devils, quokkas and wombats. And then there is the amazing duck billed platypus and four species of echidnas, that are sometimes called the 'missing link' between mammals and reptiles.
There are some species that aren't indigenous to Australia such as the dingo, cane toad, rabbit and dromedary. Fiji is home to eight species of bat including the Fijian monkey-faced bat and the Matschies tree-kangaroo is endemic to Papua New Guinea.
There are several bird species that you will only find here such as the emu (second largest bird in the world), the cassowary, the kiwi and the kākāpō.
You can also find several species of parrot such as the sulphur-crested cockatoo and the rainbow lorikeet. The worlds smallest penguin, the little or fairy penguin also occurs here. The golden dove, bar-winged rail, Fiji petre, Fiji goshawk and the chattering giant-honeyeater are some birds endemic to Fiji.
Birds only found on Tonga are the Niuafoou scrubfowl and the Tongan megapode and whistler.
There are significant populations of whale and dolphin in the oceans of Australasia and also sharks including the Great White. The Australian sea lion, the New Zealand fur seal and the leafy sea dragon (a sea horse) are also found here. Fiji is home to five species of sea turtles namely the leatherback, Pacific ridley, green, hawksbill and loggerhead.
Papua New Guinea is considered by many to be richest area of marine biodiversity in the world, with more than 600 species of coral and 3000 species of reef fish. Some examples of marine wildlife found only here are the leopard epaulette shark, the vanderloos angelfish and the cat-eyed cardinalfish.
Oldest National Park
The Royal National Park in Australia, located just south of Sydney is the oldest in Australasia, established in April 1879 and was the actually the first in the world to make use of the national park designation.
The Kakadu National Park, which is located in Northern Australia covers 19,816 ㎢ (7615 ㎡), so wins the title as the biggest of them all in this area. In addition to breathtaking landscapes, there are over 280 species of birds and countless crocodiles in this wilderness.
The Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park qualifies as the most popular getting over 250 000 visitors every year. Formerly known as Ayers Rock this formation rises 348 metres from the surrounding plain and plays host to 21 mammal, 178 bird, 73 reptiles and 4 frog species.
Best Wildlife Experiences
If you are looking for unique wildlife and bird sightings that you won't find anywhere else in the world, Australasia definitely fits the bill.
Kaduku and Kangaroo Island National Parks are two of the best places in Australia to experience the wildlife. And in New Zealand Fiordland National Park is the place to go for animal and bird sightings. For some magnificent sea life sightings, including sharks, visit Shark Reef Marine Reserve in Fiji and in Papua New Guinea the Varirata National Park is well worth a visit to experience native fauna and flora.
Measured at 456-hectare (1,130-acre), the Kamay Botany Bay National Park located in the New South Wales district of eastern Australia, can be considered to be one of the smallest in Australasia. Fauna includes over 70 bird species, bats, snakes, possums, frogs and tortoise.
Best Time To Visit
Australasia is a very diverse area when it comes to climate so there are some variations in the best times to travel there weather wise. Here are the best times to visit by country - Australia: April to October, Fiji: May to October , New Zealand: September to May , Gaum: December to April , Papua New Guinea: April to October , Samoa: May to October , Tonga: May to November.