Imagine taking some time out… Yes, some real time to get away from the hustle and bustle, away from the daily grind and be fortunate enough to find yourself somewhere beautiful. A bush reserve perhaps, or maybe near the ocean, somewhere still and quiet where you can have the opportunity to find yourself connected with nature. Now it’s about to get better, you see a shadow soaring across the ground, you look up and there is the most magnificent bird with its wings just gliding through the air, at first you are left stuck in awe, then quickly realise now is a great opportunity to pull out your camera and capture that moment so you can keep this precious memory forever!
If the above sounds like something you may enjoy, then please continue reading as I am about to tell you about some of the best spots in Western Australia to photograph wildlife.
The infamous Quokka selfie; a selfie that so many have tried to get but the outcome is rarely what we hope for. For those of you who don’t know what a Quokka is, it is a small wallaby specie and is the only mammal that is native to Rottnest Island. There are approximately 10,000 – 12,000 Quokkas currently residing on Rottnest Island. These guys are nocturnal so mainly like to sleep through the day. However, if you are lucky enough you will come across your opportunity to get that Instagram worthy selfie!
You can get to Rottnest Island via plane, helicopter or ferry ride and regardless of your transport option, it doesn’t take to long to get there from Perth. Whilst there, be sure to enjoy that “island life” and check out all the beautiful swimming bays, the lighthouse and the cool boutique shops!
Western Australia is incredibly lucky with the fact that we have the world’s largest Humpback migration happening across our coast lines EVERY YEAR! Many people dream of getting that image of a breaching Humpback and with the migration passing through multiple destinations throughout the year, your chances are good of getting it done. The best way to get out and see the whales is via a Western Australia whale watching tour operator – they have the relevant permits to operate near the whales, they will know all the tips and tricks of getting that “dream shot” but most importantly if they are a good operator, they will show good respect when navigating their vessels when near the whales.
Another “dream whale shot” is getting an image of a whale (it could be as simple as just the tail) in front of the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse in Augusta. There are tour operators that depart from Augusta from May – August each year. Augusta is approx. a 4 hour drive from Perth so if you have made a special trip down from the big city you maybe wondering what other activities are available in the region, a few suggestions below:
- Augusta Whale Watching tour with Naturaliste Charters
- Climb the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse
- Explore a cave
- Try abalone at the Colourpatch cafe
The Blue Wren, a stunning deep blue bird, small, dainty and incredibly cute! These beauties are best viewed at the Berry Farm which is found in Rosa Glen in the Margaret River region. A scone, a cup of tea and plenty of blue wrens bouncing around the gardens is sure to bring joy to whomever visits here. Will you be able to get that postcard worthy Blue Wren image?
Jurien Bay a small coastal town a few hours drive north of Perth. An excellent place to visit if you enjoy fishing, beach life and small-town vibes. Another reason to visit would be to join a snorkelling tour and go and check out the local Sea Lions! Sea lions are inquisitive, unique, playful and once again just a joy to be around. If you have an underwater photography interest, then dust off your GoPro and get prepared for this incredible experience! Tours run all year round, however as dealing with the ocean, tours are weather permitting.
Just a side tip, if you are a fan of lobster be sure to stop at the Lobster Shack in Cervantes on your travels – here you will find Lobster heaven! Swimming with sea lions, small town vibes and a good feed of lobster, can’t get much better!
There’s a good chance you have come across a Kangaroos before, whether it be in a paddock, staring you down on the side of the road or maybe even in the bush but have you ever seen a Kangaroo on a pristine white sand beach? I know it’s hard to believe but trust me when I say your chances of experiencing this are exceptionally good! All you need to do is head to Lucky Bay, Esperance. Lucky Bay is approximately a 50km drive from Esperance and is relatively easy to get to, no 4WD needed! It’s important to remember that Kangaroos are nocturnal animals so the best time to see them is dusk and dawn. Make a day out of it, bring your best beach gear and be ready to enjoy a stunner of a day on the whitest sand in the country (don’t forget that camera)!
I hope I have provided you with some inspiration on places worth visiting to photograph wildlife. It is important to know that many people photograph wildlife for different reasons; it could be their profession, it could be a hobby or it could just happen in the spirit of the moment but anyone with some form of camera can do this! Don’t be fooled into thinking you need to be an expert!
Wherever you go and whatever you see, be sure to respect the environment and the wildlife that inhabits it. It’s never cool to purposely disturb wildlife to try and get that “shot”, have patience, it will happen. Happy photographing all!