If you’re planning to take a Murray River cruise, you’re probably wondering what sort of native animals you might see along the way. Australia has many iconic species of wildlife, and some can be found in and around the Murray River.
In fact, being such an enormous river, there are actually parts of it that are home to several endangered species. Tourists and locals alike absolutely love checking out the flora and fauna of the Murray River. This is probably because it’s such a diverse landscape with so much to see.
Here’s a brief guide of some of the cuddly (and not so cuddly) creatures you might catch a glimpse of during a Murray River cruise.
For the bird watchers
The Murray River is home to over 350 species of birds. Being a wetland habitat, you’ll spot plenty of unique birds along the river. But since the river snakes its way through forest areas, there’s plenty more to see than just water-loving birds.
Some highlights include the Australian White Ibis and Straw Necked Ibis, who frequent the marshes around the river’s floodplains. You’ll also see Kingfisher birds hunting all along the river.
Soaring overhead, you may catch a glimpse of the Wedge-Tailed Eagle, or maybe something a little more unique. The endangered Black Eared Miner Bird is known to inhabit parts of the Murray River too.
So, if you’re a keen bird watcher, you’ll have your work cut out for you as you keep an eye out for the vast species of birds along the Murray.
Water animals of the Murray River
Firstly, lets talk about the fish. You might not always see them, but they’ll no doubt be swimming around you for most of your trip. The most popular fish in the Murray is the Golden Perch, however more well-known is the Murray Cod. It’s Australia’s largest freshwater fish, and is certainly an impressive specimen. There are several other freshwater fish in the region, such as smelts, cod, carp, herring, catfish, rainbowfish and eels.
As far as other water-dwellers go, the most popular is definitely the platypus. Unfortunately, the platypus has become endangered due to its dwindling population. But you still might be lucky enough to spot one on a Murray River cruise. While they aren’t in abundance, you may also see some turtles, with a few species calling the Murray their home.
You won’t need to worry either, because despite extremely isolated sightings, crocodiles aren’t native to the Murray River.
Critters along the banks
Along the banks of the Murray you’ll possibly see a range of different mammals and reptiles. The area is home to many deadly snakes, so if venturing off the boat you’ll need to watch out for pythons, copperheads and red-bellied black snakes. A little more friendly though, are the many species of lizard inhabiting the area. Native Dragons, geckos, the Shingleback Lizard and the popular Blue-Tongued Lizard can all be found around the Murray.
While difficult to spot as they mostly venture out at night, the squirrel glider lives around the Murray, gliding from tree to tree overnight. You also may be lucky enough to spot a wombat, who once had a thriving population but is gradually decreasing in numbers.
So, for the animal lovers out there, keep your eyes peeled, because you never know what you’ll find on a Murray River cruise!