Six Emus Eating,
Five Great White Sharks,
Four Koalas Cuddling,
Three Snapping Crocs,
Two Red Kangaroos,
And a Kookaburra in a Gum Tree
Did you know that the Emu is the largest bird in Australia? Only second in the world behind the Ostrich.
They are of great importance to the indigenous culture with several of their dreaming stories revolving around the Emu. They are the inspiration behind many dances and the subject of astrological mythology.
During mating season they adventure out in pairs and stick together for around 5 months pottering around the Ozzie outback. When it comes time to lay the eggs, the females will leave and the Males will stay to incubate the eggs and raise the chicks with no mum in sight! The chicks are so cute too.
A very different looking bird, we normally assume birds have small bodies, big wings and tiny legs but the Emus couldn’t be more different. They are flightless and made for living on land which calls for a completely different composition. They have large bodies and teeny tiny wings. Their wings are used for an entirely different purpose. When they lift up these tiny feathers it can help steer themselves while they run and also aid in cooling down and regulating their body temperature.
Super fast when they want to be they can get to speeds of up to 50km/h, so they definitely need a little bit of help with steering.
One of the worst things that can happen on a windy day at the beach is getting damn sand in your eyes, it hurts doesn’t it! How have the Emus adapted to live in such conditions since their habitat is all red dirt? Just like camels they have two sets of eyelids, one for blinking and the other to block out the dust and dirt.
There have been times I have seen an Emu and thought they were a little bit crazy, eating random rocks and pebbles, SURELY that can’t be their dinner… I did a bit of digging and it turns out they eat them on purpose to help break down and digest the food they eat. This technique was actually also used by the dinosaurs too! Not so crazy after all.
They absolutely love to roam in open plains and you already know that Australia has PLENTY of wide open spaces, making Outback and regional areas the best place to find Emus! Now I get that is pretty widespread with the entirety of Europe being able to fit inside Oz, so I will share with you some places where we were lucky enough to see them.
Where can you spot a local Emu?
Tower Hill Reserve, Victoria – On our Great Ocean Road Trip, we stopped by the Tower Hill Reserve which has plenty of walking trails to get lost on. Along one of the walks we stumbled right in between two wandering emus!
Exmouth, WA – From the moment you arrive in Exmouth there are plenty of emu warning signs located around town. You might even catch a glimpse of one when out shopping in the city centre.
Bungle Bungles, WA – The Bungle Bungles is a very remote location in Northern WA and due to the heavy 4WD tracks a lot less tourists make the trip. Less visitors means more active wildlife! As we jumped on our 4WD tour bus to our first stop of the day we came across a family of 4 Emus roaming around the plains. Can’t get more of an Australian view than that.
The Red Centre, NT – During your time in the Red Centre, just keep a lookout Emus could be anywhere! If you want a guaranteed sighting, stop off at Erdlunda roadhouse on the drive to Uluru. They have an onsite emu enclosure right next to the car park so you can drop by and say hello!
Did you miss out on day 5’s post all about the Great White Sharks?