Australian Emblems

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The Australian floral emblem is the golden wattle (Acacia pycnantha), but we don’t have any national animal emblems. It’s generally accepted that they are the kangaroo and emu, although they’ve never been officially proclaimed as such. What many people don’t realise though, is that each state of Australia has its own floral and faunal emblems.

Western Australia

Flower: Red and Green Kangaroo Paw (Anigozanthos manglesii)
Anigozanthos manglesii grows to 1 metre (3′) tall, and has deep green flowers with contrasting red base and stem. It prefers well-drained sandy soil in a full sun position, and is a common sight in bushland around Perth in the spring.
Animal: Numbat (Myrmecobius fasciatus)
Numbats eat termites, and unlike other marsupials, they are active only by day. Once common across a wide band of semi-arid country, they’re now restricted to small areas of Western Australia.
Bird: Black Swan (Cygnus atratus)
Large black swan with white wingtips, often seen in big flocks.

South Australia

Flower: Sturt’s Desert Pea (Swainsona formosa)
Proclaimed as the SA floral emblem in 1961, Sturt’s desert pea is a trailing plant with grey leaves and brilliant black and red pea flowers. It grows to about 15cm (6″) high with a spread of 1 metre (3′).
Animal: Hairy Nosed Wombat (Lasiorhinus latifrons)
The southern hairy nosed wombat lives in extensive burrow systems in the semi-arid desert of South Australia. To conserve energy, they spend most of their time asleep.
Bird: No bird emblem, suggestions include the crow and the magpie.


Flower: Cooktown Orchid (Dendrobium bigibbum)
Dendrobium bigibbum is an epiphytic orchid which has mauve, purple or white flowers up to 5cm (2″) across in autumn and winter.
Animal: Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus)
The koala spends almost all its life in the tops of eucalypt trees, dozing during the day and foraging for leaves at night.
Bird: Brolga (Grus rubicundus)
Standing more than a metre tall on long, slender legs, brolgas are famous for their intricate dancing displays at mating time.

Australian Capital Territory

Flower: Royal Bluebell (Wahlenbergia gloriosa)
A perennial herb with large dark blue bell-shaped flowers 3cm (1.5″) in diameter
Animal: No proclaimed animal emblem.
Bird: Gang-gang Cockatoo (Callocephalon fimbriatum)
Beautiful small grey cockatoo with wispy crests. Adult males have a red crest and head.

Northern Territory

Flower: Sturt’s Desert Rose (Gossypium sturtianum)
Shrub to about 2 metres (6′) high which has hibiscus-like bluish-purple flowers with red centres.
Animal: Red Kangaroo (Macropus rufus)
The red kangaroo is the largest living marsupial, with adult males standing more than two metres tall.
Bird: Wedge-tailed Eagle (Aquila audax)
Large brown or black eagle with a long wedge-shaped tail. They build enormous stick nests in large trees.


Flower: Tasmanian Blue Gum (Eucalyptus globulus)
Fast growing, large tree to 60 metres (196′) tall. The bark comes away in long shreds, revealing new, smooth, creamy white bark. The cream flowers appear in late winter and spring.
Animal: No animal emblem, but the obvious suggestion is the Tasmanian Devil
Bird: No bird emblem, but the Orange-bellied Parrot would have to be high on the list of contenders.


Flower: Victorian Heath (Epacris impressa)
Shrub to 1 metre (3′) tall. The tubular flowers are white, through light pink to red.
Animal: Leadbeater’s Possum (Gymnobelideus leadbeateri)
Rare possum living in the mountain ash forests of Victoria’s central highlands.
Bird: Helmeted Honeyeater (Lichenostomus melanops cassidix)
Masked honeyeater with conspicuous golden crest, and the subject of ongoing conservation efforts.

New South Wales

Flower: Waratah (Telopea speciosissima)
Shrub to 3 metres (10′) tall. Beautiful crimson to scarlet flowerheads in spring.
Animal: Platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus)
Like the echidna, the platypus is a monotreme, which lays eggs and suckles its young.
Bird: Kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae)
Large kingfisher with dark patch behind the eye, and silvery blue on the shoulder. Call is a loud chuckling laugh.