the eye of a green tree frog

Nocturnal Australian Animals that Live in Cities

Australia is known for its diverse and unique wildlife. From kangaroos to koalas, many fascinating animals call Australia home. But did you know that many nocturnal animals live in the cities and suburbs? These animals have adapted to life in urban environments and can be seen or heard in parks, gardens, and even backyards! Let’s take a closer look at some Australian animals that live in cities and suburbs and creep out at night while we are sleeping.

Flying foxes

Australian Grey-headed Flying Fox in flight
Australian Grey-headed Flying Fox in flight

Australia is home to several species of native flying-foxes, also known as fruit bats, which have adapted to urban environments. These creatures are important pollinators and seed dispersers, making them vital to the ecosystem. They can be seen in cities and suburbs, roosting in trees during the day and flying out at night to feed on nectar and fruit. Flying-foxes are social animals and often roost in large groups, known as colonies. Unfortunately, their habit of roosting in urban areas has led to conflicts with some people due to their noise and the mess they create with their droppings. However, watching them fly through the city sky at night can be quite mesmerising.


Australian Bandicoot

Bandicoots are small, rabbit-sized marsupials that are native to Australia. They have adapted to life in suburban areas and can be seen in parks, gardens, and even backyards. Bandicoots have a distinctive appearance, with long snouts, pointy ears, and short brown/grey fur. They are omnivorous, meaning they eat both plants and animals, and have a diet that consists of insects, spiders, worms, roots, and fruits. These creatures are nocturnal, meaning they are most active at night and sleep during the day in burrows they dig themselves. Unfortunately, bandicoots are threatened, and their populations have declined due to habitat loss and urbanisation. Therefore, it’s important to be mindful of their presence in suburban areas and protect them from harm.


Common brushtail possum in australia.
Brushtail possum

Possums are another animal that has adapted to life in urban environments. These small, furry creatures are often seen climbing trees and scurrying along power lines. They are nocturnal, meaning they are most active at night and can be heard rustling in the trees or across rooftops. There are many different species of possum in Australia, but the most common in cities and suburbs are the brushtail possum and the ringtail possum. Possums have a diet that consists of leaves, herbs, flowers, fruit, and insects.


Asian house gecko on a black background.
House gecko

Geckos are small lizards that are often found in urban environments, particularly in warm, humid areas. They are known for their distinctive appearance, with large eyes and suction pads on their feet that allow them to climb walls and ceilings with ease. Geckos are nocturnal and feed on insects, making them valuable to the ecosystem and helpful in keeping insects under control. The gecko that is commonly found in Australia is the Asian House Gecko.


green tree frog hanging off a branch
Green Tree Frog

Often heard calling at night but rarely seen, many native frog species live in Australian suburbs. Some of the frogs most likely to be seen (or heard) in backyard gardens include the common eastern froglet, striped marsh frog, and the eastern dwarf tree frog. Frogs are typically found in wetlands and marshes, although they can adjust to living in garden ponds or wastewater ponds located in industrial areas. Having frogs in your garden or home can be beneficial since they consume insects such as houseflies, maggots, mosquitoes, cockroaches, and spiders.

Australia is home to many fascinating animals that have adapted to life in urban environments. Many creatures can be seen in parks, gardens, and even backyards. By learning more about these animals, we can develop a greater appreciation for the natural world around us and work to protect and preserve it for future generations

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Ngaire has lived in Australia her whole life, raising her three kids in Brisbane. She has qualifications in journalism, PR and early childhood teaching and spends what spare time she has advocating for Australian wildlife.

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