Fall In Love With Australia’s Happy Selfie-Snapping Animal: The Quokka

By Areeba T

You’ve heard of being killed by kindness. However, you may not know, but death by cuteness is just as real. Like when you look at something so devastatingly endearing, you die a thousand times over on the inside. This emotion is widely associated with the viral kitten, puppy, bird, and sometimes the odd hamster video, especially if tiny human babies are involved too… But did you know you’ve been missing out on an entirely underappreciated source of joy that’s yet to hit the mainstream? There’s more to these animals than just cuteness. We give you, dear readers, the quokka. Quokkas are plant-eating mammals that can be found in Australia. They also are happy to jump into a selfie with guests to the Rottnest Island, as Roger Federer once posted. Here we have it folks, 40+ photos of the tamest wild species out there who just wants to snap a photo with you.

Australia’s Savior

Australia is home to a big assortment of plants, birds, snakes, and iconic creatures such as kangaroos, wallabies, and more. But not all can live up to the crown of the world’s most loving and elated animal, quite like the Rottnest Island’s renowned quokkas.

t.r716 /Instagram

These tiny furry critters are often the size of a teddy bear and are irresistibly cute. They can only be found in Australia, and in recent years they have received worldwide attention for being the happiest animal in the world. 

Please Don’t Touch 

Quokkas are those cute little critters that are the happiest when you abide by their rules. Even though they have learned to live with the human invasion of their habitat and love clicking selfies with them, they still do not like to be touched by them.

babs.jojo /Instagram

So while there is no harm in going over for a cute selfie, it is prohibited to touch them or even try to pet them. As impossible as it sounds, this also means that you are not allowed to hug them, no matter how huggable they seem.

Ray Of Sunshine

If you have ever met a quokka, you would know that they are one of the most curious and playful critters in Australia. They appear to be smiling all the time as if they have no problems in their life at all.

[deleted] /Reddit

How they behave with their own kind, different animal species, and people have led many Australians to anoint them the “cheeriest animals in the world.” This adorable animal even loves to approach its admirers with the biggest toothy smile ever.


Travelers, tourists, famous musicians, artists, actors, you name it…. Almost the entire world has hopped onto the quokka selfie challenge. It’s an official bucket list item now. You’ve got to work for it, though, toil and tumble around till you finally spot the elusive buggers.

littledanadoes /Instagram

Once you do, however, it’s a piece of cake to complete the actual challenge. Quokkas are surprisingly photo-ready; you’ll never catch them at the wrong angle. All you do is set up a photoshoot near them, and they’ll pose right away.  

Oh Yeah, They’re Very Scary 

If an angry dog has ever chased you, you probably have an idea about how scary and nerve-wracking that experience is. However, what you have no clue about is how it feels to be chased by a quokka. Not quite the same experience.

cambojones2020 /Instagram

The feeling is similar to the one you get when you pick up a human baby. Quokkas usually find humans a great source of entertainment for them and generally tend to follow you around if they happen to like you. 

Mind Your Pets

Quokkas used to have the freedom to roam all around the isle, just flowing through the daytime doing what they do best. They had no previous rivals. However, as European emigrants arrived on the Australian land, they traveled along with their pets.

chrishemsworth /Instagram

 Dogs, cats, and foxes that fed on these little creatures. They even brought rabbits and rats with them who competed with the quokkas for local food sources. We can’t blame them if they have gotten a little aggressive ever since. Can we?

Maybe Australia Isn’t So Bad

There is a single spot on our planet where you can find the world’s happiest and sweetest animals: Australia! Despite the spiders, crocodiles, uncomfortably buff kangaroos, buckets of snakes, and every venomous creature known to man, at least Aussies have quokkas.

struhk /Instagram

The quokkas can single-handedly cause any unwitting person who watches a YouTube video of them to leave behind everything to book a flight to the down under to have a chance to track down and meet these fascinating animals. Have you booked your ticket yet?

Handle with care

Though quokkas are generally considered tiny, gentle, and sweet, do not forget that they’re still wild animals. As little as they may seem, they still have sharp claws and teeth and do not hesitate to use them against you if they feel threatened.

ellieewindle /Instagram

Keep a safe distance and remember, don’t try to invade their boundaries! While these little fellas can be extremely adorable and playful, if bothered they also have the capability of throwing a loud tantrum and then launching an aggressive attack on you if you don’t pay heed.

They’re Manipulative AF

You may think that quokkas have become your friend but don’t get too worked up just yet! Quokkas are extremely manipulative critters. Their jolly nature is a mere façade and a clever deception. Over time they have picked up what excites humans and makes them happy.

nelfelife /Instagram

They have even learned a few tricks that are most appreciated by the tourists who come looking for them. At the end of the day, they just put on a good show in order to trick humans into feeding them.

Have Fun, Do Crime

You, too, can be friends with the most adorable little furry partner in crime. No, we are not speaking about puppies and kittens. We mean the extremely cute creatures with small round ears and noses along with photogenic smiles. We mean the quokkas of Rottnest Island. 

baggs22 /Reddit

They tend to be the best partners in crime if you are looking to conduct a scavenger hunt in a market or simply to distract customers for a little fun. They are the cutest little troublemakers that no one suspects.

Easter Chocolate Quokkas 

We all have waited for our Easter bunnies but guess what? Your Easter just got a lot better (no offense to bunnies!) Certain companies have now introduced Chokka the Quokka in the market which is the cutest Easter chocolate you can get your hands on. 


The best part is that the chocolate company is going to be donating a portion of the profits towards the conservation of this endangered animal species on Rottnest Island. So buy a chokka quokka, eat a yummy treat, and save these adorable animals. 

Legendary As A Unicorn

If you have never met a quokka in your life, first of all, what are you doing with your life? Secondly, chances are you are having a hard time believing that they exist and are real. A lot of people simply choose to deny their existence.

Toby Costanzo /Reddit

They look like cute and cuddly creatures in pictures that are too good to be true in the real world. But believe it or not, these smiling little fellas may indeed be one of the last rays of sunshine left on this planet!   

Feeling Down? Forget About It

You know that giddy feeling you get in your stomach when someone is super excited and happy to see you? Yeah, that’s what you feel when a quokka approaches you. It feels as though all your stress has magically disappeared.

daxon /Instagram

You are the most relaxed person on earth. However, don’t get too worked up. These guys are clever! They’ve worked out how much people love them, so they act all cute to win over humans’ food. Never feed animals in the wild!

Cat-Sized Hamster

Even though quokkas are perceived to be these cute tiny four-legged critters covered in brown fur, they are actually about the size of domesticated cats. They measure to be between 15 to 22 inches in length. Just their tails are often 8 to 12 inches long. 

paul_gitts /Instagram

Their ears are round, and their noses are big. They do have very narrow faces and tiny paws. But don’t be deceived! If threatened, these cute little critters can use the same tiny paws with their sharp claws to launch an attack at you.

Tough Love

Quite shockingly, momma quokkas are a fan of tough love. Most animals will fight and perhaps even die for their children, not the quokka mothers. When threatened, quokka mothers relax their muscles to eject their babies out of their pouches.

shockzedd /Reddit

The joeys aka baby quokkas squeal in shock and that attracts the predators towards them,giving the mothers time to get away. Perhaps quokka mothers tend to believe that this is the best way to teach survival skills to their joeys. 

Bust Out Your Bikes

Cycling has never been more rewarding around Rottnest Island! You take out your bicycle for a spin early in the morning with half eyes open while contemplating whether it’s worth it or if you should just go back to sleep for another half hour.

rricechips /Reddit

This Sophie’s Choice will not seem that hard after all when you envision the happy little quokkas smiling at you from afar. In that instant, it’s all going to feel worth it and you definitely won’t mind losing a few minutes of sleep to see them again 

Life Of The Party

Since quokkas are incredibly cute, it is naturally assumed that they are welcomed everywhere by everyone. Quite shockingly, this is not the case with the local residents of Rottnest Island, where these cute little animals are inhabited. Apparently, these quokkas often annoy residents. 

BillyBumBrain /Reddit

Since quokkas have evolved not to be afraid of humans and confrontations, they boldly walk into cafes, restaurants, homes, and even private gardens, thereby infuriating the owners and residents. Moral from the story: Never judge a novel by its cover!

Coffee And Quokkas

You ask us what happiness is? We tell you it is a good walk in nature around Rottnest Island in hopes of being approached by a quokka slowly sipping our mocha sip by sip. We act like we don’t care about the quokkas, so they show up.

talia.maxwell9 /Instagram

And just when you lose hope and think of returning home, it starts to drizzle. You run to take shelter under a tree, and guess what you see there? Yes, that’s right, a quokka giving you the brightest smile ever. Absolute bliss, isn’t it! 

Journalism Gold

Imagine it is a typical Wednesday, and you are casually wandering around Rottnest Island trying to gather up some content for your documentary at work. You have spent hours and still haven’t found anything out of the ordinary that would make for a good story.

catr13 /Instagram

You start to question your life choices and decisions. Then you take a turn, and voila, there you have it, a happy little quokka smiling at you. Your choices don’t seem so bad, now do they? Oh, what a sunny day! 

Let’s Go Viral 

Unfortunately, humans have also threatened the world’s happiest and cutest animal due to deforestation, just like everything else. These animals are actually deemed “close to endangerment.” Thankfully, quokka selfies have taken over the internet, and this trend gives them a higher chance to survive. 

tszzying.t /Instagram

Australia has now become very strict in its laws regarding quokkas. They do allow a light interaction with them, including taking selfies, but it is highly frowned upon to pet them, pick them up, keep them as pets or even take them out of the country. 

Nathan’s Take

It is no secret that people from all walks of life tend to visit Rottnest Island at some point in their lives with only one primary purpose: to get that perfect quokka selfie! Then how can celebrities stay behind in this matter of urgency?

Nathan Fillion /Twitter

All celebrities love them – Canadian-American actor Nathan Fillion is no exception, and he too has fallen prey to the quokka selfie fever. It’s hard to say who would win in a competition if Fillion and a quokka were contesting for the cutest living being alive.  


Taking a selfie with a quokka has never been a problem since they don’t seem to mind posing for instagrammable selfies. However, they do not like humans to invade their boundaries and get too close to them. Sounds rather ordinary if you consider it.

clouddecurly /Instagram

So if you want the perfect quokka photo op, it’s best to invest in a selfie stick. This way you will be able to maintain a respectful distance from them at which they will not feel threatened by you, and trust us, you will get a bomb selfie. 

Quokka Calamities

For obvious reasons, quokkas are almost always referred to as the happiest animals in the world. They always seem like they’re enjoying an excellent time. Like all living beings, we are sure that they have their personal issues to face.

adiehui /Instagram

But they hide it so well behind their cheeky smiles that you can never know. Just remember to respect their personal boundaries and don’t go around randomly touching them because if there is one thing they absolutely hate, that is being handled. 

Mini Kangaroos

Australia is quite famous for its wildlife. However, we’re pretty sure no one can match this cute fella on Rottnest Island, at least not in being adorable and giving you the biggest smile. They are super friendly critters resembling a mini kangaroo.

[deleted] /Reddit

And their smiles are so contagious that they will immediately make you happy as well. Yes, we’re still talking about the quokkas, duh. So if you are having a bad day this cute fella is here to the rescue! 


If you have ever encountered a quokka, you are most certainly aware that they have light brownish fur on them, which leaves them feeling very hot all the time, mainly because the sun shines for 12 months around Rottnest Island.

westcoastimagery /Instagram

Over time they have learned to cool themselves down by sticking a portion of their tongues out of their mouth. Most of the time, it looks like they are up to something, but in reality, the poor creature is just trying to beat the heat!

Just As Expensive As Actual Therapy

To all our folks out there, in case you are going through a rough patch in life, we suggest you immediately book a round trip to Rottnest Island and spend a few days in quokka heaven. It’s a no-brainer.

alohastrayant /Instagram

You won’t even have to try, and before you know it, all your depression, anxieties, and work stress will disappear into the air and be replaced by the famous quokka smile! It will be like you were never stressed at all.

Live, Laugh, Love

If you have never had an encounter with a quokka before, you have absolutely no idea about the experience of meeting one for the first time in your life. All that waiting, walking around at Rottnest Island and exploration is going to feel worth it.

talia.maxwell9 /Instagram

Because when you least expect it, you’ll see that one smile on the cutest face in the world approaching you with the most positive energy. It is going to make you feel like you actually matter! (jk live, laugh, love)

Who Can Resist A Cute Quokka?

Yes, we know it’s impossible to resist a cute quokka. Once you see them, all you want is to pet them, hug them, and even take them home as your own. But that’s a strict no, and may even end up in jail time for you. 

wildlifehqzoo /Instagram

It’s illegal in Australia to buy, sell, trade, or own quokkas privately. You have to try and resist the urge to take one and run. They are a protected species since they are endangered, though it baffles us how that could have happened.

Roger Federer’s Quokkas 

Like many others, the tennis king Roger Federer is not behind in posing for a #quokkaselfie. Fans have been going crazy ever since, but it is unclear whether they are drooling over Federer or the cute little animal beside him. 

Roger Federer /Twitter

It seems like Federer has got competition! Undoubtedly, this tennis player isn’t the only star to share their quokka experience on social media. All Aussie Hollywood stars and various other actors who get a chance to visit Australia have all fallen for the charms of Rottnest Island’s famous inhabitants.

Quokkas Aren’t Pets

Think about a small, fuzzy animal having the brightest smile in the world. Many people even call it cute and friendly. How many animals are coming to your mind? Kids may think of their own pets like dogs and cats.

ilovegoodnugz /Reddit

Adults may think of rabbits or squirrels. But none of you have the correct answer. You can only find this cute little critter on Australia’s specific island. These are the cousins of kangaroos but are much smaller than them, about the size of a domestic cat.

Dear Cousin Kangaroo, Where Are You? 

Did you know that quokkas are very close relatives of the kangaroos! However, they are opposites when it comes to their personalities. Unlike their boxing kangaroo cousins, quokkas are very peaceful creatures and absolutely do not mind sharing space, food and shelter.

yuchihhan /Instagram

Their only similarities with their cousins are that they too have strong back legs to hop around on in vegetation and thick grass, and female quokkas carry and nurse their babies for six months in pouches situated in their stomachs. 

Hide And Seek 

Quokkas love to play hide and seek with the eager tourists waiting for their fan moments. Sometimes, you can find these tiny critters on another Australian Island, Bald Island. Since these islands are separated from the mainland, the animals have fewer worries.

Agent /Imgur

Quokkas do not have to stress about predators on this island. They need a little water, some shade, and plenty of grass and leaves to survive. That is why they love to stay hidden unless it is necessary to come out.

Actual Cupids

Why spend so much time, effort, and energy convincing your significant other to take a romantic selfie with you when you can find a quokka who will give you a broad smile and gladly pose for it? If you are calm enough to allow the quokka to come to you, they’ll bless you with a gorgeous photo!

kalle_pm /Instagram

Not only will they pose for a romantic selfie with you, but considering their amiable nature, it is very likely that they will even approach you by themselves. And the cherry on top? You can show it off to your significant other and make them jealous!  

Quokka Babies 

Quokka babies are even cuter than quokkas themselves, and so is their name: Joeys. We don’t think there’s much else cuter than a quokka baby in the world. A female quokka gives birth to a single baby after being pregnant for about a month. 

ArkadiusBear /Reddit

After birth, the joey stays in its mother’s pouch for another six months. If you are looking to spot a baby and mama quokka, it is common to see little joey’s heads sticking out of their mom’s pouch as they enjoy the ride. 

Finally Met Someone Hotter Than Us 

Quokkas are believed to be the friendliest and most cheerful animals. This is mainly because of the cheeky smile that’s permanently on their faces, and it looks like they’re saying cheese when they pose for the camera. But let us burst your fantasy bubble here. 

[deleted] /Reddit

The quokkas are not smiling because they are happy to see you- sorry. As we previously mentioned, it is actually an evolutionary feature that helps them pant and cool off when they are feeling super hot due to their light fur and 12 months long sunshine at Rottnest Island.


Since quokkas are always so hot (literally), they tend to beat the heat of Australia by sleeping in the shade during the day and coming out to play at night. Quokkas are totally into the nightlife! So if you are a night owl, you’re in luck.  

ye__dy /Instagram

You will undoubtedly have an easier time spotting them if you know when they’re active. However, they are super clever creatures, and they make their tunnels beforehand so they can move about quickly without being spotted by eager tourists.  

Social Butterfly

Popular belief is that quokkas are big-time social butterflies. However, that may not always be true. Yes, they are not afraid of people anymore! In fact, they often come right up to people or visit cafes and campsites looking for free meals.

donhut /Reddit

But when they are not looking for food, they prefer to stay hidden away from all human life. Don’t worry though, once you find them they are actually happy to see you as long as you are not interfering with their usual business.    

Perfectly Valid Reason To Take An Emergency Vacation

Imagine being bored out of your mind at your day in and day out 9-5 grind when suddenly your partner, who’s taken a trip to the down under which you couldn’t make time for; sends you dozens of pictures of an oversized happy hamster.

JoshtheFlanagan /Twitter

First of all, rude. Second of all, great googly moogly, what is that and where can you find one? Once the customary squealing over the phone is over you’ll find that they’ve come across the quokkas. If only you’d have taken that week off.  

Rottnest Island

Funny story- Rottnest Island does get its name from the quokkas that inhabit it, but that’s not the whole truth. When Dutch explorers first encountered the West Coast of Australia, Captain Willem de Vlaming saw quokkas for the first time and mistook them for some kind of rats.

hobopeeba /Instagram

This is how he ended up tagging the island as ‘Rotte Nest’ after the Dutch words for a rat nest. Since there were so many rat-like creatures roaming around the island, the Dutch captain decided to name it after them.