Weird & Wonderful Australian Animals We Turned Into Unique Purses
As many of you know, Wicker Darling bags are designed (with love) from Melbourne, Australia. As a proud Australian, I’m always truly chuffed when I get to share our ridiculous flora and fauna in the form of unique purses made of rattan.
While my very first purse design was a flamingo (not Australian at all), it was NAMED after the flamingo from the Adelaide Zoo (may he rest in peace).
Since then, I’ve taken turns designing wicker chonks that are crowd-pleasing favourite animals, and critters that are a little bit closer to home.
That is to say, Australiana purses.
Australia has so many unique animals to make unique purses from. In fact, 3,000 animals and 18,000 plant species are endemic to Australia - which means they don’t exist anywhere else.
It’s an extremely special country that I live in (which also happens to be a continent), and I am always excited to share our strange waddling, fluttering, and flouncing creatures with you.
So let’s get started!
12 unique purses inspired by Australian animals
If you are looking for the best Australiana gifts, or simply some cute retro animal accessories, then these unique purses are perfect for you.
1. Platypurse the Platypus
The first of our unique purses is very unique indeed - it’s a platypus purse. Even if you’ve never had the good fortune of seeing a paddle of platypuses in person, there can be no mistaking the distinctive silhouette of this furry duck puppy.
Meet (the aptly named) Platypurse the platypus. Platypurse is every bit as awkward and endearing as his namesake, and features a brown rattan body with dark brown leather feet, handles, and coin-purse bill.
Platypuses make for very unique purses, as they are exceedingly unique creatures to begin with! Besides the obvious of their appearance, platypuses are also one of only five mammals that lay eggs, making them a monotreme. The males also happen to be deadly venomous (though I assure you, Platypurse is not).
Another interesting fact about platypuses? They glow blue-green under UV light! While Platypurse himself doesn’t glow, it’s certainly giving me ideas for a sassy sequel…
2. Wally the Wombat
Up next in our list of unique purses inspired by Australian animals is Wally the wombat bag.
Wally is wonderful. Wally is whimsical. And Wally is extremely irreverent.
In just what way? Well, he comes with a bit of a coin purse surprise, but you have to reach straight into his rump to retrieve it.
You heard me!
If you’re all brushed up on your wombat facts, you’ll know that in addition to having battering rams for rear ends, wombats have delightfully stackable square droppings. Thus, a cubed coin purse.
You are SO WELCOME.
Wombats truly are such amazing Australian fluff potatoes, and I am proud to have one in my collection.
3. Gary the Major Mitchell Cockatoo
While Australian mammals are certainly fantastical, we have even more splendour to choose from when it comes to Australian birds. We have a whole slew of colourful, kooky, and downright unbelievable birds just waiting for their chance to shine as unique purses.
Take Gary, for example. Gary is a Major Mitchell Cockatoo purse.
This cockatoo is, in my opinion, one of our country’s most fabulous feathery wonders. With a pale pink, ombre body, and bright red and yellow crest, the Major Mitchell is a sight to behold.
Unfortunately, this cockatoo is also critically endangered. It would be criminal if this beautiful bird went extinct, but I’m happy to say that the Major Mitchell will be safe forever in purse form.
4. Iva the Cockatoo
Of course, we can’t talk about cockatoos without everyone’s favourite - the sulphur-crested cockatoo. Indeed, this species has become synonymous with the whole cockatoo family name! (When in fact, there are 21 types of cockatoos in existence, 14 of which live in AUS.)
Meet Iva the sulphur-crested cockatoo. This beauty of a parrot purse was our first nod to Australiana in our 2021 collection, and I rather think he does our shrieking lunatic of an icon justice.
Just look at him. You know you need one of these unique purses in your life.
5. Ita the Ibis
The very first unique purse in my Australiana theme collection was none other than a bin chicken. But of course, Ita would never see herself that way.
Ita the ibis bird purse is a sophisticated spin on our dumpster-diving neighbours. She is based on our very own Australian white ibis, and whether you love or hate our bin chooks, you can only love Ita. Her iconic silhouette and delicately curved bill make her an instant classic.
Though white ibises are the most common in Australia, we actually have three different ibis species on our soil. Perhaps you’ll find another swoop-beaked beauty flying into the workroom someday?
6. La’wren Bagall the Fairywren
He’s roly. He’s poly. He’s blue. And he wants to perch in your living room display. It’s La-wren Bagall, our stunning blue fairywren bag.
This adorable chonkster is modelled after the Splendid fairywren, a very Australian animal indeed. We have 10 types of fairywrens in Australia, and they make up some of the cutest and most colourful birds of the bunch!
Now, fairywrens are very social animals, so he would love to go on outings with you to the park, cafe, or countryside.
Fairywrens also love to bathe, but I don’t recommend getting this beauty wet. In fact, water is the enemy of wicker, so if it’s raining out, it’s best to tuck your unique purses into a reusable tote bag if they are made from rattan.
7. Pelican Bill the Pelican
Speaking of water-loving avians, the next item in my lineup of unique purses is Pelican Bill the pelican bag.
Now, you might be thinking, “Jasmine, a pelican is not a uniquely Australian animal.” And, you would be both right and wrong. There are eight species of pelicans in the world, with habitats ranging over every continent except Antarctica.
But Pelican Bill is an Australian pelican.
Note the striking black under-feathers on Bill’s wings. These are a distinct trait of the Australian Pelican, which is the largest of the pelican species, and one of the largest flying birds on earth.
As if that weren’t enough, Australian pelicans boast the longest bill of any living bird at a whopping 18.5 inches in length! And those bills are growers as well as showers - and can expand to hold up to four gallons of water!
Now, I don’t recommend putting any water at all in Bill’s bill, but he does have a handy zipper pouch for storing your loose change there. He also loves stashing a good protein bar for safe-keeping.
Just look at that face. How could you say no?
8. Brutus the Shark
Not all our unique purses are based on the furry and feathery creatures of AUS. Indeed, some of them have FINS.
Meet Brutus the shark - a rather dapper gentleman if I do say so myself. This chompy chonk of a shark purse may not look Australian at first glance, but the great white shark is incredibly common in our waters.
In fact, Australia boasts some of the most shark-infested waters in the world - though I’m not sure if that’s something to boast about or not!
That being said, sharks are incredibly misunderstood creatures, and there is nothing brutal about Brutus. This sweet wicker water baby will even let you stick your hand straight in his mouth to store your belongings. We promise, he doesn’t bite.
9. Bubbles the Fish
Bubbles the fish purse is the only item on this list of unique purses, that isn’t ACTUALLY an Australian animal. In reality, he was inspired by a certain colourful fish in a children’s book.
Nonetheless, I’d like to think that Bubbles conjures up images of our beautiful Great Barrier Reef with his colourful, sparkly design.
He’s just the perfect tropical fish purse, and one of my favourites.
10. Australiana Clutch
After a few years of adorable animal purses, I decided it was time to try my hand at unique purses with animal prints. Australiana prints, no less.
And so, I designed a line of elegant clutch bags that are just as quirky as our other offerings at Wicker Darling, but a bit better suited for a night on the town.
My very first clutch design was an Australiana clutch, with beautiful Australiana prints in the form of our local flora and fauna. This artisan clutch features a rainbow lorikeet, galah, sulphur-crested cockatoo, and the national symbol of unity - the golden wattle.
If you are looking for accessories with an Australiana theme, then look no further. This clutch SCREAMS all things Aussie. You know, in a very refined sort of way.
Of course, this is no average clutch, so you’ll want to learn how to hold a clutch bag properly to ensure your glorious Australiana prints are on display.
11. Natural Macaws Clutch
Moving right along with the Australiana theme, may I present another beautiful bird clutch?
While we call it the “natural macaws clutch” since it was released with a line of macaw purses, it really features the Eastern Rosella, which is an iconic Australian bird.
With cute white cheek patches, and an extremely colourful body, Rosella birds are an instantly likeable bunch.
Another reason to love this clutch? It’s one of our vegan designer purses, just like the other elegant bird clutches in our Australiana collection! That means you can celebrate your love of these fine Australian animals without worrying about any animal products on your accessory.
12. Magpie Clutch
Last, but certainly not least, I present the magpie clutch.
Beautiful, intelligent, and supremely judgemental, these swoopy boyz will be the gatekeepers for your most important belongings.
Australian magpies are one of the cleverest birds on earth. They can make over 300 noises in their songs, and can remember up to 30 human faces - and they hold grudges.
If you’ve upset a magpie, they will remember you, and then tell their offspring all about you. While the majority of magpies are generally quite docile, the other 9% are rage-filled fiends, who will swoop you without a moment's notice.
Guess what kind of magpies this pair are?
No one would dare try to steal your things.
If you’re looking for great Australiana gifts, why not buy these bad boys? I guarantee any Aussie (or Aussie-lover) would adore them. The magpie did win Australian bird of the year, afterall.
Spread the Aussie love!
Won’t you take one of these Melbourne-designed beauties home with you? These unique purses inspired by Australian animals make fabulous treat yourself gifts, but also the perfect presents for any Aussie-lover in your life.
With new designs always on the way, you can rest assured we will always have fun Australiana gifts in our Wicker Darling collection.