Quoll family returned after unplanned trip

A family of endangered northern quolls went on a 5600-km unplanned journey to Melbourne after catching a ride in a pumpkin container.

The mother and her four babies were found in a vegetable box at the Melbourne Wholesale Market in Epping on December 13.

It's believed the quolls entered the pumpkin container while at a farm in Far North Queensland and accidentally made the trip south along with vegetables.

They were checked over by Melbourne Zoo vets while officers from Victoria's Conservation Regulator found their original habitat near Cairns in Far North Queensland.

The quolls were flown back home to the sunshine state on January 5 where they were safely released back into the bush.

The endangered marsupials were lucky to survive the 5600-km journey to Victoria, Queensland senior wildlife officer Dinouk Perera said.

"Northern quolls are native to tropical and sub-tropical climates across Australia and have adapted to thrive in warmer conditions, which means they are not built to live in a typically colder place like Melbourne," Mr Perera said.

"These quolls are very lucky to have been rescued and taken into care, as they had travelled a long way without food or water."