Most people that come to Australia are really keen to see the weird animals that inhabit our great land. Being an island, Australia has native animals that are much different from what you see elsewhere and as such are a great tourist attraction.
What most people don’t realise though is how accessible they are to see in the wild, particularly a few hours out of Melbourne. Furthermore a lot of people are shocked that the major tourist spots you can go to have the chance to see this wildlife if you know where to look. Yes, the Great Ocean Road is chief amongst them!
This article will show you the wildlife you can see with the best spots to see them. All of these photos and spots can be seen on a Hop To It Tours 4 day small group camping tour to the Grampians and Great Ocean Road.
Whilst there are many more animals to see such as a range of snakes and lizards here is a sample of our favourites.
The Eastern Grey Kangaroo can be found all over Victoria and is definitely viewable right around the Great Ocean Road, particularly on grassy areas such as farm paddocks. Having said that the best place to see them nice and close is in the Grampians National Park. You’ll see them particularly at dawn and dusk and are generally around all the campsites in Halls Gap. The Otway Rainforest is also a great place to see them, and at King Parrot Campground we had this little black wallaby waiting for us to pitch our tent!
Firstly, we get asked all the time, “Can I hold a koala?”. The answer is some zoos will let you but most of the time, no. They are wild animals after all. Koalas live in eucalyptus trees and there are stacks of them around Victoria. Having said that good populations of koalas can be hard to find. Three of the best spots to spot a koala though are either on or right near the Great Ocean Road. They are the town of Kennett River, the road on the way to Cape Otway and Tower Hill Nature Reserve, just beyond the Great Ocean Road, near Warrnambool.
Make sure to look up though, they are generally wedged in between two tree trunks and fast asleep!
Emus, like kangaroos are on the Australian coat of arms, and generally can also be seen in paddocks from a distance. Once again they can be seen just wandering through campgrounds in Halls Gap in the Grampians but the best place to get nice and close to them is Tower Hill Nature Reserve where there’s normally a few of them hanging by the picnic tables, hoping to get some scraps. We actually got almost attacked by one trying to steal our food so be careful!
Echidnas are all along the Great Ocean Road and, whilst a burrowing animal and thus sometimes hard to spot, they don’t mind coming out for a wander and often are seen walking literally on the side of the road! If you’re going to be in the Mornington Peninsula though, Point Nepean National Park is an excellent place to spot them!
Once again there are so many amazing birds to see around Victoria. Here’s a sample of the favourites though!
The really easy to spot cockatoo is the white one with the white bodied with the yellow feathered head. There are plenty of other versions too such as the yellow tailed black cockatoo and the gang gang cockatoo. Lorne, on the Great Ocean Road, is a great place to see them up close. Here they are basically pests, always going through the bins and after your left over food.
Famous for their laugh, kookaburras are again all over Victoria but a little harder to spot. Generally you’ll hear them more than see them but if you look up o wires or into trees you may spot one right through both the Grampians and Great Ocean Road. This one was spotted again in Lorne.
There are many different types of parrots but probably the most easy to spot and the best looking are the King Parrots and the Rosellas, both of which are fun to play with at Kennett River and Lorne. You’ll see people feeding them (which you really shouldn’t do) in both areas. This encourages them to jump on your head and shoulder so it provides a great photo opportunity! You’ll also camp out with them in the Otways at King Parrot Campground.
Like all the birds mentioned above you’ll see them right along the Great Ocean Road. Similar to cockatoos these ones are generally pink bodied with a white head.
Whilst not quite as colourful as the others the Red Wattlebird is quite distinctive with its red neck. Again Lorne is an awesome place to spot them.
Spending overnight in the Grampians and the Otway Rainforest, having lunch at Tower Hill Nature Reserve and some time in the towns of Kennett River and Lorne should allow you toes all of this great Australian wildlife and more. Every Monday we depart either on a 3 or 4 day camping trip to all these areas. Make sure you jump on the menu above and check out the tour options.
Hope to see you Hop To It with us soon!