Victorian Wildlife Hotspots

Victorian Wildlife Hotspots

Get out of Melbourne to see Australian wildlife in country Victoria.

Two guides from and to help locate the best Victoria locations.

Victoria's best wildlife hotspots

Victoria may be pint-sized compared to other Australian states, but that doesn't mean it's lacking when it comes to native wildlife. In fact, like a kangaroo throws a kick that can crush a bone, Australia's second-smallest state is deceptively weighty.

Drive to the coast to take in the critters that call this heavenly shoreline home. Or head inland to the high-altitude delights of the Alpine National Park. Wherever you go, spotting wildlife is as easy as finding smashed avo on toast in a Melbourne caf©.

While Melbourne itself has a few flora and fauna treats, the rest of the state's wildlife is spread far and wide. So, it's not just because we rent cars and campervans for your travels that we recommend you have wheels. It's also because it's the most practical way to tick off seeing those famed Australian creatures. (The cute ones, not the ones that give Australia a bad rap.)

To help you out ('cos that's kinda our jam), we've put together our favourite wildlife destinations across Victoria. Get ready for some Instagram double hearts as you post epic photos of kangaroos, koalas, penguins, and other unusual animals that call Australia home.

Melbourne Otway Ranges
Melbourne Phillip Island
Melbourne The Grampians
Melbourne Wilsons Promontory National Park
Melbourne Mt Buffalo National Park


Victorian Wildlife Hotspots

If the closest you have got to our quirky wildlife lately is handling a 20 cent coin, it's time to remind yourself of the thrill of a close encounter. Head to one of these hotspots for the best chance of an animal adventure.

Great Otway National Park

" We generally give people more than they expect,'' says Bruce Jackson of the platypus-spotting tours he guides through Lake Elizabeth Otway Eco Tours.

These elusive animals are most active at dawn or dusk and the canoe trips are timed accordingly. Paddling along the lake is a tranquil experience; seeing platypus frolicking in the water lifts it to the next level.

While you're there

Explore some of the scenic trails winding through the Great Otway National Park, such as the easy walk to Stevensons Falls. If you prefer two wheels to two feet, hit one of the area's many mountain biking trails.

Tidal River, Wilsons Promontory

The waters off Wilsons Prom are home to one of Australia's richest marine ecosystems and a 2 1/2 hour cruise with Pennicott Wilderness Journeys gives you the opportunity to see some of its most spectacular inhabitants.

Keep your eyes peeled for sea eagles and dolphins; the star attraction, however, is the island that doubles as a fur seal colony. Eight or nine thousand live here.

While you're there

Seaside walks don't get much better than the 90-minute walk from Tidal River to Squeaky Beach, while the two-hour trip to the top of Mount Oberon is more challenging.

Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve

There's something magnificent about watching emus stride across the grass, but at Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve, west of Warrnambool, you will encounter plenty of other animals too. Whether you join a guided walking tour or explore on your own, keep an eye out for kangaroos, koalas, echidnas and plenty of bird life.

While you're there

Take a stroll through Port Fairy to admire its historic cottages, have lunch at the Basalt Wines Vineyard cellar door or, if you're ready for more wildlife, take a cruise around Lady Julia Percy Island with Salty Dog Charters to get a glimpse of the local fur seal colony.

Serendip Sanctuary, Lara

Bird lovers are guaranteed a memorable experience at Serendip Sanctuary near Geelong, with 150 different species breeding or visiting here. Sightings include brolgas and yellow-billed spoonbills.

While you're there

A stroll along Geelong's waterfront offers plenty of art to entertain the eye including the Baywalk Bollards, more than 100 timber pylons transformed into whimsical sculptures.

Alternatively, visit one of the area's cellar doors (Provenance Wines, Jack Rabbit and Scotchmans Hill are all good bets) or cycle along the Bellarine Rail Trail.

Wildlife Wonders, Apollo Bay

When you take a tour at the Wildlife Wonders conservation centre, you'll get issued with two essential pieces of kit: binoculars and an earpiece, so you don't miss any of your guide's soft murmurings.

" It's a bit of an Attenborough effect and it lets you get closer to the animals,'' says the centre's Lizzie Corke. A range of natural habitats provides dwellings to animals from bandicoots in the damp rainforest gullies to kangaroos roaming the open plains.

While you won't get to see nocturnal inhabitants such as potoroos, your guide will show you the tracks and traces they leave.

While you're there

It wouldn't be a trip to Apollo Bay without a stop at the Twelve Apostles and the nearby Loch Ard Gorge. Don't forget Thunder Cave.

This article by Ute Junker is from the January 23 issue of The Age Digital Edition. To subscribe, visit "".


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Victorian Wildlife Hotspots 

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Victorian Wildlife Hotspots