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The best place to see wild Australian animals near Melbourne

koala mom and baby riding on her back standing over a tree branch and looking over to the camera

View Australian animals in the wild near Melbourne, such as kangaroos, wombats and penguins on these great day trips.

One of the highlights of visiting Australia is seeing the local wildlife. Many visitors revel in seeing kangaroos bounding along in the wild. Or gazing up into a eucalyptus tree to see a cuddly koala snuggled up asleep. 

Although there are some great zoos and wildlife sanctuaries in which to view these animals – we think it better to see them in the wild! What is better than spotting a wombats, cockatoo or emu in their natural environment?

So if you are planning a visit to Melbourne and would like to know where are the best places to spot native Australian animals in the wild near MElbourne – read on!

The best place to see wild Australian animals near Melbourne

Koalas in the wild on the Great Ocean Road 

Travel along an iconic coastline on the Great Ocean Road and view koalas in the wild. This famous scenic drive is the place to see wildlife, beautiful beaches and of course the famous limestone stacks – the Twelve Apostles. 

On our tour you’ll explore Victoria’s Surf Coast and visit picturesque townships. In addition you can soak up the beauty of sites like the Loch Ard Gorge and the Otway Rainforest.

 On of our stops is to see koalas in their natural habitat in the eucalyptus forests of the Kennett River township. These iconic Australian animals are found (usually sleeping) in the eucalyptus trees. Their diet consists of solely eucalyptus leaves and as such they can be found close to their food source. It is also their poor diet which makes them so sleepy!

Highlights of our Great Ocean Road Tour:

  • Spot koalas in the wild at Kennett River
  • Enjoy morning tea on the picturesque beaches of Victoria’s Surf Coast
  • Scenic drive along the Great Ocean Road
  • See the Twelve Apostles in Port Campbell National Park
  • Visit the Loch Ard Gorge, the site of the Loch Ard shipwreck
  • Visit the charming coastal township of Apollo Bay

Kangaroos, emus and wallabies in the Grampians National Park

The Grampians national park is the place to experience wildlife, walks and waterfalls. 

It’s the perfect place to break free from the city and connect to nature. Walk with your guide along bushland trails to learn about the Aboriginal history and the incredible variety of flora and fauna.

The Grampians are home to Australian wildlife such as kangaroos, wallabies, emu and cockatoos. As part of our tour, you can view kangaroos in the town of Halls Gap. These wild kangaroos make their way into town in the late afternoon to feed on the grass. It is a great chance to view wild kangaroos up close.

When walking the trails, you can keep an eye out for the more reclusive wallabies and emus. You will also see many natuve Australian birds, from cockatoos to kookaburras. These birds can be seen along the trails, as well as in the main township of Halls Gap. 

Highlights of our Grampians National Park Tour:

  • View wild animals in their natural habitat
  • Descend the stairs to the base of MacKenzie Falls
  • Explore the impressive Grand Canyon
  • Walk through bushland to Silverband Falls
  • View the Victoria Valley from Reeds Lookout
  • Take in the incredible mountain views from Boroka Lookout

Wombats, emu and kangaroos at Wilsons Promontory

Wilson Promontory is a coastal national park with pristine beaches, an idyllic coastline and untouched bushland. It is home to many native Australian animals, which you can view on our day tour from Melbourne.

Perhaps the most famous of The Prom’s wildlife is the wombats. These nocturnal animals burrow into the ground and sleep there during the day. But they can often be seen out and feeding in the late afternoon. 

The Wilsons Promontory Wildlife Walk is the best place to see kangaroos and emus. They live on what used to be an airfield, but is now a wildlife reserve. While it’s best to keep your distance from these wild animals, you’ll have some great viewing opportunities and a glimpse at their lives living on The Prom.

Take to the walking trails for panoramic views of the coast. But keep your eyes peeled as you may also spot some wallabies along the walking trails. The Prom is also home to many native birds including the rarer black cockatoo. 

Highlights of our Wilsons Promontory Tour:

Little Penguins and seals at Phillip Island

Phillip Island is the place to view Little Penguins in their natural habitat. The nightly Penguin Parade is the best place to get up close to these amazing birds as they return from the ocean at the end of the day. 

Little Penguins only nest along the southern coast of Australia in New Zealand. The largest colony of this species of penguin is found on Phillip Island. These birds head out to sea to fish for food and return to shore in the evenings after the sun has set. They cross the beach in the cover of darkness and then waddle through the sand dunes to return to their individual burrows.

Phillip Island is home to spectacular scenery. As such, on our tour we visit Point Grant for some sightseeing before watching the Penguin Parade. From the boardwalks you can view dome-shaped rock formations called The Nobbies. In addition you can see Seal Rocks, which are home to Melbourne’s largest colony of Australian fur seals. 

Highlights of our Phillip Island Tour:

 

Written by: Leah Furey – Digital Content Coordinator @gowest.com.au

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