Where to see wombats near Melbourne? Check out our guide to Australia’s iconic burrowing marsupial.
Many visitors to Australia desire to see the unique and quirky animals that call Down Under home. Visiting the city of Melbourne doesn’t need to disqualify you from achieving this – as there are some great places to view Australian animals nearby the southern city.
One iconic animal that is fun to see in Australia is the wombat. Wombats are a close relative of koalas in Australia. While koalas live up in the eucalyptus trees, wombats lie on the ground and burrow into the earth for a safe, dry place to sleep.
By taking a day trip from Melbourne you can look for wombats in their natural environment. Wilsons Promontory is the best place to see them in the wild.
To get a close up view, Moonlit Wildlife Sanctuary has both common wombats and hairy-nosed wombats. You can visit Moonlit Sanctaury on our Phillip Island day tour or Puffing Billy Day Tour.
Check out the details below for the best place to see wombats near Melbourne.
Where to see wombats near Melbourne
Wilsons Promontory National Park
The Wilsons Promontory National Park is famous for its resident wombats. This area is at the southernmost tip of mainland Australia and is home to an abundance of flora and fauna. Wombats, emus, wallabies and kangaroos are just some of the wildlife that call the Prom home – along with many more native Australian birds. Take a stroll on the Wildlife Wall to discover many of these animals.
On our day tour from Melbourne you can explore the many walking trails to take in magnificent views and pristine beaches. Squeaky Beach has white quartz sand that squeaks beneath your feet as you walk. Plus a walk along the coastal trails gives you wonderful panoramic views of the beaches and offshore islands.
It is best to look for wombats in the late afternoon as they come out of their burrows to feed at this time. While wombats are nocturnal animals, it is still possible to see them on a day tour from Melbourne. Your tour guide will do their best to help you see the wombats at Wilsons Prom.
Where is the Wilsons Promontory National Park?
Wilsons Promontory National Park is located south east of Melbourne in the Gippsland region. It is approximately 2.5 hours drive from the city through some beautiful rural areas.
Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park
At Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park you can see both common wombats and hairy-nosed wombats. The sanctuary is home to many native animals that have been bred in captivity or rescued from the wild. The team at Moonlit are dedicated to the protection of many native Australian animals. You can visit the wildlife park on two of our tours:
Phillip Island Day Tour
Visit Moonlit Sanctuary on our ultimate Melbourne wildlife tour. Our Phillip Island Tour is the best way to meet Australian wildlife up close. Capture your magic moment hand-feeding a kangaroo, cuddle up to a koala, and watch as thousands of Little Penguins waddle right past your feet. This tour from Melbourne visits the Brighton Bathing Boxes, Moonlit Sanctuary conservation park and the nightly Penguin Parade.
Puffing Billy + Penguins
For a day of iconic Melbourne experiences, take our Puffing Billy, wildlife and penguins tour. Ride on a century-old steam train – Puffing Billy – through the Dandenong rainforest. Meet and feed some of Australia’s iconic, native wildlife, at Moonlit Sanctuary – including kangaroos, wombats and koalas. Finish the day with a visit to Phillip Island for spectacular coastal views and watching the resident Little Penguins waddle to shore in the nightly Penguin Parade.
Wombats are amongst the largest burrowing mammals in the world. These marsupials have brown, tan or grey fur and can measure up to 1.3m long and weigh 36kg. Considering their size and weight it’s impressive that they can run at 40kph.
They are expert diggers with short, muscular legs and sharp claws. The digestive process of a wombat takes between 14 and 18 days. They have very long digestive tracts, to absorb as much nutrients and water as possible. As such they have poo that is very dry and compacted.
Wombats live in a variety of habitats – forests, alpine mountains, heathlands and coastal shrublands. There are many different species, but they all live in burrows. They often create complex networks with tunnels and chambers that can extend up to 150m in radius.
There are three different types of wombats in Australia.
Common wombats – these wombats are distinguished by their fur colour which can be various shades between grey and black. They are generally smaller than other species with more hair around the ears and less around the nose.
Southern hairy-nosed wombat – these wombats are distinguishable because their nasal bone is longer than their frontal bone, meaning their snout is longer and more square than the common wombat.
Northern hairy-nosed wombat – these wombats also have a wider muzzle than other species and generally they are heavier in weight than other species as well.
On Tour with Go West
On a Go West Tour you have the opportunity to learn more about Melbourne and Victoria. Our day tours explore all of the best destinations in Victoria – including the Great Ocean Road, Phillip Island Penguin Parade, Yarra Valley and more.
Whether we are walking in the Wilsons Promontory National Park or touring the Moonlit wildlife sanctuary, our guides are passionate about sharing their knowledge with you.
We pride ourselves on exceeding industry standards for excellence and customer service. With 22 years in business, Go West Tours is still a family-owned and operated tour business and we are as committed to providing guests with an unforgettable experience as we were back in 2000.
Written by: Leah Furey – Digital Content Coordinator @gowest.com.au