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Wildlife encounters

Victoria

  • Swamp Wallaby, Port Fairy, Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Australia

Meet pods and mobs of our favourite wildlife in sanctuaries, national parks and some surprising places.

Kangaroos

Spot mobs of eastern grey kangaroos and wallabies on a wander in Victoria. Admire the world's largest living marsupials in the wild or up close in zoos and sanctuaries. Find a view with a roo at Tower Hill State Game Reserve, Halls Gap and Mornington Peninsula National Park, Wilson's Promontory National Park, or grazing by the water on the Gippsland Lakes. Tee off with furry companions at Anglesea, Hepburn Springs and Halls Gap golf clubs.

Koalas

Spot koalas in eucalypt trees at zoos, sanctuaries and in the wild. Wander boardwalks at Healesville Sanctuary and Phillip Island's Koala Conservation Centre for eye-to-eye views of resident tree huggers. Book a wild encounter or meet the keepers at conservation parks and wildlife sanctuaries. Spot koalas in the wild near Kennett River and Cape Otway on the Great Ocean Road, visit Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve, or hit the Koala Trail on Gippsland’s Raymond Island to see Victoria’s largest koala population. Keep your eyes peeled late afternoon, when koalas are most active.

Wombats

Meet nocturnal burrowers on a torchlit tour or zoo wander. Get close on Healesville Sanctuary’s 'pat and play' tour (selfie!) or meet old Patrick, the bare-nosed wombat, at Ballarat Wildlife Park. See wombats at Moonlit Sanctuary, Halls Gap and Mansfield zoos. Lucky spotters see wombats at Wilsons Promontory and Baw Baw national parks, and Tower Hill Game Reserve. Up your odds with a guided tour. Take a free ranger-led night tours at Eurobin Creek, Mt Buffalo National Park, or take a night tour in Wombat State Forest or Yarra Ranges National Park. Though solo creatures, you might be lucky enough to see a 'wisdom' of waddlers. That’s a group of wombats!

Penguins

Watch some of Phillip Island’s 32,000 little penguins emerge from the sea each night at dusk. March along to the Penguin Parade to spot little penguins from boardwalks and underground viewing areas, as they waddle home to their burrows. And guess what? A group of penguins on land is called a waddle. Seriously.

Platypuses

When’s the last time you saw a platypus? On a 20-cent-piece? You could just catch a glimpse at a sanctuary or in the wild, in lakes and creeks across Victoria. For a guaranteed sighting, head to the zoo. They headline the bill at Healesville Sanctuary's World of the Platypus. For a chance to see the elusive mammals in their natural habitat, take a canoe tour at dawn or dusk at Great Otway National Park’s Lake Elizabeth, head to St George Lake in Creswick, or Jackson's Creek in Sunbury.

Seals

Fur seal colonies in Port Phillip Bay, on the Great Ocean Road and Phillip Island are a must see. Take a high-speed tour to Seal Rocks, off Phillip Island: the home of more than 16,000 fur seals. Or take a slow boat from Port Fairy to Lady Julia Percy Island, the largest fur seal colony in the southern hemisphere. Close to town, join a trip to Chinaman's Hut in Port Phillip Bay, to watch local seals sun themselves on the octagonal platform.

Whales

Watch humpback, southern right and blue whales, plus orcas, as they make their annual pilgrimage from the feeding grounds of Antarctica to our southern coastline. Watch from purpose-built platforms, as mothers and calves lap up the warmer waters at Warrnambool's Logans Beach nursery, watch the pilgrimage from clifftops and outcrops around Portland or take a winter whale watching tour off Phillip Island. Whales start arriving in Victoria in May and stay until early October.

Emus

The emu gets about in mobs and it’s the biggest bird in the country. The best places to get up close (but not too close) to an emu are Gippsland’s Wilsons Promontory National Park, the Great Ocean Road’s Tower Hill State Game Reserve and Wartook in the Grampians.

Pelicans

Watch pelicans feed at midday in Metung, Gippsland or at the San Remo jetty on Phillip Island.

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