See them on the forks and branches of gum trees either lazily dozing off or snacking on eucalyptus leaves. The ever-cuddly koalas never fail to amuse and delight people from the world over with their cuteness and fluffiness. The state of Victoria in southern Australia is the place to go to see the koalas in the wild and in the conservation centres.
The Otways, Great Ocean Road
If you want to see the koalas in the wild, in their natural habitat, travel to the Otways on Great Ocean Road. Koalas are everywhere in Cape Otway, Apollo Bay, and Lorne. You can spot them sleeping on the branches of eucalyptus trees. The Great Otway National Park is one of the largest koala colonies in Victoria. In the charming town of Kennett River, a ‘koala walk’ is designed for tourists to get up close and personal with the koalas.
Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve, Warrnambool
Located closed to Warrnambool at the other end of the Great Ocean Road is the Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve. Sitting on an extinct volcano, Tower Hill is one of the best places to be near with the koalas and other Australian native animals and birds. You can see the iconic emus and kangaroos as well as echidnas, wombats, reptiles, and colourful birds. You can also enjoy the great views of the park.
Halls Gap, the Grampians National Park
Explore the Grampians and experience natural wildlife first hand. The Grampians consists of rugged mountain ranges, rock formations and cliffs, and ancient rainforests that host diverse plant and animal life. In Halls Gap, kangaroos and wallabies freely roam around and on the treetops, you can see the koalas. And since you in the Grampians might as well explore more what it has in store for you — impressive waterfalls, fantastic landscape, and spectacular views from lookouts.
Healesville Sanctuary, Yarra Valley
Yarra Valley is famous for its wine and great food. That’s because the region is one of the top wine producers in southern Australia. But the valley also hosts the famous Healesville Sanctuary, a wildlife conservation centre where you can spot wild animals endemic to Australia and of course, the koalas. There are boardwalks specifically designed for wildlife viewers. Get up close with the koalas and other wild animals and enjoy the experience. Afterwards, you can visit Yarra Valley’s cellar doors for their fine wines.
Koala Conservation Centre, Phillip Island
Take a 140-kilometre drive from Melbourne to Phillip Island. Before you witness the spectacular penguin parade at sundown, might as well visit the Koala Conservation Centre. Stroll down the designed boardwalk for you to see and take photos of the cuddly, gentle, and fluffy koalas. You can also learn more information about the koalas and other native wildlife at the centre. Then head to Summerland Beach to watch the daily show called penguin parade.
Eco Platypus offers affordable day trips departing Melbourne to scenic destinations across Victoria. Big-ticket tourist stops include the Grampians, the Great Ocean Road, Mornington Peninsula, Yarra Valley, and Phillip Island.