Koala, Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Australia
Show map

Wildlife along the Great Ocean Walk

The Great Ocean Walk offers amazing opportunities to view wildlife in their natural settings. See migrating southern right whales, grazing kangaroos and sleeping koalas up close.

Little penguins – big drawcard
A colony of about 1000 little penguins inhabits the dunes at the base of the 12 Apostles viewing area. Bring your binoculars to view their comical social behaviour. Penguins begin to arrive about 10 minutes after sunset.

Brimming with birdlife
Skies, heathlands, beaches, estuaries and wetlands are home to all manner of birds. Peregrine falcons, fairy penguins, Australasian gannets, albatrosses and many more can be seen in and around Port Campbell National Park and the nearby Bay of Islands Coastal Park. Some migrate thousands of kilometres each year to feed and nest. Even the weather-beaten, exposed clifftops have a diverse range of animals and birds.

Short tails of long migration
One of the more remarkable stories of endurance involves muttonbirds, or short-tailed shearwater. These birds fly around 30,000km a year across the Pacific Ocean between North America and rookeries in Bass Strait.

Muttonbird Island
At Muttonbird Island, near Loch Ard Gorge, thousands of muttonbird nest between October and April. They feed out at sea and fly back each evening.

A little rarity
One of Victoria's rarer birds is common in the remnant heathland areas of this coast. When you visit, keep an eye out for the rufous bristlebird. About the size of a blackbird, the rufous bristlebird has an upturned tail which jerks about when it runs or flies for cover.

Beating the odds
Even though salt-laden, galeforce winds regularly batter this coast, it does support a range of vegetation that has learned to cope with the harsh conditions. Among it live a large range of animals, including southern brown bandicoots, southern emu wrens, swamp harriers and honeyeaters.

Great Ocean Walk

Great Ocean Road