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