Binoculars in hand, twitchers come from across the world to explore Victoria’s vast wilderness, lush wetlands and marine parks. And with more than 400 species of birds to be found, it’s easy to see why. So grab your walking boots and hit the trail to see these feathered friends in their native habitat.
Bushlands and wetlands
Explore the rolling bushlands of the Grampians, home to a wide variety of parrots such as gang-gang cockatoos and long-billed corellas. Try to catch a recording of the iconic Laughing kookaburras, which act as the local alarm clocks.
Tread across the never-ending desert horizons of the Mallee where you’ll find the mulga parrot, mallee ringneck and Major Mitchell’s cockatoo.
The Barmah State Park in the spectacular Murray region is the place to see egrets, spoonbills and the mallee fowl, while local ibises are on show at Kerang Wetlands near Echuca.
With thousands of kilometres of Victorian coastline to discover, just choose a direction and start exploring.
Cruise down the Great Ocean Road to see shorebirds and seabirds, including albatrosses and petrels. Take a detour to see the endangered orange-bellied parrots on the Bellarine Peninsula.
The Great Otway National Park awaits with its populations of southern emu-wrens and tawny-crowned honeyeaters in the heathland, and satin bowerbirds in the rainforest.
Little Penguins may be the rock stars of Phillip Island but there’s plenty more to see. Walk the mangroves and mudflats of Rhyll Inlet to witness wading birds, spoonbills, oyster catchers and cormorants. Pelicans gather around the San Remo shoreline, the rare hooded plover can be seen on local beaches, while Woolamai is host to around a million short-tailed shearwaters (mutton birds).
The Observatory at Coolart Historic Area is another great option, while Point Nepean National Park offers sweeping views of Bass Strait and the chance to see Australasian gannets or the odd black-browed albatross.
Head into Gippsland to discover one twitcher’s paradise after another, from Bunyip State Park and Sale Common Nature Conservation Reserve to Wilsons Promontory National Park and Croajingolong National Park.
Birds of paradise
Take the short journey out of the city to the Dandenong Ranges to see pied currawongs, red wattlebirds and superb lyrebirds, with their mocking calls.
Across in the Yarra Valley at Healesville Sanctuary, Australia's majestic birds of prey and magnificent parrots dazzle visitors in spectacular daily performances.
Nearby King Lake is another bird haven, which is home to cockatoos, fantails, yellow robins and many more native species.
Victoria's bird emblem – the endangered helmeted honeyeater – can be seen in the Yellingbo Nature Conservation Reserve near Yellingbo, just 50 kilometres east of central Melbourne. Other inspiring city-fringe birdwatching opportunities include Point Cook Coastal Park and Woodlands Historic Park.
Bird lovers who are bound to the city will enjoy a visit to the Melbourne Zoo's Great Flight Aviary, which provides the chance to get up close to Australia's best-loved birds.
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Sanctuaries & zoos
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