Meet pods and mobs of our favourite wildlife in sanctuaries, national parks and some surprising places.
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 Wildlife Reserve, Halls Gap and Mornington Peninsula National Park, Wilsons 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.
Spot koalas in eucalypt trees in the wild and at wildlife sanctuaries and zoos. See koalas at large near Kennett River and Cape Otway on the Great Ocean Road or take a walk through Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve. Alternatively, visit the furry friends on French Island in Western Port Bay 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. Wander the 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.
Meet nocturnal burrowers on a torch lit stroll in a national park. Lucky spotters might see wombats at Wilsons Promontory and Baw Baw national parks, and Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve. Up your odds with a guided tour. Take a ranger-led night tour at Mount Buffalo National Park, or 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. Get up close on Healesville Sanctuary's 'pat and play' tour or meet old Patrick, the bare-nosed wombat, at Ballarat Wildlife Park. See wombats at Moonlit Sanctuary, Halls Gap and Mansfield zoos.
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.
When's the last time you saw a platypus? On a 20-cent-piece? 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. You might just catch a glimpse in the wild, in lakes and creeks across Victoria. For a guaranteed sighting, it's best to head to the zoo. They headline the bill at Healesville Sanctuary's World of the Platypus.
Fur seal colonies in Port Phillip Bay, on the Great Ocean Road and Phillip Island are a must see. Enjoy a high-speed tour to Seal Rocks, off Phillip Island: the home of more than 16,000 fur seals. Head west of Portland to Cape Bridgewater, home to a large colony of Australian and New Zealand fur seals, or take the slow boat from Port Fairy to Lady Julia Percy Island to find 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. See the pilgrimage from cliff tops and outcrops around Portland and Wilsons Promontory National Park, 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 Wildlife Reserve and Wartook in the Grampians.
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Sanctuaries & zoos
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