Shy, lazy, and tend to sleep for long hours, the koalas have made Victoria their home and their largest colony. They live in the wilds of Gippsland to the woodlands of the Otways. Look up high on eucalyptus branches where koalas frequently doze off up to 20 hours a day. They munch on the tree’s leaves which have enough water content but insufficient nutrients.
You can’t miss seeing koalas when you travel to this southern Australian state. Here are some places where you can spot koalas in Victoria:
The Great Ocean Road
Drive along one of the world’s most spectacular coastal highways and you will encounter Australia’s native wildlife in the Otways. The best spot to get up close with the koalas is the town of Kennett River. You can take a “koala walk” and always get your camera ready for some selfies and photo ops with the marsupial.
You can also see them on treetops in Cape Otway. Just be careful because you might see some koalas fall of the tree, but they have this uncanny ability to survive the fall and climb back up.
At the end of the Great Ocean Road, a few kilometres drive from Warrnambool, visit the Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve. A 30,000 years old extinct volcano, Tower Hill is home to emus, kangaroos, and diverse Australian native wildlife. And of course, the laziest of the marsupials.
On your way to Summerland Beach to watch the penguin parade, don’t miss dropping by the Koala Conservation Centre where you can learn more about the koalas. There’s a boardwalk designed for you to have a closer look of the marsupial and take some photos.
Located east of Melbourne stretching to the border of New South Wales, Gippsland is home to a diversity of wildlife of which most of the animal species are endemic to Australia. At Maru Koala and Animal Park see the koalas up close. You can also hand feed some kangaroos and wallabies. If you choose to walk in the wilds you can see the koalas sleeping on the forks of eucalyptus trees.
The Yarra Valley
If you plan to go on a wine tour in Yarra Valley, you may consider stopping at the famous Healesville Sanctuary where koalas roam free. Have a closer look at this world’s favourite Australian and get fluffily fascinated. Also, Yarra Valley only takes 60 minutes of scenic drive from Melbourne CBD.
Head southeast of Melbourne and you will reach the Mornington Peninsula. When you get there, visit the Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park, a 25-acre (10-hectare) wildlife park in Pearcedale. Hand feed the kangaroos and wallabies, pet the koalas, and get up close with native birds and other wild animals.
Closest to the city center stands the Royal Melbourne Zoological gardens. The zoo housed over 320 animal species — both native wildlife and animals from other parts of the world. It is the best and the nearest place to see the koalas when you’re in the city.
A coastal township on the Bellarine Peninsula, Barwon Heads is the location of the 5-acre Jirrahlinga Koala and Wildlife Sanctuary. Jirrahlinga has been a haven for injured wild animals for over 30 years. There you can have a close encounter with koalas, kangaroos, parrots, and other native wildlife.