Seeing Great Ocean Road wildlife in June July and August.
Australia is a dry country, and rain is brief and light. Often the ‘rainy season’ is the best time to see Australian wildlife.
Melbourne and the Great Ocean Road tends to have rain during June, July, August & September. It is a fantastic time to travel – the land is humming with life. Most of our wildlife is adapted to dry conditions, so when the good times come (ie. rain) they celebrate!
Emus are dry country birds, but they love a drink and a bath when it rains! We see wild Emus on the first day of the Great Ocean Road tour.
Australian winter: June, July, August & September are the time when Emus have their chicks. They are quite different to the adults – striped, fluffy and very cute.
Many birds love a bath and will make the most of even tiny puddles on the road. Clean feathers are warm, aerodynamic and pretty feathers – which is important for a bird that needs to fly and impress its mate.
Good rainfall also brings out the wetland birds. We pass many important wetland areas on the Great Ocean Road tour – and when flooded, these are full of life. Spoonbills, ibis, egrets, ducks and swans flock to the rich food on the floodplains of the Gellibrand*, Aire and Curdies Rivers.
*The Princetown Wetlands – Gellibrand Estuary are listed on the Directory of Important Wetlands of Australia, and home to several significant bird species.
Koalas also love to drink – but they don’t stretch down to drink from a waterhole, they lick the trunk of a tree as the rain falls down. Koalas don’t seem to mind the rain, and will simply curl over into a fluffy ball and let the rain slide off their thick, waterproof fur.
Swamp Wallabies love to drink when its been hot and dry. They will even get right into the water, and if the water is deep enough, they are very capable swimmers.
If you are planning to travel to Australia in June, July, August & September don’t be put off by the rainy season. The Australian definition of rain is quite different to many places overseas! Most of our ‘rain’ is showers of 20 minutes or less, and daily totals rarely exceed 10mm.
Rain brings out the best in Great Ocean Road wildlife, and ensures its survival. The Great Ocean Road tour is 3 days, and runs every Tuesday and Friday, all year round.
NOTES & REFERENCES:
Gellibrand River Estuary on EstuaryWatch.org : http://www.estuarywatch.org.au/estuary/ccma/50
Learn about the Gellibrand River Estuary in this well-presented document: http://www.ccma.vic.gov.au/admin/file/content2/c7/GELLIBRAND%20RIVER%20ESTUARY%20MANAGEMENT%20PLAN.pdf