Wildlife of the Great Ocean Road


Australia’s most exciting coastline is full of wildlife. This private, fully-inclusive 3 day Great Ocean Road wildlife tour travels to the hidden parts of this iconic region.

Want to see wild animals near Melbourne?

Join an experienced Wildlife Guide to find wild Koalas, Kangaroos, Echidnas, Platypus and birds in their natural habitats on this private 3 day Great Ocean Road wildlife tour. Take time to enjoy the scenery and country hospitality.  Stay at excellent accommodation in idyllic locations.

NEW: Paddle with Platypus on a secluded lake deep in the forest – an unforgettable experience.

Help conserve and research wild koalas in their forest home.

Travel beside a hidden river as it opens up into a wonderland of lakes and wetlands, home to egrets and eagles, lizards and lorikeets. View the plains from the top of an extinct volcano.

Walk along an ocean beach and feel the waves of the mighty Southern Ocean. Photograph wallabies and wildflowers in species-rich heathlands – the Great Ocean Road wildlife tour is perfect for photographers.

TRAVEL HINT: To extend your wildlife experience link this tour to our 4 day Wildlife Journey

Itinerary & Price

Positive conservation

On Day 1 of this tour you will be involved in our koala conservation effort run by the Koala Clancy Foundation in the You Yangs Ranges. You will help monitor these the movements and activities of koalas and help maintain the ecosystem by assisting us remove an invasive plant – called Boneseed – that impedes the movements of koalas throughout the forest. All activities on Day 1 are part of a research program that has been ongoing since 2006 and is recognised as a major contributor to citizen science.

Other conservation activities on this tour help with the general monitoring of mammals and birds and on Day 2 we record sightings of platypus enabling longer term evaluation of the status of this vulnerable and declining species.

Wildlife of the plains, billabongs and gum-tree bushlands

Koalas and Kangaroos in the Wild!

A short drive from Melbourne we stroll through a national park looking for wild koalas, cockatoos and kookaburras. We have been researching the koalas in the You Yangs since 2006 and your Wildlife Guide will explain the behaviour and individuality of the koalas you meet. Help create habitat for a wild koala by joining our “Make a Home for Clancy” conservation project which is one of the Koala Clancy Foundation’s many koala conservation projects.

We often spot wild kangaroos on this section of the trip.

After a substantial picnic lunch we continue to the Great Ocean Road where we explore the landscapes and wildlife of this iconic coastline.
Travel inland to our guesthouse in the small town of Forrest nestled high in the forest of the Otway Ranges. Prepare for tomorrow morning’s early start to search for Platypus

Overnight: Forrest Guesthouse

Includes: Lunch & Dinner (L,D)

Paddle with Platypus, the Great Ocean Road & the Twelve Apostles

Magic of the Platypus and a fantastic coastline

Begin your day at dawn for a magical canoe trip on calm Lake Elizabeth deep in the rainforest of the Otway Ranges. Known as one of the best places in Australia for seeing the elusive Platypus, you will paddle your canoe in the water with these fascinating mammals – a once in a lifetime experience. After the canoe trip and breakfast we return to the coast for more spectacular scenery.

Enjoy a walk in the magnificent rainforests of the Otway National Park.  Your Wildlife Guide will explain the formation of these mighty forests and help you find parrots, kookaburras, koalas and wallabies.

Travel through Port Campbell National Park, looking out for echidnas, wallabies, lizards and colourful birds which make their home in the coastal heathlands. Linger a while to take in some of nature’s handiwork at the Twelve Apostles and Loch Ard Gorge. Hear stories about the terrible shipwrecks of the past.

Overnight Port Campbell: Daysy Hill Country Cottages in Port Campbell

Includes Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner (B,L,D)

The great expanse of Australia’s grasslands

Volcanoes and Lakes in a savannah.

This morning we have one last look at the coast in the dramatic morning light before returning to Melbourne across the vast grasslands of the Western Plains.

Created by intense volcanic activity over the past 2 million years, the 7000 volcanoes of the Western Plains are now extinct but the resultant savannah is pasture to a rich wool growing area – a wonderful example of Australia’s great range lands.

We stop en route to drive to the top of an extinct volcano with spectacular views across the plains. From the summit we see some of the hundreds of volcanic lakes scattered across the plains.  This is a great place to view raptors – birds of prey – including Wedge-tailed Eagles, Nankeen Kestrels and Brown Falcons.

Later we pass Lake Corangamite, the largest permanent lake in Australia, often covered with prolific birdlife. We return to Melbourne in the late afternoon. (B,L)

Is this what you want to do in Melbourne?  Contact us now to book your Private Tour

NOTE: this itinerary is an indication only. Every attempt will be made to follow our planned route however to maximise wildlife viewing opportunities, amendments may be made due to National Park Service requirements and weather conditions. They will be clearly outlined to you by your Wildlife Guide.

Wildlife on the Great Ocean Road

This tour is ideal for seeing wild Eastern Grey Kangaroos, Koalas, Platypus,  Swamp Wallabies and many birds – waterbirds and birds of the forests. We often see Sulphur-crested Cockatoos, corellas, Galahs, Laughing Kookaburras, Superb Fairy-wrens, White-winged Choughs, Emus, Cape Barren and Magpie Geese; Singing, New Holland and White-plumed Honeyeaters, ibis, ducks, cormorants, Whistling and Black-shouldered Kites, Nankeen Kestrels, Australian Magpies, Magpie-larks, Red-rumped and King Parrots, Crimson and Eastern Rosellas, Bronzewing and Crested Pigeons, Red and Little Wattlebirds and Willie Wagtails.

We sometimes see Echidnas, possums, fur-seals, Blue-tongue or Jacky Lizards, Rufous Bristlebirds, Wedge-tailed and Little Eagles, falcons, goshawks, Yellow-tailed Black-cockatoos and Gang Gang Cockatoos. We occasionally see a Southern Brown Bandicoot or a whale. We rarely see snakes or spiders, though we are as interested in them as in all wildlife, and will look out for them.

Melbourne is worth a 3 to 7 day visit – there is so much to do!

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Pricing Options

Private Great Ocean Road

Pricing varies based on the number of people on the tour and where you come from. Contact us to discuss your wishes. Lower rates apply to groups of over 12 adults.
Australian Resident
Private Touring

per person
Price Range - adult
$1,530 to $2,475
Price Range - child
$1,150 to $1,455
Single use room
Prices AUD$
International Visitor
Private Touring

per person
Price Range - adult
$1,700 to $2,750
Price Range - child
$1,280 to $1,630
Single use room
Prices AUD$

CURRENCY: Australian dollars (AUD)
VALIDITY: Valid from 30 June 2021 to 31 March 2023.
TWIN SHARE: Price includes twin/double share rooming
SINGLE USE ROOMING: add this cost if you do not wish to share with another person

 MINIMUM AGE : Child rates are applicable from 2 to 13 years of age inclusive - ask us. Infants to 2 years by arrangement. Child restraints or booster seats are legally required for children up to seven years of age. We can arrange child seats at an additional cost.


2 nights. Stay at friendly, comfortable boutique properties in the region, all with ensuite rooms.

1st night: Forrest Guesthouse

2nd night: Daysy Hill Country Cottages


Location: West of the city of Melbourne in south-east Australia. Visit Serendip and You Yangs national parks, the Great Ocean Road, Great Otway National Park, the 12 Apostles, the Shipwreck Coast, volcanoes and lakes of the Western Plains.

Duration: 3 Days   Full Itinerary here

Grade/Difficulty: easy

Group Size – Maximum 8 adults Minimum 2 adults

Departs: All tours are on request with a minimum of 2 adults and subject to availability. (Note: no tours run on or through Christmas or Boxing Days December 25 or 26 or New Years Day Jan 1). Pickups from Melbourne city or Southbank hotels only*.

Returns: to Melbourne city or Southbank hotel.   Book your Private Tour here.

*Please contact us if your hotel is outside of the Melbourne city or Southbank area.  Airport hotel pickups and drop-offs incur an extra fee.

What to bring

Good walking shoes or boots that completely cover the feet (sandals are not recommended on Day 1), outdoor clothing to suit variable weather conditions (please check weather forecast for accurate predictions), sun hat, rainproof coat, insect repellent, 15+ sunscreen, small torch (flashlight), daypack and 1 litre re-usable water bottle. Camera and binoculars are recommended. As space is limited please keep luggage to 1 duffel bag OR 1 backpack OR 1 small suitcase per person.

Drinking Water: Tap water is completely safe and drinkable and available at the 2 B&Bs on this tour, and a large fresh storage is carried on board the vehicle each day. We recommend you bring a re-usable water bottle which we can refill during the day. If you don’t like to drink tap water we highly recommend you bring a filter to reduce plastic waste.


Great Ocean Road wildlife tour includes: Full interpretation by an experienced Wildlife Guide, guided canoe trip searching for Platypus, all transport, meals and accommodation as described below and entry fees.

Accommodation: 2 nights. Stay at friendly, comfortable boutique properties in the region, all with ensuite rooms.

Expert Wildlife Guides: Echidna Walkabout’s Wildlife Guides are recognised as some of the best in Australia. Our Wildlife Guide training program ensures that all Guides have an in-depth knowledge of the wildlife and environments you will see. They are friendly, knowledgeable and passionate about wildlife – some of them have over 20 years experience working with wild animals, several are volunteer wildlife carers and rescuers and most have travelled extensively throughout Australia and the world. Many hours of wildlife research work precede the tour to ensure that you see and learn about native wildlife in its natural environment. Guides carry mobile phones which link them to other Wildlife Guides and to emergency services. Guest safety is of paramount importance to us.

Meals on tour:  On the Great Ocean Road tour we provide all meals from lunch on Day 1 to lunch on Day 3. Note: Vegetarian or other food preferences should be noted at the time of booking. Some catering is ordered in advance and transported on board. We can only cater for allergies and special food preferences that we are informed of in advance.

Easy walking: Although this tour is vehicle based, most of the day is spent outside the vehicle on a number of easy, flat terrain, bushwalks so that you can get close to nature. Guests must be able to walk unassisted at least 1km on uneven dirt surfaces to ensure wildlife sightings. There may be up to 5 walks of this duration during each day.

Transport: From pickup on Day 1 to drop-off on Day 3 in our comfortable, air-conditioned vehicle.  Pickup and drop-off to Melbourne city or Southbank hotel included.  Pickups at hotels outside of this area (including airport hotels) may not be possible, and if possible incur an extra fee. Please contact us.


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world responsible award
Great Ocean Road Reviews …

3 day Great Ocean Road

This tour incorporated so much more than the Great Ocean Road in 3 days and 2 nights, staying in quirky country accommodation. We benefitted from our Guides’ knowledge of birds, culture, geology, and ecology from them. They kept us moving but the tour was varied and well paced and exceeded our expectations.

Ann W October 22, 2019