Birdwatching is a great way to get into nature and learn more about our incredible native wildlife. It's also a fun and simple activity that's good for improving mental wellbeing. Around 450 species of birds call Victoria home, including many rare and endangered species. Whether you’re a seasoned twitcher or brand-new to birding, here are some of the best places for birdwatching in our national parks.

Take a trip to Victoria’s Mallee region and you’ll find ample opportunities for birdwatching. Wyperfeld National Park, Murray-Sunset National Park, Hattah-Kulkyne National Park, Kings Billabong Park and Little Desert National Park are some of the best places to spot birds including bush birds, birds of prey and parrots. The expansive wetlands of Kings Billabong Park and Hattah-Kulkyne National Park are also perfect for spotting a variety of wetland birds. With over 300 species of birds recorded in the region, you’ll be sure to spot something special. Significant species include the Regent Parrot, Malleefowl and Black-eared Miner.

If you want to try something new or meet like-minded people, contact a licensed tour operator. They are experts in birdwatching and will make sure you get the most from your session.

A kite perched on a brachBirds of prey

Take a trip to the north-east of the state and explore the historic box-ironbark forests of Chiltern-Mt Pilot National Park. Plenty of short walks perfect for birdwatching await you, along with the chance to spot a Brown Goshawk or Square-tailed Kite among the trees. You might also catch a glimpse of a Barking Owl, Little Eagle, Black-shouldered Kite or Wedge-tailed Eagle, so keep your eyes peeled! Visitors to Chiltern-Mt Pilot National Park can also spot bush birds such as Painted Button-quail, Rainbow Bee-eater, Speckled Warbler or parrots including Swift Parrot, Turquoise Parrot, Gang Gang Cockatoo, Australian King Parrot, Red-rumped Parrot, Musk Lorikeet and Purple-crowned Lorikeet.

More places to visit for birds of prey:

A yellow-breasted robin on a brandBush birds

Just over an hour’s drive from Melbourne, Brisbane Ranges National Park is one of the state’s richest wildflower habitats and a haven for nectar-drinking bush birds. Watch for the striking figure of the Yellow-tufted Honeyeater and keep an eye out for the flash of vivid red adorning the breast of the Scarlet Robin. You might also see White-throated Nightjar, Striated Pardalote, New Holland Honeyeater, Grey Shrike-thrush, Red-browed Finch, Eastern Yellow Robin or Common Bronzewing. This is one of the best places in the state to spot the elusive Spotted Quail-thrush.


More places to visit for bush birds:

  • Woodlands Historic Park: Red-capped Robin, Black-eared Cuckoo, Purple-crowned Lorikeet
  • Lake Tyers State Park: Rose Robin, Wonga Pigeon, Glossy Black Cockatoo, Little Tern
  • Kinglake National Park: Eastern Whipbird, Gang-gang Cockatoo, Superb Lyrebird, Pink Robin, Silvereye, Brush Cuckoo, Red-browed Treecreeper, Rufous Fantail
  • Warby-Ovens National Park: Rainbow Bee-eater, White-winged Triller, Western Gerygone, Scarlet Robin, Red-capped Robin, Speckled Warbler, Diamond Firetail, Turquoise Parrot
  • Croajingolong National Park: Scarlet Honeyeater, Pilotbird, Topknot Pigeon, White-throated Gerygone, Cicadabird, Beautiful Firetail and Australian Figbird

A parrot on a branch in Kings Billabong ParkParrots

Head south to Wilsons Promontory National Park, whose coastal bushlands and craggy mountains are home to an abundance of birds. In the grasslands and grassy woodlands you might spot the sapphire wing plumage of the Blue-winged Parrot. Look carefully among the coastal heathlands for the shy and unusual Ground Parrot – one of only five ground-dwelling parrots in the world – and scan the mountain trees for the flashy red heads of Gang Gang Cockatoos. Wilsons Promontory National Park is also home to a variety of bush birds including the Olive Whistler, Beautiful Firetail, Southern Emu-wren, Crescent Honeyeater, Forest Raven, Bassian Thrush, Flame Robin, Ground Parrot and Hooded Plover and sea birds like waders, ducks and terns, Hooded Plover and Pied Oystercatcher.

More places to visit for parrots:

Gannets on a rock in Port Phillip BaySea birds

Nestled in Victoria’s far-east Wilderness Coast, the beachside habitat of Cape Conran Coastal Park is a sanctuary for sea birds of all kinds. You’ll likely spot the distinctive red bills of Oystercatchers on the shore, and overhead you might catch a glimpse of a White-bellied Sea Eagle. Keep an eye out as well for the Pilotbird, Eastern Whipbird, Hooded Plover, Double-banded Plover, Pied Oystercatcher, and Red-necked Stint, as well as many gulls and terns.



More places to visit for sea birds:

A spoonbill in the wetlandsWater and wetland birds

Coolart Historic Area features a natural creek system and artifically created wetlands that are a haven for a multitude of birds. The hides and observatory are great spots for birdwatching. Keen observers will see Swamp Hens and White Ibis, many species of ducks, crakes and rails, White Ibis, Hoary-headed Grebe, Cormorants, Chestnut Teal, Blue Billed Duck, Crakes, Rails. Plenty of bushbirds and parrots also call the park home. The diversity of habitats means you might spot up to 60 species in one day!


More places to visit for water/wetland birds:

Iconic Victorian Birds

For seasoned birdwatchers who want to see the rare and exceptional, keep an eye out for:

  • Orange-bellied Parrot – Spit Nature Conservation Reserve, Lake Connewarre State Wildlife Reserve
  • Satin Bowerbird – Dandenong Ranges, Kinglake National Park, Great Otway National Park
  • Cape Barren Goose – Serendip Sanctuary, Wilson’s Promontory National Park
  • Mallee emu-wren; Red-lored Whistler; Striated Grasswren; Black-throated Miner – The Mallee
Hooded Plovers on a rock

Hooded Plover

A charming bird endemic to southern Australia, the Hooded Plover is characterised by its black hood, white collar, and red eyes and bill. This medium-sized plover lives in many of Victoria’s ocean beaches and subcoastal lagoons.

Little Penguin

The aptly named Little Penguin is the smallest species of penguin, growing to an average of just 33cm in height. Their plumage is slate blue. The St Kilda Breakwater is home to a colony of Little Penguins. Just before dusk, you can view the colony coming ashore from the promenade on the St Kilda Breakwater.
A Gang Gang Cockatoo in a tree

Gang Gang Cockatoo

A cheeky and distinctive forest parrot, the Gang-gang Cockatoo is easily recognisable: look for the males’ bright red head and crest, and listen for their creaky-gate call.
A Helmeted Honeyeater on a brand

Helmeted Honeyeater

This vividly-coloured passerine is one of Victoria’s official faunal symbols. The Helmeted Honeyeater has a black mask, a yellow crown and a “helmet” of golden feathers on its forehead. They live exclusively in a remnant of bushland 50km east of Melbourne, and are the subjects of active conservation efforts.
A wedge tail eagle against a blue sky

Wedge-Tailed Eagle

The majestic Wedge-tailed Eagle is the largest bird of prey in Australia. Its wedge-shaped tail, long legs, and huge wingspan – often reaching 2 metres across – make it unmistakable. The adults range in colour from mid-brown to reddish-brown to almost black. They are magnificent predators which can be found riding the thermals all over Australia.
A suberb lyrebird in Mount Buffalo National Park

Superb Lyrebird

As spectacular in song as it is in sight, the Superb Lyrebird is one of the world’s largest songbirds – it’s about the size of a pheasant. The males’ tail is a spectacular plume of ornate buff, brown and white feathers, the outer two of which evoke the shape of a lyre. Even more recognisable, however, is the Lyrebird’s song: an incredible medley of mimicked calls, from the calls of other songbirds to the click of a camera shutter.

Need to know


More parks for birdwatching

Three friends standing at the Erskine Falls lookout admiring the waterfall.

Great Otway National Park

The park features rugged coastlines, sandy beaches, rock platforms and windswept heathland. In the north, the park features tall forests, ferny gullies, magnificent waterfalls and tranquil lakes.
Campaspe River at Rocky Crossing in the Greater Bendigo National Park

Greater Bendigo National Park

The regional city of Bendigo is surrounded by forest that comes alive with wattle and other flowers from August onwards.
Two women in activewear walk their dogs while two runners approach them.

Albert Park

Jog, cycle or walk with your dog around Albert Park Lake - just 3km from the centre of Melbourne. And when you stop to catch your breath, take a moment to enjoy the magnificent views of the city skyline.
A group of hikers along on the Great South West Walk along the beach at Discovery Bay Coastal Park

Discovery Bay Coastal Park

This remote coastal park protects 55km of ocean beach. Inland, the park encompasses high coastal cliffs, huge rolling sand dunes and freshwater lakes and swamps. Coastal vegetation and wildlife thrive.
A boat on the water at sunset French Island National Park

French Island National Park

This island paradise situated in Western Port offers a haven of peace and serenity to visitors and a diverse range of wildlife, including rare birds and the most significant population of koalas in Victoria.
Two retired men go on a long walk through lush temperate rain-forest near Eagles nest picnic ground.

Dandenong Ranges National Park

Protecting the tall forests of the Dandenongs, this park is well known for its spectacular Mountain Ash trees and lush fern gullies, and is ideal for relaxing picnics and tranquil forest walks.
A view of Bunyip State Park

Bunyip State Park

Escape where you can breathe fresh air and enjoy native plants and animals. See a mosaic of green from heathland on river plains to Mountain Ash forest covering steep slopes.
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