See Australian native animals in their natural habitat. Victoria has a large and thriving population of koalas. Koalas spend most of the day sleeping up high in the tall trees, nestled against a branch or tucked securely in a fork. The best time of day to see them is dawn or dusk when they’re most active. Remember to look up! Kangaroos, wallabies and wombats can also be seen across the state in larger, bushland parks. Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve is the perfect spot for seeing a variety of local wildlife including emus, echidnas, turtles and possums.
The tall forests of Dandenong Ranges National Park are home to abundant native birdlife, including crimson rosellas, kookaburras and Superb Lyrebird. Wake up early or head to Lake Elizabeth hidden deep in Great Otway National Park at dusk to catch a glimpse of the elusive platypus that can be found in the waters of the lake.
Marine mammals can be spotted from the coastline of marine national parks and coastal reserves. These marine mammals, which include whales, dolphins and seals, feed and breed in open waters off Victoria’s coastline year round. Cape Nelson Lighthouse Reserve on the Great South West walk provides a perfect vantage point for whale watching. Watch Southern Right Whales in the winter months, the enormous Blue Whales in the summer months, and Humpback Whales can be seen between April and October each year as they make the long journey from their summer Antarctic feeding grounds to their winter breeding grounds in warmer waters. Bottlenose Dolphins are seen in groups or pods, along the whole of the coastline, including within Port Phillip Bay, Western Port and Gippsland Lakes. Discovery Bay Coastal Park looks out over rocks and down to a colony of Australian fur seals, which is the largest seal colony on the Australian mainland.
Native wildlife in parks
Explore this massive volcanic feature by taking one of the five self-guided walks. Each has a different theme. Enjoy a picnic, spot some local wildlife and learn about the Aboriginal heritage of the area at the Worn Gundidj Visitor Centre.
Rising abruptly from the surrounding Western Plains, the Grampians (Gariwerd) is a series of rugged sandstone mountain ranges and forests rich in wildlife. One of Victoria’s most popular holiday destinations, the park is a great venue for camping, climbing, scenic drives, bushwalks and nature study.
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.
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.
Marine national parks and sanctuaries exist to protect Victoria’s unique and diverse marine ecosystem, and the many plants and animals that live in them. Meet some of the marine life that these parks protect.
Just because darkness is falling doesn’t means parks aren’t great places to experience, as long as it’s done safely. In fact, there are some special experiences to be had in parks at dusk or after dark.
If you're looking for the best places to see underwater ecosystems and encounter marine wildlife, look no further! We've rounded up some of the best ways to explore marine protected areas. So, pack your togs, wetsuit, a mask and snorkel and head to the coast!
Discover more things to see
Learn more about the culture, history and contemporary aspirations of the Aboriginal Traditional Owners of our land.
Observe the dramatic landscapes and coastal scenery of Victoria from lookout vantage points dotted across state and national parks.
Whether you’re surrounding yourself with carpets of colourful flowers, spotting rare orchids, or just enjoying the local native flowers, it’s a great way to immerse yourself in nature and help your spirits soar.