When in Australia, you will see kangaroos and koalas everywhere, right? No! Actually, koalas are not common at all. Kangaroos are easier to find, especially if you are happy with their bouncing cousins, the wallabies, which in some areas are quite common.
But there is a place where you are actually pretty much guaranteed to find the cute eucalyptus loving marsupials. Here in a little koala spotting guide:
The guide to the best koala spotting in Australia
- Location: Koalas are not everywhere. I looked. But on Great Ocean road just west of Melbourne towards Adelaide (more precisely between Torquay and Port Fairy) they are actually seen quite frequent. Great Ocean road is one of the major tourist attractions in Australia. Amazing scenery all along the drive, and several spots worth stopping at. Gather a group of people, you should be at least two for an optimal koala spotting experience, rent a car and drive the whole thing. Make all the detours you have time for – it is all good.
- Train your eyes! Once you start seeing the koalas, you will see them more and more frequently. You will learn which trees to look through more carefully, and how the koalas are positioned in the trees (first you will just mistake big bumps in the trees for koalas, but don’t give up – if you are in the right location you will see the actual koalas after a while).
- A reliable spot: Locate Otway Lighthouse road and drive towards the lighthouse. Here the koalas are hanging from the trees really low down and give you the possibility to see the animals up close. And there is many of them. Cuteness overload!
- More koalas: There are other areas around Great Ocean Road with koalas, and you can find these locations on the tourist maps, but the koalas are more difficult to find in the other locations because the trees are much higher.
- Be careful: Watch out for animals on the road, they are everywhere and they don’t need to get killed because you were busy trying to spot animals up in the trees. This is one reason why it is best if you are more people in the car: one person driving, and the rest koala spotting. And watch out for other cars too, because you are not the only one trying to spot these cuties, and it can get chaotic when you find a good koala spot.
Good luck with your koala spotting and also enjoy the rest of Great Ocean Road!
Where to stay and be a neighbour with the koalas
Be a neighbour with the wild koalas if you stay here! You can also find some designated campings along the way.
You might want to check out what Melbourne has to offer too!