Wildlife of the Great Ocean Road
Private 3 day tour – operates on request
NEW : PADDLE WITH PLATYPUS
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. (Optional extensions to Grampians and Outback)
See wild animals near Melbourne while you explore the Great Ocean Road
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. Read more about platypus here: Platypus: how to find one
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.
Private Great Ocean Road 3 days
Pricing varies based on the number of people on the tour.
Contact us to discuss your wishes.
Lower rates apply to groups of over 12 adults.
CURRENCY: Australian dollars (AUD)
* VALIDITY: Valid from 1st April to 31st March (each year)
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.
Great Ocean Road tour discontinued
We wish to advise that as of April 2023 Echidna Walkabout will cease offering this trip.
This has been a difficult decision caused by circumstances beyond our control.
We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience this may cause to our valued clients, agents and suppliers.
Forward bookings will be honoured
We will guarantee and honour all forward bookings that we have already received and confirmed for this tour.
We’ve left this page on our website so that people who have who have confirmed bookings for this tour can see what’s included in the trip.
We have a range of great wildlife tours that you can book with us. Here are the best options for tours out of Melbourne, Australia.
Message to agents
We will update all travel agencies on these changes (which have been forced on us) as soon as possible. If you’d like more information please contact Roger Smith here
Message to suppliers
We’d like to thank all the suppliers who have helped make this a fantastic trip for our guests.
“Best platypus viewing”
Day 1 : Koala & Kangaroos
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)
Day 2 : Paddle with Platypus
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)
Day 3 : Volcanoes & Lakes
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)
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.
Conservation : giving back
Your trip will help conserve wildlife
You will be involved in Echidna Walkabout’s “Citizen Science” conservation efforts in the following ways on this journey:
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.
- On Day 2 we record sightings of platypus enabling longer term evaluation of the status of this vulnerable and declining species.
Other conservation activities on this tour help with the general monitoring of mammals and birds and
Your involvement is crucial to the success of these projects. Over many years Echidna Walkabout’s wildlife monitoring efforts have enabled a number of scientific projects to gather important long term insights into the conservation status of wildlife in the regions that we travel to.
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.
Details - when, where, how?
Travel with the best of the best!
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
Group Size – Maximum 8 adults Minimum 2 adults
Departs: All tours are PRIVATE and 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 hotels
*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.
Inclusions & Accommodation
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.
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.
Drinking Water: Tap water is completely safe and drinkable and available at the accommodation, and a large 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.
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
What to bring - personal stuff
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.
Pickups & Cancellations
Exciting conservation and wildlife add-ons
From the Great Ocean Road you can add-on many tours to extend your journey. Here’s a few to select from:
You can check out other touring options here from our main Tours page
Your Tour Map
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