Australian Animals are Amazing!
When you think of Australian animals the first ones that probably pop into your head are kangaroos and koalas, whereas in reality Australia is host to an amazing array of animals with widely differing characteristics and sizes, from a 60 ft Southern Right Whale through to a Grey's Skink Lizard measuring just 25 mm, and from scary crocodiles to quirky penguins.
If you happen to be visting Australia, then the Great Ocean Road is a fantastic area in which to spot all types of common and lesser known Australian animals. One of the highlights of a trip to the Great Ocean Road has to be a visit to Logan's Beach whale nursery at Warnambool where you may be lucky enough to grab a close up view of a Southern Right Whale. You may also spot another endangered whale, the Blue Whale, at Portland Bay.
If you're looking to really get up close and personal with some of the Australian animals then why not visit The Fauna Australia Wild Life Retreat situated midway between Apollo Bay and Port Campbell. Here you and the kids help feed koalas, wombats, kangaroos and wallabies. Just think of the fabulous photos you'll get from an experience like this one.
Now here's a fact you may not know – the humble Glow worm is worth more than 6 million dollars to the Australian economy! For a magical night walk, and one you won't forget in a hurry, make your way to Kennett River. Armed with a torch, just in case you stumble, make your way across the bridge where you will see the embankments to the left and right, lit up with the light from thousands of glow worms. Keep very quiet, and try to use your torch sparingly, or the glow worms will “switch off”.
Alternatively, the walk to Marriner's Falls near Apollo Bay or Melba Gully near Lavers Hill will provide a similar experience.
The numerous National Parks and Reserves are simply overflowing with native Australian animals although you may not think so as many of the animals are shy or nocturnal. Birds are the most obvious to spot and there are aroud 200 species in the forest areas, along the cliff tops and hovering over the water. The endangered Peregrine Falcon breeds successfully on the cliff tops here and keen bird watchers will easily spot warblers, honeyeaters, parrots, cockatoos, eagles and falcons.
The famous 12 apostles is also home to a penguin rookery, so if you’re there at sunset you may notice hundreds of penguins returning to the beach from a hard days fishing. It’s for this reason that Parks Victoria do not allow people on the beach at the 12 Apostles (to my utter frustration as a Landscape Photographer.)
You can, virtually by appointment, get to see a huge range of Australian animals, but nothing beats that heart in the mouth moment when you accidentally stumble on a “native” without there being a tour guide to be found, so always have a pair of binoculars and a camera at the ready, who knows what might be round the corner!
Australian Animals --> Great Ocean Road Homepage