Head to the Mornington Peninsula for close encounters with familiar Australian wildlife and some unusual new discoveries.
Dolphins and seals
Watch the curious dolphins on Port Phillip Bay's southern reaches or take the plunge and swim among the willing pods. Join friendly seals as part of a cruise run by a specially licensed operator. You'll even see dolphins that you won't find anywhere else, including bottlenose dolphins and the common variety.
Watch hundreds of eastern grey kangaroos grazing at dusk in the bushland at Sorrento Back Beach. Encounter the bandicoots, wallabies and parrots that inhabit the coastal cliffs, scrubby dunes, banksia woodlands and wetlands of Mornington Peninsula National Park.
Head to lush Greens Bush, between Arthurs Seat and Cape Schanck, or nearby Highfield to see all kinds of birdlife, kangaroos and black wallabies. Listen as the light fades for the sounds of ringtail possums, sugar gliders and the little forest bat.
Visit foreshore reserves and national parks at dawn and dusk to see kangaroos, or catch a ferry out to French Island for the chance to see a large colony of koalas. Take a night tour at Moonlit Sanctuary to see a variety of almost-extinct Australian animals rarely seen in zoos and wildlife parks.
Listen for the songs of colourful and rare birds as you explore Mornington Peninsula's renowned wineries, historic homesteads, manicured gardens and rugged national parks.
Watch carefully for unusual birdlife as you walk or cycle through the peninsula's national parks and foreshore reserves. For guaranteed bird sightings head to Greens Bush or Highfield.
Wild about wetlands
Spot hundreds of varieties of birds in the peninsula's dedicated wetlands, including kookaburras, eagles, parrots, rosellas, brolgas, swans, pelicans, terns, ducks and albatross.
Wander through the Coolart Wetlands where koalas live amid the breeding grounds of more than 170 varieties of birds, including the Australian white ibis.
Watch waterbirds make a splash from the wetlands observation points at the fascinating Briars Park.