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You're spoilt for ornithological choice in the varied landscapes and habitats of Victoria, with rare birds, colourful birds, and migrating birds all awaiting avid twitchers and casual birdwatchers alike.

Bushland birds and wetland wonders

The bushlands of the Grampians are home to over 200 species of birds, including a wide variety of parrots like gang-gang cockatoos and long-billed corellas. Laughing kookaburras act as the local alarm clocks.

Up in the Murray region you're sure to spot the mallee fowl, and the local ibises will be on show at the Kerang Wetlands near Echuca. 

Coastal twitching

Head to the coast along the Great Ocean Road to see shorebirds and seabirds, including albatrosses and petrels. The endangered orange-bellied parrots can be glimpsed on the Bellarine Peninsula as they migrate from breeding grounds in south-western Tasmania for the winter.

Phillip Island is a birdwatching haven, with the mangroves and mudflats of Rhyll Inlet a significant site for the wading birds that fly thousands of kilometres to feed during the summer months. Walk on the elevated boardwalks to witness spoonbills, oyster catchers, herons, egrets and cormorants. Pelicans gather around the San Remo shoreline, the rare hooded plover can be seen on the beaches, while Woolamai is host to around a million short-tailed shearwaters (mutton birds) that return to their colony en masse at sunset between late September and April. Last but not least is the island's nightly parade of little penguins.

Birds of paradise

Superb lyrebirds, with their mocking calls, can be seen and heard in the Dandenong Ranges. Over at Healesville Sanctuary, Australia's majestic birds of prey and magnificent parrots dazzle visitors in spectacular daily performances.

Closer to Melbourne

Victoria's bird emblem is the endangered helmeted honeyeater (the only bird endemic to Victoria). It is now restricted to a small area in Yellingbo Nature Conservation Reserve near Yellingbo, about 50 kilometres east of central Melbourne.The helmeted honeyeater is also bred in captivity at Healesville Sanctuary.

Owls can sometimes be seen in the city in places such as the Royal Botanic Gardens.

Waterbirds make a beeline for Werribee, near the city, where vagrant migratory waders from the Northern Hemisphere can occasionally be spotted.

Finally, the Melbourne Zoo's Great Flight Aviary offers visitors the chance to get up close to Australia's best-loved birds.

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Native habitats


Shallow Inlet Marine and Coastal Park

Nestled between Waratah Bay and the majestic peaks of Wilsons Promontory, the sheltered waters of...

Cape Nelson State Park

The picnic areas at Cape Nelson State Park set in quiet bush surroundings are an ideal location for...

Grampians National Park

Discover grand mountain ranges, spectacular wildflowers, and a wealth of Aboriginal rock art sites.

Dandenong Ranges National Park

Take a stroll through forests of towering mountain ash in the Dandenong Ranges National Park.

Cape Woolamai

Catch a wave against the backdrop of ancient pink granite at perennially popular Cape Woolamai.

Little Desert National Park

Travel through pure mallee heathland, rolling sand dunes, and casuarina woodlands in the west.

Great Otway National Park

The Great Otway National Park stretches from Torquay through to Princetown and up through the...

Murray-Sunset National Park

Murray-Sunset National Park, in Victoria's far north-west corner, is in one of the few remaining...

Hattah-Kulkyne National Park

Hattah-Kulkyne National Park lies in typical mallee country with extensive low scrub and open...

Cheetham Wetlands

Cheetham Wetlands consists of lagoons and saltmarsh of varying salinity levels created through the...

Kinglake National Park

Only 65 kilometres north of Melbourne, Kinglake National Park lies on the slopes of the Great...

Royal Botanic Gardens

Discover more than 12,000 species of plants and a sanctuary for native wildlife.

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Sanctuaries & zoos


Halls Gap Zoo

Get up close to more than 160 native, endangered and exotic mammals, reptiles and birds.

Phillip Island Nature Parks

See little penguins every day of the year, peek into burrows, and spot other Australian animals.

Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park

Cuddle koalas and feed kangaroos at this award-winning ecotourism park set in beautiful bushland.

Healesville Sanctuary

Watch for waking koalas and marvel at bounding kangaroos, and observe vets in the animal hospital.

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