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Overview

Koalas

Despite its crippling shyness and propensity to sleep through much of the koala-spotting excitement, there are opportunities to spot koalas in the wild as you travel around Victoria.

Find them in the forks

The koala spends much of its time in the high forks of eucalyptus tree branches, so adjust your vision and hone in on the treetop hotspots to see koalas dozing in the trees, especially in Gippsland and on the Great Ocean Road.

Some furry facts

While eucalyptus is obviously delicious and has a sufficiently high water content to ensure koalas only need to drink occasionally, it provides few nutrients. As a result koalas sleep for around 20 hours a day and move sluggishly when they're awake. A marsupial and closely related to the wombat, the asocial koala weans its joey at 12 months and sends it out to find its own way in the world.

Koalas in Victoria

Victoria's koala population grows steadily compared to other Australian states. The moist, temperate climate suits the furballs, which grow up to 14 kilograms, while their northern relatives are only around eight kilograms and have shorter thinner fur.

The Great Ocean Road is prime koala spotting territory, with Kennett River ground zero, along with the route to the lighthouse at Cape Otway.

For a guaranteed sighting of a koala and a chance to see them from their treetop vantage point, visit Healesville Sanctuary and the Koala Conservation Centre on Phillip Island. Maru Koala and Animal Park in Gippsland lets you get up close to koalas, and you can actually cuddle a koala at certain times at Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park on the Mornington Peninsula. The Melbourne Zoo's koala viewing area is also a highlight.

Take care

Koalas have been known to topple from trees. They usually survive falls and immediately climb back up, but injuries and deaths from falls do occur, particularly by speeding cars, so take care on the roads.

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Koalas

Wildlife, zoos & farms

Healesville Sanctuary

Watch for waking koalas and peek at a joey in a kangaroo's pouch, meet keepers or observe vets in the animal hospital, all in an Aussie bush setting.

Wildlife, zoos & farms

Koala Conservation Centre

Wander through the tree-top boardwalks and see koalas up close in their natural habitat at Phillip Island's Koala Conservation Centre.

Wildlife, zoos & farms

Melbourne Zoo

Get up close with more than 250 species as you explore rainforests, bushland and underwater worlds. Don't miss the zookeeper talks and feeding times!

Nature & wildlife

Raymond Island

Jump on the ferry from Paynesville and hit the island's Koala Trail by bike or foot for top koala-spotting in the Gippsland Lakes.

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