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Iconic Wildlife Touring Route

View Australia's iconic wildlife in the wild on this journey around Victoria. See wombats in Wilsons Promontory, penguins and seals at Phillip Island, dolphins off the Mornington Peninsula, and of course kangaroos, emus and koalas as you travel along the Great Ocean Road. Keep your eyes open for other cuties, such as the echidna, platypus and tiger quolls as you go. This touring route is 1295 km/804 miles and about 19.5 hours drive time. Allow 7 to 8 days.


Iconic Wildlife Touring Route

Melbourne to Wilsons Promontory

190 km/118 miles, about 2.5 hours

Head south east out of Melbourne on the M1, then on to the South Gippsland Highway via Leongatha.Stop off at the village of Meeniyan for a coffee at Moo's, picnic and BBQ supplies, drive on to Foster for pantry supplies. Check in to your holiday cabin or luxury accommodation at Yanakie, or continue on to the Wilderness Retreats at Tidal River in Wilsons Promontory National Park. At Tidal River, stop at the old airfield to see kangaroos and emus. Wander around the campground to see resident wombats, and down to the beach to see the beautiful rock formations which trace Tidal River's path to the ocean. Walk from Tidal River to Squeaky Beach and back (1 hour each direction), via Pillar Point, for stunning coastal views, and keep an eye out for whales June to August. A variety of walks in the area cater to any fitness level. Take care when driving in the national park around sunset and always watch for wildlife. Much of the local accommodation is self-catering but you may like to use the free public BBQs in the national park.

Wilsons Promontory to Phillip Island

110 km/68 miles, 1.5 hours

Drive northwest to Phillip Island via Inverloch and San Remo. Head to The Nobbies Centre to visit the Antarctic Journey exhibition, a joint venture between Phillip Island Nature Parks and WWF Australia. Stroll The Nobbies boardwalk for spectacular views of Phillip Island's rugged south coast and see resting little penguins, silver gulls and chicks spring to early summer. Spot migrating southern right and humpback whales June to September. Nearby Seal Rocks is home to Australia's largest fur seal colony. Baby seals can be seen October to December. Head out on the water with Wild Ocean EcoBoat to get closer. At Phillip Island's Koala Conservation Centre you can take a stroll along the elevated boardwalks for more close encounters of the furry kind. Take a walk at Cape Woolamai for spectacular ocean views, and spot thousands of shearwaters returning to the nest at dusk between October and April. At sunset, take the Ultimate Penguin Tour at the Penguin Parade, or visit the Penguins Plus viewing area. Book a bed at resorts, apartments and lodges or self-cater with a holiday let.

Phillip Island to Mornington Peninsula

135 km/84 miles, about 1 hour, 40 minutes

Start with a walk on Cowes Beach, Phillip Island before breakfast at Mad Cowes Café, then depart for Rye on the Mornington Peninsula. Get out on the water with Peninsula Stand Up Paddleboarding, or hire a snorkel and mask from Extreme Watersports or Bayplay and view the weedy sea-dragons under Rye Pier. November to April join Polperro or Moonraker tours and swim with the dolphins of Port Phillip Bay. Enjoy a wine tasting and lunch at an award-winning winery restaurant or casual bistro. Check in at your luxury accommodation, independent holiday rental or bed and breakfast location at Main Ridge, Red Hill, Flinders, Sorrento or Mornington. Then grab your bathers again and head to Peninsula Hot Springs for an afternoon soak or relaxing massage. Set off next day for a walk along the clifftops, part of over 100 kms of coastal trails known as the Mornington Peninsula Coastal Walk. And get set for an evening tour at Moonlit Sanctuary where you'll view Australia's nocturnal wildlife.

Mornington Peninsula to Bellarine Peninsula and the Great Ocean Road

156 km/97 miles, 3.5 hours

Depart Mornington Peninsula on the Peninsula Searoad Ferry for Queenscliff, across the bay on the Bellarine Peninsula. Meander through the Bellarine Peninsula villages of Queenscliff, Point Lonsdale and Barwon Heads, or take in the views at Jack Rabbit Winery over lunch. Stay overnight at Point Lonsdale or Queenscliff and tee up a cruise to see the seals, gannets and other extraordinary birdlife of the bay with South Bay Eco Adventures. Drive on to Torquay, birthplace of surfing in Australia. Discover the Australian National Surf Museum and visit nearby Bells Beach, home of the Rip Curl Pro surfing championship. Continue on to Apollo Bay and check in to your beach-side accommodation, then head out for a bite to eat. Kayak with the seals in the Marengo Marine Park near Apollo Bay.

Great Ocean Road

100 km/62 miles, about 1 hour, 45 minutes

From Apollo Bay, explore the The Otways and the surrounding coast. If you're staying a bit further down the road from Apollo Bay at Cape Otway's Great Ocean Ecolodge, be sure to arrive in time for the afternoon walk where you'll meet the resident kangaroo mob, koalas, and tiger quolls. Hike some of the Great Ocean Walk, and travel inland to Forrest in time for sunrise or sunset and paddle with a platypus on Lake Elizabeth.

80 km/50 miles, 1.5 hours

Move on to Port Campbell from your Apollo Bay or Cape Otway stop over. Explore short coastal paths, boardwalks and platforms, picturesque coves, beaches and lookouts. Visit the Twelve Apostles at sunset and sunrise to see them in all their majestic beauty. Get your feet wet and feel the sand between your toes at Loch Ard Gorge. Port Campbell National Park is home to hooded plover, rufous bristlebirds, antechinus and grass skinks. Look out for eastern grey kangaroos which also shelter in the park.

106 km/66 miles, 2 hours

From Port Campbell, continue along the Great Ocean Road via Bay of Islands Coastal Park, Warrnambool and Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve to the town of Port Fairy. Stop off at the Bay of Martyrs and Bay of Islands to view amazing wind and surf-sculpted coastal stacks. Spot peregrine falcons, terns and dotterels, gannets, albatrosses, shearwaters, gulls and cormorants. Don't miss Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve. This extinct volcano crater is filled with free-roaming wildlife. See emus, koalas, wallabies, kangaroos, wombats and the occasional echidna. Check in to your resort or homestead room in Warrnambool or push on to a boutique hotel, apartment or historic coaching inn at Port Fairy.

Great Ocean Road to Grampians

157 km/98 miles, 2 hours

Head north to Halls Gap in the Grampians via Dunkeld. Visit Brambuk National Park and Cultural Centre for an introduction to local Aboriginal culture, walking and park maps, tips on the best places to see native animals and birds, a coffee and a bite to eat. Visit the spectacular MacKenzie Falls and take a walk around the Sundial and to Reed Lookout. The Grampians are a birdlover's paradise with sulphur-crested cockatoos, long-billed corellas, crimson lorikeets and honeyeaters. Spot kangaroos at Halls Gap and emus over the ridge in Wartook Valley.

Grampians, Goldfields, Melbourne

261 km/160 miles, 3 hours

From Halls Gap in the Grampians, return to Melbourne via the Goldfields town of Ballarat. Set off towards the south east after a short Grampians bushwalk. Stop in at the Ballarat Wildlife Park for more information about any of the animals you've seen on your journey, or to tick any remaining iconic wildlife sightings off your list before you head back to Melbourne.

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Iconic Wildlife Touring Route

Marengo Reefs Marine Sanctuary

Just past Apollo Bay, off the world famous Great Ocean Road, Marengo Reefs Marine Sanctuary...

Wilsons Promontory National Park

Fondly known as ‘The Prom’, Wilsons Promontory is one of Victoria’s best loved national parks....

Scenic lookouts

View Victoria's stunning coastline from scenic lookouts of rugged cliffs to ancient forests.


Join an expedition to watch, swim with or cruise alongside Port Phillip Bay's bottlenose dolphins.

Brambuk - The National Park & Cultural Centre

Learn about Aboriginal culture in the natural oasis of the Grampians/Gariwerd National Park.


With a bit of luck and eagle eyes, you can spot wombats in Gippsland and the Great Ocean Road.

Ballarat Wildlife Park

Ballarat Wildlife Park is an award winning Park that is owned and operated by Greg Parker and his...

Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park

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

Grampians National Park

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


You can spot kangaroos in the wild in many parts of Victoria, including areas close to Melbourne.

Great Otway National Park

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

12 Apostles

Witness the rugged splendour of these magnificent rock stacks that rise up from the Southern Ocean.


See playful Australian fur seals waddle, lumber and tumble down off rocks and into the sea.

Phillip Island Nature Parks

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

Cape Woolamai

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

Nature and wildlife

Find abundant and fascinating nature and wildlife in Victoria's deserts, coasts, alps and waterways.

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Iconic Wildlife Touring Route

Halls Gap

Get right to the heart of the Grampians at Halls Gap and spend days exploring the nearby wonders.

Wilsons Promontory

Wilsons Promontory National Park sits at the southernmost tip of the Australian mainland.

Red Hill and Main Ridge

Get your fill at vineyards, restaurants, artisan producers and orchards all within one micro region.

Phillip Island

Experience penguins, scenery, family fun, outdoor pursuits, motor sports and life by the water.


Wonder at the beauty and the terror of the Shipwreck Coast in vibrant, historic Warrnambool.

Dromana and Rye

Rediscover the long sun-kissed days of family holidays by the beach at Dromana and Rye.

Apollo Bay

Base yourself in Apollo Bay at the foothills of the Otways to explore the Great Ocean Road region.

Port Fairy

Uncover history in every corner of this charming fishing village at the end of the Great Ocean Road.


Ballarat is a thriving hub of contemporary arts, events and food and wine, with a heritage backdrop.


Feel a distinct seaside holiday vibe and celebrate a relaxed life by the water in bustling Cowes.


Be charmed by the historic seaside village of Queenscliff with its elegant Victorian-era buildings.

Port Campbell

Stop at Port Campbell during your Great Ocean Road journey and admire spectacular coastline scenery.

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