Victoria is full of beautiful places a short drive from Melbourne. While physical access to the state's nature and wildlife is restricted during this time of social-distancing, many remain open to the public via live-stream.
Check in with the animals of Melbourne's zoos, find local conservation projects in our forests and bays, and gaze out upon our stunning coastline, via local surf cams.
Be inspired and start planning your next day trip out to Victoria's regions, for when the time is right to go.
1. Penguin Burrow on Phillip Island
Phillip Island's Penguin Parade may be shut, but the island's cutest residents can still be viewed, via an onsite Penguin cam. This live-stream feeds directly from a burrow, where the Little Penguins like to congregate for a bit of R&R, after a hard day's swimming and fishing.
2. Parks Victoria
Head to the Parks Victoria YouTube channel, to see what they've been up to and experience Victoria's diverse natural environment, from the comfort of your home. Learn about local conservation projects and future volunteer activities. Discover wild locations and tag along with park rangers on location.
3. Animal House at the Zoos
While you may not be able to visit the animals of Melbourne and Werribee Zoo in person, you can tune in to see what they're up to, via the Animal House. Both zoos have set up live-stream cameras in the enclosures of several of their star residents. See the very cute snow leopard cubs snooze in their nesting box. Catch the giraffes and zebras going about their daily business of mainly munching on breakfast, lunch and dinner. Watch the mighty lions laze around in the sun. Or tune in to see Ed the Fiordland Penguin strut his stuff across the screen.
4. Surf and coastal conservation cameras
Surf cameras keep a constant eye on Victoria's spectacular coastline. Check in on daily conditions at beaches and surf spots on Phillip Island, the Bellarine and Mornington Peninsula. Bookmark spots for fun in the sun later, when the time and weather are right.
The Nature Conservancy Australia have set up two webcams, monitoring the residents of the rocky-reefs of Port Phillip Bay. An above-reef camera streams a live-feed from Pope's Eye, which has been claimed by Australasian Gannets and Black-faced Cormorants. Dive deep with the Reef Cam's underwater camera, to keep up with Port Phillip Bay's marine life. Look out for fish, seals and even dolphins.
5. Dolphin Watch TV
Speaking of dolphins, don't miss your chance to see some very special guests via YouTube with See All Dolphin Swims, Queenscliff. Immerse yourself in the underwater world of dolphins on Port Phillip Bay and along the Bellarine Peninsula coast.
6. Mt Burnett Observatory in the Dandenongs
You don't have to travel far for a clear view of the night's sky. Thanks to the Mt Burnett Observatory, in the state's Dandenong Ranges, you don't even need to leave your house. The observatory has a live fish-eye camera set atop their "chook shed", offering 360 degree views of the sky, day and night.
7. Birds in your backyard
There are plenty of ways you can help feathered friends, without leaving the house. Create a bird-friendly space in your backyard and record the birds you see as part of a seasonal survey. Get the kids involved, with activity books containing puzzles and board games. Read stories, join campaigns, and help protect the birds you love.
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