Night owl or early bird? What type of happy camper are you? Victoria's charismatic and cute creatures often save their best behaviour for dawn, dusk and the dead of night.
The earlier you rise and the later you stay – the better the chance you'll have the place to yourself (and your new furry and feathered friends).
For the best chance of spotting native wildlife, smart cookies know they're better off staying the night in a peaceful part of regional Victoria.
Try these totally wild experiences to get closer to nature.
Wombats, emus and kangaroos at the Prom
Wilsons Promontory National Park is one of the best places in Victoria to get up close and personal with wildlife. The animals here are used to people and can be viewed at close quarters. Go glamping at Tidal River's Wilderness Retreats, stay in a cabin or unit, or pitch your own tent. If you take an evening stroll in the grounds, you’ll definitely see wombats grazing, and further afield at the Prom Wildlife Walk (pictured above) you’re guaranteed to see emu and kangaroos.
Platypus at Lake Elizabeth
Lake Elizabeth is a haunting place in the early morning mists. Created by a natural landslide in the 1950s, the lake is dotted with drowned trees which add to the magical atmosphere. Go platypus spotting from the trail that loops around the lake. Stay the night at the nearby campground or in comfort at the nearby town of Forrest. Qii Lodge and Pennyroyal Cidery are good local options.
Glow worms on the Great Ocean Road
Go for a night hike in the hinterland off the Great Ocean Road and enter an exquisite lightshow. The glow worms are actually the larvae of the fungus gnat. There are good colonies of glow worms at Melba Gully and Maits Rest (due to reopen in May 2020).
Grampians Spotlight Walk
The Grampians - particularly the area around Halls Gap - is famed for its day walks. Halls Gap is also a good spot to see koalas, but stick around at night and you can meet possums, gliders, owls, bats and other nocturnal wildlife. Go on a spotlight walking tour with Grampians Personalised Tours and Adventures and stay on a budget at Grampians Eco YHA or splash out at DULC.
Kangaroos and koalas of Cape Otway
The Conservation Ecology Centre at Cape Otway is home to a wildlife rehabilitation and research facility. Go on a guided dusk walk to see kangaroos, koalas and other wildlife in their natural environment.
Little Penguins on Phillip Island
The evening commute of the little penguin has become Victoria’s most famous night-time wildlife show. Take your seat in the stands at the nightly Penguin Parade (pictured below) and prepare for cute overload as the little seabirds return home after a busy day's fishing. Continue the natural theme by staying at Five Acres Farm Stay or Phillip Island Nature Resort.
Mutton birds, Cape Woolamai
Another little bird comes home every evening to Phillip Island – and even though they are extremely noisy and approximately one million strong, they are little noticed by the tourists. While the penguins get all the plaudits on the other side of the island, short-tailed shearwaters (also known as mutton birds) fly in to their colony at Cape Woolamai every night between September and April.
Moonlit Sanctuary, a wildlife sanctuary on the edge of Melbourne, is a great place to see nocturnal animals such as potoroos, quolls and pademelons on a night time tour. After your visit, stay on the Mornington Peninsula at Haven Red Hill or ultimate luxury at Woodman Estate.
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