Look and listen carefully and you will be rewarded. The Great Ocean Walk offers many opportunities to view wildlife in its natural settings. Both on land and out to sea.
Watch for migrating whales in winter, small rockpool creatures at low tide and keep a sharp eye and ear out for small and large birds, nearby and overhead.
Offshore at Marengo Reefs Marine Sanctuary, seals are often seen resting. You may also see grazing kangaroos in forest clearings, sleepy koalas up close (or hear their wild night sounds of squealing and grunting). A Muttonbird colony can be viewed at dusk near Loch Ard Gorge between spring and autumn.
At your journey’s end, a colony of little penguins lives at the base of the Twelve Apostles viewing area. Best seen at sunset with binoculars. Penguins begin to arrive about 10 minutes after sunset.
If you are lucky, you might catch a glimpse of one of these locals waddling along the path ahead of you. A monotreme (mammal that lays eggs) the echidna leads a solitary life only finding company to mate before pursing life on their own again. Echidna can be quite active in the day but don't cope well with the heat, as they have no sweat glands so, as the weather warms, they change their patterns and you might catch them at dusk!
Sulphur Crested Cockatoo
The Sulphur Crested Cockatoo is a large white parrot with a distinctive sulphur-yellow crest and yellow wash on the underside of its wings. These guys are often seen in large number and have earned a bit of a reputation for being a pest in urban areas. Hear them call to each other as the sun brings in a new day.
If you are lucky to catch a glimpse of the marine life of the Southern Ocean. Not too far from the start of the Great Ocean Walk is Marengo Reef Marine Sancutuary, where a seal colony of sits just 50 metres from shore. The reef is home to more than 200. Brave the elements in winter and you may even be lucky enough to glimpse a migrating whale.
Black Swamp Wallabies
Often mistaken for small kangaroos the Black Swamp Wallaby is found along numerous areas of the track but most commonly in the Cape Otway forests, you'll see them bounding away from you on the track or standing so still they camouflage with the landscape.
Despite appearing rather slow moving, koalas are actually quite agile, particularly when it comes to climbing trees. If you’re on the lookouts, try casting your eyes upwards – you’ll generally find a Koala wedged in the nook of a tree branch and most often asleep.
A mob of kangaroos
Mobs of kangaroos can be seen in various places along the Great Ocean Walk, grazing on natural pastures - and sometimes with a special parcel in their pouch!
Whale of a time
Whales are often sighted just off shore along the Great Ocean Walk, particularly during the winter months during migration and when mothers have given birth to calves. Watching playful whales is one of the most spectacular sights.
Brimming with birdlife
A diversity of habitats occurs where ocean and land meet, providing home, food and shelter for a range of wildlife from the land and the ocean – including birds. Skies, heathlands, beaches, estuaries and wetlands thrive with all manner of birds. Peregrine
A dash of rarity
One of Victoria's rarer birds is common in the walk’s heathland areas. Watch ahead of you on the track in low heathland areas for the rufous bristlebird as it dashes across the track. About the size of a blackbird it has an upturned tail which jerks as it
The kookaburra's distinctive song is known locally as a laugh and you will generally hear the laugh echoing through the landscape. keep your eyes peeled to see the majesty of this native who stands proud among the branches of the trees.
Little Penguins a big drawcard
A colony of about 1000 little penguins inhabits the closed at the base of the Twelve Apostles viewing area. Bring your binoculars at sunset to view their comical social behaviour as they return to their warm safe burrows - safe from marauding foxes. Pengu
At Muttonbird Island, near Loch Ard Gorge, thousands of muttonbirds nest between October and April when they can be observed each evening returning in flocks to their burrows to feed hungry chicks after feeding at sea. Viewing platforms are provided.