Does anyone know of any places near metropolitan Melbourne where you can see wildlife? I have been to the Healesville Sanctuary and have seen kangaroos in various places. However, I'd like to see more Aussie animals especially koalas and platypuses.

  • In the wild? Or will a zoo or sanctuary work too?
    – Gagravarr
    Jul 10 '11 at 13:05
  • Wild is much preferred
    – user403
    Jul 11 '11 at 2:39
  • Platypuses (platypodes) are very hard to see in the wild, no matter how far you go from Melbourne. Oct 14 '18 at 21:11

It's a bit of a drive, but when I was there I saw lots of wild koalas at Kennet River. It's along the Great Ocean Road though, so at least there's lovely scenery for the 160km drive! On local advice, we went up the road behind the caravan park into the hills (I think it was Grey River Road from looking on a map, but you might want to check if you can't spot them!). I think we had to go a couple of miles up there to spot them, but when we did reach them there were loads.

They can be a little tricky to spot in low light though, and they do blend in quite well! This should give you an idea of what you're looking for: A sleeping koala, as most will be They can be hard to spot

The other wildlife spot I know of near Melbourne is Phillip Island, where around sunset you can watch the Little Penguins come ashore. Again it's a bit outside Melbourne (a couple of hours drive again), but it's an amazing sight to see them all running up the beach. If you can, go when the chicks are around but out of their burrows (December/January), then you can watch them be fed by their returning parents too.

  • One advantage of Philip island is that it’s a very popular spot, meaning that tour operators can take you there. Oct 14 '18 at 21:13
  • 1
    For the Penguins I can't recommend enough the Ultimate adventure Tour level of tickets. 50% more than the cost of the cost of general viewing tickets ($90 vs $60), but instead of being in the bleachers with several hundred of your newest friends and seeing the Penguins from 100 or so feet away, you are on a darkened beach with a private group of 12 or so people and the Penguins pass mere feet away from you. Plus you get to night vision goggles. I'm not connected with the tour, just a satisfied customer
    – Peter M
    Oct 14 '18 at 22:23

You have been to Healsville, but have you been to the Moonlit Sanctury? While this has the standard 'roos and Koala's they also offer nighttime walks around their enclosures when the animals are active and you can see

Nocturnal birds are active, tiny feathertail gliders dart around, giant yellow-bellied gliders gracefully move overhead; endangered quolls, Tasmanian devils, pademelons and potoroos all forage for food.

Its located in Pearcedale (at the north west corner of Westernport Bay) about an hour from the Melbourne CBD.


For koalas try french island. You can only get there by ferry but it is possible to get to the ferry on public transport

For flying foxes / fruit bats this link http://ausbats.org.au/flying-foxes-in-melbourne/4569172225 has some useful information. You can see them within the greater Melbourne area

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