Are there koalas in the Otways?

Are there koalas in the Otways?

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 01/23/2023

Reading time: 3 mins

Seeing koalas in their natural habitat is a magical experience worth seeking when in Victoria.

The Otway Ranges are a range of rolling hills along the Great Ocean Road in Victoria. Covered by lush eucalypt forests, the area is a haven for some of Australia’s most iconic native animals. Hoping to spot some of the lazy, tree-dwelling koalas in the wild on your trip to Melbourne? Luckily for you, you can find koalas in the Otways.

A lot of people find koalas along Lighthouse Road in Great Otway National Park. You will get a greater chance to spot a koala at the Otways if you stay for a night at the national park or nearby on the Great Ocean Road. This gives you the chance to spot one in the morning or the evening while they are awake. You are likely to spot a koala in the eucalyptus trees, more likely sleeping but maybe munching on the eucalyptus leaves.

What are the best times to spot koalas?

Koalas are at their most active early in the morning or late at night. They can sometimes sleep up to 20 hours a day because of their low energy diet. But if you don’t see one awake and moving around, you are likely to see one sleeping up high in the trees. So, keep your head up and look around in the tall eucalyptus trees for a sleeping koala!

Kennett River

One of the best places to spot koalas in the Otways is at Kennett River. Here you can wander along the Kennett River Koala Walk which takes you through the best known places to spot a handful of wild koalas.

What other wildlife can I see at the Otways?

The Otways has so much Australian wildlife throughout the lush ranges.


The elusive platypus can be rather hard to spot as they are very shy creatures. They live in lakes, banks, and rivers. So, you might see one pop its head out of the water at Lake Elizabeth.

Kangaroos and wallabies

Both kangaroos and wallabies can be found throughout the Otways. They are found hopping around mainly in the early mornings and at night. Kangaroos are a lot taller, and wallabies are smaller with dark brown fur.


There are a large number of different types of birds that are found in the Otways. Some of the most common birds that are spotted are kookaburras, crimson rosellas and sulphur crested cockatoos. You can easily go bird watching when in the Otways. You can do bird watching when walking through the Otways, at nearby pubs or restaurants, or outside where you are staying.

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward turned his travel passion into a thriving Australian tourism business. Before he co-founded his own business, Sightseeing Tours Australia, he was enjoying being a Melbourne tour guide. Even now, Cameron delights in helping visitors from all around the world get the most out of their incredible Australian trip. You’ll see Cameron leading tours or writing about his favourite Australian places where he shares his local insights.