Last weekend, my parents and nephew went to Apollo Bay. I was incredibly jealous, as Apollo Bay is the hub of a lot of wildlife activity and I’ve been getting bored of birding in the few areas close to public transport.
They went to rockpools and the Otway Fly but hadn’t seen any koalas. I’m a nerd and have several books on the great ocean road so did some research for them.
There is a place called Grey River Road at Kennett River. It is literally right off the Great Ocean Road and has a decent amount of koalas for such a small area. Even better: They have wild rosellas and king parrots that like being fed!
Sethy, my nephew, loved it. I got a call as soon as they’d left there and they sent me several photos. “There was one on my head and there was wood ducks!” It was the highlight of their trip – even if they missed out on seeing koalas.
They had originally stayed at my aunts flat and accidentally left a few things there, necessitating a return trip. I was invited to come although “we’d only stop at the birds for an hour.”
Yeah, it was an easy decision.
We left at 9am and the weather was abysmal. It was pouring down so hard we could barely see the road. We stopped at several places due to my dads teeny bladder. This gave me enough chances to have a peek at what birds were around and sulk about not being able to drive. The road, and the Otways, is so beautiful. 3 days doesn’t do it justice.
And then, finally, we were there.
KOALAS! Not just one, THREE!
I’m a bit spoiled. I check out a lot of zoos and wildlife parks and koalas aren’t that big of a deal when they are in captivity. Still, I got such a thrill seeing them in the wild.
We are such a lucky country. We are so blessed to have so many unique animals. And we aren’t doing enough to support them.
Anyway – we weren’t expecting to see them so close. The brochure said that you may have to walk/drive several kilometres. Driving would have been difficult. The road itself is a popular place to feed the parrots and it can be very difficult to navigate through the many birds and people.
We saw three koalas, which was fantastic. Only one of them was moving. It was difficult to get photos but it was still a blast watching them eat eucalyptus leaves.
It was difficult though as there was about 5 tourist buses there when we got there. It is a popular spot and can be really crowded when a lot of tourist buses are there. It wasn’t that bad, though, as it meant there were more parrots then usual. Previously, my family saw about two king parrots and one crimson rosella. On Wednesday, there was at least 30 parrots and several currawongs.
I would have loved to explore the area more. I know there are glowworms there at night. There were a lot of wood ducks floating around. Mum fell in love with them; she hadn’t seen them before and commented about how delicate they were.
There was a cockatoo walking along the ground. Dad had fed them previously at Grants Picnic Ground so put his hands on the ground. The cheeky bird pecked his hand to make him drop the seed!
It was a brilliant family outing. We drove through the otways on the way back to geelong and it was just beautiful. We’d see flashes of birds fly past and try to guess them. The tree ferns were magnificent. I believe that the Otways are the main attraction – however they don’t have the public transport options for me to fully explore them.
I highly recommend visiting here if you are making the journey along the road. Don’t try and cram everything into a day. Stop at Apollo Bay or Lorne and explore the diverse wildlife and nature of the region. The Otways… wow. I’m in love.