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Two best places to see koalas and kangaroos around Melbourne

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Melbourne

Joanna Horanin

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Last updated at 04/03/2024, 19:15

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You can see koalas and kangaroos around Melbourne and you can see them in the wild! With a little bit of luck and driving around, you will be able to spot them all hopping around, or lazying on a tree.

One of the reasons why I came to Australia was to see the kangaroos and koalas. They are one of my favourite animals (I also love hippos), so a trip to Oz wouldn’t be complete without spotting a skippy, or a sleepy, gumtree eating cute bear.
I expected to see koalas and kangaroos around Melbourne, but I thought I would go to the zoo. I was so excited when my friend, Sylvia, took me to some less known places and we actually saw them in the wild!

Sylvia was determined to show me off the beaten path places. We went on many walks and she showed me the city, bars and the street art in Melbourne. and therefore took me to two of them, where I had a great pleasure of seeing the animals in the wild. I spent an amazing time taking photos and observing koalas and kangaroos in their natural habitat. I will never forget this trip! 

Below you will find some information on places we visited as well as some useful tips. I hope you will also be able to see koalas and kangaroos around Melbourne. 

The best place to see kangaroos in Melbourne 

Are you also a fan of kangas? Here is the best and the most unusual place to see kangaroos around Melbourne. 

Woodlands Historic Park 

We got up on an overcast Sunday, thinking what we should do with the day. It was cold-ish and I wasn’t too keen on going to the beach. So we went on a search for kangaroos.
We drove to Woodlands Historic Park. This turned out to be a double score: the park is not only full of wild kangaroos, but is also a special place for the Aboriginal people, who are owners of that piece of land.

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The entry part of the park is the Aboriginal cemetery, where till this day the native Australians bury their relatives.
The graves are spread among trees. Some don’t have names, but quite a lot not only have written information about the dead (who they were, who was their family, what they liked when they were alive), but also are surrounded by items related to the things they enjoyed doing. So, there would be a football, a pot with a plant, a bottle of whiskey, pink ribbons and hair clips.
I found myself wandering among the graves and thinking of the people buried in the ground there. It was so easy to imagine what kind of people they were.

graves of aborigines in Melbourne Woodland Historic Park
The graves are simple and a lot of them have information about the person that’s buried there.

Most of the park is kept in its wild state and it is very similar to the landscape seen by the European settlers in 1840s.

an old bush tree in woodland historic park, melbourne, australia

Old trees, like this one, have a great religious significance to the Aboriginal people

But, back to the kangaroos. They are not easy to spot. Their grey fur melts with the surroundings, making them almost invisible.
There are lots of them in the park, but you really need to pay attention to the surroundings.

The reason why I like them so much is the way they observe people. They tend to stop, stand straight and watch you – it seems like they think: ‘who is it? why are they here?’

They usually escape when you try to come closer, but be careful they are strong animals and can attack people when they feel threatened.

a group of kanagaroos among the trees in woodland historic park, melbourne, australia
We met a family of kangaroos in the historic park.
two kangaroos sitting on grass in woodland historic park, melbourne
Kangaroos in Melbourne are a common sight, but to me it was an incredible experience every single time!

The best place to see koalas around Melbourne 

As much as kangaroos are considered pests and there are quite a lot of them running around, koalas are not as common and are harder to spot.
Their grey fur is almost the same colour as the gumtree they eat. They sit high on the trees and don’t move much and are pretty quiet.
They are also very picky when it comes to food. Out of over 700 gumtrees they eat only around 30 of them, so you can only see them in certain areas.

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    Great Ocean Road 

    One of them is the bushland between Lorne and Apollo Bay, which are both located on the Great Ocean Road.
    Drive up the Grey River Road and look at the top of the trees.

    I was very lucky as one of the small koalas for an unknown reason climbed down a tree. I was literally a meter from it. It was an amazing experience.

    a small koala climbing down from a tree in the great ocean road, australia
    This little fellow came down from the tree and I could get very close.

    Koalas and kangaroos around Melbourne: Useful information 

    Do you want to see koalas and kangaroos in Australia? Great! Here is some information on how to do it. 

    How to move around?

    First, of course, you need to get to Melbourne. This is very easy. There are flights from all over the world, or you can take a bus, train or a flight from major destinations in Australia.

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    Once there, the best thing would be to hire a car. It’s easy to drive in Australia and it’s a great fun!
    I recommend using Rentalcars, which is a very reliable price comparison site. You can find cars all over the world. It will also help you find the best deal and save money.
    Find your perfect car around Melbourne.

    Kangaroos and koalas with a local guide

    If you prefer a local to take your around and you don’t have friends in Melbourne, don’t fret. You can easily find koalas and kangaroos with Withlocals.
    I normally use their services if I’m looking for something special and extraordinary in a country I travel to.

    Withlocals offer private, custom trips with local guides to places not seen in Lonely Planet and other such publications.

    It’s easy and fast to book. You can choose your guide, the date of the trip and you can even adjust the programme according to your needs and interests!

    Book your experience with Withlocals now!

    Where to stay?

    Recommended accommodation in Melbourne:

    Recommended accommodation around the Great Ocean Road:

    Do you want more recommendations? Check out Booking.com, where you will find hotels, hostels and guesthouses all around Australia!
    Book your room in Melbourne now!

    Remember!

    Koalas and kangaroos are wild animals. They look cuddly, but they are not like that at all. Keep your distance and observe them from afar.

    Just in case of any accidents, you need to remember to purchase travel insurance. Do it before you leave. Here’s some advice on how to buy the best policy.

    I hope that you will be able to see koalas and kangaroos in Melbourne because these experiences were the best ones I had in Australia. I’m keeping my fingers crossed! Good luck! And let me know how it went!

    Do you have any questions? Would you like to share your experiences or your point of view? Don’t be shy! Leave a comment!

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