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The forested mountains of East Gippsland to the east of Melbourne are well-known for their wildlife. They extend right to the border of New South Wales, covering a sizable chunk of Victoria state.

East Gippsland is renowned for the of its wildlife forests, particularly big mammals, birds and reptiles. Noisy parrots and cockatoos are numerous and easy to see, however you can also see many more shy forest-dwelling birds and animals, such as koalas, wombats, swamp wallabies, superb lyrebirds (best seen and heard in spring), yellow-tailed black cockatoos, king-parrots and eastern whipbirds. In the warmer months lace monitors (goannas) prowl the forest floor for food, and Gippsland water dragons sun themselves on waterfalls. You often see satin bowerbirds, rufous fantails, laughing kookaburras, golden whistlers, yellow and rose robins, and there are 10 species of cockatoo and parrot, and up to 14 of honeyeater.

Along the coast and in the estuaries there are frequent sightings of Australian fur seals, white-bellied sea-eagles, pelicans, gannets, cormorants, oystercatchers, herons, black swans and many species of duck. You may sometimes see an echidna, a passing whale or a bottlenose dolphin. Cape Conran Coastal Reserve has a stunning coastline of headlands, rocky shores, sheltered bays and endless golden beaches that where you can swim, surf, surf-fish and watch beautiful sunsets.

On the wildflower plains east of Marlo there is plains wildlife: eastern grey kangaroos, red-necked wallabies, wedge-tailed Eagles, emus, galahs, eastern rosellas, ibis, Australian magpies, magpie-larks and willie wagtails. Several threatened species live in the area: hooded plover, little tern, little and intermediate egret, Lewin's rail, royal spoonbill, powerful owl, blue-billed duck, sooty oystercatcher and glossy black-cockatoo.

View suggested itinerary

Key info

  • Ideal for viewing: koala, swamp wallaby, superb lyrebird, yellow-tailed black cockatoo, southern hairy-nosed wombat
  • Where: Victoria, Australia

Wildlife trips

This wildlife location is featured in the following itinerary:

Penguins, Koalas & Great Ocean Road

This innovative itinerary combines self-drive, a short small group tour and excursions around Melbourne. Visiting the contrasting areas of Great Ocean Road, Phillip Island, East Gippsland and the Wilderness Coast you’ll see the best of Victoria’s wildlife, including many iconic Australian species.

  • When to go: Sep-May
  • Duration inc. flights: 13 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £4,395 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea
Suggested accommodation is shown below. Please contact us for further recommendations.

Snowy River Homestead

Situated at Newmerella, which in aboriginal language means "Valley of Plenty”, this early settler’s homestead lies in the heart of beautiful countryside overlooking the Snowy River Valley, some five kilometres outside Orbost and adjacent to the East Gippsland Trail, a popular bush walking track.