Koalas are one of the most iconic Australian species. For many people, seeing a koala is high on their list of priorities when they visit Australia.

While most people will quickly head to a zoo or conservation park, they miss out on the opportunity to see them in their natural habitat.

The forest regions along the inside edge of the Great Ocean Road are the perfect habitat for koalas. So, when you head down the iconic coastline, keep your eye out for these cuddly creatures.

It’s unlikely you’ll see a koala wandering around though, as they sleep upwards of twenty hours a day! So, you must know what you’re looking for.

Looking for koalas

It is rare to see an awake koala in the wild. They sleep so much of the day that you’d need to time your visit perfectly to see them moving.

Assuming the koalas are asleep, you’re searching for a round, fluffy, grey thing, approximately the size of two basketballs. Koalas need to sleep in the forks of trees so that they do not fall. So, look close to the trunks of trees, as this where they are most likely to balance themselves.

If they are on the move, they probably look like they’re hugging the tree as they use their large, strong claws to grab onto the bark and avoid falling.

Best places to spot koala on the Great Ocean Road

There are a few places you can spot wild koalas on the Great Ocean Road. Most of our Great Ocean Road tours will take you to at least one of the following spots to try and spot a koala!

  • Kennet River

    Halfway between Apollo Bay and Lorne sits Kennet River. This small hamlet tucked just aside from the main road is one of the best places to spot wild koala.

    From the main carpark, take a small stroll up the hill through the gum forest. Look out over incredible coastal views before turning your attention to the upper branches of the gums around you. The koalas like to be high, so remember to keep your eyes off the ground.

    There is a large population of koalas around this area so you’re likely to see at least one while here. The further up the hill you head the better chance you have of seeing more koalas.

    If you have time, grab some seeds from Kafe Koala near the carpark. The local king parrots love the snacks and are incredibly friendly with visitors.

  • Tower Hill

    The Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve was declared Victoria’s first National Park in 1892. More than 300,000 trees provide homes for a plethora of native animals and birds.

    If you’re lucky, you’ll see more than just koalas in the park. Keep your eyes also peeled for emu, kangaroo and echidnas too!

    There is a group of koalas that can often be spotted near the visitor centre. Remember to keep your eyes up, looking high in the trees for these cuddly creatures.

The Great Ocean Road is fantastic for spotting wild koalas. Our awesome guides will help you spot a koala or two on your Great Ocean Road tour!

Related article: How the Great Ocean Road was built