Wildlife Wonders is a stunning new wildlife sanctuary in the Otways National Park near Apollo Bay. A social enterprise, it has been designed to support research and conservation of the endangered species of the area and also help to boost employment for locals. All the money made from visitors to the sanctuary is funnelled back into conservation projects for the flora and fauna of the region.
In the sanctuary, three hours from Melbourne and five minutes from Apollo Bay, the animals are living freely in a protected bushland setting. A fence keeps foxes and cats out of the park so the wildlife feel at home and protected. Their natural environment, including endangered flora, is conserved and protected too.
Wildlife Wonders was included in National Geographic’s top 25 places to see wildlife in 2022 as one of the five best places to enjoy nature. Around and About is pleased to have teamed up with Wildlife Wonders to introduce our guests to this award-winning ecotourism experience on the Great Ocean Road.
Animals to see at Wildlife Wonders
Entry to the sanctuary is by guided tour only, to ensure the preservation and tranquility of the environment. Guests are required to wear headsets so they can hear their guide as the koalas, kangaroos, long nosed potoroos, bandicoots and native birds are pointed out.
As they traverse the path through a range of landscapes, including tall trees, grassy ground cover and the heathlands of the Otways Ranges, guides will point out many different species and habitats without disturbing the animals.
Between June and October is the season for whale spotting off the coast. If you’re lucky, you may see the southern right and humpback whales as they migrate across the southern ocean.
The Wildlife Wonders website has detailed information about the other animals you might see including:
Otway Black Snails
Southern Brown Tree Frogs
Common Blue Tongued Lizards
When is the best time to visit Wildlife Wonders?
For wildlife spotting, dawn or dusk is a magical time. Animals like bandicoots, potoroos and pademelons are emerging from their sleeping places in search of food. Other animals are returning to their burrows and nests, to keep themselves safe from predators for the night.
Wildlife Wonders has just launched new Dawn and Dusk Discovery tours. With small groups of only 10 people, you will have an incredible experience observing animals in their natural habitat and also have the chance to see stunning sunrise or sunset views over the ocean. The sunrise tour includes a delightful breakfast and the sunset tour ends with a drink and nibbles.
Other tours run regularly throughout the day so checkout the website for times.
Is Wildlife Wonders accessible for all abilities?
The path that encircles the sanctuary is 1.4km and one of the few along the Great Ocean Road that is truly accessible for those in a wheelchair or with limited mobility. Parents with prams will also appreciate the ease with which they can manage this guided tour.
How to book a tour of Wildlife Wonders
You can book your tour of Wildlife Wonders directly through the website but if you’re on a small group tour with Around and About Travel your guide will organise everything for you. The Ultimate two day Great Ocean Road tour offers the sanctuary as an option. Alternatively, you can book a Private Customised Tour and include this as part of your itinerary.
For a truly unforgettable Victorian Great Ocean Road experience, book our Three Day Sunset 12 Apostles and Otways Wildlife Wonders Tour. Visit waterfalls, lighthouses, the Wildlife Wonders sanctuary, and even splurge and book a helicopter flight over the remaining Apostles. It’s a trip you’ll want to share with your family and friends.
Do you have a favourite plant or animal that can only be found in the Otway National Park?
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