Highway One: wildlife encounters

By Catherine Lawson 7 November 2013
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Along Victoria’s Great Ocean coastline is a vast array of wildlife to match the spectacular scenery.

Catherine Lawson and David Bristow, along with baby Maya, are doing a lap of Highway One, the road that circles Australia.

ON EVERY LEG OF our Highway One road trip, we’ve experienced amazing wildlife encounters.

Across the top it was Lumholtz tree kangaroos and saltwater crocs, on the west coast, Ningaloo Reef’s mating green sea turtles thrilled us, and across the Great Australian Bight and Nullarbor we spotted dolphins, wedge-tailed eagles and emus.

In Victoria, koalas kept us captivated and craning our necks as we explored eucalypt forests right along the coast.

With the largest population of wild koalas in Australia, Victoria is an easy place to seek them out, especially when you consider that during daylight hours, koalas are happy to stay in plain sight nestled in the crooks of trees.

We spent a few days camped amongst them at a beautiful bush camp on the Fitzroy River near Portland, where a couple of males boomed and grunted throughout the night.

And while travelling the Great Ocean Road, we detoured south to Cape Otway where stunted manna gums cradle hundreds of koalas, many spotted right beside the road.

This is a popular place to see koalas and to watch the joy and fascination on the faces of foreign travellers, which always reminds me of how special our Aussie animals really are.

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