Kennett River is a small seaside area in Victoria, Australia that not a lot of people know about. It’s part of the scenic Great Ocean Road and is known best for its abundant population of wild koalas. There is an area dedicated to the cute folks known as the Kennett River Koala Walk, which is a must-visit for all animal lovers but often neglected due to the popularity of the other common tourist attractions. By Tara Choudhary
The Kennett River Koala Walk is really just a long road filled with gum trees and koalas perched on, below or amongst them. While this area is home to hundreds of koala colonies, it doesn’t mean that you will see them on every tree, as they like to mind their business. However, you are guaranteed to come across at least a few of these furry fellows! While taking part in the Koala Walk, you will learn that patience truly is a virtue as you wait and observe to spot a koala perched between stems and branches.
Once you spot the first one, it usually gets easier. Apart from koala spotting, there is also a whole host of other wildlife you will be able to spot, such as colourful King Parrots and other birds. There is a cute little cafe on this walk called Kafe Koala, which is usually the spot most populated by the King Parrots because of the bird food the coffee shop sells to the tourists so they can feed them. Buying just a little bit of bird seed will take you a long way with these birds, who are friendly and enjoy an audience as they show off their natural habitat.
While the entire Koala Walk is filled with wild koalas, the best place to spot them is by walking along the Grey River Road. This road in the midst of a giant eucalyptus forest, is the preferred food of koalas. The first part of this road is quite packed with tourists, but most of them don’t make much effort to go beyond this, where the real magic lies. As you go further down the road, whether in a car or walking, you’ll see a whole kingdom of koalas eating, sleeping and playing amongst each other. This sight is known to compare to few other things, especially for wildlife enthusiasts who get to be up close and personal with these animals.
When visiting, the best time is early morning, as this is when the crowd is most scant. At this time, the birds are still hungry and the koalas not overwhelmed by the pressures of an over-enthusiastic crowd. It is common for parrots to come and perch themselves on your head, so if this is uncomfortable for you, it is wise to carry a sun hat! Additionally, while you can get quite close to the koalas, binoculars may be a convenient way to spot them with more ease if you wish to carry these.
Don’t worry about food being a problem, as Kafe Koala is known throughout Victoria for its fabulous fish and chips. There is also a great camping ground close by, and a whole host of accommodation options on great ocean road, so it is convenient to visit this area at leisure. Most importantly, enjoy yourself and take it all in, from the koalas to the birds to the flora and fauna. It is unlikely you will ever get this close to these animals in their natural habitats anywhere else!