The Great Ocean Road

where  to see koala bears in australia, great ocean road

My loves, I’ve shared a brief glimpse of our trip to Australia with you and today I’m excited to share some photos from my favorite day down under (which also happened to be our last day!). Australia truly saved the best for last.

Come along for a drive along The Great Ocean Road, where we’ll spot koalas in the wild!

We spent the second half of our Australian adventure in Melbourne, which is a prime jumping off point for driving The Great Ocean Road.


Truth be told, we weren’t sure if we would make this drive or not. It was highly recommended but we tend to be wary of things that are overly recommended (are you like that too?) and from what we could glean online, we didn’t know if it would be all that different from the beautiful drive from Los Angeles to San Francisco along Route 1.


We also had one goal for our entire trip to Australia: to see kangaroos and koalas in the wild.


Luckily, after about a week in Australia, we spotted kangaroos in the wild, and although they are just akin to deer here in the U.S., it was really exciting! It’s so cute and funny to see them hop.


But that’s about all the wildlife we had seen, despite many drives through the countryside. So, I was feeling a little desperate, like: “We can’t go back home without having seen at least one koala bear! It’s just not right.”


We considered stopping off at one of the many nature preserves that promised koalas and other wildlife, but somehow that seemed like cheating.


So , we persevered…


The drive along The Great Ocean Road was breathtaking. Within an hour’s drive outside of Melbourne, we were already glad we decided to do it, even though it had been really hard to  pull ourselves out of bed (after being away from home for three weeks, we were pretty zonked). But we didn’t come to the other side of the world to sleep!


We pulled over on the side of the road for a quick car picnic and as we were taking in the ocean views — swooning over the bluest blues — I asked Fred Baby what he would like to do if he weren’t doing what he was doing and money were no object. He replied, “Wildlife photography.”


Less than a beat later, this beautiful bird (which I believe, thanks to Google, is a Sulphur-crested Cockatoo) zoomed out of nowhere and Fred Baby drew his camera faster than Lindsay Lohan evades the law and got these amazing shots. Surely a sign, don’t you think?

great ocean road, australia; where to see koalas in the wild in australia

We were in Australia for the end of their spring and very beginning of summer, so experienced both sunny days and rainy days and, on this day, a bit of both.

great ocean road, australia; where to see koalas in the wild in australia

where  to see koala bears in australia, great ocean road
where to see koala bears in the wild in australia; great ocean road

where to see koala bears in the wild in australia; great ocean road

Which was good, because we got to spot rainbows! So magical.


As we were driving The Great Ocean Road, we spotted a small convenience store called Koala Cove Cafe. We were in need of water so popped in. Fred Baby being the inquisitive fellow that he is asked the owner, “I see that you’re called Koala Cove Cafe. Any particular reason for that?” I kind of laughed to myself, thinking, It’s Australia, a million things are called koala this or that, but the man replied, “Oh yeah. There’s tons of koalas around these parts. If you just walk up this road to the right, you’ll see ’em up in the trees.”


Shut. The. Front. Door. I nearly squealed with delight as we sprinted out of there. Up the road we walked, hurriedly with excitement, and sure enough, up in the trees, were…


Tiny fur balls, drunk on Eucalyptus, napping in the trees.


It was amaze(fur)balls!


I desperately wanted to take one home, but Fred Baby said I couldn’t. Quel beast!




These furry fellows literally made our entire trip to Australia. So, if you are heading down under and want to know where to see koalas in the wild, drive The Great Ocean Road and pull over when you see the Koala Cove Cafe on Kennett River (Koala Cove Café: 
15 Great Ocean Road, Kennett River, VIC 3234). You’re welcome!



You might even spot pretty Australian King Parrots, too!


In fact, the owner of Koala Cove Cafe warned us that the parrots might even help themselves to landing on our shoulders, but they (thankfully, as I’m a fraidy cat) kept a respectable distance.




We had fun frolicking along the beach (the furthest point south we’ve even been!), writing in the sand, spotting birds and koalas in the wild — and rainbows too — and couldn’t recommend the drive more.


Most people drive all the way out to the 12 Apostles, and if we had left earlier in the day we probably would have to, but it was getting late, so we didn’t make it. Next time…



great ocean road, australia; where to see koalas in the wild in australia





Lucky for us though, that decision led to us seeing tons of kangaroos in the wild!



And even a wallaby too! In fact, as soon as we decided to turn around, we spotted this guy on the side of the The Great Ocean Road staring at us. Take a picture, wallaby, it lasts longer!


Of course, on the way back, we couldn’t resist stopping off by the Koala Cove Cafe to take one last peek at the koalas. And I’m so glad we did, because this time there was one in a very short tree, inches from the road, so we were only about two feet away from him. And he was awake (go around sunset to see them awake and in action), which is rare as they sleep 20 hours a day!


It was incredible!


Until next time, Australia… G’night, Australia. G’night moon. I can’t wait to see you again!


[Photos by FredBaby13]

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62 thoughts on “The Great Ocean Road

  1. Liz

    Loved your pics and hearing about your adventures!!!
    Fred Baby could definately be a wild life photographer….Great job with that camera!!!!!

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