Time for some good news.
In a first for the region, locals and tourists alike will be able to experience the unique wildlife of the Great Ocean Road in a totally new way as a new eco-tourism attraction opens its doors this month.
Originally slated to open to the public last year, the new ‘Wildlife Wonders’ eco-tourism experience gives visitors the opportunity to see local wildlife in a wild setting like never before – with each visit also supporting local environmental conservation projects.
The key takeaways
- New ecotourism attraction open on Great Ocean Road
- Visitors can see wildlife in a wild setting like never before – with 100% of profits directed towards local conservation projects
- The project was designed to inject tourism into the region and boost employment locally
Located in the stunning Otways, a few miles west of Apollo Bay, visitors will revel in the sights of Australia’s iconic koalas and kangaroos within a temperate rainforest and tree fern gullies, alongside more elusive species such as potoroos, tiger quolls and bandicoots during a 75-minute tour with a conservationist guide.
Visitors will also visit the conservationists’ Research Base on the tour, to see first-hand some of the research projects that Wildlife Wonders is currently supporting.
“The stunning hills and forests of the Otways are home to many threatened species which have been lost from other places, but the rugged nature of this landscape, and shyness of these animals means you are unlikely to catch a glimpse of many of them in the wild” says Wildlife Wonders Director Leonie Bowles.
“At Wildlife Wonders you have the opportunity to see these animals as never before, living freely in a protected bushland setting, while you enjoy the sights of a thriving Otways ecosystem.”
Developed by Conservation Ecology Centre and designed by Brian Massey (Greens Master for ‘The Lord of the Rings’ films, an art director of ‘The Hobbit’ and Landscape Designer of the highly-successful ‘Hobbiton’ in New Zealand), Wildlife Wonders is a not-for-profit ecotourism experience and social enterprise created to showcase what the Otways landscape was once like and could be again – with all profits going back into local environmental conservation projects.
As well as generating vital funding for wildlife and ecosystem conservation and research, the experience was also designed to inject tourism into the region and boost employment locally, made possible by a $2 million grant from the Australian Government under the Regional Jobs and Investment Packages, a $1.5 million grant from the Victorian Government’s Regional Tourism Infrastructure Fund and funding from The William Buckland Foundation, The RE Ross Trust and local individual supporters.
“We understand how tough it has been for tourism operators and communities along the Great Ocean Road – that’s why we’re supporting high impact, high value, projects like Wildlife Wonders,” says Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Victoria Danielle Green.
“This will help to drive tourism to the region in the long-term while showcasing and protecting some of our most unique and beautiful wildlife.”
You can find out more about Wildlife Wonders via the website.
Please note, currently all tours are unavailable and Wildlife Wonders will be closed for five days (from Saturday 13th February) due to the State Government Level 4 lockdown.